French Sarkozy rejected by his own party


Sarkozy cartoon

This cartoon by Jeffrey Hill shows French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, whipping up hysteria on terrorism in order to become president again. However, today it has turned out that he failed.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Sarkozy already knockout in first round, he will not be president again

Today, 21:39

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has conceded defeat in the first round of elections for the candidacy for the presidency of his party. The counting of votes is still under way, but Sarkozy has trailed the votes of the two former Prime Ministers Fillon and Juppé all night.

With 80 percent of votes counted Fillon is ahead. He has received 44 percent of the vote and Juppé stands at 28 percent. Sarkozy remains at 21 percent. The two candidates with the most votes will go through to the next round, which will be held next Sunday.

Sarkozy, for his part, had praised Trump’s election as validation of his own claims to speak for the “silent majority” and as a victory for a democracy and the principle of “listening to the people.” Trump is unpopular in France, and Sarkozy’s open support for Trump doubtless played a role in his elimination in the first round. Sarkozy explicitly centered his campaign around stigmatizing Muslims: here.

French civil liberties in danger


This video from the USA says about itself:

State of Emergency in France: 2,200 Police Raids, 3 Closed Mosques, Hundreds of Muslims Detained

4 December 2015

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced Wednesday that authorities had carried out more than 2,200 raids since a state of emergency was declared following the November 13 attacks that killed 130 people. Under the state of emergency, French police can raid any home without judicial oversight. In addition, police have held 263 people for questioning – nearly all have been detained. Another 330 people are under house arrest, and three mosques have also been shut down. The vast majority of those targeted in the raids have been Muslim. We speak with Yasser Louati, spokesperson and head of the International Relations Desk for the Collective Against Islamophobia in France.

By Alex Lantier:

French prime minister calls for extension of state of emergency

14 November 2016

In a BBC interview Sunday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called for yet another extension of the French state of emergency, until after presidential elections in April-May 2017. Coming just after the election of Donald Trump as US president, Valls’ announcement points to the accelerating collapse of democratic forms of rule on both sides of the Atlantic.

As he demanded that the National Assembly approve the fourth extension of the state of emergency since Valls’ Socialist Party (PS) imposed it just after the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, Valls gave no indication of when, or whether, the French state of emergency would ever be lifted.

“It would be hard today to end the state of emergency,” Valls told the BBC’s HARDtalk show. “Especially since we will launch a presidential election in a few weeks with meetings and public gatherings. So we must also protect our democracy.”

“Besides,” he added, “the mechanism of the state of emergency also grants us the ability to carry out arrests and administrative investigations that are effective. … So yes, we will probably live for some time with this state of emergency.” He cited the July 14 Bastille Day attack in Nice, when [a mentally ill person] killed 86 people and wounded 434 by driving a truck through a crowd, as the type of attack the state of emergency was needed to confront.

Valls’ arguments for the state of emergency are a reactionary political fraud. The state of emergency is not an anti-terrorist initiative to defend democracy, but a police state regime targeting the working class above all. It aims to whip up far-right forces, stimulate militarist and anti-Muslim hysteria, and send police to crush rising opposition in the working class to PS austerity policies, like this spring’s mass protest movement against the PS’ despised labor law.

The fact that Valls does not foresee any end to the state of emergency only underscores that powerful factions in the ruling class intend for the suspension of democratic rights to be permanent.

It is now clear, as even sections of the political establishment have admitted, that the state of emergency does not prevent terror attacks. It clearly proved incapable of preventing the Nice attack, and a parliamentary report this summer overseen by conservative deputy Georges Fenech found that the state of emergency had “limited scope” as an anti-terror measure. In fact, the state of emergency has not cut off terror networks, because they are key tools of French and NATO war policy.

In February 2016—after the vast majority of police actions under the state of emergency had taken place—the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) published an accounting based on Interior Ministry figures. The CNCDH counted 3,824 searches and seizures, 392 assignments to house arrest, but only 29 investigations of terror-related offenses. These included 23 charges for a vaguely-defined offense of “apologizing for terrorist actions,” i.e. verbally supporting Islamist groups, and only six cases sent on to anti-terror prosecutors.

