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Justice for the Yazidi Survivors of Islamic State Killings.

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Yazidis wait for justice against the ISIS Genociders.

Shamima Begum: IS teenager to lose UK citizenship.

Let’s not forget this story.

For Yazidi Survivors of Islamic State Killings, the Nightmares Go On

Ever since Islamic State visited death and destruction on their villages in northern Iraq nearly five years ago, Yazidis Daoud Ibrahim and Kocher Hassan have had trouble sleeping.

For Hassan, 39, who was captured, it is her three missing children, and three years of imprisonment at the hands of the jihadist group.

For Ibrahim, 42, who escaped, it is the mass grave that he returned to find on his ravaged land.

“They burnt one house down, blew up the other, they torched the olive trees two three times. … There is nothing left,” the father of eight told Reuters.

More than 3,000 other members of their minority sect were killed in 2014 in an onslaught that the United Nations described as genocidal.

Mahmoud Khalaf, her husband, says Islamic State not only destroyed their livelihoods. The group broke the trust between Yazidis and the communities of different faiths and ethnicities they had long lived alongside.

“There is no protection. Those who killed us and held us captive and tormented us have returned to their villages,” Khalaf, 40, said, referring to the neighboring Sunni Arab villages who the Yazidis say conspired with the militants. “We have no choice but to stay here. … They are stronger than us.

SURVIVORS OF ISIS GENOCIDE HAVE NOTHING, FOUR YEARS LATER

BY SETH J. FRANTZMAN
 FEBRUARY 20, 2019

As the war against ISIS enters its final phases the victims of ISIS are still suffering.

Hundreds of thousands remain in displaced persons camps and cities and towns across Iraq and Syria are still in ruins. Many religious minorities, especially Yazidis and Christians, cannot return to their homes, which were often laced with ISIS bombs or destroyed.

ISIS carried out its worst mass murder between June and August 2014, targeting Bedouin tribes in Syria, Shi’ites in Camp Speicher and Tal Afar, and then Christians in Mosul and Nineveh plains in Iraq. In August 2014, Yazidis in Sinjar awoke to news that Islamic State was attacking villages across areas of northern Iraq where their minority group lives. Within days more than 300,000 Yazidis had to flee and more than 10,000 were kidnapped by ISIS. In their most brutal and cruel act of a long list of atrocities, ISIS separated the Yazidi men and women and put the women on buses to be sold into slavery. In scenes reminiscent of the Holocaust they then took the men and elderly women and systematically murdered them, dumping their bodies into mass graves across northern Iraq’s Sinjar region.

…..

In December 2015 the mass grave sites had been recently discovered. Some of their locations were known because Yazidis who had fled to Sinjar mountain were able to look down on the plains below and watch as ISIS murdered their relatives. In rare cases survivors of the massacres, hiding under the bodies or having escaped somehow, brought news back. There are exact parallels to the mass murder of Jews by the Einsatzgruppen during the Holocaust. I was struck by the fact that the mass graves looked identical to photos I’d seen from the Shoah. I was not prepared however to see the matted human hair, the skulls, the soccer jerseys and blindfolds the people wore, decaying on the ground. When I arrived it was more than a year after the bodies were dumped in the ground. Rain had brought the bones and human remains up to the surface. People said that stray dogs had eaten at the bodies. And this happened in August 2014, before the world’s eyes with basically no attempt to stop the mass killing, despite the fact that drones could easily have seen what was going on. From 1941 to 2014, nothing changed, except the fact that ISIS used smart phones to make videos cheering the killing, videos uploaded to social media.

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Written by Andrew Coates

February 20, 2019 at 1:27 pm

National Populism. Roger Eatwell, Matthew Goodwin. Review: A Feast of Gammon.

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Image result for National Populism. The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. Pelican. 2018.

A Feast of Gammon.

National Populism. The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. Pelican. 2018.

Gammon: This word probably derives from the same original as ‘game’ and gamble, but in Victorian and later slang it meant to impose upon, delude, cheat, or play the game on.”

Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Millennium Edition.

Gammon:  term used to describe a particular type of Brexit-voting, europhobic, middle-aged white male, whose meat-faced complexion suggests they are perilously close to a stroke.

