This article from Ferguson In Paris, an anti-police brutality group in France, does not contain a byline. The reason for this is because members of that group say they must maintain anonymity as much as possible remain to avoid abusive retaliation from authorities and others in France. “We publish under the name of the organization because of fierce repression regarding activists dealing with police brutality,” explained a Ferguson In Paris member during a recent email exchange with ThisCan’tBeHappening.net. The claimed support by French government authorities and other for freedom of speech following the fatal shootings at the Charlie Hebdo magazine office last January 2015 apparently do not extend to French activists opposed to brutality by French police. (Ferguson In Paris, an organization that fights against police brutality and racism/discrimination in France, works in solidarity with anti-brutality groups in the United States.) AN UGLY UNDERSIDE OF FRANCE: RAMPANT POLICE BRUTALITY
In 2005, the human rights monitoring organization Amnesty International published a report titled: “France: The search for justice.” That Amnesty report examined allegations of serious human rights violations by law enforcement officials across France between 1991 and 2005. Those human rights violations by law enforcers included unlawful killings, excessive use of force, torture, and other mistreatment. Racist abuse was reported in many cases examined by Amnesty and racist motivation appeared to be a factor in many more. As that report noted, the persistent targets of police abuse in France are “foreign nationals or French nationals of foreign origin.”
On the basis of the evidence examined, Amnesty International concluded that a pattern of de facto impunity existed with regard to police and other law enforcement officials in France. Failures by French officials “to address” police abuses have created a “climate of effective impunity for law enforcement officers,” the report stated. Continue reading →
[Each day brings news of the every-sharpening contention between imperialist powers, who have long cooperated but are now more-ready to seize advantage at the expense of each other, and place burdens of more aggressive exploitation and more oppressive conditions on working people inside the imperialist countries (from US/EU to Chinese/Russian and others scrambling to expand their profits at each others expense). One day, it is the seizure of energy resources, then it is trade routes and shipping, then monetary dominance, then credit dominance and wars, then military eyeball face-offs and surrogate/proxy hotspots, then it is digital battles and cyber wars. There is no stopping this contention, nor any way for the people to see it but to raise the people’s struggles against all imperialism and all reaction. Between these imperialists, working people have no horse in this race. — Frontlines ed.]
STRATEGIC rivalry between America and China takes many forms. Rarely does a clear winner emerge. An exception, however, is the tussle over China’s efforts to found a new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). China has won, gaining the support of American allies not just in Asia but in Europe, and leaving America looking churlish and ineffectual. This month first Britain and then France, Germany and Italy said they hoped to join the bank as founding shareholders. China said other European countries such as Luxembourg and Switzerland are thinking of joining the queue.
Yet America has been sceptical about the AIIB. Its officials claim they have not “lobbied against” it, but merely stressed how important it is that it abide by international standards of transparency, creditworthiness, environmental sustainability, and so on.
The “civilized” have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their “vital interests” are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death; these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the “sanctity” of human life, or the conscience of civilized world.
— James Baldwin
I have witnessed the spectacle of Eurocentric arrogance many times over my long years of struggle and resistance to colonial/capitalist domination and dehumanization. The grotesque, 21st Century version of the “white man’s burden,” which asserts that the international community (meaning the West) has a moral and legal “responsibility to protect,” is one current example; the generalized acceptance by many in the West that their governments have a right to wage permanent war against the global “others” to maintain international order is another.
Yet, when I think I have seen it all, along comes the response to the attack at the racist, Islamophobic publication Charlie Hebdo. Even though I shouldn’t be surprised, I am still left in complete wonderment at the West’s unmitigated self-centeredness and self-righteous arrogance.
[A long, drawn-out racist and xenophobic campaign in Europe, rooted in values that once marked the French colonial assault and occupation of Algeria, has re-intensified in recent months with neo-Nazi power moves and anti-migrant pograms and massive police round-ups, specifically but not exclusively aimed at Arab and African migrants and long-term residents alike. A media campaign, both racist and Islamophobic, has heralded every new attack, and the hate-filled, quasi-satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper has been a key “culture-building” instrument for this. Recent cartoons debasing Islam have clearly had openly provocative intentions, and with the enraged revenge attacks on the newspaper, the cartoon-provocateurs succeeded in further xenophobic expression: “Je Suis Charlie” meaning, among other things, “Je Suis Racist” and “Je Suis Xenophobe”. Further attacks on the poorest migrants, Arab and African workers, are already underway. The following article gives some background on all this. — Frontlines ed.]
By Chris Hedges, January 11, 2015
The terrorist attack in France that took place at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo was not about free speech. It was not about radical Islam. It did not illustrate the fictitious clash of civilizations. It was a harbinger of an emerging dystopia where the wretched of the earth, deprived of resources to survive, devoid of hope, brutally controlled, belittled and mocked by the privileged who live in the splendor and indolence of the industrial West, lash out in nihilistic fury. Continue reading →
“No human is illegal”, thousands protest to close down detention center for migrants and refugees in Barcelona. via @Comite1desembre
It’s been almost a week since 20,000 police have started to hunt down poor migrants in Europe, and proofemerge that these raids are racist actions against refugees. Cops invade transportation means or other public place and always check everyone “who isn’t white”, as witnesses report.
Operation Mos Maiorum is indeed a public-funded police operation of stigmatization, racist discrimination, and criminalization of poor migrants. Activists all over Europe are resisting by informing migrants and refugees how to avoid raids, and how to alert others; see below.
Police and state terror against migrants has been again documented in Spain: @PRODEINORG has filmed police clubbing migrants who try to jump Meila border. It is not known how many migrants have been killed by police at this border, but previously proof of these crimes were made public without any stirring any action or response against the killer cops.
Thousands of French teenagers protested for the second day over the public deportation of an Albanian-Kosovar girl and an Armenian student. The issue caused disruption in 50 schools across France.
Teenagers clashed with police, who used tear gas against the high-school students.
Students climbed bus stops and shouted demands for the interior minister Manuel Valls to leave office. According to France 24, one school became a scene of green garbage cans piled on top of each other, while above hung a banner with the words ‘Education in danger.’
The catalyst for the event was the expulsion of a 15-year-old Romani girl, a native of Kosovo. Leonarda Dibrani was forcefully taken off a school bus in front of her classmates while the group was on a trip earlier this month. The incident took place in the eastern town of Levier. Continue reading →
[Yet another example of the US’ arrogance of empire, this time among fellow imperialists. Who can doubt that the world political crisis is opening new cracks of suspicion and resentment against the has-been Godfather, among his partners in crime? — Frontlines ed.]
Berlin accuses Washington of cold war tactics over snooping
Reports of NSA snooping on Europe go well beyond previous revelations of electronic spying
Ian Traynor, The Guardian, in Brussels, 30 June 2013
Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger: ‘If the media reports are true, it is reminiscent of the actions of enemies during the cold war’. Photograph: Ole Spata/Corbis
Transatlantic relations plunged at the weekend as Berlin, Brussels and Paris all demanded that Washington account promptly and fully for new disclosures on the scale of the US National Security Agency’s spying on its European allies.
As further details emerged of the huge reach of US electronic snooping on Europe, Berlin accused Washington of treating it like the Soviet Union, “like a cold war enemy”.
The European commission called on the US to clarify allegations that the NSA, operating from Nato headquarters a few miles away in Brussels, had infiltrated secure telephone and computer networks at the venue for EU summits in the Belgian capital. The fresh revelations in the Guardian and allegations in the German publication Der Spiegel triggered outrage in Germany and in the European parliament and threatened to overshadow negotiations on an ambitious transatlantic free-trade pact worth hundreds of billions due to open next week.
The reports of NSA snooping on Europe – and on Germany in particular – went well beyond previous revelations of electronic spying said to be focused on identifying suspected terrorists, extremists and organised criminals.
Der Spiegel reported that it had seen documents and slides from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden indicating that US agencies bugged the offices of the EU in Washington and at the UN in New York. They are also accused of directing an operation from Nato headquarters in Brussels to infiltrate the telephone and email networks at the EU’s Justus Lipsius building in the Belgian capital, the venue for EU summits and home of the European council.
Citing documents it said it had “partly seen”, the magazine reported that more than five years ago security officers at the EU had noticed several missed calls apparently targeting the remote maintenance system in the building that were traced to NSA offices within the Nato compound in Brussels. Continue reading →