Belgian xenophobic mayor’s ‘musical’ anti-Roma plan backfires


This video says about itself:

French Roma expulsions spark racism warning

19 August 2010

After destroying their homes and giving them $383, France is flying 700 Roma people to Romania and Bulgaria.

The government has been dismantling Roma settlements, saying they were havens for illegal trafficking, child exploitation, begging and prostitution.

But Romania’s foreign minister says he’s worried France’s action is creating xenophobia.

Al Jazeera’s Estelle Youssouffa looks at the man leading the French drive for security and public order.

By Evan Bartlett in British daily The Independent:

A plan to remove a group of Roma Gypsies by playing loud music backfired on a town mayor when the group responded by dancing.

Gino Debroux, the mayor of Landen – a small town 30 miles from Brussels in Belgium – had resorted to the measure yesterday after claiming the Roma had outstayed their agreed tenancy on a private plot of land.

He hired a local DJ to play music up to 95 decibels – the equivalent of a pneumatic drill from 50 feet away – but his choice of Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits as a first song did not have the desired effect as children from the camp broke out into a small jig.

This music video is called Dire Straits – Sultans Of Swing.

“I want to thank the mayor,” one camp resident told Reuters. “It’s very nice that he sent a DJ for us to have a party.”

See also here.

French fascist politician jailed for calling black minister chimpanzee


National Front politicians Marine Le Pen and Anne-Sophie Leclere, French parliamentary election poster

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Former Front National candidate jailed for calling black minister a chimpanzee

John Lichfield

Wednesday 16 July 2014

In the severest sentence of its kind ever handed down in France, a former far-right local politician has been sentenced to nine months in prison for comparing a black cabinet minister to a chimpanzee.

Anne-Sophie Leclère, a senior Front National municipal candidate in northern France, posted adjacent images on Facebook of a female chimpanzee and the justice minister, Christiane Taubira. The first image was labelled “at 18 months old” and the second “now”.

Anne-Sophie Leclere and her racist comparison

Challenged about the images in a TV documentary last year, Ms Leclère, 33, said: “On the whole I would rather see (Ms Taubira) in the branches of a tree than see her in the government.” She was rapidly expelled from the FN as part of a drive by its leader, Marine Le Pen to clean up the party.

The Front National was nonetheless – to its fury – also found guilty late on Tuesday of inciting racial hatred by a court at Cayenne, in Guyane in the French West Indies. The FN was fined €30,000. Ms Leclère, from Rethel in the Ardennes on the Franco-Belgian border, was given a nine months’ jail sentence, fined Euros 50,000 and banned from politics for five years.

Both the FN and Ms Leclère have appealed.

FN leaders attacked the judgement as a “judicial ambush” “immoral” and “politically biased”. They complained about the fact that the case had been heard in Guyane – Ms Taubira’s birthplace and an overseas part of France which has an overwhelmingly black population.

“Clearly, in the court in Cayenne, the normal rules do not apply,” the FN said in a statement. “These incredible violations of our legal system must be vigorously denounced.”

The judgement was also criticised by some – not all – centre right politcians but welcomed by the centre-left government and by anti-racist pressure groups.

The government spokesman Stéphane Le Foll, said that he was not going to “judge the judgement” but the attack on Christiane Taubira was “perfectly revolting, unacceptable… and a racist act.”

The lobby group SOS-Racisme said that the court’s ruling should be a landmark in public attitudes to the FN, which topped the poll in the French part of the European elections in May. “This party, whose driving force is hatred of others, can no longer pretend to discover that its election candidates are racist or anti-semitic each time that a controversy like this arises,” the group said.

Ms Leclère was the head of an FN candidates’ list for municipal election in Rethel in Ardennes when she was interviewed for a TV documentary last October. She was [a]sked about her Facebook posting comparing Ms Taubira to a chimpanzee. She said it was a “joke” and “not racist” but she would rather see Ms Taubiura in a tree than in the cabinet.

The FN expelled her from the party, describing her as an “error of casting”. Several similar incidents involving FN municipal candidates followed.

Ms Taubira, 62, is a brilliant academic and lawyer turned politician who has risen from deep poverty in Guyana to one of the top two or three posts in French government. She is detested on the hard right of French politics for pushing through a law legalising same-sex marriage last year.

Soon after Ms Leclère’s attack on her on Facebook, Ms Taubira was greeted by anti-gay marriage protesters on a visit to Angers in central France. They included children carrying “bananas for the monkey.”

