Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Posts Tagged ‘France

Affaire Milla: 16 Year Old Gay Lycéenne Faces Death Threats for Criticising Islam, Minister of Justice says, “Insulting Religion” is an “Attack on Freedom of Conscience”.

with 7 comments

Misogynist and Homophobic Hatred in Response to Mila’s Criticism of Islam.

L’affaire Mila expliquée.

Le Monde, and

(Adapted)

It could have been just another live video posted by a teenage girl on Instagram on a Saturday. It has become what is now called the “Mila affair”. This homosexual high school girl with purple hair was insulted and threatened with death for having made insulting remarks towards Islam on January the 18th.

The case took on a new dimension when the Minister of Justice, Nicole Belloubet, was invited to speak on the subject on Europe 1 on Wednesday January 29. She was accused of wanting to put into  question the right to blaspheme (which is not not a crime in France), declaring that insulting a religion “obviously constitutes an attack on freedom of conscience” .

….

Mila is 16 years old, she lives in the Lyon region, and is passionate about singing. It is on Instagram that she shares her opinions, speaks about her life, posts videos of her, chats with her followers, and talks openly openly about her homosexuality.

In a video she expressed this view,

“  I hate religion, (…) the Quran there is only hatred in there, Islam is shit. (…) I said what I thought about it, you are not going to make me regret it. There are still people who will get excited, I clearly don’t give a damn, I say what I want, what I think. Your religion is shit, your God, I put a finger in her arsehole, thank you, goodbye.

This was the reaction,

“I received 200 messages of pure hatred per minute”, fake accounts are created in her name, she explains to Bellica (an ‘identitarian’ rightist site) , which has posted screenshots of the ultra violent messages that she received .

Personal information concerning her, such as her address or the name of her school, was disclosed.

She says,

Unlike them, I did not insult anyone, nor threatened, nor called for violence against anyone. What I did was blasphemy, general criticism of religions, and nothing else . “

But,

“I can no longer set foot in my lycée and I can’t even change my  lycée because it’s the whole of France that wants my hide” .

This was another response,

On Thursday January 23, the general delegate of the French Council for Muslim Worship (CFCM), Abdallah Zekri, estimated in the programme Les Vraies Voix on Sud Radio  : “whoever sows the wind harvests the storm”. “She sought this, she is responsible,” he said again, while saying “against” the death threats she received.

Mila has problems at helycée where some of the students are thought to have been at the origins of the violent threats.

Her case is being dealt with by the educational authorities.

A procedure to prosecute MIla for inciting race hate has been dropped, while another investigation into the origins of the death threats has been launched.

In France after the assertion of the Minister of Justice, Nicole Belloubet the “affaire Mila” has taken a political dimension.

If she soon backtracked, saying the death threats are no acceptable, questions remain as to why she ever came out with this defence of hatred.

The Minister of Justice returns to her remarks concerning the Mila affair

France 24.

“We have the right to criticise a religion, it’s very clear. There is no question of coming back to this,” added Nicole Belloubet to Radio Classic’s microphone on Thursday.

It evokes a “formulation error”. Nicole Belloubet, the Minister of Justice, made a point, Thursday, January 30, the day after her remarks strongly criticized on the Mila affair. The Keeper of the Seals condemned the cyber harassment and death threats against the 16-year-old girl on Europe 1, adding that “insult to religion is an attack on freedom of conscience”.

“I didn’t have to say that, for sure”, said Nicole Belloubet, at the radio of Radio Classique. “We have the right to criticise a religion, it’s very clear. There is no question of coming back to this”, she added.

he minister had already started, on Wednesday afternoon, a mea culpa, believing that his “expression may have been awkward”“Insults and discrimination on the grounds of religious affiliation are offences. That is what I meant”, she said, denouncing a controversy “ridiculous”. And to add: “I have absolutely no justification for the offense of blasphemy.”

A stock response on the British left these last years has been to dismiss people like Mila.

Saying that Islam is shite obviously does not hold up to the high standards of those, like Terry Eagleton, who think that religious truths are a separate kind of verity that unbelievers cannot understand.

Others, who promote a communitarian view of truth, think that nobody should be rude about a community of belief.

Even the ‘free speech’ warriors of Spiked and people like Douglas Murray consider that saying nasty things about ‘gammons’ should be halted.

Charlie Hebdo came to the defence of Mila, unbowed, recalling their own bloodied martyrs.

Yesterday they published this:

Editorial by Riss: Teenagers to the stake!

