Distress Of Nations: French anarchists go on rampage over state of emergency extension (VIDEOS)
Civil Unrest Watch! Matthew 24. This blog is just a sample size of the latest from all over the world.
Hundreds of anarchists rioted in the French city of Nantes, showering the city with smoke barrels and paint bombs in defiance of the state of emergency, which was extended by the French parliament for another three months.
Riot police officers cordoned off the streets in a bid to prevent further escalation. One of the protesters hurled a firework at a group of police officers, but, as seen in the video published by Ruptly, the projectile missed the target.
The radicals, armed with homemade shields, held a banner, reading, “Resistance to the state of emergency!” The state of emergency was invoked in France following terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, in which 130 were killed and 350 injured.
The extension of the exceptional measure enables police to put anybody under house arrest without obtaining a court order. Law enforcers can also conduct searches without warrants. Since its implementation in November, more than 3,000 searches have been carried out and nearly 300 people have been placed under house arrest.
Last month, France saw a string of protests across the country calling for the immediate abolishment of the state of emergency. Protests were also leveled against the government’s plans to revoke the French citizenship of dual citizens convicted of crimes related to terrorist activities.
READ MORE: Thousands march to protest state of emergency in France
"The state is allowing itself to take absolutely catastrophic decisions for the life and future of the liberty of France," Youssef Boussoumah, a member of the Indigenes de la Republique party, told RT's Ruptly video agency at the time.
The move has also been severely criticized by various human rights groups. They argue that it hinders the exercise of fundamental freedoms and infringes on people’s rights.
Human Rights Watch has published a report titled: “France: Abuses Under State of Emergency”. It accuses the police of abuse of power in carrying out searches and arrests.
“Police burst into homes, restaurants, or mosques; broke people’s belongings; terrified children; and placed restrictions on people’s movements so severe that they lost income or suffered physically,” the report reads, urging the repeal of the measure and to halt discriminatory police practices.
John of Vaiguerro(13th century):
"Spoliation, pillage, and devastation of that most famous city, capital and mistress in France. This will occur when the Church and world are grievously troubled. The Pope will change his residence and the Church will not be defended for twenty five months or so because during this period there would be no Pope in Rome, no emperor nor ruler in France.
Predicting a coming Russian revolution has been a favorite hobby of Russia watchers for years now. But since President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the doomsaying has intensified, as plunging oil prices and Western economic sanctions wreak havoc on the Russian economy. Yet even though the ruble has lost over half its value, inflation has risen from 5 percent to 16 percent and Russians’ purchasing power has dropped to 1990s levels, Putin’s approval ratings have so far remained close to a near-miraculous 80 percent thanks to a heady mix of military adventures and a barrage of patriotic propaganda.
There are gathering signs, though, that the Kremlin is bracing for a possible end to this period of national togetherness and is preparing for a possible wave of unrest. “If 2014 was the year that Russia went rogue, 2015 was the year that the costs of that course became manifest for Russians,” wrote Brian Whitmore recently on U.S.-funded Radio Liberty’s influential The Power Vertical Blog. “And next year should be when we learn whether Vladimir Putin’s regime will be able to bear those costs.”
In December, the Russian Duma rushed through a bill that allows state security officers to shoot at women (except, bizarrely, if they “appear pregnant”), children and disabled people “in cases of a terror act or armed attack.” The law also hands the officers the right to enter private property to “maintain public security in emergency situations and during mass civil unrest.” The OMON riot police, deployed in the tens of thousands during mass protests against Putin’s return to the presidency in 2011, has seen its budget ring-fenced, while the rest of the police downsizes by 10 percent. At the same time, Russia’s Interior Ministry has quintupled its order of a brand-new version of the RGS-50M grenade launcher, which was designed during the dying days of the Soviet regime in 1989 to fire tear gas and rubber bullets. “They are cheap to produce and effective to use,” an enthusiastic spokesman for the Degtyarev factory told the Russian news agency TASS, which ran the story prominently.
On December 15, a new barbed-wire fence was installed around Ostankino, Moscow’s central TV studio, making it harder for crowds to break in, as they did during anti-Kremlin protests in October 1993. Authorities also swapped the studio’s regular security guards for elite troops from the KGB’s successor agency, the Federal Security Service. Television has been crucial to creating the wave of patriotic fervor that has kept Putin popular even as prices rise and living standards fall—what Russians call the battle between the television and the refrigerator. Right now, the refrigerator seems to be winning: According to a recent poll by the independent Levada Center in Moscow, Russians’ trust in the TV news has slipped from 79 percent in 2009 to just 41 percent today.
"Of course, [the Kremlin] understands that this is going to be a hard year, politically and economically,” says Anton Krasovsky, a blogger and former anchor at NTV television in Russia who was fired last year for saying "a gay is just a person, like Putin." Krasovsky adds: “There is no more money for social spending, no money for increasing salaries to teachers, doctors, firemen.… But the priority is to prepare the way for Putin to remain president after [elections] in 2018."
So far, the Kremlin has kept discontent at bay with the age-old expedient of providing a steady diet of enemies to blame for Russia’s problems—the Americans, the Ukrainians and now the Turks.
Three-quarters of Russians still blame the West for their economic woes, according to a recent study by the Institute of Sociology, part of Russia’s Academy of Sciences—but the authors warned that within a year to 18 months this collective delusion will probably wear off, and people could begin to blame their rulers instead. Sixty percent of respondents reported that their standard of living had declined over the last year, and just 38 percent said they were willing to “make further sacrifices to defeat Russia’s enemies.”
Over the past few weeks, there have been increasing indicators of discontent. Truckers went on strike in December to protest new tolls administered by Putin cronies, bringing Moscow traffic to a halt. Doctors and teachers also went on strike over pay and conditions in Central Russia. Shocking allegations about a business empire of the son of Yury Chaika, Russia’s prosecutor general and a close Putin ally, were circulated broadly on the Internet. And prominent businessman Dmitry Potapenko during the Moscow Economic Forum, an annual gathering of Russia’s top business leaders, publicly accused Kremlin-protected state bureaucrats of strangling businesses through massive corruption at the Moscow Economic Forum.
“You can expect a visit from men in uniform the moment your business takes off,” said Potapenko, who runs a chain of supermarkets and a carpet factory. “Now there’s less money, and the budget has to be plugged with something. [State officials] already muscled in on property a long time ago. Now all that’s left are the businesses in the service industry.” Nearly 2 million viewers watched his speech online.
That kind of public dissent appears to have rattled the Kremlin—and the Kremlin appears to be responding. In December, the Federal Guard Service—Putin’s personal praetorian guard—was repurposed and deployed to all of Russia’s provinces to act as an early-warning system for social unrest. Irina Makiyeva, a former state bank executive, has been drafted to head a working group to identify potential trouble spots for industrial unrest around Russia. The service will be conducting polling to assess citizens’ levels of discontent, Makiyeva told the Russian cabinet in a televised session: “We’re ready for things to get worse in some sectors. We conduct constant monitoring, especially in the problem cities.” Makiyeva’s team has developed a green, yellow and red classification system to identify potential unrest. It has also worked out a velvet glove–iron fist package of emergency economic aid and heavy police action to identify and arrest agitators should any protests arise.
“Every action of [Kremlin chief of staff] Vyacheslav Volodin is based absolutely on this so-called closed polling,” says Mikhail Zygar, former editor-in-chief of the opposition Dozd TV and author of the best-selling All the Kremlin’s Men, a study of the Putin regime. “These polls confirm that everything they’re doing is right, that Putin is popular and the people love him. And the polls are absolutely consistent. [The Kremlin is] sure that there will be no uprisings.”
If that’s true, why is the Kremlin taking so many pre-emptive security measures? Mark Galeotti, a Russia expert at New York University, argued in a recent article on Russia!, the independent online magazine, that the Kremlin’s real purpose is to create a “theater of tyranny. A style of governance which actively encourages the appearance of being tougher and nastier than it really is, and at the same time enthusiastically telegraphs that it could be tougher and nastier still.” Just as Russia’s foreign policy in Syria, for instance, is all about projecting ruthlessness and great-power status by using a tiny military force, so its domestic policy is all about cowing protest before it happens. “Both depend on making Russia appear not only stronger than it is, but more ruthless, unpredictable and downright crazy, so it seems easier to accommodate than challenge it,” wrote Galeotti. “And it works really well.”
Theater or not, some very real victims have been scapegoated to discourage future protest. A handful of activists arrested at mass protests in 2011 and at isolated demonstrations since have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to four years. And just in case exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky had planned on making trouble in Russia, prosecutors last month charged him with murder, effectively ensuring that he won’t return to his homeland.
But for the Kremlin to truly stifle any chance of unrest once and for all, Russia would have to become prosperous again. In an era of low oil prices, that would mean becoming competitive—which would require the state to create a functioning and fair judicial system and suppress the predatory instincts of the bureaucratic and securocratic class. But that would mean dismantling the very basis of the kleptocratic system that Putin has built. So the Russian president is left with two basic tools: repression and patriotic fervor. They have served him well so far. The question is whether the Russian people will continue to believe the television after the refrigerators stand empty.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said that Anton Krasovsky was fired for being HIV-positive. While he did announce that he had the virus last year—to much controversy—he was fired for saying: "A gay is just a person, like Putin."
