Russia - Antarctica and the Southern Ocean by Pamela Anderson

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Not too many years ago in December, I was privileged to visit Russia to talk about animal welfare and conservation with the country’s leaders.

I love Russia and am so grateful that my letters and addresses are always listened to there. Recently, I wrote to the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, asking him to consider ending the capture of orcas and beluga whales for export to China to be displayed in aquariums. I am keeping a keen eye on how this is developing and am hoping that these incredible mammals will be released from the "whale prison" soon, and that this cruel business will be history.

I have many good memories of my meetings in the Kremlin with Sergei Borisovich Ivanov. I have great respect for his contribution to the successful the protection and recovery of the Amur leopard in Russia’s Far East.  I am closely following the news about the leopard called Pamela and was thrilled to learn that she has become a grandmother. I shared this happy news on my foundation’s web page.

This year I asked Sergey Borisovich Ivanov whether he could intervene, again, in the diplomatic process of designating a network of large marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean, the last near-pristine place on Earth. In 2016, with his involvement, the Russian Federation supported the creation of a marine protected area in the Ross Sea. He welcomed this decision, saying, “Russia has a great history of discoveries and science in Antarctica. At this time of political turmoil in many parts of the world, we are pleased to participate in this joint international effort to protect the Ross Sea. ”

This year, at the meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources (CCAMLR), the delegation from the Russian Federation called for an intersessional coordinating group on Research and Monitoring Plans (RMPs) for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Southern Ocean. I appreciated this constructive effort by Russia and hope that similar efforts in the future will contribute to reaching consensus on additional MPAs. The governance of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean is a long-standing example of how the forces of peace, solidarity and multilateralism can achieve positive outcomes for society and the environment. I hope that this leadership can continue with the designation of additional MPAs.

In closing, I would really like to return to Russia to discuss protecting Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and learn firsthand about the achievements of wildlife conservation in Russia.

Yours sincerely, Pamela

 В течение нескольких лет в начале декабря я приезжала в Россию, чтобы поговорить о защите животных и сохранении природы с высшим руководством Российской Федерации.

Я люблю Россию и рада видеть и слышать, что мои письма и обращения, всегда услышаны. В этом году я отправила письмо Президенту Российской Федерации Владимиру Владимировичу Путину с просьбой остановить отлов диких морских млекопитающих, косаток и белух для экспорта в Китай и их использование в океанариумах. Сейчас я внимательно слежу за новостями из России и надеюсь, что этих замечательных животных скоро выпустят из «китовой тюрьмы» на волю, а этот жестокий вид бизнеса уйдет в историю.

У меня много хороших воспоминаний о моих встречах в Кремле с Сергеем Борисовичем Ивановым. Я с большим уважением отношусь к его личному вкладу в успех по восстановлению популяции и защите амурского леопарда на Дальнем Востоке России. Я внимательно слежу за новостями о леопарде по имени Памела и очень рада, что она стала бабушкой. Я поделилась этой счастливой новостью на веб-странице Фонда Памелы Андерсон.

В этом году я обратилась к Сергею Борисовичу Иванову с просьбой снова обратить внимание на международный процесс по созданию сети крупных морских охраняемых районов в Южном океане, последним месте на Земле, сохранившемся почти в первозданном виде. В 2016 Российская Федерация поддержала создание морского охраняемого района в море Росса, и Сергей Борисович лично сыграл большую роль в этом, приветствуя это решение: «У России великая история открытий и науки в Антарктиде. В это время политических потрясений во многих частях мира мы рады участвовать в этих совместных международных усилиях для защиты моря Росса».

В 2018 году делегация Российской Федерации на заседании Комиссии по сохранению живых морских ресурсов Антарктики (АНТКОМ) выдвинула новую инициативу по созданию межсессионной координационной группы по планам исследований и мониторинга для обеспечения эффективности в достижении поставленных целей для морских охраняемых районов в Южном океане. Я высоко ценю эти конструктивные усилия России и надеюсь, что в будущем они будут способствовать достижению консенсуса по новым морским охраняемым районам.

Сотрудничество в Антарктиде и Южном океане является многолетним примером силы мира, солидарности и многосторонности, которое приносит положительные результаты для мирового сообщества и окружающей среды. Я надеюсь, что продолжением этого сотрудничества станет создание сети морских охраняемых районов.

Мне бы очень хотелось снова вернуться в Россию, чтобы обсудить защиты сохранение Антарктики и Южного и узнать из первых уст о достижениях в области охраны дикой природы в России.

Искренне ваша, Памела

Pamela Anderson: «Trump, Bolsonaro, Salvini: chiamateli come volete, ma resta fascismo» - Rolling Stone Italia (English translation included)

All photos by Rankin for Coco de Mer

All photos by Rankin for Coco de Mer

Un'intervista esclusiva all'ex star di "Baywatch", che ci spiega perché ce l'ha con il governo italiano, svela la sua passione per Umberto Eco e la speranza di una nuova rivoluzione sessuale

Sono tempi insoliti, quelli in cui si fa fatica a non dirsi d’accordo con le idee in materia di cosa pubblica di un’ex icona sexy degli anni ’90. Eppure tanti di noi negli scorsi giorni si sono trovati a condividere – via social o moralmente – le parole di Pamela Denise Anderson, modella e attrice, resa eterna dal ruolo di C.J. Parker in Baywatch.

Da qualche anno la 51enne di Ladysmith, in Canada, ha privilegiato un altro tipo di vita e di carriera, quella da attivista. Tra le cause per cui si è spesa l’animalismo e il veganesimo, il contrasto della violenza sulle donne, la legalizzazione della cannabis e la libertà di stampa, con le sue parole di stima nei confronti di Julian Assange che hanno portato a una serie infinita di indiscrezioni – in parte confermate – su una sua presunta relazione con il fondatore di WikiLeaks.

In realtà, a quanto si sa, Pamela è legata sentimentalmente al difensore campione del mondo Adil Rami, che gioca nel Marsiglia. Per questo l’ex collega di Mitch Buchannon – un altro che ha avuto “ruoli” politici che vanno ben oltre lo sfoggio di bicipiti sulla sabbia di Malibù – trascorre molto tempo in Europa, e in questi giorni ha dedicato numerosi pensieri alla vicenda dei “gilet gialli” francesi. Poi, sul suo seguitissimo profilo Twitter, ne ha rivolto uno anche all’Italia.

“Un Paese meraviglioso, lo amo tanto. Amo il cibo, la moda, la storia, l’arte, ma sono molto preoccupata da quel che sta succedendo, che mi ricorda gli anni ‘30”, ha scritto. Entrambi gli scenari attuali sui due versanti della Alpi, la novella jacquerie anti-Macron e il governo gialloverde con le sue “derive fasciste”, ha aggiunto, sono “un problema europeo”. “Perché”, ha scritto ancora Anderson, “la soluzione non è Macron né Salvini, che hanno bisogno l’uno dell’altro e si rafforzano tra loro, ma un risveglio paneuropeo che valichi i confini e le nazionalità, e che sia capace di affrontare la profonda crisi economica, sociale, ecologica che l’Europa sta attraversando”.

Il leader leghista – che più volte ha sbandierato la sua assuefazione da cultura pop anni ’90 – si è detto molto deluso dalle prese di posizione contro di lui di Pam, che sui social è stata candidata a gran voce come nuovo volto del centrosinistra allo sbando. Se intenda candidarsi alla guida del Pd non glielo abbiamo chiesto, ma quella che segue è la nostra chiacchierata con Pamela Anderson.

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Che problema hai con Matteo Salvini?
Non lo conosco personalmente. Ma appena ho sentito il suo slogan “Prima gli italiani” durante la campagna elettorale, ho sentito in lontananza l’eco di Trump e del suo “America First”, ed è come se avessi avvertito cosa stava per accadere. Tutto si basa sull’odio per l’altro. Prendi l’esempio del cibo. Siamo arrivati al punto che si demonizzano le ricette straniere in cucina, come dimostra la storia del vostro famoso chef Vittorio Castellani. Sono sicura che il signor Salvini sotto sotto apprezzi il cibo etnico, e allora, mi chiedo, perché sta creando una società che ha paura di tutto ciò che viene da fuori, persino di quello che si mangia?

Ma davvero dobbiamo temere il ritorno del fascismo?
A me non sembra di aver reinventato la ruota, quando ho detto quella frase. Oppure sì? Nel 1995 il grande Umberto Eco scrisse il suo saggio Il fascismo eterno , che ho letto di recente. Descrive 14 peculiarità connaturate al fascismo, che per lui non rappresenta un sistema coerente. Per questo parla di “ur-fascismo”, che è caratterizzato dal culto delle tradizioni e dalla paura del diverso, dalla mobilitazioni della classe media frustrata e dall’ossessione per le cospirazioni, e ancora lo spregio per la debolezza, il machismo e così via. Pensa a leader come Trump, Bolsonaro e, appunto, Salvini: loro hanno tutte queste caratteristiche. Puoi chiamarlo fascismo oppure in un altro modo, ma il punto è che oggi viviamo in un mondo pericoloso ed è meglio iniziare a parlarne, prima che sia troppo tardi.

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Pensi che la storia ci giudicherà come popoli e come nazioni per quello che sta accadendo sul tema dei migranti?
Esiste qualcuno su questo pianeta che non abbia parenti – parlo di una o due generazioni – che non siano dei migranti o dei rifugiati? Mio padre era finlandese, e partì per il Canada alla ricerca di fortuna. Tutta la mia famiglia veniva dalla working class, quella era la loro storia. Ciò che sta accadendo oggi non è una semplice “crisi dei rifugiati”, e di certo la risposta di Europa e Stati Uniti è stata molto debole. Secondo la Banca Mondiale, per via dei cambiamenti climatici, più di 140 milioni di persone saranno costretti a muoversi nei prossimi anni. L’Europa ha accolto un milione e mezzo di persone, poi solo muri, barche fermate al largo e porte chiuse nei confronti di povere persone in fuga. Ora, immagina cosa succederà nel mondo, in una decade o due, quando decine e decine di milioni di persone busseranno per entrare.

Su Twitter hai avuto parole dure anche nei confronti delle istituzioni europee, non solo per Salvini. Quali sono le loro colpe?
Come sai, vivo tra la Francia e gli Stati Uniti, e visito spesso l’Inghilterra, la Germania, la Francia e gli altri Paesi del vostro continente. E vedo sempre le stesse cose. L’Europa vive una profonda crisi economica e sociale. La risposta è stata finora ovunque il populismo di destra. Io non sono stata di certo la prima a dire che l’austerità ha devastato l’Europa, ma così è. È stato un boomerang. L’establishment liberale non può salvare l’Europa, Macron e le proteste di questi giorni ne sono la prova. Sono molto preoccupata per il futuro dell’Europa. Voi no?

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Per darti contro, Matteo Salvini ha postato una foto di te ai tempi di Baywatch. È sessismo quello? Ce n’è tanto in Italia?
Ricordi quello che dicevo prima su Umberto Eco e il suo “ur-fascismo”. Riprendi in mano quel testo e troverai la risposta.

Su Twitter il tuo slogan è “Sex is not oscene, War is“. All’umanità serve una nuova “rivoluzione sessuale”?
Indubbiamente. Meglio, se oggi tutta la politica gioca con le emozioni, allora serve qualcosa tipo una “rivoluzione emozionale”. Invece di spargere paure, la gente dovrebbe lasciarsi ispirare dalla speranza, e agire liberamente. Così la guerra diverrebbe qualcosa di osceno, mica il sesso.

Come dovrebbe essere il nuovo femminismo per Pamela Anderson?
Liberatorio.

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Ps: La fotografia che apre questo articolo è tra le più amate da  Pamela Anderson, che ci ha chiesto se fosse possibile pubblicarla. Ci  rendiamo conto di quanto sia ridicolo dover giustificare uno scatto di  Rankin (che ha realizzato tutti quelli presenti in queste pagine), ma  questi sono tempi insoliti.

by Dario Falcini via www.rollingstone.it

  • ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

What's exactly your problem with Matteo Salvini? Why do you know him and his politics and why don't you like them?

I do not know him personally, but as soon as I saw that his campaign slogan was “Italians First”, I heard an echo of Trump's “America First”, and somehow, I felt what was coming. It is the hatred of the other. I do not like it when you can't use “foreign recipes” in cooking. Like what happened to your famous chef Vittorio Castellani. I am sure Mr. Salvini enjoys “foreign food” too. So, why is he creating a society which will fear everything “foreign”, even food?

You wrote about the rising of a '30atmosphere. Should be worried about the return of fascism?

I didn't reinvent the wheel, did I? Back in 1995, the great Italian writer Umberto Eco published an essay called “Eternal Fascism”, which I was reading recently. There, he defines fourteen general properties of fascism, which for him wasn't a coherent system, so he speaks of “Ur-fascism“ and characteristics such as “cult of tradition”, “fear of difference”, “appeal to a frustrated middle class”, “obsession with conspiracy”, “contempt for the weak”, “machismo”… look at leaders such as Trump, Bolsonaro and... Salvini and you will see exactly these properties. You can call it fascism or however you want, but it is a fact that we are living in a dangerous world and we must start talking about it before it is too late.

What about refugees? Do you think the story will judge us because of the way we are acting?

Is there anyone living on this Planet, whose parents or grandparents haven't been refugees? My grandfather was Finnish and left for Canada back in 1908 to find a better future. My parents were working class. Everyone among us could find a similar story. What is happening today is not simply a refugee crisis and a very poor response by European or US governments. Look at the recent statistics of the World Bank, who say that due to climate change, over 140 million people might be forced to move. Europe welcomed around 1.5 million people, and reacted by building walls and stopping boats to help those poor people. Now imagine what will happen to the world, in a decade or two, when literally hundreds of millions of people will be refugees?

What about this Europe...

As you know, I live between France and US, but I visit the UK very often, I'm quite often in Germany and Italy and other countries. What I see everywhere is similar. Europe is in a deep economic and social crisis. And as a response right-wing populism is rising in each and every country. Again, I am not the first one to say that austerity politics has ruined Europe. And now we can see the boomerang. The liberal establishment, as you can see these days with Macron and the protests in France, is not able to save Europe. I am worried about Europe. Aren't you?

What about sexism and misogyny in Europe and in Italy? (I think it's exactly the kind of behaviour that push people (and Salvini too), speaking about the "clash" with Salvini to post a photo of Baywatch's Pamela...

Read Umberto Eco's text about “Ur-Fascism“ and you will find the answer.

Your claim on Twitter is "sex is not obscene, war is". Do you a sort of new "sexual revolution" is necessary to free humanity (and women)?

 Absolutely. If the main political currency today is emotion, we need something like an emotional revolution. Instead of this widespread fear, people should be inspired to hope and to act freely. And war should become something which is obscene, not sex. 

how should be new feminism?

It should be liberating.

 

Interview with La Repubblica

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What prompted you to comment on the Italian political situation and on our Ministry of the Interior, Salvini? I mean, you are a global star, what made you interested in Salvini?

I was traveling that day to Milano and you know, even if I might be considered a global personality or 'star'- I care about the places and people where I travel to. I have many fond memories of Italy and many friends in this beautiful country, but what worries me is the deep economic and social crisis which can be seen everywhere. I do not have anything personal against Mr. Salvini, I just don't agree with his politics, mainly those against refugees. When I heard for the first time about the rescue ship Aquarius, I wished there would be many more like this in the Mediterranean Sea. But now Mr. Salvini decided to stop it from helping refugees. I know many people are scared of refugees. But the refugees are not the real problem. The problem is the origin of the refugee crisis and the involvement in foreign wars of Western governments. The true problem is the deepening economic crisis. To try to solve the refugee crisis by preventing humanitarian organisations to work or building walls is not the right solution.

You do sympathise with the poor hugely suffering, due to capitalist policies which have made the 99% very poor. Problem is that this revolt against the global élites is fueling righ-wing politicians, Salvini-style, everywhere and progressive parties and policies appear completely moribund and stuck. Where to start to reverse the trend?

Revolt is never enough. I have been helping many activist organisations all these years precisely because I know how important organisation is. I've spent most of my life in Hollywood. We know very well how much organisation you need even to shoot a movie. But we also know one important thing which is necessary in order to counter the populist and right wing parties across the world – and this thing is inspiration. They are using the fear, we must use hope and the more wise and powerful  emotions! I can see hope in the newly formed Progressive International, initiated by DiEM25 and the Sanders Institute, which includes already many inspiring leaders like Bernie Sanders, Yanis Varoufakis, Ada Colau, the prime minister of Iceland and others. At the same time, we all need to become leaders of our own lives, we need creaitve movements and grasroots organising.

In France, we see a huge mass protest against the Macron's policies fueling inequality. In Italy, we just see apathy and hate. Young people are just desperately looking for a six-month contract to survive: they have no time to engage in politics to change society and they have even less hope that their activism could make any difference. What do you want to tell them?

I would tell them that I have kids and that I am also very worried about the future they'll soon inhabit. I would tell them that when I was a kid, I struggled hard to achieve what I achieved, and I realised that any achievment without attempting to change society at the same time is not worth it. To young people it might seem as if they can't really change anything, but I deeply believe everyone can change something. You don't need to be a politician, you do not need to be a celebrity to bring whatever you know and do your best - Use all you are and learn - use it to make this world a better place for your kids and those to come.

How do you reply to those who attack you saying that it is easy to side with refugees and migrants when you are a global star, enjoying a rich and glamorous life?

I am doing my best. I am using my popularity and voice not only to talk about the problems of migrants, I also support organisation who help them and I know refugees personally as well. I want to do more and I plan to do more. Not only connected to the migration crisis.

You declared: “I’m an activist, and I’m not doing it for myself, I’m doing it for animals and people who are vulnerable and can’t speak for themselves”. One of these people is the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, who has been arbitrarily detained in London and is currently at huge risk of ending up in prison in the US. What makes you to speak out for Julian Assange?

He is a corageous person who risked everything in order to reveal brutal lies and he is paying this by a very heavy price. We should all be happy such a person exists and we should all do our best that he is not extradited to the United States. If Europe wants to save Freedom of Press, it must protect and save Julian Assange.

via https://rep.repubblica.it/pwa/intervista/2018/12/09/news/pamela_anderson_caro_salvini_cosi_sbagli_le_navi_come_l_aquarius_non_vanno_mai_fermate_-213852539/

Free speech and I

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December 10th is celebrated as International Human Rights Day. That's because on this day in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – UDHR, was adopted by the United Nations.

Happy Birthday UDHR!

The UDHR is a landmark document which proclaims that fundamental human rights are to be universally guaranteed to all people. In Article 19, it also provides for the protection of freedom of speech and free media. I recently contributed to the #Article19ForAll social action, organized by Deutsche Welle, Germany's public broadcaster.

I did this because I have always been a fervent believer in the right to free speech.

And why is it so important? It's obvious isn't it?

This right allows us to express ourselves. To express our opinions and views by whatever means – through writing, print, photos, music, dancing, poetry, cartoons, films, shouting or even...conspicuous silence.... To express opinions that are popular but also those that buck the trend. The non-conformist, provocative or even shocking ones.

All of this is protected.

It is a right to find and demand information from the state and other powerful institutions. The right to demand justice. The right to protest. The right to create, to innovate or to collaborate. The right to speak truth to power!

The great threats to free speech in this time and age really do worry me, and from so many sides. There are so many governments that resort to restriction and censorship, especially online. There are so many governments in cahoots with tech companies which use elaborate surveillance systems to spy on our communications and what we do online. This state and / or corporate surveillance is just wrong and I never understand why more of us are not up in arms about it. Sadly, journalists and activists, especially those working on environmental issues, get killed, prosecuted or are imprisoned for simply speaking out. They are threatened and harassed.

Julian Assange, founder and publisher of WikiLeaks, is my Number One hero of free speech. WikiLeaks has published information about so many wrongdoings, so much corruption, countless war crimes and have brought transparency to so many illegal practices. Guilty governments hate being exposed and in turn twist the truth and pretend that what has come to light is against their national security or state interest... Of course we know it's against their true state interests. They conveniently omit that all the information WikiLeaks has published actually belongs to the people and that in fact the state merely holds the information on behalf of and for the people.

There is simply no justification for secrecy.

These publications have had immense impact. They have changed many peoples' views of governments. They have changed many peoples' lives. They have even changed the way media publish and the way journalism works [for the better] and what it means for and how to protect sources in digital the age.

And so because of this work, several governments are after Julian and WikiLeaks, especially the USA. Julian has faced many smear campaigns and even death threats. He has been arbitrarily detained according to the United Nations since December 2010. This year, his freedom and ability to communicate with the outside world was restricted even more when he was cut off from the world for six months. And to top it off the Democratic National Committee started a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against WikiLeaks simply for publishing their emails and exposing their problematic practices during the presidential primaries.

However especially worrisome are the recent revelations in the US. This November, US prosecutors confirmed something that WikiLeaks and others have been saying for almost a decade; that Julian has been secretly charged in the US by violating the US Espionage Act, which bizarrely criminalizes releasing information about US war crimes.

What Julian and WikiLeaks have had to endure is the biggest attack on free speech and constitutional rights in years and that's just the beginning. Just wait: after WikiLeaks they will aim for other publishers like the NY Times, the Post....the list is endless.

Many international organizations have supported Julian and WikiLeaks and have called for their rights to be protected, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and more than 50 other freedom of expression organizations in the IFEX (International Freedom of Expression) network.

But this is not enough. Simply more must be done to free Julian and to protect free speech...and this will protect freedom for us all.

On this 70th anniversary of the UDHR, on this day of Human Rights, on this day so close to Christmas when we should be thinking of others, I ask you all to spare a thought to the importance of free speech and appreciate those who fight for it...those who fight for us... those like Julian Assange and WikiLeaks!

Love

Pamela

www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

Brexit and I (also starring Shakespeare and Churchill)

photo by Luca Pizzaroni

photo by Luca Pizzaroni

I am visiting London today.

The top topic du jour is the "Brexit deal", the terms of the UK leaving the European Union, following the 2016 referendum.

The main problem is that although people in the UK voted to leave the EU, nobody knew at the time what this would actually look like. It has never been done. So it is a new thing for everyone involved.

The current deal, pushed forward by Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK, is hated by both the Leave and the Remain camps.

Never have the words of Shakespeare - "now is the winter of our discontent" – rang more true than now.

I have been following the situation very closely and I fully support the position of Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour party leader (leader of the opposition). Ok, I admit it, I have a little political crush on Jeremy Corbyn. He is a politician whose integrity I absolutely and unconditionally admire. But that is another matter for another time...[watch this space]

If you read coverage of Brexit in The Guardian, for example, you might think that the end of the world or Armageddon is due at 1pm local time on 29th March 2019, the Brexit time. The Guardian, the metropolitan elites and the likes describe the EU as some sort of humanitarian charity that is a force of unquestionable good and that nothing is more important than being a member of it, no matter what.

The Leave camp and its leaders lied through their teeth during the referendum campaign and resorted to disgusting scapegoating of migrants in the process. They have been absolutely appalling.

This cold war style propaganda on both sides is shocking and sickening.

But let's be honest. For the bureaucrats and shareholders of the biggest global corporations the EU is nothing more than their own pet project. The main pillar of the EU is free trade without any national limitations, including national tariffs and laws protecting workers, consumers or nature. I am fully aware that the EU helped achieve a lot of good and introduced many measures that have been beneficial to the people and to life on this planet. But this is just a disguise used to ensure its true purpose.

There are neoliberal policies enshrined in EU treaties which EU countries are forced to implement even if against their will. Inequality between the EU countries has been increasing. Weaker states have been pushed deeper into crisis. Just look at Greece - and the barbaric treatment it had to endure - to see the true ruthlessness of the EU.

EU rules make it impossible for the states to introduce policies such as re-nationalisation of railways or other social justice reforms.

The supporters of the EU claim that its main benefit is the free movement of people. They are totally blind to the phenomenon called social dumping (aka a business practice whereby employers use cheaper labour than is usually available at their business sites of production or sale and migrant workers within the EU). This means lowering the wages. Sadly, the right wing parties misuse this to create anti-migrant sentiments. Failing neoliberalism is unable to address the staggering inequalities between the rich and the poor and the resulting frustration and so it resorts to right-wing party tactics and their scapegoats.

The EU is not a democratic institution. Again, the Greece example - where the EU forced the Syriza government to go against the decision of its own population - shows how impossible it is for a country to extricate itself from the EU.

So all in all, I find the UK referendum on leaving the EU to be a brave move. It is vitally important that the EU is thoroughly and fundamentally reformed. Europe deserves a much better form of organised cooperation. And I would really support the UK attempting to create an alternative for Europe.

But retreating to nationalistic tendencies is not an alternative. The only road to freedom is via a joint fight of the unprivileged. This means foreign workers included.

The current deal proposed by Theresa May does NOT offer such an alternative. It is a disaster. I am sure that I could have negotiated better conditions than this dumb deal. I have been negotiating with Hollywood for decades. I could handle Mr Michel Bernier (the EU Chief negotiator)!!

But what is the solution? How to find a good way out of this impasse?

I would love to see Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, he would certainly negotiate a better deal.

I was thinking that perhaps the UK needs something like the National Government, similar to one that was created during World War II. It would have the leaders of all the major political parties in the UK working jointly towards the best solution for the people in the country.

The EU must definitely learn their lesson and reform. People from other EU countries must also stand against the true nature of the EU. And we must all keep in mind that reforming the EU is just part and parcel of the fight against global supranational institutions. Institutions that create and enforce rules that benefit global businesses, the rich and the privileged!

Don't think that this sounds like a hopeless project set to fail. Remember, as Winston Churchill once said: "success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."

So it is absolutely worth it to try.

Love

Pamela

NICKY LARSON

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Nicky Larson est le meilleur des gardes du corps, un détective privé hors-pair. Il est appelé pour une mission à hauts risques : récupérer le parfum de Cupidon, un parfum qui rendrait irrésistible celui qui l’utilise… NICKY LARSON (Comédie 2019) Pamela Anderson, Philippe Lacheau, Didier Bourdon Date de sortie : 6 Février 2019

Yellow Vests and I

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I am glad that the media noticed my brief Twitter take on the situation in France, my adopted country, which has been experiencing a series of mass protests in the last few weeks.

Some followers accused me of "throwing support" behind the riots and violence and not understanding the problem. This is so biased. Why? Let's see! Why these protests now?

Instead of being hypnotized by the burning images, I wanted to ask "where did the protests come from?" 

"Yellow Vests" ("Gilets Jaune" named after roadside-safety vests) are a mass popular movement against the current establishment. It is a revolt that has been simmering in France for years. A revolt by ordinary people against the current political system which -  as in many other western countries – colludes with the elite and despises its own citizens.

The protest started when President Macron announced an increase in carbon and air pollution taxes. The next increase will happen in January. This is supposed to collect more money for the state budget and also motivate people to use alternatives to diesel-fuelled cars. Macron would like to ban diesel cars by 2040.

But the French state encouraged people to buy diesel fuelled cars for many years. For example, in 2016, 62% of cars in France were diesel cars, as well as 95% of all vans and small lorries. So it is no wonder that many people view the new policy as a total betrayal.

Getting a new car is probably not a big deal for President Macron and his ministers. But it is way too difficult for many people who are already financially stretched to the max . Many poor people will not be able to get to work, especially if there is no reliable public transport in place throughout. Many old people will not be able to get to the shops or to the doctor.

Lots of media see Yellow Vests protesters as criminals causing destruction.

I see forces of destruction on the other side.

What about the violence?

I am a committed pacifist. I despise violence. But I also know that when protests end in violence it is too often the failure and the fault of the state. The failure of the state to enable people to be heard. This is the position of many international human rights organisations including Amnesty International.

Also, the critics of "violent riots" pretend that the current capitalist society is non-violent. Violence is a part of modern society and comes in many forms.

For example, Philippe Bourgois recognises four types of violence.

Political violence is conducted in the name of some state power or ideology.

Structural violence concerns the political and economic order of  society in which the conditions of inequality and exploitation are institutionalised, including the exploitation of "cheap labour" and natural resources in the developing world.

Symbolic violence is involved when the oppressed and powerless internalize their humiliation and inequality.

And finally, everyday violence is the violence of "ordinary" life, such as criminality or domestic violence. This violence is often closely linked to structural violence (for example criminality can be associated with poverty) or a symbolic one (domestic violence can be linked to gender inequality).

So what is the violence of all these people and burned luxurious cars compared to the structural violence of the French and global elites?

When some protesters destroy cars and burn shops, they symbolically attack private property that is the basis of capitalism. When they attack police officers, they symbolically reject and challenge repressive state forces - forces that primarily protect the capital.

Moralising about burned cars and banks’ broken windows is misplaced. This must be seen in the context of the current status quo. A status quo in which the power of the powerful and the powerlessness of the powerless is maintained. A status quo of societies where only a few profit and the many loose.

What about the climate change?

Some people might think that Yellow Vests are fighting against good policies that aim to reduce carbon emissions.

But let's not forget that it is the world's richest 10% who are responsible for nearly 50% of total lifestyle consumption emissions.

Also, the stated fight against climate change is often a very lucrative business and used merely as a screen for preferential projects that would not be viable otherwise due to their costs. These projects are often chosen in a way that is not very transparent.

I do not believe that the Yellow Vests support harmful policies that cause climate change. They are against the political system and the politics that did far more for the rich than for the poor.

What is next?

The true question is whether the current protests can turn into something constructive. What comes the day after and if the progressives in France, and all over the world, can find solutions to constructing equal and egalitarian societies.

Yellow Vests are calling for a new social justice order, for the right to live in dignity based on fair wages and a fair tax system. The only solution is to create such a system. A system that will stand for respect of community life: for redistribution of the wealth to the benefit of the people and the nation. Because the people have been excluded from the distribution of  wealth thus far and have been left destitute.

More to come. Watch this space!

Love

Pamela