country:mexico

  • A Fence, Steel Slats or ‘Whatever You Want to Call It’. A Detailed Timeline of Trump’s Words About the Wall

    As a candidate, Donald J. Trump’s language about the southern border was remarkably simple: He would build a great wall, and Mexico would pay for it. He repeated this promise hundreds of times.

    But his language has shifted since his election as president, particularly since the government shutdown last month.


    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/02/13/upshot/detailed-timeline-trumps-words-border-wall.html?smid=tw-share
    #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #terminologie #mots #vocabulaire #Trump #langage

    ping @reka



  • Democrats’ ‘smart border’ technology is not a ‘humane’ alternative to Trump’s wall

    In response to President Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, and his threat to shut down the government again on Feb. 15 if Congress doesn’t provide it, Democratic Congressional leaders are promoting an alternative they refer to as a “smart border.” This is essentially an expansion of existing technologies like remote sensors, integrated fixed-towers, #drones and other #surveillance assets.

    On Jan. 29, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the third-ranking Democrat in the House, wrote an op-ed in The Hill arguing that this kind of “smart border” is preferable to a physical wall because it will “create a technological barrier too high to climb over, too wide to go around, and too deep to burrow under,” resulting in an “effective, efficient and humane” alternative to Trump’s border wall. Meanwhile, the “opening offer” announced on Jan. 31 by the Democrats in bipartisan budget negotiations included $400 million for this “smart border” surveillance package.

    In a recent peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Borderlands Studies, we raised fundamental questions about these kinds of “smart border” technologies, including their humanitarian implications. Using geospatial modeling and statistical analysis, we show how previous “high-tech” border solutions failed to deliver on their operational objectives; instead of preventing unauthorized crossing, the surveillance network simply shifted migration routes into much more difficult and remote terrain, with a measurable impact on the geography of migrant deaths in the southern Arizona desert.

    From 2006 to 2011 the United States appropriated $3.7 billion for the SBInet system, intended as a high-tech network of ground sensors connected to integrated fixed towers mounted with infrared, high-resolution cameras and motion-detecting ground radar. Experimentally deployed southwest of Tucson, Arizona, the surveillance network aimed to provide the Border Patrol “complete situational awareness” through the real-time, automated integration of multiple sources of surveillance data.

    The outcomes delivered by the SBInet program fell well short of these aspirations, however. In 2010 the Government Accountability Office concluded that the Department of Homeland Security had “yet to identify expected benefits from the [program], whether quantitative or qualitative.” After continuous operational shortcomings and delays, in 2011 the Obama administration quietly canceled the program.

    Simultaneously, the area where SBInet was deployed has become a “land of open graves,” according to anthropologist and 2017 MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Jason De León. From 2006 to 2011, at least 1,267 people died in southern Arizona attempting to cross the border. A significant majority of these deaths were the outcome of exposure to the elements: dehydration, hyperthermia and exhaustion. Meanwhile, during this same period the rate of death (the number of deaths / 100,000 Border Patrol apprehensions) skyrocketed, nearly tripling between 2008 and 2011 alone.

    These deaths are the result of many factors. But our research shows that significant among these has been the expansion of border surveillance technology. Using Geographic Information Science, we analyzed the mapped location of human remains pre- and post-SBInet. We then plotted the visual range of the SBInet system using publicly-available information on the location of the towers and the operational reach of their various components.

    Next, we created a model using variables like vegetation, slope and terrain to measure the physiological difficulty associated with pedestrian transit along different routes of travel. We found a meaningful and measurable shift in the location of human remains toward routes of travel outside the visual range of the SBInet system, routes that simultaneously required much greater physical exertion, thus increasing peoples’ vulnerability to injury, isolation, dehydration, hyperthermia and exhaustion.

    Our research findings show that in addition to its monetary cost and its questionable operational efficacy, the “smart border” technology presently being promoted by the Democratic congressional leadership contributes to deadly outcomes.

    Based on these findings there is a need to reconsider the premise that surveillance technology and infrastructure can provide a “humane” alternative to Trump’s border wall (a proposal we also consider to be wasteful and destructive). Instead, we’d like to see a shift in U.S. border policy that genuinely prioritizes the protection of human life, regardless of a person’s citizenship or immigration status.

    This kind of shift, of course, would require reforms not just to the Border Patrol and its enforcement strategy, but to U.S. immigration policy overall, allowing people to seek safety or reunite with family and loved ones without risking their lives crossing through the desert.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/immigration/429454-democrats-smart-border-technology-is-not-a-humane-alternative-to-tru

    #frontière_intelligente #alternative (?) #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #smart_border #smart_borders #technologie #mourir_aux_frontières #morts #décès

    En gros:

    Our research findings show that in addition to its monetary cost and its questionable operational efficacy, the “smart border” technology presently being promoted by the Democratic congressional leadership contributes to deadly outcomes.


  • Climate change seen as top threat, but U.S. power a growing worry - poll
    http://news.trust.org/item/20190210225154-k96v7

    The largest shift in sentiment centred on the United States, it said, with a median of 45 percent of people naming U.S. power and influence as a threat in 2018, up from 25 percent in 2013, when Barack Obama was U.S. president.

    In 10 countries, including Germany, Japan and South Korea, roughly half of respondents or more saw U.S. power and influence as a major threat to their nation, up from eight in 2017 and three in 2013, the poll showed.

    In Mexico, where those concerns have spiked since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, the percentage jumped to 64 percent, the poll showed.

    #climat #etats-unis #menaces


  • How the U.S. Weaponized the Border Wall
    https://theintercept.com/2019/02/10/us-mexico-border-fence-history

    Migrants die and disappear in staggeringly high numbers along the U.S.-Mexico border, as Washington over the years has shut down relatively safe, traditional urban entry points, forcing border crossers into hostile desert terrain. Migrants also sustain severe life-threatening or crippling injuries. They fall into mine shafts and break their backs. Dehydration damages their kidneys. Others are bitten by snakes or injured in chases. The tall metal fences that run as barriers along segments of (...)

    #FBI #CIA #capteur #frontières #migration #surveillance #militarisation


  • Journalists, Lawyers, and Activists Working on the Border Face Coordinated Harassment From U.S. and Mexican Authorities
    https://theintercept.com/2019/02/08/us-mexico-border-journalists-harassment

    Four photojournalists gathered on the southern side of the U.S.-Mexico border wall shortly after Christmas in Tijuana. They were there to document the arrival of the migrant caravans from Central America, the latest chapter in a story that had drawn President Donald Trump’s increasing outrage. As the photographers waited in the dark, a pair of Mexican police officers approached. The officers wanted to know the photographers’ names and where they were from. They asked to see their passports (...)

    #ICE #activisme #frontières #migration #journalisme #surveillance #harcèlement


  • Indigenous immigrants face unique challenges at the border

    Between May 5 and June 9, more than 2,000 immigrant families were stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border. Government agents and agencies have failed to identify Indigenous individuals and families after apprehension and because many Indigenous migrants speak neither English or Spanish, language barriers can lead to human and Indigenous rights violations and increase the risk for family separations.


    https://www.hcn.org/articles/tribal-affairs-indigenous-immigrants-face-unique-challenges-at-the-border
    #barrières_linguistiques #langue #peuples_autochtones #frontières #asile #migrations #USA #Etats-Unis #droits #accès_aux_droits #langue


  • Why a #high-tech border wall is as silly as a physical one

    Opinion: Technology is an attractive answer, but it’s no panacea for economic and geopolitical problems at the border.

