Demonstration in Paris says “NO!” to the state of emergency, January 30, 2016 | LDH
By CHRISTIAN LEGEAIS
The second and final round of France’s Presidential election takes place on Sunday, May 7. The official results published by the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic, following the first round held on April 23, determined that Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen received the most votes (24.01 per cent and 21.30 per cent, respectively) and will compete in the second round.
Far from contributing to the resolution of the social, economic, cultural and political problems which plague French society, the election results will further aggravate the crisis in which the French nation-state is mired. In the first place, it is indisputable that the two contending candidates deprive the working class of its own voice in this election. On the elections themselves, there is nothing free or fair about them. They are being held under a government of police powers, in the conditions of a state of emergency which has become permanent after two years. The stated purpose of this état d’urgence is to “reclaim lawless areas” (“zones de non-droit”) — working class cities and suburbs — and to pacify resistance to the neo-liberal agenda. The Ministry of the Interior reinforced this state of emergency for the first round of voting. More than 50,000 police officers and gendarmes (including 12,000 for Paris alone) with 7,000 Sentinel Operation soldiers were mobilized to “secure” the 67,000 polling stations. This is one quarter of the total number of law enforcement personnel in France, and the same scenario will be repeated during the second round on May 7. Continue reading
“Should I not let it be known to later generations that Alexander Petion is the true liberator of my country?” said Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan leader who liberated South America from Spanish rule, to Alexandre Petion, the first president of Haiti. Continue reading
Haitian people step up their heroic resistance
Monument in Cap Haitien dedicated to those who fought in the Battle of Vertières in November 1803, the decisive conflict of the Haitian revolution.
January 1, 2017 marked the 213th anniversary of the Haitian Revolution. Beginning in 1791, the organized resistance of the enslaved peoples of the French colony of Saint-Domingue took hold and eventually overthrew both slavery and colonial rule. The revolutionaries led by Toussaint L’Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines fought off successive European powers — the French, Spanish and British — to proudly establish their independent republic, Haiti, in 1804. Continue reading
BERLIN/N’DJAMENA/BAMAKO (October 14) – Berlin is using today’s visit of Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, to enhance its rapidly growing military influence in West Africa. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to Africa early this week has already revealed Germany’s growing military importance on the African continent. According to reports, a “change” can already be noted, particularly in Mali. Traditionally within France’s exclusive sphere of influence, the EU, “fundamentally under German leadership,” is now increasingly determining that country’s development. The German government is also expanding the Bundeswehr’s activities and the supply of military hardware to Niger and Chad, along with the construction of a military base in Niger’s capital Niamey. Berlin is also seeking to obtain influence in the war against Boko Haram in Nigeria. The first agreements on support measures had already been reached with Nigeria last year. Germany is enhancing its network of influence in West Africa by increasing the deployment of expeditionary troops, the establishment of military bases and by supplying military aid. This could possibly reduce France’s traditional political and military predominance in its former colonies.
On the Important Questions of War and Peace
July 1 marks the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme. It is commemorated in Newfoundland as Memorial Day – the 100th anniversary of the slaughter of 732 Newfoundlanders from the Newfoundland Regiment who either lay dead, wounded or were presumed missing near the French village of Beaumont-Hamel. Ordered “over the top” by their officers, during an assault that lasted approximately 30 minutes the regiment was all but wiped out. Newfoundland, as a colonial dominion of the British Empire, was automatically at war when Britain declared it. Continue reading
THE EUROPEAN UNION OF THE MONOPOLIES
The Merchants of Death – lithograph by Mabel Dwight
German and French foreign ministers issue call for a “European Security Compact,” maintaining “employable high-readiness forces” and establishing “standing maritime forces.” Steinmeier and Ayrault write that to “plan and conduct civil and military operations more effectively,” the EU should institute a “permanent civil-military chain of command.” The creation of a “European FBI” is also on the agenda. Continue reading
With the attendance of Fernando González Llort, Hero of the Republic of Cuba and Vice President of ICAP, a flower offering was laid at the foot of the bust of the Third World leader El Mehdi Ben Barka on the 50th anniversary of his assassination on October 29, 1965 in Paris, France in a solemn ceremony held at the Havana headquarters of the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAL). Continue reading