This video is also about that demonstration.
May Day in Tilburg, the Netherlands: here.
This video is also about that demonstration.
May Day in Tilburg, the Netherlands: here.
Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:
French police enraged by gory trade union poster
French police are furious over a poster of one of the largest trade union federations in the country. On it we see a bloody police baton. The picture has as its caption: “The police should protect citizens, not beat them up.”
And also: Stop the violence.
Police have cracked down harshly in recent days against demonstrators in several French cities. The demonstrators in the evening and at night gathered to protest against social injustice. At one of these police actions one demonstrator was severely beaten in the face by a police officer. The policeman will be prosecuted.
Also Minister Cazeneuve has responded angrily to the CGT trade union posters.
This video says about itself:
The Rainbow Warrior – Trailer
13 April 2016
The Rainbow Warrior: It would go down as one of the first acts of state-sponsored terrorism
The plot summary is:
The Rainbow Warrior had set out to protest against French nuclear testing. But in the late hours of July 10th 1985, as the laughter and birthday celebrations of the crew filled the air, two French divers were planting two bombs on the bottom of the Rainbow Warrior. When the bombs exploded the ship was sunk, one man was killed, and a ten year battle between New Zealand and France began.
“If all they were trying to was to stop us then they could have done it in far less spectacular ways”, says head of Greenpeace, Steve Sawyer. In fact, the options of poisoning the diesel or using a single bomb were preferred by all agents involved.
But Charles Henu, an alcoholic and a womanizer and also the French Minister of Defence, was determined to strengthen French military independence. He dispatched three action teams for ‘Operation Satanic‘, many of whom speak here for the first time. “Of course I regret that somebody died”, says Dr. Xavier Maniquet, “but we were just following orders”.
His crew were part of action team 2 and had a near miss with the New Zealand government. Agents Marfur and Prieur from action team one were not so lucky. After making a series of phone calls to a known DGSE number in France, they were intercepted and imprisoned.
Yet what about the action team responsible for planting the bomb in the first place? Head of Operation Satanic, Louis Dillais, now sells arms to US Special Forces in the war against Terror. Banned from speaking by the French government, he can only hint: “No one wanted it to go this far”. The French government’s report on the mission was a whitewash – no second bombs, and some of the men in this documentary wiped from the pages of history. Yet the evidence of the New Zealand Police made a mockery of the cover-up. Speaking about the mission for the first time the former Prime Minister speaks revealingly of how the details of the mission were kept from him. This eye-opening investigation lays the secret workings of a government bare.
This video says about itself:
Unprecedented Student Involvement in French Labor Protests
7 April 2016
Trade unions and students are preparing for a massive demonstration this Saturday against the overhaul of longstanding worker protection laws in France, says Renaud Lambert of Le Monde Diplomatique.
This video says about itself:
3 July 2013
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has been stripped of her European Parliament immunity and may now face charges of racism over comments she made comparing Muslim street prayers to an occupation of French territory by the Nazis.
Especially so two top advisers of National Front party fuehrer Marine Le Pen: businessman Frédéric Chatillon and accountant Nicolas Crochet. Yesterday, Ms Le Pen, sounding indignantly, denied being involved in the scandal.
This video from the USA says about itself:
31 March 2016
The Eiffel Tower was shut down Thursday as a national strike against labor reforms reportedly left the monument with too little staff.
The new labor proposals don’t aim to completely undo the current 35-hour work week. However, the new legislation would let companies schedule workers up to 48 hours a week, and allow for 60-hour weeks in extreme circumstances.
Two hundred demonstrations were expected to occur across the country. The protests follow smaller union and student protests that erupted in violence last week.
As of mid-March, more than 3.5 million people in France were unemployed.
A recent poll found more than half of French citizens said reform is needed. But another poll found 58 percent of French citizens oppose the reforms currently offered.
These proposals are even more dramatic, considering the prime minister and president who are pushing them are a part of the Socialist party that originally mandated the 35-hour work week.
By Alex Lantier in France:
4 April 2016
French youth and workers have carried out mass demonstrations to protest Labour Minister Myriam El Khomri’s reactionary labour law reform. They have done so in defiance of the state of emergency imposed by the Socialist Party (PS) government after the November 13 Paris terror attacks. These initial mobilizations mark a new stage in the international class struggle, with implications well beyond the borders of France.
