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· February, 2012

Stories about Western Europe from February, 2012

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Video Highlights: Defending Human Rights

  28 February 2012

A selection of Global Voices' recent and interesting stories on video advocacy including indigenous rights and recent news from Latin America, East Asia, Western Europe and Sub Saharan Africa selected by Juliana Rincón Parra.

France : Who is French and who is not?

  28 February 2012

Abdellali Hajjat, author of the book The Boundires of National Identity: The Injunction to Assimilation in France and its Territories, explains in an interview [fr] on the blog Contretemps the ideological seeds of Islamophobia and the institutional logic that reinforces it. “Racism needs a crutch to provide the principle of...

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Portugal: Web Users Debate Portuguese Private Copying Bill

  27 February 2012

Currently being debated in the Portuguese Parliament is a new bill (PL118) which proposes a tax on any equipment or software capable of recording, copying or storing analogue or digital content, in the name of author's rights. The online community has wasted no time in wading in on the debate, with the hashtag #PL118 duly trending on Twitter.

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Italy: Historic ‘Guilty’ Verdict in the Eternit Asbestos Trial

  25 February 2012

It is a historic verdict: on February 13, 2012 in Turin, northern Italy, the two top senior executives of the multinational Eternit, a producer of asbestos, were sentenced to 16 years in prison after a criminal trial began in 2009. Here are the reactions of the associations and the families of asbestos victims in Italy and Europe.

Greece: Athens, 1st African Film Festival

  23 February 2012

The first African Film Festival will take place in Athens, Greece, from February 23 to 29, 2012, with the collaboration of various African countries’ embassies and consulates. Twenty one films from Angola, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Egypt and Ethiopia will be screened. The event is hosted by the Greek Film...

Greece: ‘Catastroika’ Documentary on Public Sector Privatization

  23 February 2012

A new documentary about the catastrophic consequences of the privatization of the public sector in Greece, entitled Catastroika [el], is in progress. The title comes from the combination of the words ‘catastrophe’ and ‘Troika’ (the tripartite committee led by the European Commission with the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, that organised...

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Guatemala: Speaking Out on the Genocide of Indigenous Women

  22 February 2012

The 36 year civil war (1960-1996) that ravaged Guatemala left more than 200,000 people dead and at least 100,000 women raped: most of the victims were Mayan. Finally, the sexual violence perpetrated against Mayan women is being investigated as part of the genocide proceedings taking place in Spanish tribunals.

Morocco: “Stop French Made TGV Rail Project”

  22 February 2012

StopTGV.com is a web campaign launched by a number of Moroccan NGOs. It calls for the cancellation of the controversial French-made Tangier-Casablanca TGV rail link due to start operating by December 2015 and which is worth an estimated 20 billion dirhams (US$2.4 billion). The campaign calls on the authorities to...

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Spain: Police Violence Against Students in Valencia

  19 February 2012

Students gathered at the Luis Vives Institute of Secondary Education in Valencia to protest cuts and because they have to bring blankets to school due to lack of heating. The police attacked the students, many of them minors, and detained ten students.

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Spain: “We Have Memory, We Want Justice”

  16 February 2012

The ruling to bar the National Audience Magistrate, Baltasar Garzón from the legal profession for 11 years has caused outrage in Spain and around the world. Chris Moya interviews former Congressman Federico Mayor Zaragoza on Garzón's case and its implications.

France: Racial Profiling by Police Officers

  15 February 2012

The Local blog posts a Human Rights Watch report that states : “French police use broad powers to conduct abusive identity checks on black and Arab young men and boys despite the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.”

France : Dozens of Anti-ACTA Protests

  15 February 2012

Despite freezing temperatures, a few thousand netizens joined the Saturday Feb. 11 worldwide protests against ACTA, in Paris and some 40 other cities in France. One can find pictures on clubic.com, a video of the protests [fr] on Madmax's blog, an  Anti – Acta France Facebook page and the  details [fr] of a petition on the Gizmodo blog.

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Italy: New Volunia Search Engine Intrigues Blogosphere

  15 February 2012

Volunia is a brand new search engine which encourages interaction between people searching for the same topics in different languages. It's creation was only recently announced, but already Volunia has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere.

Greece: 13th International Guitar Festival in Volos

  15 February 2012

On 18-19 February, 2012, the 13th International Guitar Winter Festival will take place [el] in Volos, Thessalia, with participants both in classical and electrical guitar competitions. The event's aim is to bring together guitarists of all ages from Greece and abroad to develop their musical skills and be united under...

Greece: Parliament Votes in New Austerity Deal Amidst Riots

  13 February 2012

As 200 out of 300 Greek deputies voted in favor of the new austerity deal “Memorandum 2″, these were some of the different scenes. Jimhellas provides his perspective [el] on yesterday's #12febgr huge citizen protest and massive police teargas repression in a post entitled “Mass murder attempt at #Syntagma, as I lived...

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