South African anti-apartheid author Nadine Gordimer dies


This video says about itself:

Nadine Gordimer on racism

3 October 2007

Here, she describes her escape from the racist ideology she had grown up with. Full interview here.

From the Irish Times:

Anti-apartheid author and Nobel winner Nadine Gordimer dies

Many of her stories dealt with South Africa’s segregated system under white-minority rule

Monday, July 14, 2014, 15:11

South African Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer, an uncompromising moralist who became one of the most powerful voices against the injustice of apartheid, has died at the age of 90, her family said today.

Gordimer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, died peacefully at her Johannesburg home last evening in the presence of her children, Hugo and Oriane, a statement from the family said.

“She cared most deeply about South Africa, its culture, its people and its on-going struggle to realise its new democracy,” the statement said.

Regarded by many as South Africa’s leading writer, Gordimer was renowned as a rigid moralist whose novels and short stories reflected the drama of human life and emotion in a society warped by decades of white-minority rule.

Many of her stories dealt with the themes of love, hate and friendship under the pressures of the racially segregated system that ended in 1994, when Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president.

A member of Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) – banned under apartheid – Gordimer used her pen to battle against the inequality of white rule for decades, earning her the enmity of sections of the establishment.

Some of her novels, such as A World of Strangers and Burger’s Daughter, were banned by the apartheid authorities.

But Gordimer, a petite figure with a crystal-clear gaze, did not restrict her writing to a damning indictment of apartheid, cutting through the web of human hypocrisy and deceit wherever she found it.

“I cannot simply damn apartheid when there is human injustice to be found everywhere else,” she told Reuters shortly before winning her Nobel prize.

In later years, she became a vocal campaigner on HIV/Aids, lobbying and fundraising on behalf of the Treatment Action Campaign, a group pushing for the South African government to provide free, life-saving drugs to sufferers.

Nor did she shy away from criticising the ANC under President Jacob Zuma, expressing her opposition to a proposed law which limits the publication of information deemed sensitive by the government.

“The reintroduction of censorship is unthinkable when you think how people suffered to get rid of censorship in all its forms,” she said in an interview last month.

The daughter of a Lithuanian Jewish watchmaker, Gordimer started writing in earnest at the age of nine.

A lonely childhood triggered an intense study of the ordinary people around her, especially the customers in her father’s jewellery shop and the migrant black workers in her native East Rand outside Johannesburg.

A teenage naivety was eventually replaced by a sense of rebellion and as her talent and reading public grew, her liberal leanings earned her the reputation of a radical.

Eventually the government censors clamped down and banned three of her works in the 1960s and 1970s, despite her growing prestige abroad and her acceptance as one of the foremost authors in the English language.

The first book to be banned was A World of Strangers, the story of an apolitical Briton drifting into friendships with black South Africans and uncovering the schizophrenia of living in segregated Johannesburg in the 1950s.

In 1979, Burger’s Daughter was banished from the shelves for its portrayal of a woman’s attempt to establish her own identity after her father’s death in jail made him a political hero.

Despite Gordimer’s place in the international elite, she maintained a passionate concern for those struggling at the bottom of South Africa’s literary heap.

“It humbles me to see someone sitting in the corner of a township shack he shares with 10 others, trying to write in the most impossible of conditions,” she said.

Margaret Atwood: Nadine Gordimer: evergreen, ageless and an inspiration to all writers.

European Union armed forces against popular opposition?


This video says about itself:

Greece: far-right party sends deputies to EU parliament

30 June 2014

Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party is sending deputies to the European Parliament for the first time. The respectability implied by parliamentary representation contrasts sharply with the criminal investigation launched after one of its supporters killed a left-wing rapper last September.

As this blog noted in an earlier post, Greek General Georgios Epitideios, who served as a senior staff member of Nato’s Central Command, and as director of the department of crisis response and current operations of the European Union Military Staff, was recently elected a Member of the European Parliament for the nazi Golden Dawn party.

Generals with nazi political views should not be expected to mind committing bloodbaths among peaceful anti-government demonstrators.

