Urgent changes for the post-Floyd era:
legal justice and equal representation of black people in police as in institutions
London - Protesters around the world are saying we can no longer be bystanders, staying put and silent. Turning a blind eye to racism is no longer an option after George Floyd has been brutally murdered.
Whether in US cities or in London, Paris, Berlin, Wellington, we are all calling our institutions to eradicate systemic racism pushing black people to the margins of our societies, reducing them in poverty, criminalising and killing them.
A long, multiethnic march with no leaders or stages is crossing the US: it’s not only, and no longer, a ‘black issue’ as their lives matter for everybody, but institutions do not seem they got the message.
Last of la long series of homicides of African origin by the hands of police, George Floyd is a martyr far all of us, beyond US borders.
In Great Britain, where African and Caribbean origin people are systemically excluded from career progress, easily deported and twice as much target of stop and search by the police, on Sunday three to four thousand people marched towards the US Embassy in London:
23 arrested and clashes have been reported and, apart from sympathetic tweets from Labour, LibDems, Greens leaders and MPs, no mentions have been made of how culture in Britain is pretty the same as in US, though police is generally less aggressive and violent towards black people.
UK Foreign Secretary Raab dismissed the killing as a 'media distraction' from the work the country is doing with US on many other fronts like coronavirus.
Brussels - War in Syria: year nine. Some say EU members should take in all unaccompanied children from Syria, and not just part of them, as we can no longer allow children to be exposed to sufferance, disease, exploitation and human trafficking. As for the EU law in force now this is not a must, but it's what we should do for responsibility taking. That said Dublin Agreement must be changed urgently, even at the risk of gathering all EU MEPs and challenge coronavirus pandemic.
This would not be just part of the non-refoulement principle (preventing refugees or asylum seekers to return to a country where they can be persecuted or risk life), and respect of Human Rights international law, but also a direct responsibility taking of a nine years civil war in Syria turned into international war where, along with US troops, some EU members as France, UK, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy backed Turkey against Assad.
As US and Italy have withdrawn, now only France, Denmark and UK (no longer in the EU) remained on the ground backing Turkey (plus the set of forces against Assad and Russia).
WAR IN SYRIA: UNHCR figures. Children in need: 8 million
Internally displaced children: 2.6 million. Total registered refugee children outside Syria: over 2.5 million
London, 21 March 2020 - Leaders over these days of emergency are talking about economy conversion from peace to war, implying that in order to tackle the ongoing pandemic, manufacturers should shift their production lines to what is urgently needed to hospitals to treat covid19 most serious cases and save lives: respiratory ventilators and intensive care units.
In the worst case scenario the NHS will need 20,000 more ventilators as now nearly 5000 adult ventilators and 900 for children are available in critical care facilities, BBC reports.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson compared the effort needed to what Great Britain did during WWII switching production from peace times to war and building the spitfires aircraft.
From a wartime polluting economy to a clean one. Weapons, oil, aircraft manufacturers should switch their lines to the ones of a peacetime economy now that production is suspended and national and international support is available to fill the gap and losses.
Something is telling us we have to convert our wartime production line into a peacetime one
This is the time to do it as we will never have financial compensation once again
It's dark now that the dreamy era of consumerism
is fading away
British retailers are concerned: the drop in sales reached 8.9% the lowest since 2008's financial crisis. But why after all should we buy? Especially when many of us are saving for the essentials. There's also a deep change of attitude towards consumerism itself. Maybe we are going through a collective change of mind which will lead us to a new era of awareness where inclusion and identity are no longer based on how you look or what you own, but on the level of creative participation to make a change in our society.
WATCH INTERVIEW with Michael Berkowitz, Professor of Modern Jewish History at UCL. Among his monographs 'The Jewish Self Image in the West' and 'Western Jewry and the Zionist Project'
London, 31 Jan 2020 - “The generation who lived the Second World War, like my own father who fought with the US Army in the Pacific, is dying, while new generations are losing the sense of what this conflict was; the number of Holocaust survivors still alive is also dropping. What we are facing today is the fact that younger generations haven’t this kind of experience of the past, therefore they are much more susceptible to squishing kind of thinking about the Nazism, the right wing”.
Michael Berkowitz, Professor of Modern Jewish History at University College London, explains how the gap between old and young generations, radicalism spreading on media and social media, and political interests determine the resurgence of antisemitism.
“All this - he goes on - helps to account for the craziness of Brexit: a generation of people who do not understand how Europe was actually put together, and what the rationale was after the war for why would be better these states to be more united than divided.''
The impact comes also from “changes in the way people get information through media, social media and cable TVs...today all kinds of extremely marginal perspectives can take some kind of authority or claim to be true and move towards the center of the political discourse” he says, explaining that situation over the last years has worsened: “Ten years ago, for instance, the Charlottesville march with people visibly identifying themselves as Nazi or neo-Nazi wouldn’t have been even thinkable” and this has been "enabled by Donald Trump".
Generation gap, media and politics: three steps with
Prof. Michael Berkowitz to understand and defeat antisemitism
London, 11 December 2019 - There's not a more appropriate time to talk about Shout Out UK than over these troubled days of General Elections. Matteo Bergamini is founder and CEO of the London based organisation giving young people the tools they need to shape their future with a responsible and informed use of media and understanding of their connections with political systems.
Matteo has a lot to tell: from the 700 British schools hosting Shout Out UK's political literacy courses to this week's Daily Mail journalist attack to the video realised with Drillminister 'No vote no voice. #RegisterToVote': "the clip shows a man with an over sized pencil ticking a box showing to use the power of the vote - he explains - now the Daily Mail, for some bizarre reason, constructed as he is stabbing someone. We put out responses online and we got a ton of supporting comments".
Many, Bergamini says, suggested that the Daily Mail's journalist comments were racially motivated therefore "they should be ashamed of this".
Learning to change our future with a big pencil.
Bergamini tells about Shout Out UK, politics and media literacy and why Daily Mail did not like the video 'No vote no voice'
Greece wants the Parthenon Marbles back:
and now it's battle between Centaurs and Lapiths
London 1 September 2019 - Visitors of British Museum didn't know about it yet: Greek government launched an ultimatum to get the friezes, pediments and metopes of the Parthenon back to Athens.
The latest news on the contended Elgin Marbles comes from the Observer where on Sunday the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spelt his stony words: "I don't think Britain should fight a loosing battle. Eventually this will be a loosing battle.
It definitely sounds like an out-out, now facilitated by the context of Brexit.
London, 21 Dec. 2019 - The Home Office knows well that it's enough to check the National Insurance Number to get confirmation a person is resident in the UK from more than five years. Contributions show if one is active or not.
The request of continuity of contributions for granting settled status is a useless measure of vexation Tories used to gain votes.
Now that they have obtained an overwhelming majority using a set of anti immigration propaganda and blaming the bloody French, Italian, German and primarily the East Europeans for stealing British jobs, time has come to leave the EU citizens in peace and follow the good path indicated by the Labour Movement for Europe: "EU Citizens In UK Should Automatically Be Given Right To Stay"
LME's petition is on. Thousands of signatures per hour. The officials might question the request of changing the application system into a simple registration in due course, as this could create imbalances...
Give EU citizens automatic right to stay. Labour for Europe launches the petition
Brussels - The ten single-use plastic items most commonly found on European beaches are now banned. These items represent 86% of all single-use plastic found on beaches, and about half of all plastic marine litter. The new Directive includes a ban on straws, cotton swabs made from plastic, plastic plates and cutlery, plastic coffee stirrers and plastic balloon holders. Beverage bottles and other plastic mono-use will have to be collected separately at a rate of 90% by 2029 (77% by 2025).
According to the new legislation, EU member states must reduce the consumption of plastic food containers and cups used for beverages, over the next six years.
A relevant part of the new legislation will make producers directly responsible for pollution related to tobacco products with filters, wet wipes, balloons and fishing gear.
In addition to the ban, the Directive introduces measures to reduce consumption of food containers and beverage cups made of plastic and specific marking and labelling of certain products, the introduction of design requirements to connect caps to bottles, as well as target to incorporate 25% of recycled plastic in PET bottles as from 2025 and 30% in all plastic bottles as from 2030.
The Directive aims to avoid the emission of 3.4 million tons of CO2 equivalent; avoid environmental damages which would cost the equivalent of €22 billion by 2030; save consumers a projected €6.5 billion.
Every year 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans.
At least 100.000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and the figure refers to the ones found only.
The costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe is estimated at €22 billion by 2030.
'CITIZENS OF NOWHERE',
how to save Europe from itself in 270 pages
by Niccolo' Milanese
British in Europe launch 'Let us vote'. Alena Ivanova explains why foreign residents in UK must have the right to vote
London - Undemocratic, this is the right word describing the British electoral system which excludes its citizens living abroad and EU citizens in UK from general elections. Look at the electoral register and see people from Antigua, Bahamas, Botswana, Zimbabwe and all the Commonwealth countries can have their say on who rule the UK.
The ‘post-imperial’ electoral system gives ex colonies citizens the right to vote in the country which once exploited their own, and this is absolutely right and fair. But it is utterly unjust citizens from the neighbouring countries living in the UK and the British abroad (who lose the right to vote after a number of years) are excluded from the democratic process by the law since 1969. Why? Is it just for chance or this is the result of the British crossparty establishment's 'domestic defence policy'?
The fight for a truly democratic Britain has just started.
Expats and EU citizens must have the right to vote
A new Dublin Agreement must bind countries
to take refugees from the wars they take part in