In the meantime, however, thousands of European Muslims are traveling to the Middle East to join Islamist militias that are NATO’s main proxies in its war for regime change against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. According to estimates from the Soufan Group, a private intelligence firm, some 1,700 people from France alone have already traveled to join militias in Syria. A flow of fighters on this scale is impossible without the knowledge and complicity of European intelligence agencies.

An examination of the individuals involved in recent terror attacks in Europe—the Charlie Hebdo and November 13 attacks in Paris last year, and the March 22 attack in Brussels this year—clearly illustrates this complicity. The leaders of the terrorist commandos were well known to intelligence agencies, often as high-ranking operatives. Yet they were able to cross borders, access tens of thousands of euros, and acquire weapons without hindrance.

*The Kouachi brothers who carried out the Charlie Hebdo attacks were removed from surveillance shortly before they carried out the attack, even though they were in contact with top leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

*Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the leader of the November 13 terror commando, was allowed to travel across Europe even though he was well known to intelligence services as the public face of the Islamic State [ISIS] militia’s recruiting efforts on social media.

*The March 22 attackers and their targets were identified to Belgian authorities by Turkish, Israeli, and Russian intelligence before the attacks. Nonetheless, they were not stopped, nor was security tightened around their targets. It also emerged after the attack that the location of November 13 accomplice Salah Abdeslam, who was in hiding in Brussels and described in the media as “Europe’s most wanted man” until his capture shortly before the March 22 attack, had been known to Belgian police forces the entire time.

The French political establishment and media have used lies about the Syrian war and the Paris and Brussels bombings to reorient official politics far to the right, in order to continue imposing policies of war and austerity that have no popular base whatsoever.

For nearly two years, the masses have been bombarded with lies, taken from the arsenal of the far right, presenting these attacks not as the outcome of a politically criminal war in Syria, but of Muslim delinquency. The PS used this poisonous atmosphere to divide working people, promote the police and military, ram through billion-euro increases in military spending, and justify repeated police assaults on peaceful demonstrators against its labor law.

It led to attacks on democratic rights that are unprecedented since World War II, such as bans of “burkini” swimwear enforced on French beaches in defiance of court rulings, and Valls’ attempt this summer to ban peaceful protests by workers and youth against the labor law.

Conditions are emerging for even more bitter class battles in France and across Europe. Amid a constant danger of a NATO-Russia war over Syria, with the right-wing The Republicans (LR) and the neo-fascist National Front (FN) rising in the polls, an even more ferociously right-wing regime could easily come to power in France. It would have at its disposal the juridical and technological infrastructure of a police state, built by the PS, to be mobilized against working class opposition to austerity and war.

The precondition of any victorious struggle against war and to defend workers’ basic social rights is to oppose the reactionary fraud of the French state of emergency.

By setting up a single database centralizing information on the entire French population behind their backs, France’s Socialist Party (PS) government is giving the state vast repressive powers. Coming amid the state of emergency, it constitutes a fundamental threat to democratic rights, in particular to opposition within the working class to austerity and war: here.

Calais refugee children suffer PTSD


A demonstration of over 100,000 marched through London to welcome refugees in September 2015

From News Line daily in Britain:

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Almost all Calais refugee children suffer post-traumatic stress

ALMOST all of the children who have spent time in the so-called ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais for refugees have a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), says the Citizens UK charity.

Delays in transfers out of Calais or being housed in storage containers has left many youths with deteriorating mental health. There are also reports of children sleeping rough around the periphery of the camp.

Staff at Citizens UK say they have been sent suicidal text messages from the children, since the demolition of the refugee camp. Dr Susannah Fairweather, a psychiatrist who compiled evidence for the charity, said there had been a ‘significant deterioration in the children’s mental health,’ including a risk of suicide.

She told the Guardian: ‘As a consultant psychiatrist who has assessed children both in the “Jungle” and once they have arrived in the UK, I know the children living there experienced horrific traumas both in their home countries and their journeys there.

‘Of the children who underwent psychiatric assessment, all of them presented with psychiatric symptoms, with approximately 90% meeting the criteria for a recognised psychiatric disorder, such as PTSD and depression.’

