yYAXssKCQaUWZcXZ79RJTBLvo-c;SfREtjZ9NYeQnnVMC-CsZ9qN6L0 Finance, Economics, Globus, Brokers, Banks, Collateral-Oriano Mattei

venerdì 17 settembre 2021

European Union legislators have urged the United Arab Emirates to free several prominent human rights activists and other “peaceful dissidents” imprisoned in the country.......



The EU Parliament demanded the "immediate" release of human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor (pictured) [File: Nikhil Monteiro/Reuters]


European Union legislators have urged the United Arab Emirates to free several prominent human rights activists and other “peaceful dissidents” imprisoned in the country.

In a strongly worded resolution passed on Thursday, the EU Parliament condemned alleged rights violations in the wealthy Gulf state and demanded the “immediate” and unconditional release of Ahmed Mansoor, Mohammed al-Roken and Nasser bin Ghaith.

The resolution was approved with a sizeable majority, winning the support of 383 legislators. Just 47 legislators opposed the text, while 259 abstained from the vote.

Mansoor, 52, was arrested in 2017 and later sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of publishing false information and “insulting the status and prestige of the UAE”, including in posts on social media platforms.

Global rights group Amnesty International has designated the activist, who has allegedly been held in solitary confinement since his arrest, as a “prisoner of conscience”.

Al-Roken, a human rights lawyer, is also considered a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty.

The 58-year-old is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence after being found guilty of attempting to overthrow the government in a July 2013 mass trial that saw scores of other defendants convicted.

Bin Ghaith, an economist and academic, was also imprisoned for 10 years in March 2017 over a series of social media posts deemed to be critical of UAE authorities.

Call for Expo boycott

The EU Parliament resolution called for “all other human rights defenders, political activists and peaceful dissidents” detained in the country to be freed.

It urged EU member states to boycott the Expo 2020 world fair in Dubai, “in order to signal their disapproval of the human rights violations in the UAE”, recommending they “withdraw their sponsorship”.

Expo 2020 is scheduled to start on October 1, after a year-long delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the health crisis, officials have stuck to a pre-pandemic target of 25 million total visitors to pass through the gates of the Expo, more than twice the size of the UAE’s roughly 10 million population.

da "aljazeera.com"

KHABAROVSK, Russia -- The Kremlin set off a revolt of sorts in July 2020 when law enforcement arrested the popular governor of the Khabarovsk region, Sergei Furgal, and replaced him with a temporary appointee from Moscow, Mikhail Degtyaryov............

Former Khabarovsk Governor Sergei Furgal attending a court hearing in Moscow on March 3 


KHABAROVSK, Russia -- The Kremlin set off a revolt of sorts in July 2020 when law enforcement arrested the popular governor of the Khabarovsk region, Sergei Furgal, and replaced him with a temporary appointee from Moscow, Mikhail Degtyaryov.

Many in the region took the move as a personal affront and overreach from a controlling central government in faraway Moscow, and they took to the streets for months of protests that seemed to take the Kremlin by surprise.

Now voters in the region more than 6,000 kilometers east of the capital are going to the polls in an early election to fill Furgal's spot, and the Kremlin seems determined to make sure the way is clear for Degtyaryov to keep his seat.

Initially, it appeared there would be eight candidates on the ballot. But on August 4, Green Party candidate Mikael Bagdasaryan suddenly and without explanation withdrew from the race. He had been seen as a strong local candidate well-versed in the region's issues and concerns.

Voters are going to the polls in the region, which is more than 6,000 kilometers east of Moscow.
Voters are going to the polls in the region, which is more than 6,000 kilometers east of Moscow.

A week later, candidates Igor Logvinov of the Green Alternative party and Vladimir Chernyshov of the New People party were denied registration by election officials.

Would-be Communist Party candidate Pyotr Perevezentsev failed to submit his documents on time and election officials refused to consider them.

All three refuseniks were unable to secure the necessary number of signatures from regional district council members or executive-branch heads.

"The federal authorities and United Russia are doing everything they can to make our campaign difficult because they know that the Communist Party is the only opposition force in the country," Perevezentsev wrote.

Whittled Down

In the end, only three candidates will be on the ballot with Degtyaryov, who has only strengthened the perception that he is an imposed outsider by appointing many people with no connection to the region to the regional administration. On October 10, 2020, Degtyaryov oversaw the violent dispersal of demonstrators in Khabarovsk, detaining dozens.

Changing his official residence registration and buying an apartment in Khabarovsk have done little to change the perception.

One of the acting governor's purported rivals is state television journalist Marina Kim, a native of St. Petersburg who lives in Moscow. She was put forward by the A Just Russia party and is running under the opaque slogan "Justice Begins With The Far East."

Another challenger -- the one best known to locals -- is entrepreneur Babek Mamedov of the Rodina party. A native of Azerbaijan, he has lived in Khabarovsk for many years. With a declared 2020 income of over 16 million rubles ($220,000), he is officially the wealthiest of the candidates. He has campaigned mostly on economic issues, appealing to workers in the military-industrial complex, students, and intellectuals.

The final "challenger" is a native of Khabarovsk, retiree Vladimir Parfyonov of the little-known Party of Pensioners for Social Justice. Voters might be put off by the fact that Parfyonov is married to Degtyaryov's press secretary, Yelena Parfyonova. The Khabarovsk branch of the Party of Pensioners for Social Justice was hastily formed in May.

New Governor Mikhail Degtyaryov
New Governor Mikhail Degtyaryov

"We are in a complicated situation," said local protest leader Andrei Dudenok. "People are angry. One of the analysts said recently that the people of Khabarovsk are flipping the bird in their pockets. They were just as angry when they voted in 2018."

2018 was the year the region outraged Moscow by electing Furgal in a second-round landslide over longtime United Russia incumbent Vyacheslav Shport.

"I conducted a survey and this is what people are planning," Dudenok said. "If Kim is disqualified, they will vote for Mamedov. If Mamedov is disqualified, they will vote for Parfyonov. A lot of people are going to vote in a purely protest manner."

Local Libertarian Party activist Mikhail Zhukov says this might be exactly what the Kremlin wants.

"I think it is important to Moscow that their interests are represented in Khabarovsk," he told RFE/RL. "They don't particularly care who is representing them -- Marina Kim or Mikhail Degtyaryov. But if Kim wins, maybe locals will get a false sense of victory and the protests will die off. That is what Moscow needs."

Written by RFE/RL senior correspondent Robert Coalson based on reporting from Khabarovsk by Yekaterina Khasina and Aleksandr Molchanov of the Siberia.Realities desk of RFE/RL’s Russian Service

The European Ombudsman has demanded that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen explain how she lost text messages that she exchanged with the CEO of Pfizer during talks about vaccine procurement. ........

 

Inquiry launched into European Commission chief’s refusal to hand over text messages she exchanged with Pfizer CEO 
The European Ombudsman has demanded that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen explain how she lost text messages that she exchanged with the CEO of Pfizer during talks about vaccine procurement.  

European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, the EU’s top accountability and governance officer, launched an inquiry into the European Commission’s refusal to hand over the contents of communications between von der Leyen and a CEO of an unnamed pharmaceutical company about a Covid-19 vaccine contract. 

As a first step, O’Reilly asked the Commission to explain its policy on keeping records of von der Leyen’s text messages. “The Commission has an obligation to record instant messages relating to important policy or political matters, such as the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines,” O’Reilly’s office wrote in a statement about the case.


In April, the New York Times reported that von der Leyen had been exchanging texts and calls with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla for a month as part of negotiations about vaccine procurement for the bloc. The paper wrote at the time that personal diplomacy played a big role in securing the vaccine deal. 

O’Reilly requested that the Commission hand over the text messages, but the Commission claimed that “no record had been kept of any such messages,” according to the ombudsman’s office. 

The office has previously warned about the importance of record-keeping within EU institutions amid an increased amount of remote work in the Covid era. “EU administration is required by EU law to draw up and retain documentation pertaining to its activities, as far as possible and in a non-arbitrary and predictable manner,” the watchdog said in June.

ALSO ON RT.COMBioNTech ‘preparing production’ of Covid-19 vaccine for children under 12, which may be approved in Europe next month – media

Pfizer remains one of the EU’s major vaccine suppliers after sealing several deals with Brussels. The delays in shipments earlier this year frustrated EU leaders, including von der Leyen herself. “Europe invested billions to help develop the world’s first Covid-19 vaccines,” she said in January. “And now, the companies must deliver. They must honor their obligations.”


da "rt.com"

Despite the US spending months planning its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the events that unfolded looked more like an escape than a coordinated maneuver, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a forum of Eurasian leaders on Friday.........

 

America’s evacuation of troops from Afghanistan looked more like a ‘downright escape’ than a ‘hasty withdrawal,’ Putin says
Despite the US spending months planning its withdrawal from Afghanistan, the events that unfolded looked more like an escape than a coordinated maneuver, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a forum of Eurasian leaders on Friday.

Putin was speaking at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a group of eight countries, including China and India.

“The urgent task facing our organization is to pursue a single and coordinated policy based on the assessment of serious risks related to the mounting tensions in Afghanistan following the hasty withdrawal – or more like a downright escape – by US and NATO troops from the country,” Putin said.

ALSO ON RT.COMWestern countries created a mess in Afghanistan but entire world must now deal with the consequences, Putin tells BRICS leaders

Three SCO members – Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan – share a border with Afghanistan, so coordination between the alliance on this subject is deemed to be essential.

The president also noted the need for the eight-country group to stop terrorism, drug trafficking, and extremism from leaving Afghanistan and seeping into SCO territory.

Putin’s latest comments about the US “escape” are not the first time he has criticized the manner of America’s withdrawal from the troubled country. Earlier this month, the Russian leader told BRICS leaders that NATO created a mess in Afghanistan, while noting that the entire world must clean up that mess.

“I have said many times that the current crisis in Afghanistan is a direct consequence of irresponsible attempts to impose alien values from outside and the desire to build so-called democratic structures by political engineering, which takes into account neither historical nor national characteristics of other nations,” Putin said, accusing the US and its allies of “ignoring the traditions that other countries live by.”

ALSO ON RT.COMPutin warns terrorists & Taliban fighters ‘disguised as refugees’ could be flowing out of Afghanistan amid chaos of US withdrawal

“The authors of these experiments then hastily retreat, leaving their subjects to fend for themselves as well. The whole international community has to deal with the consequences,” he summed up.

The situation in Afghanistan escalated in May 2021, after the start of the withdrawal of US troops, who had been in the country since 2001.

On August 15, less than a month before the end of America’s timeline to leave, the Taliban, a movement designated a terrorist organization in Russia, announced that it had taken control of Afghanistan.


da "rt.com"

Oggi i sindacati del Monte dei Paschi inizieranno il ciclo delle assemblee per la preparazione dello sciopero del 24 settembre, con le riunioni della rete commerciale. Il 22 toccherà alla direzione generale di Siena.........

 


Siena, 17 settembre 2021 - Oggi i sindacati del Monte dei Paschi inizieranno il ciclo delle assemblee per la preparazione dello sciopero del 24 settembre, con le riunioni della rete commerciale. Il 22 toccherà alla direzione generale di Siena. Erano iniziative rivolte contro il Governo e il Ministero dell’Economia principale azionista della banca, impegnato nella trattativa con UniCredit per definire il famigerato perimetro di attività Mps da acquisire.

Ma ora quelle assemblee potrebbero avere un altro bersaglio: i vertici di Rocca Salimbeni. Perché quell’estemporaneo intervento di razionalizzazione della rete, lanciato dagli amministratori di Banca Mps mentre è ancora in corso la due diligence dei manager di UniCredit, Mediocredito Centrale e Amco, ha provocato la diffida dei sindacati Mps di andare avanti sui tagli, minacciando il ricorso all’articolo 28 dello Statuto dei lavoratori e ravvisando gli estremi della condotta anti sindacale.

Cosa ha fatto infuriare i sindaca ti? La lettera firmata dalla Banca che avvia la procedura sindaca le per "interventi di razionalizzazione sulla rete delle filiali Mps". In ossequio ai dettami del piano di ristrutturazione 2017-2021, Rocca Salimbeni vuole chiudere 50 filiali per ’liberare’ 70 dipendenti, da riutilizzare nella rete commerciale su un totale di 843 bancari coinvolti.

La lista delle chiusure comprende 8 filiali in Toscana (in provincia solo lo sportello nell’ospedale di Campostaggia), una in Umbria, a Terni, con Lombardia e Lazio che hanno i numeri maggiori. L’inizio della procedura sta a significare che entro 60 giorni quegli sportelli potrebbero chiudere a prescindere dai sindacati. Con i quali, però, la Banca dichiara di essere pronta ad incontrarsi.

La reazione è in un comunicato congiunto, di tutti i coordinamenti aziendalidel Monte dei Paschi che già dal titolo fa capire che sarà battaglia: ’Che senso ha?’. E in effetti qualche dubbio viene a pensare che i 50 sportelli da chiudere, numero più basso di quello che imporrebbe il piano di ristrutturazione, mentre è ancora in atto la verifica sui conti dei possibili compratori del Monte.

Il preambolo della nota dei sindacati è un richiamo allo stato dell’arte, dove non si cita mai UniCredit. "La trattativa sull’operazione societaria che ci riguarda, sotto la supervisione dell’Europa - scrivono i coordinamenti Mps - si gioca su tavoli esterni tra lo Stato azionista e altri interlocutori, durante una due diligence inspiegabilmente indefinita oltre il termine concordato tra le parti ed in assenza, ad oggi, di una proroga ufficiale comunicata ai mercati. Il Gruppo MPS, in posizione di evidente debolezza, non è chiamato a decidere sulle sue proprie sorti.

Tuttavia, il consiglio di amministrazione (in contraddizione con le recenti rassicurazioni rivolte dalla Presidente ai colleghi) sta ponendo in essere alcune iniziative che reputiamo pregiudizievoli considerata l’incertezza sul futuro e tenuto conto della mobilitazione sindacale in corso che sfocerà nello sciopero proclamato per il prossimo 24 settembre".

Per chi avesse dubbi, ecco l’elenco delle domande-accuse contro la direzione aziendale. "Che senso ha un ’Contratto di Rete’, una sorta di alleanza di MPS con Fruendo e Accenture che distaccherà per 10 anni 270 dipendenti della banca in mansioni di back office da svolgere anche per altri committenti? Ha forse il senso di creare un ’contenitore’ per gestire futuri ulteriori esuberi? Che senso ha anticipare, alla vigilia di una possibile acquisizione, la chiusura di 50 sportelli su tutto il territorio nazionale, con creazione di mobilità territoriale e professionale? È forse un’iniziativa su commissione? Che senso ha, infine, variare il Mercato Corporate modificando modelli di servizio, portafogli di clientela e riporti funzionali e gerarchici? Proprio ora?". La minaccia di azioni contro i comportamenti antisindacali è l’epilogo scontato.
 

da "lunazione.it"

Mentre prosegue il faccia a faccia con Unicredit, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena annuncia ai sindacati la chiusura di ben 50 filiali in tutta Italia, pur nel rispetto dei vincoli nell’ambito del Piano di Ristrutturazione 2017-2021 approvato dalla Commissione Europea.........

 


Mentre prosegue il faccia a faccia con Unicredit, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena annuncia ai sindacati la chiusura di ben 50 filiali in tutta Italia, pur nel rispetto dei vincoli nell’ambito del Piano di Ristrutturazione 2017-2021 approvato dalla Commissione Europea.

Nella lettera inviata alle rappresentanze sindacali, Mps si dice “sin da ora disponibile ad incontrarsi, anche in via telematica, per ogni ulteriore approfondimento e disamina”. Una “razionalizzazione” della rete distributiva che, se da un lato serve ad alzare la posta per la rilevazione dell’istituto, non fa certo piacere alle centinaia di lavoratori, più di 21mila sparsi in circa 1.400 sportelli su tutto il territorio nazionale.

Come già per le precedenti analoghe operazioni, la migrazione sulle filiali che andranno ad incorporare i dipendenti Mps avverrà previa eventuale trasformazione temporanea in sportelli avanzati senza autonomia contabile, in relazione alle specifiche esigenze operative e commerciali, e sarà accompagnata da interventi di natura commerciale e processi organizzativi atti a ridurne gli impatti sulla clientela.

Banca Mps, quali filiali chiudono e dove

Nell’ottica di contenere gli effetti della manovra, per alcune filiali è stata prevista la migrazione dei rapporti verso due filiali incorporanti.

Dall’attuazione dell’iniziativa, su un organico complessivo di 843 risorse – di cui 2 dipendenti distaccati da Banca Widiba, 4 da Mpscs e 1 da Mps L&F – il colosso di Siena stima la “liberazione” di circa 70 risorse che saranno coerentemente utilizzate nell’ambito della rete commerciale.

Ad ogni modo saranno circa 50 le filiali che chiuderanno, soprattutto nel Centro-Nord. Ancora nulla di ufficiale, visto che da settimane ormai Unicredit, guidata da Andrea Orcel, sta valutando se e come rilevare la più antica banca fondata a Siena nel 1472.

L’unica cosa certa, che Orcel ribadisce con fermezza, è che l’integrazione di Mps in Unicredit deve essere neutrale a livello di capitale e accrescitiva di valore. Per questo motivo è molto probabile che scenda in campo anche Mcc, per rilevare almeno 150 sportelli delle filiali escluse da Unicredit, dislocati soprattutto tra Puglia e Sicilia.

Sciopero sindacale il 24 settembre

Il 17 settembre intanto sono iniziate le assemblee dei sindacati di Monte dei Paschi per la preparazione dello sciopero del 24 settembre, con le riunioni della rete commerciale. Il 22 toccherà poi alla direzione generale di Siena.

Secondo i sindacati si configurerebbe gli estremi della condotta anti-sindacale, tanto da valutare l’ipotesi di ricorrere all’articolo 28 dello Statuto dei lavoratori.

da "quifinanza.it"

New York City’s school system is beginning to remove the police from its corridors and classrooms in a move welcomed by advocates as a de-escalation of a system that is often seen as .........

 

School safety officers at the New Bridges Elementary School in Brooklyn. ‘I’m excited that their role is changing,’ restorative justice experts Kellsie Sayers said.
School safety officers at the New Bridges Elementary School in Brooklyn. ‘I’m excited that their role is changing,’ restorative justice experts Kellsie Sayers said. Photograph: John Minchillo/AP

New York City’s school system is beginning to remove the police from its corridors and classrooms in a move welcomed by advocates as a de-escalation of a system that is often seen as imposing harsh punishments that disproportionately target students of color.

In all, about 5,000 New York City school safety agents (SSAs) will be transferred from the supervision of the New York police department to the Department of Education (DoE) in June 2022. The city’s school system is the biggest in the US.

The change follows similar programs from other major US cities. According to Education Week, 33 school districts in places like Oakland, California and Madison, Wisconsin, defunded their school police force or changed their relationships with school safety officers in the wake of racial justice protests after the murder of George Floyd.

An ACLU report using data collected by the Department of Education found that referrals, suspensions, detentions and arrests disproportionately affect students of color and disabled students. It found that in some states disabled students were 10 times more likely to be arrested, while Latino students were arrested at a rate 1.3 times that of white students. Meanwhile, Black students were arrested at a rate 3 times that of white students, rising as high as 8 times in some states.

In a statement, the New York City Department of Education’s deputy press secretary Nathaniel Styer said: “This transition ensures that SSAs are fully aligned with DOE trainings and values when it comes to caring for students in crisis, deescalating situations, and ensuring that students get the mental health support that they need when they need them.”

For some advocates advocating the removal of policing from schools, there is a hope that this transfer of power will encourage the use of restorative justice – the practice of resolving conflict through communication and collaboration rather than by punishments such as suspensions and detentions.

For example, instead of suspending a disruptive or bullying student, they would be encouraged to enter into a circle with their teacher, counselor or peers and engage in a dialogue to address the problem they are facing.

Styer said SSAs began training in conflict resolution, mediation, restorative justice and implicit bias with the DoE this past spring and any new agents will undergo similar training.

“The goal of transitioning SSAs back to the DoE is specifically focused on ensuring that SSAs are deeply integrated into the school community, are aligned with the school’s social-emotional work, and are true partners of educators, parents and students in ensuring the wellness of the entire community.”

Kellsie Sayers is the director of restorative practices at the Center for Court Innovation. In the 2018-2019 school year, she and her team launched a restorative justice pilot program in five Brooklyn public schools in partnership with the Department of Education, with funding from an arm of the Department of Justice. She said she learned school safety officers were integral to executing restorative justice. 

“School safety officers were actually a big part of what we did. They are adults who aren’t limited in their time because they don’t have classes to run,” Sayer said. “We leaned on them heavily when we did harm circles. They often had the strongest relationships with the students in our school, different from the teaching staff or administration. They knew when a fight was going to happen because they could see in the kid’s face.”

Sayers said she is interested to see the effect of moving SSAs away from the NYPD.

“Some of the way their job is described under the direction of the NYPD is that they’re not supposed to fraternize with the students, but a lot of their strength was that they were building those relationships,” Sayers said. “I’m excited that maybe their role is changing.”

But the transfer of power is not enough for some. Tiffany Cabán, a democratic socialist projected to win a seat on the city council, said the role of school safety agents or any kind of police in schools, should be dissolved altogether.

“The presence of school safety officers leads to the increased likelihood of arrest or upcharging children for minor problems into really serious legal issues. I can say this from the perspective of being a public defender in the past,” Cabán said. “We see it all the time. We say, ‘We just need to get police officers more training in mental health response.’ No, we need to make sure we have dedicated, skilled workers and not retrofit that job. There’s no place for that in a school.”

A long-term advocate for restorative justice practices, Cabán said there are other ways to achieve restorative justice than by transferring school safety agents away from the NYPD – ways that don’t leave current agents “out to dry”.

“I know the majority of SSAs are Black and brown women. These women live in the same community. How can we create a transition into work that these women are best suited to do, to support young people in their communities?” Cabán said. “We need to be funding and transitioning folks into those jobs and restorative justice programs.”


di  per "theguardian.com"

Extremist groups and prominent rightwing figures are warning supporters not to attend a far-right rally in support of the people arrested for participating in the 6 January Capitol attack, calling the event a “false flag” and a “trap”...........

 

A rioter confronts police officers at the US Capitol on 6 January.
A rioter confronts police officers at the US Capitol on 6 January. Photograph: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

Extremist groups and prominent rightwing figures are warning supporters not to attend a far-right rally in support of the people arrested for participating in the 6 January Capitol attack, calling the event a “false flag” and a “trap”.

Capitol police are bracing for potential violence at the “Justice for J6” protest rally, which is taking place in Washington DC on Saturday, and security fencing has gone up once more around the Capitol building.

But local and federal officials have also said that they expect no more than 700 people to attend the protest, a far cry from the estimated tens of thousands of supporters of Donald Trump who converged on the Capitol in January.

Across rightwing social media platforms, “most people who are talking about the event in any capacity are telling people to steer clear of DC,” Cassie Miller, a senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said. “Any extremist group that’s talking about it is warning people against attending.”

The common narrative in rightwing forums is that the rally is “a trap that’s been set by federal authorities” that will leave participants vulnerable to “surveillance and arrest”, Miller said.

While intelligence officials reportedly warned in early September that the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers were planning to attend the rally, both groups, whose members are facing some of the most serious charges in the 6 January attack, have since distanced themselves from the event. A Proud Boys social media channel posted “Sounds like bait” and wrote “We aren’t going and you shouldn’t either”. In an interview on his way to jail, the group’s chairman, Enrique Tarrio, said: “The Proud Boys will not be there,” WUSA 9 reported.

“I do not know of any specific plan to attend, other than what we are watching the media fabricate,” Kelly SoRelle, a lawyer for the Oath Keepers, told Mother Jones.

The Fox News host Laura Ingraham called the rally “stupid” and told her viewers she had never heard of it before she saw a report about it on CNN.

“Many people” see the protest as “even a false flag operation”, Ingraham warned on 10 September. “Have any big-name conservatives signed on? Of course not. Obviously there’s nothing legitimate about it.”

Even a Facebook discussion hosted by the group organizing Saturday’s rally features comments like “This will end badly” and “It isn’t us if anything goes down”.

Some prominent Republican members of Congress who have defended the Capitol rioters as political prisoners, including Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn, told Politico a week before the protest that they would not be attending.

Capitol police officers look over the integrity of the fence put up to secure the US Capitol and its grounds before Saturday’s rally.
Capitol police officers look over the integrity of the fence put up to secure the US Capitol and its grounds before Saturday’s rally. Photograph: Sue Dorfman/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Donald Trump himself views the “Justice for J6” rally as a set-up and has made no public comments about it, the New York Times reported.

“I don’t know a single person in the Maga movement who is going,” the longtime Trump ally Roger Stone, one of the defendants in a new lawsuit brought by seven Capitol police officers against people they allege helped send a violent mob to the Capitol to attack them, told RT, the Russian state-funded television channel. “Patriots: stay away from Washington,” Stone added.

Saturday’s “Justice for J6” rally is being organized by Look Ahead America, a group run by Matt Braynard, who was briefly employed by Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign as the director of data and strategy, BuzzFeed News reported in August.

Look Ahead America is also organizing more than a dozen “Justice for J6” rallies at the state level on 18 and 25 September, most of them at state capitols, according to the organization’s website.

Braynard has said the protest was organized in support of the “non-violent offenders” charged in connection with 6 January. He continues to defend the event against criticism from all sides. He tweeted at Ingraham: “You claim ignorance despite us sending about thirty press releases to your network’s producers over this time” and asked to be featured on her show. More recently, he posted a list of TV networks that were interviewing him about the rally, which did not include Fox News, and wrote, “Who is missing? Hmmm.”

Asked to respond to the widespread rightwing comments about his rally being a “set-up” and a “trap”, Braynard called the questions “an encyclopedia of disinformation” and wrote that he was unlikely to “drop everything” to provide comments for what he believed would be a “hit piece”.

One former Trump campaign employee told BuzzFeed News Braynard “wasn’t really qualified” for his 2016 job, and that he was hired at a time when the campaign had no mainstream credibility, comments that Braynard called “lies”.

A US Capitol police officer on patrol on Thursday.
A US Capitol police officer on patrol on Thursday. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

Braynard himself described being repeatedly shut out of his attempts to rejoin the Trump operation after 2016. He said he had been told that one person had blocked his efforts to brief the Trump campaign on voter fraud after the 2020 election, arguing that “Matt’s difficult to work with, don’t let him in,” BuzzFeed News reported.

More recently, Braynard has made headlines for his allegations and testimony about voter fraud in the 2020 election. He has raised more than $675,000 to investigate fraud allegations using GiveSendGo, a Christian crowdfunding site popular with the Proud Boys and other far-right figures.

The rhetoric ahead of Saturday’s rally marks a sharp contrast with the tenor and volume of comments that preceded 6 January, Miller and other experts said.

Analysts who monitor the far right “don’t expect for there to be a huge turnout for this event”, Miller, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said. Still, there are legitimate concerns that it might catalyze violence, particularly in the wake of recent incidents in DC, including a hours-long police standoff with a man who claimed to have a bomb outside the US Capitol, and the arrest of a man with a machete and bayonet in a truck decorated with white power symbols that was parked not far from the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

“There’s always the possibility for lone actor attacks in this kind of situation,” Miller said.

Regardless of what happened on Saturday, Miller said, the “dangerous” narrative that the 6 January defendants were “political prisoners” had begun to spread more widely in rightwing circles, and had been endorsed by Cawthorn, the freshman North Carolina congressman, and the Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

More than 600 people have been charged so far in connection with the 6 January insurrection, and federal officials continue to announce new arrests. Many of the people arrested face relatively low-level charges, and unlike most people charged in the federal court system, the vast majority of them have been released ahead of trial, a Guardian analysis found, treatment that some former federal defense attorneys said reflected racial bias in favor of the overwhelmingly white Capitol defendants.


di  per "theguardian.com"