    There’s a loud and growing chorus of opposition to a physical border wall. That view is shared by leaders of border cities like McAllen, Texas, by every congressman representing a district along our 2000-mile-long southern border, and by the majority of Americans (to say nothing of a long list of bygone societies stretching from the Ming Dynasty to East Germany). Tying a partial government shutdown to funding for the wall has also been deeply unpopular, and the president’s historically low approval ratings were slumping further during the shutdown.

    Out of the political jockeying during the longest partial government shutdown in American history, there’s one idea everyone seems eager to agree on: Technology can help redress serious problems at the border. It’s an attractive, almost magic-sounding solution, lending a Silicon Valley ring to a stale debate. In the rhetorical shoving match over a physical wall, it’s become the rallying cry for those seeking sensible alternatives.

    Unfortunately, border technology is not the panacea many people think. And in many of its applications it runs counter to our core values.

    Increasing border security with a force field of sensing and response technology, what many are calling a digital or virtual wall, isn’t a new idea — in fact, it’s about 50 years old and grew out of strategies and technologies first developed during the Vietnam War. And it hasn’t worked.

    Technology already in place

    There are currently about 12,000 motion and seismic sensors along the U.S. border with Mexico, along with a vast electronic perimeter of radar and high definition cameras. Predator B drones have extended the radar net in places and can pick out a snake slithering through brush a mile away. Miniature facial recognition drones, 3D mapping technology, tethered blimps first developed to guard forward operating bases in Afghanistan, tunnel-navigating ground robots used in Iraq, invisible dyes dropped from the air to mark migrants, and acoustic deterrents of various types have all been tested or deployed along the border. (Here’s an excellent article on the history of this technology buildup by Lauren Etter and Karen Weise.)

    Meanwhile, electronic fingerprinting has been in use by immigration enforcement officials since the 1990s to track the massive flow of people, legal and illegal, across U.S. borders. Border security agents currently have access to military-grade technology like nightscopes, suppressors, infrared and holographic sights, and a thick catalog of tactical weapons and gear.

    We’re not talking about small-scale pilot programs or testbeds, either — far from it. In the mid-2000s, the America’s Shield Initiative and Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System cost taxpayers billions. The objective was “to use the right technology at the right places for the right terrain to … have the rapid response capability to get to the points of intrusions to increase our overall apprehension rate,” CBP Commissioner Robert Bonner told the House Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security in 2006.

    Soon after, George W. Bush kicked off the #Secure_Border_Initiative, what he called “the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American History.” And just this past March, the latest government spending bill allocated $400 million for border technology. During what’s become a perennial state of frenzy over illegal immigration, it’s safe to say there’s been a decades-old gold rush to bring tech to the border. Rather than promoting new technology development, battle tested technology has migrated over from the defense sector. Contractors are reaping the benefits.

    And what are the results of all this technology on immigration? Well, here’s how President Trump feels: “We can’t have people pouring into our country like they have over the last 10 years.”

    Scrutinizing that assertion through the lens of reality is an exercise in confronting just how bellicose and misinformed the immigration debate has become, but the important takeaway is that a lot of people believe there’s still a big problem at the border despite the massive investment in technology. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate our faith in a digital fix. Maybe it’s also time to reevaluate the problem.

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/why-a-high-tech-border-wall-is-as-silly-as-a-physical-one
    #technologie #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #migrations


  • Millions of Americans Flood Into Mexico for Health Care
    https://truthout.org/articles/millions-of-americans-flood-into-mexico-for-health-care

    It’s true that Latin and Central Americans are coming to the US fleeing #violence and poverty, much of it caused by destructive US trade policy over the course of decades. But there’s another massive “border crossing” phenomenon afoot — and Trump has not said a word about it. We’re talking about thousands of US citizens crossing the border each day in search of affordable health care.

    #etats-unis #mexique #santé #frontières #pauvreté


  • 24 janvier : Dr. Jill Stein
    https://twitter.com/DrJillStein/status/1088253786102091776

    US has backed right-wing coups up and down Latin America for 100+ years. Not one was about democracy. All have been to enrich the global elite. But we’re supposed to believe this time in Venezuela - which has the world’s largest oil reserves - is different?

    Tulsi Gabbard, 24 janvier :
    https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/1088531713649713153

    The United States needs to stay out of Venezuela. Let the Venezuelan people determine their future. We don’t want other countries to choose our leaders—so we have to stop trying to choose theirs.

    Le Représentant Ro Khanna le 24 janvier :
    https://twitter.com/RoKhanna/status/1088302692001300480

    With respect Senator Durbin, the US should not anoint the leader of the opposition in Venezuela during an internal, polarized conflict. Let us support Uruguay, Mexico, & the Vatican’s efforts for a negotiated settlement & end sanctions that are making the hyperinflation worse.

    Important : Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a retouité le message de Ro Khanna. Ça a été sa première intervention sur le Vénézuela.

    Ocasio-Cortez a ensuite retouité ce message de John Hudson commentant la nomination d’Eliot Abrams :
    https://twitter.com/John_Hudson/status/1088912260398006272

    Mike Pompeo just named Eliot Abrams his new special envoy for Venezuela. Abrams plead guilty to withholding information from Congress about the Iran-Contra affair. Pompeo says Abrams will be in charge of “all things related to our efforts to restore Democracy in Venezuela.”

    Ilhan Omar, le 25 janvier :
    https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/1088829238164246528

    We cannot hand pick leaders for other countries on behalf of multinational corporate interests. The legislature cannot seize power from the President, and Venezuela’s Supreme Court has declared their actions unconstitutional.
    https://www.democracynow.org/2019/1/24/former_un_expert_the_us_is …

    suivi de :
    https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/1088829933508534273

    If we really want to support the Venezuelan people, we can lift the economic sanctions that are inflicting suffering on innocent families, making it harder for them to access food and medicines, and deepening the economic crisis.

    We should support dialogue, not a coup!

    Pour l’anecdote (intéressante), Rania Khalek a commenté l’intervention d’Ilan Omar ainsi :
    https://twitter.com/RaniaKhalek/status/1088837438137688065

    This is the best and most detailed statement I’ve seen so far from a Democrat on Venezuela. @IlhanMN as well as her other colleagues who spoke out should be commended for opposing Trump’s coup attempt, this will surely provoke malicious attacks from the pro-war crowd. Very brave

    Message repris par Omar avec la réponse :
    https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/1088838107389194241

    ✊🏽

    Alors tu t’en doutes, depuis c’est le déferlement de bouffées délirantes.


  • Undercover agents target cybersecurity watchdog who detailed Israeli firm NSO’s link to #Khashoggi scandal
    Haaretz.Com
    https://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/.premium-undercover-agents-target-watchdog-who-detailed-israeli-firm-nso-s-

    Operatives with fake identities are pursuing members of #Citizen_Lab, the group that uncovered the connection between Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and Israel’s surveillance company #NSO
    The Associated Press | Jan. 26, 2019 | 4:19 PM

    The researchers who reported that Israeli software was used to spy on Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s inner circle before his gruesome death are being targeted in turn by international undercover operatives, The Associated Press has found.

