Archive for the ‘Anti-Fascism’ Category
Tunisian Feminists Show Great Courage.
The FEMEN movement activist in Tunisia, Amina, was arrested on May 19 in Kairouan. Amina tagged the name of the “FEMEN” group on the wall of Uqba Ibn Nafaâ mosque.
This act earned him the resentment and anger of the inhabitants of the places which forced the police to make arrest.
According to a statement published on the FB page of the Ministry of the Interior, it announces the arrest of a woman who “would run contrary gesture of modesty” and that after consultation with the prosecutor.
This arrest is therefore due not an offence, but the intent to commit one, according to own statements of the Ministry of Interior.
En Tunisie, même pas besoin de soulever son T-Shirt. Taguer “FEMEN” sur un mur semble déjà considéré comme un attentat à la pudeur ! … http://fb.me/uv01oCds
In Tunisia you don;t even need to lift up your T-shirt: Tagging FEMEN on a wall seems already considered as an indecent assault.
The Minister of the Interior claims that Amina was about the carry out a “geste contraire à la pudeur” a gesture contrary to morals, the group Femen being known for their “topless” actions.
It is also claimed that this arrest was for her own protection. She was caught in Kairouan, where the Salafists intended to carry out their own actions (from Elle and see previous post here).
More from the French version of the Huffington Post.
The English version says this,
There are reports activist Amina Tyler has been arrested after daubing the word ‘Femen’ on a cemetery wall in Tunisia.
Tyler, who was threatened with death by stoning for baring her breasts online, was pictured being led away after police and Salafists clashed in Kairouan this weekend.
One protester was killed and 15 policemen were wounded after fighting erupted between hardline Islamists and security forces in response to the ban on Salafists from staging their annual congress.
Agence France Presse reports (an hour ago),
One dead in Tunisia showdown with Islamists
TUNIS — Security forces and hardline Islamists fought street battles in Tunis on Sunday, with one protester killed and 15 policemen wounded, after the authorities banned the Salafists from staging their annual congress.
The confrontations infuriated moderate Islamist Prime Minister Ali Larayedh, who for the first time linked the Salafist Ansar al-Sharia group which is considered close to Al-Qaeda to “terrorism”.
“Ansar al-Sharia is an illegal organisation which defies and provokes state authority,” Larayedh told Tunisian state television during a visit to Qatar.
“It has ties to and is involved in terrorism,” he said.
Sunday’s fighting erupted when Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) urged its followers to mass in the capital’s suburb of Ettadhamen in defiance of a ban on their gathering in the central city of Kairouan.
Salafists advocate an ultra-conservative brand of Sunni Islam, and Ansar al-Sharia, whose fugitive leader fought with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, does not recognise the authority of the Tunisian state.
Background on Ansar al-Sharia’a recent actions,
They have been involved in “attacks on a television station that showed the movie Persepolis in October 2011, attacks on a controversial art exhibit in June 2012 and an attack on the US embassy in September 2012.
Libération reports on the Tunisian government’s new harder line,
Ennahda a longtemps été accusé de laxisme pour avoir toléré les groupuscules jihadistes. Il a cependant considérablement durci sa position depuis que 16 militaires et gendarmes ont été blessés entre fin avril et début mai par des mines posées par des groupes armés traqués à la frontière avec l’Algérie. Ansar Ashariaa accuse de son côté Ennahda de mener une politique anti-islamique et a menacé le gouvernement d’une «guerre».
For a long time Ennahda has been accused of being soft towards jihadist groupuscules. They have howver cosndierbaly hardened their position after 16 soldiers and gendarmes were injured – between the end of April and beginning May - by mines left by armed groups they were tracking on the Algerian frontier. Ansar Ashariaa (the Salafists’ leader) has for his part accused Ennahda of anti-Islamic policies and has threatened the government with “war”.
I suppose I should have asked the Suffolk police in case I have offended Tunisian Salafists but here it is anyway.
At the risk of a visit of the Suffolk Police anxious to protect the reputation of the Muslim Brotherhood…
Not an endorsement, but this cover by secular leftists of Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 “I will Survive,” with satirical Arabic lyrics (translated in subtitles) about the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis in Egypt since the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak gives a window into the grievances and disappointments of the youth who made the January 25, 2011 revolution.
Thousands of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square today, Friday, demanding that Muslim Brotherhood leader and Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi call early presidential elections. The ‘Rebel’ campaign is supported by a group of leftist and liberal parties.
I have just had an unpleasant visit from the Police.
Apparently it follows a “complaint” from Ipswich-based Islamists, Jimas.
The details of the complaint were not given.
But they apparently centre on this Blog, posts on this organisation (notably a dossier sent to me by somebody close to Harry’s Place) and, it is claimed “E-Mails.”
What they are specifically I do not know.
It all took place, believe or not, well over a year ago, when and what, they did not see fit to elaborate much upon.
But is was claimed that I had a met a leading member of Jimas – completely untrue – to discuss matters.
It was also said that E-Mails from somebody calling themselves The Usual Suspects, were at issue.
I am not the “Usual Suspects” and it is a slander to suggest that I am.
Equally I repeat: I have never met anybody from Jimas.
As for the political attacks on Jimas (and other Islamists) on the Blog Tendance Coatesy, I wonder if it is the business of Suffolk police to act on these matters.
One could say that this is a case of political intervention way beyond their remit.
As for Jimas, well, rest assured that your attempts to ‘get’ me are not appreciated.
Particularly the claim – wholly made-up – that I ‘met’ with them.
