Missing students in Mexico: arrest warrants against soldiers

Arrest warrants have been issued against several soldiers six years after 43 students disappeared in Mexico. President promises justice.

Memorial march for the disappeared in Mexico City on Saturday Foto: Rebecca Blackwell/ap

MEXICO CITY dpa | Six years after the disappearance of 43 students in southwest Mexico, arrest warrants have been issued for several suspected soldiers and a federal police officer. “There will be justice”, promised President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Saturday. There have recently been a number of new investigative approaches. “There will be no impunity,” said State Secretary for Human Rights at the Ministry of the Interior, Alejandro Encinas. “Those responsible will be held accountable.”

On the night of September 27, 2014, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teacher training college in Guerrero state were abducted by police officers and handed over to the Guerreros Unidos crime syndicate. According to official investigations, the young men were killed and burned in a garbage dump. However, independent studies cast doubt on this version. So far only the bones of two victims have been found. The details and background of the crime are still unclear. Nobody has been convicted to this day.

In memory of the abducted, numerous demonstrators moved from the Independence Monument to the central Zócalo square in the historic city center on Saturday in Mexico City. They chanted: “You took her alive, we want her back alive” and sprayed slogans and the number 43 on the facade of the National Palace

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recognized progress in the investigation, but also urged the authorities to step up their efforts. Several suspects have recently been released for torture in detention. In Mexico, over 73,000 people have disappeared. During the search for the abducted students alone, 245 bodies of other murder victims were discovered around the town of Iguala in Guerrero – only 22 have so far been identified.


Right-wing extremists at security authorities: 350 suspected cases

Hundreds of employees of security authorities are said to be right-wing extremists. This emerges from a confidential paper from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

The police in Hesse are particularly suspicious: the police headquarters in Frankfurt am Main Photo: Boris Roessler / dpa

BERLIN afp | According to a report, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) counts more than 350 suspected right-wing extremism cases in the German security authorities. This is evident from the management report on the topic, which was first prepared, reported the World on Sunday. The document classified as confidential therefore illuminates the period from the beginning of January 2017 to the end of March 2020.

According to the report, the BfV asked the Federal Intelligence Service, the Military Counter-Intelligence Service, the Federal Criminal Police Office, the Federal Police, the 16 state police and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which together have around 300,000 employees. The authorities therefore had to fill out a questionnaire on right-wing extremist cases in their homes, which the BfV then evaluated centrally.

Most right-wing extremist suspected cases among the federal states reported according to the World on Sunday Hesse. The interior ministry there explains this by stating that internal investigations have been carried out particularly intensively in this area for two years.

In the state, 59 measures under service and labor law have been carried out in the past three years. Disciplinary proceedings were initiated in 50 of them and 29 were suspended, the newspaper wrote. In eleven cases there were dismissals or non-appointment as civil servants.

In the past few months, right-wing extremist incidents in security authorities had repeatedly caused a stir. Most recently, a right-wing extremist chat group within the police was uncovered in North Rhine-Westphalia. In Leipzig, a police officer is suspected of having “made right-wing extremist and racist remarks” as a participant in a chat, as the Leipzig police department announced on Friday.

The eagerly awaited situation report of the protection of the constitution should be loud World on Sunday to be presented in October. Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) had rejected a study on racism in the police that had been requested by many parties on the grounds that the situation report was currently being prepared.


Trump’s candidate for the Supreme Court: an ultra-conservative Catholic

Donald Trump nominates Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. She rejects Obama’s health care reform and abortions.

Sent into the race: Donald Trump and Amy Coney Barrett in the White House on Saturday Photo: Alex Brandon / ap

NEW YORK taz | Donald Trump has fulfilled the wildest dreams of his supporters. On Saturday he nominated Amy Coney Barrett as his candidate for the Supreme Court. The president called the judge “a woman of remarkable intellect and character” and “one of the most gifted legal minds in our nation.” He also thought it appropriate to extol her as a “deeply devoted mother.”

If the Republican majority in the Senate confirms Barrett – what it looks like – the court will get a solid, conservative majority of six to three for the first time in decades. That is enough to overturn or undermine numerous reforms: from the rights of women, immigrants and minorities to social benefits and the Obamacare health care reform. At the same time, it will anchor the highest legal authority in the country, on whose table all contested political projects will eventually end up, well beyond the next presidency. Because the office is for life and Barrett is only 48.

Trump was in a hurry to fill the position vacated by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The 87-year-old died on Friday of the previous week after a long illness. According to information from her family, she had recently dictated a last will to her granddaughter Clara Spera: “My greatest wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is in office.”