Have you heard of the boot torture? It involved encasing each of the suspect’s legs between two wooden planks, tying all four tightly together and then driving wooden wedges between the two central planks, thus crushing the limbs if the suspect refused to admit the crime of which he was accused. The Chevalier de La Barre was one of the most famous victims of this torture. In 1766, aged 20, he was condemned to have his legs crushed, initially with two wedges and then with four, before having his tongue ripped out, being decapitated and being thrown into the flames. His crime: blasphemy. He was accused of having failed to doff his hat to a passing religious procession in the saintly town of Abbeville and, what is more, of mutilating a crucifix. His decapitated body was burned with a copy of Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary nailed to the torso.

Today, blasphemy is no longer punished by decapitation: it is not even against the law. Nevertheless, in 2020 there are still people clamouring for death in its name. The Chevalier de La Barre was only 20 when he was tortured. He read licentious and impious books that did not respect religion. He had the insolence of his age – an age that fears nothing – and desired only to live in freedom.

At the ripe old age of 16, the age of revolt, Mila could have been his younger sister. Last week, online, she dared to express her anger against the injustice and aberration of faith, particularly that of Islam, in terms that the Chevalier de La Barre probably wouldn’t have disavowed. Mila won’t be subjected to the boot torture, only to insults on the social networks and death threats on the Internet. Routine treatment nowadays for those who refuse to submit to religious authority.

Her anger against the arbitrariness of religion is all the more moving because it recalls that of another young girl of her generation, the now famous Greta Thunberg. They both seem to be rebelling against the same injustice: adults’ cowardliness. Adults have done nothing to stop the planet disintegrating before our eyes. Nor have they done anything to fight religious intolerance, which is becoming more invasive every day, like an oil slick that we can no longer hold back. At 16, it’s impossible not to be worried by the thought that this is the world where you have to try and live: a planet asphyxiated by exhaust gases and the toxic preaching continually emitted by the diesel engines of Islamism and fanaticism. And you can’t count on adults to protest against the pollution filling our lungs and smothering our freedom of speech.

After first being insulted by the most stupid, Mila was threatened by the most fanatical and finally abandoned by the most cowardly. Her anger and sincerity should have elicited as much support as Greta Thunberg’s. But people have turned their backs on her out of fear and intellectual laziness, because her cause is less photogenic than koalas squealing when their little backsides are toasted by the flames of an apocalyptic fire. Above all, Mila is more dangerous. Here, we’re not talking about saving life on Earth, but saving our very skins. We refuse to admit that our society is capable of torturing the innocent with the same icy certainty as our ancestors at the Chevalier de La Barre’s time. We’re so full of our own modernity that we nonchalantly brush off the impassioned indictments of a Voltaire against the inquisitors, because they make us confront our cowardice. The boots in which we crushed blasphemers’ leg bones belong to the past. We no longer need them.

Smartphones, backed up by a few Kalashnikovs and well-sharpened kitchen knives, have taken their place when it comes to intimidating the insolent who refuse to bow before the faith of the fanatics and the resigned.

Charlie Hebdo n°1436

 

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

January 30, 2020 at 12:04 pm

“Vendredi Noir” in France, New Day of Protests as Macron’s Formally Unveils Pension “Reform”plans.

with 7 comments

Image

Torch-lit protest on the Eve of ‘Vendredi Noir’.

On the 52nd day of moblisation against Macron’s Pension reforms unions and protesters have united for a Black Friday (Vendredi Noir) of strikes and marches.

France 24 reports.

French hardline unions have called for a day of industrial action and mass demonstrations Friday as President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to reform the country’s unwieldly pension system is presented to his cabinet.

After a brief respite from a seven-week strike that extended over the Christmas period, French unions called for major shutdowns and demonstrations to show their “determination” to halt Macron’s pension reform plan.

The call came as French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presents the new plan instituting a “universal system” of point-based pensions to the cabinet Friday, before it is sent to the National Assembly, France’s lower house, where debates will begin February 17.

Demonstrators held torch-lit protests in Paris Thursday evening ahead of a “Black Friday” of strikes and shutdowns.

France’s hardline CGT union’s leader, Philippe Martinez, warned that opposition to the pension reform “has not weakened” in an interview with the Public Sénat TV station, with polls showing that 61 percent of French people are calling for the reform to be withdrawn.

 Suivez la journée de mobilisation contre la réforme des retraites avec «Libération»

There are no Buses, Trains and RER (Paris Region rapid network).