As this Blog has an international readership I wonder what people in other countries think of this.
Real Left Unity.
Marxist Dentists around the UK leave copies of The Lady and Country Life to stir up class hatred.
At least that was my theory on reading Rachel Johnson’s magazine this morning waiting for an appointment.
One article about a Lady of the British Empire who could not boil an egg, had crossed the planet, swum with dolphins, holidayed in the Savanna, struck me.
I doubt if she was prepared to walk to Liddle to get 15 pence off a tin of sardines.
This, I suspect, is not a lone reaction.
Margaret Thatcher’s death and the rise of UKIP brought back a cold draft of class politics to this country.
Many realised that the Thatcher project, to make everybody stand or fall in the gales of competing on the market, and the pumped-up loathing of foreigners |(notably excepting the USA) that went with it, is alive and well.
Like many on the left, trade unionists and anti-cuts activists, I am committed to the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.
This is a grand occasion for us to get together on issues that affect us all, to build a constructive left-wing alternative to the politics of hate and the priorities of the wealthy.
It will unite us with our fellows across Europe in opposing the financial forces that have imposed cuts and more privatisation in the UK, and destitution and mass unemployment in countries from Greece and Spain to Portugal – not to mention the misery brought upon UKIP’s bogies in Rumania and Bulgaria.
There is a serious debate to be had about the European Union, and the role of the ”Troika’ in pushing through austerity.
The French left is divided between those who think that Angela Merkel is at heart a pragmatist and will – eventually – see sense and launch an expansionist drive. French president Hollande’s intervention yesterday, in which he proposed a European economic “governance” went in this sense. Some on his side believe in federalism, a politically united Europe.
Others are sceptical. They want a radical overhall of the EU. A few want greater national sovereignty restored.
In the UK we have by contrast, as Seamus Milne noted in the Guardian this week, a debate on Europe whose agenda is set by the right.
This is a threat,
a successful Tory-led campaign to pull out of the EU would risk unleashing a carnival of reaction, anti-migrant hysteria, more attacks on social rights, and a further lurch to the right.
Milne states, rightly,
What has been almost entirely missing from the mainstream British public debate has been the progressive case for fundamental change that has been central to the struggle over the EU and its treaties in mainland Europe. In the 1975 referendum, the left case against the then common market was that it was a cold war customs union against the developing world that would block socialist reforms. But the modern EU has gone much further, giving a failed neoliberal model of capitalism the force of treaty, entrenching deregulation and privatisation and enforcing corporate power over employment rights.
What would be fatal would be to allow the nationalist right to continue to dictate the EU agenda and wrap itself in the mantle of democratic legitimacy. The terms of debate have to change – for the sake of both Britain and Europe.
Much of the British left remain dominated by the anti-EEC ideas of the 1970s.
They have not confronted this menace.
Indeed they think their tiny forces can intervene to make the “progressive” case for a sovereign UK outside the EU.
We need a real campaign in place of this: for a united social Europe!
The People’s Assembly could be a place to make the case of this.
Some of the left think there is a mileage in the Left Unity appeal of Kate Hudson and Ken Loach.
Recent prominent members of Respect , who failed to protest against George Galloway’ s politics, they are not in a position to preach unity to anybody least of all the ‘left’.
I merely cite this report by Tina Becker from the Weekly Worker to show that this is a dead-end,
Kate Hudson and Andrew Burgin (important driving forces) would have liked the proceedings to have gone differently. After all, the Stop the War Coalition and Respect – organisations both comrades were prominent in – were far more choreographed. But, ironically, bureaucratic coherence in fronts like these was provided by the likes of the Socialist Workers Party, part of the organised left to which LU is to a great extent a reaction. The politically decrepit Socialist Resistance – the one ‘insider’ group – is no substitute.
The proposed political platform written by Kate Hudson was circulated three days before; a proposal for the electoral procedure to the national coordination committee was sent out 20 hours before; the chairs seem to have been pre-chosen on the basis that they had no previous experience of handling big meetings (one chair was actually introduced as someone who had “never attended a political meeting before”). No wonder that quite a few times people in the room (the chairs included) did not actually know what exactly they were voting on. It was pretty chaotic, in other words.
This was also reflected in the rather uneven attendance. Local groups were supposed to send two delegates each, but where more people expressed an interest in coming, they were advised by the interim leadership to simply divide their group into smaller parts. For example, Manchester comrades – all sitting together in the same meeting, in the same room – selected five delegates from different parts of the city. Elsewhere, groups had not even met yet. Andrew Burgin admitted that about half of the “90 or 100” local groups exist only in so far as one person had volunteered to be the local contact. So the reality was that pretty much anybody who wanted to come could do so.
Unless, of course, you happened to be a representative of a political organisation. The interim organising committee had decided to bar existing groups from even sending observers – apart from a representative of the Red-Green Alliance from Denmark, who showed up halfway through the meeting. Obviously it would have been a little harsh to send this poor comrade packing after he had made such a long journey, presumably on a well-informed hunch.
Followed by the latest TUSC (Left involving the RMT, Socialist Party and SWP) election result.
Election of a Borough Councillor for Rawmarsh Ward (Rotherham) on Thursday 16 May 2013
|Baldwin, William George||British National Party||80|
|Gray, Andrew Tony||Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts||61|
|Meharban, Mohammed||Liberal Democrats||28|
|Parker, Martyn Lawton||The Conservative Party Candidate||107|
|Vines, Caven||UK Independence Party||1143 Elected|
|Wright, Lisa Marie||Labour Party Candidate||1039|