Category Archives: Europe

Italy: Mayors of Florence, Palermo and Naples “Rebelled” against a Tough Anti-Immigrant Law


An article from The Koz Week

The mayors of the three major Italian cities refuse to submit to controversial anti-immigrant law, passed at the initiative of the interior Minister Matteo Salvini, considering it unconstitutional.

Leoluca Orlando, mayor of Palermo

Salvini on Thursday demanded the resignations of the mayors of Florence, Palermo and Naples, the latter strengthened the scandal, is also offering to host migrants in distress at sea, which Italy rejected.

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Question for this article

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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“This law incites crime, and not fighting or prevents it. It violates human rights. There are thousands, tens of thousands of people who have been legally resident here, who pay their taxes, pay pensions, and in a few weeks or months they will become… illegal immigrants,” said the mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando.

Tough new anti-immigrant law passed by the Italian Parliament on 28 November, facilitates the expulsion of new arrivals and limit the residence permit in the country, which has become the main gate for migrants crossing the Mediterranean sea.

It also cancels humanitarian residence permits issued to people from risk groups, families or single women with children.

The mayor of Florence Dario Nardella said that his city “will not obey” the law, which “excludes persons seeking asylum, and not repatrierea them, throws them on the street.”

The mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris promised that part of the law unconstitutional, “such as the right to asylum, nor under any circumstances will be respected.”

He then offered to take the 32 migrants who are blocked at sea after they were rescued by a ship of non-governmental organizations.

Cyprus: International Institute on Peace Education 2019


An announcement from the Global Campaign for Peace Education

The 2019 International Institute for Peace Education (IIPE) will be held in Nicosia, Cyprus at the Home for Cooperation (H4C)  from July 21 to July 28, 2019. This year’s institute is organized in partnership with the IIPE Secretariat and the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR).

IIPE 2019: Cyprus will convene educators from around the globe for a week-long, residential, learning community experience in peace education. A rich exchange of peacebuilding research, academic theory, best practices, and actions will be shared with participants from around the world through IIPE’s evolving dialogical, cooperative, and intersubjective modes of reflective inquiry and experiential learning.
Educating for a Culture of Peace in Divided Societies: History, Dialogue, and Multiperspectivity Toward Reconciliation

IIPE 2019 will focus on global issues of particular relevance to Cyprus and the adjoining region of the Mediterranean, North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Middle East – the intersection of Asia, Africa and Europe. This region is characterized on the one hand, by turmoil and tension, and on the other by the rich perpetual movements of people, ideas and experiences. While peoples’ past and present are presented in grey terms, their shared history(-ies) of coexistence, cooperation and exchange are often neglected in official discourses. In this context, recent developments with regards to war, terrorism, migration and refugeedom have led to the creation of monolithic narratives and rigid identities. These excluding narratives perpetuate violent conflicts and structural conditions that limit opportunities for sustainable peace and development. IIPE 2019 will emphasize the role of educators on all levels in addressing conflict in creative ways and offering alternatives to violence in contexts such as the Cypriot one. Educating for practical and theoretical methods is of paramount importance for the creation of inclusive identities and a critical hope for the region, and for humanity as a whole.

Being concerned with reconciliation and abetting conflict, we peace educators, theorists, researchers, students, and activists together face a serious challenge. On the one hand, dynamic transitions and tensions shape our present world: new movements of peoples are working for more dignity and inclusion, while at the same time forces of power are consolidating in ways that challenge how local, regional and global citizens can contribute to this vibrant transition in nonviolent, humanizing and ecologically viable ways. IIPE 2019 Cyprus’s inquiry is centered on how might we collectively frame the challenges we face in our diverse, particular, and shared spheres? How can a relational paradigm for peace help us theorize these challenges for more dignity, inclusion, and coordination? As we engage in deep listening and critical and reflective dialogue, what new understandings will we reach? What creative practices will emerge? In examining crossover issues, we aim to bring our best selves in relation to each other so that we might meld together our best theoretical, educational, and activist practices.