The attempt to promote hysteria over terrorism to suppress popular opposition is failing in the face of a growing radicalization of workers and youth. The working class has not been intimidated by the state of emergency and is entering into struggle against the social counterrevolution being carried out by the PS government and the European Union as a whole.
University students are organizing on-going protests and meetings, hundreds of high schools are being blockaded by students, and growing sections of workers are taking strike action. Last Thursday, port workers, Air France employees and transit workers struck across France, while workers walked out at steel and auto plants in various cities.
The El Khomri Law would lengthen the workday by up to two hours, increase the precariousness of employment for young workers, and allow the unions, in violation of France’s Labour Code, to work out contracts with employers at the level of individual firms.
The fact that this regressive and unpopular proposal would violate existing law testifies to its illegitimate character. …
An explosive political dynamic is developing. Despite the relentless promotion of fear and national chauvinism in connection with the terror attacks, a deeply rooted mood of social militancy is developing among workers and youth. …
Something of 1968 is in the air. …
On Thursday, as over a million people across France marched against the El Khomri Law, Hollande withdrew a proposed amendment enshrining in the Constitution the state of emergency as well as a policy of depriving terrorists of French nationality. Though the Senate and the National Assembly had both passed versions of the amendment, Hollande did not attempt to reconcile the differences between the two measures.
The reversal provoked consternation in sections of the media close to the PS, which fear that it marks the end of any hope of the PS avoiding a wipeout in next year’s presidential election. Le Monde called it a “major political disaster,” warning that “after this calamitous episode, Mr Hollande leaves behind him a field of ruins.”
Libération wrote: “François Hollande wanted to build national unity above the parties… He succeeded only in earning the opprobrium of his own camp and creating the spectacle of a petty political game, which citizens, even the most favourably disposed, did not understand and in many cases totally rejected.”
At its heart, this strategy relied on using the terror attacks carried out in Europe by Islamist forces mobilized by French imperialism and its allies for their war in Syria to present Hollande as a “war president” and promote the neo-fascist National Front (FN). The PS responded to each attack by seeking to create a right-wing, nationalist atmosphere and incite Islamophobia to divide the workers and suppress social opposition to its austerity agenda.
After the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo shootings, Hollande invited FN leader Marine Le Pen to the Elysée Presidential Palace. After the November 13 attacks, he promoted two policies linked to the far right: the state of emergency first implemented in 1955 to wage the Algerian war, and deprivation of nationality, forever associated with its use to launch the deportation of Jews from Occupied France during the Holocaust.
As the passage of versions of the constitutional amendment by both houses of parliament make clear, there is no opposition in ruling circles to the rehabilitation of the bloodiest crimes of French imperialism in the 20th century. This is a serious warning to the working class.
In the face of rising social opposition, however, the PS did not feel the current political climate allowed it to proceed with negotiating a compromise version of its reactionary amendment.
These events signify that workers entering into battle against the El Khomri Law are facing a historic struggle. The attempt to rehabilitate the legacy of the French far right and the attack on workers’ social rights in the El Khomri Law are rooted not in the personal cynicism and corruption of the PS and its political and trade union accomplices, but in an objective global crisis of capitalism.
Amid an escalating spiral of economic collapse and war, every imperialist power is driven into ruthless competition for profits and strategic advantage. French capitalism, deindustrialized by decades of reactionary governments of all stripes and crumbling under a worn-out infrastructure and a mountain of debt, sees no way out other than wars of plunder from Mali to Syria, and a policy of plunder against workers within France itself. To create a suitable political climate for the economic policies they are driven to carry out, all of the bourgeois parties, including the PS and its satellites, fall in line with the rehabilitation of fascism and militarism.
Above all, the struggle must be liberated from the national straitjacket these forces seek to impose upon it. In the fight against the reactionary policies of Hollande, the main allies of the French workers and youth are the workers of all other countries, mobilized in a united struggle for socialism in opposition to austerity, war and attacks on democratic rights.
This video from England says about itself:
Delacroix’s Colour | Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art | The National Gallery, London
16 February 2016
Why did Paul Cézanne describe Delacroix’s palette as ‘the most beautiful in France’? Professor Paul Smith explores Delacroix’s theories on colour and how his approach had a profound influence on the artists associated with the rise of modern art.