While most of the French unions have opposed Macron’s reforms the ‘reformist’ federation, the CFDT, has been willing to negotiate with the government.

This has led strikers from the trains, SNCF, and the Metro, RATP, invaded their offices. to protest last Friday  by occupying its HQ.

Réforme des retraites : le siège de la CFDT envahi par des grévistes

Envahissement de la CFDT par des grévistes : “vous ne négociez pas en notre nom”

Le Monde noted on Tuesday that the French Left , while backing the protests and strikes, has been unable to agree on a united response.

Réforme des retraites : les partis de gauche sont unanimes, mais ne proposent pas de solutions communes.

Opponents of the movement suggest that this may be a last gesture of defiance while others see the strikes continuing.

It looks highly unlikely that the movement has ended.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 24, 2020 at 12:49 pm

France: 36th Day of Strikes and Protests Continue Against Pension Reform.

with 2 comments

Many protesters view Macron as remote and regal. Here his tenure is styled as “the restoration of the monarchy”.

“Le «moment Thatcher» d’Emmanuel Macron.”

We won’t give up’: French protesters defiant on day 36 of pension strikes

Reports France 24.

On RTL this morning an opponent of the protests claimed that the numbers out on the streets had gone down.

Le Monde  says,

Strike against pension reform: 452,000 demonstrators in France, including 56,000 in Paris

On the 36th day of the strike, the mobilisation was less massive than on December the 17th, when the Ministry of the Interior had recorded 615,000 demonstrators, including 76,000 in Paris.

The interior ministry announced that 452,000 people  had marched in France , against 615,000 for the day of December 17. For their part, the unions claimed that there were 1.2 million demonstrators in 65 processions.

Traffic is still  disrupted on the SNCF and RATP networks this Thursday. The strikes also concern lawyers, refinery staff and teachers.

There were some violent incidents in Paris.

Negotiations have not advanced an inch.

The Train service (SNCF)  is threatening to sell off its subsidiary services.

There are claims that Macron’s efforts to defeat the strikes are based on Thatcher’s strategy to crush the miners.

Dans les cortèges, sur les piquets de grève et dans les assemblées générales, le mot se répète souvent : cette grève interprofessionnelle contre la réforme des retraites résonne pour Emmanuel Macron comme l’équivalent de la grande grève des mineurs de 1984-1985 pour Margaret Thatcher.

On the marches, on pickets and in general assemblies, the word is often repeated: this interprofessional strike against pension reform resonates for Emmanuel Macron as the equivalent of the great miners’ strike of 1984-1985 for Margaret Thatcher .

Our comrades have been out expressing solidarity.

From last night’s action at the French Embassy in solidarity with French workers, who are today staging a day of action against President Macron’s proposed neoliberal pension reforms.

Rail workers have been on strike for 36 days, making it the longest continuous train strike in French history, and the longest national strike since 1968. Teachers, nurses, lawyers, and energy workers and others have also been participating.

Macron’s pension reforms are a crucial test for a broader neoliberal assault on workers’ rights and public services, and the outcome of the struggle will set an example for workers and bosses across Europe.

Their struggle is our struggle.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and outdoor

Text from Ni patrie ni frontières.

BATTRE LA RÉFORME DES RETRAITES DE MACRON, C’EST RELANCER EN GRAND ET PARTOUT LA LUTTE POUR AUGMENTER LES SALAIRES.

7 janvier, par Yves

[An excellent leaflet which contrasts with the leftist speeches cut off from reality and the fantasies about the “giletjaunisation” of struggles as if the yellow vest had become the red flag of the 21st century …. YC, Neither homeland nor borders]

Written by Andrew Coates

January 10, 2020 at 12:06 pm

French parliament decides anti-Zionism is antisemitism.

leave a comment »

Image

New Law Faced Critics Alleging it  “Stigmatises and Silences ” Critics of Israel, and even those in Favour of 2 State Solution.

The Jerusalem Post headlines today,

French parliament decides anti-Zionism is antisemitism

Anti-Zionism is a form of antisemitism, France’s National Assembly determined on Tuesday, voting on a resolution calling on the government to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism.

The motion proposed by lawmaker Sylvain Maillard of LREM, President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party passed 154-72 in the parliament’s lower house.

New French bill equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism ‘is going very far afield’

France 24 reports on why the move met strong opposition.

A group of 127 Jewish intellectuals has signed a petition against a new French bill which would equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. FRANCE 24 spoke with one of the signatories who calls the bill “problematic”, saying it “delegitimises the legitimate act of criticising the state of Israel”.

