Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

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Germany’s broad “terrorist” claims and repression of Turkish migrants

[Amid ever-increasing repression and attacks on migrant workers and organizations internationally, in Europe the highly-coordinated multinational police forces is the instrument of these attacks, along with the media, of course.  These forces combine the European xenophobia with support for the most oppressive regimes, such as the Turkish regime of Erdogan, which has long urged European powers to suppress the large movements of Turkish and Kurdish migrants in Western European countries.  The European powers are very compliant with these urgings, as it also suppresses the migrants as an important and militant and internationalizing influence in the working class as a whole. — Frontlines ed]

Germany arrests 7 suspected TKP/ML members

Germany arrests 7 suspected TKP/ML members

Special police forces arrest suspected left-wing Turkish extremists for membership of a foreign terrorist organization.

World Bulletin / News Desk

German police have arrested seven leading members of the outlawed group Turkish Communist Party – Marxist-Leninist, the federal prosecutors’ office has said.

The German federal prosecutors’ office said on Thursday that Muslum E., the suspected leader of the TKP/ML group in Germany, and six other leading members of the outlawed organization were arrested the day before in operations carried out by special police forces.

Continue reading

Development finance helps China win friends and influence American allies

[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.]
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
Mar 21st 2015 | SINGAPORE | From The Economist

 

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.

Continue reading

Across Europe, Police Stalking, Brutalizing, Jailing Migrants

Amid Racist Raids&Police Violence Against Poor Migrants, Thousands Protest Fortress Europe’s Concentration Camps
10/19/2014

100,000 Protest Erdogan Visiting Germany

“Soma was not an accident. It was murder!”

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Source:  revolution-news

Washington’s Imperial partners take offense at US’ Hegemonic ‘Spy on Subordinates’ NSA program

[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.]

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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

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

Data Surveillance with Global Implications

By Marcel Rosenbach, Holger Stark and Jonathan Stock, Der Spiegel, June 10 2013

The American intelligence director and the White House have finally confirmed what insiders have long known: The Obama administration is spying on the entire world. Politicians in Germany are demanding answers.

South of Utah’s Great Salt Lake, the National Security Agency (NSA), a United States foreign intelligence service, keeps watch over one of its most expensive secrets. Here, on 100,000 square meters (1,100,000 square feet) near the US military’s Camp Williams, the NSA is constructing enormous buildings to house superfast computers. All together, the project will cost around $2 billion (€1.5 billion) and the computers will be capable of storing a gigantic volume of data, at least 5 billion gigabytes. The energy needed to power the cooling system for the servers alone will cost $40 million a year.

Former NSA employees Thomas Drake and Bill Binney told SPIEGEL in March that the facility would soon store personal data on people from all over the world and keep it for decades. This includes emails, Skype conversations, Google searches, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, bank transfers — electronic data of every kind.

“They have everything about you in Utah,” Drake says. “Who decides whether they look at that data? Who decides what they do with it?” Binney, a mathematician who was previously an influential analyst at the NSA, calculates that the servers are large enough to store the entirety of humanity’s electronic communications for the next 100 years — and that, of course, gives his former colleagues plenty of opportunity to read along and listen in.

James Clapper, the country’s director of national intelligence, has confirmed the existence of a large-scale surveillance program. President Barack Obama further explained that Congress authorized the program — but that American citizens are exempt from it.

A top-secret document published last week by the Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian shows where the NSA may be getting the majority of its data. According to the document, which was allegedly leaked by former CIA employee Edward Snowden, the intelligence agency began seeking out direct access to servers belonging to American Internet companies on a wide scale in 2007. The first of these companies to come onboard was Microsoft. Yahoo followed half a year later, then Google, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype and AOL. The most recent company to declare its willingness to cooperate was Apple, in October 2012, according to the secret government document, which proudly states that this access to data is achieved “directly from the servers” of the companies. Continue reading

Debt Crisis: Greek protesters storm meeting, attack German diplomat

Reuters, Thursday November 15 2012

PUBLIC sector workers stormed a building where Greek and German officials were meeting in the northern city of Thessaloniki today and pelted a German diplomat with water bottles in a protest over austerity measures.Riot police used teargas and truncheons to break up a crowd of 250 city employees outside the building and formed a shield around German Consul Wolfgang Hoelscher-Obermaier as he entered.Protesters chanted “It’s now or never!” and held up mock gravestones and banners proclaiming “Fight until the end!”.They said they were furious at comments by German envoy Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, who told journalists on Wednesday that Greece could do more to reform its bloated local government sector, the head of the workers’ union said.

