Archive for the ‘Open Borders/Immigration Controls’ Category
by Marisela Trevin
April 10, 2017
It was as if an unspoken, mutually protective code of silence had been established among the candidates leading the polls in this year’s French presidential debates. Despite their scandal-ridden campaigns, against the backdrop of the collapse of the traditional French party system, neither Fillon, of the right-wing party The Republicans, nor Le Pen, of the far-right National Front, had been asked to answer to the multiple accusations against them regarding the misappropriation of public funds.
Piercing the bubble
Unlike the first debate, in which only five of the eleven presidential candidates had participated, the second debate on April 4 featured all of the candidates, including the New Anti-Capitalist Party’s Philippe Poutou, who made it a point to pierce the French political establishment’s bubble before millions of viewers, while expressing the need for a radical change in French politics and society.
Fillon smiled rigidly, then affected outrage and threatened to sue as Poutou exposed his hypocrisy. “Fillon says he’s worried about the debt, but he thinks less about the matter when he’s dipping into the public treasury,” he quipped. “These guys tell us that we need austerity and then they misappropriate public funds.”
Marine Le Pen was rendered speechless when Poutou addressed her own scandals, which had been widely covered by the media, like those of Fillon, but for which she had not been held accountable in the debates until then. “Then we have Le Pen. (…) She takes money from the public treasury as well. Not here, but in Europe. She’s anti-European, so she doesn’t mind taking money from Europe. And what’s worse, the National Front, which claims to be against the system, doesn’t mind seeking protection from the system’s laws. So she’s refused to appear before the court when she was summoned by the police.” When Le Pen replied “So in this case, you’re in favor of the police,” Poutou retorted “When we get summoned by the police, we don’t have workers’ immunity.” The audience burst into applause.
The contrast could not be starker. On one hand, the political establishment’s rigid, highly-groomed candidates, stuck to their tired playbooks. On the other, a factory worker dressed in a (more…)
by Daphna Whitmore
“Auckland is creaking under the weight of too many people and not enough investment in infrastructure” according to Phil Twyford, Labour’s spokesman for housing. Twyford is again calling for cuts to immigration, after his shameful anti-Chinese campaign last year. Instead of saying let’s invest and build to make this a haven for people in need Twyford was taking a moment to bang the anti-immigration drum again.
“The Te Atatu MP said migrants were very important to New Zealand’s growth, but it was no good if the city could not house them or they were stuck in traffic jams.” So, migrants are just fodder for ‘growth’ according to Twyford. While National are also opposed to the free movement of people, they are far less inclined to peddle blatant xenophobia. (more…)
by Juan Cruz Ferre
President Trump gave the order to open a new front in the Syrian war Thursday evening. The US Navy launched 59 Tomahawk missiles hitting the ground at Al Shayrat airfield in Syria, site from where the chemical weapons were allegedly launched.
This marks a qualitative shift in the US policies towards the country since the civil war started and a stark departure from Trump’s own campaign promises of trying to collaborate with Russia to curb the Islamic State.
The situation escalated after the use of chemical weapons on Tuesday in the opposition-held province of Idlib, killing 80 people. France and the UK blamed Assad’s regime for the chemical attack, while Russia accused armed opposition groups of keeping chemical weapons stored in facilities bombed by the Syrian air force.
With a disingenuous rhetoric of defending the children from Assad’s regime, Trump ordered the direct airstrikes Thursday evening, marking a break with the previous policy on Syria of no formal military intervention in the government-held territory, while maintaining covert military and financial support of opposition militias, and direct bombing of the areas in control of ISIS.
Trump laid the ground for a military intervention early (more…)
by Daphna Whitmore
While Trump’s visa bans and a wall across the US-Mexico border are rightly seen as abhorrent, Labour and the Greens advocate a pretty high wall of immigration restrictions here in New Zealand.
Labour is facing criticism of its long simmering anti-immigration campaign and it is being called out as hypocritical for denouncing Trump while indulging in dog whistle politics.
The latest comments come from Peter Dunne who notes that Labour “talks about new migrants as problems, rather than as people”. He goes on to point out this “is exactly the same ‘us versus them’ narrative that contributes to reactionary and damaging policy regarding immigration”.
The picture below appeared on Mike Alewitz’s facebook page. Mike is a longtime left activist and artist in the States. It’s a great variation on – and far more inspiring than – the old Pastor Niemoller quote about they came for this group of people and then that group of people etc and no-one resisted. Mike made the following comment:
“One of the glorious aspects of the recent demonstrations is the lack of pre-printed signs and banners handed out by Democratic Party hacks and union bureaucrats.
“Instead we have seen an explosion of creative sign making – hand lettered messages that are funny, emotional, insightful and clever. These works are giving genuine expression to the aspirations of tens of thousands of workers, artists and activists.
“Here is a favorite of mine – artist and photographer unknown.
“This kind of organic art has always been around, but Donald Trump has definitely been an outstanding inspiration!
“(As both a professional sign painter and professor emeritus of street art, I heartily endorse this development).”