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Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

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Peace education and its intersections with history, political theory, conflict studies, reconciliation, the philosophy of peace, justice, and democracy in challenging times are among the areas of inquiry that will be most relevant at IIPE 2019. Applicants are invited to offer contributions on these and other thematic areas including, but not limited to:

* Identities (and anti-racist education) in divided and/or multi-faith, multi-ethnic and culturally and linguistically diverse societies

* Memory and remembrance (collective memory, communal memory, family history and memory, memory transmitted through celebrations, museums, monuments, oral history, understanding of heritage…)

* National celebrations (memory transmitted through ceremonies, anniversaries, memorials, commemorations and celebrations)

* The philosophical basis for reconciliation and peace

* Dialogue for reconciliation

* History teaching and historical dialogue as means for peacebuilding: the role of history education in conflict or post-conflict communities; peace and reconciliation; teaching history in divided societies; history education and values, beliefs and human rights

* Gender and peacebuilding in divided societies; gender and history

* Civil society, global citizenship, and local participation

* Youth and entrepreneurship

* Public space and deliberation; the city as an educating agent

Experiencing Cyprus

Cyprus, the island of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, has been separated for over 50 years, and, apart from a divided capital, barricades, barbwires and checkpoints, it offers numerous opportunities for exploring ancient and recent civilizations and experiencing, first hand, manifestations of the willingness to defeat time and space barriers and create spaces for creativity, imagination and sharing. The ‘wondering peace educator’ will be offered the chance to explore issues of memory and remembrance, conflicting narratives and identity and public history, while, at the same time, he/she will engage in the exchange of ideas and examples on breakthrough initiatives that have the potential to turn the island into a hub of innovation in the fields of History for Reconciliation and Education for a Culture of Peace.

In particular, all participants will have the opportunity to experience the contextual conditions existing in Cyprus regarding the conflict and become acquainted with local breakthrough initiatives on history as a means for reconciliation and education for a culture of peace. This will be enhanced through an Open Public Day, excursion(s), and unique cultural experiences in Cyprus. IIPE 2019 will also facilitate an exchange with Cypriot educators, from all communities, via the Open Public Day, which will feature immersion and exchange opportunities exploring global obstacles and possibilities for peacebuilding through education in other contexts.

Germany: Renewables overtake coal as main power source


An article from Deutsche Welle (reprinted by permission)

Renewable energy became Germany’s dominant source of electricity in 2018, beating coal  for the first time in history, experts from the Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute said on Thursday.

“Green” energy sources  such as solar, wind, and hydropower accounted for 40.3 percent of German net electricity production last year, rising by 4.3 percent compared to 2017. Experts said coal-fired power plants supplied about 38 percent of electricity in 2018.

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Question for this article:

Are we making progress in renewable energy?

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Germany has set  ambitious energy targets  for the upcoming decade, aiming to have renewable sources provide 65 percent of energy by 2030. The percentage had grown from 8.5 in 2003 to 16.2 in 2008 and 27.2 another five years later.

Even with the 2018 landmark, the change is “not happening quickly enough,” Fraunhofer Institute professor Bruno Burger told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.

“If Germany continues at this rate, we are going to miss our 2030 targets,” he said.

More sun, less water

Nuclear energy accounted for around 13.3 percent of electricity in 2018. However, the country is committed to shuttering its nuclear power plants by 2022.

Climate change seemed to have a positive effect in 2018. A dry and hot summer meant solar power provided 16 percent more energy than the previous year, but it also shrunk the output by hydropower plants, according to the Reuters news agency.

The German government’s coal commission is set to present its plan for finally phasing out coal  in early February.

