Archive for the ‘Fascism’ Category
Just when most of us thought that Mother Agnes (Mère Agnès-Mariam de la Croix( had disappeared from the political scene, George Galloway appears determined to resurrect her.
George Galloway interviews Mother Agnes
It is wonderful to see two dear and respected friends join forces for the sake of justice and peace.
This interview is part of George’s innovative new program, screening through “Russia Today” – “SPUTNIK… Orbiting the World with George Galloway”.
You can see the full episode (no.3) here.
Or indeed here, with the bonus of seeing John Wight, of the Socialist Unity Blog of Andrew Newman (Labour Party PPC),
In defending Mother Agnes, John Wight and Galloway thus join the ’9/11′ denial site Voltaire Net, and its founder, Thierry Meyssan – who currently lives in Damscus, Syria.
We have already Blogged on Mother Agnes and those interested can find here why we find this massacre-denying supporter of the Syrian regime beyond the pale.
South London Slavery Case: Allegations Focus on Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought
The Sunday Times reports, (Hat-Tips F.W. D.O. and to Paul F)
A COUPLE suspected of holding three women captive for 30 years in a London home were introduced to two of the victims through a Marxist political “collective”.
Detectives have revealed that the man arrested last week met the two older victims “through a shared political ideology”. Separate sources said the couple and the two women were members of a Marxist-Communist group that lived together in the capital in the 1970s.
Commander Steve Rodhouse of the Metropolitan police said the couple, an Indian man and a Tanzanian woman, both 67, came to Britain in the 1960s.
“We believe that two of the victims met the male suspect in London through a shared political ideology and that they lived together at an address that you could effectively call a ‘collective’, ” he said.
A far-right site has declared that the ideology involved was “a Maoist variant of Marxist-Leninism.”
The main suspect in the case is Aravindan Balakrishnan.
In the summer of 1974 Balakrishnan (known to his friends as Comrade Bala) split from what was then the UK’s leading Maoist group, the Communist Party of England (Marxist-Leninist), having previously been a member of the party’s national executive and central committee.
Comrade Bala set up the Brixton institute, taking with him a small faction of Maoist fanatics. His group was among several analysed in a 1978 doctoral thesis by a researcher at University College London, who described the institute as “the clearest case of far-left millenarianism which I have encountered, …a tiny Maoist sect with about 25 members, located in the Brixton area. …In 1977, they confidently predicted that the world would be liberated from capitalist oppression by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army before the end of the year.”
The Daily Telegraph has confirmed this,
he two suspects in the south London slavery case ran a Communist collective in the 1970s that worshipped the Chinese leader Chairman Mao, the Daily Telegraph has learned.
The husband and wife, who are from India and Tanzania originally, were arrested last week on suspicion of holding three women against their will for more than 30-years.
It is alleged they subjected them to beatings and emotional abuse and were only allowed to leave their Brixton flat in controlled circumstances.
The pair, who are both aged 69, arrived in Britain in the 1960s and were associated with a number of extreme left political groups known to the police and security services.
Last month a 57-year-old Irish woman contacted the Freedom Charityto report that she and two other women were being held as slaves.
The Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought declared in 1977.
When beloved Chairman Mao passed away on September 9, last year, our comrades worked tirelessly to transform our profound grief into great strength. Right in the heart of the revolutionary base area in Brixton we have opened from October 1, 1976, the MAO ZEDONG MEMORIAL CENTRE – a workers’ Centre, Library and Bookshop – the only one of its kind in the world. Thousands of working people have visited the Centre and hundreds of them have participated in the vigorous revolutionary programme (meetings, film shows, etc.) conducted by the Institute. A steady core of them are now attending regularly the Political Evening School and the theoretical study groups which popularise invincible Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought at the Centre.
This new development in Britain, has taken the British fascist state by storm. In its vain attempt to escape the verdict of history it has spared no efforts to intimidate and harass the comrades of the Institute. Arrests, expulsions from jobs, evictions, psychological warfare in various forms, etc. have not in any way restrained our comrades, workers and intellectuals, men and women, young, middle-aged and old, of different nationalities of the world, from being the devoted soldiers of beloved Chairman Mao in the imperialist heartlands. Our comrades have steeled themselves in acute and violent class struggles in the past two years. Fearing neither hardship nor death in upholding the proletarian revolutionary line of Chairman Mao and following closely our great, glorious and correct Party, the Party of World Revolution, we are preparing ourselves to greet the greatest event in the history of mankind – the victory of world people’s revolution and the establishment of the International Dictatorship of the Proletariat!
March 31, 1977
This story is extremely tragic.
Mother Agnès-Mariam de la Croix will not be attending the Stop the War Coalition’s International Anti-War Conference on the 30th of November.
