French poachers’ anti-birds, anti-bird lovers violence

This video is called Brambling – calls & song – Norway.

From BirdLife, with photos there:

‘Slipgate’: The Naked Truth

By Irene Lorenzo, Tue, 10/11/2015 – 12:27

Yesterday morning, LPO/BirdLife France volunteers and journalists were physically assaulted by a man with a shovel after they attempted to remove illegal poaching traps in a village in south-east France. Each year, thousands of protected birds are illegally caught in France in the name of tradition. LPO was attempting to uncover this illegal practice, which is tolerated by authorities.

Put an end to the illegal killing of birds in France:sign LPO/BirdLife France’s Avaaz petition.

The group of volunteers, accompanied by LPO’s director Allain Bougrain Dubourg, arrived in the village of Audon with the intention of documenting the illegal killing of finches in the Landes region. Birds there are captured to attract other birds, illegally killed and served as ‘delicacies’ or sold to the black market.

The volunteers arrived in the field at dawn and began freeing chaffinches and bramblings from their cages. Volunteers found that many of the birds were injured and they were taken to a nearby animal care centre. Unfortunately, some of the birds had already died from stress.

Volunteers reported that poachers had even killed goldfinches that had come to feed and had fallen on the traps by mistake.

The LPO team on the ground, accompanied by the director Allain Bougrain Dubourg, released 20 captive chaffinches.

The use of cages is illegal and the decoy finch below is a protected species. Each year, the LPO files formal complaints, but the French government continues to cover-up these criminal activities.

Poachers then realised what was happening and started attacking the volunteers. Some journalists lost their cameras and LPO President Allain Bougrain-Dubourg was hit with a spade.

The police arrived on the scene to attempt to calm the situation.

The absurdity of the situation has sparked the creativity of supporters on social media with the hashtag #SlipGate.

The capture and manipulation of protected birds is illegal, but the ‘exception’ given by the French government to trap skylarks serves as an alibi to tolerate the capture of other small birds.

Helping refugees is ‘terrorism’, British government says

This video from Britain says about itself:

London – Calais Refugee Aid convoy supplies #2

9 August 2015

More supplies for our aid convoy to refugees in ‘The Jungle’ Calais. Please donate to our campaign on fundraising ends Tuesday evening. Donate now: here.

The British government’s definition of ‘terrorism’ is … let us say … extremely wide. It includes opposing ISIS terrorism in Syria; journalism, by the BBC or by others; and singing a punk rock song.

Now, one more ‘terrorist’ activity, according to the upside down standards of David Cameron’s Britain: helping refugees.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Terror law used to hold volunteer pair after Calais mission

Saturday 7th November 2015

Border staff try to intimidate activists after trip to refugee camp

POLICE used anti-terror laws to detain British volunteers returning from a visit to a French refugee camp.

Two members of the London 2 Calais convoy, which regularly drives donations and volunteers to the camp, known as the Jungle, on the outskirts of the Channel port town, revealed yesterday how they had been held at the border for over three hours.

The group was detained under schedule seven of the Terrorism Act 2000 before they were allowed to board a Channel ferry and asked a series of bizarre questions.

London 2 Calais founder Syed Bokhari told the Star that he had been particularly targeted.

He added: “I think it’s because I’m an Asian man, I’m a Muslim.

“I think that if it was somebody else that was driving that car or leading that team, that was a white person or wasn’t from an Asian background, perhaps they wouldn’t have used the terrorism law.

“They basically were trying to intimidate us in terms of who we worked with, what our plans are and asking all sorts of strange, in some cases perverse, questions about what we were doing and our relationships to each other.”

French government, improve Calais refugee camp, judge orders

This video says about itself:

Calais Refugee Solidarity | Maya Konforti | 20.09.15

A Stand Up to Racism Birmingham delegation, supported by the Amirah Foundation, head out from England to France to assist and take supplies to refugees living in the Calais camp known as ‘The Jungle’.

Charity worker Maya Konforti of Auberge des Migrants International discusses the situation in the refugee camp in Calais, and explains the needs of the refugees and migrants there. Sunday 20th September, 2015.

Filmed and edited by Adam Yosef.

Interview by Geoff Dexter and Maz Saleem.

From France 24:

French court orders state improve Calais migrant camp conditions

A French court on Monday ordered the state to improve conditions at the giant “New Jungle” migrant camp in Calais after NGOs called for immediate action over “serious human rights violations”.

The court in Lille in northern France ordered the department of Pas-de-Calais and the town of Calais to install 10 more water stations – with five taps each, 50 latrines and “one or several” more access points to emergency services at the overflowing migrant site where some 6,000 people are now camped out in the cold.

Doctors of the World and Catholic Relief Services, as well as other NGOs, appealed to the court to “end serious human rights violations” of the migrants living in the camp where the number of inhabitants has nearly doubled since the end of September.

The so-called “New Jungle” camp, which is around an hour away on foot from the centre of the northern French city, has swelled in size over recent months as more and more migrants arrive, wanting to cross over to Britain.

Along with the new sanitation stations, the administrative court ordered the installation of garbage collection sites and general cleaning of the camp, with eight days to implement the new measures and a 100 euro ($110) fine for each day of delay.

The Pas-de-Calais prefecture must also begin in the next 48 hours to identify unaccompanied minors in distress and to begin the process of their placement.

The prefecture said in a statement that it will implement the measures in the time alloted.

Patrice Spinosi, the lawyer for the NGOs, told AFP that it was “a first victory”, but that there was still a lot of work to be done in the camp.

Some of the other requests by the NGOs, like using vacant houses to shelter migrants and upping the meal distribution to twice a day for all 6,000 people versus 2,500 meals once a day, were not approved by the court.

The Doctors of the World director for France, Jean-Francois Corty, called the decision “exceptional” because the court ordered the state to take emergency measures.

British street artist Banksy’s dystopian theme park Dismaland was being dismantled Monday before being shipped to a migrant camp near Calais to make shelters, organisers said: here.

Refugee crisis: Ex-soldier faces jail for trying to smuggle four-year-old Afghan girl out of Calais Jungle. Rob Lawrie faces a charge of aiding illegal immigration in France for what he calls a ‘crime of compassion’: here.

Calais refugees, report by an Englishwoman

This video says about itself:

21 September 2015

London2Calais feature length report on 5000 strong ‘Refugees Welcome‘; Solidarity Demonstration in Calais, 19/09/15. The day began with cars arriving from Britain to drop off clothes and other supplies to l’Auberge des Migrants’ new warehouse, where people worked to sort through donations. London2Calais organised a coach with 50 activists as well as over 20 cars with volunteers and donation to join the march from Jules Ferry Centre to the fences of Calais port. We marched alongside refugees from the camp and French organisations who work tirelessly to support them.

By Bethany Rielly in Britain:

‘We don’t want to die, we want to live!’

Thursday 29th October 2015

The fate of those trapped in the Calais refugee camp known as the jungle rests in the hands of a government which does not care for them, writes Bethany Rielly

LAST week I went to the jungle refugee camp in Calais. It was an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

My journey to the camp began in Windrush Square, Brixton, at 7am.

A convoy of cars had been arranged by campaign group Stand Up to Racism to take us to Calais where we would join a nationwide solidarity demonstration later that day.

I travelled with Austin Challen, a social worker living in Forest Hill, London, his two children Louis and Sarah from Dulwich and Karen Ibrahim from Brixton.

I was impressed that Louis and Sarah, although just 12 and 17, knew a lot about the situation in Calais and were eager to help.

Louis told me: “I wanted to come today to show refugees that there are people in Britain who welcome them, regardless of the anti-refugee stance held by the government.”

The demonstration beautifully conveyed Louis’s message of solidarity. People from Brighton, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, London and Scotland marched with refugees from Sudan, Eritrea, Iraq and Syria, chanting: “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here!” and “No jungle! No jungle!” (a chant highly favoured by an energetic group of Kurdish refugees).

I spoke to a Kurdish man from Iraq called Karzan about why he wanted to come to Britain. He replied: “We don’t want to die, we want to live. In Iraq there is so much terrorism, if you go out to the shops you will probably never come back.

“We like England because it is well known throughout the world as a place that accepts people of any religion or race.

There is no difference between white people and black people.”

Many of the refugees I spoke to said similar things.

They consider England to be among the leading countries in the world for education, healthcare and tolerance of other cultures. Although I was proud to learn that they held these views, I was also painfully aware of the lack of acceptance the British government and public has expressed in response to the refugee crisis.

After the march we headed to the jungle.

The road leading to the camp is met on either side by industrial estates, petrol garages and warehouses crammed with alcohol, all companies churning out billions in profit, a sick contrast to the poverty that soon followed.

The camp entrance is marked by a bridge which bears beautiful graffiti of birds and peace signs.

Once you emerge from the bridge you’re confronted with a shanty town of tents and makeshift homes. Mounds of rubbish line the sides of a muddy path which meanders to the left and right.

With every step I took, the burden of guilt I felt on behalf of my country weighed heavier on my shoulders.

To my surprise one of the first structures we passed was a restaurant, selling sweet tea, curries and shisha. The owner told me that he had worked in a restaurant in Newcastle for 16 years but had been deported a couple years ago after his visa was refused.

I didn’t quite know what to make of it. On the one hand the owner is making a profit by capitalising on the poor, but on the other he is sustaining his own existence whilst also trying to retain some normality in his life, despite being a resident of the jungle.

It was a surreal experience, lounging on long cushioned seats, smoking shisha and chatting to young Middle Eastern men, all the while surrounded by one of the most deprived and poverty-stricken areas in Europe.

I was touched by how kind and welcoming the people of the camp were to us. I shook countless numbers of hands and received thanks for our presence and support.

One man, noticing how cold Sarah’s hands were, offered to give her his gloves and another offered to give Karen his coat! They both kindly declined.

The contrast between the generous and caring people I met in the camp and how they are often portrayed by certain politicians and media outlets was striking and almost comical.

This is when I came to the realisation that terms used to describe refugees such as “swarms,” “marauding” and “economic migrants” effectively act to dehumanise them, making it easier for the public to disregard those that live in the camp.

