Marine Le Pen’s party president, holocaust denier

This video about France says about itself:

On April 5, a court in Paris fined former National Front party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen €30,000 for calling the Nazi gas chambers a “detail” of World War II.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today, about France:

The interim president of the National Front, who replaced presidential candidate Marine Le Pen earlier this week, is already out because of previous statements about the Holocaust. Le Pen’s rival Macron reminded the French yesterday that Jean-François Jalkh in 2000 publicly doubted whether the Nazis really massacred Jews in gas chambers.

In the meantime, Jalkh has been replaced by Steeve Briois, mayor of Henin-Beaumont, the first municipality where the FN achieved an absolute majority. …

Le Pen has set aside the party presidency for a while to focus on her campaign in the run-up to May 7, the decisive round of the presidential elections.

London demonstration against French Marine Le Pen

This video says about itself:

13 November 2016

Dozens of activists gathered together in front of the BBC Headquarters in Central London, Sunday, to protest against an interview being broadcast with the French far-right politician Marine Le Pen on the Andrew Marr show.

Joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism Abby Dhalu stated that the BBC shouldn’t be “giving a platform to people like Marine Le Pen and that the public broadcasting company should “issue an apology for interviewing her today.”

The demonstration, which was organised by the group ‘United Against Fascism’, targeted the BBC as it is publicly owned and funded by tax payers’ money.

By Felicity Collier in England:

Activists protest at French embassy against Le Pen

Tuesday 25th April 2017

ANTI-FASCIST campaigners protested outside the French embassy in London last night against the “sickening” second-place result for Marine Le Pen in the first round of France’s presidential elections.

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) accused the National Front (FN) leader of “rebranding” fascism and the threat it poses to Muslims, Jews and trade unionists.

“Giving a platform to Marine Le Pen and the FN has enabled the worst racism and anti-semitism to grow again in France,” said UAF joint secretary Sabby Dhalu.

The group pointed to recent insulting and racist comments by Ms Le Pen, including her claim that the wartime Vichy government was not involved in the infamous Vel d’Hiv round-up of Jews, who were then … sent to death camps, saying it was not France’s responsibility.

Jewish groups have called it an “insult to France.”

Le Pen has also attacked Muslims, by comparing Muslims praying in the streets to the nazi occupation, and has called for surveillance of mosques in France.

“It is sickening that a known fascist may now become president of France,” said UAF joint secretary Weyman Bennett.

He called on anti-fascists around Europe to combat the rise of the far-right who UAF says will feel “emboldened” by Ms Le Pen’s win.

The FN leader will now face independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron on May 7.

UAF is holding a rally at Conway Hall in London on May 2 at 7pm, where speakers will include MEP Claude Moraes, Azad Ali from Muslim community organisation Mend, and French anti-fascist activist Denis Godard.

By James Tweedie:

Tuesday 25th April 2017

by James Tweedie

Macron beats Le Pen in tight first round of presidential race

FRANCE’S communists called on the country yesterday to “block Marine Le Pen’s road to the presidency” as first round results put centrist Emmanuel Macron in the lead.

Former finance minister Mr Macron had won around 24 per cent of the vote to far-right Ms Le Pen’s 21.5 per cent, setting them up for the May 7 run-off.

Paris Grand Mosque rector Dalil Boubakeur urged Muslims to vote “massively” for Mr Macron, warning of the “threat embodied by xenophobic ideas dangerous to our cohesion.”

But three-quarters of voters picked candidates who opposed either the El Khomri antiworker law, membership of the euro currency or EU, sanctions on Russia and the war on Syria.

Mr Macron backed the EU dictated labour law, which was enacted by decree of President Francois Hollande after parliament twice rejected it and sparked a year of general strikes and fierce protests.

Conservative Republicans candidate Francois Fillion and Left Party leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon — standing for the Unsubmissive France movement — were close behind on 20 and 19.5 per cent respectively.

Mr Fillon said he would vote for Mr Macron as Ms Le Pen’s programme of leaving the euro currency, a referendum on EU membership and restricting immigration “would bankrupt France” and throw the EU into chaos.

The Socialist Party also called unanimously for a vote for Mr Macron.

