Biden’s “World Summit for Democracy”: The Contours of Future Military Alliances?
By Alan Benjamin
On December 9 and 10, U.S. President Joe Biden hosted a “World Summit for Democracy” via videoconference.
The U.S. administration drew up the list of countries that were invited to this summit – and therefore those that were excluded. It is Washington that decides who is “democratic” and who is not – with the United States claiming, of course, that it is indisputably the first among the “democratic” countries. [See the Open Forum section in this issue for the true face of the so-called U.S. democracy.]
Excluded from the summit, in particular, were China and Russia, but so were Recep Erdogan’s Turkey and Viktor Orban’s Hungary – both of which are members of NATO. The latter’s exclusion, according to the mainstream media, was because “Washington wished to send a clear message that there was no question of inviting countries that trample on democratic ideals on a daily basis.” (RFI, December 3)
Which are some of the “democratic” countries invited by Biden to the summit?
The list includes the Pakistani regime, the State of Israel (which just falsely labeled six Palestinian human rights organizations as “terrorists”), the fundamentalist Catholic government of Poland, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, and India’s ultra-reactionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi (who in 2019 attempted to transform India’s 172 million Muslim citizens into second-class citizens).
Among the “democrats” invited by Biden, let’s not forget Juan Guaido, the right-wing Washington lackey who proclaimed himself president of Venezuela, with the support of Donald Trump (and now Joe Biden), despite never having run for president, not to mention his involvement in numerous failed coup attempts against the democratically elected president of Venezuela: Nicolás Maduro.
Let’s also not forget the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who declared on March 5: “I tell the police and the military: If you have an enemy in front of you, a communist rebel, then kill him! Kill them all, finish them off, and make sure they are dead.” Nine trade union leaders and human rights activists were killed, and six others wounded, in the week following this statement.
Also noteworthy is Washington’s invitation to the South African government, a so-called “left-wing” government composed of an alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), the Communist Party, and the COSATU trade union confederation. It’s a government that proved its willingness to repress workers’ independent struggles when it murdered 34 striking Black mineworkers in August 2012 in Marikana.
It is clear, therefore, that the criteria for selecting the lucky invitees to the “Summit for Democracy” has absolutely nothing to do with democracy.
“The strategic interests of the United States are what counts”
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – which brings together leaders from both the Republican and Democratic parties and therefore cannot be suspected of being opposed to the initiatives of the U.S. administration – offers an explanation that is much closer to the truth.
In a November 22 statement, the Carnegie authors write:
“The broader strategic interests of the United States are what matters. Pakistan, the Philippines and Ukraine are all flawed democracies [sic] where corruption and violations of the rule of law are endemic. Yet they are important partners of the United States, whether to counterbalance Chinese influence (Philippines), resist Russian encroachment (Ukraine), or help in the fight against terrorism (Pakistan).”
In reality, Biden is beginning to draw the outlines of future military “alliances” intended to prepare for possible armed interventions [see article below].
Under the false flag of the “struggle for democracy,” the Biden administration, in continuity with its predecessors, is determined to rev up the war machine — to line the pockets of the military-industrial complex, which U.S. companies dominate almost exclusively.
* * * * * * * * * *
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lashes Out Against China
On December 4, a few days before the opening of the Biden “Summit for Democracy,” Biden’s Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, gave a provocative speech directed against China, insisting on the “real differences in interests and values” between Washington and China.
Austin accused China of using its “economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to mount a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system” and harboring the “desire to deprive the United States of its role as a world leader.”
Austin promised to continue and expand joint military maneuvers by the United States and its allies against China. A month earlier, the Pentagon issued an alarming report stating that China will have 700 nuclear-tipped missiles by 2027, raising the prospect of a future nuclear conflict. The United States is the only nuclear power to have used atomic weapons, having done so in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. — A.B.
* * * * *
House Approves Largest-Ever Military Budget to “Answer Threats from China”
On December 7, the House of Representatives approved a $778 billion “Defense” bill, the largest ever, for fiscal year 2022. The bill authorizes $25 billion more in military spending than requested by President Biden. The term “defense” is a misnomer: The U.S. government is the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world,” as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., put it so eloquently.
The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, passed 363 to 70 with the backing of a majority of both Democrats and Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he expects the Senate to pass it without amendments, sending it to the president’s desk for his signature.
Why such an increase in war spending?
