German police banning refugees from carnival?


This video from Germany says about itself:

Esmeralda Labye [French speaking Belgian] TV reporter is sexually assaulted live on air during Cologne [carnival] festival

5 February 2016

Female reporter is sexually assaulted live on camera during Cologne festival as she reports on how the event has been overshadowed by New Year’s Eve rapes

That ‘New Year’s Eve mass rapes in Cologne’ hullaballoo in corporate media later turned out to be largely fake news, especially its blaming of the crimes (mainly pickpocketing) on refugees.

Ms Esmeralda Labye was sexually assaulted by white men. If the kind of people who think that if one refugee commits a crime, then all refugees are supposedly criminals … or if one Muslim is violent, then all over a billion Muslims are supposedly terrorists … if these people would be consequent, then they would propose banning all white men from the Cologne and other carnival celebrations because of the sexual assault on Ms Labye.

Instead, something different happened in Germany.

By Dietmar Henning in Germany:

German police warn refugees not to attend carnival in Cologne

21 February 2017

A letter written by a police department in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has revealed the attitude of the state apparatus to refugees. “From a police point of view,” they are undesired at traditional carnival celebrations due to start this Thursday in NRW.

An official from the NRW Central Police Office (LZPD) in the city of Duisburg sent an official internal letter to the NRW district administration. It was then published by the Kölner Stadtanzeiger.

Under the title “Information on the 2017 Carnival,” it addressed the “counsellors of refugees and asylum seekers,” who have organised the attendance at carnival events in previous years, and said: “From a police point of view, these actions are rather to be seen critically, since they force mass attendance of refugees and asylum seekers.”

With regard to the “current security situation in Germany, and also because of the events on the previous New Year’s Eve … we are dissuading” refugees and asylum seekers from attending, wrote the LZPD.

It warns the refugees about “strengthened police and security checks” and requests that, if they attend the carnival anyway, they must “submit to the checks without criticism.” They should have identification papers with them and “carry no large bags, backpacks or dangerous objects.”

When questioned by the press, the police department confirmed that the letter was genuine. At the same time, they distanced themselves from its content. It should “not have been published,” said Schabacker, spokesperson for the LZPD. It should have stated things differently and provided merely factual information, such as, for example, that large bags could be checked by the police.

Ralf Jäger (Social Democratic Party, SPD), who heads the Ministry for Internal Affairs and Municipal Issues (MIK), also distanced himself from the letter when he was questioned by the Kölner Stadtanzeiger. “Something of that nature would be unacceptable,” he said.

These statements are transparent attempts at damage control. The LZPD is directly subordinate to the Interior Ministry under Jäger. The letter also mentions an agreement with Department 1 of the ministry, which is also responsible for foreigner affairs.

During New Year’s Eve, the police in Cologne carried out a huge deployment of over 2,000 police and claimed that more than 2,000 North Africans “flocked together.” At night, the police tweeted: “Hundreds of Nafris are currently being checked at the main train station. Information to follow.” Men who did not fit with the police interpretation of what constitutes a “German” were singled out and held by police in front of the main train station building for several hours.

The chief of the Cologne police, Jürgen Mathies, later apologized for the racist term “Nafri,” which is a police abbreviation for “North African habitual offender.” However, he stood by the claim that “the men travelled [to Cologne] from all over the country and arrived at nearly the exact same time.”

It was later revealed that the report of “violent hordes of men” from North African countries (WRD Radio Broadcasting) was a fiction. The police information was simply false. On January 13, the Cologne police sheepishly admitted that it had determined the identities of 674 people, and of the 425 whose nationalities had been established, just 30 came from North Africa.

There was also no “mob” or “showdown with the police,” or prior conspiracy to commit crimes. The presence of a few hundred young men of “foreign appearance” in Cologne, the largest city in NRW, is not peculiar, certainly not on New Year’s Eve, when 50,000 of the city’s 1 million residents, a third of whom have an immigrant background, attend celebrations.

Nevertheless, the misinformation spread. No more than two weeks later, the Cologne police reported the initial results of an “investigation.” “The ten investigators of the ‘New Year’s Eve working group’ want to find out among other things why so many refugees and asylum seekers travelled to Cologne from countries such as Iraq, Syria, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria for New Year’s,” wrote the Kölner Stadtanzeiger on January 25. This was demonstrably not the case.

The newspaper quoted a report by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), which described Cologne as a “magnet for entering North Africans.”