But Trump already promised in his first election campaign in 2016 that he would fill the courts with conservatives who are critical of “Roe versus Wade”. The 1973 landmark ruling gave women in the United States the right to have an abortion. For fundamentalist evangelicals, whose votes Trump needs in November, the abolition – or at least hollowing out – of “Roe versus Wade” is an obsession. With Barrett, Trump could announce the success of the legal crusade that the Republicans in Washington have been preparing for decades. In the past four years he has changed the judicial landscape with the nomination of more than 200 federal judges – including two for the highest court. Regardless of upcoming elections, these judges can determine the direction the country will take in the future. Trump’s judges are young (average age at the nomination: 48 years), the majority white (85 percent) and right-wing.

With the Barrett nomination in the rose garden of the White House, the US president tried to achieve a certain non-partisan gesture. But just a few minutes later, in a communiqué, he described his move with the same words that he also used in the election campaign. In this Barrett is “crucial to make America great again”.

From the other end of the spectrum

As the successor to the left-liberal “RBG”, Barrett would benefit from the fact that the deceased paved the way for women to the top of power. But politically and legally it comes from the extreme other end of the spectrum. Law professor and current appellate judge Barrett is a member of the same conservative Federalist Society as the five conservative men who are already on the Supreme Court. The members of this group claim that they interpret the constitution as it is supposed to have been meant at the end of the 18th century. Barrett calls herself a “textualist” and an “originalist”. The self-determination of women over their bodies, equal rights for homosexuals and the protection of the right to vote for African-Americans did not occur in the minds of the founding fathers. When they wrote their constitution, women had no say in politics and black men and women were slaves.

The Catholic Barrett belongs to the arch-conservative group of charismatic Christians “People of Praise”. And is also one of the lawyers in the anti-abortion group “Faculty for Life”. Freedom of religion is more important to her than the protection of special rights.

After the death of the seriously ill Bader Ginsburg, the Democratic Party asked the Senate to wait until the next president took office before nominating a successor. The Democrats reminded the Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell that he himself refused to even hear Obama’s candidate to succeed the late Judge Antonin Scalia in the 2016 election year. McConnell argued at the time that the Supreme Court could not be replaced so close to the elections. Scalia died eight months before the 2016 elections, Bader Ginsburg just six weeks before the upcoming elections.

To McConnell and almost all other Republicans, positioning the Supreme Court to the right is more important than the slogan that they themselves issued years ago. Currently, only two Republican Senators are considering not voting on the Supreme Court before the election. Even without these two, Republicans have enough votes to confirm Trump’s judge.

Democrats lack a strategy

The Democratic Party, which a few days ago was optimistic about the upcoming elections, has had its back to the wall since the death of “RBG”. The party does not yet have a political strategy to prevent Barrett’s confirmation in the Senate. Your presidential candidate Joe Biden only appeals to the “conscience” of the Republican Senators. Other democrats are threatening to increase the number of members of the supreme court in the future (a step that is controversial in democratic ranks).

Left groups and civil rights organizations warn that Barrett’s affirmation jeopardizes many rights and makes overdue reform projects a seemingly unreachable distance. With a solid conservative majority in the court, the financial influence of corporations over politicians will grow, if no support for environmental and climate policy is to be expected, the gun lobby can prepare for long-term support from the very top and will become outdated institutions from the early years of USA originated – like the Electoral College, which elects the US President – will remain untouched.

The Republicans in the Senate want to start the Barrett hearings on October 12th and confirm them a few days before the November 3rd elections. If it works, she could have a say in Obama’s most important reform project, health care reform, just a week after the elections. In the year of the pandemic, which has already cost more than 200,000 lives in the US, it could cost millions of people health insurance. And if the result of the presidential election is challenged in court – which can be assumed – Barrett, as judge, would also have a say in the decision of the next president of the USA.

Despite their opposition to Barrett, the Democrats must adopt a more cautious tone towards her than they did when Trump was last nominated for the Supreme Court. Unlike Brett Kavanaugh, who was not a good exponent of his own cause in the face of rape allegations, Barrett has a winning demeanor. With this, and with cleverly chosen answers and omissions, the lawyer already impressed in 2017 when she was nominated to an appeals court.

On Saturday, she came to the ceremony with her husband and seven children – including two adopted children from Haiti. The only faux pas: The youngest child, who has Down syndrome, did not come on stage for the final group photo with the president and his wife.


Torn France: The stressed country

Five years after the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the November terror: France is in a deep identity crisis.