By Christine Lindey in Britain:
Godfather of modernism
Saturday 5th March 2016
As well as being the last great history painter, Eugene Delacroix was a huge influence on a new era of art, says CHRISTINE LINDEY
BORN into the republican upper-middle classes, French painter Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) may have been a political conservative but he was also aesthetically and socially progressive.
His epic painting The 28th July, Liberty Leading the People of 1830 is well-known but few of his other works are now familiar.
Yet the rebellious Romantic was one of the most controversial European artists of the first half of the 19th century, venerated by pioneers of modernism long after his death.
A complex, erudite and courageous painter he was, above all, a passionate seeker for the emotional truth of his subjects.
He questioned the dominance of rigid academic orthodoxy based on the classical ideal championed by Ingres, which advocated representing subjects through calm and symmetrical compositions, exhaustive detail and the supremacy of line over colour.
In contrast, Delacroix communicated the essential meanings of his subjects viscerally, by basing his compositions on dynamic contrasts of mass, light and colour and dispensing with finicky details of costume and surface textures.
Poetic imagination triumphed over historical reportage.
Refusing to limit himself to the French Academy’s classical and biblical themes, he added subjects from foreign and modern literature — drawing on Dante, Goethe and Byron — and from contemporary events, including the Greek war of liberation from the Ottoman empire.
Rather than make the traditional artistic pilgrimage to Italy, in 1832 he travelled to the recently colonised Algeria and to Morocco where the north African light and the life of its peoples were a revelation which inspired his pioneering Oriental themes.
Delacroix made his Salon debut in 1822 with the dramatic Barque of Dante, in which the life-size figures of Virgil and Dante loom towards us in a flimsy barque under threat of capsize. Damned souls cling to it to save themselves from the inferno’s tumultuous sea.
The massive Death of Sardanapalus of 1827 is even more dramatic. Based on Byron’s poem, it depicts the suicide of the last Assyrian king who, preferring death over submission to conquest, pre-ordered the destruction of his palace and possessions including his concubines.
As the tyrant’s slaves murder the women, the horror of this cruel and nihilistic act is conveyed via terrifying whirls and swirls of writhing flesh, drapery, raging fire and cascading treasure.
Yet Delacroix was far from a lifelong outsider. He had advocates in the liberal bourgeoisie, gained the Legion of Honour at the age of 33 and won prestigious commissions from church and state.
He had a profound knowledge of the Bible and of the classics and a superb command of draughtsmanship and human and animal anatomy, then essential for personifying abstract concepts.
His multi-layered allusions to the precariousness of life, the chaos and violence of war and the tyranny of unjust rulers are still relevant today.
Yet he was a product of a colonising, bourgeois state and of the values of his times and today’s public will rightly be repulsed by his sexist and racist assumptions and youthful obsession with violence.
Although he worked in many genres, he was primarily a history painter, tackling philosophical themes via now remote or unfamiliar literary subjects, so that his works can today be dauntingly unapproachable.
The National Gallery’s exhibition opens up his work to a 21st-century public by focusing on Delacroix’s influence on the better known early modernists.
We see how the Impressionists were inspired by his realisation that colours cast shadows of their complementary colour, so that juxtaposing them mutually heightens their vividness.
Delacroix’s frequent pairing of red and green, blue and orange and yellow and lilac were emulated and exaggerated by Impressionists such as Cezanne, Van Gogh and Matisse.
We learn that Renoir and Kandinsky travelled to north Africa in homage to Delacroix’s discovery of its vibrant colour and light. Van Gogh’s insight that colour can convey states of mind was indebted to his early realisation that in Delacroix’s paintings “the mood of colours and tone was at one with the meaning.”
Delacroix may have been the first modernist but he was also the last great history painter. Arguably, his greatest achievement was finding a convincing visual form for painting in the “grand manner” relevant to his own times.
This well displayed, visually enjoyable exhibition provides a palatable introduction to Delacroix but at the high price of presenting a tamed and distorted view of this contradictory, complex artist.
Only a few small replicas or sketches of his history paintings are displayed, while too much is made of his atypical flower and landscape painting and almost two-thirds of the paintings are by other artists.
Cuts to funding limits the National Gallery’s ability to stage large-scale exhibitions, as does its pokey, low-ceilinged exhibitions space.
But hopefully this show will whet public appetite and a future, less philistine, government will fund the arts adequately to permit the staging of a truly representative Delacroix exhibition.