The lies about North Africans, refugees and foreigners serve a political purpose. They are aimed at shifting the anger over social cuts, unemployment and poverty away from the responsible Social Democrats and Green politicians onto defenceless refugees, and at justifying the building up of the police and state surveillance apparatus. This is grist for the mill of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and other right-wing and far-right parties.

Big pro-refugee demonstration in Barcelona


This video on the big pro-refugee demonstration in Barcelona says about itself:

18 February 2017

I quite literally stumbled upon this mass demonstration of people after leaving the Picasso museum. As any aspiring journalist would do, I pulled out my phone (actually my friend Sophia’s phone) and filmed what was going on.

By Alejandro López:

Huge demonstration in Barcelona in defence of refugees and open borders

20 February 2017

Hundreds of thousands of protestors—160,000 according to the police and half a million according to the protest organisers—demonstrated on Saturday in Barcelona, Spain against the right-wing Popular Party (PP) governments’ anti-immigration policies. The march, held under the slogan “No more deaths, open the borders,” was the largest held in Europe so far in defence of refugees and open borders.

Demonstrators condemned the continuing horrific treatment of refugees seeking shelter in Europe, as the European Union (EU) continues to deport thousands of refugees back to the war zones from which they are trying to escape.

The EU’s anti-migrant policies led to the deaths of at least 4,500 people last year, most of whom drowned crossing the Mediterranean in small, overcrowded boats. According to the United Nations, 230 people have died so far this year. Spain bears a special responsibility for this tragedy, having helped to close down the shorter sea-crossing routes from North Africa, thereby forcing migrants to attempt the longer, more hazardous ones from Libya to Malta and Italy.

Many protestors criticised the government for having only taken in 1,100 refugees—a fraction of the paltry 17,000 it had agreed to in September 2015.

The demonstrators flooded onto one of the major avenues in Barcelona, Via Laietana, many holding homemade placards and banners bearing slogans including, “Enough excuses, welcome them now,” “Refugees welcome,” “Legal papers for all,” “Open the borders now,” and “No one is above another, no one is illegal.” The protest ended on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

A woman who had left Bosnia in the early 1990s during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia told El Periódico, “I see the same heart that opened to me in 1992, even stronger and with more solidarity. The only difference is the current political obstacle, and the lies that they tell us every day [about refugees and migrants.]” Mira, an 18-year-old from Syria, said, “We don’t want pity… There is no refugee crisis, we are victims of war.” Kissima, a 23-year old Gambian, told El País that “if the doors do not open, those people who are only looking for a better future will not be able to do anything.”

The fact that such a large march was organized within a short space of time without any media promotion by a small volunteer-staffed NGO, Casa Nostra Casa Vostra (Our Home is Your Home) shows the huge sympathy that exists within the population for the plight of migrants and refugees.

It exposes the lying claims of governments and political parties across Europe—of all political colourations—that they are responding to the “people,” who are demanding a crackdown on the entry of migrants and stronger borders. Such claims are used to shift the political climate to the right, as the post-World War II order collapses, in order to prepare the ground for more austerity, wars and attacks on democratic rights. …

Sonia Sierra from the Citizens party demanded “the government comply with the promise to take in 17,000 refugees.” This same party—a right-wing and anti-Catalan secessionist party—is a fervent defender of the EU and NATO and is attempting to become the new “incorrupt” face of the PP. In the past, it has enthusiastically defended the PP’s attempts to prevent undocumented migrants from having any right to access the public health care system.

Also present at the demonstration was Miquel Iceta, the leader of the Catalan Socialist Party (sister party to the Spanish Socialist Party, PSOE). He called for a “change” in EU policies because, “The current crisis is not as innocent as it may seem; it has been caused by the presence of Western countries in the Middle East.”

Anyone hearing such statements from Iceta will be rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

Just 24 hours before Iceta’s remarks, some 400 African migrants managed to force their way into the tiny Spanish North African enclave of Ceuta in search of asylum. The Red Cross said it had to treat 103 of them for injuries they had sustained, which included a brutal assault by the border police. Some 25 people were hospitalised.

It was the PSOE government in 2005 that began construction of the original border fence, which now consists of 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) of parallel three-meter (10 feet) high razor wire fences, equipped with watch posts, CCTV, spotlights, noise and movement sensors.

Under the PSOE, Spain participated in the US-led NATO war on Libya, which killed approximately 30,000 people and destroyed the country’s infrastructure, paving the way for the current civil war and the spread of ISIS in North Africa.