Citizens UK says that of the 40 children being taken care of, 90% say they have ‘increased anxiety’ and over 30% report having suicidal thoughts. Just 15% of the lone children in Calais have now been transferred to Britain and 1,600 are now scattered all over France in temporary accommodation.

Last Friday, 4 November, the May Tory government said that no more children would be coming to the UK this weekend. Fairweather said: ‘The young people who have lived in the unstructured, informal camp for a prolonged period of time find it particularly difficult to adjust to life in more ordinary circumstances.

‘A temporary transfer to accommodation in France will only serve to exacerbate this.

‘The longer they are met with uncertainty from authorities about their situation, the less likely they are to trust professionals. This increases the risk that they will use unofficial systems to enter the UK, such as people smugglers.’

Many of the children are in limbo as diplomatic tensions between Paris and London continue. French President Francois Hollande is demanding that PM Theresa May and her government ‘take their share to welcome them in Britain’. However, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said it was the duty of the French government to ‘properly protect’ the children.

Meanwhile Save the Children charity has recounted another episode in the plight of refugees attempting the Mediterranean crossing. It said last Friday: ‘Two very young children, whose mother died while on board a boat ferrying refugees and migrants from North Africa to Europe, were rescued by Save the Children on Thursday 3 November as part of an operation in which more than 100 people were saved by our search and rescue vessel, the Vos Hestia.

‘Several children, including one who was as young as two, were among those on board the boat ferrying migrants and refugees. The two children who lost their mother have no other relatives with them and are now under the care of Save the Children’s on board child protection teams, who work closely with the Italian authorities. Prayers were said on board for their mother.

‘The rescue came less than 24 hours after more than 240 migrants and refugees are believed to have drowned when two rubber dinghies capsized off the North African coast, survivors told Save the Children. Only 29 people out of the at least 270 people believed to have been on board the two dinghies were pulled alive from the water. Save the Children was on hand to assist the rescue operations late on Wednesday and spotted two women who had been out at sea for hours.’

Roger Alonso, Save the Children’s team leader on the Vos Hestia said: ‘There are no words to describe the horrific events we have witnessed over the past 24 hours. We’ve seen a mother in utter shock, unable to speak after losing her baby. Two young children have witnessed their mother die in unspeakable circumstances.

‘These mothers left Africa with their children with hopes of a better future – it cost them their lives. Our team is now doing everything they can to provide support to these children, including psychological care. This needless loss of life highlights the perverse impact of current EU policy, which is focused on protecting borders rather than providing to refugees and migrants, especially those most vulnerable, legal and safe ways to reach sanctuary in our countries.’

The charity stressed: ‘Save the Children has repeatedly called for the EU to provide safe and legal routes into Europe, such as resettlement, humanitarian visas and other forms of humanitarian admissions, which should help to ensure minimum standards of protection, especially for children.

‘So far, 2016 has been the deadliest year on record for those crossing the Mediterranean, and if the number of casualties from the latest shipwreck is confirmed, more than 4,100 people will have died trying to make it to Europe from North Africa.

‘The journey is so dangerous that the likelihood of dying while trying to make the crossing is now one for every 47 arrivals.

‘Save the Children have rescued more than 1,300 people, including more than 200 children, and is continuing to conduct its life saving-operations to help prevent more people losing their lives at sea.’

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has opened a new camp in Hasansham to house newly displaced Iraqi families fleeing the military offensive in Mosul. Some 3,000 people were received at the camp last Friday and all families are being allocated a tent and receiving assistance.

At present 450 tents – enough to shelter 2,700 people – are available and 500 tents will be erected per day to house additional arrivals. The camp will be able to house 1,800 families, almost 11,000 people. Friday’s new arrivals are among an estimated 8,000 people who arrived to Khazer and Hasansham camps in the past three days.

Many have come from Gogjali and other areas on the eastern outskirts of Mosul, which saw fierce fighting three days ago and is now under the control of the Iraqi Security Forces. Frederic Cussigh, UNHCR’s Senior Field Coordinator, was in Hasansham Camp as it opened and witnessed the arrivals.

He said last Friday: ‘People arrived with nothing or next to nothing, exhausted but relieved to find safety and receive help. Everyone who arrived today will be allocated a tent and receive water and a hot meal.’

