June 15, 2019 marks the 19th anniversary of the historic North-South Joint Declaration signed by the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong Il, and President Kim Dae Jung of the Republic of Korea (ROK). This historic declaration inspired the entire Korean nation and all peace-loving humanity. The Joint Declaration created the conditions for the Korean people, north and south, to strengthen ties and become comfortable working together to solve problems, move forward their nation-building project of national reunification, put an end to the unjust and ongoing division of their country and move forward together as one united and independent country towards a bright, prosperous future.
Subsequently, during the leadership of the progressive presidents Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo-hyun, from 2000 to 2008, headway was made in strengthening inter-Korean relations, including the establishment of the Kaesong Industrial Complex just north of the Demilitarized Zone in 2002. This highly successful project undertaken by the DPRK and ROK for mutual benefit saw 123 south Korean companies, employing 53,000 DPRK workers and 800 from the ROK, produce a wide variety of textiles, ceramics and other products for the domestic and export markets.
The June 15, 2000 Joint Declaration was followed by the October 4, 2007 Agreement between the ROK and DPRK, which further developed and strengthened the progress made as a result of the June 15, 2000 Joint Declaration. The U.S., fearful of a united independent Korea, which would be an economic powerhouse and a factor for peace in the world, then worked to roll back these positive developments by endorsing two anti-communists, one after the other, as ROK president. Lee Myung Bak, a former mayor of Seoul, and Park Gyeun-hye, between them, from 2008 till 2016, began to sabotage the work done by the previous administrations to foster and normalize ties that had been built, including the latter's unilateral decision to end the joint project at Kaesong in 2016.
After Park Gyeun-hye was impeached for corrupt dealings, voters in the May 2017 ROK presidential election voted into office Moon Jae-in, who had pledged during the election campaign to re-vitalize north-south relations. In his first term, President Moon made it a matter of priority to re-establish north-south ties and was receptive to the proposals made by Kim Jong Un and the DPRK which ultimately led to the historic Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula, signed between the two leaders on April 27, 2018. This historic agreement re-affirmed all previous agreements and went further, by declaring, among other important measures, that the two sides would refrain from engaging in military provocations. This declaration was justly celebrated by the Korean people and peace-loving humanity as a big step forward for inter-Korean relations and for peace on the Korean Peninsula and around the world.
What has continued to be a block to the aspirations of the Korean people and their nation-building project are the machinations and perfidy of the U.S. imperialists, who were responsible for the division of Korea in the first place in 1945 and who continue to keep Korea divided today. The military, economic and political domination and militarization of the ROK by the U.S. imperialists and their attempts to strangle the DPRK into submission through a slew of unjust and brutal UN Security Council sanctions are all aimed at realizing the geo-political interests of U.S. imperialism in East Asia and the Indo-Pacific region as part of its drive for world domination. In the process, the U.S. has weaponized the ROK in order to maintain a foothold for its armed forces on the mainland of north-east Asia and to serve as a forward staging ground to threaten China and Russia.
The Canadian government too is playing a dirty role in
the region by participating in provocations and aggression against the
DPRK, as it is doing in Venezuela. Last week, the Trudeau government
announced through the Department of National Defence that the Canadian
military will continue to be engaged for two more years in monitoring
shipping to and from the DPRK to enforce the unjust UN sanctions -- an
operation begun a little over a year ago.
The military domination of the U.S. in south Korea is such that the ROK is forced to pay some U.S.$1 billion annually towards the cost of maintaining 28,000 U.S. troops in its territory and to maintain the U.S. military bases and installations. The ROK is also one of the biggest purchasers of U.S. weapons. Despite Point 2 of the terms of the Panmunjom Declaration that the ROK and DPRK will "make joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula," this has been difficult to do because of the presence of the U.S. military in the ROK and the 1953 ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty that the U.S. imposed on the ROK in 1953 following the Korean War. The ROK is forced by the terms of the Treaty to take part in the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises which are thinly veiled attempts to threaten the DPRK and its supporters China and Russia. In addition, the U.S. has so far refused to implement the commitments it made as a result of the DPRK-U.S. Summit Agreement signed on June 12 of last year in Singapore, the second of four points of which notes: "The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula."