By Denis Krassnin:

European governments prepare for military suppression of popular opposition

10 July 2014

European governments are working together to prepare to militarily suppress social unrest. This effort—involving legal, technical, as well as military plans—is in an advanced stage of development, according to a report by Aureliana Sorrento that aired on June 20 on Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio station. “In the framework of collaborative foreign and security policy,” the introduction on Deutschlandfunk’s web site reads, “military and police responsibility are increasingly blurred and the capacity to combat social uprisings is being built up.” Officially, this concerns campaigns in countries outside the European Union, the web site notes, “but with Article 222 of the Lisbon Treaty, the legal conditions for the deployment of military and paramilitary units in the EU [European Union] crisis states were satisfied.”

Only four days after this program was broadcast, the European General Affairs Council adopted provisions for Article 222, which is also called the “solidarity clause.” It said that the European Union would “mobilise all the instruments at its disposal, including the military resources made available by the Member States,” if “a member state is affected by a terrorist attack, or a natural or man-made disaster.” The decision allows for the deployment of Special Forces, paramilitary groups and various other “anti-terror” groups.

A disaster is defined as “any situation that has harmful repercussions on human beings, the environment or wealth assets,” according to an accompanying paper by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton. Strikes, demonstrations or uprisings endangering critical infrastructure, banks and corporations can also be included among the targets of military actions carried out by the European police and military.

Preparations for such operations are well advanced. Since the violent confrontations at the G8 Summit in Genoa in the summer of 2001 and the terror attacks in the US on September 11 of the same year, EU member states have systematically consolidated paramilitary forces suited to internal operations.

In 2001, 150,000 demonstrators from all over the world traveled to the G8 Summit in Genoa. A large squad of state security forces protected the heads of state or government of the leading industrial countries. Masked police provocateurs caused violent collisions, and security forces brutally confronted the demonstrators. One youth, 23-year-old Carlo Guiliani, was shot, over 500 people were injured and over 300 arrested. Property damage amounted to €40 million.

After the September 11 terror attacks, the EU-funded ATLAS Network of special police forces was founded. Today, all 37 elite units are hosted by the EU, including the German GSG 9. The network coordinates common training and exercises.

The “Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units,” a training center for police units “especially trained in the handling of violent uprisings,” as political scientist Christian Kreuder-Sonnen explained, has been located in the northern Italian city of Vicenza since 2005. European, American and African policemen are prepared here for deployments in war areas. The centre is mainly financed by the United States.

The European Gendarmerie Force (EGF), founded in 2006, also has its headquarters in Vicenza. Eight European states are represented in the EGF, and Turkey has observer status. The conditions of deployment of the EGF are extremely flexible: it can be placed under the command of the EU, the UN, NATO, or the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It has been deployed to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Haiti.

In 2008, the French Gendarmerie started a project together with the European Commission, in which police and members of the Gendarmerie from different EU countries trained together. Two years later, an exercise took place under the leadership of the German Federal Police in the armed forces barracks near Potsdam.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, the growth of the European security apparatus has accelerated. According to the British civil rights organization Statewatch, the budget of the ATLAS Network recently increased five-fold.

The purpose of the network is not simply to carry out practice drills. Military and security forces will now be used against demonstrations and strikes, as they were against strikers in Greece and Spain. In March of this year, the anti-uprising units fired tear gas and rubber bullets on participants in a demonstration in Madrid of over a million people.

These preparations for mass repression are consciously viewed as a defense of the interests of the capitalist elite against mass uprisings of working class and poor people.

In the study entitled “Urban violence and humanitarian challenges”, the European Union Institute for Security Studies points to the “deep-seated inequalities in the distribution of economic, political and social resources which themselves are interrelated with poverty and are underpinned by globalisation and neo-liberal macro-economic and political processes.”

The “Perspectives for European Defense 2020”, by the same institute, see the task of future military deployments among other things in the “protection of the rich of this world from the tensions and problems of the impoverished … As the proportion of the world population that is impoverished and frustrated continues to increase, the tensions between this world and the world of the rich will increase—with corresponding consequences,” the statement predicts.

It adds, “Technology contracts the world into a small town that is on the verge of a revolution. While we have to deal with an increasingly integrated upper stratum, we are at the same time confronted with the growth of explosive tensions in the poorest lower stratum.”

For this purpose, soldiers are to receive realistic training in suppressing popular uprisings. The German armed forces are building a city named Schnöggersburg, an “urban conurbation” with 520 buildings on a plot of land north of Magdeburg, belonging to the Combat Training Center’s army. It includes a slum, an industrial area and a mosque, which can be turned into a church. After completion, EU and NATO combat units will practice waging war in the city.