Its candidate Benoit Hamon garnered just 6 per cent of the vote after the right wing of his party switched support to Mr Macron.

EU leaders also lined up to back the neoliberal Mr Macron, with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warning that Ms Le Pen “seeks its destruction.”

Leftwinger Mr Melenchon has refused to endorse either candidate.

And on Holocaust Remembrance day, European Jewish congress president Moshe Kantor said the National Front leader was “no less dangerous than her Holocaust-denying father who she has tried to hide” — expelled party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen.

This 2013 video is called Le Pen racism accusations: French nationalist leader Marine Le Pen stripped of MEP immunity.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Better a neoliberal than a fascist

Tuesday 25th April 2017

THE first round of the French presidential election represents a missed opportunity, not only for the people of France but for the working class of Europe.

Jean-Luc Melenchon came within a whisker of going into the run-off against either Emmanuel Macron or National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

Just one-quarter of the votes wasted on the Socialist Party and far-left candidates would have clinched that possibility.

Had he faced Le Pen on May 7, he would have won and become the most left-wing president in French history.

As it is, Melenchon and his French Communist Party allies won almost 20 per cent of the poll for policies that challenge the pro-EU, pro-Nato political and big business Establishment.

They now have little option but to call for a vote for Macron in the second round.

Although third-place candidate Francois Fillon has urged his right-wing supporters to plump for Macron, that would not guarantee the latter’s victory alone, even if they all obey.

Not surprisingly, then, Macron’s aides have begun to play up his allegedly radical and anti-Establishment credentials in an effort to entice left-wing electors.

They have a rather steep hill to climb, if not a Pyrenean mountain.

Former investment banker Macron enthusiastically supported the austerity policies of president Francois Hollande’s discredited Socialist Party government in which he served as business minister, before leaving the sinking ship to form his own party.

He now wants to add up to 120,000 Civil Service jobs to the French unemployment rate of 10 per cent, as part of his five-year plan to stay within EU budget deficit rules.

Macron also backed last year’s “labour flexibility” law imposed by Hollande, while calling for further restrictions on employment and collective bargaining rights, not only in France but as part of a programme to “relaunch” his beloved EU.

Predictably, the only cuts he proposes for business are in the fields of regulation and taxation.

This approach will not inspire genuinely left-wing and anti-Establishment electors.

Indeed, it echoes that of the French Socialist Party, which was eclipsed with little over 6 per cent of the vote last Sunday.

The lesson for Britain’s Labour Party is that the centre ground is a marsh, especially when many working class people are losing at least some of their illusions in the political and corporate Establishment.

That is why Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is right to take a clear stance in favour of economic and social justice while maintaining his scepticism about the EU and Nato.

Jumping into the marsh as part of some kind of “progressive alliance” with the uncritically pro-EU freemarket Lib Dems, Greens and Scottish and Welsh nationalists would have ensured disaster on June 8.

There is too much at stake on this occasion to muddy the waters, with Labour’s left-wing leadership facing unprecedented hostility not only from the ruling class but also from within the ranks of the labour movement itself.

In France on May 7, the choice is less palatable but equally clear.

When president Jacques Chirac faced Jean-Marie Le Pen in the final round in 2002, the slogan for many on the left was “better a crook than a fascist.”

This time around, as Macron faces Le Pen’s daughter, it’s a case of “better the neoliberal than a fascist” — although Macron’s policies are likely to increase the populist appeal of the far right as well as of the real left.

Marine Le Pen Is a Fascist, Not a ‘Right-Wing Populist,’ Which Is a Contradiction in Terms. Apr 25, 2017. By Harvey Wasserman: here.

Trump supports French fascist Marine Le Pen

This satiric video by Mark Fiore from the USA says about itself:

Thank You. Love, ISIS

12 April 2016

If we carry out police crackdowns just because people are Muslim and ratchet up the torturing in response to ISIS attacks, the terrorists have won. I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s true. These religious nutballs want nothing more than for the West to pour gasoline on the fire and drive more recruits to their apocalyptic mission.

Dutch NOS TV headlined on 21 April 2017 (translated):

Trump positive about [French extreme right presidential candidate Marine] Le Pen: most strongly against terrorism

See also here.

‘Most strongly against terrorism‘? Then, how about the satiric Mark Fiore video, and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, stating that Trump (and similar politicians like US Republican Ted Cruz, and Marine Le Pen) are recruiting sergeants for ISIS?

How about the report that Trump’s business and political cronies in Indonesia are working on a coup d’état jointly with ISIS supporters?

The NOS report says that it is very unusual for a United States President to say something positive on a candidate in an election in a European country.

The NOS also mentions that ex-president of the USA Obama on Thursday called French presidential candidate Macron to wish him success. The militarist and pro-austerity Macron, who wants to start an anti-environment gold mine in French Guiana, is not a good alternative to racist Marine Le Pen. That would rather be left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon; the only candidate with the courage to call Ms Le Pen a fascist; instead of incorrect euphemisms like ‘populist’.

The first round of the elections in France is being held against the backdrop of an attempt by the state and the media to use the violent incident on the Champs Elysées, involving a gunman who is alleged to have been acting on behalf of ISIS, to create an atmosphere of political hysteria. With over 50,000 soldiers and policemen set to deploy to polling stations tomorrow, the elections are to be held at gunpoint: here.

European bird news update

This video says about itself:

Adriatic Flyway – The Central European Route for Migratory Birds

15 December 2015

On their flight from North and Central Europe to Africa migrating birds mainly take three routes: the Western route via Gibraltar is certainly the best known. This is the route taken by most birds flying from breeding grounds in Great Britain, many from mud flats of the Dutch and German Wattenmeer and also from Scandinavia. The Eastern route leads across Eastern Europe (the Baltic, Belorussia, the Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria) into Turkey, over the Bosphorus and on over the Middle East to reach Africa.

The third route is often forgotten. It is known as the Central European migration route or the Adriatic Flyway. This route runs parallel to the Eastern route in Siberia and Northern Europe but later bears westward from Poland and Hungary over the Balkans and on over the Adriatic Sea, Southern Italy, Sicily and Malta to Africa. Many water birds from Central Europe, but also from North and East Europe and even Asia take this migration route to reach the Sahel region.

The movie introduces several important wetland areas in the Balkans and shows the threatened situation of migratory birds in this region.

For more information: here.

From BirdLife:

21 Apr 2017

The Bird Bulletin – Vol. 4

By Gui-Xi Young

Welcome to the latest edition of ‘The Bird Bulletin’ – our new weekly news brief. Every Friday morning, we’ll bring you bite-sized updates from across Europe & Central Asia – now you can kick start every weekend with ‘what a little bird told me!’

ONE WEEK to save farmland birds! The European Commission’s Public Consultation on the Common Agricultural Policy is open for only 1 more week. Join our E-Action and show your support for sustainable, nature-friendly farms with one click. #LivingLand.

SEAL OF APPROVAL – on the eve of France’s Presidential elections, our French partner LPO has asked voters to consider who is #LeCandidatDeLaNature?

Certainly not Macron, with his plan of an environmentally destructive gold mine in French Guiana, and his pro-Big Oil record when he was minister. Certainly not Marine Le Pen, with her climate change denialism and links to polluting Big Business. Certainly not Fillon with his links to Total Big Oil.

There is no Green Party candidate. Leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon has proposed many pro-environment measures.

And they posed the question in style – a giant 50m2 chalk mural of a white seal suddenly appeared overnight on the square of La Défence in Paris. As the seal faded under the footsteps of passersby throughout the day, man’s destructive impact on nature was brought into stark relief. Check it out!

Spring into action! Spring Alive’ is a BirdLife initiative to get kids interested in nature. Their big ‘Bird Quiz’ kicks off next Monday (24th April) so follow on Facebook for 5 days filled with facts and fun!

And last, but certainly not least….

WALK WITH THE PENGUINS on a sub-Antarctic island and enter their magical, yet threatened, world. Seeing is believing – watch our breathtaking new 3D 360-degree film now and #ProtectAPenguin today!

Well that’s all for today’s ‘Bird Bulletin’ – tune in next week for more cheeps, chirps and chatter.

Bye Bye Birdies!