In an interview with FRANCE 24,  James Cohen, a professor at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 and one of the 127 signatories of the petition, said that “by equating antizionism with anti-Semitism, you’re broadening the definition of antisemitism too much […] you’re going very far afield.”

“Some of the people out there who oppose the policies of the state of Israel, who may even oppose the existence of the state of Israel, might also be anti-Semitic […] but that should not delegitimise the legitimate act of criticising the policies of the state of Israel. And when it comes to the existence of the state of Israel, there are questions that need to be asked whether a one-state solution or a two-state solution could be viable. Why should this discussion not be open?”

On Tuesday evening, French lawmakers adopted the bill, with 154 votes against 72.

The above declaration by Jewish intellectuals was printed in Le Monde yesterday.

Antisémitisme : « Nous demandons le retrait de la résolution Maillard »

More in the Nouvel Obs:

127 intellectuels juifs contre la définition de l’antisémitisme élargie à l’antisionisme

The resolution is “highly problematic,” says the group in its platform. First because it “equates […] anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism” . But “for many Jews considering themselves anti-Zionists, this conflation between the two is deeply offensive,” says the collective.

“Some Jews oppose Zionism for religious reasons, others for political or cultural reasons. Many Holocaust victims were anti-Zionists, “ says the collective.

“For Palestinians, Zionism represents dispossession, displacement, occupation and structural inequalities. […] They oppose Zionism not out of hatred of the Jews, but because they live Zionism as an oppressive political movement. “

The second reason is that IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism itself would be “highly problematic” , “unclear and imprecise” .

It is, moreover, “already used to stigmatise and silence critics of the State of Israel, including human rights organizations,” said the group.

“We can not consider this as independent of the Israeli government’s main political agenda of rooting out its occupation and annexation of Palestine and silencing all criticism,” say the signatories, who are worried about “political support”. , to France “ .

According to the group, “anti-Semitism must be fought on a universal basis, along with other forms of racism and xenophobia, in the battle against hatred” .

Today Radio France Internationale  (RFI) report, using the more precise language of “linking” antiSemitism and anti-Zionism,

French parliament adopts controversial law linking anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism

The text was passed by a very narrow margin, in a virtually empty parliament. Opponent of the legislation have notably complained that the law associates anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Opening the debate, ruling party MP Sylvain Maillard warned the National Assembly that “Jews are once again being killed in France, because they are Jews”.

During the parliamentary discussion, the deputies were informed that more than one hundred Jewish graves had been desecrated with black swastikas on Tuesday in the north-western French town of Westhoffen.

Finally, 154 MPs voted in favour of the legislation, with 72 against. Many parliamentarians chose to leave before the vote on the controversial law. There were 550 deputies present for the earlier vote on the social security budget.

Fewer than one third of ruling party members supported the new law, with 26 voting against, and 22 abstaining.

Critics of the law point to the association made by the new legislation between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

French President Emmanuel Macron has already stated his belief that anti-Zionism represents “one of the current forms of anti-Semitism”.

The French law accepts the controversial definition of anti-Semitism proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA): “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

That definition makes no reference to anti-Zionism, but, the examples which accompany the definition explain that “any unfair treatment of the state of Israel, demanding behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” is regarded as unacceptable.

Supporters of the French law claim that many anti-Semites hide behind the banner of anti-Zionism. The Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, explained that the law had only one objective and that was to remove all ambiguity about anti-Semitic statements, acts or gestures. Castaner further pointed out that the neither the word anti-Semitism nor the term anti-Zionism appear anywhere in the final text of the law.

Several dozen prominent Jewish intellectuals have actively campaigned against the law, saying it runs the risk of “criminalising ideas” without doing anything to fight racism.

The text was voted on by  a very low number of deputies.  At the heart of the criticism of opponents: the fact that it associates anti-Zionism with a form of anti-Semitism.

..

54 deputies voted for – out of the 577 who sit in the National Assembly  – 72 against. Many parliamentarians did not take part in the vote, even though they were nearly 550 present two hours earlier for the final adoption of the Social Security (Health and Family allowances) bill, a sign of the discomfort aroused by this text.

Macron’s own parliamentary group La République en Marche, (LRM)  was divided,

The LRM group, revealed by the analysis of the poll… of its 303 members, 84 voted in favor of the text, ie less than a third of the Macronist collective. 26 voted against when 22 abstained.