The Defense Department’s chief financial officer told DoD News (June 24, 2021) that more funding was needed “to enable the Pacific Deterrence Initiative to answer threats from China and maintain U.S. competitive advantages in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, elaborated further on why this extra funding was so necessary, warning that, “China’s aims could lead to more instability.” Milley continued, “China is expanding its military in a bid to revise the ‘global rule set’ and undo the post-World War II national security framework. China’s investment in its navy, hypersonic missiles, and cyber technologies is designed to ensure that it is a world-leading nation, and the U.S. must modernize to stay ahead.”
The Defense Budget Overview prepared by the Defense Department (DoD) gave more details about the financial needs and aims of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. Its report reads, in part:
“China poses the greatest long-term challenge to the United States, and strengthening deterrence against China will require DoD to work in concert with other instruments of national power. A combat-credible Joint Force will underpin a whole-of-nation approach to competition and ensure that the Nation leads from a position of strength. Accordingly, DoD will prioritize China and its military modernization as our pacing challenge. The Department will continue to modernize its forces, global posture, and operational concepts to ensure that our armed forces are capable of deterring and defending against aggression that undermines the security of both the United States and our allies. …
“The Department must also balance competing challenges that stem from advanced and persistent threats to global security. DoD will remain fully ready to deter and, if necessary, respond to nation-state threats stemming from Russia, Iran, and North Korea, and will continue to disrupt violent extremist organizations that pose transnational and regional threats to U.S. forces and to our allies and partners.” (National Defense, May 28, 2021)
Increasing the “defense” budget is a means to sustain the imperialist war apparatus. It is also a way to step up the pressure and threats, including military threats, against China, which are aimed at completely dismantling State property in China, as was done in the past with regard to the Soviet Union. It is not tolerable for U.S. imperialism that an economy of such considerable dimensions should be controlled by anything other than the quest for profit and therefore the needs of U.S. imperialism itself. — A.B.
* * * * *
UK High Court Decision on Julian Assange: A “Grave Miscarriage of Justice!”
The statement below was prepared by Julian Assange’s U.S. defense committee. It recounts the legal atrocity handed down December 10 by a UK High Court. Assange can now be extradited to the U.S. to face spurious charges under the reactionary Espionage Act.
The struggle for Julian Assange’s freedom must stand today as a central priority for all those who cherish basic democratic rights and freedom. Mobilizing mass support to compel the Biden administration to drop all charges against Assange is critical.
Contact assangedefense.org to contribute and get involved.
* * *
Statement by Assange defense.org :
UK High Court decision “Grave miscarriage of justice,” says Julian Assange’s fiancée
A UK court has overturned an earlier decision blocking the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, where he is accused of publishing true information revealing crimes committed by the U.S. government in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and details of CIA torture and rendition. Julian Assange was not given permission to attend the appeal hearing in person.
The prosecution against Julian Assange is an existential threat to press freedom worldwide. Leading civil liberties groups, including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, ACLU, and Human Rights Watch have called the charges against Julian Assange a “threat to press freedom around the globe.” Journalist unions, including the National Union of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists, have said that “media freedom is suffering lasting damage by the continued prosecution of Julian Assange.” He faces a 175-year prison sentence.
Responding to the decision of the High Court to overturn the lower court’s earlier ruling to block the extradition of Mr. Assange, Stella Moris, Julian Assange’s fiancée, said: “We will appeal this decision at the earliest possible moment.”
Moris described the High Court’s ruling as “dangerous and misguided” and a “grave miscarriage of justice.” “How can it be fair, how can it be right, how can it be possible, to extradite Julian to the very country which plotted to kill him?” she said.
On September 26, CIA plans to assassinate Julian Assange were uncovered in a bombshell report. The detailed investigation revealed that discussions of assassinating Julian Assange in London had occurred “at the highest levels” of the CIA and Trump White House, and that kill “sketches” and “options” had been drawn up on orders of Mike Pompeo, then CIA director. The investigation revealed that plans to kidnap and rendition Assange were far advanced, and the CIA’s operations prompted a political decision to produce charges against him.
Editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson said, “Julian’s life is once more under grave threat, and so is the right of journalists to publish material that governments and corporations find inconvenient. This is about the right of a free press to publish without being threatened by a bullying superpower.”
Amnesty Internationalsays the so-called “assurances” upon which the U.S. government relies “leave Mr. Assange at risk of ill-treatment,” are “inherently unreliable,” and “should be rejected,” adding that they are “discredited by their admission that they reserved the right to reverse those guarantees.” Amnesty concluded that the charges against Assange are “politically motivated” and must be dropped.
Julian Assange and Stella Moris are engaged to be married and have two children, who are British and live in London.