It’s a clever way of subtly creating distrust and fear of a people who in reality are normal individuals in need of a stable life away from fear and poverty.

Although the demonstration may have helped lift morale in the camp, the fate of those living in the jungle still rests in the hands of a government which does not care for them.

With the camp’s population swelling to over 6,000, and winter approaching, the only hope these people have of surviving is if Britain decides to take responsibility and open its borders.

These were thoughts I left with as we drove away from Calais, and they didn’t feel good.

On Wednesday, upwards of 50 refugees died in several boating accidents while making the journey from the Turkish coast to the nearby Greek Aegean islands. In the worst accident, which took place on the way to the island of Lesbos, 242 refugees―including many women and children―were rescued by fishermen and the Greek coast guard: here.

The Welt am Sonntag published an article at the weekend headlined “Security officials impatiently waiting for Merkel’s ‘go-ahead’.” The authors report major opposition to the refugee policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel within the intelligence agencies and security authorities: here.

New French bird atlas

This video about long-tailed tits, a blue tit and a robin says about itself:

7 March 2015

Close-up movie of wild birds feeding in winter in Grenoble (France).

From BirdLife:

BirdLife in France to publish atlas of 357 species of French birds

By Sanya Khetani-Shah, Thu, 29/10/2015 – 14:49

An ‘atlas’ of birds – which shows the status and distribution of species according to their breeding, wintering and migration across a city, region, country or continent – is important, not only as a catalogue for further scientific research, but also to show the decline in biodiversity over the years.

This is why France has had two national atlases of bird species, one published in 1975 and the second in 1989. But since then, bird species distribution in France has significantly changed.

To present the state of bird populations as well as the places of their evolution since the last atlas, especially in a time when the EU is grappling with its 2020 biodiversity strategy, a new edition of the French bird atlas will be published on November 12.

The atlas was developed by LPO (BirdLife in France) and SEOF (The Ornithological Society of Studies of France) with the scientific collaboration of the National Natural History Museum, Paris. The Atlas sums up 357 contemporary detailed monographs and three sub-species that breed or winter in France in 1.400 pages spread over two volumes. They are illustrated by over 700 photographs of birds and 1.500 maps of historical and current distributions, and abundance.

The task wasn’t easy. The atlas is based on six years of research efforts on birds’ distribution, reproductive status and abundance by the ornithological community, and the mobilisation of thousands of observers, volunteers and employees, who collected information on nesting birds for four springs.

To make sure the atlas covered the whole country and its maps were as detailed as possible, the territory was divided into a grid of nearly 6,000 squares of 10 x 10 km. Each square was then surveyed by birdwatchers and scientists.

Today, this French Bird Atlas could be a great tool for the protection of species and biodiversity. You can access it online or purchase a printed copy here.

British musicians pro-refugees, government anti-refugees

This music video from England says about itself:

Luna Marada – Doberman [Live]

23 April 2015

Our first music video, edited with footage from our gig at SSR Manchester, and from our trip to Featherstone Castle. Enjoy :)

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Musical bros welcomed to the Jungle for solidarity gig

Monday 26th October 2015

TWO Manchester musicians showed their solidarity with refugees by spending the weekend in a camp in Calais playing to the thousands seeking asylum in Britain.

Martim and Tomas Pocinho, who play with the band Luna Marada, headed for the so-called Jungle on Friday.

In the camp they were warmly welcomed by its inhabitants, sharing their meals and playing concerts for the estimated 4,000 people now living in the coastal town.

“We felt really appreciated. It was just really fun,” Martim Pocinho told the Star.

The Pocinhos played two shows — one for those having breakfast in the camp’s cantine and one in the Jungle’s theatre where Iranian, Sudanese and Kurdish refugees joined them on stage.

“A guy from Sudan, in the middle of the concert, asked to sing a song about leaving home. He dedicated it to his wife, who he had not been able to say goodbye to because he left in the middle of the night,” recounted Mr Pocinho.

This music video is called Guns N’ Roses – Welcome to the Jungle (live) France 1992.

This 24 October 2015 video from London, England is about a pro-refugee demonstration at King’s Cross.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Police rain down batons on protest

Monday 26th October 2015

A PEACEFUL protest in support of migrants triggered violent scenes at London’s St Pancras station this weekend as police wielded batons against hundreds of activists.

Campaigners gathered there on Saturday for the second solidarity demonstration at the Eurostar terminal in the space of a week.

Scotland Yard claimed that dozens of people clad in black and with their faces covered tried to storm the platforms for the international train services.

Protesters and observers took to social media to report on the violence and arrests.

Joel Benjamin posted a series of pictures on Twitter with the description: “Utter carnage at Kings Cross station for #migrants demo. Flares, Cops going in batons drawn.”

Among the protesters was Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s son Charlie, who was arrested during the student protests of 2010 for climbing over the Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall.

Two arrests were confirmed by Scotland Yard.

Refugee crisis: Families could freeze to death after leaders warn EU could ‘fall apart’ if it fails to reach an agreement: here.