The term ‘gammon’ is linked to the unhealthy pink skin tone of such stout yeomen, probably because of high blood pressure caused by decades of ‘PC gone mad’, being defeated in arguments about the non-existent merits of Brexit and women getting the vote.

Gammon often make their appearance on BBC’s Question Time jabbing their porcine fingers at the camera while demanding immediate nuclear strikes against Remain-voting areas, people who eat vegetables and/or cyclists.

When gammon appears en masse it is often referred to as a “wall of gammon”.

The first known usage of the term ‘gammon’ to describe the complexion of men of an overly-jingoistic fashion dates from as far back as 1838 in a description of Mr Gregsbury, a Member of Parliament, in Charles Dickens’ novel, Nicholas Nickleby.

Urban Dictionary.

In George Macdonald Fraser’s Flashman novels the word gammon crops up. As Tom Brown’s bully bluffs and wriggles through life, his career is gammon itself. A red-faced liar, and cowardly racialist, the ardent Imperialist is the forebear of today’s British cured ham populists and patriots.

National Populism refers to, in Eatwell and Goodwin’s view, movements that “prioritise the culture and interests of the nation, and promise to give voice to a people who feel that they have been neglected, even held in contempt, by distant and often corrupt elites.” (Page ix) The authors consider what national supporters “feel” about “corrupt elites”, and movements that promote these themes,  have to be taken at face value. They are not going to be called out as gammon, dismissed as irrational, uneducated, racists. They “see their own arguments as moral.” (Page 171)

From UKIP (which has never held direct political power, The French Front National (now Rassemblement National) – also never in government – to President Trump, Viktor Orbán’s Hungary, Matteo Salvini’s La Lega, in power in Italy with the ‘populist’ , Movimento 5 Stelle, the Freedom parties in the Netherlands and Austria, and others, there are common traits. They are populists in the sense that they wish to “make the popular will heard and acted on”, defend the interests of “plain, ordinary people” and wish to replace “corrupt and distant elites”. To these vague, not to say vacuous, words – thin enough – national populism adds one strong term, nationalism. National populists stand out with a “strong emphasis on immigration and ethnic change” (Page 80). Behind this diversity there is a “fairly broad alliance of people without degrees who share traditional values and a cluster of core concerns about their lack of voice, the position of their group relative to others, and in particularly immigration and ethnic change.”(Page 39)

Distrust of politicians, “rapid ethnic change” a fear of relative deprivation, under the effects of “neoliberal globalisation” (whose economics are left hanging in the air) feed national populism. But the perception of a threat of “ethnic destruction” is the pillar of the demand for “national independence and identity”. Concerned to demolish “misleading myths” Eatwell and Goodwin give legitimacy to fears about “hyper-ethnic change”, or in the words of famous polemicist they do not refer to, Renaud Camus, “le Grand Remplacement” (Révoltez-vous! 2015). This is not the biological racism of the 1930s far right or modern race-war fascism. It is more cultural. To use a word already taken into English, it is “identitarian”; “We do not think the term “racism” should be applied solely because people seek to retain the broad parameters of the ethnic base of country and its national identity, even though this can involve discriminating against outside groups. “(Page 75)

Angry White Men.

There is a history to be written about the writers and academics with a taste for the pink meat, the Gammon left and right. Eatwell and Goodwin began by refusing to scorn national populists as “crude bigots and old white men”,  far -from-well-off, uneducated, and marginalised from society. They point out that many of these parties have a degree of backing from the respectable middle-class, women indeed vote for them, as well as workers. France indeed has a whole array of intellectuals on the national populist side, some of whom, like Michel Onfray, Emmanuel Todd, and Jean-Claude Michéa, still claiming a wavering leftist thread, even a belief in ‘common decency’ for their sovereigntist dreams, others, Éric Zemmour at their head, clearly on the nationalist right.