Panel on education and peace at UN in Geneva draws faith and secular sectors together


An article from the World Council of Churches

Peace education to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between people involving the religious and secular sectors is needed to counter uncertainty fed by radicalization and xenophobia, says a leading human rights advocate.
“Today I would say peace is in jeopardy once again,” said Idriss Jazairy, executive director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, a former head of a UN specialized agency and top diplomat for Algeria, speaking in an interview with the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, executive director of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue. Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC

“We are exposed to a kind of a pincer movement between populism on the one hand and extremism on the other. In those circumstances, we need to see how we can defuse this tension and give the right of way to peace. We have to do this by addressing the problem already at the school level,” he said ahead of the 10 December debate.

The inter-faith bridge-building debate will take place through an interactive dialogue between lay and religious leaders on World Human Rights Day 2018 from 14:00 to 17:00 at the United Nations Office in Geneva in room XXV. WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit will deliver the opening address after introductory remarks by the moderator Ambassador Jazairy of the Geneva Centre.

The panel will build on previous initiatives taken by the Geneva Centre and its partners on the interface between education and equal citizenship rights. The panel will include leaders of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu faiths and other experts on peace education.

‘Ignorance that creates fear of the other’

“It is an attempt to remove in children the veil of ignorance which creates the fear of the Other,” said Jazairy, noting that this approach should not be limited to young people, but also applied to adults.

“It is in this way that we feel we can promote diversity,” he said. “What we want is to teach at the school level that there is a convergence in values between world religions and also with secular leadership.”

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Question related to this article:
How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

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He said that there is too much emphasis for political reasons in the context of populism and xenophobia that is put on the differences between religions and creeds.

“We want to say first that all the main world religions converge to bring out the same space” in which civilized activity should take place.

“And secondly that religions need not and should not be seen as a problem, but as the beginning on an element of the solution which can be found together with secular leadership,” said Jazairy.

The common space should be used, “as a launching pad for a new, a strong, and powerful idea,” that of “equal and inclusive citizenships rights”.

Jazairy stated that secularity used with identity-driven nationalism can lead to “exclusive secularism and to the doom of society and nations”.

“Secularity added to interaction with all stakeholders as emphasized by the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) particularly item 17.16 of the SDGS, on the contrary, can deliver a notion of diversity in unity which could be celebrated, and which would be the gateway to peace,” he observed.

The list of speakers:

Monsignor Indunil Janakaratne, Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue;

Professor Anantanand Rambachan, Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College (US);

* Professor Majeda Omar, Associate Professor of Contemporary Western Philosophy at the University of Jordan, former Director of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies of Jordan;

* Dr. Debbie Weissman, Former President of the International Council of Christians and Jews. Author of “Memoirs of a Hopeful Pessimist: A Life of Activism through Dialogue”;

* Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Director of Arigatou International Geneva – Ethics Education for Children;

* Mr. Renato Opertti, Senior Programme Specialist, IBE-UNESCO;

* Ms. Beris Gwynne, Founder and Managing Director of Incitare. Former Australian diplomat and aid official and NGO Executive;

* Mr. Jan-Willem Bult, Head of Children & Youth Media and Chief Editor of WADADA News for Kids.

(Thank you to the Global Campaign for Peace Education for bring this article to our attention.)

France: Culture for Peace Award to The Artists in Exile Workshop


Excerpts from the website of L’Atelier des Artistes en Exil: (translation by CPNN)

The Artists in Exile Workshop (L’Atelier des Artistes en Exil) has won the Culture for Peace Award, given by the Chirac Foundation .

about the workshop

Europe is witnessing on its territory the greatest population movement of its seventy years. Among these people are artists forced to flee their country. Being a refugee is not a profession, but the role of art is to say and show what disturbs and to make heard the voice of the oppressed. It is through the voice of its artists that the cultures of countries at risk may continue to be perpetuated. Thus, it is important that refugee artists can continue to practice their art.

This is why the workshop of artists in exile proposes to identify artists in exile of all origins, all disciplines, to accompany them according to their situation and their needs, to offer them workspaces and put them in contact with professionals (French and European networks), in order to give them the means to practice their art and restructure themselves.

