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Thread: Ça Chauffe!

  1. Link to Post #21
    Belgium Avalon Member Violet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Do not feed the pigeons, erm, sorry, I mean the refugees:



    Copyright poster: De Ideale Wereld
    I don't know if the quote itself has been copyrighted yet; source just in case, governor Decaluwé of West Flanders.

    And full text in Dutch (kindly run machine translator for English): http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20160201_02102837
    Last edited by Violet; 3rd February 2016 at 16:02. Reason: Link, better screensize

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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Scared of Truth? France Begins Crackdown on Conspiracy Theories

    Sputnik Wed, 17:53 09.02.2016
    (updated 17:54 09.02.2016)


    © REUTERS/ Charles Platiau

    As more and more French youth are getting hooked on various conspiracy theories, the French Ministry of Education plans to organize a special meeting and bring together 300 teachers, researchers, psychologists and students, Le Figaro reported.

    According to the research company Ipsos, one in five among young French citizens believes and supports conspiracy theories, which became ever so popular as of recent, especially after last year's Paris terrorist attacks. To combat the spread of disinformation and sometimes outright lunacy, which a few conspiracy theories bring to the table, French Minister of Education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem decided to gather students and educators in a meeting on February 9 and discuss how one could distinguish real and verifiable information from various kinds of unprovable information that many conspiracy theories present.

    "Easy access to Internet and a variety of content sources create confusion and it's sometimes difficult to distinguish right from wrong and to exercise critical judgement," Vallaud-Belkacem said, as quoted by Le Figaro.

    After the November 13 terrorist attack in Paris a series of conspiracy theories, which deny the official version of the events and provide their own alternative explanations for what happened, appeared online and quickly became popular among many young French citizens.

    There are two kinds of major theories that emerged on the Internet about the Paris attacks. The first kind of conspiracy theory accuses the French government of orchestrating the attacks. By doing so the government allegedly seeks to tighten security measures, justify the declaration of the state of emergency and carry out a series of anti-Islamic and anti-immigration policies.

    The second type of theory is based on the idea that the world is controlled by a tight group of Jewish elites, centered in New York City, Jerusalem and some European capitals, who have their hands on the entire global economy and politics. These theories claim that this secret "Judeo-Masonic" group organized the Paris terrorist attacks for their own benefit.


    Related:
    Over 30% of French Citizens Fear Int'l Terrorism After Paris Attacks
    Anti-Assad Conspiracy: Western Fingerprints All Over Syrian Civil War
    French Media Reveals Conspiracy Theories Over Deadly Paris Attacks
    New 9/11 Conspiracy? NSA Whistleblowers say Agency Kept Tabs on Attackers
    ISIL Complains Recruitment Down Due to ‘Conspiracy Theories’

    ==================================

    I wonder how Najit is going to handle this one:

    Quote Posted by Hervé (here)
    Now, here is for a most bizarre one:


    French police faced with a disturbing lack of evidence after 7-hour firefight in Saint-Denis

    Samuel Osborne The Independent Tue, 24 Nov 2015 01:12 UTC

    [...]

    ... No traces of Kalashnikov rifles or other automatic weapons were recovered in the Saint-Denis flat where police engaged in a seven-hour gunfight with three terror suspects last Wednesday.

    Having sifted the rubble and passed it through metal detectors, police were perplexed to find only one handgun, French radio network RTL reported. Forensic scientists found a 9mm pistol and a dozen cartridges, along with fragments of an explosive vest filled with bolts. However, police reported coming under consistent gunfire during the assault, saying they fired 5,000 rounds in retort.


    [^^^ That's only 13 minutes of that sh*t... 7 hours of it!]

    "We came under heavy fire, and were up against true professionals," Jean-Michel Fauvergue, head of the elite anti-terrorist force Raid, which led the assault, told Le Parisien.

    Quote "They took turns to fire in bursts or single shots, so there was no break in their shooting."
    [...]

    ========================================

    Going along the idea of a "cleanup" of the St Denis apartment, there is another one for the apartment of the woman (Hasna Aït Boulahcen) who died at said apartment and reported here <--- mentioning that near a dozen individuals showed up to "cleanup" Hasna's apartment at her mother's place.
    Also reported somewhere I don't recall now, is that, of the alleged 5,000 rounds fired, only 500 were recovered along with SWAT team shields exhibiting that bullets were shot at them from the inside... not from outside...
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    The truth will out.......
    The love you withhold is the pain that you carry
    and er..
    "Chariots of the Globs" (apols to Fat Freddy's Cat)

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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    800 Greek farmers storm Agriculture Ministry in Athens, police fire tear gas (VIDEO)

    Published time: 12 Feb, 2016 09:40
    Edited time: 12 Feb, 2016 11:22
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    Greek farmers from the region of Crete clash with police during a protest against planned pension reforms outside the Agriculture ministry in Athens, Greece, February 12, 2016.


    Police in Athens have used tear gas to disperse a rally of farmers protesting pension austerity measures as they pelted the Agriculture Ministry with stones. A larger protest demonstration is due to start later Friday.

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s formerly left-wing government plans to raise pension contributions and taxes to deal with Greece’s budget deficit. Farmers from across the country flocked to the capital to voice their outrage at the moves.

    About 800 farmers from Crete "attempted to push the police in front of the [Agriculture] Ministry's entrance. The police used tear gas to stop them," a law enforcement official said.

    They smashed windows with stones before the police pushed them away.

    Last week, the police and protesters clashed in front of Syntagma Square in Athens during a general strike. Some youths threw stones and petrol bombs as officers responded with stun grenades and tear gas.