Illustration: Katja Gendikova

It is a serious and heated discussion in France: How do you dress for school? Belly-free is not possible, say stick conservatives. This clothing debate now appears even more bizarre than usual against the devastating background of a second corona wave with high case numbers and strict regional restrictions, which are protested by those responsible there because they are not allowed to participate in decision-making. The new bans severely weaken the “France Relance” plan recently announced by President Macron and the government under the new Prime Minister Castex to revive the corona-plagued economy. But they are not yet comparable to the repressive nationwide lockdown in spring. The state currently wants to avoid it at all costs and therefore appeals to the citizens: internal reason, please (and properly dressed) not to overdo it with the beloved savoir vivre.

The unfortunate clothes debate, it appears like a lost piece of a French society puzzle. It is a jigsaw puzzle in which a nation that has been stressed on various levels has come to a standstill. So how torn can jeans be in the classroom? Education Minister Blanquer from the ruling LREM party is seriously calling for a “tenue républicaine”, whatever it may be – perhaps a floor-length tricolor for Elev: inside in the national colors, one would not seriously throw in. Under the hashtag # lundi14septembre, students recently campaigned vehemently not to allow short skirts and co. To be banned anywhere.

Instead of calling out solidarity and laissez-faire in unison in a community that claims freedom on paper, there are contradicting signals from society and politics. Here people, mostly men, who cling to traditional conventions, ultimately work on a figure of thought that never existed in reality, even before 1968: good old France, France, in which women and girls, depending on each other They knew how to behave in a flirtatious to “decent” situation, men were still “real”, seductive men, and the many immigrants, mostly from the former French colonies, were obediently ghettoized.

Of course, France has not only been harboring social explosives since the appearance of the yellow vests at the end of 2018. That phenomenon, like the uprisings in ailing French suburbs as early as 2005, shows, however, as if in a burning glass, resource and distribution struggles. And: excessive violence by protesters and the often racist state power. This complicated social situation has nothing to do with the republican pathos that President Emmanuel Macron avidly serves in everyday life. It is characterized by frustration and feelings of inferiority on the one hand and elitism on the other.

New breaks in society

The former editor-in-chief of the German edition of Charlie Hebdo, Romy Strassenburg, recently said succinctly in a taz interview (when the trial of the Islamist-motivated attack on the satirical newspaper began) that the French dose horribilis In 2015, with its big questions about identity, religion and terror, it was replaced to some extent by new questions that revealed new breaks within society. The public focus is now less on the detached, radicalized young Muslims, but more on a frustrated white lower class in peripheral urban areas who do not shy away from violence. France, according to Strassenburg, “is probably even further away from social unity or pacification than in 2015”. Now on Friday two journalists were caught in a knife attack near the former office of Charlie Hebdo injured. Identify anti-terrorist units; it remains uneasy – also on the subject of Islamism.

After the Islamist attack in front of the former seat of the satirical newspaper “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris, the main suspect confessed to the crime. The man arrested after the attack was taking “responsibility for his act,” it said on Saturday, September 26th. from investigative circles. As a motive he named the republication of controversial Mohammed caricatures by “Charlie Hebdo”, which he “could not stand”. (afp)

In early September Macron gave a speech at the Panthéon in Paris, where many French celebrities are buried. The tenor of the speech: The values ​​of the French Republic such as freedom, equality, fraternity and secularism are “indivisible”. And in a discourse in mid-June after the second major Parisian anti-racism demo, Macron actually said: “This fight is unacceptable if it is captured by separatists.” You have to act against racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination, but please don’t . How then? The country clearly has problems with the acceptance of its state organs – and people who think critically about it are pilloried.

France is drifting apart at critical points. And the monetary gap between the poor and the rich is growing steadily. Social housing, for example, has become noticeably less under Macron. A so-called tax on the rich never came. Whether there is good education and good support often depends on the “right” address – and the qualification at an elite institution – in the centrally managed hexagon, which is strongly geared towards the president. Those who apply for jobs, for example, often fall through the grid due to their non-French sounding name and origin from suburbs that are considered desolate.

System of inequality

Only recently, the powerless, conservative human rights representative of the government, Jacques Toubon, recalled that the “system of France” as a whole must be called into question: “a system that creates and maintains inequalities”. For people who do not look French and / or are not materially well off, “the republic does not keep its promises”.

This condition existed before Macron, but contrary to his promises, almost nothing has happened under him in terms of social and appreciative opportunities for advancement. That Macron is meant, who in his 2017 election campaign with the movement La République en Marche (LREM) like Kai aus der Kiste successfully advocated a France “beyond right and left and on the move”, the man who supported the socialists and the conservatives largely cannibalized to this day. That Macron, who in his election campaign was emphatically social democratic and multicultural. And now, in view of the likely final electoral duel in 2022 between him and Marine Le Pen, the head of the Rassemblement National, strategically moves ever further to the right in his domestic political agenda. Garnished with wishy-washy slogans like “Look ahead and don’t leave anyone behind”.