The Socialists (PS), Communists (PCF) and La France insoumise (LFI) voted against the new law.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

December 4, 2019 at 1:53 pm

France: Mass Strikes in Protest Against Pension Reform,Thursday. Left Unites Behind Movement.

leave a comment »

Image result for greve 5 decembre

Mass Strikes in France this Thursday.

France is set to see the first real test of a movement against President Macron’s attempt to change the French pension system. This will replace existing arrangements with a points-based “reforms” that will cut payments and raise the age of retirement.

The protests and work stoppages this week come at a strategic time of the year, designed to exercise maximum pressure.

Another reason is that the 5th of December in 1995 saw the launch of the successful movement  against the “plan Juppé”  proposed by the Prime Minister of right wing President Jacques Chirac reforms (that is, cuts and restrictions on)  of health, social security and public sector pensions.

The present however affects everybody and is identified directly with the President, Emmanuel Macron, himself.

Trade unions, SNCF, RATP, Air France … Many organisations are involved in the mobilisation of Thursday, December 5 against Macron’s  pension reform.

Five unions in the Paris region transport network had called for an indefinite strike from 5 December – Unsa-RATP, CFE-CGC RATP, SUD-RATP, Solidaires-RATP and FO-RATP – before being joined by the CGT RATP.

The CGT, FO and Solidaires call for the demonstration and an indefinite strike from December 5 in the urban and road transport of passengers, goods and funds, or even blocking unlimited on busy roads. Ambulance workers, or taxis are also expected to join the movement.

In education, unions do not consider the government’s commitment to teachers to be sufficient. Most of their unions (Snes-FSU, Snuipp-FSU, SE-Unsa, Snalc, Solidaires …) have called out approximately 900,000 teachers of the first and second degree to strike.

Several police unions including Alliance and Unsa threaten to join the social movement of December 5 with actions in police stations if the Ministry of the Interior “does not meet their (their) expectations,” according to a press release.

An appeal of 15 hospital unions, doctors and employees in the health sector calls for members to join the movement.

In the energy sector, disturbances are also expected. Three of the four representative unions – CGT, FO and the CFE-CGC-Unsa alliance – are calling for a strike. The 140,000 electricians and gas companies will protest against the possible disappearance of their own pension scheme.

Dustcarts and street rubbish collection will be affected.

Courts are likely to close as lawyers join the movement.

Others are expected to follow.

School student unions (syndicats lycéens Fidl, UNL, MNL) will be backing the day of action.

A  small section of the Gilets Jaunes has given its support.

Adapted from La Croix. and France 24.

The national bodies of the ‘reformist’ union, the CFDT, have not called for strike action and their leader even backs them  (Le secrétaire général de la CFDT est dans une position difficile : il est le seul syndicaliste qui soutient encore la réforme des retraites lancée par Emmanuel Macron ) but some affiliated bodies, such as the Train drivers will join in.

In Forbes Alex Ledsom explains the reason for this wave of protest,

Why are they on strike?

The strike is against the French government’s proposed pension reforms. President Macron wishes to streamline the current pension system comprising 42 separate regimes into a single operating system. The new system would introduce a “points system” of retirement, which threatens the current early retirement age of many public service workers.

More importantly for the protesters, the reforms would impact how much money they receive. Currently, public sector workers’ pensions are calculated on the salary they earned for the last six months of working life–which is usually the highest for most people–and they are also assessed on the 25 best years of their working life. The new system will take every year into account, meaning that people who worked on lower salaries for years or had periods of unemployment, will see that translate into a lower pension.

A hopeful sign (reported across the French media) is that the Left has responded to this social movement with united support.

This is a rather rare phenomenon on the left of the French political spectrum: unity behind a common cause. This is what seems to be happening at the initiative of the Communist Party, which called on all the left parties to gather at a big joint meeting on December 11, against the pension reform.

A few days before the major mobilisation of December 5 against pension reform , Emmanuel Macron managed to unify the left, against his project. The Communist Party, calling for support for demonstrations on December the 5th, has also invited all leftist parties, from the Socialist Party to Green Party, EELV and La France insoumise to a large national meeting on December the 11th.”

Europe 1.

This declaration, Pensions: Against Individualism We Choose Solidarity, is also signed by figures from all sides of the left including the most radical.

Retraites: contre l’individualisme, nous choisissons la solidarité

Answering the charge that protests are a corporatist movement to defend existing unequal pensions and retirement ages (Not to mention the complicated network of different bodies that administer them)  they state,

The counter-reform of pensions is part of a plan to destroy the system of solidarity through  the elimination of public services, the punitive reform of unemployment insurance, privatisation (ADP), and attacks on all employee statuses.

