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Category Archives: European Union

Getting Assange: the Untold Story

Julian Assange has been vindicated because the Swedish case against him was corrupt. The prosecutor, Marianne Ny, obstructed justice and should be prosecuted. Her obsession with Assange not only embarrassed her colleagues and the judiciary but exposed the Swedish state’s collusion with the United States in its crimes of war and “rendition”.

Had Assange not sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he would have been on his way to the kind of American torture pit Chelsea Manning had to endure.

This prospect was obscured by the grim farce played out in Sweden.  “It’s a laughing stock,” said James Catlin, one of Assange’s Australian lawyers. “It is as if they make it up as they go along”.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/19/getting-assange-the-untold-story/

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2017 in European Union, North America

 

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Piccolo tour del disastro nella pianura padana

Centro commerciale Mega di Vimercate, 1 aprile 2017. (Filippo Minelli per Internazionale, Padania classics)ItaliaPiccolo tour del disastro nella pianura padanaWu Ming 2, scrittore15 maggio 2017 10.12FacebookTwitterEmailI turisti calano dal torpedone armati di teleobiettivi e macchine fotografiche. Sciamano entusiasti nell’unica navata del centro commerciale Mega di Vimercate, si radunano sotto la cupola di metacrilato, studiano le iscrizioni alle pareti: il supermercato si definisce “controcorrente”, la parrucchiera è “ParrucChiara”. Mentre ammirano l’erba sintetica del presbiterio, una cliente li interpella, lo sguardo complice di chi ha colto un segreto.“Siete qui per qualcuno di famoso?”.“No, signora. Siamo in gita aziendale”.La donna rimane interdetta, gli invasori non somigliano a impiegati in vacanza, anche se adesso si concedono un caffè, come nella classica pausa da viaggio organizzato.In realtà, vero motivo della sosta è proprio la visita a questo scatolone grigio di negozi brianzoli, definito “mega” in un tempo remoto, il 1984, quando il gigantismo padano era ancora bambino. Oggi una struttura del genere, circa 2.500 metri quadrati, impallidisce di fronte al maxiprogetto del nuovo supermercato Esselunga di Vimercate sud, con 3mila metri quadrati solo per il settore alimentare e 1.800 per gli altri prodotti.

Source: Piccolo tour del disastro nella pianura padana – Wu Ming 2 – Internazionale

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2017 in European Union

 

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Congratulations, President Macron – Now We Oppose You

Prior to the second round of the French Presidential election, DiEM25 (the pan-European movement of democrats, mostly of the left, that I helped to found) promised Emmanuel Macron that we would “mobilize fully to help” him defeat Marine Le Pen. This we did – incurring the wrath of many on the left – because maintaining “an equal distance between Macron and Le Pen,” we believed, was “inexcusable.”But there was a second part to our promise to Macron: if he “becomes merely another functionary of Europe’s deep establishment,” pursuing dead-end, already-failed neoliberalism, we “will oppose him no less energetically than we are – or should be – opposing Le Pen now.”

Source: Congratulations, President Macron – Now We Oppose You by Yanis Varoufakis – Project Syndicate

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2017 in European Union

 

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Don’t believe the liberals – there is no real choice between Le Pen and Macron

The title of a comment piece which appeared in The Guardian, the UK voice of the anti-Assange-pro-Hillary liberal left, says it all: “Le Pen is a far-right Holocaust revisionist. Macron isn’t. Hard choice?”

Predictably, the text proper begins with: “Is being an investment banker analogous with being a Holocaust revisionist? Is neoliberalism on a par with neofascism?” and mockingly dismisses even the conditional leftist support for the second-round Macron vote, the stance of: “I’d now vote Macron – VERY reluctantly.”

This is liberal blackmail at its worst: one should support Macron unconditionally; it doesn’t matter that he is a neoliberal centrist, just that he is against Le Pen. It’s the old story of Hillary versus Trump: in the face of the fascist threat, we should all gather around her banner (and conveniently forget how her side brutally outmanoeuvred Sanders and thus contributed to losing the election).

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2017 in European Union

 

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Perché le ong che salvano vite nel Mediterraneo sono sotto attacco

Nel fine settimana del 15 e 16 aprile sono state soccorse al largo della Libia 8.300 persone in 55 diverse operazioni condotte dalle navi delle organizzazioni non governative e dalle navi militari, i soccorsi sono stati coordinati dalla centrale operativa della guardia costiera di Roma. L’aumento degli arrivi è in parte da attribuire al miglioramento delle condizioni del mare, tuttavia ha riacceso le polemiche che negli ultimi mesi hanno coinvolto le organizzazioni umanitarie che si occupano di soccorrere i migranti nel Mediterraneo. Il leader della Lega nord Matteo Salvini ha minacciato di “denunciare il governo italiano” per aver soccorso migliaia di persone al largo della Libia. Anche il leader dei cinquestelle Beppe Grillo sul suo blog ha parlato “del ruolo oscuro delle ong”.