In the meantime, the Korean people are continuing to organize and take stands in defence of peace and sovereignty. Actions take place every day to oppose the U.S. military presence and to demand that the Moon government continue to build peaceful relations with the DPRK. Activists hold actions at the U.S. embassy in Seoul each week calling for the removal of U.S. troops and their weapons from Korean soil. Peace activists are also holding actions in Busan, on Jeju Island and other places. And this is the decisive thing. It is the Korean people, showing through their deeds, that they are the ones who will decide Korea's future. It is their defiance of U.S. threats and dictate that give expression to the three principles guiding the Korean reunification movement: reunification will be achieved independently without outside interference, through the political unity of the Korean people despite their ideological differences, and peacefully.
On this occasion, let us pledge as fraternal peace-loving Canadian people to step up our support for the courageous and determined struggle of the Korean people to achieve peace, reunification and progress for Korea.
Standing Up for Immigrant and Refugee
Rights in the U.S.
People being unjustly profiled by U.S. Border Patrol agents who board buses and demand citizenship papers are resisting and taking stands to defend their rights and the rights of all those being profiled, harassed and, in some instances, detained. People are not required to carry proof of citizenship when travelling, unless they are crossing the border. But Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) are arbitrarily boarding buses and demanding proof of citizenship. They are doing so based on racist profiling, targetting any they decide appear to be immigrants.
The actions often take place on buses and trains leaving New York City and travelling to Syracuse and Rochester, as well as on buses travelling from Philadelphia through Pennsylvania. New England states are also being impacted, as is Washington state.
As one person profiled put it: "I was super angry because [they were] obviously profiling." She is Puerto Rican and a U.S. citizen. "They literally skipped over every single white person." She watched agents walk down the aisles, stopping only when they saw a person of colour, to ask: "Are you from here? Do you have papers?"
Bus and train travellers across the northern U.S. report being stopped, questioned and detained with increasing frequency. Advocates emphasize that the searches are illegal. Passengers cannot be detained and questioned by CBP agents without reasonable suspicion that they are reportable, and that suspicion cannot be based on someone's skin colour or ability to speak English or failure to have documentation with them, given they are not crossing the border.
These illegal searches are now happening as often as three times a day at some northern bus stations, even those with no direct routes to the border. They have caused bus delays and missed connections and have resulted in the long-term detention of immigrants who have committed no crime and were racially profiled and detained.
Under immigration law, agents have the authority to search vehicles without a warrant "within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the United States." CBP claims this is anywhere within 100 miles of any land or water border. That massive zone encompasses areas that hold more than half of the U.S. population, all of the east and west coast and areas that include all of New England, Florida and most of New York state. The buses are often hundreds of miles from the northern or southern border, yet CBP agents are involved.
It is along the northern border that the bulk of the board and search actions have occurred. Given the broad rejection of these illegal activities by passengers -- citizens and non-citizens alike -- even Greyhound, the country's largest bus company, has complained to the government.
According to incidents reported to advocates or described in court documents, in Vermont, Florida, California, Detroit, Rochester, Spokane and elsewhere, agents have boarded buses and asked passengers where they were born or to see their papers. Passengers have filmed or photographed some of these interactions as part of their resistance, sparking outrage and opposition online. Their efforts show CBP grilling citizens, green card holders and DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] recipients -- in some cases detaining citizens and documented immigrants, claiming their documentation was fake.
The continued opposition and broad stand of the people
racist government profiling and unjust searches and detention are
an important part of ongoing efforts to defend the rights of
(Voice of Revolution)
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced, on behalf of the state of New Mexico, that she is suing the U.S. government in an effort to halt the Trump administration's indiscriminate practice of releasing migrants in communities in the state's borderland area in violation of the federal government's "safe release" policy, leaving vulnerable individuals and families without assistance and burdening local governments as well as nonprofit organizations. The complaint is also seeking reimbursement for the costs incurred by the state as a result of the federal government's derogation of duty to administer this country's immigration system and claims of asylum.
Filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, the governor's complaint, with the city of Albuquerque as co-plaintiff, takes issue with the federal government's abandonment of its longstanding safe release program, through which asylum-seeking individuals were provided assistance in reaching their final destinations while waiting for their claims to be processed. The sudden and unlawful abandonment of this policy was done without notice or opportunity for input by affected jurisdictions, the state and city of Albuquerque included. The policy decisions of the federal government have had profound and myriad impacts upon the state of New Mexico and on asylum seekers, who have been left to fend for themselves in border-adjacent New Mexico communities. While the state and border communities have endeavoured to avert an escalation of the humanitarian crisis this policy has exacerbated, New Mexico's efforts have come at great cost, and there exists no timeline for a cessation or easing of the situation.