    Twice in the past two months, men masquerading as socially conscious investors have lured members of the Citizen Lab internet watchdog group to meetings at luxury hotels to quiz them for hours about their work exposing Israeli surveillance and the details of their personal lives. In both cases, the researchers believe they were secretly recorded.

    Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert described the stunts as “a new low.”

    “We condemn these sinister, underhanded activities in the strongest possible terms,” he said in a statement Friday. “Such a deceitful attack on an academic group like the Citizen Lab is an attack on academic freedom everywhere.”

    Who these operatives are working for remains a riddle, but their tactics recall those of private investigators who assume elaborate false identities to gather intelligence or compromising material on critics of powerful figures in government or business.

    Citizen Lab, based out of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, has for years played a leading role in exposing state-backed hackers operating in places as far afield as Tibet , Ethiopia and Syria . Lately the group has drawn attention for its repeated exposés of an Israeli surveillance software vendor called the NSO Group, a firm whose wares have been used by governments to target journalists in Mexico , opposition figures in Panama and human rights activists in the Middle East .

    In October, Citizen Lab reported that an iPhone belonging to one of Khashoggi’s confidantes had been infected by the NSO’s signature spy software only months before Khashoggi’s grisly murder. The friend, Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz, would later claim that the hacking had exposed Khashoggi’s private criticisms of the Saudi royal family to the Arab kingdom’s spies and thus “played a major role” in his death.

    In a statement, NSO denied having anything to do with the undercover operations targeting Citizen Lab, “either directly or indirectly” and said it had neither hired nor asked anyone to hire private investigators to pursue the Canadian organization. “Any suggestion to the contrary is factually incorrect and nothing more than baseless speculation,” NSO said.

    NSO has long denied that its software was used to target Khashoggi, although it has refused to comment when asked whether it has sold its software to the Saudi government more generally.

    The first message reached Bahr Abdul Razzak, a Syrian refugee who works as a Citizen Lab researcher, Dec. 6, when a man calling himself Gary Bowman got in touch via LinkedIn. The man described himself as a South African financial technology executive based in Madrid.

    “I came across your profile and think that the work you’ve done helping Syrian refugees and your extensive technical background could be a great fit for our new initiative,” Bowman wrote.

    Abdul Razzak said he thought the proposal was a bit odd, but he eventually agreed to meet the man at Toronto’s swanky Shangri-La Hotel on the morning of Dec. 18.

    The conversation got weird very quickly, Abdul Razzak said.

    Instead of talking about refugees, Abdul Razzak said, Bowman grilled him about his work for Citizen Lab and its investigations into the use of NSO’s software. Abdul Razzak said Bowman appeared to be reading off cue cards, asking him if he was earning enough money and throwing out pointed questions about Israel, the war in Syria and Abdul Razzak’s religiosity.

    “Do you pray?” Abdul Razzak recalled Bowman asking. “Why do you write only about NSO?” ’’Do you write about it because it’s an Israeli company?" ’’Do you hate #Israel?"

    Abdul Razzak said he emerged from the meeting feeling shaken. He alerted his Citizen Lab colleagues, who quickly determined that the breakfast get-together had been a ruse. Bowman’s supposed Madrid-based company, FlameTech, had no web presence beyond a LinkedIn page, a handful of social media profiles and an entry in the business information platform Crunchbase. A reverse image search revealed that the profile picture of the man listed as FlameTech’s chief executive, Mauricio Alonso, was a stock photograph.

    “My immediate gut feeling was: ’This is a fake,’” said John Scott-Railton, one of Abdul Razzak’s colleagues.

    Scott-Railton flagged the incident to the AP, which confirmed that FlameTech was a digital facade.

    Searches of the Orbis database of corporate records, which has data on some 300 million global companies, turned up no evidence of a Spanish firm called FlameTech or Flame Tech or any company anywhere in the world matching its description. Similarly, the AP found no record of FlameTech in Madrid’s official registry or of a Gary Bowman in the city’s telephone listings. An Orbis search for Alonso, the supposed chief executive, also drew a blank. When an AP reporter visited Madrid’s Crystal Tower high-rise, where FlameTech claimed to have 250 sq. meters (2,700 sq. feet) of office space, he could find no trace of the firm and calls to the number listed on its website went unanswered.

    The AP was about to publish a story about the curious company when, on Jan. 9, Scott-Railton received an intriguing message of his own.

    This time the contact came not from Bowman of FlameTech but from someone who identified himself as Michel Lambert, a director at the Paris-based agricultural technology firm CPW-Consulting.

    Lambert had done his homework. In his introductory email , he referred to Scott-Railton’s early doctoral research on kite aerial photography — a mapping technique using kite-mounted cameras — and said he was “quite impressed.

    We have a few projects and clients coming up that could significantly benefit from implementing Kite Aerial Photography,” he said.

    Like FlameTech, CPW-Consulting was a fiction. Searches of Orbis and the French commercial court registry Infogreffe turned up no trace of the supposedly Paris-based company or indeed of any Paris-based company bearing the acronym CPW. And when the AP visited CPW’s alleged office there was no evidence of the company; the address was home to a mainly residential apartment building. Residents and the building’s caretaker said they had never heard of the firm.

    Whoever dreamed up CPW had taken steps to ensure the illusion survived a casual web search, but even those efforts didn’t bear much scrutiny. The company had issued a help wanted ad, for example, seeking a digital mapping specialist for their Paris office, but Scott-Railton discovered that the language had been lifted almost word-for-word from an ad from an unrelated company seeking a mapping specialist in London. A blog post touted CPW as a major player in Africa, but an examination of the author’s profile suggests the article was the only one the blogger had ever written.

    When Lambert suggested an in-person meeting in New York during a Jan. 19 phone call , Scott-Railton felt certain that Lambert was trying to set him up.

    But Scott-Railton agreed to the meeting. He planned to lay a trap of his own.

    Anyone watching Scott-Railton and Lambert laughing over wagyu beef and lobster bisque at the Peninsula Hotel’s upscale restaurant on Thursday afternoon might have mistaken the pair for friends.

    In fact, the lunch was Spy vs. Spy. Scott-Railton had spent the night before trying to secret a homemade camera into his tie, he later told AP, eventually settling for a GoPro action camera and several recording devices hidden about his person. On the table, Lambert had placed a large pen in which Scott-Railton said he spotted a tiny camera lens peeking out from an opening in the top.

    Lambert didn’t seem to be alone. At the beginning of the meal, a man sat behind him, holding up his phone as if to take pictures and then abruptly left the restaurant, having eaten nothing. Later, two or three men materialized at the bar and appeared to be monitoring proceedings.

    Scott-Railton wasn’t alone either. A few tables away, two Associated Press journalists were making small talk as they waited for a signal from Scott-Railton, who had invited the reporters to observe the lunch from nearby and then interview Lambert near the end of the meal.

    The conversation began with a discussion of kites, gossip about African politicians, and a detour through Scott-Railton’s family background. But Lambert, just like Bowman, eventually steered the talk to Citizen Lab and NSO.

    “Work drama? Tell me, I like drama!” Lambert said at one point, according to Scott-Railton’s recording of the conversation. “Is there a big competition between the people inside Citizen Lab?” he asked later.