“Experts say that as far as local government is concerned the work carried out by 3,000 Greek employees can be done by 1,000 Germans,” Fuchtel said. On Thursday he said his remarks had been misinterpreted. Continue reading

Anti-Austerity Strikes: Protests Grip Europe

Anti-Austerity Strikes: Protests Grip Europe

Anti-austerity protests and strikes

Activists battle with police during violent clashes in Lisbon, as protests against austerity sweep across Europe.

10:21pm UK, Wednesday 14 November 2012
Lisbon

Video: Protests Across Europe Against Austerity

Enlarge

General strike

Rome is being brought to a standstill as anti-austerity protesters take on riot police in the streets.

A wave of anti-austerity anger is sweeping across Europe with general strikes in Spain and Portugal and walkouts in Greece and Italy – grounding flights, closing schools and shutting down transport.

Millions of workers have been taking part in the dozens of co-ordinated protests in a so-called European Day of Action and Solidarity against spending cuts and tax hikes. Continue reading

European General Strikes announced: “We don’t owe! We won’t pay!”

Main Greek union calls general strike on November 6-7

ATHENS – Agence France Presse

EPA photo

EPA photo

Greece’s main union to called a 48-hour general strike for November 6-7 in protest at a new wave of austerity measures unveiled by the government in order to unlock EU-IMF bailout loans, AFP reported.

“The central aim and demand of the unions is the rejection (by parliament) of unacceptable, destructive and coercive measures imposed by the troika,” the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) said in a statement, referring to the EU, IMFand European Central Bank.

October/31/2012

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#14N: European General Strike

29 October 2012

Soulevons-nous! Erheben wir uns! Solleviamoci! Continue reading

Clashes break out at anti-austerity demonstration during Greek general strike

[As Angela Merkel of Germany says the troika (the group of 3 imperial usurers) should give Greece “another chance” to surrender to the social starvation and onerous debt repayment terms demanded by the imperialist system, the people gave this response in the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki. — Frontlines ed.]

DEREK GATOPOULOS Associated Press October 18, 2012

A pedestrian passes closed shops in Ermou street, Athens’ main shopping district as shopkeepers shut down for the 24-hour nationwide general strike on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Labor unions in recession-hobbled Greece are holding another general strike against a new harsh austerity program, as European leaders beset by a deep debt crisis and economic stagnation gather for a summit meeting in Brussels. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS, Greece — Hundreds of youths pelted riot police with petrol bombs, bottles and chunks of marble Thursday as yet another Greek anti-austerity demonstration descended into violence, less than a month after more intense clashes broke out during a similar protest.

Authorities said around 70,000 protesters took to the street in two separate demonstrations in Athens during the country’s second general strike in a month as workers across the country walked off the job to protest new austerity measures the government is negotiating with Greece’s international creditors.

A 65-year-old protester suffered a fatal heart attack during the demonstration but efforts to revive him failed. The organizers of the protest march he participated in said the man had fallen ill before any rioting had broken out.

The measures for 2013-14, worth €13.5 billion ($17.7 billion), aim to prevent the country from going bankrupt and potentially having to leave the 17-nation eurozone.

Riot police responded with volleys of tear gas and stun grenades in the capital’s Syntagma Square outside Parliament as protesters scattered during the clashes, which continued on and off for about an hour. Another general strike in late September had also seen limited, but much more intense, clashes between protesters and police.

Four demonstrators were injured after being hit by police, volunteer paramedics said. The Health Ministry said two of the protesters were treated in hospital and that their injuries were not serious.

Hundreds of police had been deployed in the Greek capital ahead of the demonstration, as such protests often turn violent. Police said about 50 people were detained Thursday.

A similar demonstration by about 17,000 people in the northern city of Thessaloniki ended peacefully.

Thursday’s strike was timed to coincide with a European Union summit in Brussels laer in the day, at which Greece’s economic fate will likely feature large. Continue reading

Greece: as politicians trash wages, pensions, jobs, people chant “get out, thieves!”

Greece approves spending cuts as protesters riot

The legislation features about $4 billion in severe budget trims, including 15,000 job reductions this year alone. Furious crowds chant outside Parliament, and several Athens buildings are set on fire

by Anthee Carassava, Los Angeles Times–Reporting from Athens, February 13, 2012

As thousands of protesters took to the streets and violence ripped through central Athens, Greece’s Parliament approved yet another round of punishing spending cuts to secure international rescue funds and ease fears of a calamitous financial collapse, potentially perilous for global markets and Europe‘s single currency.

The legislation, featuring about $4 billion in severe budget trims including steep wage and pension cuts as well as 15,000 job reductions this year alone, was backed by 199 lawmakers of the 300-member Parliament. Five abstained, 22 were absent and 74 lawmakers — including socialist and conservative supporters of the coalition government — voted against the bill that capped a ferocious 11-hour debate ending early Monday.

Throughout the marathon discussion, thousands of Greeks opposed to the austerity package descended on the sprawling grounds of Parliament shouting, “Get out!” and “Thieves!” The crowd swelled into the tens of thousands and their chants echoed across the capital — even renowned music composer Mikis Theodorakis showed up — as mobs of youths clashed with police and set fires to at least 34 buildings. Continue reading

An interview with an Iraqi woman whose family was brutalized by US soldiers

[This voice of an Iraqi women on the US occupation must be heard.  As people in the US are being asked, once again, to support the war moves of the US and allied governments, the experiences she relates must be heard, in order to build the struggle and solidarity against imperialist war.  The views she expresses are drawn from her experience, and are not necessarily the views of Revolutionary Frontlines. We thank William T. Hathaway, the author, for submitting this article for posting.  — Frontlines ed.]

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by William T. Hathaway, author

SAMs for Uncle Sam,  from the book “RADICAL PEACE: People Refusing War”

Merna al-Marjan is a young Iraqi who is currently in Germany studying European history. We talked in her dormitory room, a spartan but functional cubicle in a building that embodies a hopeful change in European history: it was constructed in the nineteenth century as an army barracks but now houses university students. That’s progress.

On Merna’s small table sat a pot of peppermint tea and a plate of baklava. She’s short and plump with smooth skin the color of clover honey and deep anthracite eyes; she was wearing a long skirt of light cotton, a long-sleeved blouse, and a green paisley headscarf.

Hathaway: “Headscarves have become a controversial item of clothing here in Germany.”

Al-Marjan: “Yes, you can’t teach in the schools if you wear one. It’s OK for a teacher to wear a Christian crucifix but not a Muslim headscarf. I didn’t wear a hijab in Iraq, but I’ve started doing it here to show solidarity. It’s ridiculous to ban an article of clothing, a simple piece of cloth. What sort of freedom is that?

“The West has such a distorted view of Arab women. Well, of men too, but since I’m a woman, I notice that more.

“What really makes me mad is when Westerners use the way women live in the Muslim world as a justification for invading it ― either with their armies or their ideas. They’re convinced we should be like them. If they were happy, that would be one thing. They could say, ‘Here, follow our example.’ But they’re much unhappier than most of us are. Their marriages and families fall apart, their children commit terrible crimes, commit suicide. Their society is fragmented into these isolated individuals who have to compete against one another. It’s a wreck, but they’re trying to force it onto us. Continue reading

France court orders block on ‘copwatch’ website

October 17, 2011
Jennie Ryan

The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris  on Friday ordered  French Internet service providers to block access to Copwatch Nord Paris I-D-F, a website designed to allow civilians to post videos of alleged police misconduct. The decision was applauded by the police union, Alliance Police Nationale (APN), which argued that the website incited violence against police. Jean-Claude Delage, secretary general of the APN, said that “[t]he judges have analyzed the situation perfectly—this site being a threat to the integrity of the police — and made the right decision.” Opponents of Internet censorship were also quick to comment on the judgment. Jeremie Zimmermann, spokesman for La Quadrature du Net, a Paris-based net neutrality organization, called the order “an obvious will by the French government to control and censor citizens’ new online public sphere.” The site was ordered to be blocked immediately.France does not have an equivalent to the US First Amendment [text], which prohibits the government from making any law “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” In August, the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit  ruled that there is a clearly-established First Amendment right  to film police officers performing their duties in a public space. The Center for Constitutional Rights  filed an amicus brief  in the case arguing that concerned individuals and cop-watch groups have a right to record the activity of police in the public. The case stems from a 2007 incident when police officers arrested Simon Gilk after he openly recorded three police officers arresting a suspect on the Boston Common.

