Brazilian far-right Bolsonaro not to New York

This 15 April 2019 video says about itself:

Bolsonaro presidency a threat to the Amazon?

About 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest is located on Brazilian territory. While scientists have highlighted its importance – both as an irreplaceable biodiversity treasure and an essential global climate regulator – deforestation continues. During his election campaign, Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro frequently criticised environmentalism, boasting strong ties with the agribusiness industry, and threatening to leave the Paris climate accord.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Brazilian President Bolsonaro has canceled a trip to the United States after controversy about his election as “person of the year” by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce. Following protests by activists, major sponsors of the event withdrew.

Bolsonaro was to be highlighted this month by the trade organization at a gala dinner in a hotel in New York. In the run-up to the event, protests against the arrival of the far-right president grew because of his controversial statements about women and LGBTQ people.

The newspaper The Financial Times, consultancy firm Bain & Company and airline Delta Airlines withdrew as sponsors because of all the fuss. In addition, New York City Mayor De Blasio called the Brazilian president a “dangerous man”.

Protest at event location

A petition against Bolsonaro‘s visit to the US was also signed more than 60,000 times. The initiators accuse him of racism, hatred of women and homophobia. Activists protested in recent days at the hotel where the event was to take place.

The Brazilian president says he is canceling the trip because of all opposition to his arrival and the personal attacks by the mayor of New York.

This 18 April 2019 video says about itself:

Bolsonaro Has Been Banned From A New York Museum

A gala event planned to honor Bolsonaro, Brazil’s far-right president at the American Museum of Natural History has been canceled after after widespread criticism and public outcry.

DALLAS COUNCIL AND LGBTQ GROUPS SET TO PROTEST BOLSONARO Another U.S. visit will likely bring another round of protests and official rebukes of far-right Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, as American activists and lawmakers opposed to his his racist, sexist, homophobic and environmentally destructive policies attempt to make him unwelcome in the U.S. [HuffPost]

BRAZIL’S FINANCIAL ELITES LOSE FAITH Jair Bolsonaro pitched himself as a populist savior, but the right-wing authoritarian has relied heavily on the support of Brazil’s wealthy classes and financial elites. Less than six months into his presidency, the elites’ elation and optimism has given way to anxiety. [HuffPost]


Jewish anti-nazis against honouring French fascist dictator

The antifa group Jewish Antifascist Action vandalized a plaque in New York honoring Nazi collaborator Philippe Petain. Photo Jewish Antifascist Action

By Aiden Pink in the USA:

Members of a Jewish antifa group defaced a plaque on Monday in New York honoring a French leader who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.

The plaque in the Canyon of Heroes in Lower Manhattan honored Philippe Pétain, a French general in World War I who later led the Vichy regime, which oversaw the deportation of more than 75,000 Jews to concentration camps, the vast majority of whom were killed.

The plaque commemorating Pétain’s 1931 parade in the “Canyon of Heroes” was splattered with red paint on Monday, the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, by the group Jewish Antifascist Action. They also covered the surrounding area with other antifa-related graffiti.

“With Monday’s actions, Jewish antifascists and allied forces have served notice that fascist apologism will not be tolerated in our city in 2019; that anti-Semitic ideology and violence will be confronted with Jewish solidarity and strength; and that the Holocaust will be remembered not only with sadness and grief but also with righteous anger and action: ‘We will never forget. We will never forgive’”,the group said in a statement.

The group added that its action was done in solidarity with the Outlive Them Network, an international antifascist group that has called for global actions over the next few months. The network previously inspired actions in 18 across seven countries last November on the anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Former New York state assemblyman Dov Hikind pushed for the plaque honoring Pétain to be removed in 2017. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced later that year that the plaque would be removed, but the removal has not yet occurred.

Human rights activism on Statue of Liberty, criminal?

This 27 September 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Statue of Liberty Climber & Anti-Trump Activist Therese Patricia Okoumou Chats with Jezebel

Anti-Trump activist Therese Patricia Okoumou chats with Jezebel about her protests against the Trump Administration.

By Trévon Austin in the USA:

Woman convicted for climbing Statue of Liberty to protest Trump’s anti-immigrant policies

19 December 2018

A woman has been found guilty of several federal offenses after climbing onto the base of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July this year to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policy, including the separation of families at the border and the jailing of migrant children.

Magistrate judge Gabriel Gorenstein convicted Therese Patricia Okoumou on Monday afternoon after a one-day bench trial, insisting that Okoumou’s political and moral motivations were not justifiable before the law.

Okoumou was found guilty of trumped-up

More specifically: Trumped-up?

charges, including trespassing, interfering with government agency functions, and disorderly conduct, carrying a sentence of up to 18 months in prison.

At the beginning of her trial, Okoumou said the treatment of children at the US-Mexico border prompted her to make an aggressive statement by climbing the Statue of Liberty.

“I wanted to send a strong statement that children do not belong in cages”, she said.

After convicting Okoumou, however, Judge Gorenstein claimed that he would be undermining the rule of law if he did not find Okoumou guilty, despite her political reasoning. According to Gorenstein, it would violate his oath as a judge if he considered Okoumou’s motivations for her alleged crime.

During the trial, the prosecution focused entirely on the supposed illegality of Okoumou’s actions.

“She knew that what she was doing was wrong and illegal”, the prosecution said in its opening statement. “Whether one sympathizes with the defendant politically and morally is not at issue in this case.”

The prosecution applauded the judge’s verdict, claiming Okoumou’s protest to be a “dangerous stunt … that endangered herself and the NYPD and US Park Police officers who rescued and apprehended her.”

In a press conference, US Attorney General Geoffrey S. Berman said, “The act of climbing the base of the Statue of Liberty went well beyond peaceable protest, a right we certainly respect. It was a crime that put people at grave risk. We commend Judge Gorenstein’s decision to hold Therese Okoumou accountable for her dangerous and reckless conduct.”

Dear Mr Berman, Dr Mr Gorenstein: what about what Donald Trump did to Lady Liberty and to the values she stands for; as depicted in this New York Daily News cartoon? Do you hold him accountable?

New York Daily News cartoon on Trump and Statue of Liberty?

Judge Gorenstein’s assertion that the law must be upheld is ludicrous. The laws set and made within the United States are interpreted for the benefit of the capitalist order and the ruling class. Okoumou was indeed exercising her First Amendment right to protest the inhumane treatment of migrants, but this was seen as inexcusable by the US government.

It is no accident that Okoumou was found guilty shortly after the death of 7-year-old Jackeline Caal in the custody of US Border Patrol. Okoumou’s conviction is a message meant to intimidate anyone who opposes the terror practices meted out by the government against migrant workers and their families at the border and across the country.

Although the Trump administration reversed its policy of separating children from their parents upon crossing the border, it reportedly continues to do so by various means, and is also detaining children who have crossed the border unaccompanied. Nearly 15,000 migrant children are currently being held in detention camps across the US.

Okoumou told reporters she was not discouraged by the verdict and would continue to fight for the rights of immigrants.

“Migrant children who simply came to this country, like our ancestors did, to seek happiness, freedom and liberation, instead of welcoming them like Lady Liberty symbolizes, instead of treating them with kindness, what we showed them is cages. So, if I go in a cage with them, I am on the right side of history.”