The artists’ workshop in exile is also developing its own multidisciplinary festival, Visions d’exil, in collaboratio with partner venues.

our mission

a dedicated place for the aa-e at 102 rue des Poissonniers 75018 Paris

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(Click here for the original French version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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The artists’ workshop in exile offers:

* a welcome and advice area where artists are received individually and where their needs are identified;

* a convivial space where artists can come, have computers connected to the internet, meet in small numbers, organize appointments;

* spaces of artistic practice where artists can come to work

. . . punctually or in the form of residences, punctuated by demonstrations

. . . under the direction of professionals, art workshops before an amateur audience.

you are an artist in exile …

You were a professional artist in your country, you had an artistic activity in your country, you want to restart or develop your practice, the workshop can:

* take stock of your situation;

* provide meeting and work places;

* find equipped workspaces:

* arrange meetings with professionals;

* organize moments of visibility with the public;

* link with other artists to exchange or complete a project;

* help write a resume or an artistic file;

* relay your profile and projects on its website;

* assist the editing of your project;

* set up courses and trainings;

* inform about the French cultural system;

* facilitate administrative procedures;

* provide advice and indicate the right legal and social interlocutors;

* propose the conduct of workshops.

France: Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests): where Democracy is on the march!


Excerpts from two articles by Mauricio Alvarez in Pressenza

The movement of Gilets Janunes (Yellow Vests) is growing more and more. A few days before a fourth major day of demonstrations, scheduled for Saturday, December 8, 2018, actions are multiplying all over France: roadblocks, blockades of petrol stations, “toll-free” operations, and so on. Despite the government’s various attempts to criminalize this unprecedented citizen mobilization, the movement is still approved by more than 75% of the French population. High school students and trade unions are gradually joining the mobilization, and the possibility of a general strike or a possible revolution haunts everyone’s mind.

“Reduction of taxes and duties. We can’t take it anymore! The state is an idiot for the way it manages the French people’s money.” (Image by Mauricio Alvarez)

In this particular context, we would like to take a step back and try to understand the impact of this Yellow Vests movement on Democracy, real Democracy . . .

In most countries of the world, the most common form of government is oligarchy, where power is reserved for a small group of people who form a ruling class. In France, there is a clear academic path for future elites. This extends from the Henri IV and Louis Le Grand high schools to the École nationale d’administration and the Paris Institute of Political Studies.

The result of this closed-circuit journey is the profound disconnection between the “golden” lives of rulers and those of the citizens they are supposed to represent.

The influence of capitalism on Democracy

Since the advent of capitalism in the 18th century, governments around the world have been confronted with a strong influence of industrialists and capital owners in their political decisions. So much so that today, countries are governed like actual companies, where the social aspect is increasingly considered as a “deformation” that must be avoided at all costs. Growth, balanced budgets, debt, taxation, etc. are the reference points for designing policy strategies and programmes. Human beings and nature are therefore relegated to a lower level. They have become simple adjustable variables.

In the words of Étienne Chouard, “For 200 years, elections have allowed the rich to buy power, (and therefore to no longer pay taxes, to pursue a sustainable policy of unemployment, low wages and high profits) and they call it ‘representative government’”. . . .

Running Backwards

[In France], Emmanuel Macron was elected in 2017 to embody positive change, and this with a party that placed itself outside the partisan divisions of “right” or “left”. However, his policies have only made the economic and social situation worse. . . .

In terms of measures, these couldn’t be less popular:

– Decrease in housing benefit
– The abolition of subsidised contracts
– The speed-limit reduced to 80 km/h on secondary roads
– Reform of the French railway company, SNCF
– Transformation of the solidarity tax on wealth into a “real estate wealth tax”

These different measures have gradually eroded citizens’ confidence in the government, but the last straw is undoubtedly the government’s plan to raise fuel taxes once again from January 2019. This excessive measure is at the origin of an unprecedented movement in recent French history: the Yellow Vests.


1. A democratic government should be horizontal, not hierarchical

The organization of the Yellow Vests is horizontal. From the beginning, the members of the movement, spread throughout the country, avoided establishing hierarchical relationships. They do not talk about leaders or representatives, and prefer to talk about spokespersons. Anyone who tried to call themselves “Yellow Vests representative”, seeking personal (sometimes political) benefits, was quickly called to order. For them, every citizen has a say. This organisation makes it possible to avoid the formation of elites, which could eventually fall into a process of bourgeoisisation.

This horizontality has been copiously criticised by many traditional structures (trade unions, media, government officials, etc.) who believe that no dialogue is possible without visible heads or representatives. There is a real unease in dealing with an anonymous mass (“the people”) who wish to have their rights respected.

Would a true government of the people, by the people, for the people, need representivity? If the answer is yes, how should the possible representatives of the people be elected?

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(Click here for the French version of this article)

Questions for this article

What is the future of the Gilets Jaunes movement?

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2. A democracy should operate in a decentralized manner and be structured around small decision-making centres

Since the beginning of the movement, the Yellow Vests have been present throughout France. Organized in small groups, they decide, as they go along, and in an autonomous way, on the operations to be set up locally: blocking roads, blocking of service stations, “toll-free” operations, etc. They also decide on the operations to be implemented locally.

This form of organization and governance has quickly made it possible to rebuild links, strengthen local solidarity and foster the political commitment of citizens throughout the country.

What is the benchmark for democracy? The one that would allow citizens to feel that they are actors and responsible for the system?

3. In a democracy, there should be the possibility of revoking the mandate of an elected representative if their management is deemed unsatisfactory.

Macron Resignation

In the street and in the media, the Yellow Vests are constantly calling for the immediate resignation of the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron. Dissatisfied and directly affected by the measures taken since the beginning of his five-year period, they would like to have the possibility of revoking his mandate at any time.

Some consider that no power should remain in the same hands for long: neither parliamentary, nor governmental, nor judicial, nor media.

Questions :
Is it necessary in a democracy to have a President of the Republic? Or would the role of the Prime Minister be sufficient to enforce the laws and decisions made by parliament and local elected officials? What would the conditions be for revoking the mandate of an elected representative before their term expires?

4. The Executive should not be in charge of both the drafting, voting and enforcement of laws

Since the presidential and legislative elections, the President’s LREM party (French initials for “The Republic on the move!”) has always had an absolute or relative majority in the National Assembly. This means that legislative and executive roles are concentrated. We are therefore facing an “absolute” power.

The Yellow Vests’ frustration is due in part to the violence of the government’s actions in record time. Unpopular laws, drafted, passed and enforced without major constraints, because the opposition is under-represented.

Ideally, powers must be separated to be weakened. Power should work under the permanent control of citizens who are always the ultimate arbiter. The confusion of powers, like power without citizen control, legitimizes popular insurrection (*).

Question :
How could we guarantee the complete separation of powers in our democracy?

5. In a democracy, a simple language should be used, understandable by all.

The Yellow Vests, like most citizens, express themselves in a simple way. Their words are far removed from the technocratic discourses of the political elites.

In recent days, France has witnessed a dialogue of the deaf in the press. To cries of despair from people no longer able to make ends meet, politicians respond with technical terms such as balanced budgets or government debt.

Let us recall the importance of empathy, the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes in order to create constructive relationships and dialogues. Parties, not feeling listened to and understood, end up developing an atmosphere of mistrust and hatred, which often leads to violent demonstrations. This is indeed what is happening in France at the moment. The government responds to citizens’ requests with high security measures. For their part, citizens who have no other means of making their voices heard resort to violence.

Question :
How can we avoid using violence to make our voices heard?

6. Information must remain free and independent

The Yellow Vests movement was created and developed through the Internet. To make their voices heard, organize and gather, citizens have used computer tools to keep their hands on information.

Faced with an unprecedented mobilization, the traditional media very quickly took up this subject, becoming a key relay to inform the entire population.

The Yellow Vests, non-mobilized citizens, economic and political forces had the opportunity to express themselves freely on radio, television, print media and the Internet.

In a global trend towards media privatization in which control of information is exercised by economic forces, the democratic state must ensure the existence of information sources that are both independent of political power and independent of economic forces. This necessary principle of independence applies not only to newspapers, radio and television, but also to polling and statistical institutions, as well as to any existing or future instrument for the mass dissemination of information (*).

Question :
How could the State guarantee free information media, politically and economically?

‘Morally Unacceptable’: Final Deal Out of COP24 Sorely Lacking in Urgency and Action, Climate Campaigners Say


An article by Julia Conley for Common Dreams (reprinted according to a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License)

“The weak outcome of this COP runs contrary to stark warnings of the IPCC report and growing demand for action from citizens.”

Climate action groups slammed the outcome  of the 24th annual Conference of the Parties (COP24) in Katowice, Poland on Saturday, calling the agreement reached by about 200 diplomats and negotiators “barely adequate” as a plan to ensure that countries will follow through with their emissions reduction pledges.

(Photo: @CANEurope/Twitter)

Concluding two weeks of talks on how countries can implement the Paris climate agreement to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), the diplomats reached a deal standardizing how countries measure their carbon emissions and ostensibly ensuring that world leaders will be more aggressive in reaching their emissions targets in time for the next global summit next September.

The final agreement left out directives on specific reductions in emissions by 2030. While it calls on wealthier countries to clarify how they will provide aid to less well-off nations, many of which are on the front lines of the climate crisis, more in-depth talks about developing countries needs were put off until next year.

Advocates for bold, concrete reforms and directives—outlined in the People’s Demands  for Climate Justice—said the required sense of urgency for avoiding the climate catastrophe that the world’s top scientists warn could take hold by 2030, was missing from the deal.

“The weak outcome of this COP runs contrary to stark warnings of the IPCC report and growing demand for action from citizens,” said Wendel Trio, director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe. “Governments have again delayed adequate action to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown. The EU needs to push ahead and lead by example, by providing more support to poor countries and increasing its climate pledge before the UN Secretary General Summit in September 2019. It must be a significant increase, even beyond the 55 percent reduction some Member States and the European Parliament are calling for.”

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Question for this article:


Despite the vested interests of companies and governments, Can we make progress toward sustainable development?

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The inadequate agreement, said the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), was the result not of a lack of understanding at COP24, but a lack of political will.

“There was clear recognition in Katowice that the world needs to get on a low-carbon pathway as soon as possible to meet the steep, near-term emission cuts the IPCC report indicated are needed by 2030,” said Rachel Cleetus, an economist at UCS. “Once again, developed countries failed to provide assurances that they would make sufficient, predictable funding available for least developed nations to help them cope with climate impacts, including the loss and damage they already face, as well as ramp up low-carbon technologies.

“People expected action and that is what governments did not deliver. This is morally unacceptable.” —Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International“The barely adequate outcome in Katowice means there’s much work ahead to ensure countries live up to their responsibilities to put more ambitious action on the table by 2020,” she added.

“Without immediate action, even the strongest rules will not get us anywhere,” said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International. “People expected action and that is what governments did not deliver. This is morally unacceptable and they must now carry with them the outrage of people and come to the UN Secretary General’s summit in 2019 with higher climate action targets.”

The summit was deeply flawed from the start, with climate action groups and young demonstrators slamming the United Nations for holding the annual climate talks in the center of Poland’s coal country and President Donald Trump for sending pro-fossil fuel representatives  to speak for the U.S., the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon.

The global justice group Corporate Accountability blamed the looming presence of the coal industry at the global summit, and world leaders’ refusal to fully extricate themselves from the interests of fossil fuel industries, for the inadequate outcome of COP24—but noted that around the world, young climate activists like Greta Thunberg  and the Sunrise Movement  are not backing down in their campaigns to hold governments accountable for avoiding a climate catastrophe.

“The lack of action at the hands of industry forces, and the governments doing their bidding, is further igniting a movement of people and governments who are demanding that Big Polluters be barred from the UNFCCC once and for all,” said Patti Lynn, the group’s executive director. “The movement to kick the fossil fuel industry out has never been stronger.”

“In Poland, there’s a clear rift between political elites who are guilty of a lack of ambition and are supporting the continued use of coal while people are calling for strong climate action,” said Greenpeace Poland campaigner Pawel Szypulski. “Two out of three Poles support a coal phase-out by 2030. The science is clear, we’ve got 12 years left and the technical means to avoid catastrophe. Now politicians need to listen and act.”

France: Call for Demonstration on December 18, International Migrants’ Day


An article from Mouvement de la Paix (translation by CPNN)

Mouvement de la Paix supports the appeal launched by dozens of associations for a demonstration on 18 December for International Migrants Day.

Appeal text: Freedom and Equal Rights!

We, Undocumented and Migrant Collective, Trade Unions, Associations and March in Solidarity call for demonstrations and gatherings throughout the country on December 18 on the occasion of International Migrants Day.

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(Click here for the original French version of this article)

Question for this article

The refugee crisis, Who is responsible?

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We will march all together against the rise of nationalism, racism and fascism that is spreading throughout Europe and around the world.

We will walk in torchlight in memory of the tens of thousands of women, men and children who have died on the migration routes and national borders and against the anti-migration policies of the governments of the richest countries on the planet and their accomplices.

We will walk to end the deaths, to support the freedom of movement and to close the detention centers.

We will walk against the promotion of immigration in order to provide cheap labor, for the regularization of undocumented migrants and for equal rights.

We will march for France’s ratification of the “International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families” adopted by the UN on 18 December 1990, which aims to ensure equal treatment between French and immigrant workers.

It is the general increase in poverty and the questioning of the social security caused by the austerity policies of our governments that nourish the feelings of malaise and alienation in the population. We need to struggle together to ensure a better and egalitarian society.

Spain: Professor Marta Gonzalo, Keynote Speaker at the International Congress of Mediation and Culture of Peace


An article by Raúl García Hémonnet for the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (translated by CPNN)

Marta Gonzalo, professor of private international law at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), has been the European and Spanish representative in the second edition of the International Congress of Mediation and Culture of Peace. Her intervention focused on comparing experiences and mediation proposals between Latin America and the European Union.

The Second Edition of the International Congress of Mediation and Culture of Peace, held at the end of November in Panama, brought together academics and professionals from countries such as Panama, Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba and other European countries. The meeting served to carry out a joint reflection on the current panorama of mediation and the different paths towards the Culture of Peace.

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(click here for the Spanish version)

Question for this article:

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

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The URJC professor focused on making several concrete proposals in her keynote address: ‘Experiences and proposals for mediation compared: Latin America – European Union’

Through these proposals, she invited all attendees to conduct collaborative practices in conflict management. Not only from the point of view of mediation and law but also from a real and effective collaboration from all areas involved in the resolution of conflicts.

She called for collaboration of legal, social, political and cultural actors to favor mediation and seek collaborative solutions to conflicts that satisfy all those involved. Based on these elements, the professor urged changes in all areas, proposing specific measures in the host country, Panama, with concrete proposals about information, education, legislation, training and dissemination.

She also invited all attendees to join the Conference of Universities for the Study of Mediation and Conflict (CUEMYC) and to work in the international framework and in a global manner on practices that encourage and encourage mediation towards an authentic culture of peace.