Reviewing National Populism for – inevitably – Spiked, Jon Holbrook misses that point and rejoices at a counterblast against “the elite’s dismissive response” to “angry white men”. (Populism is a struggle for democracyJanuary 2019). Gammonry’s French cousin, the Beauf, the American Jacobin might add, is equally the much-maligned target of loaded put downs. Populism is a fight for democracy against “supra-nationalism”, the “transfer of power to transnational organisations”. Gérard Bras talks of the contempt expressed by liberal opponents of populism. For them it expresses the irrationality of the people, their ignorance and their characteristic whims. (“ exprime l’irrationalité du peuple, son ignorance et son caractère velléitaire”) Citing Jacques Rancière he asserts that the charge of “populism” expresses the contempt that, the ruling “politically correct hold for the ruled, (“le politiquement correct dominant tient les dominés”). As Holbrook puts it, “political correctness empowered liberalism to double down on its traditional fear of majority opinion….” (1)

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There is widespread awareness of what National Populism calls the “dealignment” of politics, the drift away from life-long political loyalties, and the decline of social democratic and left support in Europe. No doubt with this in mind the rival ‘left populist’ Chantal Mouffe has protested against the “demonising of the enemies of the “bipartisan consensus. They express opposition to this globalised neoliberal “oligarchy”, to what she dubs, “post-democracy”, and a push for popular sovereignty – whose limits and shapes remain to be defined. Inheriting strategic thinking about populism begun by her late partner Ernesto Laclau the interlocutor of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and some of the leaders of the (presently splintered) Podemos, proposes a political response. The red-faced masses’ “Xenophobic language”, writes Chantal Mouffe, “could be formulated in a different vocabulary and directed towards another adversary”. (2)

“Critics of the neo-liberal order” welcomed the UK leave vote, the “rising of the North” from the anti-EU “rust belt regions”. This was an authentic working class that turned it back on the Trade Union majority and the Labour Party’s official position. That is the ‘Lexit’, pro-Brexit, lament against internationalists, the “cosmopolitans’ from nowhere. But this book should give food for thought for those crying over the fate of the left-behind.

The message of National Populism,  is that, taking this into account, “we need to talk about immigration”.  How can, Éric Fassin has commented, the same “affects”, the emotions that fuel this conversation amongst supporters of national populism be retranslated into a left-wing populism? The chances are slim. I would say close to zero. What is their demand? Ending migration would come, if not at the top, at least close to it. National ‘preference’? Putting our ‘ain folk’ first, and, above all the Nation’s Sovereignty,. above class and ‘elites’. But then I have met national populists. They were, are, and will be, gammon. And who is leading them? Flashman Farrage, Flashman Rees Mogg and Ultra-Flashman, Boris Johnson. (3)

***

  1. Populisme: une enquête philosophique sur un concept insaisissable Review and synopsis of Les Voies du peuple (2018)

  2. Page 23. For a Left Populism. Chantal Mouffe. Verso. 2018.

  3. Page 73 Populisme. Le grand ressentiment. Éric Fassin Textuel. 2017 The term ‘affects’, emotions,  an abomination in both English and French, comes from a reading of Spinoza (a small part of his writings) on the emotions in Frédéric Lordon, La société des affects. 2013. In this context, “By affect I understand affections of the body by which the body’s power of acting is increased or diminished, aided or restrained, and at the same time, the ideas of these affections.” Affect (philosophy).

Violent Clash Between Far Right Gilets Jaunes and Anti-Fascists on March in Lyon.

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Far-Right Gilets Jaunes Confronted by Anti-Fascists at Lyon.

Affrontement entre groupes d’ultra-droite et d’extrême gauche à Lyon.

Lors de la manifestation des Gilets jaunes à Lyon ce samedi, des membres de groupuscules d’ultra-droite et des « antifascistes » se sont affrontés violemment.

Le Parisien.

The outbreak of  violence lasted a maximum of ten minutes, but left a deep impression. This Saturday, in Lyon, a clash between “yellow jackets” of the ultra-right and far left took place on the sidelines of Act 13 of Gilets Jaunes protests , in the city of Gérard Collombe (Socialist Mayor of the Metropolis of Lyon).

Lyon is well-known as the home for a number of far-right organisations, identitarians and the classic extreme right, Génération Identitaire, Bastion Social,  Jeunesses nationaliste, and the ex-Oeuvre française. It was a stronghold of l’Action Française during the Second World War.

