US State Propaganda Outlets Censor Black Lives Matter Protests

With a budget that hovers around $100 million, RFE/RL broadcasts to something like to 22 countries in 26 languages. And the same censorship regime extends to just about every RFE/RL language division.

I’ve looked at about a dozen of them. Most have no coverage of the protests at all. A couple — like the Russian and Afghanistan division — do have a tiny protest stories, but they are given very little attention.

In the case of RFE/RL’s Russian coverage, the protests are presented from the most reactionary perspective possible: denying racism and blaming the violence on organized armed anarchist communist groups — aka Antifa.

In short: Radio Liberty (originally known as “Radio Liberation from Bolshevism”) blames everything on radical anarchist bolsheviks!

Continue reading

Shell AGM Targeted Throughout Europe

The Hague– After a night of autonomous decentralised actions, the group ‘Shell Must Fall!’ protests in front of the Shell Headquarters in the Hague during their annual shareholders meeting. Decentralised actions have taken place in several Dutch cities, as well as in Belgium, Czechia and Germany. The disastrous impacts of Shells business as usual have been spray painted on tankstations, banners have been dropped, slogans have been chalked. Right now, three petrol stations are occupied in Prague. Amongst other places, more protest will take place in Denmark and Portugal later in the day. The protestors demand public decommissioning of Shell, because the company continues to choose profit over climate, nature, and lives. 

Continue reading

Four Scenarios For Europe’s Future After The Crisis

It’s now clear the Covid-19 pandemic will have major, long-term consequences. In the European Union, the very foundations of European integration are being questioned.

The EU is defined by its ‘pillars’: the single market and free movement, the euro and the Stability and Growth Pact, and competition and state-aid law. These three pillars are being shaken by the pandemic and they are sure to be at the centre of debates on the future of Europe. The post-crisis EU—assuming it survives—could have very different foundations if the questioning of the three pillars continues. But in which global environment is this set to happen? There are four possible scenarios.

The first (contrary to what I have written before) is a possible return to neoliberal orthodoxy—a  bit like the previous crisis (2008-13), when Europe reverted even more radically to neoliberal fundamentals after a more or less green recovery in 2009.

Continue reading

France And Germany Join 10 EU Countries In Call For Green Recovery

Paris and Berlin have added their names to a growing list of EU capitals asking for the European Green Deal to be placed at the heart of the EU’s post-pandemic recovery plan.

The Green Deal “must be central to a resilient recovery after COVID-19,” EU environment ministers wrote in an opinion piece published on Climate Home News, a specialised information site.

“The Green Deal provides us with a roadmap to make the right choices in responding to the economic crisis while transforming Europe into a sustainable and climate neutral economy,” the ministers wrote in the commentary piece.

“We should withstand the temptations of short-term solutions in response to the present crisis that risk locking the EU in a fossil fuel economy for decades to come,” the text reads.

Continue reading

Europe Sends Medical Aid To Iran Using Sanctions Workaround

In the first transaction of its kind, France, Germany and Britain have sent medical goods to Iran under a trade mechanism set up to bypass US sanctions against Tehran.

In January 2019, the three European countries, known as the E3, developed the trade mechanism — dubbed INSTEX — as a workaround to export goods to Iran.

“INSTEX and its Iranian counterpart STFI will work on more transactions and enhancing the mechanism,” the German Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “These goods are now in Iran.”

The German Foreign Ministry did not specify what was included in the shipment, only confirming its arrival. Citing people familiar with the transaction, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that “the sale was equipment related to blood treatment from a German exporter.”

Continue reading

Report On 6th European Left Congress: ‘Reset Europe Go Left’

From December 13 to 15, 2019 members of the European Left held their sixth Congress in Malaga, Spain.

The European Left describes itself as:

“The Party of the European Left is a political party at the European level which was formed in 2004. Member and observer parties of the EL are socialist, communist, red-green and other democratic left parties. Their basic principles and political aims are laid down in the EL Manifesto from 2004. Membership to the EL is open to any left party and political organization in Europe that agrees with the EL Manifesto and accepts the EL statutes.”

Below are videos and the political document that came out of the Congress. Read the political document here or scroll below the videos.

Continue reading

In And Against The European Union?

The government of the Portuguese Socialist Party supported and pressured by an alliance with the Communist Party and the Left Bloc have shown that it is possible to implement an effective anti-austerity programme as a member of the EU. This entailed successfully standing up to EU negotiators and facing down their repeated opposition to the government’s measures, leading to tough but ultimately successful negotiations. The result was a reversal of all the austerity measures introduced under the supervision of the Troika by the previous conservative government, while remaining within the EU’s 3% deficit limit.