    The general strike was declared as part of a larger protest movement against the pension austerity measures.

    The Greek government hopes to secure the third round of an international bailout by accepting further cuts and tax hikes demanded by international creditors. The cuts to pensions would be the 11th imposed since 2010.


    READ MORE:
    Tear gas, Molotov cocktails deployed during general strike in Greece (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    French farmers protest at prices driven down by Russia sanctions (LIVE)

    Published time: 16 Feb, 2016 15:43
    Edited time: 16 Feb, 2016 17:09
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    Quote
    Yann Plantier ‏@Yann_Plantier

    Des agriculteurs manifestent en ce moment à Montreuil devant l'ASP. @itele







    7:49 AM - 16 Feb 2016
    A protest by French farmers is taking place in Paris. Large crowds have gathered to decry the low prices of agricultural produce. Prices are being driven down by the sanctions exchange with Russia, which has caused domestic produce to flood the French market.

    RT France is feeding video of the protest through Periscope.

    The protest started near the Gare de Lyon railway station, but then moved to the Porte de Vincennes - one of the city gates in Paris.

    There are police and fire brigades on the scene, who are ready to intervene, but for the moment, they are standing their ground.

    Hundreds of egg crates were fed into a wood cutter, which sprayed them towards a building. Over 100 demonstrators at the spot are waving flags.

    Protesters have built make-shift barricades out of straw and have covered the street with shreds of newspaper that they promise to set on fire.

    An EU flag was ripped from the building before being buried under a mixture of hay and egg box cuttings, to symbolize the farmer’s opinion of the bloc.

    “We have asked the Ministry of Agriculture to hear our arguments, but we are never listened to. That is why we have had to take to the streets of Paris in order to show our grievances,” a farmer who is taking part in the demonstration told an RT France reporter at the scene.

    A similar rally against the low prices is taking place in Montreuil, a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris.

    The farmers are angry that supermarkets in the country are buying their products at prices which are so low they are unable to make a profit, and are demanding that prices be raised.

    Quote
    Florian ‏@ourgl

    Manif a montreuil #agriculteurs


    7:53 AM - 16 Feb 2016
    The protest in the French capital follows similar disturbances on Monday in the north and west of the country. The farmers are demanding an end to EU-imposed sanctions against Russia, which they say are destroying their businesses due to rock-bottom prices, especially for pork and dairy products.
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    France Extends State of Emergency for Three Months - Reports

    Sputnik, 05:01 17.02.2016


    © REUTERS/ Philippe Wojazer

    The French parliament voted on Tuesday to extend the state of emergency in the country, introduced following the November deadly terror attacks in Paris, for another three months, local media reported.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — According to the French BFMTV news channel, 212 lawmakers of the French parliament's lower chamber, the National Assembly, supported the Interior Ministry's draft law on the measures extension up to May 26.

    Last week, the upper house of the French Parliament, the Senate, voted for the three-month extension.

    On November 13, a series of terrorist attacks across Paris left at least 130 people dead. The Daesh terrorist group, outlawed in Russia and many other countries, claimed responsibility for the tragedy. Following the attacks, a state of emergency was announced in France for three months, and was due to expire on February 26. The government has argued in favor of prolonging the state of emergency as it believes that the threat of terror attacks persists in the country.
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Quote Posted by Violet (here)
    Is there any translation that anyone knows of, of the angry Hungarian trucker's rant?
    Found it as a torrent download here: https://kat.cr/angry-hungarian-truck...t12097008.html
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Belgium suspends Schengen in fears of Calais ‘Jungle’ chaos

    Published time: 24 Feb, 2016 02:13
    Edited time: 24 Feb, 2016 13:40


    © Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters

    Belgium has temporarily abandoned Schengen rules that allow passport-free travel between some of the EU’s internal borders, as it tries to keep the potential migration flow from France under control.

    Belgium’s Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, announced on Tuesday that the decision comes as France is looking into the option of evacuating the Calais “Jungle” refugee camp, which houses around 4,000 people. It is feared the move could trigger a new wave of migrants streaming out of the port city in northern France.

    “We have informed the European Commission that we will temporarily depart from Schengen rules,” Jambon said at a press conference in Brussels. The announcement will come into effect on Wednesday.

    The Schengen agreement allows ID-free travel between the 26 European countries that are party to it.

    Belgium also said it will be increasing the police presence along its borders to maintain control over the situation.

    Jambon explained that anywhere between 250 and 290 police officers will be dispatched to various locations along the Belgian border. “We will carry out border controls at different strategic locations, at spots used by smugglers which the police have detected,” he said.

    Brussels is afraid that a massive migration wave could come to Belgium from Calais, with refugees intending to use the country as a staging point for a crossing to the UK.

    Migrants have long used areas along France’s northern coast as a jump off point for trying to cross the English Channel to the UK, but since border controls have been reinforced there, refugees have been opting for Belgian ports instead.

    On Tuesday, a French court located in the northern city of Lille said it was delaying a ruling on closing down the Calais refugee camp after eight NGOs began legal proceedings to halt the evacuation until all unaccompanied minors could be given shelter.

    A source in the court said “We will not know today,” adding that a decision could come on Wednesday or Thursday, according to AFP.

    Quote
    RT ‎@RT_com

    Clearing out the Jungle: Migrants given until Tuesday to abandon #Calais camp http://on.rt.com/751r
    9:05 PM - 20 Feb 2016
    If evicted, the migrants will be given a week to decide between moving to a €25 million ($28 million) state-built camp nearby capable of accommodating 1,500 refugees, which consists of heated shipping containers with beds and electricity, or to one of France’s other 98 migrant centers located around the country.