This mix now drives quite a few in the party into dismal perplexity; the mood is bad and trench warfare at LREM. Several MPs have left the National Assembly and Pierre Person, LREM Deputy Chair, has recently resigned. Aurore Bergé, a more conservative MP, recently warned in The world: “Our movement is in a real malaise. We no longer know who we are and what we stand for. ”What the self-absorbed“ Roi Macron ”probably doesn’t care about – for him, technocratic and vertical governance is more important. He sees movement as a vehicle for power.

Socialists as good as dead

The opposition parties, which are heavily revolving around themselves, and the first visible successes on the Franco-German EU axis after a long time are not (yet) making things really uncomfortable for Macron. The Parti Socialiste (PS) is as good as dead and is only discussing the question of whether it would not be smart to gather behind the Greens (EELV), which were very successful in the last European and local elections. But EELV is clumsy at the national level. Does the party even want to gain power, does it want its own presidential candidate?

The Greens are neither trying to clarify their relationship to liberalism, nor are they clear about whether they are striving for a radical, more emotional course or a more rational, moderate one in the future. And two influential figures at EELV, the Grenoble mayor Éric Piolle and the EU parliamentarian Yannick Jadot, are not green in the truest sense of the word. Cooperation with the conservative Republican Party (LR), also divided and divided, is, unlike black-green options in this country, zero issue for both sides. And then there is Jean-Luc Mélenchon, head of the left-wing movement La France insoumise, who is perfect in populist rhetoric. But since neither the Greens nor the Socialists will agree on him as a presidential candidate, the left will probably remain disparate for the time being, unless a left-wing party with a majority for a change is founded.

In contrast to Germany, where due to the electoral system and the federalist principle, a new party cannot march through from a standing start, in France it is much easier to bundle moods and sensitivities in one movement at the national level, see LREM. If Macron, as the most powerful in the state and the current government, does not slowly succeed in defusing the social explosives with rationality and foresight, the mood, which is doubly stressed by Corona, can brusquely tip. The country would then experience a violent reprint of the yellow vests or similar social, thoroughly heterogeneous movements. As a precaution, the national anthem, the bloodthirsty Marseillaise from the days of the revolution, is sung at demos of all stripes.

The republic – it is currently stressing the people in France. She doesn’t let go of her.


Actions by Ende Ende in the Rhineland: At dawn to the blockade

Despite Corona, Endegebiet is again blocking the lignite mine in the Rhineland this weekend. RWE employees act aggressively.

Activists of the orange finger from Ende Terrain at the action in Garzweiler on September 26th Photo: David Young / dpa

GARZWEILER taz | “That doesn’t help,” the policeman says to his colleague, “retreat!” There are only two of them, he gets back into the police car, slams the door and they drive away. The 200 people in the white painters’ suits can continue their way undisturbed on the small country road in the dark. Your destination: Garzweiler, the largest open-cast coal mine in Europe, a good 30 kilometers southwest of Düsseldorf.

From the camps, which this year are small and decentralized in the Rhenish lignite mining area due to the corona hygiene measures, several demonstration trains set off on Saturday morning, September 26, well before sunrise. As in every autumn or late summer since 2015, the climate activists from Endegebiet have again called for actions of massive civil disobedience in the Rhineland this year.

Around 3,000 activists are there – half as many as last year, but still many in view of the corona pandemic and the cold rainy weather. About half of them use the darkness in the early morning hours and leave between four and six in the morning. As has already been tried and tested in the end of the terrain campaigns, the activists have divided themselves into “demo fingers” of 200 people named after colors.

With sunrise and the closer the demo trains get to the coal mine and power plants, the balance of power between police officers and activists changes. The blue-purple finger, which had come unnoticed by train from the camp to the Frimmersdorf train station, is accompanied on the Landstrasse from seven o’clock by a helmeted hundred. A few minutes later, however, the breakthrough came at a fork in the road: Around a hundred activists ran past the officers into a field, scrambled through a ditch, ran across wet grass and bushes towards the coal mine. The officers fail to stop them. A good hundred people slide down the steep embankment into the coal mine.

At the bottom they are stopped by a police chain and around 30 security employees from the coal company RWE. RWE employees in the orange safety vests also attack press representatives aggressively. They pull a journalist to the ground and put him in a headlock. They try to take away the cell phone from others, press them, run after them and try to kick them between the legs.

