compiled by Cem Ertür
4 November 2008
Protests, Arrests As France’s Vichy Hosts EU Conference
VICHY, France (AFP)
November 03, 2008
Protesters descended on the town of Vichy Monday as the shamed capital of France’s former pro-Nazi dictatorship hosted its first international government conference since World War II.
Vichy’s municipal leaders hoped that by finally hosting European ministers 64 years after the fall of Marshall Petain’s regime they could shake off their wartime stigma and become a popular spa resort once more.
But several busloads of militants had other ideas, and turned up to protest a conference called to discuss the integration of ethnic minorities in Europe, with some linking current French policy to that of the fascist past.
Police made at least four arrests as the protests began, and 100 officers equipped with riot gear set up a cordon around the venue to prevent the first 80 militants, from a radical splinter group, from approaching.
This group, dubbing themselves ‘The disobedient,’ draw an explicit link between Vichy France, which deported Jews to Nazi death camps, and President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government, which has cracked down on illegal immigration. A larger protest planned for later in the day by mainstream antiracist groups has promised to be less provocative and to call for social unity.
The four protesters to be arrested were wearing striped prison uniforms designed to recall those of the Holocaust concentration camps.
“We denounce the worrying evolution of European migration policies, which recall the ideas that led to deportations at the end of the 1930s,” declared the leader of the smaller, hardline group, Xavier Renou.
[for those who read French: http://rebellyon.info/article5540.html]
U.S. takes page from Israel’s book in Syria strike
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent
Those who anticipated an American bombing of Iran on the eve of the presidential elections or immediately after must for the moment be satisfied with a somewhat lesser replacement: helicopter attack Sunday night in north-eastern Syria.
The central target of the attack, according to initial reports overnight, was a senior operative in the “global jihad” – the web of organizations connected to al-Qaida.
Now it has become clear that the U.S. will not hesitate to attack terrorist targets within Syrian territory. In this regard the Americans are not alone. Israel preceded them with the attack on the Dir a-Zour nuclear facility in September last year, not to mention a succession of mysterious incidents on Syrian soil, from the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh last February to the assassination of Brigadier General Mohammad Suleiman around two months ago. The common denominator to all these operations is that nobody takes the Syrians seriously anymore, given the repeated violations of their sovereignty.