From the Portuguese standpoint, the success of these negotiations depended on a favourable balance of power reinforcing the government’s bargaining position.

Continue reading

Goodbye Dollar. It Was Nice Knowing You

Over the past two years, the White House has initiated trade disputes, insulted allies and enemies alike, and withdrawn from or refused to ratify multinational treaties and agreements. It has also expanded the reach of its unilaterally imposed rules, forcing other nations to abide by its demands or face economic sanctions. While the stated Trump Administration intention has been to enter into new arrangements more favorable to the United States, the end result has been quite different, creating a broad consensus within the international community that Washington is unstable, not a reliable partner and cannot be trusted.

Continue reading

Theresa May Was A Bad PM, But Her Resignation Will Do Nothing To Arrest Britain’s Long-Term Decline

There is a story about an enthusiastic American who took a phlegmatic English friend to see the Niagara Falls. “Isn’t that amazing?” exclaimed the American. “Look at that vast mass of water dashing over that enormous cliff!” “But what,” asked the Englishman, “is to stop it?” My father, Claud Cockburn, used to tell this fable to illustrate what, as a reporter in New York on the first day of the Wall Street Crash on 24 October 1929, it was like to watch a great and unstoppable disaster taking place.

Continue reading

Europe: Greens Surge, Older Parties Erode, Far Right Also Gains

Green parties made stunning gains in the European Elections, due to the strength of many younger voters, the grass roots insurgency of ecological school strikes and marches, and the tenacity of Green Party activists.

The older mainstream parties, both center-right and social democratic, received a mix of drubbing demotions and eroding support.

The far right nationalists also made gains, notably in France and Italy. The far right also gained less dramatically in Germany. See below for stories describing the election results.

Continue reading

Defense Of European Empires Was Original NATO Goal

From the outset Canadian officials had an incredibly expansive definition of NATO’s supposed defensive character, which says an “attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all allies.” As part of the Parliamentary debate over NATO external minister Lester Pearson said: “There is no better way of ensuring the security of the Pacific Ocean at this particular moment than by working out, between the great democratic powers, a security arrangement the effects of which will be felt all over the world, including the Pacific area.”

Continue reading

Protests Across Europe Highlight Rifts Over Copyright Bill

European Union – Tens of thousands of people across Europe staged protests on Saturday against the European Union’s planned copyright reform bill.

In Germany alone, 40 rallies took place, alongside demonstrations in Sweden, Poland, Switzerland, Austria and Portugal.

Munich police said 40,000 protesters turned out under the motto “Save our internet.” Organizers said Berlin’s protest (pictured above) drew 30,000, with participants walking past the center of Germany’s collaborative Wikipedia online encyclopedia. Police put the number of protesters at 10,000.

Continue reading

Exxon Could Be Next US Corporation To Face EU Lobby Ban

ExxonMobil could soon join Monsanto as one of the only two companies not allowed to lobby European Union lawmakers.

The oil giant, one of the world’s largest energy companies, was a no-show at a climate change denial hearing in Brussels Thursday, prompting the action. 

In a statement, ExxonMobil said that it was unable to attend because of “ongoing climate change-related litigation in the U.S.”

That wasn’t good enough for Molly Scott Cato, a Green Party member of the European Parliament. In a statement, Green said a company which had spent millions on climate denial and then ducked responsibility for its actions didn’t deserve the right to promote itself in the EU. 

Continue reading

European Court Of Justice Orders EU Regulators To Publicly Release Secret Industry Glyphosate Studies

Glyphosate is a chemical product used in pesticides which are plant protection products and is one of the most widely used herbicides in the EU. Glyphosate was included on the list of active substances for the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2012. That listing was temporarily extended until 31 December 2015. In view of the renewal of approval of the active substance glyphosate, Germany, as Rapporteur Member State, submitted to the Commission and to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) a ‘draft renewal assessment report’, published by EFSA on 12 March 2014.

Continue reading

Venezuela: EU Spurns Violent Intervention For Peaceful Solution

“It is very clear: we must avoid military intervention,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. The European Union is urging the world to abandon a “militarized intervention” into Venezuela, calling for dialogue to develop a “peaceful, political, and democratic” solution to the nation’s domestic political differences. “What is explicitly quite clear, from our perspective, is that we need a peaceful political and democratic and Venezuelan-owned resolution which obviously excludes the use of force,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Continue reading