Germany

Anti-fas versus neo-Nazis in Dresden —again

In what has now become an annual ritual, a group of hundreds of neo-Nazis attempted to march on Dresden's city center to crash commemorations of the 1945 Allied bombardment of the eastern German city, and were blocked by a human chain of thousands of anti-fascist activists. Some 13,000 anti-fascists linked arms in a chain stretching form the Elbe River to the city's historical city center, preventing an estimated 800 Hitler nostalgists from proceeding with what they billed as a "funeral" march, with propaganda about a "bomb holocaust." An estimated 25,000 people perished in 37 hours of Allied aerial boming that started Feb. 13, 1945. The official commemoration was presided over by the Dresden mayor and Saxony governor, both of the center-right CDU, and attended by US, Jewish and church representatives. It ended in a march to the city's Heide cemetery, where white roses were laid on the snow-covered ground for all victims of the war.

Mali: French fight Tuaregs in Kidal?

French warplanes on Feb. 2 carried out air-strikes in the remaining pocket of Mali's far north still under rebel control—but exactly which rebels remains unclear. The air-strikes apparently targeted rebel bases in Tessalit—a mountainous area near the Algerian border—and outside Kidal, the last major town still in rebel hands. (See map.) French forces claim to have captured Kidal's airport on Jan. 30, as prelude to taking the town, following the pattern in Timbuktu days earlier. But one day before that, the secular Tuareg rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) claimed to have seized Kidal from jihadist forces. The MNLA have portrayed their advance into Kidal as part of a coordinated campaign against the "terrorists"; however, the fate of Kidal could be the test of whether there is any place for Tuareg autonomy in the new order.

Joint strike actions across Europe

A "European Day of Action and Solidarity against Austerity" on Nov. 14 marked the first time strike action has been held simultaneously across four countries. General strikes were held in Spain and Portugal, with widespread stoppages Greece and Italy. Large solidarity demonstrations were held in several other countries, including France and Germany. In total, 40 trade union organisations from 23 countries were involved in the mobilization. In Spain, the General Workers Union (UGT) and the Union Confederation of Worker Commissions (CCOO) claimed 70% compliance with the strike. After nightfall, violence exploded in Madrid, as police fired rubber bullets to disperse protestors. Strikers erected barricades on several streets, and garbage bins were set on fire, filling the downtown area with smoke. Street clashes were also reported from Lisbo; more than 100 were injured and some 140 arrested across both cities. Brussels also saw violence, after eggs were thrown at the Geman embassy. The continent-wide day of strikes and solidarity was organised by the European Trade Unions Congress (ETUC). (Europa Press, Europa PressEuronews, Euronews, Euronews, Nov. 14)

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