    Like Bowman, Lambert appeared to be working off cue cards and occasionally made awkward conversational gambits. At one point he repeated a racist French expression, insisting it wasn’t offensive. He also asked Scott-Railton questions about the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and whether he grew up with any Jewish friends. At another point he asked whether there might not be a “racist element” to Citizen Lab’s interest in Israeli spyware.

    After dessert arrived, the AP reporters approached Lambert at his table and asked him why his company didn’t seem to exist.
    He seemed to stiffen.

    “I know what I’m doing,” Lambert said, as he put his files — and his pen — into a bag. Then he stood up, bumped into a chair and walked off, saying “Ciao” and waving his hand, before returning because he had neglected to pay the bill.

    As he paced around the restaurant waiting for the check, Lambert refused to answer questions about who he worked for or why no trace of his firm could be found.

    “I don’t have to give you any explanation,” he said. He eventually retreated to a back room and closed the door.

    Who Lambert and Bowman really are isn’t clear. Neither men returned emails, LinkedIn messages or phone calls. And despite their keen focus on NSO the AP has found no evidence of any link to the Israeli spyware merchant, which is adamant that it wasn’t involved.

    The kind of aggressive investigative tactics used by the mystery men who targeted Citizen Lab have come under fire in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal. Black Cube, an Israeli private investigation firm apologized after The New Yorker and other media outlets revealed that the company’s operatives had used subterfuge and dirty tricks to help the Hollywood mogul suppress allegations of rape and sexual assault.

    Scott-Railton and Abdul Razzak said they didn’t want to speculate about who was involved. But both said they believed they were being steered toward making controversial comments that could be used to blacken Citizen Lab’s reputation.

    “It could be they wanted me to say, ’Yes, I hate Israel,’ or ’Yes, Citizen Lab is against NSO because it’s Israeli,’” said Abdul Razzak.
    Scott-Railton said the elaborate, multinational operation was gratifying, in a way.

    “People were paid to fly to a city to sit you down to an expensive meal and try to convince you to say bad things about your work, your colleagues and your employer,” he said.

    “That means that your work is important.”


  • Visualizing the U.S.-Mexico Border – The Intercept
    https://theintercept.com/2016/10/26/best-of-luck-with-the-wall

    For all the talk of “securing the border” and “building a wall,” there is surprisingly little visual material that conveys just how vast this stretch of space is.

    In total, the U.S.-Mexico border spans 1,954 miles. According to Google Maps, it would take 34 hours to drive its entire length. In places, there already is a border fence — more than 650 miles of it. Pushed and pulled by various forces, some 1 million people are estimated to pass through the official ports of entry every day.

    But what does the geography of this landscape look like? Is it industrial? Desolate? Populated? All of the above?

    Using the geographic coordinates of the international boundary line, in addition to location data for the existing border fence (which has been mapped by journalists at NPR and the Center for Investigative Reporting), I wrote a small computer script to download satellite imagery for the entire border.

    I ended up with about 200,000 images.

    Using a command-line tool called ffmpeg, I programmatically stitched the images together, and then worked with Laura Poitras and her team at Field of Vision to edit them into a short film. Jace Clayton, the artist and author known as DJ /rupture, developed an original score for the piece.
    Rivers of Data

    Borders begin as fictions. They are performed. They are lines drawn in the sand, spaces that bend and break and make exceptions for certain kinds of bodies.

    But borders are made real by the policies built around them. The fact that borders are performed does not make them any less real. The border is quite literally what gives the nation its shape.



  • Trump holds firm on border wall, offers steel option as compromise | Reuters
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-shutdown-idUSKCN1P00E5

    U.S. President Donald Trump pledged on Sunday not to bend in his demand for a wall along the southern border with Mexico but said the barrier could be made of steel instead of concrete as a potential compromise with Democrats who refuse to fund it.
    […]
    The barrier, or the wall, can be of steel instead of concrete, if that helps people. It may be better,” he said.


  • Troops To Be Deployed To Border To Build And Upgrade 160 Miles Of Fencing

    More troops are expected to be deployed to the Southern border to construct or upgrade 160 miles of fencing and provide medical care to a steady stream of migrant families arriving from Central America, according to military sources.

    The deployment and fence construction along the California and Arizona borders would be paid for by the Pentagon, from the Department of Defense’s discretionary funding.

    The move comes as President Trump continues to demand more than $5 billion from Congress for border security and a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Congressional Democrats oppose the move, and parts of the federal government have been shut down because of the impasse.

    The Department of Defense has not been affected by the shutdown.

    Last month Trump tweeted that “the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall” after he said that much of it already has been built. The president was referring to several hundred miles of existing fencing along the Southern border.

    A few days later, Trump repeated his intention to have the Defense Department do the job, saying in another tweet that because of crime and drugs flowing through the border “the United States Military will build the Wall!”

    The Department of Homeland Security — which has had to cease some operations, although not border security — made the request for more troops to shore up the border with Mexico.

    The request will very likely mean the deployment of more forces, including combat engineers and aviation units. There are now some 2,300 active troops on the border and an additional 2,100 National Guard troops.

    The active-duty deployment was scheduled to be completed at the end of January, while the Guard troops are scheduled to remain until September.

    A senior military official said the new request could include thousands more troops and that installing the fencing could take months. The Pentagon is now considering which units to send.

    With the partial government shutdown now in its second week, Trump made a short and unannounced appearance in the White House briefing room Thursday to press for border wall funding.

    “The wall — you can call it a barrier, you can call it whatever you want — but essentially we need protection in our country,” he said.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/01/03/681971323/troops-to-be-deployed-to-border-to-build-160-miles-of-fencing

    #Trump #frontières #armée #militarisation_des_frontières #USA #Etats-Unis


  • Mick Mulvaney in 2015 : Trump’s views on border wall ’simplistic,’ ’absurd and almost childish’

    “The fence is an easy thing to sell politically,” #Mulvaney said. “It’s an easy thing for someone who doesn’t follow the issue very closely to say, ’oh, well that’ll just solve everything, build the fence.”

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/21/politics/mulvaney-on-trump-in-2015/index.html
    source : https://twitter.com/madsen34geog/status/1080852014022709248

    –--------------------------------

    #Nancy_Pelosi: “A wall is an immorality. It’s not who we are as a nation. And this is not a wall between Mexico and the United States that the president is creating here. It’s a wall between reality and his constituents.” Via CBS.

    https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1080987215285628929

    #murs #inefficacité #symbole #symbolique #USA #Mexique #Trump #résistance #frontières #barrières_frontalières #citations #simplisme #absurdité #infantile #réalité #moralité #immoralité #Etats-Unis


  • Proportion of migrants who return to country of birth significantly higher than first thought, study suggests

    Mexico-to-US route sees largest flow in past five years, but also biggest rate of return as study suggests 45 per cent of immigrants eventually return home.

    The new method, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the higher level of migration can be explained by increases in return migration – back to a person’s country of birth – which was much higher than previously thought.

    Approximately 45 per cent of migrants returned to their home country in the studied period from 1990 to 2015. This appears to be particularly relevant for those displaced by conflict.

