The Duchess, who will attend this year’s British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) ceremony with her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, is about to be landed in a diplomatic minefield. Actresses are gearing up to don black dresses in support of the #TimesUp movement, a campaign against sexual harassment prompted by the #MeToo phenomenon.
The move comes after the Academy Awards in the US saw only a handful of women ignore the call of solidarity by wearing lighter shades. Kate is faced with a crisis: show solidarity or keep with the royal family’s policy of avoiding political statements or comment.
Kensington Palace told RT that they would not comment, but they did confirm that Meghan Markle – Prince Harry’s fiancée – would not be in attendance, only the Duchess and Duke.
A letter to BAFTA guests, published by film industry magazine the Hollywood Reporter, has laid out plans from a “collective of UK based female film and television industry leaders,” for a “physical and visual representation of our solidarity with people across all industries who have experienced sexual harassment and abuse or have been held back due to an imbalance in power.”
“Here in the UK, more than half of all women and nearly two-thirds of women aged 18 to 24 have experienced sexual harassment at work,” the letter said.
“And we hope that those of us who are privileged enough to have a platform, can use it to raise awareness of the experiences of women beyond our industry, whose experiences are often silenced and marginalized.
“At this point, we are keeping things under wraps as the UK-side movement shapes up and we’ll have some exciting plans to announce soon. We wanted to personally reach out to you at this point to let you know of the colour code and we will be in touch again with more information, including talking points on why we’re wearing black.”
While stars have not publicly vowed to wear black to the BAFTAs, Harry Potter star Emma Watson all-but confirmed it with a single, simple tweet.
BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry told the Telegraph that awards organizers are braced for speeches about the Hollywood harassment scandal. “It often has (been used as a platform) in the past, I think in different years there have been different issues,” she said.
“People obviously feel it’s a very powerful platform. The film awards go out globally so that makes it even more powerful, so we never say to people don’t say anything, please just thank the crew or whatever it is. Because if somebody feels passionately about it, they are going to say it. There has been a lot of conversation to date and obviously that conversation continues, awards season shines a very bright spotlight on that conversation.”
The BAFTAs will take place on February 18 at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
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Mass Solidarity Rally in Barcelona
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Madrid’s fascist regime governs by aligning with America’s killing machine waging war on humanity, exploiting its own people, repressing them, beating up voters exercising their legitimate franchise, silencing dissent by closing web sites, and imprisoning its citizens for political reasons.
Its actions following Catalonia’s legitimate October 1 self-determination referendum ripped off its mask, revealing its viciousness, its contempt for international law, its flagrant abuse of power.
In response to the Monday political arrests of key Catalan separatist activists Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart disgracefully accused of sedition, tens of thousands of Catalans rallied overnight in Barcelona’s Placa Sant Jaume – in solidarity with their comrades, chanting “Freedom for Sanchez and Cuixart,” a powerful display of contempt for police state ruthlessness.
Similar demonstrations were held in Tarragona, Lleida and Girona.
Barcelona’s rally was a peaceful candlelight vigil march, Catalan officials involved, demanding Sanchez and Cuixart be immediately released – calling them “political prisoners.”
The rally included five minutes of silence for Sanchez and Cuixart – followed by someone yelling “Freedom.” Thousands in the crowd responded in kind.
Barcelona’s rally was organized with help from Committees for the Defense of the Referendum (CDR), neighborhood groups created to “defend the Catalan right to vote,” Anna Martinez one of its organizers.
She called Madrid’s ruthlessness “shocking. The situation has become very serious,” she stressed. Activist Joan Folch said “(e)very day the Spanish government gives us more reasons to continue the struggle.”
On Tuesday, hundreds of Barcelona university students abandoned their classrooms in solidarity with Sanchez and Cuixart.
They remain in custody extrajudicially without bail, how police states operate, Madrid a political dictatorship masquerading as democratic.
Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull tweeted: “Cry for freedom of two political prisoners. Militants of pacifism, democracy and freedom for Catalonia.”
Separately, he said “(g)iving up isn’t an option that’s being considered. On Thursday (Rajoy’s extended deadline to say yea or nay on independence), we won’t give anything different than what we gave on Monday.”
Activist Pere Robles said “(w)e want our own state and if we have to wait, we will. (W)e survived 40 years under Franco and we continued to be Catalonia. We’ll put up with whatever we have to put up with, and we have to keep fighting.”
Barcelona Professor of Political Science Josep Costa said imprisoning Sanchez and Cuixart marks “another episode showing the complete breakdown of the rule of law in Spain.”
“It’s the government filing the charges and seeking the imprisonment of political opponents.”
US academic Jordi Graupera agreed, saying both men “are political prisoners. They are being punished for being successful in their peaceful resistance strategy.”
If Catalan President Puigdemont formally declares independence or fails to abandon it by 10:00 AM Thursday local time, Rajoy will likely suspend the region’s autonomy and impose direct rule from Madrid, perhaps inciting a firestorm.
What happens next is unknown. Catalan activists vow to continue their liberating struggle.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at email@example.com.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
(INTELLIHUB) — Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) kneeled on the House floor Monday night to show her solidarity with spoiled overpaid NFL players who have disrespected our country by sitting out the National Anthem at games.
The outspoken Texas representative said that you “cannot deny” that when President Trump said ‘get that son of a bitch off the field’ he made a racist remark.
“[…] I kneel in honor of them. I kneel in front of the flag and on this floor,” Lee asserted.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee:
We simply ask for the dignity and respect to not call our mothers a son-of-a-B. I heard a young man who is an NFL player say that he will kneel from now on.
