Social Media Giants ‘Directly Aided’ Fascist Insurrection in Brazil

The fascist attack on Brazil’s main government complex was “directly aided” by major social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, and Telegram, the global watchdog group SumOfUs said Monday as the country’s authorities continued their cleanup efforts, investigation, and arrests of suspects involved in the anti-democratic assault.

The insurrection, carried out by supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro, “can come as no surprise to social media executives, who were warned time and again that their platforms, tools, and algorithms were directly aiding a violent uprising in Brazil,” said Flora Rebello Arduini, campaign director at SumOfUs, a nonprofit that has been monitoring the proliferation of election lies on social media in the South American country.

Referencing the January 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol, which was also abetted by social media giants, Arduini added that “we’ve now seen this happen in two of the world’s

— source | Jake Johnson | Jan 09, 2023

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GOP Is Stoking Political Violence

A California man is facing charges of attempted homicide, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, and elder abuse after police say he broke into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco home early Friday morning. Police say the man assaulted Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer, fracturing his skull. The assailant, who has been identified as 42-year-old David DePape, reportedly yelled “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” The House Speaker was in Washington at the time. According to some press accounts, the assailant had zip ties and duct tape with him at the time of his arrest.

Police say they’re still determining a motive for the attack on Paul Pelosi, but numerous outlets report the assailant had posted conspiracy theories online about QAnon, about the 2020 elections. So many of what he posted was antisemitic and filled with hate. The man’s former partner described him as mentally ill.

In a letter to other lawmakers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she and her family are “heartbroken and traumatized.” Paul Pelosi was hospitalized after the attack, required surgery on his skull.

— source | Oct 31, 2022

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Norwegian Refugee Council Warns Israel

Israel is holding its fifth national election today in less than four years. The election could result in former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returning to power, even though he’s currently on trial for corruption.

The election comes at a time of an increasingly deadly Israeli crackdown on the occupied West Bank, where the Israeli military has been carrying out near-nightly raids. At least 125 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank so far this year, including dozens of children. Meanwhile, Amnesty International is calling on the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel for committing possible war crimes in Gaza during its deadly assault in August.

I’ve been back now to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, where I have traveled for 45 years. And I must say it’s one of the bleakest visits I’ve had, in part because there is no peace process at all, there is no reconciliation between the two neighbors, and there is more settler violence against Palestinian civilians. There are more house demolitions of Palestinian homes, and there are more of our aid programs, aid projects, aid structures that are being demolished by the occupying power.

— source | Nov 01, 2022

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Where Elma becomes Selma

“We will never go back,” says Bheema Sodi. “We left our home in search of a peaceful life because we were disturbed by both the junglewale [Naxalites] and the judumwale [the Salwa Judum militia] in our ancestral village.” Soyam Lingama says he too will never return to his village, Bhandarpadar, in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. “We fled from there…” He and Bheema belong to around 27 families, they estimate, all from Chhattisgarh, who now live in Chiprupadu in Burgampadu mandal of West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh.

This is one of several such settlements of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh, and Khammam and Warangal districts of Telangana.

Most of them have a story of violence to tell. Ravi Sodi, 30, of Tadmetla village in Konta mandal of Sukma district, says, “We left home in 2005 when our village was attacked… All the villagers fled to the jungle but my uncle, just 30 years old, was stuck inside. He was caught and killed, and they set fire to the entire village. In fear, we left and came here.” Sodi now lives in Chintalapadu village in Khammam district.

— source | Jan. 4, 2018

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New Clues Into Vatican Response To Holocaust

Vatican officials have always insisted Pope Pius XII did everything possible to save Jewish lives during World War II. But many scholars accuse him of complicit silence while some 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

“Pope Pius XII thought that he should not take sides in the war,” says Brown University professor David Kertzer, “and that therefore he should not be criticizing either side of the war, including the Nazis.”

Kertzer has written extensively about popes and the Jews. He won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for his book The Pope and Mussolini, which traced the rise of fascism in Europe. And he was among the first to have access to the Pius XII archives when the Vatican opened them in March, after decades of requests from scholars.

Kertzer has just published his early findings in an article for The Atlantic. The newly unearthed documents — some imbued with anti-Semitic language — are shedding light on the

— source | Sylvia Poggioli | Aug 29, 2020

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Fighting with Rivals in Baghdad Amid Political Deadlock

At least 30 people were killed and hundreds more injured in Iraq after armed supporters of the powerful Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr clashed with security forces in the capital of Baghdad following the cleric’s announcement Monday he would be quitting politics. The violence comes after months of political turmoil in Iraq that has seen politicians unable to form a government since parliamentary elections in October, and the prime minister said Tuesday he would “vacate his post” if the complicated political situation in the country continues. “The political parties that came to power are in reality just militias who cannot talk politics, do not understand democracy, do not understand what it means to step down once you did not win,” says Yanar Mohammed, president of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, who joins us from Baghdad. Mohammed says the fighting fueled by

The significance of it reminded us that the powers that came — the political parties that came to power are in reality just militias who cannot talk politics, do not understand democracy, do not understand what it means to step down once you did not win. So, the only way they could resolve this problem was to go down to the streets, to invade the presidential palace and the parliament. And in the last day, they took all their machine guns and their heavy machinery with them, and they held the totality of the Iraqi people in ransom. All of us lost our well-being and were scared. We ran to our homes. People bought as much bread as they could to keep it at home, because it felt like a civil war, like

— source | Aug 31, 2022

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Oath Keepers sedition trial could reveal new info about Jan. 6 plotting

Five members of the extremist group Oath Keepers, including leader Stewart Rhodes, face trial for seditious conspiracy next week, in which U.S. prosecutors will try to convince jurors that Rhodes’s call for an armed “civil war” to keep Donald Trump in power on Jan. 6, 2021, was literal — and criminal.

Starting with jury selection Tuesday and opening statements as early as Thursday, Rhodes’s trial could reveal new information about the quest to subvert the 2020 presidential election results, as prosecutors continue to probe Trump’s conduct and that of his inner circle.

Prosecutors’ challenge will be to prove that Rhodes, one of the most visible figures of the far-right anti-government movement, and his group intentionally conspired to use force to prevent President Biden’s swearing-in. Whether the government tips its hand in court about the Oath Keepers’ ties to other political figures, the trial is an important step in the wider probe, analysts said.

Investigators continue to ask cooperating members of the Oath Keepers who have pleaded guilty about their knowledge of any coordination with others, according to defense

— source | Spencer Hsu, Rachel Weiner, Tom Jackman | Sep 24, 2022

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Proud Boys memo reveals meticulous planning for ‘street-level violence’

The document is so dowdy and formal it resembles the annual minutes of a society of tax accountants. Its index lists sections on “objectives” and “rules of engagement” and carries an “addendum” that provides recommendations for hotels and parking.

On the cover, two words give a clue to the notoriety of the group that produced it: “MAGA” and “WARNING”. That and the date: 5 January 2021, the day before the US Capitol attack.

What goes unsaid on the cover and is barely mentioned throughout the 23 pages is that this is the work of one of the most violent political gangs in America, the far-right street fighters told by Donald Trump to “stand back and stand by”: the Proud Boys.

The document, published by the Guardian for the first time, gives a very rare insight into the meticulous planning that goes into events staged by the far-right club.

The document was obtained from a Proud Boys member by the extremism reporter Andy Campbell as he researched his new book, We Are Proud Boys: How a Right-Wing Street Gang Ushered

— source | Ed Pilkington | 20 Sep 2022

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Far-Right Gang Normalized Political Violence

The House committee investigating the January 6th Capitol insurrection is set to hold its first fall public hearing Wednesday. Democracy Now! will be live-streaming it starting Wednesday at 1 p.m. Eastern. The investigation is reportedly nearing its conclusion. The committee is preparing an interim report of its findings, set to be released not clear when, whether it’s going to be before the midterm elections or after. And it will apparently make the case that Donald Trump violated the law by refusing to take action to call off the Capitol attack. The question is: Will they recommend criminal charges to the Department of Justice?

Today we look at one of the far-right extremist groups that helped plan and carry out the insurrection as part of its goal to normalize political violence. Yes, we’re going to look at the Proud Boys. A document obtained by our next guest, and just published for the first time last week in The Guardian, gives a very rare insight into how the Proud Boys planned to carry out a pro-Trump MAGA march in New York City on January 10th, 2021, just days after the attack on the Capitol January 6th, that they participated in. The plan was shared by the Proud Boys through Telegram and was described as a, quote, “strategic security plan” and call to action for Proud Boys. It was apparently written by the president

Well, the Proud Boys put together this document in preparation, like you said, for an event in New York City on January 10th. It was sent to them on January 5th, right before January 6th. And, you know, it shows how meticulous the Proud Boys’ planning is before these events. I mean, they’re checking to see where police are, what positions they should be in, what weapons that they’re allowed to bring into any jurisdiction, and how they can use their optics to get away with it after their violence. They certainly planned to clash with leftists at that event, and they planned to, quote, “do the police’s job for them.” You know, there’s a lot of planning that goes into these.

— source | Sep 26, 2022

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