Archive for the ‘Nationalism’ Category
Clément Méric, Anti-Fascist.
An 18 years old left wing anti-fascist activist, Clément Méric, a student at Sciences Po, was declared brain-dead this morning. He was attacked in the heart of Paris by skinheads.
“ Clément Méric, a student at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Science Po) known for his anti-fascist commitment, was killed yesterday in Paris, near the Saint-Lazare train station, by a group of right-wing extremists,” the national secretary of the Parti de Gauche, Alexis Corbiere has written on his blog.
Three young people of a “skinhead appearance”, including a woman, were involved in jostling, exchanges of insults, two groups of young people, according to preliminary results of the investigation by the 1st District - Judicial – Police (DPJ) based on ”eyewitness accounts.”
According to the first elements of the investigation, the skinheads came out and waited “with reinforcements” out in front of the store. The groups of young people then had a very violent altercation.” The victim, Clément, “was struck by one of the skinheads armed with a knuckle-duster. He dropped on the floor, hitting a bonding pad in passing.” (Nouvel Observateur)
The Parti de gauche has declared that,
“l’horreur fasciste vient de tuer en plein Paris”.
The horrors of fascism have just come and killed in the middle of Paris.
They have put responsibility on the Groupe JNR (Jeunesses nationalistes révolutionnaires).
Witnesses say that one of the gang had a Swastika tattoo and another had a Front National T-Shirt.
Links between the murderers and the FN have been vigorously denied by Marine Le Pen this morning on the radio station, RTL.
The FN leader then launched into what the Nouvel Observateur calls a “hallucinatory” defence of the far-right intellectual Dominique Venner who recently committed suicide outside Notre-Dame de Paris in protest at gay marriage.
The JNR have also denied any responsibility (see Libération for latest).
There have been calls to ban the far-right’s street-fighting groups.
Communiqué Solidaires (Hat-Tip Enty) Un militant syndicaliste et antifasciste tué à Paris par l’extrême-droite !
Our anger and pain are compounded by the certainty that there remain many – anti-fascist activists, people exposed to homophobia and / or racism – who could and can still be victims.
Today all our thoughts are with his family and his family and his comrade students in Solidaires Etudiant-e-s.
We express our solidarity to all of them.
This heinous act is inseparable from the surge in racist and homophobic attacks over the last months by right-wing extremists. This is the result of a climate of hatred spread, principally, though not exclusively, by the Front National and fascist factions.
Entdinglichung comments on this crime,
Kein Vergeben, Kein Vergessen!
Not Forgiven, Not Forgotten!
Bob Crow looks to Publish His NO2EU Manifesto.
One upon a time there was vanity publishing.
Now we have Blogs.
These are unfortunately subject to the cruel competition of site statistics and the tender mercy of comments boxes.
Nevertheless, there remains a promising avenue for those big-headed enough to assume the figure of nationally important figures with no heed paid to naysayers: vanity politics.
Apparently this can withstand anything.
So (Saturday’s Morning Star),
Britain’s Communists are set to meet RMT general secretary Bob Crow to discuss a joint left and labour movement approach to the 2014 European Union elections.
The Communist Party of Britain’s political committee decided this week to accept an invitation from the rail union leader, noting the EU’s role in attacks on the state pension age and welfare budgets across Europe.
“It beggars belief that any intelligent trade unionist can still believe in the great ‘social Europe’ myth,” argued the party’s trade union organiser Anita Halpin.
International secretary John Foster explained that, unlike non-EU states, Britain and other members were hamstrung by treaties that enshrine monetarism, privatisation and the market power of the capitalist monopolies at the core of the bloc.
He suggested: “The labour movement’s slogan here should be ‘No to the anti-social European Union’, for an exit with socialist policies.”