France: More people marched in the demonstration #NousToutes than in the demonstration of the “Yellow Jackets”


An article from the Huffington Post (translated by CPNN)

SEXISM – “Down with Rape!”: Tens of thousands of women and men, according to the organizers, took to the streets in France this Saturday, November 24 at the call of a collective that had called for a “feminist tidal wave” against sexist and sexual violence a year after the start of the #MeToo movement.

Video of the demonstration

In contrast to the “yellow jackets“, demonstrations in France [editor’s note: demonstrations against the rise in gasoline prices that turned to violence], the women’s demonstrations are adorned with purple, the color chosen by the movement #NousToutes for the actions organized on the eve of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence to women.

Similar events took place in other European cities, including Rome, Athens and Geneva.

“This is the biggest feminist mobilization that we have known in France,” said its organizer, Caroline De Haas, who announced that 50,000 people took to the streets, including 30,000 in Paris. Last year, there were 2000 in the Paris demonstration, according to police source.

On Saturday, police and prefectures estimated 12,000 demonstrators in Paris between Opera and Republic, 2400 in Lyon, 1500 in Marseille, 950 in Rennes, 850 in two processions in Nantes, 600 in Toulouse …

Many demonstrators carried placards “Down with rape!”, demanding the end of “the impunity of the aggressors” and “sufficient financial means” for the fight against this violence.

Muriel Robin, Eva Darlan and Vanessa Demouy were present

Personalities from diverse backgrounds, including actresses Muriel Robin, Eva Darlan and Vanessa Demouy, joined the Parisian march.

“I’m here to support all the victims and continue this fight that began well before me,” said Muriel Robin, wearing a purple scarf on her arm. She had gathered more than a thousand women in Paris in October against domestic violence.

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Questions related to this article:

Protecting women and girls against violence, Is progress being made?

How effective are mass protest marches?

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From Rennes to Lyon and Toulouse, the processions were composed mostly of women of all generations, but also of men. For Tanguy, a 19-year-old Rennes student, “it’s a movement that has no sex”, “a fight of both men and women, together, against inequalities”.

Rirette, 84, came to protest in Lyon for “equality of pay, rights and sexual behavior.” “Non-consent is a horrible thing and it is judged (by the courts) too lax,” denounced this former administrator.

“The street is ours”

“Sexism kills”, “You are not alone”, “The street is ours”, “No means no”, could be read on the signs in Lille, along with flags of political movements (Generations , EELV) and trade unions (CGT and Sud).

In Toulouse, the entire event sang with one voice several slogans carefully prepared: “Proud, ‘venerable’, not ready to be silent!”, “Freedom, equality, sorority”, “Your hand on my ass, my fist in your mouth “,” Tax cons, not tampons”…

Born in September and supported by a number of associations, the #NousToutes movement was “moving from testimony to action” one year after #MeToo, which boosted the number of sexual violence cases reported to the police by 23%.

In France, in 2016, 123 women were killed by their spouse or ex-companion, about one every three days. Each year, nearly 220,000 women experience violence from their spouses or ex-companions, according to official 2017 figures. In addition, more than 250 women are raped each day, and one in three has been harassed or sexually assaulted at work.

Equality between women and men “great cause of the five-year electoral period” Macron

A year ago, President Emmanuel Macron decreed equality between women and men “great cause of the next five year electoral period”, during a speech at the Elysee.

But “if there is no money, public policies will not follow,” said Caroline De Haas. Funds earmarked to help women who are victims of domestic violence are expected to rise to at least € 506 million a year from 79 today, five organizations including the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (EESC) said this week.

Hundreds of personalities and trade unionists – women and men – joined Saturday’s movement.

In Paris, men were excluded from a “small non-mixed space” to reassure” women victims of various forms of violence who did not feel comfortable to march with men around them. This initiative was criticized on social networks, including by feminist activists, and it attracted only five people, according to the person in charge of this space.