LYON, CARREFOUR DES DROITES EXTRÊMES (2018)

 

More here:

This is how one far-rightist spun it:

VIDEO: Pitched battle between opposing ‘yellow vests’ in Lyon

There is a problem about the presence of the far-right at Gilets Jaunes protests which cannot be wished away by classing them as “fake” Yellow Jackets.

Gilets Jaunes is not a registered trademark.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 10, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Labour Against the Witch-hunt Conference Venue Cancelled.

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And all was going swimmingly for Greenestein.

Tony Greenstein’s 40% vote for Secretary of Palestine Solidarity Campaign is a shot across the Executive’s bows

PSC activists express their dissatisfaction with an Executive that puts a Zionist Emily Thornberry on a Palestinian platform

Greenstein even has praise for his old mucker Gerry Downing.

“I carry below a report from Gerry Downing of Socialist Voice on the conference. The Report is a fair one…”

Greenstein then spoils the growing comradely atmosphere which some speculate is leading to an alliance between Law and Socialist Fight,

,”but I have to say that their continued characterisation of the Israel or Zionist lobby as a Jewish ethnic lobby is unhelpful.”

Dear, oh dear….

And Gerry said such supportive things,

Tony Greenstein stood for the Secretary’s position against Ben Soffa but lost by 67 votes to 103, a creditable performance. Socialist Fight put out a leaflet critically defending him (he did motivate our expulsion from Labour Against the Witchhunt).

The event sounds a hoot:

we were entertained by a dance troupe trio from the Palestine Hawiya Dance Company just after the break, who put on a really excellent show for us all.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign AGM 26-1-2019

Alas, all good things must come to an end.

 

Let’s hope they find a new venue.

Agenda

10.30 Registration

11am Opening remarks by chair Jackie Walker

11.10 am ‘The slow coup against Jeremy Corbyn’
Motion introduced by Asa Winstanley (Electronic Intifada) and LAW honorary president Moshé Machover
followed by discussion and amendments

– 1pm lunch break –

1.30pm ‘Why we oppose the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism’
Motion introduced by Glyn Secker (JVL) Tony Greenstein
followed by discussion and amendments

3.15pm
Other motions
LAW constitution
Election of steering committee

Written by Andrew Coates

February 1, 2019 at 11:38 am

The Politics of the Gilets Jaunes and the Far-Right.

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Les Zouaves Paris après l'attaque du cortège du NPA dans une manifestation des Gilets jaunes.

“…the fact that the far right is present in this violence puts them off quite a bit. But it doesn’t bother me.” Verso Author, Éric Hazan.

The group who attacked the Nouveau Parti capitaliste during Acte XI of the Gilets Jaunes march turns out to have been created by former members of the violent far-right organisation, GUD, and (its continuing counterpart outside of Paris) ” Bastion social”.

Zouaves Paris: la résurgence de l’extrême droite radicale violente dans la capitale

France Soir, today.

And here:

“Je songe à ces méthodes qui consistent à violer l’intelligence révolutionnaire des militants (nombreux en France) qui ont l’habitude de se faire eux-mêmes leur opinion et qui se mettent loyalement à la dure école des faits.”

1939 Lettre à Trotsky [Marceau Pivert)

I refer to those methods which consist in violating and brutalizing the revolutionary intelligence of those militants – numerous in France – who are accustomed to making up their own minds and who put themselves loyally to the school of hard facts.

Pivert Answers Trotsky 1939

To read English language left-wing commentary on the Gilets Jaunes is to enter a world in which the far-right appears in the movement only from the outside. They are not the “real Gilets Jaunes”. The US left publication Jacobin has published an article that claims that criticism comes from supporters of Macron, and snobbish attitudes towards the “working classes (who) have been neglected and ridiculed” (IMEN NEFFATI). This academic defender of Gammon is not alone. Just translated into English is the contentious ‘sociology’ of Christopher Guilluy’s book, (Twilight of the Elites: Prosperity, the Periphery, and the Future of France). Jacobin’s co-thinkers in Spiked recently interviewed Guilluy, who said,

One illustration of this cultural divide is that most modern, progressive social movements and protests are quickly endorsed by celebrities, actors, the media and the intellectuals. But none of them approve of the gilets jaunes. Their emergence has caused a kind of psychological shock to the cultural establishment. It is exactly the same shock that the British elites experienced with the Brexit vote and that they are still experiencing now, three years later.

‘The gilets jaunes are unstoppable’

Christophe Guilluy on the cultural divide driving the yellow vests.

I have not read the translation but the book was published a couple of years ago and is now in a cheap paperback (on the shelf…). It  is not a work of sociological investigation: it is an illustration of a thesis. That is, that the left has dropped the working class, the ‘popular classes’. It has succumbed to ‘globalisation’ and is now based on urban ‘people from nowhere’, the ‘elite’. The rest of society, the “periphery” is left to rot.  This view, shared by the former radical leftist,  Jean-Claude Michéa (who has also written on George Orwell’s concept of ‘common decency’), is that French society has become Americanised, “ inégalitaire et multiculturelle ” – unequal and multicultural. 

The last word should set alarm bells ringing.

The book will merit a fuller discussion but for the moment one can see the opening that the idea of a popular revolt against the globalised elite by the ‘real’ French (as the Gilets Jaunes call themselves, as, for example in the “Gaulois de Calais)” gives to the far right. Marine Le Pen, like the British extreme-right, is a strong critic of “globalism”. The infinitely flexible picture of the “people”, the left-behind, the “somewheres” is ready-made for their use. The below illustrates one effort at being humorous about the brave little Gauls standing up to the arrogant cosmopolitans.

Some of the French left, and not only those in la France insoumise who wish to channel this fight against the “elites” into their Rally’s strategy to “federate the people” behind Jean-Luc Mélenchon, see in the Gilets Jaunes a social movement in which they can intervene.

Some of those “accustomed to making up their own minds” have been a lot more sceptical..

Facebook sert l’extrême droite. Et l’extrême droite pilote les Gilets jaunes depuis Facebook.

There are large numbers of leftist activists, often from the most radical parts of the left, who, like the highly regarded comrades of  patrie ni frontières who have produced their own independent – often highly critical – assessments of the Gilets Jaunes.

And of the police violence:

This Blog, which shares a common political origin in the self-management (autogestion) current, considers that these voices need hearing.

From André Y.

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Written by Andrew Coates

January 29, 2019 at 12:50 pm

Gilets Jaunes, Foulards Rouges, Polarisation in France as Violence continues.

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Gilets Jaunes: “Bum Boy – you work for the Jews.”

France’s Yellow Vest protesters hit the streets again

Police fired tear gas and water cannon to push back protesters at Place de la Bastille in Paris, one of the regular protest sites, as some demonstrators threw stones from a building site.

The local prefecture reported 223 arrests in Paris.

Interior ministry estimated at 2pm (1300 GMT) numbers for the 11th week of protests were at 22,000 across France, compared to 27,000 at the same time last Saturday.

During the violent demonstrations Jérôme Rodrigues, a leading figure of the Gilets Jaunes, was seriously injured in the eye by a “sting-ball grenade” (grenade de désencerclement) launched by the police. (« Gilets jaunes » : blessé à l’œil, Jérôme Rodrigues annonce qu’il va porter plainte )

Amongst the police repression, and the violence of some of the Gilets Jaunes, activists behind the banners of the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste were attacked by a far-right squad.

Ce samedi, lors de l’acte XI des Gilets jaunes à Paris, le cortège du NPA a été attaqué à deux reprises par une cinquantaine d’individus d’extrême droite. Organisé et ultra-violent, le groupuscule fasciste « les Zouaves » (qui a revendiqué les agressions) a ciblé délibérément notre cortège, blessant plusieurs de nos camarades.

This Saturday, during Act XI of the Gilets Jaunes in Paris, the of the NPA was attacked twice by fifty individuals from extreme right. Organised and ultra-violent, the fascist groupuscule  “the Zouaves” * (who claimed responsibility for the attacks) deliberately targeted our section of the march, wounding many of our comrades.

Cortège du NPA agressé par l’extrême droite : nous ne nous laisserons pas intimider !

On the origin of the term Zouve in the French colonial army see here.

The NPA claim that the fascists were not “real” Gilets Jaunes.

Yet they also say that the presence of the far right on the Gilets Jaunes marches is a “poison”.

This is some real Gilets Jaunes at work.

Un journaliste agressé à Paris par un gilet jaune : “Enculé, tu travailles pour les Juifs !

Le Monde.

This could be freely translated as “Bum Boy – you work for the Jews.”

The incident took place near to the  place de la Bastille.

Nor is far-right involvement marginal.

To cite one case;

Un milicien du Donbass au service d’ordre des gilets jaunes

Amongst others, Victor Lenta, who has a long history of activism on the  extreme right (former Parachutist, former member of the Bloc identitaire and Jeunesses nationalistes, who had participated in the Donbass militias to defend the Putin backed ‘People’s Republic of Donetsk’,  and his friends, were part of the Service d’ordre’, stewards, for Paris.

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Divisions over the Gilets Jaunes list for the European Elections, revulsion at the racism, violence and anti-Semitism of some of the Gilets Jaunes, have grown.

Now there is another challenge.

Today will see a demonstration against the Gilets Jaunes.

Pro-Emmanuel Macron or anti-gilets jaunes (yellow vests)? A march in response to the French gilets jaunes movement was held in Paris on Sunday.

Dubbed the “Republican march for the liberties“, it brings together three groups that have since December voiced their opposition to the lasting social movement: the ‘foulards rouges‘, the ‘gilets bleus’ and the collective “Stop, maintenant ca suffit” (“Stop, that’s enough now”).

Who are the ‘foulards rouges’? The group protesting against the gilets jaunes

The poster for the 'foulards rouges' march

 

Written by Andrew Coates

January 27, 2019 at 12:43 pm

Red-Brown Anti-Semite Alain Soral Sent to Prison for a Year.

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Red-Brown Gamon Alain Soral Expresses Backing for the Gilets Jaunes. 

French far-right author sent to prison for anti-Semitic incitement

Times of Israel.

Alain Soral, a well-known Holocaust denier with multiple convictions for incitement, gets unusual one-year term for charges including insulting a female magistrate.

Soral is one of the leading ‘Red-Brown’ thinkers in Europe.

He says that he stands for a “nationalist left”

They are very keen on national Sovereignty and loathe the European Union.

Soral also claims to be from a Marxist background, including association with the Parti communiste français (PCF) – they dispute this.

He has been a member of the Front National.

He fell out with them at the end of the first decade of the new millennium.

His site Égalité et Réconciliation (motto: ‘a left politics for the working class and right wing morality’) was the base of a new movement.

It  has expressed support, pêle-mêle,for Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chávez, Bashar al-Assad, and the Gilets Jaunes.

They are extremely (if that’s not too mild a word) ‘anti-Zionist’.

In 2009 he set up, with the racist ‘comedian’  Dieudonné  (best known for his claims that ‘Jews’ were behind the Save Trade) and the Iranian regime supporter  Yahia Gouasmi  a “« Liste antisioniste ” that stood for the European elections. Their best score was in the banlieue (Seine-Saint-Denis) of Paris where they got a tiny 2,83%

Wikipedia accurately summarises his, and his circle’s ideology:

  • criticism of communitarianism
  • criticism of feminism
  • criticism of the media and the society of spectacle in general and of neoliberal capitalism
  • criticism of capitalism and US imperialism
  • criticism of Zionism and Jewish lobbying
  • criticism of mainstream vulgarity
  • the Arab–Israeli conflict
  • the dismantling of Yugoslavia, and possibly of France
  • the dismantling of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine

In his response to the Court Sentence Égalité et Réconciliation claims that Soral is a victim of elite State repression against the Gilets Jaunes.

Une condamnation qui tombe à pic, en pleine guerre des Gilets jaunes contre le Système et du Système contre les Gilets jaunes

A sentence that  happens just at the right moment in the war between the Yellow Vests and the System and the  System against the Yellow vests

They state that the most conscious elements of the Gilets Jaunes are following the same line of thought as

Soral’s friends ends their post by comparing him to Nelson Mandela who became President of South Africa.

Mandela, détenu pendant 18 ans à Robben Island (1964-1982), deviendra le premier président noir d’Afrique du Sud, 12 ans plus tard, en 1994.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm