• Radio : Julien Mattern, Le mythe du progrès en sociologie , 2016

    Pour #Julien_Mattern, maître de conférences en #sociologie à l’Université de Pau, « l’idée que jusque dans les années 1980, la société occidentale était dans une forme d’extase progressiste est une idée reconstruite ». En effet, dès le XIXe siècle, les sociologues classiques constatent les effets néfastes du progrès tout en se résignant à l’embrasser.

    Ce rapport paradoxal de la sociologie au #progrès est illustré par la pensée d’#Émile_Durkheim : alors que ce sociologue français de la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle observe l’explosion du taux de suicides à son époque, il établit que le progrès est une loi de la nature qui s’impose aux hommes. Si le présent semble si chaotique, c’est parce que le monde est en transition. De même, #Georges_Friedmann, sociologue du XXe siècle, déplore la perte de contact avec la Nature, même s’il juge lui aussi qu’elle est inéducable.

    « L’adhésion des classiques au mythe du progrès relève d’un pari : celui que l’on peut sortir par le haut en opérant la transition la plus harmonieuse possible humanisant le progrès. »

    Le texte de cette conférence, revu et augmenté, est disponible dans la revue L’Inventaire n°9, automne 2019 (éd. La Lenteur), avec pour titre “La #transition perpétuelle ou le pari perdu de la sociologie dominante”. Voici un paragraphe d’introduction de cet article :

    « La notion de transition, bien que très à la mode actuellement, n’est pas neuve. Jean-Baptiste Fressoz à montré [cf. RMU n°49, “Le mythe de la transition énergétique”, 2018] que le concept de “transition énergétique” est né aux États-Unis dans les années 1970, comme réponse “positive” au thème alors omniprésent de la “crise énergétique”. Il s’agissait surtout de rassurer la population, de garantir qu’il existait bien des solutions techniques et que tout serait mis en œuvre pour les réaliser. L’idée de transition énergétique est devenue un thème central du discours prospectiviste en Occident. Mais cela faisait en réalité plus d’un siècle que les sociologues parlaient de transition pour décrire les transformations de leur époque et leur donner un sens. Même s’il a été utilisé dans des perspectives parfois divergentes durant toute cette période, le mot renvoie presque toujours à l’idée que nous serions dores et déjà engagés dans un processus serein et consciemment assumé nous menant d’un stade de développement à un autre – en général vers une société qui serait tout à la fois de masse, technicienne et en harmonie avec la nature. »

    https://sniadecki.wordpress.com/2021/05/06/rmu-mattern-sociologie

    #Racine_de_Moins_Un, #Radio_Zinzine, #technocritique

  • In Vino Natura
    https://laviedesidees.fr/In-Vino-Natura.html

    À propos de : Christelle Pineau, La corne de vache et le microscope. Le vin « nature », entre sciences, croyances et radicalités, La Découverte. Qu’est-ce qu’un vin “naturel” ? Derrière cette appellation en vogue, un ouvrage plonge dans les pratiques professionnelles, les savoirs concurrents et les débats agitant le monde de l’agriculture dite alternative.

    #Société #écologie
    https://laviedesidees.fr/IMG/docx/20210513_vinum.docx
    https://laviedesidees.fr/IMG/pdf/20210513_vinum.pdf

  • A New Delhi, les sikhs au secours des malades du Covid-19
    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2021/05/12/a-new-delhi-les-sikhs-au-secours-des-malades-du-covid-19_6079989_3210.html

    Le plus grand temple de la capitale indienne a ouvert, dans son enceinte, un centre de soins de 400 lits, pour soulager les hôpitaux débordés. Minoritaires dans la population, les sikhs, réputés pour leur générosité, ont une influence considérable dans la société.Le gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib a fermé ses portes aux fidèles depuis le 17 avril, date du début du confinement imposé par le chef de gouvernement de Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, pour tenter de freiner le rythme des contaminations. Mais le temple sikh, le plus imposant de la capitale indienne, situé près du Parlement, déborde d’activité.Des volontaires arrivent, les bras chargés de sacs de biscuits et de nourriture. L’entrée du temple est filtrée par de lourdes barrières en fer jaune. Il faut d’abord passer par un point de contrôle, décliner son identité devant une équipe protégée des pieds à la tête par des combinaisons anti-Covid et des visières. Une voiture se présente dans la cour, avec une personne allongée à l’arrière, qui semble trop mal en point pour bouger. Un volontaire se précipite avec une chaise roulante.
    Le gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib a transformé un de ses bâtiments pour accueillir près de 400 lits, mis à disposition des malades du Covid-19, et équipés de concentrateurs d’oxygène, à New Delhi, le 4 mai 2021.C’est l’un des premiers patients de l’immense hôpital de fortune monté en quelques jours par la communauté sikh, en liaison avec le gouvernement régional, dans l’enceinte du gurdwara. Un bâtiment du temple a été vidé, pour accueillir près de 400 lits, mis à disposition des malades du Covid-19, et équipés de concentrateurs d’oxygène. Derrière chaque matelas, une chaise, pour les accompagnants, et un ventilateur. Les températures à New Delhi sont proches de 40 degrés. Et juin sera encore plus torride. Une dizaine d’ambulances jaunes, grandes comme des bus, stationnent sur le parking, prêtes à intervenir.Ce centre de soins consacré au Covid-19 a ouvert ses portes, lundi 10 mai, pour répondre à la crise de l’oxygène qui fait exploser le système de santé indien, en particulier dans la capitale, où les hôpitaux, débordés par la deuxième vague épidémique, ne sont plus en capacité de gérer l’afflux des patients en détresse respiratoire.
    L’immense hôpital de fortune (ici le 4 mai 2021) a été monté en quelques jours par la communauté sikh dans l’enceinte du gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib, à New Delhi.« Nous avons 10 médecins en permanence et 15 infirmières. L’oxygène et les médicaments nous ont été envoyés par des sikhs du Canada, du Royaume-Uni, des Etats-Unis, d’Australie, assure Bhupinder Singh, un des responsables du gurdwara. Nous accueillons ici tout le monde, gratuitement, quelle que soit la religion des malades, quel que soit leur statut. »La situation dans la capitale indienne s’améliore lentement sous l’effet du confinement, mais elle reste fragile et les hôpitaux sont encore au maximum de leur capacité. Le taux de positivité, qui avait atteint 36 % le 22 avril, est retombé à 21 % ; le nombre d’infections a chuté de 28 000 à 12 000 cas, mardi 11 mai. Le même jour, cependant, il ne restait que 59 lits disponibles en soins intensifs, dans cette mégapole de plus de 20 millions d’habitants. Trois cent quarante-sept morts ont été comptabilisés au cours des vingt-quatre dernières heures, plus de 4 000 à l’échelle du pays, qui a franchi la barre des 250 000 morts. Mercredi 12 mai, l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) a détecté le variant indien dans « 44 pays », et l’a classé comme « préoccupant ». L’aide internationale, promise dès le 26 avril, arrive encore avec peine jusqu’aux établissements hospitaliers du pays. Les producteurs d’oxygène, respirateurs ou médicaments sont restés plusieurs jours coincés sur le tarmac des aéroports pour des raisons de dédouanement. Il a fallu désemballer, remballer, avant que les cargaisons soient enfin acheminées vers les hôpitaux.Aux premières heures de la crise de l’oxygène, la communauté sikh – les gurdwaras et l’ONG Khalsa Help International – a déployé tous ses efforts pour venir en aide aux malades, souvent en état critique, refusés dans les centres hospitaliers, trop congestionnés.
    Les familles désespérées ont vite trouvé le chemin des gurdwaras. Les sikhs, réputés pour leur générosité, ne représentent que 2 % de la population en Inde, mais leur influence et leur rôle dans la société sont considérables, notamment à New Delhi, qui regroupe la plus importante communauté après le Penjab. Lors de la première vague épidémique et du premier confinement, ils avaient déjà distribué des milliers de repas aux travailleurs migrants piégés dans les grandes métropoles. Peu avant, en février 2020, lors de terribles pogroms contre les musulmans dans les quartiers nord de New Delhi, ils s’étaient précipités pour tenter de sauver des vies, apporter nourriture et vêtements à ceux qui avaient tout perdu. Ils ont encore aidé les milliers de paysans, en grève aux portes de Delhi, depuis le mois de novembre 2020, avec leurs immenses cuisines installées le long des campements. Leur intervention s’inscrit dans une longue tradition de générosité et de bénévolat, de service désintéressé [“seva”] », explique Christine Moliner, anthropologue, spécialiste des sikhs et du Pendjab. Pour l’enseignante à l’OP Jindal Global University, « les formes nouvelles que prend cette tradition éthique, en manifestant la solidarité des sikhs avec les autres communautés, constituent une réponse au majoritarisme hindou ». « Le travail que le gouvernement était censé faire, c’est la société qui le fait aujourd’hui », relève Rajinder Singh, un bénévole. (...) A l’entrée du centre anti-Covid du gurdwara, une grande banderole assure : « Le corona peut tuer les humains, pas l’humanité »

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#inde#sante#religion#diaspora#confinement#solidarite#travailleurmigrant#variant

  • Manuel Valls affiche son soutien à Israël... avec une photo de bombardement israélien sur Gaza — RT en français
    https://francais.rt.com/international/86557-manuel-valls-affiche-son-soutien-a-israel-photo-bombardement-tsah

    Dénonçant sur Twitter « l’attaque du Hamas » contre Israël, l’ancien Premier ministre a relayé une photo montrant une frappe aérienne de Tsahal dans la bande de Gaza. Il a ensuite supprimé sa publication pour en modifier l’image.

    « Mon total soutien à Israël et ma solidarité avec les Israéliens face à l’attaque du Hamas. Une démocratie est agressée, aucune équidistance n’est possible », a tweeté ce 12 mai Manuel Valls. Eu égard au positionnement de l’ancien Premier ministre, qui se revendique lui-même lié de manière « éternelle » à Israël, rien de surprenant... si ce n’est le choix de la photo.

    #israël #socialisme (?)

    • https://twitter.com/PressTV/status/1392572363439542273

      Sur Twitter, Manuel Valls a condamné une « attaque du Hamas sur Israël » en partageant une photo de frappes israéliennes sur Gaza. L’ancien Premier ministre s’est par la suite aperçu de son erreur et s’est corrigé.

      Alors que les réactions politiques affluent pour commenter la montée des tensions entre Israël et la Palestine, certains en viennent à commettre quelques impairs. Sur Twitter, Manuel Valls s’est ainsi mélangé les pinceaux entre deux photos ayant trait aux hostilités.

      L’ancien Premier ministre a ainsi accompagné son message de soutien à Israël avec une photo de frappes israéliennes sur la bande de Gaza. Un contresens, alors qu’il souhaitait au contraire dénoncer « l’attaque du Hamas » sur l’État hébreu.

      (...)

      Manuel Valls s’est par la suite avisé de son erreur et a remplacé l’illustration. Il lui a préféré une photo d’autobus en feu, cette fois-ci bien liée aux tirs de roquettes du Hamas à Holon, précise le service de fact checking de Libération Checknews.

      À sa décharge, l’ancien Premier ministre n’est pas le seul à avoir commis cette confusion. Le député LR Éric Ciotti a également utilisé la photo des frappes israéliennes sur Gaza pour condamner les tirs de roquettes du Hamas. Il a par la suite supprimé son tweet.

  • #L'espace_d'un_instant #19 : De Riyadh en Arabie Saoudite à Kingston en Jamaïque

    http://www.liminaire.fr/entre-les-lignes/article/l-espace-d-un-instant-19

    « La grande révélation n’était jamais arrivée. En fait, la grande révélation n’arrivait peut-être jamais. C’était plutôt de petits miracles quotidiens, des illuminations, allumettes craquées à l’improviste dans le noir ; en voici une. » Vers le phare, Virginia Woolf (...) #Entre_les_lignes / #Écriture, #Poésie, #Récit, #Voix, #Sons, L’espace d’un instant, Fenêtre, #Quotidien, #Dérive, #Regard, #Sensation, (...)

    #Voyage

  • Dans #Orwell (1984) Winston travaille au ministère de la Vérité où il réécrit a postériori l’actualité pour que #BigBrother ait raison, même quand il a tort. A #Marseille le maire socialiste Benoit Payan vient de débaptiser l’école primaire Bugeaud pour lui donner le nom d’un tirailleur. La réécriture de l’histoire c’est faire disparaître de force le passé, quand il s’accomode mal avec le #Socialisme local. Le SocMar (socialisme marseillais en #novlangue) a frappé.
    http://michelcampillo.com/blog/1984.html

  • The power of private philanthropy in international development

    In 1959, the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations pledged seven million US$ to establish the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) at Los Baños in the Philippines. They planted technologies originating in the US into the Philippines landscape, along with new institutions, infrastructures, and attitudes. Yet this intervention was far from unique, nor was it spectacular relative to other philanthropic ‘missions’ from the 20th century.

    How did philanthropic foundations come to wield such influence over how we think about and do development, despite being so far removed from the poor and their poverty in the Global South?

    In a recent paper published in the journal Economy and Society, we suggest that metaphors – bridge, leapfrog, platform, satellite, interdigitate – are useful for thinking about the machinations of philanthropic foundations. In the Philippines, for example, the Ford and Rockefeller foundations were trying to bridge what they saw as a developmental lag. In endowing new scientific institutions such as IRRI that juxtaposed spaces of modernity and underdevelopment, they saw themselves bringing so-called third world countries into present–day modernity from elsewhere by leapfrogging historical time. In so doing, they purposively bypassed actors that might otherwise have been central: such as post–colonial governments, trade unions, and peasantry, along with their respective interests and demands, while providing platforms for other – preferred – ideas, institutions, and interests to dominate.

    We offer examples, below, from three developmental epochs.

    Scientific development (1940s – 70s)

    From the 1920s, the ‘big three’ US foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie) moved away from traditional notions of charity towards a more systematic approach to grant-making that involved diagnosing and attacking the ‘root causes’ of poverty. These foundations went on to prescribe the transfer of models of science and development that had evolved within a US context – but were nevertheless considered universally applicable – to solve problems in diverse and distant lands. In public health, for example, ‘success against hookworm in the United States helped inspire the belief that such programs could be replicated in other parts of the world, and were indeed expanded to include malaria and yellow fever, among others’. Similarly, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s model of river–basin integrated regional development was replicated in India, Laos, Vietnam, Egypt, Lebanon, Tanzania, and Brazil.

    The chosen strategy of institutional replication can be understood as the development of satellites––as new scientific institutions invested with a distinct local/regional identity remained, nonetheless, within the orbit of the ‘metropolis’. US foundations’ preference for satellite creation was exemplified by the ‘Green Revolution’—an ambitious programme of agricultural modernization in South and Southeast Asia spearheaded by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations and implemented through international institutions for whom IRRI was the template.

    Such large-scale funding was justified as essential in the fight against communism.

    The Green Revolution offered a technocratic solution to the problem of food shortage in South and Southeast Asia—the frontier of the Cold War. Meanwhile, for developmentalist regimes that, in the Philippines as elsewhere, had superseded post-independence socialist governments, these programmes provided a welcome diversion from redistributive politics. In this context, institutions like IRRI and their ‘miracle seeds’ were showcased as investments in and symbols of modernity and development. Meanwhile, an increasingly transnational agribusiness sector expanded into new markets for seeds, agrichemicals, machinery, and, ultimately, land.

    The turn to partnerships (1970s – 2000s)

    By the 1970s, the era of large–scale investment in technical assistance to developing country governments and public bureaucracies was coming to an end. The Ford Foundation led the way in pioneering a new approach through its population programmes in South Asia. This new ‘partnership’ mode of intervention was a more arms-length form of satellite creation which emphasised the value of local experience. Rather than obstacles to progress, local communities were reimagined as ‘potential reservoirs of entrepreneurship’ that could be mobilized for economic development.

    In Bangladesh, for example, the Ford Foundation partnered with NGOs such as the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and Concerned Women for Family Planning (CWFP) to mainstream ‘economic empowerment’ programmes that co-opted local NGOs into service provision to citizens-as-consumers. This approach was epitomised by the rise of microfinance, which merged women’s empowerment with hard-headed pragmatism that saw women as reliable borrowers and opened up new areas of social life to marketization.

    By the late-1990s private sector actors had begun to overshadow civil society organizations in the constitution of development partnerships, where state intervention was necessary to support the market if it was to deliver desirable outcomes. Foundations’ efforts were redirected towards brokering increasingly complex public-private partnerships (PPPs). This mode of philanthropy was exemplified by the Rockefeller Foundation’s role in establishing product development partnerships as the institutional blueprint for global vaccine development. Through a combination of interdigitating (embedding itself in the partnership) and platforming (ensuring its preferred model became the global standard), it enabled the Foundation to continue to wield ‘influence in the health sphere, despite its relative decline in assets’.

    Philanthrocapitalism (2000s – present)

    In the lead up to the 2015 UN Conference at which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed, a consensus formed that private development financing was both desirable and necessary if the ‘trillions’ needed to close the ‘financing gap’ were to be found. For DAC donor countries, the privatization of aid was a way to maintain commitments while implementing economic austerity at home in the wake of the global finance crisis. Philanthrocapitalism emerged to transform philanthropic giving into a ‘profit–oriented investment process’, as grant-making gave way to impact investing.

    The idea of impact investing was hardly new, however. The term had been coined as far back as 2007 at a meeting hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation at its Bellagio Centre. Since then, the mainstreaming of impact investing has occurred in stages, beginning with the aforementioned normalisation of PPPs along with their close relative, blended finance. These strategies served as transit platforms for the formation of networks shaped by financial logics. The final step came with the shift from blended finance as a strategy to impact investing ‘as an asset class’.

    A foundation that embodies the 21st c. transition to philanthrocapitalism is the Omidyar Network, created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar in 2004. The Network is structured both as a non–profit organization and for–profit venture that ‘invests in entities with a broad social mission’. It has successfully interdigitated with ODA agencies to further align development financing with the financial sector. In 2013, for example, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) launched Global Development Innovation Ventures (GDIV), ‘a global investment platform, with Omidyar Network as a founding member’.

    Conclusion

    US foundations have achieved their power by forging development technoscapes centred in purportedly scale–neutral technologies and techniques – from vaccines to ‘miracle seeds’ to management’s ‘one best way’. They have become increasingly sophisticated in their development of ideational and institutional platforms from which to influence, not only how their assets are deployed, but how, when and where public funds are channelled and towards what ends. This is accompanied by strategies for creating dense, interdigitate connections between key actors and imaginaries of the respective epoch. In the process, foundations have been able to influence debates about development financing itself; presenting its own ‘success stories’ as evidence for preferred financing mechanisms, allocating respective roles of public and private sector actors, and representing the most cost–effective way to resource development.

    Whether US foundations maintain their hegemony or are eclipsed by models of elite philanthropy in East Asia and Latin America, remains to be seen. Indications are that emerging philanthropists in these regions may be well placed to leapfrog over transitioning philanthropic sectors in Western countries by ‘aligning their philanthropic giving with the new financialized paradigm’ from the outset.

    Using ‘simple’ metaphors, we have explored their potential and power to map, analyse, theorize, and interpret philanthropic organizations’ disproportionate influence in development. These provide us with a conceptual language that connects with earlier and emergent critiques of philanthropy working both within and somehow above the ‘field’ of development. Use of metaphors in this way is revealing not just of developmental inclusions but also its exclusions: ideascast aside, routes not pursued, and actors excluded.

    https://developingeconomics.org/2021/05/10/the-power-of-private-philanthropy-in-international-development

    #philanthropie #philanthrocapitalisme #développement #coopération_au_développement #aide_au_développement #privatisation #influence #Ford #Rockefeller #Carnegie #soft_power #charité #root_causes #causes_profondes #pauvreté #science #tranfert #technologie #ressources_pédagogiques #réplique #modernisation #fondations #guerre_froide #green_revolution #révolution_verte #développementalisme #modernité #industrie_agro-alimentaire #partnerships #micro-finance #entrepreneuriat #entreprenariat #partenariat_public-privé (#PPP) #privatisation_de_l'aide #histoire #Omidyar_Network #Pierre_Omidyar

  • ‘Like purgatory’: diaspora in despair as India sinks deeper into Covid crisis | India | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/10/india-covid-crisis-diaspora
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/e65a2cf9b588758d651062e311fbad947b25cab0/0_165_3811_2287/master/3811.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    ‘Like purgatory’: diaspora in despair as India sinks deeper into Covid crisis
    A medical worker observes patients who have been infected by Covid-19 inside a makeshift are facility in a sports stadium in New Delhi on 2 May 2021.A few days ago, her uncle died in his car as he was driving back home from a hospital in Hyderabad, a city in southern India. “All the hospitals were at capacity, so they couldn’t take him in,” said Ahmed. “He pulled over and he called the rest of the family, the khandan – before he passed.”
    Each loss has amplified her anger – at the mass crisis unfolding 8,000 miles away, at the shortages of oxygen and vaccines, at the anti-Muslim attacks stoked by Indian officials who have scapegoated religious minorities as the country. Ahmed, an academic and activist based in New Jersey, has asked the Guardian to use a pseudonym for privacy and safety concerns.
    As the US begins to emerge from the depths of the coronavirus crisis, India is sinking. And the 4.8 million members of the diaspora in the US, like Ahmed, have been anxiously monitoring their phones in case of news that an old neighbor, or relative, or close friend has died. The despair has permeated across time zones, as Indian Americans scramble to secure oxygen canisters and hospital beds for family members, desperately work to raise funds, donate resources and pressure US legislators to lift vaccine patents.“I’ve been feeling hopeless and disconnected and guilty,” said Himanshu Suri, a New York-based rapper. Suri’s father died of Covid-19 at a Long Island nursing home last April, at the height of surge in New York. Instead of flying to India to spread his dad’s ashes this spring, as he’d planned, Suri has watched from afar as the subcontinent is engulfed by the pandemic.“I thought I’d feel happier after getting the vaccine,” he said – but there’s been no sense of relief. “Instead, I’ve had this feeling, like I’m in purgatory.”
    Unable to fly home to help or comfort loved ones, many Indian Americans have leveraged their power and money to pressure political leaders, raise awareness and build up grassroots aid efforts. In recent weeks, Indian American doctors and health workers have joined activists in successfully pressuring the Biden administration to send supplies, and help waive intellectual property protections on coronavirus vaccines to help ramp up production.Many have also called for a harder-line stance against the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, a rightwing Hindu nationalist and US ally who before the surge lifted most coronavirus restrictions and had held massive, in-person political rallies. As reported cases began to rise exponentially, graphing a nearly vertical trend line, his administration has also been accused of hiding the true toll, cracking down on critical social media posts and threatening journalists who question his party line.
    Meanwhile, India’s most vulnerable – including the poorest, those on the lowest rungs of the caste system, religious minorities and Indigenous people, have faced the worst effects.The denialism, refusal to enact lockdown measures and the evasion of responsibility by scapegoating of minorities by officials in Modi’s government have sparked comparisons to the Trump administration, compounding the anger felt by some Indian American families.“When there’s more anger and backlash from some leaders at the media showing images of cremated bodies, than the fact that so many people are dying, it’s extremely angering,” said Suri. “We saw how badly things played out last year, with our own government – and seeing it all play out similarly over there is extremely frustrating.”Suri said the crisis had reshaped his daily schedule: he begins each work day by checking in on Indian artists and musicians – asking after their health and contributing to grassroots efforts to raise funds for medical supplies. Each night, before heading to bed, he checks in with family members. For the first time, he’s also begun to discuss politics and philanthropy with cousins, over group chat. “We don’t typically talk about those things,” he said,
    The crisis has brought on “a real moment of reckoning within the diaspora”, said Sruti Suryanarayanan, a hate violence researcher at Saalt, a south Asian justice and research organization. “We’re going to have to hold the Indian government, and the American government accountable for what’s happened during this pandemic.”Saalt volunteers have been organizing mutual aid efforts, and helping the most vulnerable in India and Nepal find ICU beds and oxygen canisters. The organization has also joined with the Sikh Coalition and other groups campaigning for the Biden administration to direct medical resources to India, and pressure the Modi government to ensure that historically marginalized groups including Dalit, Adivasi, Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Kashmiri communities get equal access to vaccines.Suryanarayanan said Saalt has been monitoring instances of hate crimes against Indian Americans, amid a surge of scapegoating and hate crimes against Asian Americans in the US. Sikh and Muslim Americans, who were already among the most-targeted, may be especially vulnerable now, they said, as social media posts characterizing Indian Americans as contagious circulate online.
    “I’ve just been looking to do anything that will give me some sense of feeling a little less helpless,” said Zain Alam, a New York-based musician and artist. As cases began to rise exponentially in India, Alam’s best friend, Mohit, was one of a crew of first responders in New Delhi filling and refilling oxygen canisters and delivering them to the sick.“He hadn’t slept for 48 hours when we were finally able to connect with him – it was 4am over there,” said Ajay Madiwale, another New York-based friend who works in humanitarian aid. “It just felt ethically untenable for us over here not to be doing more.”Alam, Madiwale and their friend Anjali Kumar have organized an effort called Doctors in Diaspora, which connects physicians and healthcare workers in the US with providers and patients in India. “We saw so many Indian doctors responding, on the frontlines of the crisis in the US,” Madiwale said. “And now we have this huge capacity to help people in India.” Nearly 200 doctors have enrolled in the program so far, getting ready to offer advice, insight and emotional support to colleagues on the front line.Kumar, who helped launch a secure platform for Covid patients at US hospitals and senior care facilities to video call loved ones, has also used the same platform to help doctors connect across oceans. “The south Asian community in New York was disproportionately affected during the first wave in New York, especially when hospitals in Queens were running out of beds,” Mediwale said. “And now, just when we’re getting back to normal, we’re again watching our loved ones suffer from even farther away.”
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised Americans not to travel to India, and placed restrictions on air travel to the subcontinent. So, the diaspora has been mourning from afar.For each member of her family that has died, Ahmed has read out one chapter Qu’r’an. “Each family member reads one or two chapters – on their own – and we mark in a Google Doc what we’ve read,” she said. “It’s not the same as us all gathering to recite the Qur’an together – but it helps us feel connected.”

    #Covid-19#migrant#migration#etatsunis#inde#diaspora#sante#circulation#frontiere#santementale#solidarite

  • S’exprimer en public, un défi encore plus grand pour les femmes
    https://www.lemonde.fr/campus/article/2021/05/08/s-exprimer-en-public-un-defi-encore-plus-difficile-pour-les-femmes_6079610_4

    Moins encouragées et moins valorisées que les garçons lorsqu’elles prennent la parole en classe, les filles arrivent dans l’enseignement supérieur avec moins d’aisance à l’oral. Un désavantage qui se ressent ensuite dans le monde professionnel.

    Les femmes, ces jacasseuses, de vraies pipelettes ! Les clichés ont la peau dure. Ils cachent cependant une réalité tout autre, du monde scolaire à l’univers professionnel, mesurée par de multiples études : celle d’un espace sonore public largement dominé par les hommes et de femmes moins encouragées et moins valorisées dans cet exercice depuis le plus jeune âge. Une question aux enjeux multiples, alors que les oraux prennent une place de plus en plus cruciale dans les processus de sélection et d’évaluation, du bac à l’enseignement supérieur.

    « Dès la crèche, on a schématiquement des filles qui demandent la parole et des garçons qui la prennent », explique Isabelle Collet, professeure en sciences de l’éducation à l’université de Genève. A l’école, « divers travaux montrent que les garçons sont ensuite à l’origine d’environ deux tiers des prises de parole en classe ». Si ce phénomène a eu tendance à se corriger au primaire ces dernières années, les études dans le secondaire attestent d’un déséquilibre toujours marqué. En 2015, la chercheuse a mené une enquête au sein de neuf classes suisses, lors de « cours dialogués » dans différentes matières, et observé scrupuleusement les prises de parole des élèves. En moyenne, les garçons sont intervenus 2,3 fois plus que les filles et étaient deux fois plus sollicités par les professeurs. En outre, ils avaient presque trois fois plus d’interventions orales « hors sujet ».
    « Sages et discrètes »

    « Les bébés de sexe féminin sont pourtant plus amenés que leurs homologues masculins à développer une communication verbale. Mais ces capacités langagières précoces ne leur donnent pas accès à la prise de parole en public par la suite. Car le problème n’est pas de parler, mais de s’autoriser à être visible par la parole », analyse Isabelle Collet. On ne les incite pas à cette visibilité, abonde la sociologue Marie Duru-Bellat, chercheuse à l’Institut de recherche en éducation, autrice de La Tyrannie du genre (Presses de Sciences Po, 2017) : « Les filles ont intégré qu’on attend d’elles qu’elles soient sages et discrètes. On leur apprend aussi très tôt à faire attention aux autres, à écouter et à prendre en compte le point de vue des camarades. »

    #paywall #sexisme #silenciation #invisibilisation #femmes #manterruping #mansplanning #manspreanding

    • En classe, les garçons, eux, ne vont pas hésiter à occuper l’environnement sonore et à interrompre le professeur. « Ils prennent plus souvent la parole de façon spontanée, d’ailleurs pas toujours en lien avec le cours dispensé », remarque la sociologue. C’est accepté, voire valorisé comme un attribut de virilité. « Il y a dans l’imaginaire collectif l’idée que les garçons sont plus turbulents, qu’ils ont besoin de s’exprimer, et que c’est bien normal. On le tolère, tout comme on les laisse salir leurs habits. Les filles sont, elles, plus vite rabrouées quand elles transgressent les règles », observe-t-elle.

      Alors que les enseignants eux-mêmes ont tendance à interroger moins souvent les filles que les garçons, comme l’ont montré plusieurs études, le contenu des interactions a aussi tendance à différer selon le genre de l’élève. « Les filles sont davantage sollicitées pour rappeler les notions précédentes, une forme d’assistance pédagogique, puis les garçons sont appelés à faire avancer le cours, à créer du neuf », observe Isabelle Collet.

      Les enseignants encouragent aussi davantage ces derniers, soulevait la professeure en sciences de l’éducation Nicole Mosconi, dans son article « Effets et limites de la mixité scolaire » (Travail, genre et sociétés, n° 11, 2004). « Ainsi, les garçons apprennent à l’école à s’exprimer, à s’affirmer, à contester l’autorité, et les filles à être moins valorisées, à prendre moins de place physiquement et intellectuellement, et à supporter, sans protester, la dominance du groupe des garçons, en somme à rester “à leur place” », écrivait-elle.
      Véronique Garrigues, enseignante d’histoire dans un collège classé REP du Tarn, a pris conscience de ce déséquilibre il y a quelques années. « Comme dans la cour de récré, les garçons prennent la place qu’on leur laisse très volontiers, constate-t-elle. Alors, quand au bout de trois réponses, je n’ai entendu que des élèves masculins, je fais en sorte que ce soit ensuite une fille. Mais ce n’est pas parce que je les interroge qu’elles acceptent de répondre. » Le stress est patent : tête baissée, mains tripotant ses affaires, phrases écourtées. « Prendre la parole, c’est s’exposer au regard des autres. Une angoisse pour certaines. »

      « Bastion masculin »

      Parler en public est en effet un exercice qui engage pleinement le corps et l’esprit, et qui demande une bonne dose de confiance en soi. « Or, à l’école comme en réunion, les femmes ont tendance à plus se demander : ce que je pense vaut-il le coup d’être dit ? », pointe Marie Duru-Bellat. Pourtant détentrices de meilleurs résultats scolaires, elles se mettent très jeunes à douter de leurs compétences. Ainsi dès 6 ans, lorsqu’on leur présente un personnage comme « intelligent », les petites filles y associent plutôt le sexe masculin, montre une étude américaine publiée en 2017 dans la revue Science.
      Rien d’étonnant quand on sait que leur expression peut être déjà jugée illégitime seulement quelques mois après la naissance. C’est ce que révèlent des chercheurs de l’Institut des neurosciences Paris-Saclay basé à Saint-Etienne. En 2016, ils ont mesuré la perception des pleurs de bébés : ceux attribués à des filles – d’ailleurs souvent à tort – étaient alors jugés moins justifiés, ne relevant pas d’une véritable souffrance. « A divers niveaux, la société ne cesse de renvoyer aux femmes que leur parole compte moins », souligne Marie Duru-Bellat.

      Le poids des représentations et de l’histoire n’est pas étranger au sentiment d’illégitimité que beaucoup ressentent en la matière. « L’art oratoire est traditionnellement un bastion masculin, observe Christine Bard, spécialiste de l’histoire des femmes. Pendant des siècles, les occasions pour les femmes de prendre la parole dans les lieux publics religieux ou laïcs étaient rares : elles étaient exclues des tribunes et n’ont accédé à l’université que sur le tard. Cet héritage laisse des traces. » Aujourd’hui, les modèles de voix féminines sont encore peu nombreux – ainsi du faible taux d’expertes entendues dans l’audiovisuel (de 38 %, la proportion est tombée à 20 % avec la pandémie de Covid-19, selon le Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel).

      « L’oreille qu’on porte sur la parole des femmes a été et reste très cruelle, ajoute Christine Bard. Les travaux montrent que le public écoute moins les femmes et déprécie leur voix, trop perchée, trop aiguë. » Leurs paroles sont vite disqualifiées. « Exposées, elles sont d’abord jugées par le regard, sexualisées avant même d’être entendues. Pour Rousseau, la femme qui parle en dehors de son foyer est d’ailleurs du côté de l’impudeur. » Point trop ne faut d’assurance pour celle qui s’y risque : une étude de Yale publiée en 2012 montre que, alors que les hommes qui parlent abondamment sont perçus comme des leaders de qualité, les femmes qui font de même sont au contraire rejetées par l’audience chargée de les noter.

      Une parole dévalorisée, peu écoutée, souvent coupée… « En classe aussi, les garçons qui veulent tout le temps la parole peuvent se montrer très désagréables contre ceux qui leur volent la scène, surtout les filles, constate Isabelle Collet. Quand elles tentent de le faire et qu’elles ne sont jamais interrogées, comme les garçons parlent spontanément, ou bien moquées, elles finissent par lâcher l’affaire. »

      Quelles conséquences sur leur parcours ? Dans le secondaire, « ce moindre accès à la parole ne pose pas problème aux filles en termes de compétences didactiques », observe-t-elle. Même pour les oraux du baccalauréat, qui sont surtout, dit-elle, une « validation de ces compétences ». Mais cela les prive d’acquérir les techniques sociales de mise en valeur de leurs capacités et de leurs succès nécessaires par la suite. « Dès l’enseignement supérieur, les règles du jeu changent. Il faut promouvoir son travail, se distinguer, se rendre visible. Ce que, incitées à rester en retrait, les filles n’ont pas appris à faire », regrette la chercheuse.

      Des épreuves pénalisantes

      Si bien que « leurs meilleurs résultats ne leur ouvrent pas les portes de certaines filières sélectives et qu’elles rentabilisent moins, à diplôme égal, leur bagage scolaire », écrit-elle. Dans certains oraux de concours notamment, les écoles recherchent de plus en plus ces dernières années « l’expression d’une motivation mais aussi d’une individualité, d’une certaine personnalité. Il y a tout un travail de mise en scène sous-jacent auquel les jeunes femmes adhèrent moins », rappelle la sociologue et spécialiste des concours Annabelle Allouch, qui souligne également l’interférence de « biais de genre » inconscients lors de ces oraux, « même chez des jurys avertis ».

      A l’Ecole nationale d’administration, un rapport interne relevait, en 2012, ce traitement défavorable aux femmes qui, avec un taux de réussite similaire à celui des hommes aux écrits anonymisés, étaient évincées à l’issue du grand oral. En 2020, à l’Ecole normale supérieure, avec la suppression des oraux due à la crise sanitaire, la part d’admises a, là, bondi de 54 % à 67 % dans les filières littéraires. Difficile de démêler l’impact de la disparition de l’oral et celui des conditions de préparation particulières pendant la pandémie – ou encore de l’absence des mécanismes de rééquilibrage qui, à l’oral, viennent favoriser le sexe minoritaire (étudiés par l’économiste du travail Thomas Breda). Mais le résultat a interpellé nombre d’enseignants.

      Emma Bouvier, 21 ans, a bien senti un tournant en entrant à Sciences Po. Alors que participer en classe ne lui posait pas de problème au lycée, cela a changé dans le supérieur, où « la prise de parole prend beaucoup de place, en classe comme en dehors ». En quête de clés, elle s’est renseignée sur l’association d’art oratoire de l’école. « J’avais l’image d’un espace réservé aux hommes, les figures prises pour parler d’éloquence étant quasiment toutes masculines. Puis j’ai vu que la présidente était une femme, cela m’a ouvert une porte. » Depuis, l’étudiante s’investit dans L’Oratrice, un groupe qui promeut l’égalité dans l’éloquence et organise des formations à destination des étudiantes.

      Chez celles qui s’y inscrivent, « ce qui ressort le plus est l’autocensure et une déstabilisation face aux comportements désagréables récurrents, comme se faire couper la parole, décrit-elle. Beaucoup viennent aussi après un premier stage et racontent s’être senties effacées, regrettant de ne pas avoir réussi à s’imposer. On les aide à prendre confiance. » L’enjeu est majeur dans le monde du travail, « où on vous demande de bien faire mais surtout d’aller le faire savoir », souligne Isabelle Collet. Pour Emma Bouvier, même si c’est à pas de souris, on avance toutefois dans la conquête de la prise de parole en public : les deux dernières éditions du prix d’éloquence Philippe-Seguin de Sciences Po ont été remportées par des femmes.

      #école #évaluation

  • Dr. Yara Hawari د. يارا هواري sur Twitter : “... this Palestinian woman in Jerusalem was dragged by her hijab, beaten & handcuffed by Israeli soldiers whilst they took selfies with her. Israeli soldiers are known to routinely take pictures of their Palestinian prisoners as a trophy, even posting them on social media.” / Twitter
    https://twitter.com/yarahawari/status/1391314608158294016

    https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1391185757080100868/pu/vid/640x360/Vrvtpjl4cnh-eohw.mp4?tag=12

    #sionisme #vitrine_de_la_jungle

  • PulseEffects : outils pour le #son sous #Linux | memo-linux.com
    https://memo-linux.com/pulseeffects-outils-pour-le-son-sous-linux

    Pour une fois je ne pouvais pas utiliser VLC (le son sort de Kaffeine, je vous passe les détails) Je cherchais un #égaliseur à utiliser au niveau de la sortie son sur mon Linux Mint Debian Edition. Le voilà : c’est un des plugins dispo dans #PulseEffects. Beaucoup trop puissant pour mes besoins je crois, comme souvent...
    #equalizer

  • International #COVID-19 trial to restart with focus on immune responses
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01090-z

    Nouveaux essais thérapeutiques par #solidarity et #REMAP-CAP

    One of the drugs to be tested is infliximab, used to treat autoimmune conditions, including Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It blocks a protein called tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), which is released by immune cells called macrophages and promotes inflammation.

    A second treatment in the trial is a cancer drug called imatinib. Researchers hope that it will target both the coronavirus and inflammation, blocking viral infiltration of human cells and reducing the activity of pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines. Finally, Solidarity is testing artesunate, an anti-malaria drug with potential anti-inflammatory effects. Each of these drugs will be given alongside standard care, which in many regions includes dexamethasone, says Røttingen.

    REMAP-CAP also plans to test imatinib, which could help to prevent leaking of fluids in the blood vessels surrounding the lungs, says Gordon. The trial will also test a different drug that targets TNF-α, as well as a drug called namilumab that blocks a protein called GM-CSF and that could reduce cytokine activity.

    With all of these ways to cool down the immune system, researchers have to be careful that they don’t suppress immune responses so much that people become vulnerable to other infections, says Djillali Annane, an intensive-care physician at the University of Versailles in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, and a member of the REMAP-CAP international steering committee.

    In the REMAP-CAP trial, participants will first be given a steroid, such as dexamethasone, and a drug that blocks IL-6 receptors. Participants will be given an additional drug to target the immune system only if they fail to improve after the first two. “This is targeting those patients who do not respond,” says Annane. “Then the question is, if we add on another way to modulate the inflammatory response in these patients, can we save additional lives?”

    #traitement

  • #Concessions_autoroutières : des profits futurs à partager équitablement avec l’État et les usagers - rapport - Sénat
    http://www.senat.fr/notice-rapport/2019/r19-709-1-notice.html

    Quinze ans après leur #privatisation, la commission d’enquête s’est penchée sur la situation des #sociétés_autoroutières « historiques » dont la rentabilité est perçue comme excessive.

    Elle évalue à 6,5 milliards d’euros la perte de recettes pour l’État résultant du processus de cession (2002 2006) et constate que les contrats n’ayant pas fait l’objet d’une révision préalable l’État est en position de faiblesse vis à vis des sociétés autoroutières.

    L’étude indépendante demandée par le rapporteur estime que les groupes Vinci et Eiffage atteindraient la rentabilité attendue lors de la privatisation dix ans avant la fin de leurs concessions. La commission préconise en conséquence l’organisation d’un sommet des autoroutes pour définir l’équilibre économique des concessions, ce qui permettra d’affecter une partie de la rentabilité à de nouveaux investissements, à des modulations des péages en faveur des trajets du quotidien, du covoiturage, et des véhicules propres, ainsi qu’aux autres modes de transports.

    Elle estime par ailleurs que la durée des concessions ne doit plus être prolongée et demande à l’État de veiller au maintien d’un niveau d’investissements assurant la remise en bon état des infrastructures à la fin des concessions.

    Enfin, elle invite à réfléchir dès maintenant à la gestion future des autoroutes à la fin des concessions actuelles (entre 2031 et 2036) et recommande, si le modèle concessif était retenu, que la durée des concessions n’excède pas quinze ans et que le contrat de concession encadre la rentabilité et en organise le suivi.

    Le rapport :http://www.senat.fr/rap/r19-709-1/r19-709-1.html ;
    sa note de synthèse : http://www.senat.fr/fileadmin/Fichiers/Images/redaction_multimedia/2020/2020_Infographies/20200918_Synthese_4p_VF.pdf.

    • propre lien :

      https://www.heise.de/tp/features/EU-Gipfel-Fuer-ein-soziales-Europa-6041474.html

      [...]

      Man braucht allerdings nur auf die Vorteile etwa der deutschen Autohersteller zu sehen, die sie an der ungarischen Sozial- und Lohnpolitik haben, um einerseits zu erkennen, wie sehr die deutsche Autoindustrie und die angeschlossene Politik von Orbán profitiert und mit ihm verquickt ist, und anderseits wie die mächtigen Interessen an eben dem Lohngefälle aussehen, gegen das der Gipfel ein Zeichen setzen soll (Orbán: Gute Geschäfte mit Deutschland, wenig Gefahr durch EU-Sanktionen). Die Skandinavier wollen ebenfalls keine neuen EU-Regeln für Mindestlöhne, weil sie an ihren bewährten Tarifverträgen festhalten wollen.

      [...]

      Grundlage für eine bessere soziale Ausrichtung wäre die Umsetzung der „Europäischen Säule der Sozialen Rechte“, zusammengesetzt aus einem 20-Punkte Programm, das beim Sozialgipfel in Göteborg im November 2017 erstellt wurde.
      Man könnte ein starkes Zeichen setzen

      Die Zeit für eine sozialere Ausrichtung der EU wäre günstig. Dass die Pandemie die soziale Ungleichheit in einem scharfen Ausmaß zur Kenntlichkeit gebracht hat, ist seit Monaten Thema politischer Analysen, Meinungen und Erklärungen. Man könnte also ein starkes Zeichen setzen.

      Das Ausrichterland Portugal, das die Ratspräsidentschaft innehat, hat sich sowohl in der Bekämpfung der Pandemie unter den EU-Staaten hervorgetan wie auch mit seiner Politik, die unter einer linken Regierung mehr auf soziale Gerechtigkeit achtete als auf Kennziffer-Vorgaben der Austeritätsreformer wie dem IWF.

      [...]

      #EU / #UE #Europe politique #sociale #inégalités #salaire_minimum

  • #L'espace_d'un_instant #18 : De Neskaupstaður en Islande à Vancouver au Canada

    http://liminaire.fr/entre-les-lignes/article/l-espace-d-un-instant-18

    « La grande révélation n’était jamais arrivée. En fait, la grande révélation n’arrivait peut-être jamais. C’était plutôt de petits miracles quotidiens, des illuminations, allumettes craquées à l’improviste dans le noir ; en voici une. » Vers le phare, Virginia Woolf (...) #Entre_les_lignes / #Écriture, #Poésie, #Récit, #Voix, #Sons, L’espace d’un instant, Fenêtre, #Quotidien, #Dérive, #Regard, #Sensation, (...)

    #Voyage

  • Le #patron et le politique
    https://laviedesidees.fr/Michel-Offerle-Ce-qu-un-patron-peut-faire.html

    À propos de : Michel Offerlé, Ce qu’un patron peut faire. Une sociologie politique des patronats, Gallimard. La voix des patrons est systématiquement au cœur des débats électoraux et pourtant peu d’entre eux s’engagent durablement en politique. Des petits aux grands patrons, les prises de position varient considérablement et seule l’idée de « la liberté d’entreprendre » semble les réunir.

    #Société #Économie #entreprise
    https://laviedesidees.fr/IMG/pdf/20210505_offerle.pdf
    https://laviedesidees.fr/IMG/docx/20210505_offerle.docx

  • Passeport Sanitaire : cette résistance qui monte !
    https://www.crashdebug.fr/passeport-sanitaire-cette-resistance-qui-monte

    Bon je voie qu’on est du même avis, encore une fois c’est de l’anticipation et du bon sens.

    ♦️ADHÉREZ AUX PATRIOTES :

    http://les-patriotes.fr/jadhere​ 🇫🇷

    (Pour rappel, Les Patriotes, nouvelle formation politique, ne bénéficient d’AUCUN soutien financier public ni d’aucun soutien bancaire. Ils vivent exclusivement des adhérents et donateurs.)

    ♦️FAIRE UN DON AUX PATRIOTES :

    http://les-patriotes.fr/don

    ♦️PÉTITION CONTRE LE PASSEPORT SANITAIRE :

    https://les-patriotes.fr/petition-non... ​

    ♦️DÉFI « 100.000 VOTES POUR TOUT ROUVRIR » :

    https://les-patriotes.fr/100-000-sign...​

    ♦️ACHETER MON NOUVEAU LIVRE :

    https://les-patriotes.fr/covid-19-la-...​

    ♦️ ÉCOUTER LES VIDÉOS EN ARRIERE PLAN :

    https://soundcloud.com/f_philippot

    #SoulévementMondial#Espoir​ (...)

  • This Train I Ride

    L’Amérique aujourd’hui. Un #train_de_marchandises traverse le paysage tel un gigantesque serpent de fer. Un jour, Ivy, Karen, Christina ont tout quitté, bravé le danger pour parcourir le pays à bord de ces trains. Elles les attendent, cachées dans des fourrés, dormant sous les ponts des autoroutes. Elles mènent une vie de #hobos (#vagabonds). Dans le fracas de la bête métallique, le réalisateur devient leur compagnon de route. Sur le rail et là où la vie les a menées, leurs trajectoires se croisent et se répondent : une rage de vivre, une quête spirituelle, une éternelle #rébellion. Elles sont plus fortes que la société, elles sont plus fortes que les hommes, elles sont libres.

    http://www.film-documentaire.fr/4DACTION/w_fiche_film/59944_1
    #film #film_documentaire #documentaire
    #nomadisme #solitude #errance #train #femmes #USA #Etats-Unis #Freight_Train_Riders_of_America (#FTRA) #meurtres #assassinats #vagabondage #liberté

  • La casse de l’assurance #Chômage - Le site du journal L’âge de faire
    https://lagedefaire-lejournal.fr/la-casse-de-lassurance-chomage

    La réforme aura des effets sur une grande proportion des allocataires : 1,15 million sur les 2,8 millions de nouveaux indemnisés seront touchés la …

    #Travail #Emploi #Société #Carrières

    • Trigger Warnings | Centre for Teaching Excellence

      A trigger warning is a statement made prior to sharing potentially disturbing content. That content might include graphic references to topics such as #sexual_abuse, #self-harm, #violence, #eating_disorders, and so on, and can take the form of an #image, #video_clip, #audio_clip, or piece of #text. In an #academic_context, the #instructor delivers these messages in order to allow students to prepare emotionally for the content or to decide to forgo interacting with the content.

      Proponents of trigger warnings contend that certain course content can impact the #wellbeing and #academic_performance of students who have experienced corresponding #traumas in their own lives. Such students might not yet be ready to confront a personal #trauma in an academic context. They choose to #avoid it now so that they can deal with it more effectively at a later date – perhaps after they have set up necessary #resources, #supports, or #counselling. Other students might indeed be ready to #confront a personal trauma in an academic context but will benefit from a #forewarning of certain topics so that they can brace themselves prior to (for example) participating in a #classroom discussion about it. Considered from this perspective, trigger warnings give students increased #autonomy over their learning, and are an affirmation that the instructor #cares about their wellbeing.

      However, not everyone agrees that trigger warnings are #necessary or #helpful. For example, some fear that trigger warnings unnecessarily #insulate students from the often harsh #realities of the world with which academics need to engage. Others are concerned that trigger warnings establish a precedent of making instructors or universities legally #responsible for protecting students from #emotional_trauma. Still others argue that it is impossible to anticipate all the topics that might be potentially triggering for students.

      Trigger warnings do not mean that students can exempt themselves from completing parts of the coursework. Ideally, a student who is genuinely concerned about being #re-traumatized by forthcoming course content would privately inform the instructor of this concern. The instructor would then accommodate the student by proposing #alternative_content or an alternative learning activity, as with an accommodation necessitated by a learning disability or physical disability.

      The decision to preface potentially disturbing content with a trigger warning is ultimately up to the instructor. An instructor who does so might want to include in the course syllabus a preliminary statement (also known as a “#content_note”), such as the following:

      Our classroom provides an open space for the critical and civil exchange of ideas. Some readings and other content in this course will include topics that some students may find offensive and/or traumatizing. I’ll aim to #forewarn students about potentially disturbing content and I ask all students to help to create an #atmosphere of #mutual_respect and #sensitivity.

      Prior to introducing a potentially disturbing topic in class, an instructor might articulate a #verbal_trigger_warning such as the following:

      Next class our discussion will probably touch on the sexual assault that is depicted in the second last chapter of The White Hotel. This content is disturbing, so I encourage you to prepare yourself emotionally beforehand. If you believe that you will find the discussion to be traumatizing, you may choose to not participate in the discussion or to leave the classroom. You will still, however, be responsible for material that you miss, so if you leave the room for a significant time, please arrange to get notes from another student or see me individually.

      A version of the foregoing trigger warning might also preface written materials:

      The following reading includes a discussion of the harsh treatment experienced by First Nations children in residential schools in the 1950s. This content is disturbing, so I encourage everyone to prepare themselves emotionally before proceeding. If you believe that the reading will be traumatizing for you, then you may choose to forgo it. You will still, however, be responsible for material that you miss, so please arrange to get notes from another student or see me individually.

      Trigger warnings, of course, are not the only answer to disturbing content. Instructional #strategies such as the following can also help students approach challenging material:

      – Give your students as much #advance_notice as possible about potentially disturbing content. A day’s notice might not be enough for a student to prepare emotionally, but two weeks might be.

      – Try to “scaffold” a disturbing topic to students. For example, when beginning a history unit on the Holocaust, don’t start with graphic photographs from Auschwitz. Instead, begin by explaining the historical context, then verbally describe the conditions within the concentration camps, and then introduce the photographic record as needed. Whenever possible, allow students to progress through upsetting material at their own pace.

      – Allow students to interact with disturbing material outside of class. A student might feel more vulnerable watching a documentary about sexual assault while in a classroom than in the security of his or her #home.

      – Provide captions when using video materials: some content is easier to watch while reading captions than while listening to the audio.

      – When necessary, provide written descriptions of graphic images as a substitute for the actual visual content.

      – When disturbing content is under discussion, check in with your students from time to time: #ask them how they are doing, whether they need a #break, and so on. Let them know that you are aware that the material in question is emotionally challenging.

      – Advise students to be #sensitive to their classmates’ #vulnerabilities when they are preparing class presentations.

      – Help your students understand the difference between emotional trauma and #intellectual_discomfort: the former is harmful, as is triggering it in the wrong context (such as in a classroom rather than in therapy); the latter is fundamental to a university education – it means our ideas are being challenged as we struggle to resolve cognitive dissonance.

      https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/trigger

    • Why Trigger Warnings Don’t Work

      Because trauma #survivors’ #memories are so specific, increasingly used “trigger warnings” are largely #ineffective.

      Fair warning labels at the beginning of movie and book reviews alert the reader that continuing may reveal critical plot points that spoil the story. The acronym NSFW alerts those reading emails or social media posts that the material is not suitable for work. The Motion Picture Association of America provides film ratings to advise about content so that moviegoers can make informed entertainment choices for themselves and their children.

      Enter stage right: Trigger warning.

      A trigger warning, most often found on #social_media and internet sites, alerts the reader that potentially upsetting information may follow. The words trigger warning are often followed by a subtitle such as *Trigger warning: This may be triggering to those who have struggled with _________. Fill in the blank. #Domestic_abuse. #Rape. #Body_image. #Needles. #Pregnancy.

      Trigger warnings have become prevalent online since about 2012. Victim advocate Gayle Crabtree reports that they were in use as early as 1996 in chat rooms she moderated. “We used the words ‘trigger warning,’ ‘#tw,’ ‘#TW,’ and ‘trigger’ early on. …This meant the survivor could see the warning and then decide if she or he wanted to scroll down for the message or not.” Eventually, trigger warnings spread to social media sites including #Tumblr, #Twitter, and #Facebook.

      The term seems to have originated from the use of the word “trigger” to indicate something that cues a #physiological_response, the way pollen may trigger an allergy attack. A trigger in a firearm is a lever that activates the sequence of firing a gun, so it is not surprising that the word was commandeered by those working in the field of #psychology to indicate objects and sensations that cause neurological firing in the brain, which in turn cause #feelings and #thoughts to occur.

      Spoiler alerts allow us to enjoy the movie or book as it unfolds without being influenced by knowledge about what comes next. The NSFW label helps employees comply with workplace policies that prohibit viewing sexually explicit or profane material. Motion picture ratings enable viewers to select movies they are most likely to find entertaining. Trigger warnings, on the other hand, are “designed to prevent people who have an extremely strong and damaging emotional response… to certain subjects from encountering them unaware.”

      Say what?

      Say hogwash!

      Discussions about trigger warnings have made headlines in the New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the New Republic, and various other online and print publications. Erin Dean writes that a trigger “is not something that offends one, troubles one, or angers one; it is something that causes an extreme involuntary reaction in which the individual re-experiences past trauma.”

      For those individuals, it is probably true that coming across material that reminds them of a traumatic event is going to be disturbing. Dean’s definition refers to involuntary fear and stress responses common in individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder characterized by intrusive memories, thoughts, or dreams; intense distress at cues that remind the individual of the event; and reactivity to situations, people, or objects that symbolize the event. PTSD can result from personal victimization, accidents, incarceration, natural disasters, or any unexpected injury or threat of injury or death. Research suggests that it results from a combination of genetic predisposition, fear conditioning, and neural and physiological responses that incorporate the body systems and immunological responses. Current theories suggest that PTSD represents “the failure to recover from the normal effects of trauma.” In other words, anyone would be adversely affected by trauma, but natural mechanisms for healing take place in the majority of individuals. The prevalence of PTSD ranges from 1.9 percent in Europe to 3.5 percent in the United States.

      The notion that trigger warnings should be generalized to all social media sites, online journals, and discussion boards is erroneous.

      Some discussions have asserted that because between one in four and one in five women have been sexually abused, trigger warnings are necessary to protect vast numbers of victims from being re-traumatized. However, research shows that the majority of trauma-exposed persons do not develop PTSD. This does not mean they aren’t affected by trauma, but that they do not develop clinically significant symptoms, distress, or impairment in daily functioning. The notion that trigger warnings should be generalized to all social media sites, online journals, and discussion boards is erroneous. Now some students are pushing for trigger warnings on college class syllabi and reading lists.

      But what?

      Balderdash!

      But wait, before people get all riled up, I’d like to say that yes, I have experienced trauma in my life.

      I wore a skirt the first time George hit me. I know this because I remember scrunching my skirt around my waist and balancing in heels while I squatted over a hole in the concrete floor to take a piss. We were in Tijuana. The stench of excrement made my stomach queasy with too much tequila. I wanted to retch.

      We returned to our hotel room. I slid out of my blouse and skirt. He stripped to nothing and lay on the double bed. He was drinking Rompope from the bottle, a kind of Mexican eggnog: strong, sweet, and marketed for its excellent spunk. It’s a thick yellow rum concoction with eggs, sugar, and almond side notes. George wanted to have sex. We bickered and argued as drunks sometimes do. I said something — I know this because I always said something — and he hit me. He grabbed me by the hair and hit me again. “We’re going dancing,” he said.

      “I don’t feel like dancing — “

      “Fine. Stay.”

      The world was tilting at an angle I didn’t recognize. The mathematician Matt Tweed writes that atoms are made up of almost completely empty space. To grasp the vast nothingness, he asks the reader to imagine a cat twirling a bumblebee on the end of a half-mile long string. That’s how much emptiness there is between the nucleus and the electron. There was more space than that between George and me. I remember thinking: I am in a foreign country. I don’t speak Spanish. I have no money. We went dancing.

      Labeling a topic or theme is useless because of the way our brains work. The labels that we give trauma (assault, sexual abuse, rape) are not the primary source of triggers. Memories are, and not just memories, but very specific, insidious, and personally individualized details lodged in our brain at the time of the trauma encoded as memory. Details can include faces, places, sounds, smells, tastes, voices, body positions, time of day, or any other sensate qualities that were present during a traumatic incident.

      If I see a particular shade of yellow or smell a sickly sweet rum drink, I’m reminded of my head being yanked by someone who held a handful of my hair in his fist. A forest green Plymouth Duster (the car we drove) will too. The word assault does not. The words domestic violence don’t either. The specificity of details seared in my mind invokes memory.

      Last year a driver slammed into the back of my car on the freeway. The word tailgate is not a trigger. Nor is the word accident. The flash of another car suddenly encroaching in my rearview mirror is. In my mid-20s, I drove my younger sister (sobbing, wrapped in a bed sheet) to the hospital where two male officers explained they were going to pluck her pubic hair for a rape kit. When I see tweezers in a hospital, I flash back to that awful moment. For my sister, other things may be triggers: the moonlight shining on the edge of a knife. The shadow of a person back lit in a doorway. An Hispanic man’s accent. If we were going to insist on trigger warnings that work, they would need to look something like this:

      Trigger warning: Rompope.

      Trigger warning: a woman wrapped in a bed sheet.

      Trigger warning: the blade of a knife.

      The variability of human #perception and traumatic recall makes it impossible to provide the necessary specificity for trigger warnings to be effective. The nature of specificity is, in part, one reason that treatment for traumatic memories involves safely re-engaging with the images that populate the survivor’s memory of the event. According to Dr. Mark Beuger, an addiction psychiatrist at Deerfield Behavioral Health of Warren (PA), the goal of PTSD treatment is “to allow for processing of the traumatic experience without becoming so emotional that processing is impossible.” By creating a coherent narrative of the past event through telling and retelling the story to a clinician, survivors confront their fears and gain mastery over their thoughts and feelings.

      If a survivor has had adequate clinical support, they could engage online with thoughts or ideas that previously had been avoided.

      According to the National Center for Health, “#Avoidance is a maladaptive #control_strategy… resulting in maintenance of perceived current threat. In line with this, trauma-focused treatments stress the role of avoidance in the maintenance of PTSD. Prolonged exposure to safe but anxiety-provoking trauma-related stimuli is considered a treatment of choice for PTSD.” Avoidance involves distancing oneself from cues, reminders, or situations that remind one of the event that can result in increased #social_withdrawal. Trigger warnings increase social withdrawal, which contributes to feelings of #isolation. If a survivor who suffers from PTSD has had adequate clinical support, they could engage online with thoughts or ideas that previously had been avoided. The individual is in charge of each word he or she reads. At any time, one may close a book or click a screen shut on the computer. What is safer than that? Conversely, trigger warnings perpetuate avoidance. Because the intrusive memories and thoughts are internal, trigger warnings suggest, “Wait! Don’t go here. I need to protect you from yourself.”

      The argument that trigger warnings help to protect those who have suffered trauma is false. Most people who have experienced trauma do not require preemptive protection. Some may argue that it would be kind to avoid causing others distress with upsetting language and images. But is it? Doesn’t it sometimes take facing the horrific images encountered in trauma to effect change in ourselves and in the world?

      A few weeks ago, I came across a video about Boko Haram’s treatment of a kidnapped schoolgirl. The girl was blindfolded. A man was digging a hole in dry soil. It quickly became evident, as he ushered the girl into the hole, that this would not end well. I felt anxious as several men began shoveling soil in around her while she spoke to them in a language I could not understand. I considered clicking away as my unease and horror grew. But I also felt compelled to know what happened to this girl. In the 11-minute video, she is buried up to her neck.

      All the while, she speaks to her captors, who eventually move out of the frame of the scene. Rocks begin pelting the girl’s head. One after the other strikes her as I stared, horrified, until finally, her head lay motionless at an angle that could only imply death. That video (now confirmed to be a stoning in Somalia rather than by Boko Haram) forever changed my level of concern about young girls kidnapped in other countries.

      We are changed by what we #witness. Had the video contained a trigger warning about gruesome death, I would not have watched it. Weeks later, I would have been spared the rush of feelings I felt when a friend posted a photo of her daughter playfully buried by her brothers in the sand. I would have been spared knowing such horrors occur. But would the world be a better place for my not knowing? Knowledge helps us prioritize our responsibilities in the world. Don’t we want engaged, knowledgeable citizens striving for a better world?

      Recently, the idea of trigger warnings has leapt the gulch between social media and academic settings. #Universities are dabbling with #policies that encourage professors to provide trigger warnings for their classes because of #complaints filed by students. Isn’t the syllabus warning enough? Can’t individual students be responsible for researching the class content and reading #materials before they enroll? One of the benefits of broad exposure to literature and art in education is Theory of Mind, the idea that human beings have the capacity to recognize and understand that other people have thoughts and desires that are different from one’s own. Do we want #higher_education to comprise solely literature and ideas that feel safe to everyone? Could we even agree on what that would be?

      Art occurs at the intersection of experience and danger. It can be risky, subversive, and offensive. Literature encompasses ideas both repugnant and redemptive. News about very difficult subjects is worth sharing. As writers, don’t we want our readers to have the space to respond authentically to the story? As human beings, don’t we want others to understand that we can empathize without sharing the same points of view?

      Trigger warnings fail to warn us of the very things that might cause us to remember our trauma. They insulate. They cause isolation. A trigger warning says, “Be careful. This might be too much for you.” It says, “I don’t trust you can handle it.” As a reader, that’s not a message I want to encounter. As a writer, that is not the message I want to convey.

      Trigger warnings?

      Poppycock.

      http://www.stirjournal.com/2014/09/15/trigger-what-why-trigger-warnings-dont-work

    • Essay on why a professor is adding a trigger warning to his #syllabus

      Trigger warnings in the classroom have been the subject of tremendous #debate in recent weeks, but it’s striking how little the discussion has contemplated what actual trigger warnings in actual classrooms might plausibly look like.

      The debate began with demands for trigger warnings by student governments with no power to compel them and suggestions by #administrators (made and retracted) that #faculty consider them. From there the ball was picked up mostly by observers outside higher ed who presented various #arguments for and against, and by professors who repudiated the whole idea.

      What we haven’t heard much of so far are the voices of professors who are sympathetic to the idea of such warnings talking about what they might look like and how they might operate.

      As it turns out, I’m one of those professors, and I think that discussion is long overdue. I teach history at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York, and starting this summer I’m going to be including a trigger warning in my syllabus.

      I’d like to say a few things about why.

      An Alternative Point of View

      To start off, I think it’s important to be clear about what trigger warnings are, and what purpose they’re intended to serve. Such warnings are often framed — and not just by critics — as a “you may not want to read this” notice, one that’s directed specifically at survivors of trauma. But their actual #purpose is considerably broader.

      Part of the confusion arises from the word “trigger” itself. Originating in the psychological literature, the #term can be misleading in a #non-clinical context, and indeed many people who favor such warnings prefer to call them “#content_warnings” for that reason. It’s not just trauma survivors who may be distracted or derailed by shocking or troubling material, after all. It’s any of us, and a significant part of the distraction comes not from the material itself but from the context in which it’s presented.

      In the original cut of the 1933 version of the film “King Kong,” there was a scene (depicting an attack by a giant spider) that was so graphic that the director removed it before release. He took it out, it’s said, not because of concerns about excessive violence, but because the intensity of the scene ruined the movie — once you saw the sailors get eaten by the spider, the rest of the film passed by you in a haze.

      A similar concern provides a big part of the impetus for content warnings. These warnings prepare the reader for what’s coming, so their #attention isn’t hijacked when it arrives. Even a pleasant surprise can be #distracting, and if the surprise is unpleasant the distraction will be that much more severe.

      I write quite a bit online, and I hardly ever use content warnings myself. I respect the impulse to provide them, but in my experience a well-written title and lead paragraph can usually do the job more effectively and less obtrusively.

      A classroom environment is different, though, for a few reasons. First, it’s a shared space — for the 75 minutes of the class session and the 15 weeks of the semester, we’re pretty much all #stuck with one another, and that fact imposes #interpersonal_obligations on us that don’t exist between writer and reader. Second, it’s an interactive space — it’s a #conversation, not a monologue, and I have a #responsibility to encourage that conversation as best I can. Finally, it’s an unpredictable space — a lot of my students have never previously encountered some of the material we cover in my classes, or haven’t encountered it in the way it’s taught at the college level, and don’t have any clear sense of what to expect.

      For all these reasons, I’ve concluded that it would be sound #pedagogy for me to give my students notice about some of the #challenging_material we’ll be covering in class — material relating to racial and sexual oppression, for instance, and to ethnic and religious conflict — as well as some information about their rights and responsibilities in responding to it. Starting with the summer semester, as a result, I’ll be discussing these issues during the first class meeting and including a notice about them in the syllabus.

      My current draft of that notice reads as follows:

      Course Content Note

      At times this semester we will be discussing historical events that may be disturbing, even traumatizing, to some students. If you ever feel the need to step outside during one of these discussions, either for a short time or for the rest of the class session, you may always do so without academic penalty. (You will, however, be responsible for any material you miss. If you do leave the room for a significant time, please make arrangements to get notes from another student or see me individually.)

      If you ever wish to discuss your personal reactions to this material, either with the class or with me afterwards, I welcome such discussion as an appropriate part of our coursework.

      That’s it. That’s my content warning. That’s all it is.

      I should say as well that nothing in these two paragraphs represents a change in my teaching practice. I have always assumed that if a student steps out of the classroom they’ve got a good reason, and I don’t keep tabs on them when they do. If a student is made uncomfortable by something that happens in class, I’m always glad when they come talk to me about it — I’ve found we usually both learn something from such exchanges. And of course students are still responsible for mastering all the course material, just as they’ve always been.

      So why the note, if everything in it reflects the rules of my classroom as they’ve always existed? Because, again, it’s my job as a professor to facilitate class discussion.

      A few years ago one of my students came to talk to me after class, distraught. She was a student teacher in a New York City junior high school, working with a social studies teacher. The teacher was white, and almost all of his students were, like my student, black. That week, she said, one of the classes had arrived at the point in the semester given over to the discussion of slavery, and at the start of the class the teacher had gotten up, buried his nose in his notes, and started into the lecture without any introduction. The students were visibly upset by what they were hearing, but the teacher just kept going until the end of the period, at which point he finished the lecture, put down his papers, and sent them on to math class.

      My student was appalled. She liked these kids, and she could see that they were hurting. They were angry, they were confused, and they had been given nothing to do with their #emotions. She asked me for advice, and I had very little to offer, but I left our meeting thinking that it would have been better for the teacher to have skipped that material entirely than to have taught it the way he did.

      History is often ugly. History is often troubling. History is often heartbreaking. As a professor, I have an #obligation to my students to raise those difficult subjects, but I also have an obligation to raise them in a way that provokes a productive reckoning with the material.

      And that reckoning can only take place if my students know that I understand that this material is not merely academic, that they are coming to it as whole people with a wide range of experiences, and that the journey we’re going on #together may at times be #painful.

      It’s not coddling them to acknowledge that. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

      https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2014/05/29/essay-why-professor-adding-trigger-warning-his-syllabus

  • Being Finnish : A Guide For Soviet Spies

    https://www.rferl.org/a/a-guide-for-acting-finnish-for-soviet-spies-of-the-cold-war/30827524.html

    An archived booklet reveals how communist spooks were instructed to blend in with Finnish locals, with careful advice on the behavior, clothing, and table manners of Finns.
    Pages from the Cold War-era training document, Life, Morals, And Customs Of The Population Of Finland was first posted online in early 2020. Although not attributed, historian and Soviet archive expert Eduard Andryushchenko says the manual is almost certainly authentic.

    Andryushchenko believes the document was probably made in the 1950s or early 1960s and appears to have been leaked by someone with access to a Soviet library but without permission to publish such material.

    The scanned pages are shown below with English translations of the Russian text.

    #espionnage #soviétisme

  • Friends of the Traffickers Italy’s Anti-Mafia Directorate and the “Dirty Campaign” to Criminalize Migration

    Afana Dieudonne often says that he is not a superhero. That’s Dieudonne’s way of saying he’s done things he’s not proud of — just like anyone in his situation would, he says, in order to survive. From his home in Cameroon to Tunisia by air, then by car and foot into the desert, across the border into Libya, and onto a rubber boat in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Dieudonne has done a lot of surviving.

    In Libya, Dieudonne remembers when the smugglers managing the safe house would ask him for favors. Dieudonne spoke a little English and didn’t want trouble. He said the smugglers were often high and always armed. Sometimes, when asked, Dieudonne would distribute food and water among the other migrants. Other times, he would inform on those who didn’t follow orders. He remembers the traffickers forcing him to inflict violence on his peers. It was either them or him, he reasoned.

    On September 30, 2014, the smugglers pushed Dieudonne and 91 others out to sea aboard a rubber boat. Buzzing through the pitch-black night, the group watched lights on the Libyan coast fade into darkness. After a day at sea, the overcrowded dinghy began taking on water. Its passengers were rescued by an NGO vessel and transferred to an Italian coast guard ship, where officers picked Dieudonne out of a crowd and led him into a room for questioning.

    At first, Dieudonne remembers the questioning to be quick, almost routine. His name, his age, his nationality. And then the questions turned: The officers said they wanted to know how the trafficking worked in Libya so they could arrest the people involved. They wanted to know who had driven the rubber boat and who had held the navigation compass.

    “So I explained everything to them, and I also showed who the ‘captain’ was — captain in quotes, because there is no captain,” said Dieudonne. The real traffickers stay in Libya, he added. “Even those who find themselves to be captains, they don’t do it by choice.”

    For the smugglers, Dieudonne explained, “we are the customers, and we are the goods.”

    For years, efforts by the Italian government and the European Union to address migration in the central Mediterranean have focused on the people in Libya — interchangeably called facilitators, smugglers, traffickers, or militia members, depending on which agency you’re speaking to — whose livelihoods come from helping others cross irregularly into Europe. People pay them a fare to organize a journey so dangerous it has taken tens of thousands of lives.

    The European effort to dismantle these smuggling networks has been driven by an unlikely actor: the Italian anti-mafia and anti-terrorism directorate, a niche police office in Rome that gained respect in the 1990s and early 2000s for dismantling large parts of the Mafia in Sicily and elsewhere in Italy. According to previously unpublished internal documents, the office — called the Direzione nazionale antimafia e antiterrorismo, or DNAA, in Italian — took a front-and-center role in the management of Europe’s southern sea borders, in direct coordination with the EU border agency Frontex and European military missions operating off the Libyan coast.

    In 2013, under the leadership of a longtime anti-mafia prosecutor named Franco Roberti, the directorate pioneered a strategy that was unique — or at least new for the border officers involved. They would start handling irregular migration to Europe like they had handled the mob. The approach would allow Italian and European police, coast guard agencies, and navies, obliged by international law to rescue stranded refugees at sea, to at least get some arrests and convictions along the way.

    The idea was to arrest low-level operators and use coercion and plea deals to get them to flip on their superiors. That way, the reasoning went, police investigators could work their way up the food chain and eventually dismantle the smuggling rings in Libya. With every boat that disembarked in Italy, police would make a handful of arrests. Anybody found to have played an active role during the crossing, from piloting to holding a compass to distributing water or bailing out a leak, could be arrested under a new legal directive written by Roberti’s anti-mafia directorate. Charges ranged from simple smuggling to transnational criminal conspiracy and — if people asphyxiated below deck or drowned when a boat capsized — even murder. Judicial sources estimate the number of people arrested since 2013 to be in the thousands.

    For the police, prosecutors, and politicians involved, the arrests were an important domestic political win. At the time, public opinion in Italy was turning against migration, and the mugshots of alleged smugglers regularly held space on front pages throughout the country.

    But according to the minutes of closed-door conversations among some of the very same actors directing these cases, which were obtained by The Intercept under Italy’s freedom of information law, most anti-mafia prosecutions only focused on low-level boat drivers, often migrants who had themselves paid for the trip across. Few, if any, smuggling bosses were ever convicted. Documents of over a dozen trials reviewed by The Intercept show prosecutions built on hasty investigations and coercive interrogations.

    In the years that followed, the anti-mafia directorate went to great lengths to keep the arrests coming. According to the internal documents, the office coordinated a series of criminal investigations into the civilian rescue NGOs working to save lives in the Mediterranean, accusing them of hampering police work. It also oversaw efforts to create and train a new coast guard in Libya, with full knowledge that some coast guard officers were colluding with the same smuggling networks that Italian and European leaders were supposed to be fighting.

    Since its inception, the anti-mafia directorate has wielded unparalleled investigative tools and served as a bridge between politicians and the courts. The documents reveal in meticulous detail how the agency, alongside Italian and European officials, capitalized on those powers to crack down on alleged smugglers, most of whom they knew to be desperate people fleeing poverty and violence with limited resources to defend themselves in court.

    Tragedy and Opportunity

    The anti-mafia directorate was born in the early 1990s after a decade of escalating Mafia violence. By then, hundreds of prosecutors, politicians, journalists, and police officers had been shot, blown up, or kidnapped, and many more extorted by organized crime families operating in Italy and beyond.

    In Palermo, the Sicilian capital, prosecutor Giovanni Falcone was a rising star in the Italian judiciary. Falcone had won unprecedented success with an approach to organized crime based on tracking financial flows, seizing assets, and centralizing evidence gathered by prosecutor’s offices across the island.

    But as the Mafia expanded its reach into the rest of Europe, Falcone’s work proved insufficient.

    In September 1990, a Mafia commando drove from Germany to Sicily to gun down a 37-year-old judge. Weeks later, at a police checkpoint in Naples, the Sicilian driver of a truck loaded with weapons, explosives, and drugs was found to be a resident of Germany. A month after the arrests, Falcone traveled to Germany to establish an information-sharing mechanism with authorities there. He brought along a younger colleague from Naples, Franco Roberti.

    “We faced a stone wall,” recalled Roberti, still bitter three decades later. He spoke to us outside a cafe in a plum neighborhood in Naples. Seventy-three years old and speaking with the rasp of a lifelong smoker, Roberti described Italy’s Mafia problem in blunt language. He bemoaned a lack of international cooperation that, he said, continues to this day. “They claimed that there was no need to investigate there,” Roberti said, “that it was up to us to investigate Italians in Germany who were occasional mafiosi.”

    As the prosecutors traveled back to Italy empty-handed, Roberti remembers Falcone telling him that they needed “a centralized national organ able to speak directly to foreign judicial authorities and coordinate investigations in Italy.”

    “That is how the idea of the anti-mafia directorate was born,” Roberti said. The two began building what would become Italy’s first national anti-mafia force.

    At the time, there was tough resistance to the project. Critics argued that Falcone and Roberti were creating “super-prosecutors” who would wield outsize powers over the courts, while also being subject to political pressures from the government in Rome. It was, they argued, a marriage of police and the judiciary, political interests and supposedly apolitical courts — convenient for getting Mafia convictions but dangerous for Italian democracy.

    Still, in January 1992, the project was approved in Parliament. But Falcone would never get to lead it: Months later, a bomb set by the Mafia killed him, his wife, and the three agents escorting them. The attack put to rest any remaining criticism of Falcone’s plan.

    The anti-mafia directorate went on to become one of Italy’s most important institutions, the national authority over all matters concerning organized crime and the agency responsible for partially freeing the country from its century-old crucible. In the decades after Falcone’s death, the directorate did what many in Italy thought impossible, dismantling large parts of the five main Italian crime families and almost halving the Mafia-related murder rate.

    And yet, by the time Roberti took control in 2013, it had been years since the last high-profile Mafia prosecution, and the organization’s influence was waning. At the same time, Italy was facing unprecedented numbers of migrants arriving by boat. Roberti had an idea: The anti-mafia directorate would start working on what he saw as a different kind of mafia. The organization set its sights on Libya.

    “We thought we had to do something more coordinated to combat this trafficking,” Roberti remembered, “so I put everyone around a table.”

    “The main objective was to save lives, seize ships, and capture smugglers,” Roberti said. “Which we did.”

    Our Sea

    Dieudonne made it to the Libyan port city of Zuwara in August 2014. One more step across the Mediterranean, and he’d be in Europe. The smugglers he paid to get him across the sea took all of his possessions and put him in an abandoned building that served as a safe house to wait for his turn.

    Dieudonne told his story from a small office in Bari, Italy, where he runs a cooperative that helps recent arrivals access local education. Dieudonne is fiery and charismatic. He is constantly moving: speaking, texting, calling, gesticulating. Every time he makes a point, he raps his knuckles on the table in a one-two pattern. Dieudonne insisted that we publish his real name. Others who made the journey more recently — still pending decisions on their residence permits or refugee status — were less willing to speak openly.

    Dieudonne remembers the safe house in Zuwara as a string of constant violence. The smugglers would come once a day to leave food. Every day, they would ask who hadn’t followed their orders. Those inside the abandoned building knew they were less likely to be discovered by police or rival smugglers, but at the same time, they were not free to leave.

    “They’ve put a guy in the refrigerator in front of all of us, to show how the next one who misbehaves will be treated,” Dieudonne remembered, indignant. He witnessed torture, shootings, rape. “The first time you see it, it hurts you. The second time it hurts you less. The third time,” he said with a shrug, “it becomes normal. Because that’s the only way to survive.”

    “That’s why arresting the person who pilots a boat and treating them like a trafficker makes me laugh,” Dieudonne said. Others who have made the journey to Italy report having been forced to drive at gunpoint. “You only do it to be sure you don’t die there,” he said.

    Two years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s government, much of Libya’s northwest coast had become a staging ground for smugglers who organized sea crossings to Europe in large wooden fishing boats. When those ships — overcrowded, underpowered, and piloted by amateurs — inevitably capsized, the deaths were counted by the hundreds.

    In October 2013, two shipwrecks off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa took over 400 lives, sparking public outcry across Europe. In response, the Italian state mobilized two plans, one public and the other private.

    “There was a big shock when the Lampedusa tragedy happened,” remembered Italian Sen. Emma Bonino, then the country’s foreign minister. The prime minister “called an emergency meeting, and we decided to immediately launch this rescue program,” Bonino said. “Someone wanted to call the program ‘safe seas.’ I said no, not safe, because it’s sure we’ll have other tragedies. So let’s call it Mare Nostrum.”

    Mare Nostrum — “our sea” in Latin — was a rescue mission in international waters off the coast of Libya that ran for one year and rescued more than 150,000 people. The operation also brought Italian ships, airplanes, and submarines closer than ever to Libyan shores. Roberti, just two months into his job as head of the anti-mafia directorate, saw an opportunity to extend the country’s judicial reach and inflict a lethal blow to smuggling rings in Libya.

    Five days after the start of Mare Nostrum, Roberti launched the private plan: a series of coordination meetings among the highest echelons of the Italian police, navy, coast guard, and judiciary. Under Roberti, these meetings would run for four years and eventually involve representatives from Frontex, Europol, an EU military operation, and even Libya.

    The minutes of five of these meetings, which were presented by Roberti in a committee of the Italian Parliament and obtained by The Intercept, give an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the events on Europe’s southern borders since the Lampedusa shipwrecks.

    In the first meeting, held in October 2013, Roberti told participants that the anti-mafia offices in the Sicilian city of Catania had developed an innovative way to deal with migrant smuggling. By treating Libyan smugglers like they had treated the Italian Mafia, prosecutors could claim jurisdiction over international waters far beyond Italy’s borders. That, Roberti said, meant they could lawfully board and seize vessels on the high seas, conduct investigations there, and use the evidence in court.

    The Italian authorities have long recognized that, per international maritime law, they are obligated to rescue people fleeing Libya on overcrowded boats and transport them to a place of safety. As the number of people attempting the crossing increased, many Italian prosecutors and coast guard officials came to believe that smugglers were relying on these rescues to make their business model work; therefore, the anti-mafia reasoning went, anyone who acted as crew or made a distress call on a boat carrying migrants could be considered complicit in Libyan trafficking and subject to Italian jurisdiction. This new approach drew heavily from legal doctrines developed in the United States during the 1980s aimed at stopping drug smuggling.

    European leaders were scrambling to find a solution to what they saw as a looming migration crisis. Italian officials thought they had the answer and publicly justified their decisions as a way to prevent future drownings.

    But according to the minutes of the 2013 anti-mafia meeting, the new strategy predated the Lampedusa shipwrecks by at least a week. Sicilian prosecutors had already written the plan to crack down on migration across the Mediterranean but lacked both the tools and public will to put it into action. Following the Lampedusa tragedy and the creation of Mare Nostrum, they suddenly had both.

    State of Necessity

    In the international waters off the coast of Libya, Dieudonne and 91 others were rescued by a European NGO called Migrant Offshore Aid Station. They spent two days aboard MOAS’s ship before being transferred to an Italian coast guard ship, Nave Dattilo, to be taken to Europe.

    Aboard the Dattilo, coast guard officers asked Dieudonne why he had left his home in Cameroon. He remembers them showing him a photograph of the rubber boat taken from the air. “They asked me who was driving, the roles and everything,” he remembered. “Then they asked me if I could tell him how the trafficking in Libya works, and then, they said, they would give me residence documents.”

    Dieudonne said that he was reluctant to cooperate at first. He didn’t want to accuse any of his peers, but he was also concerned that he could become a suspect. After all, he had helped the driver at points throughout the voyage.

    “I thought that if I didn’t cooperate, they might hurt me,” Dieudonne said. “Not physically hurt, but they could consider me dishonest, like someone who was part of the trafficking.”

    To this day, Dieudonne says he can’t understand why Italy would punish people for fleeing poverty and political violence in West Africa. He rattled off a list of events from the last year alone: draught, famine, corruption, armed gunmen, attacks on schools. “And you try to convict someone for managing to escape that situation?”

    The coast guard ship disembarked in Vibo Valentia, a city in the Italian region of Calabria. During disembarkation, a local police officer explained to a journalist that they had arrested five people. The journalist asked how the police had identified the accused.

    “A lot has been done by the coast guard, who picked [the migrants] up two days ago and managed to spot [the alleged smugglers],” the officer explained. “Then we have witness statements and videos.”

    Cases like these, where arrests are made on the basis of photo or video evidence and statements by witnesses like Dieudonne, are common, said Gigi Modica, a judge in Sicily who has heard many immigration and asylum cases. “It’s usually the same story. They take three or four people, no more. They ask them two questions: who was driving the boat, and who was holding the compass,” Modica explained. “That’s it — they get the names and don’t care about the rest.”

    Modica was one of the first judges in Italy to acquit people charged for driving rubber boats — known as “scafisti,” or boat drivers, in Italian — on the grounds that they had been forced to do so. These “state of necessity” rulings have since become increasingly common. Modica rattled off a list of irregularities he’s seen in such cases: systemic racism, witness statements that migrants later say they didn’t make, interrogations with no translator or lawyer, and in some cases, people who report being encouraged by police to sign documents renouncing their right to apply for asylum.

    “So often these alleged smugglers — scafisti — are normal people who were compelled to pilot a boat by smugglers in Libya,” Modica said.

    Documents of over a dozen trials reviewed by The Intercept show prosecutions largely built on testimony from migrants who are promised a residence permit in exchange for their collaboration. At sea, witnesses are interviewed by the police hours after their rescue, often still in a state of shock after surviving a shipwreck.

    In many cases, identical statements, typos included, are attributed to several witnesses and copied and pasted across different police reports. Sometimes, these reports have been enough to secure decadeslong sentences. Other times, under cross-examination in court, witnesses have contradicted the statements recorded by police or denied giving any testimony at all.

    As early as 2015, attendees of the anti-mafia meetings were discussing problems with these prosecutions. In a meeting that February, Giovanni Salvi, then the prosecutor of Catania, acknowledged that smugglers often abandoned migrant boats in international waters. Still, Italian police were steaming ahead with the prosecutions of those left on board.

    These prosecutions were so important that in some cases, the Italian coast guard decided to delay rescue when boats were in distress in order to “allow for the arrival of institutional ships that can conduct arrests,” a coast guard commander explained at the meeting.

    When asked about the commander’s comments, the Italian coast guard said that “on no occasion” has the agency ever delayed a rescue operation. Delaying rescue for any reason goes against international and Italian law, and according to various human rights lawyers in Europe, could give rise to criminal liability.

    NGOs in the Crosshairs

    Italy canceled Mare Nostrum after one year, citing budget constraints and a lack of European collaboration. In its wake, the EU set up two new operations, one via Frontex and the other a military effort called Operation Sophia. These operations focused not on humanitarian rescue but on border security and people smuggling from Libya. Beginning in 2015, representatives from Frontex and Operation Sophia were included in the anti-mafia directorate meetings, where Italian prosecutors ensured that both abided by the new investigative strategy.

    Key to these investigations were photos from the rescues, like the aerial image that Dieudonne remembers the Italian coast guard showing him, which gave police another way to identify who piloted the boats and helped navigate.

    In the absence of government rescue ships, a fleet of civilian NGO vessels began taking on a large number of rescues in the international waters off the coast of Libya. These ships, while coordinated by the Italian coast guard rescue center in Rome, made evidence-gathering difficult for prosecutors and judicial police. According to the anti-mafia meeting minutes, some NGOs, including MOAS, routinely gave photos to Italian police and Frontex. Others refused, arguing that providing evidence for investigations into the people they saved would undermine their efficacy and neutrality.

    In the years following Mare Nostrum, the NGO fleet would come to account for more than one-third of all rescues in the central Mediterranean, according to estimates by Operation Sophia. A leaked status report from the operation noted that because NGOs did not collect information from rescued migrants for police, “information essential to enhance the understanding of the smuggling business model is not acquired.”

    In a subsequent anti-mafia meeting, six prosecutors echoed this concern. NGO rescues meant that police couldn’t interview migrants at sea, they said, and cases were getting thrown out for lack of evidence. A coast guard admiral explained the importance of conducting interviews just after a rescue, when “a moment of empathy has been established.”

    “It is not possible to carry out this task if the rescue intervention is carried out by ships of the NGOs,” the admiral told the group.

    The NGOs were causing problems for the DNAA strategy. At the meetings, Italian prosecutors and representatives from the coast guard, navy, and Interior Ministry discussed what they could do to rein in the humanitarian organizations. At the same time, various prosecutors were separately fixing their investigative sights on the NGOs themselves.

    In late 2016, an internal report from Frontex — later published in full by The Intercept — accused an NGO vessel of directly receiving migrants from Libyan smugglers, attributing the information to “Italian authorities.” The claim was contradicted by video evidence and the ship’s crew.

    Months later, Carmelo Zuccaro, the prosecutor of Catania, made public that he was investigating rescue NGOs. “Together with Frontex and the navy, we are trying to monitor all these NGOs that have shown that they have great financial resources,” Zuccaro told an Italian newspaper. The claim went viral in Italian and European media. “Friends of the traffickers” and “migrant taxi service” became common slurs used toward humanitarian NGOs by anti-immigration politicians and the Italian far right.

    Zuccaro would eventually walk back his claims, telling a parliamentary committee that he was working off a hypothesis at the time and had no evidence to back it up.

    In an interview with a German newspaper in February 2017, the director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, refrained from explicitly criticizing the work of rescue NGOs but did say they were hampering police investigations in the Mediterranean. As aid organizations assumed a larger percentage of rescues, Leggeri said, “it is becoming more difficult for the European security authorities to find out more about the smuggling networks through interviews with migrants.”

    “That smear campaign was very, very deep,” remembered Bonino, the former foreign minister. Referring to Marco Minniti, Italy’s interior minister at the time, she added, “I was trying to push Minniti not to be so obsessed with people coming, but to make a policy of integration in Italy. But he only focused on Libya and smuggling and criminalizing NGOs with the help of prosecutors.”

    Bonino explained that the action against NGOs was part of a larger plan to change European policy in the central Mediterranean. The first step was the shift away from humanitarian rescue and toward border security and smuggling. The second step “was blaming the NGOs or arresting them, a sort of dirty campaign against them,” she said. “The results of which after so many years have been no convictions, no penalties, no trials.”

    Finally, the third step was to build a new coast guard in Libya to do what the Europeans couldn’t, per international law: intercept people at sea and bring them back to Libya, the country from which they had just fled.

    At first, leaders at Frontex were cautious. “From Frontex’s point of view, we look at Libya with concern; there is no stable state there,” Leggeri said in the 2017 interview. “We are now helping to train 60 officers for a possible future Libyan coast guard. But this is at best a beginning.”

    Bonino saw this effort differently. “They started providing support for their so-called coast guard,” she said, “which were the same traffickers changing coats.”
    Rescued migrants disembarking from a Libyan coast guard ship in the town of Khoms, a town 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of the capital on October 1, 2019.

    Same Uniforms, Same Ships

    Safe on land in Italy, Dieudonne was never called to testify in court. He hopes that none of his peers ended up in prison but said he would gladly testify against the traffickers if called. Aboard the coast guard ship, he remembers, “I gave the police contact information for the traffickers, I gave them names.”

    The smuggling operations in Libya happened out in the open, but Italian police could only go as far as international waters. Leaked documents from Operation Sophia describe years of efforts by European officials to get Libyan police to arrest smugglers. Behind closed doors, top Italian and EU officials admitted that these same smugglers were intertwined with the new Libyan coast guard that Europe was creating and that working with them would likely go against international law.

    As early as 2015, multiple officials at the anti-mafia meetings noted that some smugglers were uncomfortably close to members of the Libyan government. “Militias use the same uniforms and the same ships as the Libyan coast guard that the Italian navy itself is training,” Rear Adm. Enrico Credendino, then in charge of Operation Sophia, said in 2017. The head of the Libyan coast guard and the Libyan minister of defense, both allies of the Italian government, Credendino added, “have close relationships with some militia bosses.”

    One of the Libyan coast guard officers playing both sides was Abd al-Rahman Milad, also known as Bija. In 2019, the Italian newspaper Avvenire revealed that Bija participated in a May 2017 meeting in Sicily, alongside Italian border police and intelligence officials, that was aimed at stemming migration from Libya. A month later, he was condemned by the U.N. Security Council for his role as a top member of a powerful trafficking militia in the coastal town of Zawiya, and for, as the U.N. put it, “sinking migrant boats using firearms.”

    According to leaked documents from Operation Sophia, coast guard officers under Bija’s command were trained by the EU between 2016 and 2018.

    While the Italian government was prosecuting supposed smugglers in Italy, they were also working with people they knew to be smugglers in Libya. Minniti, Italy’s then-interior minister, justified the deals his government was making in Libya by saying that the prospect of mass migration from Africa made him “fear for the well-being of Italian democracy.”

    In one of the 2017 anti-mafia meetings, a representative of the Interior Ministry, Vittorio Pisani, outlined in clear terms a plan that provided for the direct coordination of the new Libyan coast guard. They would create “an operation room in Libya for the exchange of information with the Interior Ministry,” Pisani explained, “mainly on the position of NGO ships and their rescue operations, in order to employ the Libyan coast guard in its national waters.”

    And with that, the third step of the plan was set in motion. At the end of the meeting, Roberti suggested that the group invite representatives from the Libyan police to their next meeting. In an interview with The Intercept, Roberti confirmed that Libyan representatives attended at least two anti-mafia meetings and that he himself met Bija at a meeting in Libya, one month after the U.N. Security Council report was published. The following year, the Security Council committee on Libya sanctioned Bija, freezing his assets and banning him from international travel.

    “We needed to have the participation of Libyan institutions. But they did nothing, because they were taking money from the traffickers,” Roberti told us from the cafe in Naples. “They themselves were the traffickers.”
    A Place of Safety

    Roberti retired from the anti-mafia directorate in 2017. He said that under his leadership, the organization was able to create a basis for handling migration throughout Europe. Still, Roberti admits that his expansion of the DNAA into migration issues has had mixed results. Like his trip to Germany in the ’90s with Giovanni Falcone, Roberti said the anti-mafia strategy faltered because of a lack of collaboration: with the NGOs, with other European governments, and with Libya.

    “On a European level, the cooperation does not work,” Roberti said. Regarding Libya, he added, “We tried — I believe it was right, the agreements [the government] made. But it turned out to be a failure in the end.”

    The DNAA has since expanded its operations. Between 2017 and 2019, the Italian government passed two bills that put the anti-mafia directorate in charge of virtually all illegal immigration matters. Since 2017, five Sicilian prosecutors, all of whom attended at least one anti-mafia coordination meeting, have initiated 15 separate legal proceedings against humanitarian NGO workers. So far there have been no convictions: Three cases have been thrown out in court, and the rest are ongoing.

    Earlier this month, news broke that Sicilian prosecutors had wiretapped journalists and human rights lawyers as part of one of these investigations, listening in on legally protected conversations with sources and clients. The Italian justice ministry has opened an investigation into the incident, which could amount to criminal behavior, according to Italian legal experts. The prosecutor who approved the wiretaps attended at least one DNAA coordination meeting, where investigations against NGOs were discussed at length.

    As the DNAA has extended its reach, key actors from the anti-mafia coordination meetings have risen through the ranks of Italian and European institutions. One prosecutor, Federico Cafiero de Raho, now runs the anti-mafia directorate. Salvi, the former prosecutor of Catania, is the equivalent of Italy’s attorney general. Pisani, the former Interior Ministry representative, is deputy head of the Italian intelligence services. And Roberti is a member of the European Parliament.

    Cafiero de Raho stands by the investigations and arrests that the anti-mafia directorate has made over the years. He said the coordination meetings were an essential tool for prosecutors and police during difficult times.

    When asked about his specific comments during the meetings — particularly statements that humanitarian NGOs needed to be regulated and multiple admissions that members of the new Libyan coast guard were involved in smuggling activities — Cafiero de Raho said that his remarks should be placed in context, a time when Italy and the EU were working to build a coast guard in a part of Libya that was largely ruled by local militias. He said his ultimate goal was what, in the DNAA coordination meetings, he called the “extrajudicial solution”: attempts to prove the existence of crimes against humanity in Libya so that “the United Nation sends troops to Libya to dismantle migrants camps set up by traffickers … and retake control of that territory.”

    A spokesperson for the EU’s foreign policy arm, which ran Operation Sophia, refused to directly address evidence that leaders of the European military operation knew that parts of the new Libyan coast guard were also involved in smuggling activities, only noting that Bija himself wasn’t trained by the EU. A Frontex spokesperson stated that the agency “was not involved in the selection of officers to be trained.”

    In 2019, the European migration strategy changed again. Now, the vast majority of departures are intercepted by the Libyan coast guard and brought back to Libya. In March of that year, Operation Sophia removed all of its ships from the rescue area and has since focused on using aerial patrols to direct and coordinate the Libyan coast guard. Human rights lawyers in Europe have filed six legal actions against Italy and the EU as a result, calling the practice refoulement by proxy: facilitating the return of migrants to dangerous circumstances in violation of international law.

    Indeed, throughout four years of coordination meetings, Italy and the EU were admitting privately that returning people to Libya would be illegal. “Fundamental human rights violations in Libya make it impossible to push migrants back to the Libyan coast,” Pisani explained in 2015. Two years later, he outlined the beginnings of a plan that would do exactly that.

    The Result of Mere Chance

    Dieudonne knows he was lucky. The line that separates suspect and victim can be entirely up to police officers’ first impressions in the minutes or hours following a rescue. According to police reports used in prosecutions, physical attributes like having “a clearer skin tone” or behavior aboard the ship, including scrutinizing police movements “with strange interest,” were enough to rouse suspicion.

    In a 2019 ruling that acquitted seven alleged smugglers after three years of pretrial detention, judges wrote that “the selection of the suspects on one side, and the witnesses on the other, with the only exception of the driver, has almost been the result of mere chance.”

    Carrying out work for their Libyan captors has cost other migrants in Italy lengthy prison sentences. In September 2019, a 22-year-old Guinean nicknamed Suarez was arrested upon his arrival to Italy. Four witnesses told police he had collaborated with prison guards in Zawiya, at the immigrant detention center managed by the infamous Bija.

    “Suarez was also a prisoner, who then took on a job,” one of the witnesses told the court. Handing out meals or taking care of security is what those who can’t afford to pay their ransom often do in order to get out, explained another. “Unfortunately, you would have to be there to understand the situation,” the first witness said. Suarez was sentenced to 20 years in prison, recently reduced to 12 years on appeal.

    Dieudonne remembered his journey at sea vividly, but with surprising cool. When the boat began taking on water, he tried to help. “One must give help where it is needed.” At his office in Bari, Dieudonne bent over and moved his arms in a low scooping motion, like he was bailing water out of a boat.

    “Should they condemn me too?” he asked. He finds it ironic that it was the Libyans who eventually arrested Bija on human trafficking charges this past October. The Italians and Europeans, he said with a laugh, were too busy working with the corrupt coast guard commander. (In April, Bija was released from prison after a Libyan court absolved him of all charges. He was promoted within the coast guard and put back on the job.)

    Dieudonne thinks often about the people he identified aboard the coast guard ship in the middle of the sea. “I told the police the truth. But if that collaboration ends with the conviction of an innocent person, it’s not good,” he said. “Because I know that person did nothing. On the contrary, he saved our lives by driving that raft.”

    https://theintercept.com/2021/04/30/italy-anti-mafia-migrant-rescue-smuggling

    #Méditerranée #Italie #Libye #ONG #criminalisation_de_la_solidarité #solidarité #secours #mer_Méditerranée #asile #migrations #réfugiés #violence #passeurs #Méditerranée_centrale #anti-mafia #anti-terrorisme #Direzione_nazionale_antimafia_e_antiterrorismo #DNAA #Frontex #Franco_Roberti #justice #politique #Zuwara #torture #viol #Mare_Nostrum #Europol #eaux_internationales #droit_de_la_mer #droit_maritime #juridiction_italienne #arrestations #Gigi_Modica #scafista #scafisti #état_de_nécessité #Giovanni_Salvi #NGO #Operation_Sophia #MOAS #DNA #Carmelo_Zuccaro #Zuccaro #Fabrice_Leggeri #Leggeri #Marco_Minniti #Minniti #campagne #gardes-côtes_libyens #milices #Enrico_Credendino #Abd_al-Rahman_Milad #Bija ##Abdurhaman_al-Milad #Al_Bija #Zawiya #Vittorio_Pisani #Federico_Cafiero_de_Raho #solution_extrajudiciaire #pull-back #refoulement_by_proxy #refoulement #push-back #Suarez

    ping @karine4 @isskein @rhoumour

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