The party backed the Portuguese Communist Party’s call for “an exit from the eurozone with socialist policies” and reaffirmed their support for a referendum and Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
In the 2009 European elections, No2 EU,
“No2EU – Yes to Democracy was initiated by the national Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) to . In n addition to the RMT, the coalition included:
- Socialist Party
- Communist Party of Britain
- Alliance for Green Socialism
- Liberal Party
- Socialist Resistance
- Indian Workers’ Association
“No2EU received 153,236 votes or 1% of the national vote failing to win a seat at the European parliament and finishing in 11th place, behind Arthur Scargill”s Socialist Labour Party. “
The Independent Socialist Network gives some background to this latest vanity project,
European Elections 2014 – The May meeting heard the RMT have called a meeting of the original No2EU partners – SP, CPB, AGS, RMT – and TUSC– to discuss 2014. If it stands, TUSC was floating possible electoral titles including ‘Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts-No2EUNo to Austerity’. It was confirmed use of a veto would prevent TUSC participation in these elections. It was again agreed to ask the CPB to join the SC
Concerns were raised about the racism likely to be engendered during the Euro Elections, and this should influence our campaign and electoral title. The RMT suggested we make clear our socialist objections to the EU. There was a danger of being seen as being in agreement with UKIP with a ‘No2EU’ label.
The Portuguese Communist Party, (7-8% of the national vote) opposes the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union and the revised Treaty on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
They believe, wrongly in our opinion, that “the European Union cannot be reformed. The other Europe that will spring from the struggle will be built, as reality is already showing, upon the ruins of the European Union. “(Here)
But, other Communists, and much of the European left, call for radical change within the EU. For a radical ‘People’s European Union’, a ‘social Europe’.
The French Communist Party, and its partners in Front de Gauche, by contrast, stand for this,
Nous voulons une Europe affranchie du traité de Lisbonne qui respecte la souveraineté des peuples et qui soutienne des politiques de développement social et écologique.
We want a Europe freed from the Lisbon Treaty, one that respects the sovereignty of peoples and supports European wide policies of social and ecological development.
They offer a wider programme which begins from this idea,
La France prendra l’initiative d’Etats généraux de la refondation européenne en faisant appel à toutes les forces politiques et sociales disponibles en Europe.
France will take the initiative to call for a General Assembly to Reconstruct Europe appealing to all the available political and social forces in Europe.
This is, to say the least, ambitious,
But it’s a programme of hope, of unity between the peoples.
Unlike Bob Crow and his mates, who claim to believe in an “exit (from the EU) with socialist policies.”
The ‘socialist policies’ on offer in these conditions will be hard to find.
A withdrawal from the EU will lead to a carnival of reaction.
If this conceited enterprise has any effect it will help stoke the rightward fires of the anti-European UK lobby.
It will be: No2EU Yes to UKIP .
There will be time to discuss the Woolwich murder.
But let’s begin by dealing straight away with the wrong direction to take.
This sickening atrocity in London is exactly what we are paying the same kind of people to do in Syria
And this (BBC)
Asghar Bukhari said that while organisations are “rightly” condemning the suspected terror attack in Woolwich, they have “washed their hands” of the youth.
But he also blamed the government for failing to admit that there is a link between foreign policy and radicalisation.
The killers are clearly Islamists.
Apparently, according to some media, they originate from Nigeria.
The murdered man was a solider.
The Stop the War Coalition makes this ill-judged comment on the media’s reaction,
This reaction is one which manifestly fails to deal with the political causes underlying such attacks. The simple truth is that there were no such cases in Britain before the start of the ‘war on terror’ in 2001, which led to the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. The consequences of those wars have been devastating for the people of those countries and further afield. Up to a million died in Iraq and 4 million were made refugees. Tens of thousands have died in Afghanistan. Fighting still continues and in Iraq looks like descending into civil war in some parts of the country.
Nigeria is not the focus of British foreign policy, let alone military intervention.
This is was one killer is reported to have said,
In mobile phone video footage first broadcast by ITV News, one of the suspects was seen brandishing a cleaver and a knife. With the body of the victim lying yards away, the man said: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
Speaking in a British accent, the man said: “We must fight them. I apologise that women had to witness this today. But in our land, our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you.
“You think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start bussin’ our guns? You think politicians are going to die? No it’s going to be the average guy, like you, and your children. So get rid of them. Tell them to bring our troops back so you can all live in peace.” In the footage, the man then walks away and talks to another suspected attacker, pictures of whom were also circulating.