Sultan Ghassem, a 47-year-old metalworker from Gogjali, Mosul, said: ‘We left home three days ago to escape the mortars falling all around us. For the last two years we haven’t had even the basics of life, only oppression. There was no money, no work. We sold everything we owned just to eat. The only reason nothing happened to me is because I stayed in my home all the time.’

Shmala Hamdi, a 50-year-old housewife from Gogjali, said: ‘We spent two days hiding in a corner of our house sheltering from the bullets and bombs. We left our home this morning as soon as the fighting was over we fled and came straight to this camp. The last two and a half years have been no kind of life.

‘We weren’t allowed out of the house, and the boredom ate away at our souls. Now we feel safe, and I’m looking forward to sleeping properly for the first time in months. I’m worried about living in a tent during winter, but as soon as it’s safe we will go back home.’

Hasansham is one of 11 camps UNHCR is building in order to respond to an anticipated large-scale displacement from Mosul. Five camps are now ready to receive people fleeing the city.

Calais refugee children sleeping among ruins


This video says about itself:

29 October 2016

As the French authorities continue to destroy the Calais jungle refugee camp, the child refugees and the minors are bearing the brunt. They are being forced to sleep in the ruins of the camp.

Pro-refugee demonstration in London


A ‘Refugees Welcome’ rally on the Millennium Bridge in London, 26 October 2016, makes its message very clear

From daily News Line in Britain:

Thursday, 27 October 2016

REFUGEES ARE WELCOME HERE

‘HAVE a heart London,’ chanted a whole crowd of Refugees Welcome demonstrators waving red hearts on the Millennium Bridge over the River Thames yesterday.

One of the protesters, schoolteacher and NUT member Natalie Zdrojewski, told News Line: ‘I’m here because what is happening to a lot of children is disgusting. We need to care for children regardless of where they come from. What is happening in Calais is horrible.

‘It’s bad that refugees have had to move from their country to live in squalor and are now having such an uncertain future. The government doesn’t care for people, whether they are working or not. They don’t care for education, they don’t care for health. There should be a general strike, where everybody unites to save our services and welcome all refugees.’

Meanwhile, fires raged across the Jungle refugee camp in Calais yesterday, with inhabitants accusing the police of preventing the admission of French firefighters to put them out for several hours. Many of the makeshift shops that had been set up in the camp were destroyed, as was a London bus used by a charity to help women and children.

Dorothy Sang, of the charity Save The Children, said: ‘We know that hundreds of children slept in the Jungle last night, under the bridge, while fires were burning around them. We know that lots of them ran. It’s a really, really dangerous situation for children right now.’

French bailiffs in hard hats and orange jumpsuits began smashing up the Jungle with sledgehammers on Tuesday, pulling down tents and shacks, with bulldozers standing by to be used later on in the week.

By the end of Tuesday, about 3,000 refugees had been moved out on coaches to centres across France, while another 1,000 unaccompanied minors had been given accommodation in lorry containers near the Jungle.

With over 1,200 police officers deployed in Calais and many more in reserve, the French interior ministry said yesterday that officers ‘might be forced to intervene’ if there is unrest during demolition of the Jungle.

Calais Refugees evicted, burned out.. resistance Continues


Irish pro-refugee poster

This is an Irish pro-refugee poster.

The Free

Image result for anarchists defend calais refugee campThe Jungle Refugee Camp in Calais, France is being demolished from Links, live stream, articles insideImage result for anarchists defend calais refugee camp

Submitted 2 days ago * by MichaelBrocenosannouncement

I volunteered with the Help Refugees NGO at the Jungle refugee camp in Calais, France for one month, July 10 to August 10, AMA

The Calais “Jungle” is the nickname given to a refugee and migrant encampment in the vicinity of Calais, France. Many living in this camp attempt to illegally enter the United Kingdom via the Port of Calais or the Eurotunnel by stowing away on lorries, ferries, cars, or trains traveling to the UK. The camp gained global attention during the European refugee and migrant crisis when the population of the camp grew and French authorities carried out evictions. The French government plans to evacuate 6,400 migrants from the encampment in 170 buses, starting on October 24, 2016 with the intent of resettling…

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