Against this upheaval of society, our alternative is based on universal rights: retirement at 60 with at the rate of 75% indexed on the best wages, earned guaranteed for all. But also a collective right to an early departure for those who have engaged in arduous work, so that they may retire still in good health. This requires an increase in socialised contributions including those levied on profits. And a fall in unemployment by reducing working time would also bring resources into the system.

Full text via above link.

Europe Ecologie-les Verts (EELV) : Sandra Regol, porte-parole ; Alain Coulombel, secrétaire national adjoint

Ensemble ! : Clémentine Autain, députée de La France insoumise (FI), Myriam Martin, porte-parole, conseillère régionale LFI Occitanie; Jean-François Pellissier, porte-parole

Gauche démocratique et sociale (GDS) : Gérard Filoche, porte-parole ; Anne de Haro, GDS Ile-de-France

Génération·s : Guillaume Balas et Claire Monod, coordinateurs nationaux

Mouvement pour la démocratie en Europe (Diem 25) : Emma Justum, coordination nationale

Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste (NPA) : Olivier Besancenot, Christine Poupin, Philippe Poutou, porte-parole

Nouvelle Donne (ND) : Aline Mouquet, co-présidente, Gilles Pontlevoy : co-président

Parti communiste français (PCF) : Cathy Apourceau-Poly, membre de la direction du PCF, sénatrice du Pas-de-Calais ; Pierre Dharreville, membre de la direction du PCF, député des Bouches-du-Rhône

Parti communiste des ouvriers de France (PCOF) : Véronique Lamy et Christian Pierrel, coporte-parole

Parti de Gauche (PG) : Eric Coquerel, député FI, co-coordinateur du PG; Danielle Simonnet, conseillère de Paris, co-coordinatrice du PG

Pour une écologie populaire et sociale (PEPS) : Sergio Coronado, Jean Lafont, Elise Lowy, Bénédicte Monville

République et socialisme (RS) : Marinette Bache, conseillère de Paris ; Lucien Jallamion, secrétaire national ; Mariane Journiac, secrétaire nationale

François Ruffin, député La France insoumise de la Somme.

This united political response comes in conditions as Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement Nationale (ex Front National) has supported the protest and strike (Retraites : Marine Le Pen soutient la grève du 5 décembre).

Union leaders have made it clear she not welcome on any of their marches.

Just 10 percent of trains will be running in France on Thursday due to strikes

Written by Andrew Coates

December 3, 2019 at 6:16 pm

150,000 on Nous Toutes Marches in France in Protest at Violence against Women.

leave a comment »

Inspiring Protest against “les violences faites aux femmes.”

Image from Le défilé contre les violences faites aux femmes en images. Le Monde.

Thousands rallied in Paris on Saturday to seek an end to gender violence and femicide in a country where at least 116 women have been killed by current or former partners this year, sparking national outrage.

France 24.

The march began near the French capital‘s main opera house, with several protesters holding up placards bearing the image of a relative or friend killed in gender violence.

“Break the silence, not women,” read one sign. “Down with the patriarchy,” read another.

About 30 marches have been organised throughout France. They involve nearly 70 organisations, political parties, unions and associations.

“We think this will be a historic march,” Caroline De Haas, one of the organisers, said, adding that “the level of awareness is moving at breakneck speed.”

We can no longer count the number of cases where femicides could have been avoided,” the organisers said on Facebook Saturday.

“With this march, we will make the public authorities take appropriate measures.”

The government is expected to announce about 40 measures on Monday to tackle the scourge.

A total of 116 women have been murdered in France so far this year by their husband, partner or ex-partner, according to an AFP investigation.

The group “Femicides by companions or ex” meanwhile puts the toll at 137.

“In 32 femicides, it’s Christmas,” read one sign at the march.

It shows the scale of the problem as 121 were killed in France last year, according to official figures.

One woman is killed in France every three days by their partner or ex-partner, while marital violence affects 220,000 Frenchwomen every year.

“Our system is not working to protect these women,” Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet recently said.

The killings in France are part of a global scourge that shows no signs of abating, with 87,000 women and girls killed in 2017 according to the UN — over half of them killed either by their spouse, partner or own family.

(AFP)

The demonstration was organised by the collective “Nous Toutes”.

 

Libération: Marche #NousToutes : «Etre ici, c’est comme un cri de rage»

Statement from left Group Ensemble: Manifestation féministe : je marche avec Nous Toutes.

