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Looking back over the past four years, there wasn’t just rightwing repression. Movements flourished – and won important battles

People looked upward, in awe, during the last days of 2020.’

The devastation of the Trump administration – to norms and values and public safety, to the climate and the environment and the rights of marginalized groups – is huge and undeniable. But Pablo Neruda’s old axiom “You can cut down the flowers but you can’t stop the spring” might describe what happened. Despite opposition, persecution and real losses, movements for liberation and justice continued to expand not only in power and achievement but in vision.

People looked upward, in awe, during the last days of 2020, and I saw them again and again, watching the full moon of late December, the rare planetary conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn around that time, and here in the Bay Area a magnificent murmuration of starlings above an old Catholic cemetery in San Rafael, tens of thousands of birds swirling together in coordinated flight at sundown, evening after evening. In looking at these tangible spectacles, I believe people were, during this time of political strife and pandemic confinement, seeking the spaciousness of freedom and possibility.

Looking back over the past four years, another kind of expansive and hopeful spaciousness can be found. Mostly these four years will be recounted as far-right brutality against truth, fact, rights and bodies, and that brutality and its consequences mattered. But that’s not all that happened since 2016. Grassroots movements for racial and gender justice, economic justice, climate justice and intersectional understanding of the relationships between these things grew in power, achievement and perspective.

The white-supremacist and cult-follower assault on the Capitol on 6 January was historic, but so was the election the night before of the Rev Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff as Georgia’s first two Democratic senators in decades. Several young Sunrise Movement climate activists went to Georgia to work for their campaigns, recognizing the long game: that electing of this Black man and this Jewish man meant giving the Democrats a majority in the US Senate, which meant the possibility of passing strong climate legislation and supporting international climate agreements, which meant that this mattered for the fate of the world.

Even in electoral politics, the last four years and last four November elections broadened the Democratic coalition in numbers and diversity, including an unprecedented eight trans people elected to public office in the election of 2017, the birth of “the Squad” with the 2018 election of Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Oman and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and its expansion in 2020 with victories by Cori Bush and Jamaal Bowman, election of the first Native American women to the House, of an out gay governor in Colorado, of two Democratic senators to Nevada (including the Senate’s first Latina, Catherine Cortez Masto), then Arizona, then Georgia, and more elected officials who were truly progressive around racial and environmental justice, and a more progressive vision overall. That came from outside, from the grassroots, the movements, the young.

I believe that when we look back in 10 or 20 years, it is likely that the rightwing rage will be seen as backlash against the ripening vision and movement toward a more just and equal world. This is not a given, but it is a possibility; what we do going forward determines whether it is so.

Many of the seeds planted in the Obama era bore fruit in the Trump era. Black Lives Matter came together in 2014, and the summer of 2016 saw its message amplified when sports stars began to speak up – and in the case of Colin Kaepernick, kneel down. The size of the protests was measurable, but something immeasurable mattered at least as much: the transformation of public consciousness. In the summer of 2020, after the public killing of George Floyd that erupted into the biggest protests in the history of this country, not only in the major cities, but in small towns across the country.

One of the most important and least tangible effects of activism is introducing and popularizing new ideas and changing minds. For example, the racism behind unequal treatment by police and the courts and unequal sentencing, is now far more widely recognized than it was 20 years ago. Many cities have looked seriously at what defunding the police would look like – and in some it has already started. For example, in the Bay Area, where the 2009 murder of Oscar Grant by a transit policeman prompted strong reaction, the transit system has decided to hire 20 social workers rather than fill vacancies in its police force.

Feminism has also been energized during the Trump years. At the beginning of 2017, the nationwide Women’s March – the biggest single-day protest in this country’s history, with marches in small towns from Alaska to Alabama as well as major cities – established that the Trump administration would be resisted, and women led much of the next four years of anti-Trump organizing. In October of 2017, what got dubbed #MeToo opened up unprecedented space to recognize both that some of the most powerful and famous men in the country were criminal sexual predators and that systemic injustice that had protected them.

Some real legal reform resulted, including expanding or removing the statute of limitations for some sexual abuse crimes in 15 states, but more broadly, that machinery of silencing – the ways that victims have been routinely disbelieved, discredited, intimidated, harassed, shamed – became far more recognized, a first step in dismantling it. Once again the changes that will matter most will be hardest to measure – the crimes that don’t happen, at a minimum because would-be rapists are less confident that they can override their victim’s testimony or escape legal and professional consequences, ideally because the desire to violate other human beings and the entitlement to do so wither away.