British government jails raped African women


One Day Withous Us in Britain

By Elizabeth Tswana and Anna Cross in England:

Victims of rape treated with suspicion and scorn

Friday 17th February 2017

A Ugandan refugee and gang rape victim, Erioth Mwesigwa escaped to Britain. But the government locked her up in Yarl’s Wood. Elizabeth Tswana and Anna Cross tell her harrowing story

WE ARE the All African Women’s Group, a self-help group of women seeking asylum, based at the Crossroads Women’s Centre in London.

Once a fortnight, 90 to 100 women from different countries come together to discuss our legal cases, share experiences and support each other.

One of our members, Erioth Mwesigwa, a 59-year-old woman who suffered multiple gang rape by soldiers in Uganda, has been detained at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre.

Erioth has helped other women with their legal cases, spoken at public events and regularly attends our fortnightly meetings. Last Friday, guards came to her room in detention to take her to the airport but Erioth bravely refused to go.

Now the High Court has refused her claim and told her she has to go back to Uganda to appeal.

We cannot allow this. Erioth won’t survive and we refuse to allow anyone to be sent back to their death.

Erioth was targeted by soldiers because her husband was suspected of opposing former Ugandan president Milton Obote.

A family member who hid her in his house after she escaped from prison was subsequently killed.

She spent years in hiding in Uganda before she finally managed to escape to Britain and meet with her (now ex-) husband and family, who had already been granted refugee status. However, when Erioth asked for the same, she was refused.

Many of us in the All African Women’s Group are victims of rape and other torture.

We too have been in detention and threatened with removal.

A few of our members have been sent back to their country of origin and have suffered further rape and abuse.

It is the actions of governments like the British that fuel wars in Africa that make us flee in the first place.

We are forced to be refugees. Yet when we come here to get safety we are treated like beggars and scroungers.

The Home Office has accepted that Erioth is a victim of rape but they still want to deport her because the rape happened a long time ago.

We hear on the news every day how victims of abuse in this country have come out after so many years and are still scarred and traumatised.

Who would dare say to them that they should just get over it?

Erioth is clearly still very badly affected by what happened to her and has never had the support she needed to recover until she met us.

We have been in touch with Erioth every day since she was detained.

She said to us: “When I was in Uganda I had to spend all those years in hiding and fear that one day I will be found by the soldiers again.

“After all that, I have finally found a place where I feel safe with people who care about me. It has given me hope for my life. I do not have anyone who I can return to in Uganda. Here I have my family and friends who look after me.”

Women Against Rape, which is also supporting Erioth, has shown that 88 per cent of victims of rape and sexual violence are disbelieved when they claim asylum.

Even though it is well known that in some countries rape is widespread and used as a way of waging war on the community, when we arrive in Britain and say we have been raped, we are treated with suspicion and forced to prove in every little detail what we have been through.

We believe that Erioth should be able to stay in here and remain a part of our group.

Please join our protest and write to the Home Secretary to demand that Erioth is released from detention and given the right to stay.

Elizabeth Tswana and Anna Cross are member of the campaigning All African Women’s Group. You can join the protest against Erioth’s detention and removal as part of the One Day Without Us event on Monday February 20 outside the Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, Westminster, SW1P 4DF, from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. For more information on the One Day Without Us visit 1daywithoutus.org.

French police cruelty against homeless refugees


This video says about itself:

Afghan refugees in Greece may be deported

5 October 2016

European governments have signed an agreement with Kabul to send back an unlimited number of Afghan refugees. This comes just before the Donor Conference on Afghanistan hosted by the European Union. CCTV’s Filio Kontrafouri reports from the Greek island of Lesbos, which is home to thousands of migrants.

By Bethany Rielly:

France: Police rip sleeping bags from rough sleeping refugees

Tuesday 14th February 2017

POLICE in Paris have been threatening refugees sleeping rough with tear gas and even taking blankets off them in sub-zero weather.

Research by the Refugee Rights Data Project, published in the Independent at the weekend, reveals that more than half of refugees in Paris have been violently moved on by authorities which have adopted a zero-tolerance policy to roadside shelters.

Most incidents took place in La Chapelle where refugees queue for places at a humanitarian centre, opened by the French government in Novemeber, sometimes for two weeks.

One Afghan man said: “If we question them or say we have nowhere to go, they bring out the tear gas.”