It seems that two speakers due to speak at the event – Owen Jones and Jeremy Scahill – threatened not to come unless her invitation was withdrawn.
The Stop the War Coalition announced on Saturday,
Over the last few days a campaign has developed over the invitation we extended to Mother Agnes — a nun from Syria, who leads a campaign called Mussalaha (Reconciliation) — to speak in London at the International Anti-War Conference on 30 November organised by Stop the War Coalition.
Mother Agnes has now withdrawn from speaking at the conference.
In inviting speakers to participate in its events, Stop the War has never sought to endorse all their views. We have always provided a platform for a diversity of opinions within a broad anti-war perspective.
John Wight of Socialist Unity writes today,
She has been demonised by her detractors as a ‘pro regime stooge’ due to her support for Assad and his government. But why wouldn’t she? As with the majority of Syrians who support their government – and none more so than Syria’s various minority communities – she understands that the only force capable of preventing her country being turned into a killing field by western and Saudi backed savages is the Syrian Government, the Syrian Arab Army and its allies.
The BBC reports on Mother Agnès-Mariam (Extracts)
In recent weeks she has become the focus of media attention because of her attempt to prove to the world that Syrian opposition activists fabricated the videos showing victims of the Damascus chemical attack.
She argues the horrifying scenes – of men, women and children either dead or dying from inhaling sarin gas – which caused such international outrage were stage-managed.
The BBC’s Richard Galpin spoke to Mother Agnes.
Mother Superior Agnes Mariam de la Croix sprinkles blessings liberally over our conversation.
I’ve phoned her to request an interview about her strange role as an analyst of the chemical weapons attack in Damascus.
In her most startling conclusion she alleges some of the people seen in the videos are in fact women and children abducted by rebels from minority Alawite areas of the country. President Bashar al-Assad and his family belong to this community.
The BBC asks, “So how credible are the claims made by Mother Agnes which have been so eagerly seized upon by Moscow as it still tries to save the Assad regime?”
There’s just no basis for the claims advanced by Mother Agnes,” says Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human Rights Watch, which has produced many detailed reports on Syria.
“She is not a professional video forensic analyst… we have found no evidence to indicate any of the videos were fabricated.”
One by one, Mr Bouckaert rejected the claims, saying:
- There were tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the Ghouta area of Damascus, according to very regular reports received by Human Rights Watch
- Children were often sleeping in the basements of buildings in significant concentrations because of the intense shelling and that is why so many died (Sarin gas accumulates at low levels)
- The dead and those injured in the chemical attack were moved from place to place and room to room both at the clinics and ultimately for burial
- There were many men and women who were victims of the attacks. But there were separate rooms for the bodies of children, men and women so they could be washed for burial
- Almost all of the victims have been buried
Human rights researchers have spoken to the relatives of Alawite women and children abducted by rebels. None of them said they had recognised their loved ones in the gas attack videos
It is perhaps not a coincidence that arch-conspiracy theorist lunatics Lyndon LaRouche’s group have diffused (November the 14th) a video of an interview with Mother Agnès-Mariam.
Bob from Brockley has been following this controversy closely.
He comments (yesterday),
Her invitation provoked outrage from Syrians and supporters of the Syrian revolution, as “Mother Agnes” has been a widely disseminated mouthpiece for the Assad regime’s propaganda, including vigorously denying some of Assad’s war crimes. (Of pictures of dead children in Ghouta, for example, she claims they are only sleeping.) Her lies are widely promoted by Russian media sources, by Christian news agencies, and by the LaRouche network. There are also live allegations about her own involvement in war crimes, and in the regime murder of journalists. Below the fold, I have pasted some information about her, but some good starting points are Linux Beach, Democratic Revolution, and Pulse.
The Stop the War Coalition could do without this kind of “opinion” amongst its “diversity”.
2 of the 6 far-right party leaders in new alliance.
The Guardian reported yesterday,
Two of Europe‘s leading far-right populists struck a pact on Wednesday to build a continental alliance to wreck the European parliament from within, and slay “the monster in Brussels”.
Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s rightwing nationalist Front National, and Geert Wilders, the Dutch maverick anti-Islam campaigner, announced they were joining forces ahead of European parliament elections next year to seek to exploit the euroscepticism soaring across the EU after four years of austerity, and the financial and debt crisis.
A better informed report has appeared in Libération,
According to our sources, the Euro MPs from the French National Front, the Vlaams Belang (Belgium), PVV (Netherlands, Geert Wilders’ party), the Northern League (Italy), the Swedish Democrats and the Freedom Party (Austria) held a first working meeting on Thursday, showing they advanced in their union project.
It appears that the FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs,) is playing a leading role in this alliance of 6 parties,
The Austrian party has done everything to put an end to the international isolation of the FN, conscious of having in France a real alter ego, both in terms of its electoral potential and its historical background. But they failed to convince the British Eurosceptic party, UKIP or some Scandinavian populist right-wingers, to join them .
Dutch News comements on the alliance between the PW and the FN,
The Volkskrant outlined three key areas in which Wilders and the Front National have different standpoints: on Islam, Israel and gay rights.
While Wilders wants the Koran banned and has called for a kopvoddentaks (head rag tax) for Muslim headscarves, Le Pen says she is not opposed to religion and wants a sharp division between church and a secular French state.
It would be a small sacrifice for Jews to leave their skull caps at home, Le Pen is quoted as saying.
Wilders is a staunch supporter of Israel, and his campaign against Islam is part of this, the paper says. Le Pen, by contrast, has been trying to dispel her party’s reputation for anti-semitism. Her father, who is still the party’s honorary chairman, has described the World War II gas chambers as a ‘minor point’ in history.
Le Pen was also quiet during the recent uproar in France over gay marriage, although her party was well represented at anti-gay marriage demonstrations, the Volkskrant states.
Wilders, however, has made support for gay rights central to his anti-Islam campaigning.
Reuters adds (as does the Guardian),
The anti-mass immigration UK Independence Party (UKIP) of Nigel Farage reaffirmed it would not ally with Le Pen’s party.
“It’s cut and dry. There isn’t going to be any alliance with the Front National and we’re not going to sit in the same parliamentary group as them in the European Parliament,” a UKIP spokesman said.
It is generally expected that all these far-right anti-immigration, anti-EU parties will do well in next year’s European elections.
Some consider that UKIP has to do practically nothing to get a massive vote.
“Maligne comme un singe”, French Far-right Weekly Goes New Depths to Insult Minister Christiane Taubira.
Far-right Weekly says of French Minister of Justice, “ Maligne comme un singe, Taubira retrouve la banane”, Crafty (malignant) as a Monkey. Taubira gets her banana back.
Minute (Wikipedia entry in English) is widely available in French kiosks and newsagents.
It is not a minuscule circulation journal only sold by far-right activists.
The French Socialist-led Government has immediately reacted.
Le parquet de Paris a ouvert une enquête pour injure publique à caractère racial, après que le premier ministre Jean-Marc Ayrault a saisi le procureur de la République de Paris au sujet de la “une” de l’hebdomadaire d’extrême droite Minute. “Nous ne pouvons pas laisser passer cela”, avait-il ajouté, en dénonçant une “une” “révoltante”.
The Paris Prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation for public racial insult, after Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault took the case to the the prosecutor of Paris. The object of the inquiry is the front page of the far-right weekly Minute. “We can not let this go “ , he added, denouncing a this front page as “shocking” . Le Monde.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, co-president of the Parti de gauche tweeted, “Ils n’ont donc pas de limites. C’est même à ça qu’on les reconnaît. Pas une Minute à perdre. Les nazes en cage”. There are no limits,. There’s not a Minute to lose: put the Nazis in a cage.
The Economic Times reports,
In the last month alone, Taubira has twice been publicly compared to a monkey, once by a group of children whose parents had taken them on a protest against gay marriage and once by an electoral candidate of the far right National Front (FN), who wrote on her Facebook page that she would prefer to see the minister “swinging from the branches rather than in government”.
Taubira said those incidents were the tip of the iceberg in terms of the hostility she has encountered since being named to one of the top four posts in the Socialist government that took office last year.
“I’ve been getting monkey and banana insults for a long time but there is also something more subtle going on that nobody has highlighted,” she said.
By way of example, the minister noted how the opponents of gay marriage had targeted her personally rather than the government as a whole and had emphasised the “Frenchness” of the protest movement.
She also pointed to the outspoken reactions that her initial appointment had provoked. These included Jean-Francois Cope, one of the leaders of the main opposition party, warning centre-right voters that: “If you vote for the FN, you get the Left and you get Taubira.”
Taubira’s concern over a perceived increase in racism — or the acceptability of racism — in French society,echoes recent warnings by various rights groups and social commentators.
Taubira is a much loved person.
This is an utter utter disgrace.
But before the British media gets hot under the collar about this we should recall that France has no equivalent of the British Daily Mail, the Express, the Star and the Sun.
In the overwhelming majority of the French newspapers there is no daily stream of stories aimed against migrants, asylum seekers, benefit claimants and trade unions.
Indeed in most respects Minute, whose readership is tiny compared to the British hard-right press, resembles these papers more than they will admit.