US military enlists NATO in forging proxy armies in Eastern Europe

Before the NATO Summit in Lisbon on November 19-20, 2010

Pentagon Forges NATO Proxy Armies In Eastern Europe

by Rick Rozoff

On November 19 and 20 the leaders of 28 North American and European nations, all the major Western military powers and their vassals, will gather in the capital of Portugal for this year’s summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Until recently held every other year, NATO summits are now annual events, with the last held in France and Germany in 2009 and the preceding one in Romania in 2008.

Prior to last year’s summit in Strasbourg and Kehl, the first held in two nations, four in a row had occurred in Eastern Europe: The Czech Republic in 2002, Turkey in 2004, Latvia in 2006 and Romania in 2008. None of those host countries, of course, are anywhere near the North Atlantic Ocean. Neither are any of the 12 nations incorporated into the Western military bloc in the past 11 years.

This year’s summit will endorse the Alliance’s first Strategic Concept for the 21st century, a draft of which was crafted by a so-called group of experts led by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and presented in a report entitled NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement.

Despite NATO referring to itself as a “military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America” and claiming that all its members’ opinions carry equal weight – as though Luxembourg and Iceland could block or override the U.S., the world’s sole military superpower as its current head of state proudly christened it last December – next month’s summit will be a rubber stamp affair.

Everything the Pentagon and White House demand will be granted, most notably:


Standard Missile-3 planned for Baltic and Black Sea deployments

The subordination of NATO’s theater interceptor missile initiative, the Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence Programme launched in 2005, and the U.S.-German-Italian Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) to a U.S. missile shield structure throughout all of Europe and into the Middle East.

The retention of at least 200 U.S. nuclear bombs on air bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

A complementary cyber warfare “dome” over the European continent directed by the new U.S. Cyber Command. [1]

The qualitatively accelerated military integration of NATO and the European Union in the aftermath of the Lisbon Treaty entering into force last December 1. A Portuguese adviser to President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso recently affirmed “that the best solution for the enhancement of EU-U.S. relations would be that the European Union (EU) joins NATO.” [2] Continue reading

Germany considers scrapping the draft for a professional army (US model)

[Imperialist armies are being re-designed and re-organized for new strategic purposes and alliances.  Deployments of NATO forces in the US-led coalition in Afghanistan have tested the German Army’s limits and bolstered arguments to scrap the draft and build a smaller, more professional volunteer force.  The fact that a non-conscript army is less subject to popular anti-war politics is certainly one of the important reasons for this move.-ed]


By Isabelle De Pommereau, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
posted September 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm EDT

Frankfurt, Germany —

Temp Headline Image

German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (third from right) sits in a helicopter on an unannounced trip to Kunduz, Afghanistan, to visit with German troops there. (Michael Kappeler/Reuters)

The young man playing with kids at the Main Krokodile preschool here isn’t your typical caregiver. He’s among the tens of thousands of Germans who fulfill their military service by working with children, the elderly, or the disabled. The head of the school, Berndt Niedergesäss, is all for it: “The children love dealing with men,” he says.

When Germany rebuilt its armed forces after World War II, it let conscientious objectors perform civic duties. Now, those civilians outnumber regular recruits, 91,000 to 68,000, and are an essential part of the social service landscape.

But Defense Minister Karl-Theo­dor zu Guttenberg has now called for ending conscription. The plan, if approved, would pose a challenge for groups like Mr. Niedergesäss’s school. It would also, however, be a milestone in the Bundeswehr’s transformation from an army designed to protect peace to one sending its sons and daughters into global conflicts.

Ending the draft is part of what many observers say is a bold modernization plan for the armed forces. Aimed at making the Army “smaller and finer,” and better equipped for a broader spectrum of missions, the plan also envisions cutting ranks by one-third, to 163,000 soldiers, and closing many of the country’s 403 bases. Continue reading