British teacher Sarah Fenby-Dixon, who has been volunteering with refugees in Paris since July, told the Star: “In Britain teargasing would be the last line of defence but here it seems to be the first.”

Refugees are not allowed to put up tents, forcing them to sleep under bridges or out in the open.

However, Ms Fenby-Dixon said that police had even prevented them from taking shelter under bridges by placing boulders there.

“They just want them out of sight. The whole policy is to make it as difficult for them as possible,” she said.

Ms Fenby-Dixon even highlighted a case of a refugee from Afghanistan who had been beaten in the kidneys by police, despite having kidney problems.

Reports by the Refugee Rights Data Project detailed accounts by volunteers who had witnessed officers taking people’s belongings — sometimes in broad daylight.

An estimated 400-500 refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia, sleep rough on the streets of Paris.

Drowned Syrian boy Aylan’s aunt speaks


Aylan (L) and his brother Ghalib Kurdi (photo courtesy of Tima Kurdi)

From RT.com:

West ‘did nothing’ to end war in Syria, says aunt of drowned Syrian boy

Published time: 13 Feb, 2017 10:31
Edited time: 13 Feb, 2017 17:19

The Western countries have done nothing to resolve the Syrian crisis, pursuing their false narrative instead, while the real situation in Syria stays underreported, the aunt of a Syrian refugee toddler who drowned in 2015 on his way to Europe told RT.

Our country is being destroyed by outsiders,” said Tima Kurdi – a Syrian-born Canadian lawyer and the aunt of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy who died in September 2015 en route to the Greek island of Kos from Turkey – adding that “Western countries are not doing anything” about that.

She said the death of her nephew became “a wake-up call to the world, a message from God, who told us [that] enough is enough,” adding that the Syrian people “were suffering for four years [at that time] and Syria was crying out to the world for help but nobody was hearing” to these pleas, as “there was not enough media coverage until” the picture of the body of her nephew washed ashore in Turkish resort city of Bodrum made global headlines.

That image prompted politicians in many Western countries to open their borders and take in refugees. However, “months later, they started to forget that image and just got back to their everyday business, but the suffering [of the Syrian people] continued,” Kurdi said.

She went on to say that the West not only did “nothing to end this terrible war,” but also conducted a “terrible” regime change policy in Syria that actually only made the situation even worse. The Western funding of the so-called moderate rebels only prolongs the suffering of the Syrian people, Kurdi stressed, adding that “there are no moderate rebels in Syria.”

“When [Western governments] fund the ‘moderate’ rebels, their [aid] somehow eventually ends up in the hands of the most powerful groups on the ground, which are Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL],” she said.

The military solution would never work in Syria, Kurdi said, and “we will just see more suffering and more people will die.” She added that she does not take any side in this conflict and supports neither Syrian President Bashar Assad nor the opposition, but she had talked to many Syrians who live in refugee camps in Turkey, and believes that the Western media coverage of the Syrian conflict is biased.

The Western media report that “only President Bashar [Assad] kills his own people,” she said, adding that this sounds absurd to the Syrians. “I want people to understand one thing: if President Assad wants to stay in power in his country, he has to fight for his country but he would not kill his own people as he needs their support.”

The reports in the West on Syria “do not make sense,” as “there is more than just the [Syrian] government and Russia there, there are many rebels, who are fighting and killing my people,” she said, adding that “nobody [in the West] reports about rape” committed by the rebels and stressing that those stories are “terrible.”

Tima Kurdi admitted that Assad’s forces “did hurt the Syrian people,” but did so unintentionally. She also stressed that Syria was “peaceful and safe” before the war.

“Most Syrian people were just living their lives before the war and did not get involved in any politics,” she said, adding that “all kinds of religions” co-existed peacefully in Syria. “Sunni, Shia, Druze, Alawites, Christians – we all lived together and respected each other,” Kurdi, who was born and initially lived in Damascus, told RT, adding that “most Syrian people did not want to leave their homes” when the war came.

She then addressed the issue of the refugee crisis and said that the only way to stop it is to put an end to the war in Syria.

“I encourage the governments of each country to help find a political solution and [to stop violence] in my country. Bring peace to Syria so that you won’t need to see those refugees anymore,” she told RT.

Kurdi also asked people around the world to be more compassionate towards refugees.

“We need to help those suffering refugees. They have a right to be protected and they are peaceful people, like me and you. There is no difference. We need to help them rebuild their lives and welcome them with open arms until their country is safe to go back,” Kurdi said.