The only reason he is doing this is that someone had the lack of judgment to provoke the situation and call their mothers a name. I refuse to accept that as a standard of leadership for the highest office in the world.
Even if you never understand it, sir, if you think you’re playing to your base, we will continue to stand in the gap. And racism is going to be under our foot. You know where else it is going to be? Under our knees.
We in the CBC have always stood for what is right. There is no basis in the First Amendment that says you can not kneel in the national anthem.
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Thousands of people have flooded the streets of EU cities in mass demonstrations expressing solidarity with Greece ahead of this weekend’s referendum on a cash-for-reform deal with its Troika of creditors.
The participants of
UK-based Global Justice Now staged a solidarity protest at the
British Museum. The banners read: “OXI [No in Greek],” “No More
Looting” and “Support Greece.”
— Londinium (@truthison) July
“We’re here to say OXI to the modern-day looting of Greece
through forced austerity and privatization to pay off the
reckless loans of European banks,” said Jonathan Stevenson from
the Jubilee Debt Campaign while taking part in the protest.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Glasgow chanting “From
Glasgow to Greece, no justice no peace” and “the Troika says
cut-back, we say fight-back.
— Mamas Nicolaou (@MamasNicolaou) July
— Liam O’Hare (@Liam_O_Hare) July
“The Troika and the corporate media are attempting to blackmail
the Greek people, so acts of solidarity like today are important
in letting Greeks know that they are not alone,” Jonathon Shafi
from the Radical Independence Campaign, which organized the
protest, told CommonSpace News Service.
— levu (@levudev) July 3,
Crowds have also been rallying across Germany. “Alle Sagen OXI
[All say NO]” and “NoTroika” read the banners held by protesters
in Frankfurt, while Berliners marched with placards reading “No
to pressure,” “Solidarity instead of Austerity” and “Fight
— Lídia Pedro (@LidiaPedro9) July
— Daniel Bache (@teufelsmuehle) July
— Carlos Ibarra (@Gatoilicitano) July
Similar protests supporting Greece were held in Spain, Denmark,
the Netherlands, France, and many other states across the EU.
On Sunday, Greeks will vote on whether the government should
accept their creditors’ bailout terms. If they vote ‘Yes’ the
current government is likely to resign and the people will have
to accept the harsh austerity measures demanded by the Troika,
including additional wage and pension cuts.
— Nikolaj Villumsen (@nvillumsen) July
However, a ‘No’ vote
would likely lead to Greece’s exit from the eurozone and
potentially the EU, consequently raising questions about the
viability of the euro.
— Desinformémonos (@Desinformemonos)
July 3, 2015
— Beppe Caccia (@beppecaccia) July
Greece, which has been
in crisis since 2009, was supposed to make an IMF loan payment of
€1.6 billion by July 1st but failed to do so. It is scheduled to
make another major payment of €3.5 billion to the ECB on July,
— Samuel Boivin (@Sam_Boivin) July
The biggest demonstration regarding the referendum so far
occurred on Friday, with at least 25,000 people rallying in
Athens for a “No” vote, while about 20,000 “Yes” supporters
gathered, police told AFP.
— Beppe Caccia (@beppecaccia) July
The latest Ipsos poll
shows that 44 percent of the Greeks say “Yes” to remaining part
of the eurozone at any cost, while 43 percent are against.
Rome has warned of retaliatory measures unless the EU changes its asylum policies to make them more in “solidarity” with Italy, which continues to struggle with an enormous inflow of mostly North African migrants.
“If the European
Council chooses solidarity, then good. If it doesn’t, we have a
Plan B ready but that would be a wound inflicted on Europe,”
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said, without elaborating on the
Italy which has been bearing the brunt of North African refugees
is calling on Brussels to amend the Dublin regulations, which
assign most asylum seekers to their port of entry in the EU. The
states have yet to reach a consensus on a migrant distribution
plan, which seeks to relocate some 24,000 refugees across the
Under the proposal, redistribution would be based on a quota
system taking into account the size of a country’s population,
the state of its economy, and its unemployment level.
The crisis “should not be underestimated,” Renzi said in
an interview with Milan’s Corriere della Sera daily.
“Redistributing just 24,000 people is almost a
provocation,” he said. Over 57,000 migrants have entered
Italy during the first half of this year alone.
Rome wants the EU to come up with repatriation deals with African
states as well as share the cost of returning illegals to their
“If Europe does not fulfill its own responsibilities and show
solidarity, it will find a different Italy facing it,”
Interior Minister Angelino Alfano warned Sunday. “Europe,
signing as Europe, has to sign repatriation agreements with all
the African countries.”
“I will say with great clarity: Kids, either we do equal
distribution of migrants in Europe, or we organize refugee camps
in Libya, or we organize a serious policy of repatriation,”
Alfano told Sky TG24.
The matter is being made worse by Italy’s neighbors, who are
reluctant to allow or keep migrants on their turf. Despite the
fact the Schengen treaty allows free cross-border movement,
France, Austria and Switzerland have refused to allow migrants
in, sending them back to Italy.
In the latest effort to accommodate those sent back, tents were
set up with the help of the Italian Red Cross and local
authorities to house around 100 migrants in a camp near Rome’s
Many of those camping out were prevented from entering France
after French police blocked border crossings last week. Many have
been stopped at the Austrian border near the town of Bolzano.
Austrian police announced on Sunday that 24 African migrants
arrested while trying to get to Germany by train will be returned
to Italy. In Switzerland, border police announced that 240
migrants were sent back to Italy over the weekend.
“The halt to Schengen for a few days is holding them up here
but Italy isn’t their destination,” Renzi said.