Protest outside Russian Embassy would increase hysteria against Russia – Stop the War leader

Britain’s Stop the War Coalition has rejected UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s call to stage protests outside the Russian Embassy in London, claiming the demonstrations would only contribute to the "hysteria" and “jingoism” against Russia.

During an emergency House of Commons debate on Tuesday, Johnson criticised Britain’s “anti-war protest groups” for failing to hold demonstrations condemning Russian involvement in Syria, just as activists opposed Britain’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.

“There is no commensurate horror. It seems to me, amongst some of those anti-war protest groups. I’d certainly like to see demonstrations outside the Russian Embassy. Where is the Stop the War Coalition at the moment? Where are they?” Johnson asked.

Rejecting the Foreign Secretary’s call, Stop the War vice chairman Chris Nineham told the BBC Radio 4 Today program on Wednesday: “The reason for that is our focus is on what our government is doing.”

“There’s a very good reason for this, because we can make a difference to what Britain does, we can make a difference to what our allies do to a certain extent and we have done.”

“But, if we have a protest outside the Russian Embassy, it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference as to what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin does because we are in Britain and were are in the West.”

“And, not only that – a protest outside the Russian Embassy would actually contribute to increasing the hysteria and the jingoism that is being whipped up at the moment against Russia.”

He added: “What we are saying is there is a hysteria which is being organised by politicians and the media against Russia to see Russia as the only problem in Syria.”

Nineham said the Foreign Secretary’s calls for demonstrations were “characteristically trivialising.”

Russia responded to Johnson’s proposals within minutes, by making a mocking reference to an earlier statement by the Foreign Secretary, who claimed that the “most potent weapon” against Russia is “shame.”

“It looks like Boris Johnson has moved from words to action, and has unleashed the very weapon with which he threatened Russia – shame,” said Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova on her official Facebook feed. “As of now, we all feel ashamed on his behalf.”

The Russian Embassy in London also expressed its concern over Boris Johnson’s statements by calling the UK parliamentary debate on Syria “depressing.”

“The speeches of those who participated in the discussion contradict the logic of all previous decisions of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) as well as UN Security Council resolutions,” the embassy’s press secretary said in a statement, stressing that the UK is a member of both the UNSC and the ISSG.

The embassy also expressed its regret over the fact that “the British parliamentarians placed themselves on the wrong side of history” as "Syria is going through the hard process of defeating terrorists.”

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Demonstrations in Venezuela to Show Rejection of US Interference

Convened by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), social sectors are mobilizing in Caracas today to repudiate US interventionist actions.

According to the leader of this organization and the mayor of a Caracas municipality, Jorge Rodriguez, the demonstrations will show Venezuelan's rejection of statements made by the White House spokesman, John Kirby, which Rodriguez labeled ignorant, vulgar and insolent.

Rodriguez added that pronouncements on the subject of the revocation referendum against President Nicolas Maduro, being promoted by the right, interfere in the internal affairs of the country because the process is only Venezuelan's responsibility.

Kirby questioned CNE's decision to set the second stage of the referendum process between October 26th and 28th.

In response the electoral organization also issued a statement condemning the comments and pointed out the interventionist nature of the Obama administration.

In the official statement to which Prensa Latina had access, CNE stated that they do not accept the disrespect implicit in the press release, which was signed by Kirby on behalf of the US government, and asked US representatives to refrain from expressing opinions on the process of democratic participation in Venezuela.

The electoral authority noted that the statement was aimed at discrediting the democracy consolidated in the South American country in the last 17 years of Bolivarian Revolution.

The Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodríguez has also asked the US government to respect the sovereignty and independence of Venezuela, a country which does not respond to claims or imperial orders.

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France gives green light to anti-labor law demo, but with restrictions

French unions have received the right to continue protests against a highly unpopular labor law that has sparked mass rallies across the country in recent months. However, authorities said demonstrators must follow a designated route of less than 1.6km.

"After intensive discussions with the interior minister [Bernard Cazeneuve], trade unions and youth [movements] were given the right to demonstrate in Paris [June 23] on a route offered by the interior minister,” the head of the General Confederation [CGT] union, Philippe Martinez, said at a press conference.

He added that the unions also received permission to demonstrate on June 28.

Le parcours de la manif de demain, un peu dubitatif que les syndicats aient accepté ça

According to Martinez, the authorities’ decision to allow the protest was “a victory for democracy.”

However, France introduced restrictions for the demonstrators in Paris – the participants have to follow a designated route from the Place de la Bastille square to the Port de l'Arsenal and back. The whole route will be about 1.6km, French media reported, citing trade unions.

The labor unions, however, did not comment on the organization of the anti-labor law protests in other French cities.

READ MORE: Chaos, uncertainty & anger: 5 ways anti-labor reform protests disrupt life in France

French authorities have repeatedly called to ban the demonstrations against labor reforms or at least to make them more “static.” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Tuesday that the French government is seeking to ensure that protests do not pose the risk of violence. “The police are tired and need some recovery time,” he added.

@RT_com BREAKING: At least 40 injured, 58 arrested in anti-labor reform protests – police

However, the unions rejected the proposal, saying
Law enforcement authorities had released a statement on Wednesday saying that the Prefect of Police “believes he has no choice but to ban the demonstration.”

"After close examination, these alternative proposals address neither the security needs of people and property, nor the demands on police resources given the terrorist threat," a police department statement said

Tear gas & Fires: Police clash with anti-labor reform protesters in France (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

The police attempt to ban the protests was highly criticized by a number of French politicians. According to the president of the National Front, Marine Le Pen, banning the demonstrations is “a serious attack on democracy.”

MP from the French National Assembly, Christian Paul, called the ban a "historic error" while Guillaume Balas from the Socialist Party said “the government must ensure security and freedom to protest.”

The protests, launched in March this year and held under the popular slogans LoiTravail (Labor Law) and NuitDebout (Rise Up At Night), have repeatedly turned violent, with officers clashing with demonstrators and police firing tear gas. Almost every rally has ended with arrests. The most violent rallies occurred in Paris, Rennes and Nantes.

The demonstrators often showed their disrespect for officers, shouting “Everyone hates police” during rallies. The slogan has become popular and was seen on banners and as a hashtag in Facebook groups. Other insulting slogans against the police included: “Police everywhere, justice nowhere,” and “Cops, murderers.”

Paris police car set ablaze as officers protest brutality against them (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

Police even decided to stage an anti-brutality rally against their ranks during massive anti-labor reform protests in May. Law enforcement officers said they have been unfairly treated by the public for simply trying to do their job. However, the protest didn’t seem to affect anti-labor reform demonstrators – a police car was torched during the rally.

The unpopular reform, initiated by Labor Minister Myriam El Khomri, forces employers to pay only 10 percent of overtime bonus, instead of the current 25 percent. The bill technically maintains the 35-hour working week, but says that in case of “exceptional circumstances,” employees can be asked to work up to 60 hours a week.

Sporadic anti-labor reform protests in France have grown into something more substantial – now people claim they are rallying against capitalism, French government policies and intolerance. The protests’ slogans seem very similar to the Occupy movement, which started in the US in 2011 and spread globally.

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