These were years of victory and defeat, of gain and loss. With Betsy DeVos dismantling Title IX rights for sexual assault victims on college campuses and a widespread war against reproductive rights, women lost as well as gained in the last four years. But abortion is one arena in which you can take away access, but you can’t so easily take away belief in the right to that access. The next four years will see a continued struggle around reproductive rights and other issues of gender justice.

The climate movement grew remarkably in the last four years. The Trump era began as the Lakota water protectors’ encampment and resistance at Standing Rock had become a focal point and a powerful intersection between indigenous rights, environmental justice, the fight against pipelines specifically and the climate movement. More came out of Standing Rock than will ever be measured: education of non-Native people about Native rights and history, a sense of hope and possibility for Lakota and other Native youth, inspiration to decide to run for office for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who came to Standing Rock (as did the Laguna Pueblo organizer and then future congresswoman Deb Haaland, now Biden’s nominee to head the Department of the Interior), an apology for US military genocide by veterans of that military, alliances and visions. I remember in 2011, when KXL protesters were told that their activism was futile and the pipeline’s completion was inevitable. They were wrong.

Activists helped bring the fossil fuel industry to the brink of collapse. Politico recently reported: “In 2017 when Donald Trump entered the White House, the US oil and gas industry was on a tear, with output climbing to record levels, while clean energy sources were still carving out their niche. Now, oil and gas producers are struggling amid weak prices and growing pressure to address climate change, while wind and solar technologies are soaring – a trend that will assist Biden in making a U-turn in energy policy from the Trump administration’s.” On 6 January, while insurrectionists stormed the US Capitol, the Trump administration held an underwhelming auction of drilling leases in the Arctic national wildlife refuge: all the big oil companies stayed away, in part because activists got banks to pledge not to finance Arctic drilling.

As the industry crumbled, the climate movement grew. New voices emerged – Sweden’s uncompromisingly tough Greta Thunberg most prominent among them, and ranging from octogenarian Jane Fonda with her fire-drill Fridays to twentysomething Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director of the Sunrise Movement. The Sunrise Movement introduced and amplified the messages of the Green New Deal (GND), including that profound change was not only necessary but pragmatically possible and beneficial. The GND model has had an international impact, and it has undone the old arguments that jobs and the environment are conflicting goals.

Progressive change, then, can happen at the worst of times. And often the process of change is so subtle we don’t even realize it’s happening until we look back. Just think of all the films and books and other works of art we once admired, but which we now see strewn with prejudices and oppressions that we hadn’t noticed before. That act of noticing something that we didn’t notice before – that is the result of a shifted consciousness, transformed through activism and progress.

Sometimes we have specific new tools to measure oppression by – the Bechdel Test being the most famous among them – but often it’s just that we have subtly, slowly been educated to see more clearly and more inclusively than we did before, to recognize not only other viewpoints, but their exclusion, and the nuances of representation and discrimination.

Such processes are invisible in their slow increments until you return to an artwork from the past and see that it is still what it was but you are no longer who you were. Looking back at 2016, I see that it was long ago, because these have been a long four years of destruction and conflict, but also of generation and transformation. We should feel a sense of accomplishment, not so that we can rest, but so that we can go forward.
Seasteading / ⛵ Thomas Cochrane: Craziest Sea Captain in History
« Last post by RE on Today at 06:26:45 AM »
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Queen's Greatest Hits outsold the biggest British debut album of 2020, KSI's Dissimulation

Up-and-coming pop stars are facing "massive competition" from classic bands like Queen and the Beatles due to streaming, MPs have been told.

Any artist at the start of their career has "got the last 50 years of the music industry to compete with," Peter Leathem of rights society PPL said.

"Ultimately, you've got some of the most talented people in our society [who] are struggling to make a living."

He was speaking to a parliamentary inquiry into the impact of streaming.

Last year, three of the UK's top 10 best-selling albums were Greatest Hits collections from artists whose career peak came in the 1970s - Queen, Elton John and Fleetwood Mac.

At the same time, only one British debut album - KSI's Dissimulation - sold the 60,000 copies required to be awarded a silver disc.

Leathem said increased competition for fans' attention on streaming platforms like YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music meant that "everyone is fighting" for a share of a "smaller pie".

KSI, whose album was the 62nd best-seller of 2020, said his sales achievement was only possible because he had a pre-existing fanbase on YouTube.

"I have an advantage because I have a platform, a large platform, and I'm able to promote myself way easier than a lot of other artists," he told BBC 5 Live.

The DCMS select committee announced its investigation into music streaming in October. Previous sessions have heard from the likes of Radiohead, Nile Rodgers and Elbow's Guy Garvey, who said the way artists are paid for music on streaming services meant some musicians "can't afford to pay rent".