Statement from the Nouveau parti anticapitaliste (NPA) Pour en finir avec les violences faites aux femmes : mobilisation générale !

Communist Party: Le PCF appelle à manifester samedi 23 novembre contre les violences faites aux femmes

Here

Written by Andrew Coates

November 24, 2019 at 2:13 pm

Attack on Bayonne Mosque, Suspect was admirer of Eric Zemmour, and a former candidate for the Front National.

with 8 comments

 

Suspect  wrote (2014), “My Dear Eric,  at Ruquier, you would have been more scathing, saying simply, we were at war against the Islamists…”

An 84-year-old man who once stood as a far-right candidate in local elections has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out a shooting and arson attack that injured two people outside a mosque in south-west France. Two men aged 74 and 78 are in a serious but stable condition in hospital after the incident in Bayonne on Monday afternoon.

Police said a man tried to set fire to the door of the mosque and that when he was interrupted, he opened fire. The man then set fire to a car before fleeing, police said.

The suspect was arrested close to his home in the Landes, 10 miles away. The two injured men are believed to have been worshippers at the mosque.

A police source told Reuters that the suspect was a candidate in local elections in the Landes in 2015 for Marine Le Pen’s far-right party, Front National, which has since been renamed National Rally (Rassemblement National). He took 18% of the vote in the first round.

Guardian.

The suspect, Claude Sinké, was not only  a candidate for the Front National. He is an admirer of Eric Zemmour, the far-right polemicist who made the headlines in France recently and has been convicted of incitement to racial hatred.

The English speaking media offers little coverage of Zemmour, who for a long-time was best known as the author of the “declinist” door-stopper,  Le Suicide français (2014). It begins with the phrase, La France est l’homme malade de  L’europe  (France is the sick man of Europe). For those unwilling to fork out for its 538 pages the message is simple, and summarised by admirers and defenders. The book’s main thesis is that nation-states have declined in power and, above all that France has lost its historic leading role. The facade of the Nation is intact, but it has become a Museum, an historic Monument, without a living heart. This “Potemkin Republic” has been hollowed out in the wake of May 68, the Marxist revolutionaries, feminists and post-Christians  who have brought about the triumph of liberal globalist capitalism. They are the harbingers of individualism and national self-loathing.

Much of the controversy around Le Suicide français  centres on its ambiguous stand on the Vichy regime and its patriotism and paternalism,  which he argued gave a degree of protection) towards French Jews.

This, important as it is, should not mean neglecting the ideological heart of the tome.

Zemmour’s loathing of May 68,  like many on the British red-brown front, extends to the individualism of human rights politics,  which he sees as a justification for humanitarian intervention. He is a critic of neoliberalism, and the European Union. Zemmour welcomed the vote for Brexit, describing it as “Une nouvelle Révolution poussée par les vents d’Ouest” (a new revolution, blown by the winds of the West).

It’s his stand on immigration, arguing for the ‘somewhere’ people against migration promoted by elites, that has kept the writer in the public eye.

Pour Éric Zemmour, l’« impuissance » à assimiler les nouveaux immigrés, participe d’un « déclin » français. Il affirme qu’au « nom des droits de l’homme », les « élites » sont aujourd’hui des « prédicateurs » qui « bénissent des millions de « barbares » étrangers […] sans se préoccuper si ceux-ci […] ont envie d’adopter les mœurs de leur nouveau pays ; et se moquent éperdument de l’avis des populations autochtones qui subissent stoïquement ces vagues infinies »

For Eric Zemmour, the “incapacity” to assimilate new immigrants is part of French decline.  He says that in “the name of human rights”, the “elites” are today “sermonisers ” who “bless millions of foreign” barbarians “without worrying […] whether they want to adopt the customs of their new country; and could not care less about the opinions of the indigenous population who stoically put up with these endless waves (of immigrants)  “

He is a fervent supporter of national populism.

Recently Zemmour has attracted a great deal of attention.

As an admiring US site covers why,

Eric Zemmour’s Blockbuster Speech

Eric Zemmour, an Algerian-born French Jew, is a best-selling author and the most popular figure on the French Right. He delivered the keynote address at Marion Maréchal’s big Convention Of The Right in Paris last weekend (TAC’s Scott McConnell reported on it here). Zemmour is an extremely controversial figure in France. A French-speaking reader writes to say that after delivering his speech on Saturday.

