Category Archives: Refugee Issues

Led by Left Coalition, French Election Shows ‘How You Defeat the Far Right’

France’s left-of-center parties held off a far-right advance in the country’s parliamentary elections by building a progressive platform and forming strategic alliances, their supporters say.

By Edward Carver. Published 7-8-2024 by Common Dreams

Supporters of La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) part of The Nouveau Front Populaire coalition, celebrate the election results. Screenshot: CNN

Political figures from across the world congratulated France’s left-of-center coalition following parliamentary elections on Sunday in which it gained the most seats of any group, outperforming the far-right party that many feared would take control of the National Assembly, in what The Washington Post called “one of the greatest political upsets in recent French history.”

In the second and final round of voting, the Nouveau Front Populaire (NFP) won roughly 180 out of the 577 seats in the assembly, far from a majority but more than President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist coalition, which won about 160, or Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National (RN), which won about 140 or 145.

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In Snap Election, French Left Forms Alliance To Counter Far Right and Neoliberals

Leaders of the new alliance vowed to “extinguish the flame” of Marine Le Pen’s far-right party and make a “total break” from President Emmanuel Macron’s anti-worker policies.

By Edward Carver. Published 6-14-2024 by Common Dreams

Image: Nouveau Front Populaire

France’s left-of-center parties announced on Thursday a new alliance aimed at countering both the ultranationalism of Marine Le Pen and the neoliberalism of President Emmanuel Macron in parliamentary elections that Macron called unexpectedly on Sunday.

The new alliance, called the Nouveau Front Populaire (NFP), formed following days of intense negotiations as several parties, most notably the center-left Parti Socialiste (PS) and the left-wing La France Insoumise (LFI), joined forces to put forth a common platform and avoid competing candidates in races for the 577 seats in the National Assembly.

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Macron Calls Snap Election After Far-Right Gains in EU Contests

“We live in a Europe where neofascism and absenteeism are on the rise—a combination that allows the oligarchs to plunder,” said Yanis Varoufakis.

By Jake Johnson. Published 6-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: YouTube

French President Emmanuel Macron called snap legislative elections on Sunday after his party suffered a major defeat in European Parliament contests, with Marine Le Pen’s far-right, xenophobic National Rally scoring twice the support of Macron’s Renaissance.

In a nationally televised speech following the elections, which saw the far-right make gains across much of the European Union, Macron said that “the rise of nationalists and demagogues is a danger for our nation and for Europe.”

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Fresh Calls to ‘Reject AIPAC’ After Analysis of GOP Money in Dem Primaries

“George Latimer in New York and Wesley Bell in Missouri are trying to become Democratic members of Congress off millions of dollars of money from rich right-wing Republicans,” said one group.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Ted Eytan /CC

Politico reported Sunday that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is “the biggest source of Republican money flowing into competitive Democratic primaries this year,” sparking new calls for candidates and voters nationwide to #RejectAIPAC.

“If you don’t want Republican megadonors to choose your next Democratic congressperson for you, then there’s only one option: #RejectAIPAC,” Naftali Ehrenkranz, digital director at Get Free, said on social media, pointing to the reporting.

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UN Agencies Call for International Aid as War-Torn Sudan Faces Famine Threat

“Extreme hunger is unfolding” as a civil war enters its second year and funding is slow to arrive, the agencies warned.

By Edward Carver. Published 5-31-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Ahmed Hussen/X

A group of United Nations agencies and humanitarian groups sounded the alarm Friday that 18 million Sudanese are acutely hungry as a civil war that began in April 2023 continues to ravage the country.

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), a group of 12 U.N. agencies and 7 humanitarian organizations, issued a statement on the staggering scale of hunger and insecurity in Sudan, including in the Darfur region in the country’s west. They called for an immediate influx of international funding—billions of dollars of which has already been pledged, but not yet delivered—so that food could be planted before the rainy season.

