Anti and anti-anti-racism protests in London, Paris

While anti-racism protesters clashed with French police in Paris it was far right activists causing problems in London.

BBC – French police clash with anti-racism activists in Paris

French police have clashed with activists protesting in Paris against racism and alleged police brutality.

About 15,000 anti-racism protesters gathered on the Place de la République in central Paris early on Saturday afternoon.

They chanted slogans such as “No justice, no peace”. Some climbed on the the statue of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic.

Police used tear gas against stone-throwing protesters who tried to hold a march that was banned.

The rally is part is a worldwide movement inspired by America’s Black Lives Matter protests.

It was organised under the banner “Justice for Adama”, after Adama Traoré, a young black man who died in French police custody in 2016.

BBC – London protests: Demonstrators clash with police

Groups including some far-right activists congregated in the capital, claiming they were protecting statues from anti-racism activists.

Some anti-racism protests also took place in London and across the UK.

Various groups from around the country, including some far-right activists, said they had come to London to protect symbols of British history.

Hundreds of mostly white men gathered around the Cenotaph war memorial in Whitehall and the boarded-up statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square.

There were a number of clashes with police in riot gear as crowds – chanting “England” and raising their arms – surged towards lines of officers.

CNN: Europeans forced to re-examine their colonial histories

The police killing of George Floyd in the US last month has galvanized a global anti-racism movement. Now it is forcing Europeans to re-examine their colonial histories and even question their national identities.
Few Europeans will explicitly defend their country’s historical use of slavery, yet challenging the celebration of the very leaders and merchants who profited from slavery and the horrors of colonialism is proving a less comfortable conversation.

And in the US protests continue.

Fox News:  Seattle police chief and mayor at loggerheads over how to handle zone seized by demonstrators

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and police chief Carmen Best are at odds over the city’s handling of the self-declared autonomous zone set up by protesters spanning several blocks surrounding a police precinct.

Best has accused the mayor of shirking her responsibilities as an elected official and allowing protesters to oust police officers from a precinct located inside the 6-block radius now deemed a “cop free zone.”

Demonstraters inside the perimeter of the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” – or “CHAZ” – have battened down for almost a week decrying police brutality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and are demanding the city abolish the Seattle Police Department.

CNN: These are the confederate statues coming down

The death of George Floyd is leading to the removal — by protesters in some cases and city leaders in others — of contentious statues that have riled some residents for decades, if not longer.

Controversial monuments, especially Confederate monuments, have been the subject of nationwide debate, particularly since Dylann Roof killed nine African Americans in a Charleston, South Carolina, church in 2015 in an effort to “start a race war.”
And it flared up again after white nationalists marched in 2017 to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counterprotester was killed amid violent clashes between demonstrators.
Some say they mark history and honor heritage. Others argue they are racist symbols of America’s dark legacy of slavery. While some cities have already made efforts to remove them, others have passed laws to protect them.

It looks like an issue that is going to linger.

Meanwhile Donald Trump has backed off what was seen as provocative rally: Trump Reschedules Rally After Criticism of Juneteenth Overlap

The rally would have fallen on Juneteenth, a day that memorializes the end of slavery. The site of the rally, Tulsa, was home to a notorious instance of racial violence in which hundreds of black people were massacred 99 years ago.

“Tulsa was the site of the worst racist violence in American history. The president’s speech there on Juneteenth is a message to every Black American: more of the same,” Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) tweeted.

Trump and his allies defended the timing of the rally. The president told Fox News the date was not intentional.

“Think about it as a celebration. They’re always a celebration,” Trump said. “In the history of politics, I think I can say there’s never been any group or any person that’s had rallies like I do.”

But:

The Federalist: Trump Addresses Protests And Riots: ‘Toughness Sometimes Is The Most Compassionate’

“Toughness sometimes is the most compassionate,” Trump said when asked if he intends to be both a law and order leader and a consoler. “When you look at the damage, and the travesties, and the small businesses, and the death. When you act soft and weak you end up not being compassionate.”

Trump and compassion usually appear to be as divided as the US is divided over race and politics.

Labour’s minimum wage policy

Yesterday Labour announced their workplace policy which included a modest bump in the minimum wage, from the current $15.75 an hour to $16.50.

There has revived arguments over the effectiveness of a higher minimum wage.

Andrew Little says it is just a start.

Maori Television: Promise of minimum wage hike “a start” – Labour

It’s more of a stroll to the dairy than a hike.

The Labour Party promises a boost to the minimum wage as part of its Workplace Relations Package announced today. It says the working class is missing out on economic prosperity, but will $30 extra a week make a real difference?

Labour promises and extra 75-cents an hour, in its first 100 days if elected.

Party leader Andrew Little says, “It’s a start. We’ve still got a heap of work to do in getting people onto the living wage, we’ve got a heap of work to do to get our employment framework in place with the fair pay agreements and every other device we can use.”

Little says in addition to this Labour would increase the minimum wage year-on-year like it had done while in government.

“Starting with the immediate increase to $16.50 an hour in our first one hundred days [we would then] work towards a long term goal of two-thirds of the average wage.

But there is debate over what the overall effects of a higher minimum wage can be.

Chrism56 cites a new study from the US:

Here is proof of what will be the effect of Labour’s minimum wage policy – more unemployment.

Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle
Ekaterina Jardim, Mark C. Long, Robert Plotnick, Emma van Inwegen, Jacob Vigdor, Hilary Wething

NBER Working Paper No. 23532
Issued in June 2017

This paper evaluates the wage, employment, and hours effects of the first and second phase-in of the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance, which raised the minimum wage from $9.47 to $11 per hour in 2015 and to $13 per hour in 2016.

Using a variety of methods to analyze employment in all sectors paying below a specified real hourly rate, we conclude that the second wage increase to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by around 9 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent.

Consequently, total payroll fell for such jobs, implying that the minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees’ earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016. Evidence attributes more modest effects to the first wage increase. We estimate an effect of zero when analyzing employment in the restaurant industry at all wage levels, comparable to many prior studies.

Washington Post: A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals

When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city’s minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they’d hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet according to a major new study that could force economists to reassess past research on the issue, the hike has had the opposite effect.

The city is gradually increasing the hourly minimum to $15 over several years. Already, though, some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They’ve cut their payrolls, putting off new hiring, reducing hours or letting their workers go, the study found.

The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city.

On the whole, the study estimates, the average low-wage worker in the city lost $125 a month because of the hike in the minimum.

The paper’s conclusions contradict years of research on the minimum wage. Many past studies, by contrast, have found that the benefits of increases for low-wage workers exceed the costs in terms of reduced employment — often by a factor of four or five to one.

The situation in New Zealand is different to that in Seattle and the US. How a small increase would affect take home pay for low waged workers is difficult to predict.