Zemmour is now facing multiple lawsuits from anti-racist groups, has been roundly condemned in a petition by a French journalists’ association and has had media appearances and contracts cancelled. If nothing else, [the speech] should inform you as to the mood in France, at least among a rather large faction of the right.

Extracts:

We live under the reign of a new Hitler-Stalin Pact. Our two totalitarianisms have allied to destroy us before tearing each other to pieces. This is their shared objective, their Holy Grail. To the liberal human-rights crowd go the cities. To Islam goes the suburbs [les banlieues]. For now, the one group provides the other with domestics: pizza delivery, taxis, nannies, restaurant kitchens and drugs. With their media and judicial power, the others protect their domestics against the muted abhorrence of the French people they both loathe – one group because they are French and not American, the other because they are Catholic by culture, not Muslim.

In recent years, many clever people have compared the European Union to the defunct Soviet Union and the monetary weaponry of the ECB to the Warsaw Pact tanks launched in service of the Brezhnev Doctrine of limited sovereignty. In Italy, in England, we presently see the unusual effectiveness with which parliaments and judges are fighting the people’s will. Law and so-called constitutional procedures against the freedom of peoples. We have fully returned to those regimes that, in their turn, also claimed to be people’s democracies.

….

I like Renaud Camus’ way of putting it: “one must choose between living and together” [a play on words on the slogan “vivre ensemble”]. The question today is thus that of the people. The people can remake a nation. The French people against the universalisms, whether market or Islamic. The French people against the cosmopolitan citizens of the world who feel closer to the inhabitants of New York or London than to their compatriots in Montélimar or Béziers and the French people against the Islamic universalism that is transforming Bobigny, Roubaix and Marseille into so many Islamic Republics and which waves the Algerian or Palestinian flags when its football team wins – I mean the team it loves, the team of their parents’ country, not the team of their ID or health insurance card.

..

This question of identity is also the most unifying for it joins the working and middle classes and even that portion of the bourgeoisie that remains attached to its country. Yes, it brings together all currents of the right and even that part of the left that continues to have ties with the French people – all of them except the internationalist left and the globalist right, which have already joined ranks with the Macronist progressives and for whom France no longer exists and for whom all that matters are the cities of the world where the banks that manage their money are located.

The Nouvel Obs (2nd of October) described this speech as an implicit appeal to civil war.

« Le discours d’Eric Zemmour est, à demi-mot, un appel à la guerre civile »

Libération followed this,

Gérard Noiriel : «Les propos d’Eric Zemmour sont une incitation à demi-mot à la guerre civile»

Editorialising on the broadcast of the conference at which it was delivered le Monde talked of Televised Hatred.

Eric Zemmour et la haine télévisée

You can watch and hear the frankly foul rant in the original here;

 

Now it is being reported that the man suspected of the Bayonne Mosque attack is an admirer of Zemmour.

Attaque de la mosquée de Bayonne : ex-candidat FN, le suspect était aussi fan d’Eric Zemmour

Marianne.

The man is far from unknown in the Basque Country. Lionel Causse, MP LREM (la République en Marche) , worked with him when he was mayor of Saint-Martin de Seignanx. ” In the past, I had banned Claude Sinké’s access to the town hall because he always came to see me and was verbally violent with me and the staff of the town hall. He was, “Xenophobic and homophobic, ”  reports  Sud-Ouest.

We find traces of this retiree on different blogs and social networks,. These paint the profile of a man tormented, whose mind seems confused, describing himself as ” whimsical “. He also supported polemicist Eric Zemmour , recently convicted for provoking racial hatred.

..

Many of his publications are devoted to his artistic activity. A Sud-Ouest article published in 2013 describes him as a ” Saint-Martin sculptor unclassifiable and committed “, also ” president of the association Les Amis des arts bayonnais “. On Facebook, he published a photo of himself with several sculptures, including one in  colours of the United States and another in those of the Basque Country.(See above)  ” I thought, in my early years that it was useful first to overcome the existential needs before expressing myself on the artistic level (…) I started with lamps and sculptures that you can see here. above . “

 ..

Engaged – apparently – against globalised ultra-liberalism, Claude Sinké is also interested in women’s rights: “

On the site of Zemmour, the former FN candidate  wrote a message of support addressed to Eric Zemmour, published on the group entitled “the blog of those who love Eric Zemmour”.

See also: Attaque d’une mosquée à Bayonne : «Il était vindicatif contre certaines communautés»  Libération. 

Somebody was listening to Zemmour’s appeal.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

October 29, 2019 at 12:52 pm