Source: Perché le ong che salvano vite nel Mediterraneo sono sotto attacco  – Annalisa Camilli – Internazionale

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2017 in European Union

 

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Freeing up the rich to exploit the poor – that’s what Trump and Brexit are about

Propaganda works by sanctifying a single value, such as faith, or patriotism. Anyone who questions it puts themselves outside the circle of respectable opinion. The sacred value is used to obscure the intentions of those who champion it. Today, the value is freedom. Freedom is a word that powerful people use to shut down thought.When thinktanks and the billionaire press call for freedom, they are careful not to specify whose freedoms they mean. Freedom for some, they suggest, means freedom for all. In certain cases, this is true. You can exercise freedom of thought, for instance, without harming others. In other cases, one person’s freedom is another’s captivity.

Source: Freeing up the rich to exploit the poor – that’s what Trump and Brexit are about | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2017 in Economy, Europe, European Union

 

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Battle for the French presidency

We are entering an era in politics in which statements beginning ‘It would be the first time that…’ often announce that something previously inconceivable may be about to happen. This French presidential election is the first in which the Front National (FN) going through to the second round is not in doubt: there is a possibility (still highly improbable) that it might win. For the first time, no one is defending the record of the past five years, even though two of the outgoing president’s former ministers are standing: Benoît Hamon of the Socialist Party (PS) and Emmanuel Macron of En Marche! (Forward!). It is also the first time that the candidates from the PS and the right, which have governed France since the beginning of the Fifth Republic, could both be eliminated in the first round.

Source: Battle for the French presidency, by Serge Halimi (Le Monde diplomatique – English edition, April 2017)

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2017 in European Union

 

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I libri che smontano il mito del colonialismo buono degli italiani 

La sera del 21 marzo 2017 la sala del cinema Farnese a Roma è piena. I giovani sono molti.L’occasione d’altronde è di quelle da non perdere: la proiezione del documentario di Raoul Peck I’m not your negro, basato su uno scritto inedito di James Baldwin. Il documentario ripercorre con intelligenza e sentimento la stagione afroamericana dei diritti civili e le vicende di tre personaggi – Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers – uccisi per il loro impegno contro il razzismo. Peck è un regista che non dà tregua. Ogni fotogramma è un invito a non abbassare la guardia, a non nascondersi dietro il velo del conformismo.Sa come ferirci con immagini di linciaggi reali o ricostruiti per lo schermo. Sa come scuotere le coscienze assopite o troppo impaurite per agire. E vediamo in ogni inquadratura quel corpo nero, quel popolo nero, maltrattato, umiliato, annientato, polverizzato. Un corpo che a seconda delle esigenze del potere diventa portatore delle ansie e della cattiva coscienza di un’intera nazione.

Source: I libri che smontano il mito del colonialismo buono degli italiani – Igiaba Scego – Internazionale

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in European Union

 

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We cannot deal with Islamist terrorism alone. Using security as a Brexit bargaining chip is a dangerous game

This is Theresa May in her Article 50 letter on a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU: “In security terms, a failure to reach agreement would mean our cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened.” Then we had Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, talking about Britain’s contribution to Europol: “If we left, we would take our information with us.”

And this is Alex Younger, the head of MI6, in his first public speech three months ago addressing the issue of Brexit and security: “The need for the deepest cooperation can only grow. And I am determined that MI6 remains a ready and highly effective partner, just as the UK is and will be. These partnerships save lives in all our countries.”

Whose views should the people of this country, a week after the Westminster attack, believe offers greater protection against terrorism? The chief of the intelligence service? Or politicians trying to use public safety as a bargaining tool?

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-article-50-security-services-islamist-terrorism-mi6-interpol-europe-european-arrest-warrant-a7658486.html

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Europe, European Union

 

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Demain, une ville sans voiture ?

Hôtel de ville de Paris. Dans son bureau aux tons clairs encombré de papiers, Christophe Najdovski, adjoint EELV à la maire de la capitale, Anne Hidalgo, se lève soudain pour ouvrir la fenêtre donnant sur la très encombrée rue de Rivoli. « Regardez, lance l’édile chargé des transports, en désignant l’embouteillage plusieurs étages plus bas. Si on enlevait les carrosseries des véhicules pour ne laisser que les personnes, on verrait qu’il y a moins de monde sur la chaussée que de piétons sur les trottoirs. » « Remettre la voiture à sa juste place », c’est ainsi que M. Najdovski définit la politique mise en œuvre à Paris, ce qui ne va pas sans grogne et résistance depuis la fermeture d’une partie de la voie sur berge de la rive droite à l’été 2016.
 
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Posted by on April 6, 2017 in European Union

 

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