This is the language of religious war, “because Muslims are dying every day”.
The religious cause is, it looks likely, is where to begin with.
Jihadists may identify with Muslims everywhere.
They are not unique.
The racists of the EDL take the same line and were out last night, as was an individual in Braintree Essex (BBC).
Identifying with other people’s suffering and causes can take a very different form
Some, at least some, of the left, identify with the left everywhere.
Some of us back the Iranian opposition, fighting Islamist tyranny, and the secular-left (and Muslim) Awami league in Bangladesh fighting Islamism there, the Tunisian left, battling an authoritarian Islamist-led government and the Egyptian left, demonstrating against the Moslem Brotherhood.
In this we do not murder or assault anybody.
We want freedom, not violence.
If I were a conscious Moslem I would be extremely concerned, above all, with the inter-Muslim massacres taking place daily in the Middle East.
If I were a commentator in the national media I would point out the immense suffering, with thousands dead, this is causing.
A full-scale inter-religious war appears to have been started there, and is reaching heights of cruelty in Syria.
This is the biggest story emerging in a vast area of the world – extending far beyond the Middle East.
In looking at this I would not make political points about the West’s backing for those Galloway claims they are “paying for”.
I would try to offer something that could help people find a way out of the horrors they are undergoing.
And if Nigerian events are implicated in the Woolwich atrocity I would refer to them.
I would then, perhaps then, go into a world-encompassing explanation, if I felt it was appropriate.
But firstly, dignity should be the key-note of any response: we oppose murder, full stop.
Last night Enrico Tortolano, spoke on neo-liberal economics and politics to a public meeting at he UNITE offices held by the Ipswich People’s Assembly Against Austerity.
Up to 30 people turned up her brother Tortolano, who has worked on human rights with social movements in Latin America, and now is a research officer for the PCS union as well as writing for Tribune.
Enrico gave a talk of great clarity on how the wealthy have established free-market economics as the foundation of state policy in many countries. Everybody is told to be ‘self-reliant’ as taxes are lowered for the well-off and all forms of redistribution are undermined. We have, Tortolano said, crept back to pre-First World War levels of inequality.
In Britain attacks on welfare and privatising the state were being pushed through as part of what Naomi Klein called the “shock doctrine”. That is, taking advantage of a crisis to push through extreme free-market ideas.
He noted that the first to apply this method had been Augusto Pinochet , the Chilean dictator.
The recently deceased Margaret Thatcher had admired the leader of the Chilean coup, which had left thousands of left opponents dead and many more imprisoned and tortured.
From annual get-togethers in Davos (Switzerland), to thousands of ‘think-tanks’ and sympathetic media, their message has been relayed by all the main political parties in the West.
British politics seem to be restricted to the limits set by the ‘orthodox’ free-market economics.
The People’s Assembly, Tortalano said, offered a real opportunity for the left to unite and to put forward a different economic and political strategy. Ultimately the threat to the planet’s resources from the market would affect everybody.
The audience, which included trade unionists, local Labour councillors, library campaigners, and activists from the Green and socialist parties, joined in a fruitful discussion on this talk.
It was suggested that the People’s Assembly should take up the issue of low pay (very important in Ipswich), of the Bedroom Tax, and the fight against the wave of further cuts in public spending that will affect council (above all County Council) services in the coming months.
The Secretary of the Trades Council, Teresa Mackay pointed out that 80% of the cuts were still to come.
It was argued that the People’s Assembly needs a constructive and a positive message. It was not enough to just fight neoliberal economics and the hatred of the poor and migrant workers stirred up by the Liberal-Tory Coalition.
The left has to offer a democratic and egalitarian way of creating institutions for equality and collective need.
A co-ordinator will organise E-Mail contacts for the Ipswich People’s Assembly.
Transport will be available from Ipswich to take people to the London Assembly.
In the coming weeks we will be organising a campaign locally to draw attention to the links between Primark and other retail outlets and the terrible deaths of garment workers in Bangladesh.
As an activist said, “The numbers of the dead just keep rising.”