    On Sunday, a series of prominent British actors, including Jude Law, took part in a performance at the Jungle camp to draw attention to the plight of those facing eviction.

    Meanwhile, the head of the EU’s border control agency, Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, pointed out that the Schengen agreement cannot function properly if the external EU border is not properly protected.

    “In order to have a well-functioning Schengen free movement area, we need to have a well-functioning external border, which is today apparently not the case,” Leggeri said in a speech to the European Police Congress in Berlin.

    He also pointed out the dangers presented by the various terrorist threats facing all EU members. “We also have to face not only migration crisis, but we also have to face terrorist threats. You know what happened in Paris two months ago, other member states are potentially targets.”

    Related:French court delays decision on Calais ‘Jungle’ camp eviction
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Riot police fire tear gas at farmers’ demonstration in France

    Published time: 24 Feb, 2016 22:46
    Edited time: 24 Feb, 2016 23:34


    Still from Twitter video

    French farmers clashed with riot police in the city of Laval located in the western part of the country, as officers fired tear gas at egg-throwing demonstrators.

    Activists began the protest at 9:30 pm local time on the “Europe” bridge in Laval.

    Several farmers were taken into custody, according to local media.

    Quote


    Ouest-France 53 ‎@OuestFrance53

    Le manifestant va être libéré dans 15-30 minutes. "Après ça, s'arrête là" Jérôme Landais, de la @fdsea53
    12:11 AM - 25 Feb 2016
    The demonstration was scheduled prior to the arrival of European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan in Paris on Thursday. Crowds carried a banners saying: “Europe is killing its farmers. Phil Hogan sold himself to the USA.”

    Farmers are protesting the low prices of agricultural produce, which are being pressured downward by a glut of domestic supply resulting from the political sanctions exchange with Russia.

    French farmers are angry with European politicians who have chosen to impose a sanctions regime on Russia. A ban on exports has resulted in a massive amount of produce flooding local markets. This has allowed French supermarkets to demand lower prices for local products, leaving famers without a profit.

    Last week, farmers gathered in protest near the Gare de Lyon railway station in Paris before moving to Porte de Vincennes. A similar rally against low prices took place in Montreuil, a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris.

    Other agriculture-related protests were seen in the north and west of the country. In late January, farmers across western France burned tires and blocked a number of major roads connecting cities in the French province of Brittany.


    Related:
    French farmers protest at prices driven down by Russia sanctions
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    600+ tractors in downtown Helsinki as Finnish farmers decry anti-Russian sanctions

    Published time: 12 Mar, 2016 13:40
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    Farmers from different parts of Finland with their tractors participate in a demonstration over declining agricultural earnings in Helsinki, Finland, March 11, 2016. © Vesa Moilanen / Reuters


    Hundreds of tractors disrupted traffic in the Finnish capital on Friday, when thousands of farmers arrived in Helsinki to protest the catastrophic situation in the agricultural sector and ongoing sanctions against Russia.

    Finland’s agricultural industry is in financial distress, and farmers lost two-fifths of their income in 2015. The national agricultural sector union MTK wanted make sure the message was well-heard at the very top, and members of the organization drove an estimated 600 tractors to the Finnish capital’s downtown Senate Square early on the morning of March 11.


    Farmers from different parts of Finland participate in a demonstration with their tractors over declining agricultural earnings in Helsinki, Finland, March 11, 2016. © Vesa Moilanen / Reuters

    The number of participants was estimated at 3,000, with some of the farmers reportedly driving their tractors hundreds of kilometers across the country to reach the capital and take part in the protest rally.

    The farmers’ primary aim is “to save domestic food production,” AP reports. They urged the Finnish government to support the agricultural sector, carrying banners reading “no farmers - no food.”


    Farmers from different parts of Finland with their tractors participate in a demonstration over declining agricultural earnings in Helsinki, Finland, March 11, 2016. © Vesa Moilanen / Reuters

    Similar rallies were reportedly organized in other Finnish cities, although on a smaller scale.

    EU economic sanctions against Russia, backed by Helsinki, were named by the MTK as the main reason for Finnish agricultural goods being depreciated.

    Russia has been the key market for Finnish farmers for the last two decades and joining the EU sanctions against Moscow in 2014 became a “shot in the foot” for the Finnish farming industry.

    What’s more, Finnish farmers have endured severe delays in receiving aid, seen as last-resort assistance from the EU, reports Yle Uutiset.

    The Helsinki demonstration of farmers and their supporters lasted from 9am until at least 3pm, and caused severe traffic jams as tractors arrived to the rally and later when they were leaving the capital.

    According to estimates by Finland’s Natural Resources Institute (LUKE), last year farmers’ incomes shrank by 40 percent, if compared to 2014, with the average farm’s losses estimated at nearly €10,000 (US$11,500). The worst stats were registered in the dairy industry, which dragged down the outcome of the entire national agricultural sector.


    Related:
    30k Finns protest govt-planned cuts, nationwide strike grinds country to a halt (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    3 million people take to streets in Brazil’s biggest ever anti-govt protest

    Published time: 14 Mar, 2016 03:21
    Edited time: 14 Mar, 2016 03:28
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    Demonstrators attend a protest against Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, part of nationwide protests calling for her impeachment, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 13, 2016. © Nacho Doce / Reuters

    Some 3 million people have taken to the streets of Brazilian cities to demonstrate their disapproval of the country’s president, Dilma Rousseff, local media reported.

    About 1.4 million people participated in the demonstration in Sao Paulo, and another million in Rio de Janeiro, according to Globo media outlet, citing the event’s organizers and the country’s security forces.

    Protests took place in at least 17 regions across Brazil, Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported.

    The nation’s capital, Brasilia, saw some 100,000 demonstrators surround the National Congress building in the biggest protest since last March, when about 1 million people took to the streets.


    Demonstrators attend a protest against Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, part of nationwide protests calling for her impeachment, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 13, 2016. © Nacho Doce / Reuters

    Protesters blame the country’s president for Brazil’s economic downturn over the past few years, as well as alleged corruption.

    “The country is at a standstill and we are fighting to keep our company afloat. We have reached rock bottom,” 49-year-old protester Monica Giana Micheletti told Reuters at the Sao Paulo demonstration.

    The Brazilian opposition has called for an investigation into some of Rousseff’s dealings, accusing her of tax violations and allegedly misusing state funds to finance her re-election last year, with the ultimate goal of impeaching her.


    An inflatable doll known as "Pixuleco" of Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is seen during a protest against Rousseff, part of nationwide protests calling for her impeachment, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 13, 2016. © Paulo Whitaker / Reuters

    Tensions have also been running high since Sao Paulo state prosecutors asked a judge to order the arrest of Rousseff’s predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, on money-laundering charges a few days ago.

    The request is now pending, and the prosecutors will shortly decide whether to proceed.

    Rousseff has voiced her support for Lula, who is also viewed as the acting president’s political mentor. The 70-year-old, who came from a poor rural farming family and went on to become a major labor leader and president, is known as a national icon and was still highly popular in Brazil at the time he stepped down.


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    'No to coup!' Rousseff supporters hit streets of Brazil following anti-govt protests
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    ‘Illegal, immoral & inhumane’: Thousands protest in Spain against EU-Turkey refugee deal

    Published time: 17 Mar, 2016 01:33
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    © / Ruptly

    Thousands of people have demonstrated in more than 50 cities across Spain in protest against the draft agreement between Brussels and Ankara which could see the bulk of “illegal” immigrants stuck in EU sent back to Turkey in exchange for “genuine” asylum seekers.

    “Refugees welcome” and “This agreement is illegal,” were some of the most popular slogans chanted at the rally in central Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square, where some 5,000 attendees gathered to protest against Ankara-Brussels agreement, according to organizers.

    Leaders of the European Union are to hold talks in Brussels on Thursday with Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, to try to hammer out a deal to curb the bloc’s worst migrant crisis in more than 60 years.

    The most controversial part of the deal entails sending thousands of migrants stuck in Greece back to Turkey, allegedly to deter them from making the dangerous and illegal journey across the Aegean Sea.

    Under a provisional agreement reached last week, Turkey is to accept all migrants, in return for more money, faster visa-free travel for Turks and increased pace of EU membership negotiations. In return the EU would accept one Syrian refugee directly from Turkey for each migrant who illegally reached the European shores.

    In Madrid, some 16 NGOs and associations gathered in strength to protest the draft agreement.

    “We openly and unconditionally oppose what they intend to do in Brussels,” said Esteban Beltran, director of Amnesty International (AI) in who read out a public manifesto in the heart of Madrid, standing before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    As activists urged the government of Mariano Rajoy to veto the deal, Beltran told the crowd that “human rights are violated” by the agreement.

    “We are against decisions that have been taken by the EU and their states; that are unable to find a satisfactory decision compatible with the drama of the situation of those who are living, the millions of people who are gathered in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, at the gates of the EU, where walls and fences are raised to prevent entry,” European Trade Union Confederation president Ignacio Fernandez Toxo told Ruptly.

    Ahmed, a refugee who has settled in Spain, addressed protesters, declaring “today we are here to denounce this preliminary agreement as illegal, immoral and inhumane,” adding that “no one chooses to be a refugee, nobody likes to leave home."

    “We ask you to be a human; that you treat these people as they deserve, as human beings. To us, all deaths in the world hurt us in the same way,” he added.


    In addition to Madrid, more than 120 groups in their thousands joined demonstrations in more than fifty Spanish cities.

    In their manifesto, the protest organizers labeled the new agreement illegal, immoral and shameful, claiming that EU initiative violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and the Geneva Convention for refugees.

    Related:
    Spanish regions slam Madrid over inaction in refugee crisis
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    "Don't Take The Public For Fools!": China Hides Millions Of Layoffs, Jails Miners Protesting Unpaid Wages

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/20/2016 10:14 -0400

    When you look out across markets and across the increasingly fraught geopolitical landscape, there are plenty of black swans waiting in the wings (no pun intended). And quite a few of them are Chinese.

    China has, among other problems: a massive debt overhang that, all told, amounts to more than 250% of GDP; a decelerating economy that Beijing swears will be able to pull off a miracle and move away from the smokestack and away from export-led growth without slipping into recession; a currency crisis; a new property bubble in Tier-1 cities; and a burgeoning NPL problem in the banking sector.

    All of those issues are of course inextricably bound up with one another. They are set like dominoes and once the first one tips, the rest will too as sure as night follows day.

    And while twin crises (financial and economic) in China would wreak havoc on markets in both EM and DM - between which China exists in a sort of limbo - the real question is this: what would the consequences be for societal stability in China? That is, if it all falls down, will social upheaval ensue leading to a revolt against the Politburo?

    That’s not some attempt to use hyperbole on the way to positing some anarchic future for the world’s engine of global growth and trade. In fact, the possibility for widespread unrest is so real that Chinese officials have begun to address it frequently in discussions of how they plan to deal with the mass layoffs that are bound to result from Beijing’s efforts to restructure the country’s collection of elephantine SOEs and stamp out excess capacity.

    After Li Xinchuang, head of China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute told Xinhua that eliminating excess capacity in the steel industry will cost 400,000 jobs and could fuel “social instability”, the government went into spin mode. National Development and Reform Commission Chairman Xu Shaoshi said in February that Beijing's attempts to curb overcapacity will increase unemployment in provinces with high output of steel and coal but will not cause social unrest. Similarly, Xiao Yaqing, who oversees the government commission that looks after state assets, said last week that the country won’t experience a wave of layoffs as a result of SOE restructuring.

    But the cracks are already starting to show.

    As we reported on Monday, thousands of miners in China's coal-rich (or poor depending on one's perspective) north have gone on strike over months of unpaid wages and fears that government calls to restructure their state-owned employer will lead to mass layoffs. As AFP noted, protesters were marching through the streets of Shuangyashan city in Heilongjiang province, venting their frustration at Longmay Mining Holding Group, the biggest coal firm in northeast China.



    Speaking of Longmay, the company is laying off 100,000 workers and in a sign of things to come, around a quarter of them have been reassigned to the agriculture, timber and public service industries.

    While that's good news for the unemployment rate, it's bad news for workers. Why? Because those jobs pay around a third (or less) of what mining jobs pay.

    "(Changing professions) is not easy," a miner who left Longmay last year told Reuters. "All those who are changing professions went to work in sanitation or logging," for less money, he added. Here's more:
    Quote The government has earmarked 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) for relocating and retraining state workers over two years, but with up to 6 million coal and steel jobs to be axed those funds could be spread very thin.

    Workers laid off from inefficient state-owned coal and steel firms will join those made redundant at private firms in struggling sectors like textiles and apparel, which are shedding an estimated 400,000 employees a year.

    That risks creating a cohort of middle-aged blue-collar workers with bleak prospects in an economy growing at its slowest rate in decades.

    Slower economic growth means it will be harder to absorb redundant workers. Local governments in distressed regions like the northeast lack the capacity to do much more than hand them a mop or a shovel. Where workers do manage to secure new jobs, many are likely to find themselves demoted, earning less and with bleak career prospects.

    "The most likely result from future industrial layoffs is not a sharp increase in unemployment, but a further deceleration in household income growth," Cui Ernan, labor analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics in Beijing, wrote in a research note.
    And that means you can kiss the dream of a successful transition to a consumption and services-led economy goodbye. Or, as we put it exactly a week ago: It would be a small (actually scratch that, a "very large") miracle if Beijing is able to restructure the economy's collection of elephantine SOEs without creating an employment crisis. And if, as Zhou says, China intends to depend on domestic consumption rather than exports to fuel growth, then the PBoC had better get to explaining how exactly it is that hundreds of thousands of recently jobless factory workers are going to be able to power the hoped-for but still nascent transformation.

    "The average annual wage in mining in 2014 was 61,677 yuan ($9,542), compared with 28,356 yuan in farming and forestry, according to official data. Textile workers moving to restaurant and retail jobs can expect to earn around 37,264 yuan, a drop from the 51,369 yuan average pay in manufacturing," Reuters continues. "In Shuangyashan and nearby Hegang, the consumption-driven economy looks a distant goal."

    Clearly, handing someone a mop and a 66% pay cut isn't going to be a viable solution for the millions upon millions who are about to be jobless in China. And we don't just mean "viable" in terms of the read through for China's hoped-for transition away from investment-led growth. We mean "viable" in terms of fending off a popular revolt.

    But if the masses do rise up, don't expect the Politburo to go down without a fight. In fact, Beijing is already taking steps to discourage public displays of disaffection. On Wednesday, in the country's southwest, eight construction workers tied to a protest held in Langzhong last August were subjected to a 1950's-style public sentencing. Their crime: protesting unpaid wages. Their charge: obstructing official business. The verdict: guilty.

    "Many Chinese recoiled from the humiliation of pitiable migrant workers in a much-reviled and largely disused judicial practice," WSJ wrote, earlier this week. "Legal experts, journalists and laymen alike launched into caustic criticism of the Langzhong court, calling its rally barbaric and an egregious violation of due process."

    Right. And that's the whole point. Because if you give angry workers the idea that they can protest without suffering severe consequences, well then you might just have yourself a whole lot of protests once the layoffs begin in earnest. The workers shown flanked by police below will be spending the next six to eight months in jail.



    Of course when people can't feed their families they stop worrying about public shaming and even forget about the threat of prison. Which is why China will ultimately be unable to contain the public's collective anger when the proverbial rubber hits the road.

    The local government said the public sentencing was an effort to "to educate the public on how to lawfully protect their rights."

    The response from one Weibo user: "Don’t take the public for fools. You think the people don’t understand your purpose in using public sentencing?"

    The Party had better figure something out quick. Because while you can make an example out of a handful of construction workers, and while you can "disappear" dissident journalists, the only thing you can do when millions of furious Chinese descend on Zhongnanhai is start shooting.
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Sheep and cows hit London streets in farmers’ protest

    Published time: 24 Mar, 2016 13:45[see video at: https://www.rt.com/in-motion/337036-...otest-london/]

    Hundreds of farmers staged a protest in London on Wednesday, to decry the present state of the agriculture industry. Some farmers brought along cows and sheep who marched alongside the protesters. During the march, organized by the Farmers for Action (FFA) group, demonstrators held placards condemning the government’s lack of measures to discourage supermarkets from importing cheap produce from abroad.
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    French Fury Explodes with Echoes of 1968

    By Finian CUNNINGHAM | 26.03.2016


    Riot police clashing with striking workers, students shutting down universities, teargas and cars torched in the streets – the mayhem this past week in France evoked memories of 1968, the tumultuous year when mass protests threatened to overthrow a French government back then.

    The public fury last week in France boiled over into ugly scenes in several cities, with protests spreading across the country, fanning out from the capital Paris. The French public are furious. And they have right to be.

    The uproar mounting over several months now is due to the government’s plan to overhaul the country’s comprehensive labor laws. The essential thrust is to re-write the laws in order to make private businesses and companies hire more workers – by making it easier for them to fire workers!

    If that sounds contradictory, then it is a fitting epitome of this French government. President Francois Hollande and his ruling Socialist Party led by Prime Minister Manuel Valls claim, at the risk of sounding tautologous, to be «socialists».

    Yet the supposed socialist government is embarking on a ruthless project to smash workers’ rights on behalf of capitalist enterprise.

    This week premier Valls presented his so-called labor «reforms» to business representatives and to France’s powerful trade unions. Neither were pleased, with the business groups scoffing that the government had caved into public protests over their much-touted reforms, while unions claimed the proposed changes were still an unacceptable assault on workers.

    Students and workers are now pushing ahead with even bigger protests, with more nationwide demonstrations reportedly planned over the coming weeks. It appears that Valls’ government has ignited a firestorm that it can no longer douse.

    Valls’ economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, is the personification of the French government’s widely perceived betrayal, in the eyes of ordinary Socialist Party members and the wider public. Reports describe the 38-year-old rising star as being seen as «toxic» by many ordinary French. Macron is a former investment banker who worked at Rothschild before being drafted into government. Yes, that’s right, an investment banker for one of the world’s major capitalist enterprises is given the portfolio of economy minister in an avowedly socialist government. Eh, conflict of interest comes to mind.

    It has been Macron’s ministerial brief to push through «business-friendly reforms». Speaking at the Davos summit earlier this year – the annual confab for global capitalists – Macron told his audience that France’s «bloated» labor laws would be stripped. He particularly mocked the country’s statutory limit of a 35-hour working week, vowing that company management would henceforth be allowed to set their own limits.

    Macron has also talked about smashing other «glass ceilings», such as relatively strict rules against firing workers and onerous financial compensation for employees who claim they have been unfairly dismissed by bosses. Another target for Macron is to do away with collective bargaining by trade unions, and to permit firms to negotiate terms of pay and conditions with individual workers.

    From the capitalists’ point of view – and evidently it is a view shared by premier Valls and his economy minister – the root problem for France’s sluggish growth and high unemployment is that workers have too many rights. By making it easier for private companies to fire workers or make their employees clock up longer hours – so the argument goes – the bosses will be inclined to take on more staff, which it is assumed will result in higher macroeconomic growth for the country.

    France wants to follow the Anglo-American model. Britain and the US appear to have better economic performances than France and lower official unemployment rates. The US jobless rate is reported at around 5 per cent, whereas the French unemployment figure is 10 per cent, with the rate rising among youth to 25 per cent. But in Britain and the US, workers are notoriously stressed from much longer working weeks up to 48-60 hours. They also suffer from so-called «in-work poverty» from being underpaid, with less legal protections against hire-and-fire bosses and «zero-hours contracts».

    In other words, Britain and the US are more nakedly capitalist models where workers are mere profit-making inputs to be cast aside when no longer required. Britain and the US may be sought after as destinations for unemployed migrants who are desperate for any form of income. But that is no endorsement from a humane viewpoint.

    What we have here are fundamental questions of ideology and morality. Are workers and the rights they have won over centuries of labor struggles to be discarded like human chattel?

    should be seen as a virtue to be staunchly defended, not sacrificed on the altar of insatiable profit-making.


    Another fundamental ideological difference is that the French government is following the official British and American prejudice that scapegoats workers for low economic growth. In this logic, economic growth can only be revived by making workers toil harder and longer. The more insecure the workers are made to feel, then the harder they will work and the more bosses’ profits will be boosted.

    This is a fallacious – not to say immoral – way of looking at contemporary economic conditions. Since the global economic crash in 2008, what needs to be understood is that the problem of low growth in France, Europe, and even the seemingly better UK and US, is not really an issue of worker productivity. It is a much bigger question about a fundamental, historic breakdown in the capitalist system. This is reflected in the record level of inequality between a tiny elite and the vast majority of society. Chronic poverty and austerity wages are why consumption and growth have become stagnant. The systematic injustice needs to abolished, not appeased.

    The French government, as in so many other Western countries, has become nothing more than a lobby for the capitalists and their financial oligarchy. Bailouts for the bankers and bosses, but buckets of misery for the masses. What governments should be doing is defending the rights of the vast majority and pushing an agenda that radically redistributes justice in the form of much higher taxes on corporations and the rich, while bringing banks under public control. In a word, socialism is required, not more draconian capitalism.

    It looks like the French population at large have finally run out of tolerance for the pseudo-socialists ruling in Paris. Shamelessly, this government is attacking basic rights and mocking touchstones of civility, such as a cap of 35 working hours per week. It truly is Orwellian when such a basic benchmark of human decency is blithely despised by those who claim to be «serving the people».

    In a more rationale society why shouldn’t workers’ hours be reduced to 25 hours and let the firms take on more staff to maintain output. Oh, it reduces profits and rich dividends for directors, they might say? Well, too bad, let the exploiters take a cut. Better still, let workers and the public take ownership of companies and banks.

    One irony in French politics is that Manuel Valls and his de facto capitalist administration have become hysterical about the popular rise of Marine Le Pen’s National Front. Valls and others on the pseudo left deprecate Le Pen’s party as racist, extremist and even fascist. It is arguable that the National Front has gained popular support, as with other similar parties across Europe, precisely because of increasing economic insecurity among workers and society generally. That insecurity, in turn, feeds into anti-immigrant hostility among some sections who see their livelihoods threatened by foreigners.

    Ironically, perhaps the biggest recruiting agency for the National Front in France is the pseudo-socialist government of Manuel Valls and his president Francois Hollande. These charlatans are not only attacking workers on behalf of private profit, they are fueling social strife, breakdown, hatred, xenophobia and, in its worst manifestation, fascism.

    The danger of a fascist state is not hyperbole. France’s emergency laws deployed since the terror attacks last November in Paris forbid all public demonstrations – in the interest of «national security». As public protests over the coming weeks rightly and legitimately challenge the reactionary French government’s attack on workers, it is only a matter of time before riot-police squads begin to implement mass detention of these same demonstrators, under the pretext that they are threatening national security.

    That raises a grim and not inconceivable scenario. French workers and students clubbed off the streets by armed police and thrown into prison without due legal process. Because they oppose an authoritarian government shredding their legal rights? No wonder echoes of 1968 are in the French air.
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Widespread Protests, Strikes Hit France After Unpopular Labor Reforms

    Europe13:44 31.03.2016
    (updated 13:54 31.03.2016)


    © REUTERS/ Jean-Paul Pelissier

    Massive strikes and protests over labor reforms are taking place across France on Thursday, with public transport disruptions and many schools, as well as popular tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, remaining closed, local media reported.


    © AP Photo/ Jacques Brinon

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) The protests are against a bill that would relax France’s labor laws, permitting employees to work much more than the current statutory 35-hour week, imposing a cap on damages in cases of unfair dismissal as well as removing barriers to firing employees on economic grounds. Over 250 protest rallies are planned across the country with hundreds of thousands of people expected to participate, The Local France reported Thursday.

    On March 24, ten police officers were injured and 45 people were detained after students and labor union activists took to the streets of Paris and several other French cities. About 43,000 people participated in the rallies that day.

    Related:
    France Faces Train Traffic Disruption Over Rail Strike – Reports
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    France in Political Crisis as Government Faces No-Confidence Vote

    Sputnik Europe 17:16 11.05.2016


    © REUTERS/ Philippe Wojazer

    France is in the midst of its worst political crisis in decades with the country's beleaguered Socialist government to face a no-confidence vote on Thursday after it bypassed parliament to ram through controversial labor reforms.

    The announcement that the labor bill would be pushed through the lower house without a vote triggered widespread protests against the government, with police firing tear gas and rubber pellets at demonstrators, who have since called for further protests.

    Protesters described the move as "an insult to the people of this country" and the labor bill as an "unprecedented setback for workers' rights in France, a return to the 19th century."

    No-Confidence Vote
    The government resorted to the rare measure of ruling by decree following concerns internal opposition from Socialist dissidents would defeat the bill, while it did so using a controversial Article in the French constitution that has been used less than 90 times since its inception in 1958. The act led two opposition parties to file a no-confidence vote, scheduled for Thursday.

    While the opposition parties hold only 226 of the 288 seats needed to topple Francois Hollande's government, there are worries that an upset vote could trigger new elections, after Christian Paul, the leader of the Socialists rebel group, was hoping to join forces with Green MPs and create a no-confidence motion "of the left".

    Blow Over Labor Reforms
    The country is deeply divided over the contentious labor bill, which would create more flexible working hours and relax current regulations.

    The government says reform is needed as existing labor laws are too rigid and have played a part in France's unemployment problem. However, critics say the deal plays into the hands of employers and will make it easier to hire and fire workers.

    The crisis is another blow for under-fire President Francois Hollande, who has struggled to turn the French economy around, and is facing a serious challenge ahead of next year's presidential elections, with support growing for opposition groups.

    Analysts have also pointed out the pressure exerted from Brussels to transform the French economy as a reason behind the French government's insistence on such an unpopular bill.

    While the bill goes against many of the traditional principles of the Hollande's Socialist party, commentators have noted how the president has moved to reform the France's labor laws to try and stimulate growth and reduce unemployment.


    Related:
    Hollande’s Rating Drops to New Low Year Before French Presidential Vote
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    Uprising? At Least 50,000 Protest Against Labor Reform in Paris (VIDEO)


    Sputnik Europe
    Fri, 13 May 2016 19:51 12.05.2016
    (updated 19:53 12.05.2016)


    © REUTERS/ Gonzalo Fuentes

    Up to 50,000 Parisians protested a labor reform bill pushed through French parliament this week in a show of public discontent that turned violent, French television reported Thursday, citing labor unions.

    PARIS (Sputnik) – Police fired tear gas at anti-reform demonstrators outside the parliament building ahead of the no-confidence vote in the lower-house National Assembly.

    The protests followed Tuesday’s demonstrations when the Socialist government applied a rarely-used clause to bypass a National Assembly vote on a bill that will relax hiring and firing rules to curb rising unemployment.

    The 50,000 figure compiled by trade union organizations and cited by France’s BFMTV stood in contrast of city police estimates that up to 12,000 people took part in the rally. The unrest led to four arrests on gun possession and attacking police with bottles, rocks and other items. Six similar arrests took place in Cannes and five more in Nantes.


    Among the labor reforms proposed by Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ government are highly unpopular attempts to increase daily working hours and simplify firing procedures.

    Knowing that the draft law would be rejected by lawmakers, the French government invoked article 49.3 of the constitution allowing the prime minister to pass a bill through the parliament without a vote if necessary. Triggering the clause allows the French parliament to debate a vote of no confidence against the government.

    If Thursday's no-confidence vote succeeds, Valls' Cabinet will have to step down and repeal the bill or else it will go before the Senate.
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    Default Re: Ça Chauffe!

    French workers blockade gas stations in new labour reform protests

    Text by NEWS WIRES
    Latest update : 2016-05-22

    © PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP | On A25 highway near Steenvoorde, northern France, a gas station remains closed following the blockades of several oil depots by protesters opposed to the government's proposed labour law reforms


    Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Sunday France had enough fuel reserves to tackle shortages at hundreds of gas stations caused by workers blocking oil refineries and depots in protest at an unpopular labour reform.

    About 820 stations out of a total of 11,500 petrol stations in France were out of all fuel on Sunday and another 800 were lacking at least one type of fuel, Transport Minister Alain Vidalies told Europe 1 radio.

    France has been hit by strikes after President Francois Hollande's Socialist government forced labour reforms through the lower house of parliament on May 10 without a vote. Unions consider the bill unfavourable to workers and want it withdrawn.

    "We have the situation fully under control. I think that some of the refineries and depots that were blocked are unblocked or will be in the coming hours and days," Prime Minister Valls told reporters during a visit in Israel.

    "In any case, we have the reserves to deal with these blockades."

    A prolonged strike at refineries in France in 2010 led to a glut of crude in Europe because it could not be delivered to refineries, a spike in refined products prices due to low output from refineries and shortages at thousands of gas stations.

    Protesters have blocked deliveries to gas stations from at least half of France's eight refineries. On Friday workers at three Total refineries voted to halt output by Tuesday. Workers also blocked many fuel depots.

    The news of fuel shortages and blockades sent drivers rushing to petrol stations to fill their tanks as a precaution.

    Several departments imposed fuel restrictions per vehicle and some banned filling up extra fuel in jerry cans.

    "If the situation does not improve and if the government remains deaf to French people's claims, we are heading towards fuel shortage and a significant worsening of our economy," Franck Manchon, coordinator for the union Force Ouvriere (FO) at Total, told Reuters.
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    Hollande threatens to ban demos as French anti-labor law protests grow

    RT
    Published time: 15 Jun, 2016 15:16
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    Police officers detain a demonstrator during clashes near the Invalides during a protest against proposed labour reforms in Paris on June 14, 2016. © Dominique Faget / AFP

    President Francois Hollande has proposed to ban demonstrations in France, according to his presidential spokesman, who said that at a time when the country is plagued by terrorism, the conditions are not in place to protect “personal or public property."

    "At a time when France is hosting the Euro 2016 [football tournament], when it is faced with terrorism, demonstrations can no longer be authorized if property, people and public property cannot be safeguarded," Hollande told a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, according to his spokesman Stephane Le Foll, AFP reported.

    “The conditions under which a manifestation is authorized is a subject of discussion between the organizers and the authorities representing the state,” Le Foll said.

    "If the conditions are not in place to protect personal or public property, and as things stand now they are not, decisions are currently being made case-by-case not to allow the protests," he added.



    On Tuesday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Paris, shouting slogans against the new labor law being imposed by the government and carrying placards that read: “For new rights.” Some protestors torched a police car at the Place de la Republique in the heart of Paris. Staff working at the Eiffel Tower announced the closure of the city’s iconic landmark, saying they “would join the protest.” They also warned that sites near it would be unsafe.

    A group of black-clad demonstrators allegedly vandalized the Necker Children's Hospital, where a three-year-old child, whose mother and father, a policeman, were stabbed to death by an Islamic State militant Monday evening outside their home near Paris, is currently staying.

    At least 40 people, including 29 officers, were injured as protesters clashed with police in the center of the French capital. Police made at least 58 arrests and deployed tear gas and water cannons against the demonstrators. Health Minister Marisol Touraine called the damage "shameful" and its perpetrators "hooligans."

    Similar demonstrations were held across the whole of France. Nearly 20,000 gathered in the city of Toulouse, according to the demonstration’s organizers. In Nantes, protesters gathered in the streets, despite a recently-imposed ban on rallies.

    Despite mass protests, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has vowed to stand firm behind the unpopular labor law.

    "The government will not change a text which is already the outcome of negotiations with the unions,” Manuel Valls told France Inter radio, adding: “It's a text that is good for employees, for companies that create new rights.”

    The unpopular law, initiated by Labor Minister Myriam El Khomri, forces employers to pay only 10 percent of an overtime bonus, instead of the current 25 percent. The bill technically maintains the 35-hour working week, but says that in case of “exceptional circumstances,” employees can be asked to work up to 60 hours a week.

    Anti-labor law protests in France have grown into something more far-reaching and long-lasting, with people saying they are rallying against capitalism, intolerance and French government policies on the whole. The protests’ slogans seem very similar to the Occupy movement, which first started in the US and eventually spread globally.
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