    “We estimate a rate of return migration that is significantly higher than other methods, but it is also supported by history,” Professor Raftery said.

    “For example, during the Rwandan genocide in 1994, more than a million migrants left the country, but most returned within three years after the conflict ended.”

    Mass migration is still mainly being driven by major world conflicts and events, the study suggests. The civil war in Syria accounted for two of the top three emigration drivers between 2010 and 2015 in the study with flows from Syria to Turkey and from Syria to Lebanon accounting for 1.5 million people and 1.2 million people respectively.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/migration-refugee-syria-conflict-europe-mexico-conflict-study-a869845
    #statistiques #chiffres #retour_au_pays #solde_migratoire #migrations #émigration #immigration

    Sur la situation entre #Mexique et #Etats-Unis:

    It suggests that emigration from Mexico to the United States was the biggest flow between 2010 and 2015, accounting for 2.1 million people. However the US to Mexico also had the highest rate of return migration, accounting for 1.3 million people – four times the rate of return from the United Arab Emirates to India.

    #USA

    ping @simplicissimus @reka

    • L’article scientifique cité dans l’article de l’Independent :

      Estimation of emigration, return migration, and transit migration between all pairs of countries

      Despite the importance of international migration, estimates of between-country migration flows are still imprecise. Reliable record keeping of migration events is typically available only in the developed world, and the best existing methods to produce global migration flow estimates are burdened by strong assumptions. We produce estimates of migration flows between all pairs of countries at 5-year intervals, revealing patterns obscured by previous estimation methods. In particular, our estimates reveal large bidirectional movements in all global regions, with roughly one-quarter of migration events consisting of returns to an individual’s country of birth.

      https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/12/18/1722334116


  • Overrated or Underreported? – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/27/overrated-or-underreported-news-stories-2018


    A Honduran migrant caravan crowds the Guatemala-Mexico international border bridge in Ciudad Hidalgo, in Chiapas state, Mexico, on Oct. 20.
    (Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images

    Overrated or Underreported?
    A look at the stories the media hyped—or largely ignored—in 2018.

    The most overrated stories
    • The U.S. economy.
    • The royal wedding
    • The U.S.-Mexican border wall.
    • The Thai cave rescue.


    A burnt car and a gas station remain visible after the Camp Fire tore through the region near Pulga, east of Paradise, California, on Nov. 11.
    Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

    The most underrated stories
    • Climate change.
    • China’s great lurch rightward.
    • Child soldiers and human trafficking.
    • Italy’s rebellion and Macron’s plummet.
    While U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit battle got most of the attention in Europe, the recalcitrance of Italy’s left-right government when it came to orders from Brussels and the cliff dive that French President Emmanuel Macron—once seen as Europe’s young antidote to Trump—took in the polls were probably more dire events this year. But we were so glued to the Brexit drama that few people saw them coming. To be sure, the Brexit fight and Italy’s partial compromise on budgets were signs that it’s not as easy to leave the European Union as some people think. But the right keeps rising, and it’s hard to know which sprouting weed to cover next.


  • In the Valley of Fear | by Michael Greenberg | The New York Review of Books
    https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/12/20/in-the-valley-of-fear

    Le travail que « volent » les #migrants mexicains aux Etatsuniens est en fait un travail d’esclave que refusent les nationaux et que les Mexicains concernés s’empressent de quitter dès que la situation socio-économique de leur pays s’améliore...

    In response to the argument that immigrants steal jobs from Americans by undercutting their wages, the UFW set up a website offering citizens and legal residents agricultural jobs anywhere in the country through state employment services. This was in 2010, during the Great Recession. The website received about four million hits, out of which around 12,000 people filled out employment forms. Of these, a total of twelve citizens or legal residents actually showed up for work. Not one of them lasted longer than a day . According to a Los Angeles Times report, Silverado, a farm labor contractor in Napa, “has never had a white, American-born person take an entry-level gig, even after the company increased hourly wages to $4 above the minimum.” A wine grower in Stockton couldn’t lure unemployed citizens for $20 an hour.

    Fruit and vegetable picking is a one-generation job—farmworkers I spoke to neither wanted nor would allow their children to follow them into the fields. The heat and physical toll, combined with the feudal power of the growers, make it preferable to work in an air-conditioned hotel or packing house, where you can stand upright and be free of pesticides for the same low wages.

    This means that a constant supply of impoverished Mexican immigrants willing to do the work is required. But those immigrants aren’t coming . Since 2005 more Mexicans have been leaving the US than arriving. And this isn’t only because of a crackdown at the border. In 2000, when the border was far more porous than it is now, 1.6 million Mexicans were apprehended trying to cross into the US. In 2016 the number was 192,969.2 Ed Taylor, an economist at UC Davis, estimates that the number of potential immigrants from rural Mexico shrinks every year by 150,000. This can be partly explained by improved economic conditions in northern and central Mexico , which have dimmed the allure of minimum-wage labor in the US, and partly by the cost and danger of venturing across the border.

    #etats-Unis


  • 7-year-old migrant girl taken into Border Patrol custody dies of dehydration, exhaustion - The Washington Post

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/7-year-old-migrant-girl-taken-into-border-patrol-custody-dies-of-dehydration-exhaustion/2018/12/13/8909e356-ff03-11e8-862a-b6a6f3ce8199_story.html

    December 13 at 9:55 PM

    A 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock after she was taken into Border Patrol custody last week for crossing from Mexico into the United States illegally with her father and a large group of migrants along a remote span of New Mexico desert, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday.

    The child’s death is likely to intensify scrutiny of detention conditions at Border Patrol stations and CBP facilities that are increasingly overwhelmed by large numbers of families seeking asylum in the United States.

    #états-unis #frintières #enfants #enfance #meurtre


  • Encore une compilation de musique politiquement engagée, un coffret de 4 CDs même, prévu pour février 2019, produit par le Smithonian Institute:

    The Social Power of Music
    https://folkways.si.edu/the-social-power-of-music

    From parties to protests to prayer, music is a powerful catalyst for celebration, for change, and for a sense of community. Through making music together, we become bigger than ourselves. Whether singing with our families and friends or with thousands of strangers in an arena, music transforms lives, engages individuals, and connects local and global communities. The Social Power of Music chronicles the vivid, impassioned, and myriad ways in which music binds, incites, memorializes, and moves groups of people. This richly illustrated 124-page book, with 80+ tracks on 4 CDs, invites listeners into musical practices, episodes, and movements throughout the U.S. and beyond. These songs of struggle, devotion, celebration, and migration remind us that music has the potential to change our world.

    Countries: Algeria; Angola; Argentina; Brazil; Chile; Congo-Brazzaville; Denmark; Dominican Republic; France; Greece; Indonesia; Italy; Korea, South; Lebanon; Mexico; Nicaragua; Poland; Puerto Rico; Republic of Kosovo; Scotland; South Africa; Thailand; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States; Vietnam

    101 We Shall Overcome The Freedom Singers 2:09
    102 This Land is Your Land Woody Guthrie 2:48
    103 De colores ([Made] of Colors) Baldemar Velásquez, Aguila Negra 3:02
    104 Union Maid Bobbie McGee 2:13
    105 If I Had a Hammer Pete Seeger 1:54
    106 Reclaim the Night Peggy Seeger 4:33
    107 Estoy aquí (I Am Here) Quetzal 5:21
    108 Deportees (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) Sammy Walker 4:57
    109 We Are the Children Chris Kando Iijima, Joanne Nobuko Miyamoto, Charlie Chin 2:55
    110 I Woke Up This Morning Fannie Lou Hamer 2:36
    111 I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Country Joe McDonald 2:59
    112 El pobre sigue sufriendo (The Poor Keep On Suffering) Andrés Jiménez 3:26
    113 Ballad of the ERA Kristin Lems 4:11
    114 Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Pete Seeger 2:06
    115 Blowing in the Wind The New World Singers 2:32
    116 Quihubo raza (What’s Happening, People) Agustín Lira and Alma 3:50
    117 Solidarity Forever Jim Jackson 2:30
    118 Joe Hill Paul Robeson 3:00
    119 Joaquin Murrieta Rumel Fuentes 3:35
    120 Which Side Are You On? The Almanac Singers 2:10
    121 Legal/Illegal Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger 4:12
    122 It Isn’t Nice Barbara Dane, The Chambers Brothers 4:05

    201 Amazing Grace The Old Regular Baptists 2:44
    202 Come By Here Barbara Dane, The Chambers Brothers 5:33
    203 Will the Circle Be Unbroken The Strange Creek Singers 3:38
    204 Peace in the Valley The Paramount Singers 3:50
    205 Many Eagle Set Sun Dance Song The Pembina Chippewa Singers 2:11
    206 Zuni Rain Dance Members of Zuni Pueblo 4:41
    207 Calvary Shape-note singers at Stewart’s Chapel 1:27
    208 Northfield The Old Harp Singers of Eastern Tennessee 1:58
    209 The Call to Prayer / Adhān Ahmad Al Alawi 2:10
    210 Zikr (excerpt) Sheikh Xhemail Shehu, members of the Prizren Rifa’i tekke 2:45
    Audio Player
    211 Buddhist Chants and Prayers Tu Huyen, Hai Phat, Tam Thu, Hai Dat 4:34
    212 Kol Nidre Cantor Abraham Brun 5:05
    213 Dayeinu Raasche, Alan Mills 1:47
    214 Night Chant Sandoval Begay 2:12
    215 Hark, Hark Carolers from the Black Bull, Ecclesfield, UK 3:11
    216 Swing Low, Sweet Chariot The Princely Players 2:47
    217 The Old Rugged Cross The Paschall Brothers 5:17
    218 Madre de Dolores (Mother of Sorrows) Hermanos de la Morada de Nuestra Señora de Dolores del Alto 2:56
    219 San Miguel (Saint Michael) Francia Reyes 4:11
    220 I’ll Fly Away Rose Maddox 2:32

    301 Party Down at the Blue Angel Club Clifton Chenier and His Red Hot Louisiana Band 4:51
    302 San Antonio Rose Los Reyes de Albuquerque 2:38
    303 Jolie blonde (Pretty Blonde) Austin Pitre 2:47
    304 Shake Your Moneymaker John Littlejohn 4:19
    305 Beer-Drinking Polka Flaco Jiménez, Max Baca 2:25
    306 In Heaven There Is No Beer The Goose Island Ramblers 2:32
    307 SAM (Get Down) Sam Brothers Five 4:10
    308 Golden Slippers / The Butterfly Whirl Lester Bradley and Friends 4:31
    309 Sligo Indians / Paddy Clancy’s / Larry Redican’s / The Rambling Pitchfork Tony DeMarco 4:21
    310 La entrega de los novios (The Delivery of the Newlyweds) Lorenzo Martínez 3:46
    311 Rock Dance Song (Cree/Metis) The Pembina Chippewa Singers 2:20
    312 Pow Wow Song Chippewa Nation 2:52
    313 Mary Mack Lilly’s Chapel School, Alabama 1:58
    314 Johnny Cuckoo Janie Hunter and children at home 1:15
    315 Rooster Call John Henry Mealing and group 4:00
    316 Joy to the World Elizabeth Mitchell 3:06
    317 Oylupnuv Obrutch (The Broken Hoop Song) The Golden Gate Gypsy Orchestra 2:01
    318 Liberty Funeral March The Liberty Brass Band 4:51
    319 Junkanoos #1 Key West Junkanoo Band 3:07
    320 The Star Spangled Banner Unknown orchestra 1:16
    321 Mardi Gras Medley (excerpt) ReBirth Jazz Band 4:33

    401 Viva la Quince Brigada (Long Live the 15th Brigade) Pete Seeger 3:04
    402 Bella ciao (Goodbye Beautiful) Singers of the “Bella Ciao” production of Spoleto 1:35
    403 A desalambrar (Tear Down the Fences) Expresión Joven 5:07
    404 Muato mua N’Gola (Women of Angola) Lilly Tchiumba 2:34
    405 Un gigante que despierta (An Awakening Giant) Luis Godoy, Grupo Mancotal 4:03
    406 Hasret (Longing) Melike Demirag 3:10
    407 Prisioneros somos (We Are All Prisoners) Suni Paz 2:19
    408 Funeral do lavrador (Funeral of a Worker) Zelia Barbosa 1:59
    409 Izakunyatheli Afrika Verwoerd (Africa is Going to Trample on You, Verwoerd) South African refugees in Tanganyika 1:52
    410 The Boy with the Sunlit Smile Mikis Theodorakis 2:48
    411 Hidup di Bui (Life in Jail) Gambang Kromong Slendang Betawi, Kwi Ap 5:34
    412 Man and Buffalo (Kon Gap Kwai) Caravan 3:40
    413 Why Need We Cry? Cantor Abraham Brun 2:32
    414 El palomo (The Dove) Grupo Raíz 4:06
    415 Hvem sidder dér bag skærmen (The Roadmaker) Inger Nielsen 3:08
    416 Mon’ etu ua Kassule Musician supporters of the MPLA 5:35
    417 Le temps des cerises (Cherry Blossom Time) Yves Montand 4:37
    418 Chongsun Arirang Singer from Central Korea 4:03
    419 The Passport Marcel Khalifé 9:23
    420 Inno della Resistenza (Hymn of the Resistance) Choir of FLN fighters 1:28

    #Musique #Musique_et_politique


  • Hondurans repatriated to hopelessness

    Over 67,000 displaced Hondurans who tried to escape violence and poverty have been sent back from US and Mexico so far this year. Many become displaced again in Honduras as they cannot return to their homes.


    https://www.nrc.no/hondurans-repatriated-to-hopelessness

    #Honduras #migrerrance #renvois #push-back #refoulement #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis #limbe


  • Accelerated remittances growth to low- and middle-income countries in 2018

    Remittances to low- and middle-income countries grew rapidly and are projected to reach a new record in 2018, says the latest edition of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, released today.

    The Bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to developing countries will increase by 10.8 percent to reach $528 billion in 2018. This new record level follows robust growth of 7.8 percent in 2017. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 10.3 percent to $689 billion.

    Remittance flows rose in all regions, most notably in Europe and Central Asia (20 percent) and South Asia (13.5 percent), followed by Sub-Saharan Africa (9.8 percent), Latin America and the Caribbean (9.3 percent), the Middle East and North Africa (9.1 percent), and East Asia and the Pacific (6.6 percent). Growth was driven by a stronger economy and employment situation in the United States and a rebound in outward flows from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation.

    Among major remittance recipients, India retains its top spot, with remittances expected to total $80 billion this year, followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico and the Philippines ($34 billion each), and Egypt ($26 billion).

    As global growth is projected to moderate, future remittances to low- and middle-income countries are expected to grow moderately by 4 percent to reach $549 billion in 2019. Global remittances are expected to grow 3.7 percent to $715 billion in 2019.

    The Brief notes that the global average cost of sending $200 remains high at 6.9 percent in the third quarter of 2018. Reducing remittance costs to 3 percent by 2030 is a global target under #Sustainable_Development_Goals (SDG) 10.7. Increasing the volume of remittances is also a global goal under the proposals for raising financing for the SDGs.

    https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/12/08/accelerated-remittances-growth-to-low-and-middle-income-countries-in-2018

    #remittances #migrations #statistiques #chiffres #2018 #coût #SDGs


  • Jamal Khashoggi’s private WhatsApp messages may offer new clues to killing - CNN
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/02/middleeast/jamal-khashoggi-whatsapp-messages-intl/index.html

    Le téléphone de #khashoggi espionné grâce à un logiciel israélien.

    Abdulaziz first spoke publicly about his contact with Khashoggi last month after researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab reported his phone had been hacked by military-grade spyware.

    According to Bill Marczak, a research fellow at the Citizen Lab, the software was the invention of an Israeli firm named NSO Group, and deployed at the behest of the Saudi Arabian government.
    Marczak said at least two other Saudi dissidents have been targeted with NSO tools: an activist named Yahya Assiri and a staff member who had been involved in Amnesty International’s work on Saudi Arabia.
    Danna Ingleton, an Amnesty deputy program director, said its technology experts studied the staff member’s phone and confirmed it was targeted with the spyware. Amnesty is currently exploring potential recourse against NSO Group and last week wrote a letter to the Israeli Ministry of Defense requesting it revoke NSO’s export license, Ingleton said.
    On Sunday, Abdulaziz’s lawyers filed a lawsuit in Tel Aviv, alleging NSO broke international laws by selling its software to oppressive regimes, knowing it could be used to infringe human rights. “NSO should be held accountable in order to protect the lives of political dissidents, journalists and human rights activists,” said the Jerusalem-based lawyer Alaa Mahajna, who is acting for Abdulaziz.
    The lawsuit follows another filed in Israel and Cyprus by citizens in Mexico and Qatar.

    *#mbs #israël


  • The Kaiser goes : the generals remain - Theodor Plivier
    https://libcom.org/history/kaiser-goes-generals-remain-theodor-plivier-1932

    Text entier en anglais : https://libcom.org/files/TheKaiserGoesTheGeneralsRemain.pdf https://libcom.org/files/TheKaiserGoesTheGeneralsRemain.mobi

    Du même auteur : Stalingrad (1945), Moskau (1952), Berlin (1954), une trilogie sur la guerre contre les nazis. Je n’ai pas encore trouvé de version en ligne.

    This is an amazing novel about the German Revolution, written by a participant. Republished here in PDF and Kindle formats.

    I’m republishing a novel about the German Revolution called The Kaiser Goes: the Generals Remain, written by a participant in the naval mutinies which kicked the whole thing off. But the novel doesn’t just concern rebellion in the armed forces, there’s all kinds of other exciting events covered too!

    I first became aware of the novel when I noticed some quotations from it in Working Class Politics in the German Revolution1, Ralf Hoffrogge’s wonderful book about the revolutionary shop stewards’ movement in Germany during and just after World War I.

    I set about finding a copy of The Kaiser goes..., read it, and immediately wanted to make it more widely available by scanning it. The results are here.

    Below I’ve gathered together all the most readily accessible information about the novel’s author, Theodor Plivier, that I can find. Hopefully, the sources referenced will provide a useful basis for anybody who wants to do further research.

    Dan Radnika

    October 2015

    THEODOR Otto Richard PLIVIER – Some biographical details

    Theodor Plivier (called Plievier after 1933) was born on 12 February 1892 in Berlin and died on 12 March 1955 in Tessin, Switzerland.

    Since his death Plivier/Plievier has been mostly known in his native Germany as a novelist, particularly for his trilogy of novels about the fighting on the Eastern Front in WWII, made up of the works Moscow, Stalingrad and Berlin.

    He was the son of an artisan file-maker (Feilenhauer in German) and spent his childhood in the Gesundbrunnen district in Berlin. There is still a plaque dedicated to him on the house where he was born at 29 Wiesenstraße. He was interested in literature from an early age. He began an apprenticeship at 17 with a plasterer and left his family home shortly after. For his apprenticeship he traveled across the German Empire, in Austria-Hungary and in the Netherlands. After briefly returning to his parents, he joined up as a sailor in the merchant navy. He first visited South America in 1910, and worked in the sodium nitrate (saltpetre) mines in 1913 in Chile. This period of his life seems to have provided much of the material for the novel The World’s Last Corner (see below).

    He returned to Germany, Hamburg, in 1914, when he was still only 22. He was arrested by the police for a brawl in a sailors’ pub, and was thus “recruited” into the imperial navy just as the First World War broke out. He spent his time in service on the auxiliary cruiser SMS Wolf, commanded by the famous Commander Karl August Nerger. It was he who led a victorious war of patriotic piracy in the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, seizing enemy ships and their cargo, taking their crews prisoner, and returning in glory to Kiel in February 1918. The activities of SMS Wolf are described in fictional form in the final chapter of Plivier’s The Kaiser’s Coolies (see below). The young Plivier didn’t set foot on land for 451 days, but while at sea he became converted to revolutionary ideas, like thousands of other German sailors. Nevertheless, he never joined a political party. In November 1918, he was in Wilhelmshaven and participated in the strikes, uprisings and revolts accompanying the fall of the German Empire, including the Kiel Mutiny. He also played a small role in the November Revolution in Berlin.

    He left the navy after the armistice (11 November 1918) and, with Karl Raichle and Gregor Gog (both sailor veterans of the Wilmhelmshaven revolt), founded the “Green Way Commune”, near Bad Urach. It was a sort of commune of revolutionaries, artists, poets, proto-hippies, and whoever turned up. Two early participants were the anarchist Erich Mühsam and Johannes Becher (see below), who was a member of the German Communist Party (KPD). At this time several communes were set up around Germany, with Urach being one of three vegetarian communes set up in the Swabia region2.

    It was the beginning of the anarchist-oriented “Edition of the 12” publishing house. Plivier was certainly influenced by the ideas of Bakunin, but also Nietzsche. Later he took on some kind of “individualist anarchism”, ensuring that he didn’t join any party or formal political organisation.

    In Berlin in 1920 he married the actress Maria Stoz3. He belonged to the circle of friends of Käthe Kollwitz4, the radical painter and sculptor, who painted his portrait. On Christmas Day 1920 he showed a delegation from the American IWW to the grave of Karl Liebknecht5. In the early ‘20s he seems to have associated with the anarcho-syndicalist union, the FAUD (Free Workers’ Union of Germany), and addressed its public meetings6.

    Plivier underwent a “personal crisis” and began to follow the example of the “back to nature” poet Gusto Gräser7, another regular resident of “Green Way” and a man seen as the leading figure in the subculture of poets and wandering mystics known (disparagingly at the time) as the “Inflation Saints” (Inflationsheilige)8. In the words of the historian Ulrich Linse, “When the revolutionaries were killed, were in prison or had given up, the hour of the wandering prophets came. As the outer revolution had fizzled out, they found its continuation in the consciousness-being-revolution, in a spiritual change”9. Plivier began wearing sandals and robes…10 According to the Mountain of Truth book (see footnote), in 1922, in Weimar, Plivier was preaching a neo-Tolstoyan gospel of peace and anarchism, much influenced by Gräser. That year he published Anarchy, advocating a “masterless order, built up out of the moral power of free individuals”. Supposedly, “he was a religious anarchist, frequently quoting from the Bible”11. This was not unusual amongst the Inflationsheilige.

    His son Peter and his daughter Thora died from malnutrition during the terrible times of crisis and hyper-inflation in 1923. A year later he began to find work as a journalist and translator. He then worked for some time in South America as a cattle trader and as secretary to the German consul in Pisagua, Chile. On his return to Germany he wrote Des Kaisers Kulis (“The Kaiser’s Coolies”) in 1929, which was published the following year. It was a story based on his days in the Imperial Navy, denouncing the imperialist war in no uncertain terms. At the front of the book is a dedication to two sailors who were executed for participation in a strike and demonstration by hundreds of sailors from the Prinzregent Luitpold12. Erwin Piscator put on a play of his novel at the Lessingtheater in Berlin, with the first showing on 30 August 1930. Der Kaiser ging, die Generälen blieben (“The Kaiser Goes: The Generals Remain”) was published in 1932. In both novels Plivier did an enormous amount of research, as well as drawing on his own memories of important historical events. In the original edition of Der Kaiser ging… there is a citations section at the end with fifty book titles and a list of newspapers and magazines consulted. This attention to historical fact was to become a hallmark of Plivier’s method as a novelist. The postscript to Der Kaiser ging… clearly states what he was trying to do:

    “I have cast this history in the form of a novel, because it is my belief that events which are brought about not by any exchange of diplomatic notes, but by the sudden collision of opposed forces, do not lend themselves to a purely scientific treatment. By that method one can merely assemble a selection of facts belonging to any particular period – only artistic re-fashioning can yield a living picture of the whole. As in my former book, The Kaiser’s Coolies, so I have tried here to preserve strict historic truth, and in so far as exact material was available I have used it as the basis of my work. All the events described, all the persons introduced, are drawn to the life and their words reproduced verbatim. Occasional statements which the sources preserve only in indirect speech are here given direct form. But in no instance has the sense been altered.”

    His second marriage (which didn’t produce any children) was to the Jewish actress Hildegard Piscator in 1931. When Hitler came to power as Chancellor in 1933, his books were banned and publically burnt. He changed his name to Plievier. That year he decided to emigrate, and at the end of a long journey which led him to Prague, Zurich, Paris and Oslo, he ended up in the Soviet Union.

    He was initially not subject to much censorship in Moscow and published accounts of his adventures and political commentaries. When Operation Barbarossa was launched he was evacuated to Tashkent along with other foreigners. Here, for example, he met up (again?) with Johannes Robert Becher, the future Culture Minister of the DDR! In September 1943 he became a member of the National Committee for a Free Germany (NKFD), which gathered anti-Nazi German exiles living in the USSR – not just Communist Party members, although there were a fair number of them involved. In 1945 he wrote Stalingrad, based on testimonies which he collected, with official permission, from German prisoners of war in camps around Moscow. This novel was initially published in occupied Berlin and Mexico, but ended up being translated into 14 languages and being adapted for the theatre and TV13. It describes in unflinching and pitiless detail the German military defeat and its roots in the megalomania of Hitler and the incompetence of the High Command. It is the only novel by Plievier that was written specifically as a work of state propaganda. It is certainly “defeatist”, but only on the German side – it is certainly not “revolutionary defeatist” like Plievier’s writings about WWI. The French writer Pierre Vaydat (in the French-language magazine of German culture, Germanica14) even suggests that it was clearly aimed at “the new military class which was the officer corps of the Wehrmacht” in an effort to encourage them to rise up against Hitler and save the honour of the German military. The novel nevertheless only appeared in a censored form in the USSR.

    He returned to Weimar at the end of 1945, as an official of the Red Army! For two years he worked as a delegate of the regional assembly, as director of publications and had a leading position in the “Cultural Association [Kulturbund] for German Democratic Renewal” which was a Soviet organisation devoted to changing attitudes in Germany and preparing its inclusion into the USSR’s economic and political empire. As with so much else in Plievier’s life, this episode was partly fictionalised in a novel, in this case his last ever novel, Berlin.

    Plievier ended up breaking with the Soviet system in 1948, and made an announcement to this effect to a gathering of German writers in Frankfurt in May of that year15. However, Plievier had taken a long and tortuous political path since his days as a revolutionary sailor in 1918… He clearly ended up supporting the Cold War – seeing the struggle against “Communist” totalitarianism as a continuation of the struggle against fascism (logically enough). What’s more, his views had taken on a somewhat religious tinge, talking of a “spiritual rebirth” whose foundations “begin with the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai and end with the theses of the Atlantic Charter”! Although it can be read as a denunciation of the horrors of war in general, it’s clear that Berlin, his description of the collapse of Nazi Germany in 1945, is far more of a denunciation of Soviet Russia than anything else. The character Colonel Zecke, obviously a mouthpiece for Plievier’s views, even claims that Churchill and Roosevelt only bombed Dresden because they wanted to please Stalin. If you say so, Theo…! One virtue of Plievier’s single-minded attack on the Russian side is that he draws attention to the mass rape of German women by Russian soldiers. This was a war crime which it was not at all fashionable to mention at the time he was writing, despite the existence of perhaps as many as two million victims16.

    Berlin ends with one of the recurring characters in Plievier’s war novels being killed while participating in the East German worker’s revolt in 195317. Despite his conservative turn, Plievier obviously still has some of the spirit of Wilhelmshaven and can’t restrain himself from giving the rebellious workers some advice about how to organise a proletarian insurrection – seize the means of production! Another character says:

    “What use was it raising one’s fists against tanks, fighting with the Vopos [Volkspolizei – People’s Police], trampling down propaganda posters – one has to get into the vital works, to get busy at the waterworks, the power stations, the metropolitan railway! But the workers are without organisation, without leadership or a plan –the revolt has broken out like a steppes fire and is flickering away uncoordinated, in all directions at once.”

    He went to live in the British Zone of Occupation. He got married for a third time, in 1950, to Margarete Grote, and went to live next to Lake Constance. He published Moscow (Moskau) in 1952 and Berlin in 1954. He moved to Tessin in Switzerland in 1953, and died from a heart attack there in 1955, at the age of 63.

    His works – particularly the pro-revolutionary ones – are almost unknown in the English-speaking world (or anywhere else) today. The republication of The Kaiser Goes: The Generals Remain in electronic form is a modest attempt to remedy this!

    Finally, please read Plivier’s novels! Even the reactionary ones…

    #Allemagne #histoire #révolution #littérature