Stella Moris will be giving a statement outside court following the decision; updates via @wikileaks
* * * * * * * * * *
For International Workers’ Action to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and All Anti-Racist and Anti-Imperialist Freedom Fighters!
We invite you to endorse our Call-to-Action and build support for an International Forum.
The online Forum will take place February 1, 2022, starting at 1 p.m. Pacific Time.
Mumia and other political prisoners, many languishing for decades, are imprisoned for their opposition to capitalist, racist oppression, exploitation and repression. Many of these men and women are critically ill. They all need to be released immediately. To free Mumia and these other political prisoners, international workers’ action is necessary.
Speakers for this International Forum include:
● Mumia Abu-Jamal, via recorded statement
• Angela Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz
● Irvin Jim, General Secretary, NUMSA (the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa)
● Muhammad Ahmad (Max Stanford, Jr.) founder, Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM)
● Pam Africa, International Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
● Rachel Wolkenstein, former lawyer for Mumia Abu-Jamal
● Jack Heyman, Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia-Abu-Jamal (LAC), ILWU Local 10 (Ret.)
● Moderated by Cleo Silvers, Black Panther Party Commemoration Committee (BPPCC), Black Panther Party and the Young Lords, League of Revolutionary Black Workers.
Below you will find:
1) The United Front call for this event,
2) Call to Action by Clarence Thomas
Please endorse and support this Call to Action. Here’s the way to endorse online:
United Front Committee for International Workers’ Action to Free Mumia Abu- Jamal and All Anti-Racist Political Prisoners.
* * * * * * * * * * *
CALL TO ACTION
United Front Committee for International Workers’ Action to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and All Anti-Racist Political Prisoners
November 15, 2021
For decades, innocent and framed political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal and other Black Panthers and anti-imperialist prisoners have been imprisoned, often in solitary confinement, for challenging American racism, capitalism and imperialism. Mumia is the most internationally well-known of these aging political prisoners, who are victims of repressive government programs such as the FBI’s COINTELPRO. Many of them are critically ill. All of these political prisoners need to be released immediately.
There is no justice in the capitalist courts. To win the freedom of these political prisoners, international working-class action is necessary. In 1999, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) led an exemplary action shutting down all West Coast ports and led a massive march of 25,000 in San Francisco chanting: “An Injury to One is an Injury to All – Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!”
In March 2021, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) – the largest union in South Africa, with 338,000 members called for a renewed global campaign to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. In June, the ILWU Convention voted to support NUMSA’s campaign. Inspired by NUMSA’s initiative, we are organizing an International Forum on February 1, 2022 to build for an International Day of Workers Action to free all these political prisoners.
For International Workers’ Action –
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and All Anti-Racist and Anti-Imperialist Freedom Fighters!
Initiated by the Labor Action Committee to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Black Panther Party Commemoration Committee (New York City, New England and South).
Call to Action: For International Workers’ Action – Free Mumia Abu-Jamal and All Anti-Racist and Anti-Imperialist Freedom Fighters!
[To endorse this Call to Action, go to this link: https://forms.gle/ijBocFw5zBx6AP28A]
Statement by Clarence Thomas
NOVEMBER 21, 2021 — The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has a long tradition of defending oppressed nationalities and political prisoners such as Angela Davis in the 1970s. As a retired member and officer of ILWU Local 10, I have been a part of the Local’s efforts to free Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners. For more than 30 years, the ILWU has been in the vanguard of the labor movement to free the award-winning journalist, the voice of the voiceless and former Black Panther Party member, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
During the 60s, the Black Liberation Movement awakened my political and social consciousness along with countless other Afro-American youth. I joined the Black Panther Party, which facilitated my anti-racist, anti-capitalist, and anti-imperialism activism and the need for Afro-Americans to have “self-determination.”
Declaring the Black Panther Party “public enemy number one,” the US government sanctioned the murder of its leaders, vilified the organization in the press, and falsely imprisoned Party members. Mumia Abu-Jamal has always maintained his innocence of the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
There are Black Panther Party members that were a part of the Black Liberation movement that have been languishing in prison for more than half a century. Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier has been imprisoned since 1977. The horrific imprisonment and the abuse of these political prisoners represent the long legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, apartheid, and racial violence perpetrated against African-Americans.
The labor movement can and must play a vital role in the release of all political prisoners. The ILWU recognizes that the prosecution of radical labor leaders such as Tom Mooney and Harry Bridges is directly connected to efforts by the US government to use lies and frame-ups to put away these fighters for freedom and justice that was promised yet denied to African Americans and people of color in the US.
The ILWU Longshore Division shut down the entire West Coast in 1999 to demand: “Stop the Execution and Free Mumia!” On June 19 (Juneteenth), 2020, the ILWU shut down all 29 ports on the West Coast including Vancouver, Canada to commemorate Juneteenth, to End Systemic Racism, and to Stop Police Terror. No maritime cargo was moved for 8 hours on the entire West Coast. This solidarity action on the part of West Coast dockworkers represents the power of labor at the point of production. It is this type of action that labor must find the courage to exercise on a global level to bring home Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners.
‘An Injury to One is an Injury to All’
‘Free Mumia Abu-Jamal’
ILWU Local 10 retired
Co-founder Million Worker March
Author of Mobilizing in Our Own Name: Million Worker March
* * * * * * * * * *
Panel of International Jurists Charges Human Rights Abuses Against Black, Brown and Indigenous People Residing in the U.S. (excerpts)
By Nkechi Taifa
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2021 – A distinguished panel of international jurists found the United States guilty of a variety of human rights abuses, including genocide, in the wake of an historic tribunal comprised of hundreds of human rights activists who gathered in-person in New York and worldwide on Zoom the weekend of October 22-25 for the “We Still Charge Genocide: The Spirit of Mandela International Tribunal 2021 on Human Rights Abuses Against Black Brown and Indigenous Peoples.”
The proceeding was held at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, the former site of the Audubon Ballroom, where Black human rights leader Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965, after calling for the U.S. to be brought before the World Court.
Nkechi Taifa, author, activist and internationally acclaimed human rights attorney, led a powerful team of seasoned attorneys and students of law who directed the testimonies from more than 20 impacted victims, expert witnesses, and professionals with firsthand knowledge and/or data raised in the five counts of the tribunal’s indictment.
In the tribunal’s opening statement, Taifa outlined how its convening “comes on the heels” of the January-February 2021 International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence Against People of African Descent in the United States, the 1992 International Tribunal of Indigenous Peoples and Oppressed Nations in the USA and the 1979 international jurists’ report of their visit with U.N. human rights petitioners from America.
The event, which consisted of two full days of testimonies and concluded with the international jurists’ verdict [see full text of verdict below] read aloud in front of the United Nations, was held amid increased attention on the study of reparations for Blacks in municipalities across America, and that issue was one highlighted as part of the Chief People’s Lawyer’s riveting closing statement.
On the tribunal’s final day, an announcement was made following the verdict, that Russell “Maroon” Shoatz, 78, a former member of the Black Liberation Army and Black Panther Party and a political prisoner in Pennsylvania since 1972, would be freed on compassionate release because of his stage 4 cancer. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiHn8qDCzzg)
The nine-member, internationally-chosen panel of jurists included Magdalene Moonsamy (South Africa), former member of the South African parliament; Wilma E. Reveron Collazo (Puerto Rico), long-standing member and leader, Colegio de Abogados de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rican Bar Association); Binalakshmi Nepram (India/Manipur), Founder-Director of Global Alliance; Mireille Fanon Mendes-France (France), former Chair of the UN Working Group on People of African Descent; Sherly Fabre (Haiti/USA), International Fellowship of Reconciliation United Nations Representative; Dr. Vickie Casanova-Willis (USA) former Executive Director US Human Rights Network; Kassahun Checole (Eritrea/USA) renowned Pan Africanist and Pan American scholar; Dr. Alexander Hinto (USA), Director of Center for Study of Genocide and Human Rights, Rutgers University); and Chairman Brian Moskwetah Weeden, chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.
The jurists unanimously found the United States guilty of the following five counts, which attorney Taifa explained fit well within the internationally-accepted definition of genocide:
· • Police violence and killings;
· • Mass incarceration;
· • Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War;
· • Environmental racism;
· • Public health inequities.
The Spirt of Mandela coordinating committee, which organized the tribunal, stated that it will use the outcome as an opportunity to organize on a mass level across many social justice arenas.
For more information, contact the Spirit of Mandela at https://spiritofmandela.org.
firstname.lastname@example.org and 917 584 2134
* * * * * * * * * * *
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY VERDICT
(A full and detailed judgment will follow)
Introduction: The Context of Our Work and Why We Are Here
The fact that the United States has committed an array of human rights abuses against Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples should be as uncontroversial as it is incontrovertible. There is widespread agreement that settler colonialists committed genocide and other crimes against the Indigenous populations while taking their lands. No one would disagree that enslaved Africans were forced to work the settler colonial lands for hundreds of years in subhuman conditions.
The historical record tells the story of additional human rights abuses committed against Mexicans and other groups as the US expanded West and colonized countries like Puerto Rico. No one doubts that Japanese were forced into concentration camps during World War II or that Blacks were lynched and brutalized during Jim Crow. The current President of the United States acknowledges these crimes. His Secretary of State recently confirmed this while stating, “great nations such as ours do not hide from our shortcomings; they strive to improve with transparency.”
If laudable, such sentiments ring hollow unless met by action. The Spirit of Mandela Coalition petitioned for the creation of this Tribunal because they believe that not only are US human rights abuse “shortcomings” not being fully acknowledged, but that the US has sought to bury a number of these crimes. The Coalition enlisted a prosecutor, Nkechi Taifa, to argue their case. Their indictment on behalf of Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples in the US charges the U.S. government and its state and local political subdivisions with crimes committed in five areas: police racism and violence, mass incarceration, political prisoners/prisoners of war, environmental racism, public health inequalities. Further, they argue that the US has committed genocide.
In 2021, the International Tribunal on US Human Rights Abuses against Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples convened as an independent body to hear the case. We did so as a quasi-legal body in the tradition of People’s Tribunals dating back to the Russell Tribunal and Permanent People’s Tribunal, among others. While evaluating the charges in terms of international and domestic human rights law and practice, we also recognize that such legal structures have limitations that can reinforce racism and deny voice and redress to Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples as the prosecution in this case alleges.
To assess the merits of the case, the Tribunal convened from October 23-25, 2021. Over the course of two days, the Jurists heard 18 attorneys and students of law solicit evidence from 30 witnesses from across the US.
The 2021 International Tribunal on US Human Rights Abuses Against Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples was initiated by a US coalition, In the Spirit of Mandela. Its own recognized legacy, based on efforts dating from the 1951 “We Charge Genocide” petition to the present, rests on the idea that any examination of US human rights must be done in an international context. The Panel of Jurists came together as an independent body made up of legal scholars, human rights advocates and activists, and community leaders. Utilizing the International Criminal Law on Genocide and other instruments, the Panel convened to hear and review the testimony organized by Spirit of Mandela Legal Team. The Accused, though informed, did not respond to the charges and indictment against them, nor did they appear as invited to present a defense.
The following is a summarized and preliminary presentation of the testimony.
Testimony was heard regarding an alarming pattern and practice of police murdering Black, Brown, and Indigenous people with impunity. We were informed that a recent Commission of Inquiry found that “Black people are 3.5 times more likely than white people to be killed by police when Blacks are not attacking or do not have a weapon.” Disaggregated data for other Peoples is lacking.
Testimony emphasized that in the case of US Constitutional law, while the 13th Amendment promised the abolition of the process of chattel slavery, it in fact created an exception incentivizing the incarceration of people of African descent and other peoples. Further they argued that a school-to-prison pipeline has been set in motion by the racialized policies and programs of the US federal and state governments. One testimonial noted, “the law is used as a weapon of war” against Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples. Further testimony indicates that there are US policies of wars on poverty, wars on drugs, wars on terror, and others – amounting to a war on Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples as they disproportionately criminalize their youth and communities.
Political Prisoners/Prisoners of War
Arguments were made presenting the criminalization of legitimate political struggles, most particularly of Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples. One witness testified that it is like a “Counter-Intelligence Program on steroids.” Several witnesses testified that with regard to traditional torture techniques, there is ample evidence of solitary confinement lasting for decades, which go so far beyond the UN constituted definitions of torture that they defy any modern standard of humane government. Further testimony was presented arguing that decades-long sentences have been imposed for those imprisoned for their political beliefs. One witness stated, “the US is the only industrialized nation in the world that denies the existence of political prisoners.”
Testimony was received arguing the impact of environmental violence. They asserted that the climate crisis disproportionately impacts Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples, constituting environmental violence. The Prosecution contended that there is a deliberate and callous poisoning of land, water, air, and soil, reflecting the valuing of profits over peoples which threatens the survival of the planet and impacts most devastatingly the lives of Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples.
Public Health Inequities
The testimony highlighted deep public health inequities including both physical and mental health manifestations. Further assertions were made that the COVID-19 pandemic and an “inadequate and incompetent Federal response to this crisis” magnified the disparate impact of structural racism affecting access to health care. Moreover, testimony was heard regarding indifference to the suffering of groups of people considered expendable due to the profit model of US health care, leaving behind those most vulnerable. The Prosecution argued that, from forced sterilization to “food deserts” and chemical contamination, from toxic stress based on the environment in which one lives to the criminalization of mental illness, Black, Brown, and Indigenous people are neglected and left out of any illusion of the human right to health.
While these crimes are well-documented, they have more rarely been acknowledged, remedied and addressed with some very distant from public knowledge.
Despite the need for further deliberation on the extensive submissions and documents from varied expert witnesses, a deep analysis from the Jurists found that the process did sufficiently cover the scope and elements of all five counts in the indictment as having legal standing and hence legitimacy.
The Jurists further establish that the grounds for each of the five counts in the indictment presented the basis for successful intervention due to the extensive testimonies of both witnesses and expert witnesses.
A full and detailed judgment will follow regarding our findings on these counts. Any minority position of the Jurists will be developed, with collective consensus on each count asserted to further advance our recommendations for remediation, reparations, and future actions.
After having heard the testimony of numerous victims of Police Racism, Mass Incarceration, Environmental Racism, Public Health Inequities and of Political Prisoners/Prisoners of War, together with the expert testimonies and graphic presentations, as well as the copious documentation submitted and admitted in the record, the Panel of Jurists find the US and its subdivisions GUILTY of all five counts. We find grounds that Acts of Genocide have been committed.
Signed, 25 October 2021, Panel of Jurists
Church Center of the United Nations
* * * * *
France: Thousands of Demonstrators Against Ultra-Reactionary Eric Zemmour
In response to the call issued by several associations, parties and trade unions – including the CGT trade union federation of Paris, Solidaires, and the Young Guard – several thousand demonstrators marched in the streets of Paris on Sunday, December 5, against Eric Zemmour.
The rally of the racist and ultra-reactionary candidate for president was moved from Paris to Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis), prompting the spokesperson of Solidaires to announce that, “Zemmour has fled Paris.”
A few miles away, however, Zemmour held a rally with several thousand of his far-right supporters, surrounded by Christine Boutin (former Deputy), Laurence Trochu (leader of La Manif Pour Tous), Jacline Mouraud (one of the former spokespersons of the Yellow Vests), General de La Chesnais (former No. 2 of the French Army), Eric Naulleau (TV columnist), and Joachim Son-Forget (former Macron organizer), among others. All had gathered amidst blue-white-red flags and signs that read, “This is our home.” In his speech, Zemmour called on the French people to “remain masters at home,” advocating “zero immigration” and a “halt to the “‘Islamization of France’.”
Zemmour’s speech of hatred and division was rejected by the thousands of young people and workers present in the Paris protest demonstration that went from Barbès to the Parc de la Villette in Paris. Present in the contingents were militants from Seine-Saint-Denis of the Federation of Young Revolutionaries (FJR). The contingents were quite structured, with many youth organizations present and numerous union banners.
The FJR distributed a leaflet that was very well received by young people, who were especially interested in the perspective of “Neither Macron Nor Zemmour, For the Requisition of the 600 Billion Euros and a Government of Workers and Youth.” [See FJR leaflet below.]
– Aurélien Bloyé
* * * * * * * * * *
“No to Zemmour, Le Pen, Macron, and All the Reactionaries!”
(Leaflet of the FJR Distributed at the Paris Demonstration)
Eric Zemmour made official on November 30 his candidacy in the upcoming presidential election. He embodies the most reactionary fringe of the bourgeoisie, having the direct financial support of Bolloré, the billionaire boss whose fortune is based on the plundering of Africa. Zemmour spouts the most racist, xenophobic and misogynistic rhetoric in his speeches.
Zemmour is not an anti-system candidate. On the contrary, he is fully in line with the institutions of the Fifth Republic, assuring one and all that he will preserve the interests of the bourgeoisie.
Is there a way out for workers and young people in the framework of the anti-democratic institutions of the Fifth Republic? Macron, with his reactionary policies, feeds xenophobia by rounding up and detaining the refugees. He constantly attacks the gains wrested through bitter struggles by the workers and youth. He promotes poverty and precariousness.
Macron dares to pretend that his administration provides a solution, an alternative, to the extreme right wing, but his policies are providing more and more space to the most reactionary candidates, like Zemmour and Le Pen. Young people, like workers, want neither Zemmour the racist, nor Le Pen the racist, nor Macron the reactionary, nor any “supreme savior” who fits into the framework of the institutions of the Fifth Republic!
* * * * *