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations
Protesters worldwide decry Saudi execution of top Shiite cleric
Prepare Your Homes And Neighborhoods For The Violence That Is Going To Sweep America
The thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted on a daily basis is beginning to disappear, and a new era of chaos and anarchy is coming to our cities. I don’t know if you have noticed, but violence is increasing on the streets of America. Over Memorial Day weekend, 29 people were shot in Baltimore and 55 people were shot in Chicago. But of course the trend that I am talking about is much broader than that. According to the FBI, the number of police officers “feloniously killed” in the line of duty rose by an astounding 89 percentin 2015. We live at a time when Americans are becoming extremely angry and extremely frustrated, and this is only going to intensify as economic conditions worsen. But already we have seen some of this anger and frustration boil over into violence in Ferguson and in Baltimore. And you know what? The vast majority of Americans expect more of the same in the coming months. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey that was recently released,96 percent of all Americans believe that there will be more civil unrest in America this summer. What we have seen up until now is just the warm up act. The main event is still to come.
Thousands Flood The Streets In Germany As Fury Over Refugee Sex Assaults Reaches Boiling Point
New riot in Dutch town against refugee centre
The Hague (AFP) - Clashes erupted late Monday in a small Dutch town during violent protests against the planned opening of a centre for asylum seekers, Dutch media and officials said.
In a repeat of scenes seen in several Dutch towns and villages since late last year amid growing tensions over record numbers of migrants, police intervened to disperse about 1,000 people who rallied in central Heesch.
It was not immediately clear from police how many people had been arrested and whether anyone was injured.
The riot came only hours after populist far-right politician Geert Wilders called for Islamic male refugees to be kept locked up in asylum centres, saying such a move was needed to protect Dutch women after the New Year's Eve assaults in Cologne, Germany.
A Facebook page "Protest AZC Heesch" -- which had over 3,000 likes -- had called for supporters to join a rally from 7:00pm (1800 GMT) outside the town hall in Heesch. "AZC" is Dutch shorthand for an asylum seekers centre.
Town officials aimed to hold a public meeting around 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) to discuss plans to house some 500 refugees in the town over the next ten years.
But the atmosphere turned nasty, and the meeting was abandoned as dozens of protesters tried to storm the town hall, the Dutch news agency ANP said.
A group of protesters threw fireworks and eggs at the building which was evacuated, sources told ANP.
A message posted on the town's website from the mayor, Marieke Moorman, said the town "had given police extra powers" after a "demonstration ran out of control."
Police restored calm later in the evening.
In December, Dutch police fired warning shots to disperse a demonstration in the town of Geldermalsen against a planned refugee centre for some 1,500 migrants.
There have been several other outbreaks of violence as Dutch officials have sought to explain the country's migrant policy.
Europe is grappling with its biggest influx of refugees since World War II with more than 1.1 million people having arrived on its shores, most fleeing conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and poverty in Africa.
But the crisis has polarised opinion in the Netherlands, which by mid-November had already taken in a record 54,000 asylum seekers.
Fuelling the debate, Wilders said in a new video for his Freedom Party (PVV) Monday that "I propose that we lock the male asylum seekers up in the asylum centres."
His party is riding high in popular opinion with the latest polls suggesting that if elections were held today it would snatch the largest bulk of seats in the Lower House -- 36 out of 150 -- enough to force talks about building a coalition government.
On Friday, we got confirmation of what everyone already knew: the Greek economy is still mired in recession. GDP contracted 0.6% in Q4 after shrinking 1.4% in Q3.
We also found out that Greek farmers have most assuredly not calmed down since they parked their tractors in the middle of the street blocking traffic late last month.
Why are the farmers mad, you ask? Well, they’re not particularly enamored with the idea of having their social security contributions tripled and their income tax doubled as part of PM Alexis Tsipras’ push to satisfy creditors in Brussels who, six months after the country’s third bailout program was agreed, aren’t satisfied with the pace of fiscal consolidation.
So what do you do when you’re an angry farmer from Crete hell bent on demonstrating just how frustrated you are with a government which just a little over a year ago, swept to power with promises to roll back austerity? You grab your shepherd's crook and some tomatoes and you storm the Agriculture Ministry in Athens.Below, find the dramatic footage of farmers gone wild.