“We have house rights here and you turn off the camera immediately,” one of them shouts. In some places the police intervened. RWE spokesman Matthias Beigel says: “Nobody has the right to penetrate here, not even the press.” It’s about security.

Successful blockades, but also police violence

The activists from the blue-purple finger of Ende Terrain are finally surrounded by the police and cannot get any closer to the lignite excavators, but they have achieved one goal: The excavators are at a standstill.

At ten o’clock in the morning the alliance at the end of the terrain reports various other successes. Another finger has reached the Weisweiler coal-fired power station, another at the Lausward gas-fired power station. The fact that the activists are also targeting gas infrastructure is new: natural gas is presented far too often in public discourse as a climate-friendly alternative to coal – a “dirty lie”, says the alliance’s spokeswoman Kim Solievna. “It’s insane to invest billions in natural gas, pipelines and fracking ports instead of renewable energies. We’re here to expose natural gas as a climate killer. ”During the extraction, storage and transport of fossil fuels, a lot of climate-hostile methane is released into the atmosphere.

In addition to reports of success, activists also report police violence. In Cologne-Ehrenfeld, helmeted police officers with batons got on a train and hit the activists.

Another demonstration, the golden finger, tries to break out of Camp Keyenberg around noon on Saturday. Most of the activists, however, are quickly pushed back into the camp by the police, including mounted officers. There is an arrest and the finger cannot start for the time being. The village of Keyenberg is one of the six villages that are about to fall victim to the expanding open pit.

A total of 14 fingers should be on the move in the Rhenish lignite mining area at this end of the terrain campaign weekend. Many of the activists are equipped with sleeping bags, sleeping mats and tins. You are preparing to spend the night on rails or in open-cast mines.


40 years of the Munich Oktoberfest attack: the first right-wing lone perpetrator

September 26th marks the anniversary of the crime. The worst terrorist attack in the history of the republic remains unsolved.

The mug shot of the Bavarian LKA from 1980 shows a photomontage by the 21-year-old student Gundolf Köhler Photo: Handout Polizei / dpa / picture alliance

As early as 1982, when Attorney General Rebmann stopped the investigation for the first time and presented Gundolf Köhler as a frustrated, lovesickly afflicted individual without political motives, a number of disagreements put this decision into question.

As if preprogrammed, the investigations at the time resulted in the thesis of the apolitical individual perpetrator. This is also made clear by the interrogations of Köhler’s friends. The investigators asked extensively about sexual preferences and romantic relationships. Questions about political background or contacts with right-wing groups, on the other hand, were asked rather sporadically and hardly followed up in detail.

Despite these tendentious investigations, it was completely obvious that Gundolf Köhler adhered to anti-Semitic, National Socialist and racist ideas and did not hold back with them. In the interviews there was repeated mention of a picture of Hitler over the bed or of statements against Jews.

Over the years, thanks in particular to victim lawyer Werner Dietrich and journalist Ulrich Chaussy, more and more contradictions came to light, of which the missing hand is probably the most prominent. Said hand was found at the crime scene after the explosion. Then as now, the investigators attributed it to Gundolf Köhler.

Internal betrayal

But that cannot be: Serologically it could not be assigned to the assassin and, in contrast to the rest of Koehler’s body, no traces of the bomb component nitrocellulose were found on the hand. Finally, a former BKA explosives expert came to the conclusion that the hand, which was barely damaged by burn marks, could not have come from Koehler because his hands and forearms were probably torn into tiny pieces by the force of the explosion.

Today, a DNA examination of the hand could determine whether it came from Koehler – but both the hand and the forensic medical report were made to disappear in the course of the investigation.

In 2014, the Federal Prosecutor finally gave in to the pressure and resumed the investigation into the Oktoberfest attack. However, the results with which she announced the hiring five years later are thin. It is true that the strategically communicated figures of the many surveys conducted and did not check traces of their target and were found in almost every press article. But the amount of individual investigative measures cannot outweigh what the investigations as a whole failed to do.

So the question arises why the Federal Prosecutor’s Office entrusted the Bavarian LKA with the investigation instead of the Federal Criminal Police Office, and thus precisely the institution that had carried out the original investigation without success. Bearing in mind the obvious assumption that these investigations were severely disrupted and influenced, for example, by the theft of evidence or the betrayal of internal investigations, this decision seems simply wrong.

Linked to this is a second omission: the resumed investigations did not deal with the errors of the first special commission as an independent investigation objective. However, this omission is incomprehensible in view of such fundamental errors as the disappearance of the hand. For what motives, with what effects, to what extent and with whose participation the investigations were sabotaged in the 1980s, was never the subject of the resumed proceedings – another knowingly missed chance to clear up the background to the attack.

Destroyed traces

The investigators were also unable to identify possible accomplices and associates of Köhler. The men in the green parkas, who were observed by various witnesses talking to Koehler immediately before the explosion and shortly afterwards on the run from the crime scene, remain unknown, as is the young woman with whom other witnesses saw Koehler at the scene. The traces from Köhler’s car are also puzzling: Who owned the green parka that was found in the car, to whom did the 48 cigarette butts of different brands and with different saliva accumulations belong? A DNA comparison is also ruled out here; the traces were destroyed.

The press release closes with the succinct statement “that questions remained open and that individual issues could not be fully ascertained or assessed”. These open questions and the failure of the highest investigative authority, which is badly concealed in this sentence, should form the core of the assessment, because the open questions touch the core of the subject. Who were the men Koehler was seen with just before the explosion? How was the bomb detonated, how did Koehler get the explosives, where and by whom was the bomb built? Who did the hand found at the crime scene belong to and who made it disappear?

A look at Italy shows that it is not a law of nature that investigations must remain inconclusive after 40 years. Later that year, the right-wing terrorist Gilberto Cavallini was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to the attackers in the 1980 attack on Bologna train station.

It borders on insolence that 40 years after the bloody attack in Munich, on the one hand, not having contributed anything to the investigation and at the same time proclaiming the banality that the act was politically motivated.

The lone perpetrator

The termination of the investigation is a scandal. It reveals the entitlement of the bereaved, the injured and the dead to the investigation of the crime and the determination of the guilty. This claim remains unpaid. The attitude is also momentous in that it is historiography and thus works equally in the past and present. She contributes to the construction of a historical figure that never existed and that still causes damage today: the right-wing lone perpetrator.

The decision is doing the historical subject an injustice, because weighty circumstances indicate that Köhler did not act alone. It also contributes to the fact that present and future right-wing terrorism is not understood as the work of networks. Victims remain unpunished and perpetrators unknown.

The attack on the Munich Oktoberfest on September 26, 1980 remains unsolved and challenges us. Bertolt Brecht’s sentence applies: “Only as much truth prevails as we enforce.”


Tightened corona lockdown in Israel: Bibi is aiming for an emergency

The government has extended the lockdown. She has not yet been able to restrict the right to demonstrate – the anti-Netanyahu protests continue.

Lockdown patrol at the Tel Aviv booth. And all because Bibi wants to be quiet Photo: dpa

TEL AVIV taz | Actually it should be quiet this Saturday evening in front of the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The tightened lockdown regulations, which came into force on Friday noon, were initially intended.

Instead of the tens of thousands who have been calling for the prime minister’s resignation for months in front of Netanyahu’s official residence, given his corruption process and his failure in the corona crisis, only a maximum of 2000 people could have demonstrated – in capsules of 20 people each. In addition, it would have been forbidden to drive more than a kilometer to reach a demonstration.

But in the end it should be loud this Saturday evening too. Because to limit protests significantly, a change in the law is required, which the government could no longer bring through the Knesset on Friday. The declaration of an emergency, which Netanyahu and Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein aimed at on Friday noon, also failed for the time being. A state of emergency would ban all gatherings, including the anti-Netanyahu protests, until the Knesset can pass a law change next week.

There is massive criticism not only of the attempt to declare a state of emergency, but also of the tightening of the lockdown. Numerous Netanyahu opponents believe that the tougher regulations are primarily based on political intentions: to limit public expressions of displeasure against the Prime Minister or to prevent them entirely.

“All citizens of Israel know,” said an anti-Netanyahu protest group’s statement, “that the real and only reason Netanyahu is pushing so hard for a lockdown that restricts prayers on Yom Kippur and the self-employed and businesses at large Desperate country that are demonstrations in Balfour, which shows its failure and the failure of the government in dealing with the crisis. “

“I have to take anti-emetics”

This assumption can be heard not only on the street and from the opposition, but also from experts in the health care sector and not least from Ronni Gamzu, who was only appointed Corona officer by Netanyahu at the end of July. “It’s disgusting, I have to take anti-emetics,” Gamzu is said to have said, according to Israeli TV station Channel 13.

According to the broadcaster, Gamzu also said that the debate about stricter regulations only began when legal experts informed Netanyahu that it was impossible to prevent protests against him while large parts of the country remained open. This is how the U-turn came about, with which Netanyahu suddenly argued for a complete lockdown.

Gamzu not only criticized Netanyahu’s motivation, but also the new regulations themselves. On Thursday morning, he said that although he had recommended a partial tightening of the previous lockdown, “but not to shut down the entire country.”

The new regulations came into force on Friday at 2 p.m. Almost all shops had to be closed, public transport drastically cut back, outgoing flights canceled. There are strict instructions to stay close to where you live.

The number of new corona infections in Israel reached a new record of 8,178 on Friday, which would mean well over 70,000 new infections per day in Germany.

The various groups calling for the anti-Netanyahu protests are meanwhile at odds over how to conduct the demonstrations during the extended lockdown and in the face of the rapid rise in corona infections. Some called for car convoys or for small numbers to demonstrate near their own homes – “so as not to make excuses for the failing Netanyahu government.”

Others announced that they would move in front of the prime minister’s residence on Saturday evening. These in turn are divided into those who want to demonstrate “in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and while maintaining social distance” and those who do not care about any rules of distance because they are simply fed up with Netanyahu’s politics.


Lindner, Merz and Discrimination: The Sexism In Us

Christian Lindner and Friedrich Merz knock old man’s sayings at the expense of women and homosexuals. They hope for an audience that will approve of such statements.

Grin, art break, totally unintentional. Simply old in thinking: Christian Lindner and Friedrich Merz Photo: David Charisins / dpa

It was a week of linguistic lapses. First Christian Lindner humiliated the general secretary Linda Teuteberg, who had been killed by him, at the FDP party congress with a sexist “joke”: he had started his day with Teuteberg 300 times, he said, took a break to catch laughter in the audience and then followed up : “I speak about our daily morning phone call about the political situation. Not what you think now. “

CDU man Friedrich Merz made a similar misstep when, when asked whether he could imagine a gay chancellor, he linked homosexuality with child abuse. Everything in 2020. Weren’t we already further?

The interesting thing is that both statements came across as surprisingly backward-looking, but at the same time so everyday and “heard a thousand times” – it was just everyday sexism and everyday homophobia par excellence. The fact that Lindner and Merz both felt misunderstood in retrospect is only an expression of their permanent self-infliction.

Nevertheless, it is too easy to dismiss Merz and Lindner as yesterday and to claim that the rest of society is already further. The degradation of others is a tried and tested means of maintaining power. It’s also like this: Friedrich Merz is running for the chairmanship of the CDU – and his polls are not too bad. And Lindner is still the FDP leader, even if his party is currently not soaring.

These men are not just from the present, they may also be men of the future. It is far from clear that these escapades necessarily lead to poor approval ratings. Considering the Trump principle, the opposite could also happen.

Progress is not necessarily linear; all social achievements can also be lost again

Lindner and Merz are both rhetorically trained and not new to politics. Both apparently assume that there is an audience that approves of such sayings. It is therefore not exaggerated to deal with these apparently only spoken words. The public can and should ask politicians not to discriminate against anyone with words.

“Anyone who wants Merz as their chancellor and Lindner as their deputy wants a rollback to the 1950s,” criticized SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil. But it is dangerous to locate the two men in a past that is long gone.

It was not 1950, but 2001, when Klaus Wowereit was the first top politician to openly address his homosexuality with his sentence “I am gay – and that’s a good thing!”. In 2005 Angela Merkel became the first woman to be elected to the Chancellery. Both moments were milestones in emancipation. But progress is not necessarily linear; all social achievements can also be lost again.

Narrowing the problem only to the two people Merz and Lindner or the CDU and the FDP obscures the view of the whole picture. The fact that today gay and lesbian politicians can act more naturally in political operations without having to cover up this part of their identity, and that women occupy ministerial posts does not mean that everyone lives non-discriminatory.

Despite legal achievements, sexism, homophobia and trans-hostility are still common – in all social milieus, in all parties. Anyone who claims otherwise is misunderstanding the reality of life for those affected.

There is also discrimination in left, progressive circles. Identifying Merz and Lindner as culprits can also serve to just make sure that you are on the right side. But perhaps this only reveals the discrepancy between modern social discourse and a society that is not as progressive as some would like it to be.


Demonstration on family reunification from Eritrea: increase the pressure

Eritrean refugees wait years in Germany for their families to be allowed to come. That’s why they want to demonstrate on Saturday.

Demonstration for family reunification from Eritrea in June in Berlin Foto: Florian Boillot

BERLIN taz | For the second time within a few months, Eritrean refugees want to demonstrate on Saturday in Berlin’s government district for their right to family reunification. After the first demonstration in July with more than 1,000 participants, the Federal Foreign Office had neither answered the demonstrators’ letter nor changed its practice, says one of those affected, Mehari Tsegay of the taz. The motto of the demo at the time was “I miss my family”.

Tsegay has lived in Germany since 2014 and has been waiting for his wife and two children who are in Ethiopia ever since. He says, “We have to increase the pressure. The unrest in Ethiopia, where many families are waiting, has worsened in recent months. Our families are badly affected and had to leave their homes. “

According to the initiators, 1,200 refugees from Eritrea are currently waiting for their families to join them. The escape from the Horn of Africa to Europe via the Sahara, the civil war state of Libya and the Mediterranean Sea is so dangerous that often only men feel comfortable going. Meanwhile, the women and children wait in Ethiopia or Sudan, i.e. in politically and economically unstable countries. According to official statistics, a good 80 percent of the Eritrean refugees living in Germany are men. If they are granted asylum – the rule given the catastrophic situation in Eritrea – they have the right to family reunification.

In practice it looks different. According to official information from the federal government and international organizations, one first waits six to twelve months for registration with the UN refugee agency UNHCR in Eritrea’s neighboring countries and then another 12 months for an appointment at the German embassy in order to even be able to apply for family reunification. During this time, their husbands in Germany are responsible for the livelihood of the women and children, who often run into high debts. Because they are poorly trained and often only precariously employed here.

Eritrea takes a lot of money for official documents

“Then many more months pass before the applications are processed,” says the call for the demonstration. “Family reunification often fails because of the unreasonable and unfulfillable demands that the German embassies place on the evidence of family ties and the identity of relatives”.

This is due to the fact that in Eritrea births and weddings are usually not registered by the state but only by the church. Applicants can only submit church birth and marriage certificates. But the Foreign Office does not recognize this because the consular officers are not qualified to do so, as the federal government announced in its response to a parliamentary question from the left.

If you want to apply for a certificate for a marriage or a birth from abroad at a later date from the Eritrean state, you have to pay two percent of your income as a so-called “disaspor tax” for the time after leaving Eritrea. Without this tax there are no documents. Refugees call it unreasonable to also finance their persecuting state. They demand that the German Foreign Office should move and also recognize non-state documents. In addition, the refugees believe that applications for family reunification should be given priority.


AfD in Schleswig-Holstein: Right parliamentary group breaks up

The MP Frank Brodehl leaves his party in Schleswig-Holstein because national forces have increased. The party loses its parliamentary group status.

Leaving the AfD: the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament member Frank Brodehl Photo: Carsten Rehder / dpa

KIEL / BERLIN dpa / taz | The Schleswig-Holstein member of the state parliament, Frank Brodehl, leaves the AfD, which means that it loses its group status in the Kiel parliament. Brodehl announced the move surprisingly on Friday in a debate about the offers in all-day schools. This was his last speech as a member of the Afd and the parliamentary group, said Brodehl in a personal statement at the end of his contribution to the debate.

Compared to the world Brodehl justified his exit from the party and parliamentary group explicitly with the developments in the Schleswig-Holstein state association. “The völkisch-nationalistic forces have increased, while the bourgeois-conservative members are leaving the party,” said Brodehl. Because he considers the development in Schleswig-Holstein to be “irreversible”, he is now leaving the AfD.

With Brodehl’s move out, the AfD loses its parliamentary group status, for which four members are the minimum number. “This means that the parliamentary group has to dissolve,” said a state parliament spokeswoman on Friday. For the AfD MPs, this also means the loss of privileges associated with the parliamentary group status, such as additional resources for staff and a seat on the parliament’s council of elders.

With the loss of parliamentary group status in Schleswig-Holstein, the AfD’s loss of importance in the federal states continues. Only a few days ago, the AfD in Lower Saxony lost its parliamentary group status after three MPs had declared their exit from the parliamentary group. In Bremen there has been no AfD parliamentary group for a good year after the parliamentarians fell out and divided them into two groups.

Trial against Sayn-Wittgenstein

In Schleswig-Holstein, the AfD parliamentary group, which initially had five members after the 2017 state elections, excluded its MP Doris von Sayn-Wittgenstein in December 2018. She is said to have maintained connections to a right-wing extremist association that was co-founded by a Holocaust denier. This was also followed in December 2018 by the exclusion from the AfD, which the Federal Arbitration Court finally confirmed at the end of August 2019. In the first instance, the dismissal was rejected by the regional arbitration court in May 2019.

Sayn-Wittgenstein was elected AfD state chairwoman in 2017. Despite the current party expulsion process, she was re-elected to this office in June 2019. She lost it two months later when she was expelled. Sayn-Wittgenstein is still a member of the state parliament, but without any party or affiliation.

The remaining four-member AfD parliamentary group under its chairman Jörg Nobis was said to have a very tense relationship with the AfD state executive, in which Sayn-Wittgenstein is said to still have followers. The successor to Sayn-Wittgensteins as AfD country chief is still open today.