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World Leaders Urged to Protect Syrian Refugees Amid Lebanon’s Crackdown

“Lebanon’s authorities must stop summarily deporting refugees to a place where they are at risk of violations, lift restrictions, and end their vitriolic campaign against refugees,” said one Amnesty campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-27-2024 by Common Dreams

Syrian refugee children in the Ketermaya refugee camp, outside Beirut, Lebanon on June 1, 2014. Photo: World Bank Photo Collection/flickr/CC

Amnesty International on Monday reiterated human rights groups’ rising concerns about a Lebanese crackdown on Syrian refugees as the European Union hosted a conference in Brussels focused on “supporting the future of Syria and the region.”

The conference comes at right-wing leaders in the E.U. campaign as anti-migrant ahead of the bloc’s June elections and after European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen in early May announced a three-year, €1 billion ($1.06 billion) assistance package to support “the most vulnerable people in Lebanon, including refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities,” as well as “urgent domestic reforms” and “border and migration management.”

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‘We Must Fight Against Fascists’: Protests Greet Far-Right Summit in Spain

“We are not going to allow them to take even one step back,” one protester said as far-right political leaders set their sights on the European Union elections.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-20-2024 by Common Dreams

Dozens of people protest during a rally against the “Viva 24” event in Madrid, Spain on May 19, 2024. Photo: EFE Noticias/X

As European Union voters prepare for June elections, far-right leaders gathered in Madrid for a weekend rally hosted by Spain’s Vox party—a gathering at the Palacio de Vistalegre that drew protests and warnings about their plans for the continent.

Rally speakers delivered “strong messages against illegal migration and the bloc’s climate policy while declaring their support for Israel in its war against Hamas,” according to The Associated Press.

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Solidarity Marches Held Across Globe to Demand Cease-Fire in Gaza

Organizers held rallies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia to mark Nakba Day and condemn Israel’s bombing and starvation of Palestinian civilians.

By Julia Conley. Published 5-19-2024 by Common Dreams

The London march. Photo:: PSC/X

As one United Nations official on Saturday said that “brand new words” are needed to adequately describe the devastation Israel has wrought across Gaza in its U.S.-backed military assault, tens of thousands of people across the globe marched in solidarity with Palestinians to demand an end to the “ongoing Nakba.”

The marches were held to honor Nakba Day, which was marked on May 15—the 76th anniversary of the mass displacement of 700,000 Palestinians who were forced from their homes when Israel declared statehood in 1948. The protesters demanded a cease-fire in Gaza, where Israeli forces have killed at least 35,456 people since October, the majority of them women and children.

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Record 76 Million Internally Displaced in 2023, Largely Due to Violence

“We have never, ever recorded so many people forced away from their homes and communities,” one expert said. “It is a damning verdict on the failures of conflict prevention and peacemaking.”

By Olivia Rosane. Published 5-14-2024 by Common Dreams

A group of women and children are temporarily sheltered in a school in Al Salam camp for Internally Displaced Persons, South Darfur. Photo: UNAMID/flickr/CC

War, conflict, and environmental disasters displaced a record 75.9 million people from their homes at the end of 2023, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center reported Tuesday.

The vast majority of the displaced—68.3 million—were forced from their homes due to conflicts, the highest number since data became available 15 years ago.

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Jewish Groups Decry House Passage of Bill Defining Criticism of Israel as ‘Antisemitism’

“Antisemitism is a serious problem, but codifying a legal definition could have dangerous implications for free speech,” said one campaigner.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 5-1-2024 by Common Dreams

House vote on the Antisemitism Awareness Act. Photo: Jacob N. Kornbluh/X

House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve legislation directing the U.S. Department of Education to consider a dubious definition of antisemitism, despite warnings from Jewish-led groups that the measure speciously conflates legitimate criticism of the Israeli government with bigotry against Jewish people.

House members approved the Antisemitism Awareness Act—bipartisan legislation introduced last year by Reps. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Max Miller (R-Ohio), and Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) in the lower chamber and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in the Senate—by a vote of 320-91.

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