His comments were backed up by Mercury-nominated musician Nadine Shah, who said she had been forced to move back in with her parents because "earnings from my streaming are not significant enough to keep the wolf away from the door".

On Tuesday, MPs put those comments to the UK's top three music executives - David Joseph, CEO of Universal Music UK; Jason Iley, CEO of Sony Music UK; and Tony Harlow, CEO of Warner Music UK.

Describing Shah as a "wonderful musician" and a "fantastic songwriter", Joseph acknowledged that the current method of apportioning streaming payments was letting some musicians down.

He explained that royalties are based on "popularity" - so if someone's music accounted for 1% of all the music played on Spotify, they would receive 1% of the money generated from users' subscriptions and advertisements.

According to Music Week, however, Shah's most recent album, Kitchen Sink, has only been streamed 675,000 times, equating to 675 "sales". By comparison, the UK's current number one album, Barry Gibb's Greenfields, was streamed 2.7m times last week alone.

She releases her music on independent label Piccadilly Records.

'Streaming is not perfect'

Addressing Shah's situation, Joseph said: "It is true to say that there are some artists who have been particularly badly hit by the pause in the live business because they've got a relatively small fan base, but a very passionate fan base, that they play live to very often.

"Unfortunately, it's not possible and it's not logical that [live income] would be instantly replaced by the money that they make from their recordings."

He went on to suggest that streaming services could adopt a user-centric payment system, where "if you just listen to Nadine Shah this month" your entire subscription fee would go directly to her "rather than being diluted" by more mainstream artists.

Joseph's comments may raise eyebrows in the music industry, as the "big three" record labels were largely thought to be against the concept of user-centric payments.

The executive went on to say that "streaming is not perfect yet" and that he had "tons of ideas of how to improve streaming for the artists".

Among his suggestions were the introduction of sleeve notes, and the ability for users to opt out of data tracking, which is used to suggest songs you might like.

"I would love to have a service that wasn't based on the algorithm. I think it favours certain types of music," he told MPs.

"Perhaps we could get to a pure service like [BBC] 6 Music, where things were just being curated for people rather than data and algorithms."

The three record label bosses collectively rejected previous characterisations of their business model as exploitative or unfair to musicians.

They denied that artists were "too scared" to speak out about their payments for fear of reprisal; and rejected the idea that aspiring musicians had no option but to sign standardised contracts with major labels.

"The idea that three major record labels are putting down on the table three exact similar deals on a take-it-or-leave-it [basis] feels like something from 50 years ago," said Iley. "Every deal is different."

The executives also rebuffed claims that record contracts still include penalties for physical breakages - meaning 10% of an artist's royalties are automatically deducted to cover the cost of damaged vinyl and CDs, even when the majority of music is being played online.

"From Sony Music's perspective that is not true, that does not happen," said Iley.

"In terms of digital royalties they are 100% clean," added Joseph.

The labels also defended the current business model - where musicians receive an average of 20 to 25% of the royalties generated by their music - saying any disruption could damage investment in new music and "diminish UK competitiveness".

The streaming market is "an evolving situation," said Harlow. "It is being well-governed by a market that is efficient and nimble and it doesn't need any change.

"We need to be getting on with making the UK the absolute best place to invest in music."
'Lack of clarity'

In one stormy exchange, the CEO of Universal Music was reprimanded by DCMS committee chairman Julian Knight MP, after repeatedly failing to answer a question on whether his company had cut royalty rates to its artists following a deal with Spotify in 2017.

"The question is very simple," said Mr Knight. "You are in front of a Parliamentary Select Committee now. In the past, with the likes of Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter - we have found them to be frankly dissembling and not being in any way [clear]. So far I have to say you are beating them to the prize in terms of lack of clarity and lack of actual openness to a Parliamentary Committee."

Joseph, citing the commercially-sensitive nature of the requested information, said he would provide an answer to the committee in written form.

Ahead of Tuesday's hearing, the BPI, which represents the recorded music industry, released figures suggesting that streaming was working in artists' favour.

It said that 1,800 artists had achieved more than 10 million streams in the UK during 2020, the equivalent of selling 10,000 CDs.

Based on per-stream averages, that would mean those artists each earned £29,400 last year from streams in the UK alone.

The BPI said streaming has also made the market more "democratic" - with the top 10 artists accounting for just 5% of all music streamed last year.

When CDs were the dominant form of music consumption in 2005, the top 10 artists were responsible 13% of all sales.

It is the latest in a series of incidents in London in the past few weeks that have prompted police to describe some as "selfish".

Dozens have been fined after police caught 300 people at an illegal rave in north east London.

Officers raided the unlicensed music event at a railway arch in Nursery Road, Hackney, at around 1.30am on Sunday.

Organisers padlocked the door from the inside and dozens of those attending scaled fences to escape as officers forced their way inside, the Met Police said.

The scene as officers enter the space used for an illegal rave

A total of 78 people were stopped and issued with fixed penalty notices to the value of £200 for breaching COVID regulations by attending an illegal gathering, the force added.

The fines total £15,600.

Chief Superintendent Roy Smith said: "Officers were forced, yet again, to put their own health at risk to deal with a large group of incredibly selfish people who were tightly packed together in a confined space - providing an ideal opportunity for this deadly virus to spread.

"Our frontline officers continue to police this public health crisis with compassion and professionalism but it is completely unacceptable they have to face such needless risks to their own health and to their families too."

It comes after police criticised party-goers for making "incredibly selfish" decisions during the coronavirus lockdown.

Superintendent Michael Walsh, of the Met's Central West Basic Command Unit, was speaking after they broke up a series of late-night parties in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

On Sunday 17 January, police found more than 200 people at an illegal gathering in Knightsbridge.

When told to go home, the attendees became hostile and pushed past officers in an attempt to avoid being fined, police said.

Two officers were injured, around 30 fixed penalty notices were issued, and a three-month closure order is being prepared for the establishment, which had already been fined for a previous breach of COVID legislation.

On Saturday 16 January, more than 30 people were found socialising in a venue in Ladbroke Grove, west London, police said.

The venue's owner is being considered for a fixed penalty notice amounting to £10,000 and those who attended were told to go home.

Last month, an illegal gathering at a commercial property in Knightsbridge resulted in the venue being closed for three months, following previous breaches of COVID legislation.

Superintendent Michael Walsh, of the Met's Central West Basic Command Unit, said the incidents showed "flagrant breaches of COVID legislation and could potentially have put multiple people at risk of contracting or spreading the virus".

He added: "Attending or organising such parties during this critical period is an incredibly selfish decision to make and we will continue to take action against those who flout the rules.

"My officers continue to work incredibly hard to uphold COVID legislation in order to keep people safe. While the majority of breaches have been resolved without incident, it deeply saddens me that some individuals have chosen to assault police officers who are simply doing their part in the collective battle against this deadly virus.

"We will absolutely not tolerate assaults on police officers. It goes without saying that anyone who harms an emergency worker will face the full force of the law."
Environment / Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Last post by Phil Rumpole on Today at 05:47:44 AM »
I learned a lot about dealing with bushfire in the first two weeks of January 2020, beginning new year's eve.

A bushfire is not something that always comes along quickly with little warning and then passes by, as I expected. This was high risk for 2 weeks until it rained because of fighting the fire in the same place.  You can not sleep during that time if you are not evacuated and don't have someone else to watch for fire approaching while you sleep.

I had to clear out firewood shed that is against house, clear away all flammable things away from house and wet down area right around using a 1000 litre bulky tank before I left each time. It's important to have a good clearing around the house, no trees too close and probably 10m clearing between house and bush. I thought I was fairly safe that no tree catching fire if the bush was on fire would reach the house. I didn't WANT the bush around my house to burn, because I would lose all my firewood.

You need to drive around a lot looking at where various fires are at every day. Doing that with a 1000litre tank on the back of a 4x4 uses a lot of fuel. One of the first things to do is go get a full tank if your local fuel station is closed. 

If it was not known how the fire started, everyone suspects everyone else, or is worried they're under suspicion. This turned out to be some weirdo trying to start a commune just outside of the town, had lit it on his own property and had a prior history of doing it in the past.

I visited all my neighbours to see what they were planning and some things are not what you would expect. One told me his father had been the last person to set fire to all the area around me, cutting firewood in the 1970s, so you can imagine how much wood there was to burn and very big trees.

On new year's eve there was only a very small fire on my side of the valley and a bigger one on the opposite side. I stopped to talk to a fire truck coming up our road and they said they were not worried about the fire on our side as it was going in the opposite direction. They were coming our way at that stage to look for any other fires starting around farms. That conversation on the first night actually turned out to be important in them devoting resources to saving our set of properties. Because the fire on our side was going the other way on night 1 and reasonable distance away then, didn't remain the case a few days later. Wind direction and speed is everything, when it changes the fire does.

I noticed that until more resources came, the few trucks and firefighters in the local area worked all night and all the next day without a break. Luckily there was no other fires in other areas as often the case, so a lot of resources came from around the state including 3 water bombing helicopters. 

On the opposite side of the valley a few houses were lost. After a few days the fire on my side was getting to the cliff edge further up from me and a small truck came up to see who was in properties and evacuate them. I said, 'why don't you put the fire out up there? He said,' oh we can't put it out.' 
I said, 'you could have done earlier.. I asked them on the first night and they said it wasn't a problem, going the other way. ' at that point he seemed to decide it would be bad PR or something if that was known and said, 'ok let me see what we can do'.  About half an hour later one helicopter started putting out the fire as it spread down the steep cliff. From the cliff back is all national Park.

This became the pattern every afternoon, I would watch the fire coming closer and down the steep cliff and mountainside until the choppers turned their attention to it late in the day, but it was always starting again when that water dried. Eventually they used bulldozer to put control lines up there and for a long way. Bulldozing fire breaks was a big part of it. That depended on luck though, because if a strong wind in the wrong direction, embers would cross the firebreak.

I could only sleep if I went down to neighbours place, because my access  track is very long through bush with many tall trees. If a tree fell or there was too much smoke trying to leave I would be trapped. I threw the food out of my fridge, turned off gas bottles and power, wet ground around house every time and kept in touch with the town cop to let him know exactly how far down everyone was evacuated. As long as I used common sense to keep watch during the day and leave if necessary, either stay awake or sleep in a safer locstion, it was ok. On the other hand there are many people who evacuated even though they're not in any danger of being trapped, and others who live in bush and say they're going to stay and fight the fire until they're told to leave.

On one of the last days, or maybe the last day there was very nearly a mid air collision of two choppers only about 1km from me. I had been thinking all the time they looked very close to the cliff. That area at the bottom of the cliff was where they put it out before it spread to the farmhouses close to there. On that day I was watching. As usual the whole day was fighting fire on other side of valley and at about 5pm attack the fire starting up on my side below the cliff.  This time was all three instead of usually one or possibly two. I noticed instead of staggering their approaches they were all going to the river at the same time and coming back at the same time. I saw two choppers fly into the smoke from opposite sides close to the cliff. Lucky they didn't crash, but straight after that they stopped all going and coming at once. One left and the other two kept seperate. It's not hard to see how when they were flying all day from first light until evening they could make a mistake.

I was able to claim I think 800$ from the govt because I was less than 2km from the fire and the smoke then does damage. I think I was so used to the smell of smoke and ash raining down that I couldn't tell the difference inside and nothing changed colour outside. I wasn't going to refuse, but in NSW where there was much bigger fires and whole towns lost at the same time, lack of assistance was a big story.
Biden-Linked WHO Adviser Says COVID-19 'Likely' Leaked From Wuhan Lab

A sit and spin story.  All speculation and no facts.

It reads like a radio host saying anything to avoid dead air.

Hundreds of words article with only a 19 word quote related to the title. Wuhan is not named as the lab in that quote by Metzl of WHO either. The exact same quote could be used elsewhere in the world followed by a different set of questions and answers which are not quotes:

 Could the related sars and mers viruses be Lab created? Is it possible the pig virus that killed hundreds of millions of hogs and forced buying American pork in the trade war was created in a lab?  Why would the  early research of the 5 strains of Covid 19 from Taiwan, Japan and Cambridge place strain A mainly in the expat community there? How could the world's greatest military come only 36th at the Wuhan games in November? If their athletes were sick from Malaria, why weren't they vaccinated? Did they stay right next to the wet market? How can the Spanish and italians insist they had cov 19 as early as September if it began in Wuhan in Nov? Why did trump cancel funding to WIV in September? Why was vaping so popular among over 70s who died of lung injury from it between June and August in Maryland? Why would safety concerns not have shut down the biolab of anthrax, ebola etc in Maryland any time in the hundred years of operation prior to August and only then? Did Bill Gates read Dean Koontz 'Fever Dreams' before holding event 201 in NY in Nov?

CNN and Fox are not the only examples of alternate spin, focussing on completely seperate sets of facts.


But the purpose of the Article might be to generate anti-Chinese sentiment.  If that is true the propagandists who sponsored the article might be pleased because it describes China as dishonest.  Zero Hedge is also a perfect place to do it.  If this is true an individual article does not matter.  But several articles repeating the same lie would be effective.

Only the most naive think the CCP is not dishonest at this point, lab virus or not. The story is that he is WHO and pro Biden, who has been pro CCP politically and likely took money from them if the evidence is not to be dismissed blindly. This could get ugly for Biden and or the CCP quickly.

The story about the evidence of it leaking from a Chinese bioweapons lab has been written up dozens of time with many different pieces of evidence, you guys just ignored it out of weird misplaced affection for communists.

This fall, when most college districts determined not to reopen, extra dad and mom started to communicate out. The dad and mom of a 14-year-old boy in Maryland who killed himself in October described how their son “gave up” after his district determined not to return within the fall. In December, an 11-year-old boy in Sacramento shot himself during his Zoom class. Weeks later, the daddy of a young person in Maine attributed his son’s suicide to the isolation of the pandemic.

“We knew he was upset because he was no longer able to participate in his school activities, football,” Jay Smith instructed an area tv station. “We never guessed it was this bad.”

President Biden has laid out a sturdy plan to velocity vaccinations, increase coronavirus testing and spend billions of {dollars} to assist districts reopen most of their faculties in his first 100 days in office.

By then, kids in districts like Clark County, with greater than 300,000 college students, could have been out of college for greater than a year.

“Every day, it feels like we have run out time,” Dr. Jara mentioned.

Heading into the pandemic, youth suicide charges had been on the rise for a decade; by 2018, suicide had develop into the second-leading trigger of dying for youth and younger adults, behind accidents. And the newest behavioral risk survey, which was launched final year by the C.D.C. and tracks well being tendencies of highschool college students, reveals a gentle rise during the last decade within the proportion of college students who say they felt persistent emotions of disappointment or hopelessness, in addition to in those that deliberate and tried suicide.

Since the lockdowns, districts are reporting suicide clusters, Dr. Massetti of the C.D.C. mentioned, and lots of mentioned they had been struggling to join college students with companies.

“Without in-person instruction, there is a gap that is right now being unfilled,” she mentioned.

Suzie Button, the senior scientific director for highschool programming on the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit based mostly in New York that works on suicide prevention, mentioned a whole lot of faculties and schools — together with Clark County’s — are teaming up with the group to higher serve college students through the pandemic.

When insurrectionists stormed the Capitol in Washington this month, far-right extremists throughout the Atlantic cheered. Jürgen Elsässer, the editor of Germany’s most distinguished far-right journal, was watching stay from his sofa.

“We were following it like a soccer match,” he stated.

Four months earlier, Mr. Elsässer had attended a march in Berlin, the place a breakaway mob of far-right protesters tried — and failed — to power their method into the constructing that homes Germany’s Parliament. The parallel was not lost on him.

“The fact that they actually made it inside raised hopes that there is a plan,” he stated. “It was clear that this was something bigger.”

And it’s. Adherents of racist far-right actions world wide share greater than a standard trigger. German extremists have traveled to the United States for sniper competitions. American neo-Nazis have visited counterparts in Europe. Militants from totally different international locations bond in coaching camps from Russia and Ukraine to South Africa.

The coaching camps have brought on nervousness amongst intelligence and legislation enforcement officers, who fear that such exercise might lay the groundwork for extra organized and deliberate violence. Two white nationalists, who attended a paramilitary camp run by the extremist Russian Imperial Movement outdoors of St. Petersburg, had been later accused by Swedish prosecutors of plotting bombings aimed toward asylum seekers. Last year, the United States State Department designated the Russian Imperial Movement a terrorist group, the primary white nationalist group to obtain the label.

For years far-right extremists traded ideology and inspiration on societies’ fringes and within the deepest realms of the web. Now, the occasions of Jan. 6 on the U.S. Capitol have laid naked their violent potential.

In chatter on their on-line networks, many disavowed the storming of the Capitol as amateurish bungling. Some echoed falsehoods emanating from QAnon-affiliated channels within the United States claiming that the riot had been staged by the left to justify a clampdown on supporters of President Donald J. Trump. But many others noticed it as a instructing second — about the best way to transfer ahead and pursue their purpose of overturning democratic governments in additional concerted and concrete methods.

It is a menace that intelligence officers, particularly in Germany, take significantly. So a lot in order that instantly after the violence within the United States, the German authorities tightened safety across the Parliament constructing in Berlin, the place far-right protesters — waving most of the identical flags and symbols because the rioters in Washington — had tried to power their method in on Aug. 29.

For now, no concrete plans for assaults have been detected in Germany, officers stated. But some fear that the fallout from the occasions of Jan. 6 have the potential to additional radicalize far-right extremists in Europe.

“Far-right extremists, corona skeptics and neo-Nazis are feeling restless,” stated Stephan Kramer, the pinnacle of home intelligence for the japanese German state of Thuringia. There is a harmful mixture of elation that the rioters made it so far as they did and frustration that it didn’t result in a civil battle or coup, he stated.
Meeting on-line and in particular person

It is tough to say precisely how deep and sturdy the hyperlinks are between the American far proper and its European counterparts. But officers are more and more involved a couple of net of diffuse worldwide hyperlinks and fear that the networks, already emboldened within the Trump period, have grow to be extra decided since Jan. 6.

A recent report commissioned by the German international ministry describes “a new leaderless transnational apocalyptically minded, violent far-right extremist movement” that has emerged over the previous decade.

Extremists are animated by the identical conspiracy theories and narratives of “white genocide” and “the great replacement” of European populations by immigrants, the report concluded. They roam the identical on-line areas and likewise meet in particular person at far-right music festivals, combined martial arts occasions and far-right rallies.

“The neo-Nazi scenes are well-connected,” stated Mr. Kramer, the German intelligence official. “We’re not just talking about likes on Facebook. We’re talking about neo-Nazis traveling, meeting each other, celebrating together.”

In 2019, the F.B.I director, Christopher Wray warned that American white supremacists had been touring abroad for coaching with international nationalist teams. A report that year by the Soufan Center, a nonpartisan suppose tank, discovered that as many as 17,000 foreigners, lots of them white nationalists, had traveled to Ukraine to combat on each side of the separatist battle there. Among them had been a number of dozen Americans.

Sometimes they encourage each other to kill.

The hate-filled manifestos of Anders Breivik, who killed 77 folks in Norway in 2011, and Dylann Roof, an American white supremacist who killed 9 Black parishioners in South Carolina 4 years later, influenced Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who in 2019 live-streamed his homicide of over 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Mr. Tarrant’s manifesto, titled “The Great Replacement,” in flip impressed Patrick Crusius, who killed 22 folks in El Paso, Texas, in addition to a Norwegian gunman who was overpowered as he tried to shoot folks at a mosque in Oslo.

Many far-right extremists instantly interpreted Jan. 6 as each a symbolic victory and a strategic defeat that they should study from.

Mr. Elsässer, the editor of Compact journal, which Germany’s home intelligence company classifies as extremist, described the storming of the Capitol as “an honorable attempt” that failed due to in satisfactory planning.

“The storming of a parliament by protesters as the initiation of a revolution can work,” he wrote the day after the riot. “But a revolution can only be successful if it is organized.”

“When it’s crunchtime, when you want to overthrow the regime, you need a plan and a sort of general staff,” Mr. Elsässer wrote.

Among these feeling inspired by the mobilization seen on Jan. 6 was Martin Sellner, the Austrian head of Europe’s far-right Generation Identity motion, who preaches nonviolence however has popularized concepts like “the great replacement.”

After the storming of the Capitol, Mr. Sellner wrote: “The anger, pressure and the revolutionary mood in the camp of the patriots is in principle a positive potential.”

“Even though it fizzled out pointlessly in the storm on the Capitol, leaving behind no more than a few memes and viral videos,” he wrote, “one could form an organized and planned approach out of this mood for a more effective resistance.”

Mr. Sellner, who stated in an interview that Mr. Trump can be much more galvanizing in opposition, personifies the attain of an more and more international motion along with his shut hyperlinks to activists throughout Europe and the United States. He is married to Brittany Pettibone, an American alt-right YouTube star who has interviewed distinguished European extremists just like the British nationalist Tommy Robinson.

The males spoke of their widespread wrestle, in opposition to liberals, antifa (a loosely affiliated group of far-left anti-fascism activists) and the large tech firms that had barred each males from their platforms. They additionally spoke of the U.S. presidential election consequence in existential phrases, warning that if the proper did not protect the presidency for Mr. Trump, it risked annihilation.

The Democrats, Mr. Robinson stated at one level, are going to “replace you like we’ve been replaced.”

“The borders will open, and they’ll replace you with foreign people,” he stated.

Gaining traction in Germany

Several members of the Proud Boys, whom Mr. Trump famously informed to “stand back and stand by,” had been amongst those that stormed the Capitol.

On Oct. 19, the Proud Boys shared on one among their Telegram teams that they’d seen “a huge uptick in support from Germany over the last few months.”

“A high percentage of our videos are being shared across Germany,” learn a message within the Telegram group that was additionally translated into German. “We appreciate the support and we are praying for your country. We stand with the German nationalists who do not want migrants destroying their country.”

Over the previous three months, the Proud Boys posted a number of movies of German cops confronting left-wing protesters in Berlin. In two of the movies, which characteristic the police violently beating a protester, the Proud Boys cheered the violence.

Although they mocked Mr. Trump as “a total failure” after he disavowed the Capitol rampage and left the White House, they’ve voiced assist for far-right teams in different international locations together with France, Poland and Turkey.

And as America has exported QAnon conspiracy theories throughout the Atlantic, European conspiracy theories and disinformation are additionally making their option to the United States.

Within days of the U.S. election, German QAnon followers had been spreading disinformation that they stated proved that the vote had been manipulated from a C.I.A.-operated server farm in Frankfurt.

The disinformation, which the German researcher Josef Holnburger traced back to a German-language account, was amplified by at least one local chapter of Alternative for Germany, the far-right political get together recognized by its German initials, AfD. It additionally ended up being highlighted U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert and Rudy Giuliani, the Trump ally and former mayor of New York City.

From there, it went viral — a primary for a German QAnon conspiracy within the United States, Mr. Holnburger stated.

The transnational hyperlinks are inspirational fairly than organizational, stated Miro Dittrich, an skilled on far-right extremist networks. “It’s not so much forging a concrete plan as creating a violent potential,” he stated.

Yet consultants stay skeptical of the potential to forge extra sturdy trans-Atlantic relations amongst far-right teams. Almost all such makes an attempt since World War II have failed, stated Anton Shekhovtsov, an skilled on the European far proper on the University of Vienna.

Most not too long ago, Stephen Ok. Bannon, the architect of Mr. Trump’s profitable 2016 presidential bid, toured Europe a number of years in the past attempting to knit collectively populist nationalist events like Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France and Alternative for Germany.

“It was a fiasco, Mr. Shekhovtsov said. “Bannon was pushing very old white supremacist ideas. This is no longer accepted in Europe. You may be a radical-right-wing populist, but you can’t talk about white nationalism.”

Differing expectations

There’s even division amongst far-right followers about whether or not such alliances are precious or viable. For many, the thought of a global nationalist motion is an oxymoron.

“There is a common mood and an exchange of ideas, memes and logos,” stated Mr. Sellner, the Austrian far-right campaigner. “But the political camps in Europe and America are very different.”

Rinaldo Nazzaro, the founding father of the worldwide white-nationalist group The Base, now lives in self-imposed exile in St. Petersburg, Russia, however says he has no real interest in forging ties with Russian nationalist teams.

“Nationalists in America must do the heavy lifting themselves,” he stated. “Outside support could only be supplemental, at best.”

Others, like Matthew Heimbach, an organizer of the 2017 violent far-right protest in Charlottesville, Va., disagree.

“American members of the far right and white nationalist groups have been trying to get Europe to return their calls for a decade now,” he stated in an interview.

With some success, he spent years working to forge alliances with like-minded teams within the Czech Republic, Germany and Greece.

He even hosted a delegation from the Russian Imperial Movement in 2017, a number of years earlier than the United States declared it a terrorist group. Members of the group, which runs paramilitary-style camps to coach Russian and international nationalists in navy ways, spent two weeks within the United States and traveled extensively.

Photographs of the journey present Mr. Heimbach and one of many group’s leaders, Stanislav Shevchuk, posing with a Russian imperial flag in entrance of the White House and the U.S. Capitol.

Mr. Heimbach, who denounced the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and claims to have renounced white nationalism, stated he had additionally taken his Russian friends to Dollywood and the Country Music Hall of Fame in Tennessee.

The journey, Mr. Shevchuk later wrote, “opened my eyes to a different alt-right America and I was convinced that we Russians had a lot in common with them.”

Katrin Bennhold reported from Berlin, and Michael Schwirtz from New York. Sheera Frenkel contributed reporting from San Francisco, and Christopher F. Schuetze from Berlin.

Knarfs Knewz / State Of The Union - Marlon Craft
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Environment / Re: 🔥 The New World of Wildfires
« Last post by Phil Rumpole on Today at 03:09:38 AM »
I will write a post on this tonight

Look forward to it mate.
Was a shit of a time last year. Thanskfully it did notcome close to me. Further East.
Black Saturday 10 years ago was the worst I have seen in person. Came within 10km of the manor.
This year has been mild and wetter so far thanks to La-nina. Unfortunately i think catastrophic fires will become more frquent as it gets hotter.

Your in Oz, yes?
Tassie I thought. (Correct me if I am wrong)
Got some pretty rugged areas down there, and they are drying out very quickly from what I have heard.


Yes most of the time in Tas. Tomorrow is supposed to be 34C. It normally only reaches 30 maybe 2 days a year. I'll be in Launceston tomorrow and back in the evening when it's cooling down, so won't be around to see if it does get over 30.

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