The state and city are asking the court to vacate the federal government's termination of its safe release policy, as it is without legal force or effect; issue preliminary and permanent injunctions requiring the named defendants to provide asylum-seeking individuals and families the equivalent assistance to that provided under the safe release policy; and require a reimbursement of the expenses the state and city have incurred in response to the unlawful abandonment of the safe release policy.
The complaint names Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Acting Director Mark Morgan of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Deputy Director Matthew Albence of [ICE], Executive Associate Director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Nathalie Asher, and Carla Provost, the chief of U.S. Border Patrol.
"The Trump administration has consistently and flagrantly failed in its response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis at our southern border as well as in addressing legitimate border-security concerns," Governor Lujan Grisham said. "The president has shown time and again he is interested only in demonizing the vulnerable people who arrive at our border, stoking unfounded fears about national security while taking no action to substantively and proactively protect immigrants and our southern border communities from human- and drug-trafficking. There has been no leadership. In the vacuum, New Mexico communities have stepped up. But long-term remedies are needed. This legal action is intended to protect, in equal measure, New Mexicans and local governments in the southern part of our state as well as the asylum-seeking individuals from Central America and elsewhere who have been treated with neglect by decision-makers in Washington."
"Local faith-based organizations and volunteers have been left to clean up the federal administration's immigration mess," Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said. "By abandoning the 'safe release' policy, the federal government has abandoned the border states. Albuquerque's compassionate community members stepped up to help these struggling families as they legally pass through our city on their difficult journey, and our city has stepped up to support our friends and neighbours with this effort. It's time for the federal administration to step up and fulfill its legal responsibilities to these families, to our state and to our city."
In April, San Diego County filed a similar lawsuit in
District Court in Southern California."
(June 10, 2019)
The American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] of Louisiana filed suit today against the Trump administration for categorically denying release to hundreds of people who are languishing in immigration prisons after lawfully seeking asylum in the United States.
The class action suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of 12 named plaintiffs who, like hundreds of other migrants, sought asylum at official U.S. points of entry in compliance with federal law and then were confined and sent to remote prisons in Louisiana and Alabama.
Because the law denies them the right to seek release from an immigration judge, they turned to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is bound by rules that favour their release on parole. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the DHS agency in charge of detaining or releasing the migrants, however, has denied parole across the board, even when people have solid asylum cases and satisfy the legal requirements.
ICE policy requires that asylum seekers be released provided they establish their identity and show they are not a danger or flight risk, according to the lawsuit.
"Like hundreds of people being held in multiple ICE detention centres in the Deep South, our asylum-seeking plaintiffs are being punished for following the law," said SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center] Senior Supervising Attorney Luz Virginia Lopez. "They followed the legal checklist by first presenting themselves at a point of entry, and this is how America is paying them back -- with cruelty and disrespect for the law."
Parole approvals have dropped sharply under President Trump. Fewer than 10 years ago, roughly 90 percent of such asylum seekers were released. Today, at the New Orleans ICE Field Office, which is responsible for confined asylum seekers across several Southeastern states, parole was granted in just two of 130 cases in 2018.
"Here in Louisiana, thousands of immigrants and asylum seekers are now being exposed to brutal and inhumane conditions in our jails and prisons -- with virtually no hope of release," said Bruce Hamilton, staff attorney for the ACLU of Louisiana and co-counsel in the case. "We're suing to stop these abuses and hold the Trump administration accountable for following the law."
The lawsuit also calls attention to the impact of the dehumanizing treatment -- especially the excessive use of solitary confinement and inadequate health care -- received daily in immigration prisons, many of which are operated for profit.
"Across this nation, there is a consensus building that
incarceration does much more harm than good to our communities,"
said Attorney Laura Rivera. "Yet, as criminal justice reforms
lead to lower rates of incarceration, this administration is
filling jails and prisons with record numbers of migrants -- more
than 53,000 at last count. It's causing untold human suffering,
and it's violating the law. I spent a week at the Pine Prairie
ICE Processing Center in Louisiana and saw bus after bus line up
outside the Center to unload their human cargo. Many immigrants
will spend months inside, and taxpayers are picking up the
(May 30, 2019)
A federal judge on Friday, May 24, partially blocked the Trump administration from building parts of a wall along the southern border and blocked the transfer of nearly $1 billion in funds from the Defense Department to pay for it.
U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. of the Northern District of California granted a temporary injunction in the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] on behalf of The Sierra Club and The Southern Border Communities Coalition.
Following the end of a congressional budget fight in February that left President Donald Trump without the money he asked for his border wall, he declared a national emergency in order to shore up funds from the Defense Department for its construction.
Finding that construction in parts of Texas and Arizona may cause "irreparable harm" to the environment and that plaintiffs were "likely to show" the Trump administration "exceeded their statutory authority," Judge Gilliam said the temporary injunction was warranted.
Gilliam referred to the separation of powers between the three branches of government, particularly the Legislature's power of allocating funding. "Congress's 'absolute' control over federal expenditures -- even when that control may frustrate the desires of the Executive Branch regarding initiatives it views as important -- is not a bug in our constitutional system," Gilliam wrote in the 56-page ruling. "It is a feature of that system, and an essential one."
Judge Gilliam cited James Madison's Federalist Papers on the importance of limiting the executive branch from taking powers belonging to other government branches. "In short, the position that when Congress declines the Executive's request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds 'without Congress' does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic," Gilliam wrote.
The ACLU argued that the emergency declaration was used unlawfully to gather funding for the wall after Congress denied President Trump the more than $5 billion he asked for. ACLU staff attorney Dror Ladin said the court blocked all the wall projects currently slated for immediate construction.
Gloria Smith, managing attorney for The Sierra Club,
ruling was a win for the environment as well. "Walls divide
neighbourhoods, worsen dangerous flooding, destroy lands and
wildlife, and waste resources that should instead be used on the
infrastructure these communities truly need," Smith said.
(Court House News, May 24, 2019.)
Trump administration officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently visited the Fort Benning military base in Georgia as part of plans to imprison up to 5,000 undocumented immigrant children. HHS is responsible for placing children once they have left Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention, who are only supposed to hold them for a maximum of 72 hours. Commonly, they are placed in churches or with similar charitable organizations or families. Now the administration is holding the children in prison-like conditions for longer periods.
Fort Benning, is one of three military bases HHS is considering using, the others being Fort Still in Oklahoma and Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Officials are deciding what buildings already in place can be used to hold the children and what areas of land could be used to construct more "tent cities."
HHS is working together with the Pentagon, an indication that HHS as an agency is being integrated into the enforcement side, rather than acting as a non-policing social service agency. "At the request of [HHS] and with the support of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), HHS will be conducting a site assessment of unused DoD property for potential future use as temporary emergency influx shelter for unaccompanied alien children," HHS said in a statement.
Advocates bring out that housing children in prison-like conditions is harmful to the children, who have committed no crime and have the right to asylum and their right as human beings to be treated with dignity and to have all their rights, including rights to education and health care, provided for. A number of children have died while in ICE custody, mainly from lack of health care. Use of military bases also makes it far more difficult for lawyers and advocates to assist the youth as entry to the bases is restricted.
What is needed is for the children to be immediately placed with their families -- which most already have living in the U.S. -- or in housing facilities that exist in communities across the country for youth in need.
Eliminating Educational Instruction for Detained Youth
More than 63 per cent of migrants apprehended at the border in May were children and families, mainly from Central America. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) arrested more than 144,000 people, many of them children, some unaccompanied minors. These youth will be detained, sometimes for months or longer, and with thousands more, added to those already unjustly and inhumanely detained in "tent cities," dog kennels, and other prison-like facilities. Even so, the government announced it is cancelling English classes, legal aid, and recreational opportunities for the children in detention.
The Department of Homeland Security is also preparing to imprison more babies. They bought 2.2 million diapers for a new tent detention centre in Texas, along with 20,000 baby bottles and 3,000 baby wipes.
Court documents show "prison-like" conditions that can inflict psychological harm in many of the detention prisons, including those in Florida and Texas that hold thousands of youth.
2019 European Parliament Election
Just as the Europe of the monopolies is fragmented, so
the elections for the new European Parliament have given rise to
fragmented results. Both are wracked by rival narrow private
interests vying for control over peoples whose nation-states no
longer represent their sovereign right to decide matters for
themselves. An article in German Foreign Policy reports, for example,
on the impact on the European member states of the introduction of the
euro, January 1, 1999.
German Foreign Policy reports: "According to a recent study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, German industry, represented by the Federation of German Industries (BDI) is the EU's biggest winner, raking in €86 billion per year, thanks to the common market. Already last February, the Centre for European Policy (cep) pointed out that Germany is the euro's biggest beneficiary: since its launch, the single currency has generated almost €1.9 trillion for the central power, while costing Italy €4.3 trillion. Whereas the BDI speaks of the EU in glowing terms, almost one quarter of the population living in the EU is threatened by poverty and social marginalization."
The annual per capita income growth, for example in Spain (€589), Greece (€401), Poland (€382), or Bulgaria (€193) is much lower than in Germany (€1,024).
"Germany is not only the main beneficiary of the common market, but also the main beneficiary of the introduction of the euro. This has been confirmed by a study published in February by the cep located in Freiburg. The study points out that in 2017, Germany's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would have been €280 billion less, were it not for the EU single currency. Altogether, from the introduction of the euro, until 2017, Germany has gained almost €1.9 trillion -- or approximately €23,116 per capita. However, cep had also discovered that, of the eight euro countries studied, only the Netherlands also shows a positive result -- a plus of €346 billion up to and including 2017, or €21,003 per capita. France and Italy, on the other hand, were dramatic losers. The French GDP would be €374 billion more, Italy's, even €530 billion more, if the common currency had not been introduced, reports cep. From 1999 -- 2017 France lost a total of approximately €3.6 trillion (€55,996 per capita). During the same period, Italy lost more than €4.3 trillion (€73,605 per capita)."
In 2017, according to Eurostat, the EU's statistics authority, 22.5 per cent of the Union's population were threatened with poverty and social marginalization -- a mere 1.2 per cent fewer than nearly ten years earlier (2008: 23.7 per cent). In 2017, the proportion of those in the EU, who were still classified as poverty-threatened, after having received their social welfare payments, was at 16.9 per cent -- higher than in 2008 (16.6 per cent). Only seven EU countries had successfully lowered their 2008 proportions, while in 19 EU countries these had risen further. According to Eurostat, in 2017, 6.9 per cent of the population in the EU suffers from "considerable material deprivation." The figures refer to the nationally determined risk-of-poverty thresholds, whose low-levels are themselves but further indications of the gap in prosperity that exists within the Union. Whereas in Germany, in 2017, poverty-threatened signified having less than €13,152 annually, in Greece -- with similar living expenses in various aspects -- only those with less than €4,560 annually were considered poverty-threatened. In Lithuania the 2017 threshold was at €3,681, and in Bulgaria, €2,150. As mentioned above, the German economy's umbrella organizations refer to the EU as a "realm of prosperity [...] with a high level of social responsibility."
"Many of the east and southeast European countries have become low-cost production sites for German companies, which has fueled the German industry's enormous export success, if not made it even possible. German trade with the entire region is booming. The commodity exchange between Germany and the Visegrád group (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) in 2017 was at around €256 billion -- significantly more than trade with China (approx. €170 billion). A significant portion of Germany's Visegrád trade is comprised of delivery exchanges between German plants in Germany with their subsidiaries in Visegrád countries. Thanks to its geographical location in the heart of the continent, and its historically developed relations, Germany has profited more than all other EU countries from the eastward expansion. Great Britain on the EU's western outskirts offers an example of the contrary. As experts from the German Economic Institute (IW, Cologne) reported in October, Great Britain 'benefited little' from the EU's eastward expansion. Therefore, it plays 'a significantly smaller role' than Germany in the Union's production chains."
The EU remains the German economy's most important sales market. In 2017, Germany exported around €750 billion to other member countries of the Union -- 58.6 per cent of its total exports, accumulating thereby an export surplus of nearly €160 billion. These enormous advantages explain the overwhelming majority of German entrepreneurs' satisfaction with the Union -- in spite of the growing dissatisfaction spreading through sectors of Germany's medium-sized economy.
The European Union elections were held in Europe's 28 member states, compared to 12 members in 1994. Voter turnout was said to be 50.5 per cent, the highest in 20 years. The European People's Party (EPP) won 180 seats (down 35 from 2014), and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) won 146 (down 40 from 2014). Their combined 326 seats fall short of a majority in the 751 member parliament.
Media reports are describing a "Green Wave" with the Greens increasing their seats from 50 to 67, thanks to a strong showing in Germany and France.
In Germany, the Green party nearly doubled its 2014 vote share to take second place with 20.5 per cent of the vote.
In France, President Emmanuel Macron's La République en Marche (LREM) party and Marine Le Pen's National Rally enter the new European Parliament with 23 seats each. National Rally is said to have captured a record number of votes (5.3 million, up from 4.7 million in 2014), more than LREM's 23.3 per cent of votes cast. Yannick Jadot's Europe Ecologie les Verts took third place with 13.5 per cent of the vote, "a significant increase over their 9.9 per cent vote share in 2014 and over pre-election polling.
In Italy, "Matteo Salvini's far-right League party cemented its hold on the electoral landscape with 34.3 per cent, to the detriment of its coalition partner in national government, the Five-Star Movement, which claimed half as many votes (17.1 per cent) to come in third, France 24 reports. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia claimed less than nine per cent of votes.
In Austria, the big winner of the European elections is said to be Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. "In the midst of a government crisis over a corruption scandal of his coalition partner, his party, the ÖVP, increased its share of the vote by seven per cent [and] will thus have up to seven seats in the new European Parliament. Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, the ANO party of populist Prime Minister Andrej Babis won the most votes despite the fact that Babis is facing fraud charges involving the use of EU funds. The same goes for Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borissov whose GERB reasserted itself despite recent scandals," EURACTIV.com writes.
In Greece, "Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, following massive defeats to the conservative opposition New Democracy party (EPP) in EU and local elections, announced snap elections, most probably due on June 30."
The "whole European Left saw a drop in their representation, going from 52 to 39 seats."
"The Polish opposition movement European Coalition, comprised of the Civic Platform (PO), formerly led by European Council President Donald Tusk, and a group of leftist and rural parties reached a hefty 38.3 per cent, but was still behind the ruling PiS. The fact that the united opposition still did not manage to trump the governing party is a defeat in itself. The narrow result directly puts the two camps on a collision course for the national polls in autumn, which for now does not bode well for the opposition camp."
In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's Fidesz party "was virtually the only party on the continent to win an outright majority, with 52.3 per cent of the vote. The only other party to do so was the Labour party of Malta."
In Britain, Nigel Farage's new Brexit Party, topped the poll with 31.7 per cent of the vote and won 29 of Britain's 73 seats. The Conservative Party garnered only 8.7 per cent of votes, while Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party took 14.1 per cent. The Liberal Democrat and Green parties are also said to have posted "historically strong results."
France 24 put it this way: "Sunday's election results are set to reshape the EU's governing coalition, as far-right parties and pro-European greens and liberals each make big gains at the expense of the establishment left and right."
(German Foreign Policy)
The elections for Members to the European Parliament (MEPs) took place in Britain on May 23. They were billed as the elections no one wanted, since it is envisaged that elected MEPs will not take their seats before the revised deadline for Brexit, October 31. The main Westminster parties hardly have a coherent position as parties, and the Brexit Party itself was initially registered as a limited company, not a party with members.
At the same time, contradictions within the EU are sharpening, notably between France and Germany, who dominate the European project. They are increasingly at loggerheads, and internally increasingly in turmoil.
Thus the question cannot really be posed in terms of whether it is beneficial to Remain in or Leave the European Union, taking account of the nature of this "European project." The argument that Leave is the only option because of the neo-liberal nature of the EU and its concentration of power does not hold, because the working class and people of Britain cannot simply escape the neo-liberal agenda in this way. Similarly the argument to Remain on the basis that the EU will guarantee rights or is internationalist has the flaw that the EU is beset with these contradictions, and the vision of a "social Europe" which consistently favours the people and their rights continues to recede.
The point is that the people must oppose and fight against the injustices they face in their daily lives which are part and parcel of the so-called liberal democracy that characterizes the political system that exists and is in such crisis here in Britain as well as in the European Union, without illusions or preconceptions. They must argue out their positions and see whether the conditions exist for what they aspire to. And they must cognize what is required to bring out the conditions for their rights and set this as their agenda. In other words, the people must resist the temptation to make Remainers or Leavers into things rather than human beings with their own rights and interests.
The issue at the core of considerations for the people is that Brexit or no Brexit, there is still the question of where political power lies. Whatever the relation between Britain and the EU, or Britain and the U.S., or the working class and peoples of this country and of Europe, or the state relationships within the "United Kingdom," there remains the requirement for the peoples to be empowered to control and make the decisions concerning their own political affairs, on which all else depends. Thus it can be affirmed that Brexit or no-Brexit is not a policy decision on which the polity must be split, siding with one or the other as though everything else depended on this policy decision. To view things in this way is to reduce the people to spectators, cheer-leaders or complainers.
For a Solution in Which People Speak in Their Own Name!
(June 4, 2019)
(To access articles individually click on the black headline.)
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