“I want people around the world to understand one thing: what will you do if you will be forced to leave your country one day and leave everything behind? What would you want the others to do for you? Do it for my people!” she added.

Greek punk bands raise money for refugee squats


The Free

exaarchia

Around a dozen squats provide housing for refugees and migrants in the Exarchia neighbourhood of Athens.

by   Patrick Strickland via Al Jazeera

@P_Strickland_

Athens, Greece – On a cold night in late December at a smoky venue in the Greek capital, Anfo takes to the stage and immediately launches into a song.

A tall, thin man in a Soviet beret, guitarist Nikos stands on the edge of the stage. The vocalist, Sotiris, lowers his head and looks downward between guttural screams.

Behind them, Giorgos Chloros pounds away at the drums. Anfo, a leftist punk band, is joined by a handful of other punk outfits.

“Everybody [in Anfo] is involved in the anti-capitalist struggle in some form,” Chloros, a 45-year-old socialist, told Al Jazeera, explaining that they perform at anti-racism festivals and other pro-refugee events. 

View original post 1,051 more words

Syrian refugees in Iceland


This video says about itself:

In Iceland, refugee population helps yield diversity, economic growth

24 August 2016

As refugees from war flee across continental Europe, a few have found safety in an unlikely place: Iceland. New legislation there relaxes immigration controls, worrying some residents — but more citizens favor diversifying their mostly white and Christian nation. In fact, the country’s economy may rely on population growth. Malcolm Brabant recounts the Icelandic experience of one Syrian family.

From daily News Line in Britain:

With 330,000 inhabitants surrounded by volcanoes, glaciers and geysers, Iceland is an unusual destination for refugees fleeing war in Syria. But since 2015, 118 Syrians have found hope for a new and tranquil life in the Nordic nation. Many of them lived in Lebanon for several years before coming to the land of ice and fire, sent by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Most of them have settled in the capital Reykjavik and its surroundings, while others are beginning their new lives in Akureyri in the north of the country, 70 kilometres (45 miles) south of the Arctic Circle. A refugee family said of Iceland and the weather there, ‘We’re able to adapt to any conditions here, whether they’re easy or difficult, we can live with them,’ he says. ‘It’s only the language that is a bit complicated. We need time to become fully adapted,’ he adds.

Mustafa Akra a Syrian refugee who lives in Iceland with his wife Basma said: ‘They, the Icelanders, welcomed us in a very nice way,’ says 30-year-old Mustafa Akra, thin glasses perched on his nose and a cap on his head. Mustafa says some people he has met in Iceland are ‘racist’, but fewer than in other countries.

Support for the anti-immigration Icelandic National Front, founded in early 2016 when the first Syrian refugees began arriving, remains minimal. The party garnered only 0.2 percent of votes in October’s snap election. And according to a survey carried out for Amnesty International in September, more than 85 percent of Icelanders want to take in more refugees.

‘People are shy to advertise their opposition against refugees. It’s not a popular view here,’ says Linda Blondal, the Syrian couple’s neighbour who is helping them integrate into Icelandic society. The couple knew little or nothing about their new home before coming.

‘We had never heard of Iceland before arriving here. We barely knew where it was!’ explains Basma, who wears a hijab. Mustafa, a strapping man willing to work hard, ended up finding a job. But it wasn’t easy – he speaks neither Icelandic nor English.

In Syria he worked as a taxi driver, a car mechanic, a cook, a house painter and an electrician. He now works for Ali Baba, a Middle Eastern restaurant in the centre of Reykjavik.

The family is set to grow, as Basma is expected to give birth to their first child, a boy, in the coming weeks. ‘I’m proud that he will be born in Iceland, as safe as possible in a beautiful country,’ the 28-year-old mum-to-be says. Iceland registered 791 asylum applications last year, mostly from Balkan countries.

Only 100 have been granted refugee status, including 25 Iraqis, 17 Syrians and 14 Iranians. A year ago, then-prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson welcomed the first six Syrian refugee families at Reykjavik airport. And on Monday, President Gudni Johannesson received another five refugees at his official residence.

Icelandic National Front Neo-Nazis Reportedly Threaten Icelandic Muslim: here.

Swedish Neo-Nazis Come To Iceland, Seeking Recruits: here.

A Nazi’s Disappointment With Iceland (1930s): here.

%d bloggers like this: