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Massive Protest By Czechs Targets Russia Sanctions, High Prices

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | October 29, 2022

Fed up with soaring food, energy and housing costs, tens of thousands of Czech protestors railed against their government on Friday, demanding the resignation of conservative Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s government, withdrawal from NATO and the negotiation of gas purchases from Russia.

“This is a new national revival and its goal is for the Czech Republic to be independent,” said organizer Ladislav Vrabel. “When I see a full square, no one can stop this.”

The protests occurred both in the capital city of Prague as well as the second-largest Czech city of Brno. Organized under the slogan of “Czech Republic First,” the demonstrations drew their strength from both the left and right wings of Czech politics.

“Russia’s not our enemy, the government of warmongers is the enemy,” one speaker said, according to the Associated Press. Czechia has donated tanks and other heavy weapons to Ukraine, and provided nearly a half million visas to Ukrainian refugees, along with benefits. Protest organizers are also demanding that the refugees not be granted permanent residency.

The protest was the third in a series organized by a group demanding Czechia’s withdrawal from NATO and better relations with Russia. As observed in the United States, the Czech government has attempted to marginalize them by calling them “pro-Kremlin propagandist narratives.”

The Czech government has tried to battle the rising prices with aid to businesses and household electricity price caps.

Friday’s protests were part of a rising wave of discontent throughout Europe. On Thursday, thousands protested in France, demanding higher wages to offset the rising cost of living — among them, striking teachers, healthcare providers and railway workers. Recent weeks have seen similar protests in Germany, Austria and Belgium too.

“This is merely the silence before the storm—the discontent is great, and people do not have any sense that the government has a plausible strategy to master the crisis,” German pollster Manfred Güllner tells The Wall Street Journal.

At a time when three quarters of German households are cutting back on energy consumption, just 9% say Chancellor Olaf Scholz has a sound strategy for surmounting the energy crisis. While the French protests didn’t target the Western sanctions regime against Russia, German protestors have called for an end to them.

The discontent is certain to rise all over the world, as more people connect the dots between Western sanctions and their personal misery… all for the latest proxy war over strategically irrelevant territory.

October 29, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , , | Leave a comment

Czechs Could Face 3 Years in Prison For Supporting Russia on Social Media

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | March 1, 2022

People in the NATO-member state of Czechia have been warned that they could face up to three years in prison if they express support for Russia on social media.

Yes, really.

The country’s Attorney General Igor Stríž announced in a press release that it was “necessary to inform citizens that the current situation associated with the Russian Federation’s attack on Ukraine may have implications for their freedom of expression.”

The limitations are being imposed under the umbrella of criminal code measures that make it a crime to approve a criminal offence or deny, question, approve or justify genocide.

“[F]reedom of speech also has its limits in a democratic state governed by the rule of law,” asserted Stríž, announcing that anyone who “publicly (including at demonstrations, on the Internet or on social networks) agreed (accepted or supported the Russian Federation’s attacks on Ukraine) or expressed support or praised the leaders of the Russian Federation in this regard, they could also face criminal liability under certain conditions.”

The official Czech Police website also announced that they were “closely monitoring” the content of “dozens of comments in internet discussions approving the Russian invasion and the activities of the Russian army.”

According to a report by Radio Prague International, someone found in breach of the criminal code could be imprisoned for up to three years, although it would be difficult to bring charges.

Breitbart’s Jack Montgomery asked if “someone might be open to prosecution for merely questioning NATO’s eastward expansion, the West’s decision to back the Euromaidan coup in 2014, or the extent to which claims the Ukrainian government has mistreated civilians in Donbas might be true.”

As we previously highlighted, before the outbreak of war, Czech President Miloš Zeman said Russia would be “crazy” to invade Ukraine.

One wonders how far governments working in cahoots with Big Tech will try to milk the war for more domestic censorship.

Will simply pointing out brazen examples of war propaganda pushed by the pro-NATO political media class also be characterized as ‘Russian disinformation’?

Leftist blue checkmark journalists on Twitter must be licking their lips.

March 1, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

Uninvited foreign troops must leave, African nation says

RT | January 24, 2022

Denmark must “immediately withdraw” some 90 troops it deployed to Mali last week “without [the government’s] consent and in violation of the protocols” allowing European nations to intervene in that African country, the government in Bamako said on Monday.

Some 91 Danes from the Jaeger Corps special forces arrived in Mali on January 18, as part of Task Force Takuba, a French-led counter-terrorism mission in the West African country. According to the Danish defense ministry, their job will be to reinforce the border with Niger and Burkina Faso, train Malian Armed Forces, and provide medical services to the peacekeepers.

While the government of Mali is grateful to “all its partners involved in the fight against terrorism,” it stressed “the need to obtain the prior agreement of the Malian authorities” before sending any troops to the country, says the communique signed by Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, spokesman for the Ministry of Administration and Decentralization.

Announcing the deployment of the force last week, the government in Copenhagen said it had been scheduled in April 2021, as France sought to withdraw some of its troops from Mali.

Their objective was “to stabilize Mali and parts of the border triangle between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, and to ensure that civilians are protected from terrorist groups,” the Danish military said.

The Jaegers are also experienced in “training and educating” local militaries, a job they have previously performed in Afghanistan and Iraq. They were sent shortly after Sweden withdrew its contingent from Mali. The French-led operation also involves forces from Belgium, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.

Task Force Takuba has operated in Mali since March 2020, when Paris decided to wrap up the previous Operation Barkhane. France has maintained a military presence in its former West African colony since 2013, to help the government in Bamako deal with a Tuareg rebellion in the northwest of the country and subsequent terrorist insurgency loyal to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

Relations between Bamako and Paris have grown chilly since the latest military takeover in Mali in 2021, and France has since closed three of its military bases there, in Kidal, Tessalit, and Timbuktu.

January 24, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

EU: Another Step Down the Slippery Slope

By Andrei AKULOV | Strategic Culture Foundation | 19.06.2017

The EU Commission has launched legal action against Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland which refused to take in refugees from Italy and Greece. The three EU states have acted «in breach of their legal obligations», the Commission said in a statement, adding that it had previously warned the countries to observe «their commitments to Greece, Italy and other member states». The three member states «have not yet relocated a single person», the statement says. The EU members under fire remain defiant.

In September 2015, the EU committed to relocating up to 160,000 refugees from the two countries within two years. However, not all EU states have found the measures acceptable, saying that the migrant crisis cannot be solved through obligatory quotas. Hungary and Slovakia are currently challenging the decision in the EU Court of Justice, and an advocate-general of the court will issue an opinion on July 26. Slovakia was able to avoid legal action against it by responding to EU warnings and opening its doors to a small group of migrants.

Only 20,869 of the 160,000 refugees have so far been relocated in the EU. More than 1.6 million asylum seekers have arrived in Europe since the start of the refugee crisis in 2014.

Now the Commission has launched infringement procedures against the three nations refusing to comply, before possibly referring them to the top European court. The legal battle could last many months or, even, years. As a result, the three states could be imposed financial penalties.

The very fact of launching legal procedures heats up tensions inside the EU at the time the bloc is going through a period of instability and uncertainty, with its unity tested by Brexit, weak economies and growing support for Eurosceptic and nationalist-minded parties.

Perhaps, it’s easier to pay fines than take in refugees and face grave security problems as a result. Going to the bottom of it – it’s not fines that really matter. All the countries opposing the EU migration policy are net beneficiaries of EU funding. A mood is developing among the older EU members to withhold cohesion funds from countries that oppose the relocation of refugees, although no legal basis for this actually exists. But if it starts, the EU will become a battlefield to make the vaunted unity a pipedream. If the events turn this way, the EU will become very much different from what it is today.

The Visegrád countries (V4) – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – have found common ground in recent years opposing the EU’s relocation policy and rejecting the idea of a two-speed Europe, but also in advocating the preservation of the Union’s cohesion policy. Indeed, why should East Europeans share the burden of the immigration crisis, especially in view that security policy is a national, not European, competence? These countries call for strengthening of the national states in EU decision-making process.

Poland and Hungary have joined together recently to oppose Brussels stance on human rights.

The V4 also oppose the two-speed» and «multi-speed» concepts supported by EU founders. They believe that the idea would turn them into «second class» members of the bloc.

The «East European revolt» is just part of a bigger process with deepening EU divisions and alliances being formed inside the alliance.

Prospect for the future? The situation inside the EU has bleak prospects for improvement. It calls for a closer look at the recent developments inside the EU. In February, the European Parliament backed three resolutions on strengthening centralization of the bloc. One of the resolutions proposes limiting or even totally abolishing the right of individual member states not to comply with collective decisions – just exactly what the East European members oppose so vehemently. The adoption of the resolutions may be the first step towards a fundamental change in the EU Treaty.

In February, leaders of the lower chambers of parliaments of Germany, Italy, France, and Luxembourg published a letter demanding a «Federal Union» be implemented without delay. It was published by Italian La Stampa on February 27. They call for «closer political integration — the Federal Union of States with broad powers. «Those who believe in European ideals, should be able to give them a new life instead of helplessly observing its slow sunset», the paper reads.

The idea to create a «common European defense» is a dubious endeavor; it presupposes additional financial burden at the time the US increases pressure to make Europeans raise NATO expenditure. Add to this the need to pay more for the migrants against the background of stagnating economy to see how unrealistic all these plans are. Europeans have already been made pay more for US liquefied gas for political reasons, while Russia can offer supplies at much lower prices.

Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian Prime Minister and European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator, believes that the European Union must reform, or face the risk of collapse as a result of internal and external challenges. Noam Chomsky, a prominent US scholar, has predicted that the EU will disintegrate. The EU will collapse in 2017, predicts Mark Blyth, a lecturer in political economy at Brown University in the US, known for forecasts to come true.

The event marks a turning point in EU history. This is the first time EU members will face legal procedures for non-compliance with the rules established by Brussels. It shows how the migration crisis has divided the bloc. The process will not die away, migrants will continue their route north to the wealthier countries and the tensions inside the EU will grow. Rival blocs and perpetuate divisions will not disappear, turning the EU into a patchwork of blocs within blocs. The project of European integration does not look viable anymore. Legal actions cannot bridge the differences dividing its members.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment