East Asia
Glasgow

UK orders closure of China-run ‘police stations’

UK Minister for Security Tom Tugendhat told Parliament that the government has ordered China to close “overseas police service stations” operating within the United Kingdom, calling the stations’ existence “unacceptable.” Tugendhat said that British authorities received reports from non-governmental organization Safeguard Defenders of such stations in Croydon, Hendon and Glasgow, with allegations of another in Belfast. The United States and Ireland both claim to have recently uncovered similar stations in their countries. Like the UK, they said the stations were used to monitor and harass Chinese diaspora communities.¬†(Photo of¬†Glasgow¬†location, within restaurant storefront: Google via The Ferret)

Europe
Holodomor

Germany recognizes Holodomor as genocide

The German Bundestag¬†voted to formally recognize the Holodomor, a politically induced famine that decimated Ukraine in 1932-3, as a genocide. The declaration found that Soviet authorities demanded inflated quantities of grain from Ukrainian farmers and punished those who fell short with additional demands. Affected regions were cut off from the rest of the Soviet Union so that Ukrainians could not receive aid. As a result, approximately 3.5 million Ukrainians starved to death. The Bundestag characterized¬†the Holodomor as a project of Joseph Stalin to suppress the Ukrainian “way of life, language and culture,” and one of the most “unimaginable crimes against humanity” in Europe’s history. The motion also recognized Germany’s own history of genocide and the Bundestag’s “special responsibility” to acknowledge and condemn crimes against humanity.¬†Ukraine declared the Holodomor a genocide in 2006. (Photo: 2019¬†Holodomor remembrance¬†in Kyiv. Credit: EuroMaidan Press)

Europe
Bloody Sunday

No prosecution for soldiers in Bloody Sunday

Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service announced that after reviewing evidence against 15 British soldiers suspected of killing civilians in Derry on “Bloody Sunday,” Jan. 30, 1972, they will maintain the decision not to prosecute. The final decision, announced in a statement from the PPS, upholds an earlier one from 2019, which found that “the available evidence is insufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction.” After the 2019 announcement, families who lost loved ones and survivors injured in the massacre asked for a review of the decision. Bloody Sunday was the deadliest episode of Northern Ireland’s civil rights movement; 13 were killed and several wounded when Parachute Regiment troops opened fire on demonstrators. The final decision means that only one prosecution will proceed for the deaths. The PPS is prosecuting a man referred to as Soldier F, a former member of the Parachute Regiment, for two murders on Bloody Sunday and attempted murders of four others at a separate civil rights march. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Planet Watch

Podcast: paradoxes of anarchism and nationalism

In Episode 32 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg reads from George Orwell’s 1945 essay “Notes on Naitonalsim,” and explains why despite his anarchist politics he is willing to march under the Mexican flag but not “Old Glory,” under the Palestinian flag but not the Israeli, under the Tibetan flag but not that of the People’s Republic of China‚ÄĒand under the Free Syrian flag but not that of the Assad dictatorship. The Free Syrian flag flown by the rebels and opposition is the original flag of an independent Syria, and now represents the struggle to free the country from a one-family dynastic dictatorship massively propped up by foreign powers. Weinberg especially calls out the depraved Max Blumenthal for purveying a version of events in Syria starkly at odds with reality. Weinberg invites listeners to join the Syria Solidarity NYC contingent at New Yorkl’s May Day march, gathering 5 PM at the Sixth Ave. entrance to Central Park. Listen on SoundCloud, and support our podcast via Patreon. (Photo: SHAML)

New York City
Lopez Rivera

Oscar López Rivera, terrorism and semantics

The controversy over¬†liberated political prisoner Oscar L√≥pez Rivera’s participation in¬†New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade opens a window on the political uses of the term “terrorist.”

Europe

Scotland and Wales to enter Brexit lawsuit

The UK Supreme Court ruled that Scotland and Wales may join a case challenging Prime Minister Theresa May’s power to leave the EU without a parliamentary vote.

Planet Watch

UN moves to outlaw nuclear weapons in 2017

The UN adopted a resolution—hailed by disarmament campaigners as an important landmark—to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons.

Europe

Break-up of United Kingdom impending?

The Brexit may signal the beginning of the dissolution of the UK, renewing calls for Scottish independence, a united Ireland, and even for London to secede as a free city-state.