In Germany, deployments of the armed forces against uprisings and social unrest have been subject to legal regulation for a long time. The emergency laws, passed in 1968 by the Grand Coalition, allow the deployment of armed forces “for protection against imminent dangers to free democratic principles.”

In 2007, the German armed forces were deployed to protect the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm. They supported the police in spying on demonstrators, as Tornado fighter jets overflew the protesters.

NSA spying and racism


This video from London, England is called Exclusive: DN! Goes Inside Assange’s Embassy Refuge to Talk WikiLeaks, Snowden and Winning Freedom.

By Dustin Volz, National Journal, in the USA today:

‘Raghead’ Slur in Snowden Leak Prompts White House Call for Discrimination Review

On the heels of an explosive leak from Edward Snowden, the White House is pushing its intelligence agencies to review their internal policies and standards to ensure “diversity and tolerance” in its operations.

An article published Wednesday by The Intercept revealed that the National Security Agency and the FBI spied on the emails of five high-profile Muslim-Americans who were apparently guilty of no wrongdoing. One disclosed file from 2005 shows a target’s unknown name being replaced with a placeholder of “Mohammed Raghead.”

Without confirming or denying other details of the report, the White House said it has asked for an assessment of whether spy agencies are vigorous enough in their policing of potential racial or religious bias.

“As the NSA has said, the use of racial or ethnic stereotypes, slurs, or other similar language by employees is both unacceptable and inconsistent with the country’s core values,” White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement. “The administration takes all such allegations extremely seriously, and upon learning of this matter, the White House immediately requested that the director of National Intelligence undertake an assessment of Intelligence Community policies, training standards or directives that promote diversity and tolerance, and as necessary, make any recommendations changes or additional reforms.”

Hayden did not offer further details about the scope or duration of the investigation, but did say that it had been initiated in direct response to The Intercept story.

The new leak has already prompted a swift backlash from a wide net of civil-rights groups led by the American Civil Liberties Union, which are seeking “a full public accounting of these practices.”

The coalition of 44 organizations sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday asking the Justice Department to revisit and strengthen policies discussing the proper use of race by law-enforcement officials.

“While we do not know all of the facts of the individual reported cases, we believe the government has an obligation to explain the basis for its actions,” said the letter, whose signatories included Amnesty International, Free Press, and the Human Rights Watch. “Moreover, we cannot presume that the government acted without prejudice or bias. Too often, both in the past and in the present, we have observed the government engaging in patterns of discriminatory and abusive surveillance.”

A spokeswoman for the NSA said the agency “has not, and would not, approve official training documents that include insulting or inflammatory language.”

But statements from the NSA regarding its surveillance practices continue to prove unpersuasive to the agency’s critics. The Center for Constitutional Rights likened the spying on Muslim-Americans emails to the FBI’s surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil-rights activists in the 1960s, who were viewed as radicals by the government.

Snowden documents show NSA spied on prominent Muslim-Americans: here.

British paramilitary nazis attack photographer


This video is called On the streets with far-right extremists Britain First.

By Luke James in Britain:

Britain First thugs try to detain Hope Not Hate photographer

Monday 7th July 2014

ASHAMED Britain First thugs attempted yesterday to make a citizen’s arrest on a photographer taking snaps of the latest leg of their hate tour.

Members of the self-styled paramilitary group pounced on the female snapper as she followed them to their latest meeting at the Park Lane pub in Wigan.

Photos sent to the Morning Star show how Britain First leader Paul Golding fled into an Asian-run shop in a bid to avoid being caught on camera.

The photographer was with a team of Hope Not Hate activists monitoring the fascists’ movements.

Hope Not Hate spokesman Simon Cressy told the Star: “The photographer went to the venue, they wouldn’t let her in when she showed her press card and then they tried to arrest her.

“They’ve decided to issue a citizens arrest because they’re paramilities and they think they have the right to arrest.

Photos show Mr Golding went into the shop wearing a polo shirt but emerged having changed into a silver suit, white shirt and tie on his way to rally a small gang of fascist activists gathered at the pub.

A Facebook page promised refreshments, speeches and a question-and-answer session at the event. And it urged racists to “bring your friends.”

Britain First had attempted to keep the rally location secret by telling racist supporters to meet at a nearby railway station and await further directions.

But their cover was blown by Hope Not Hate activists, who also helped scupper an event in Dronfield on Saturday.

A Britain First member had booked a room at the White Swan pub in the Derbyshire town without telling the landlord it would be used to whip up support for the racist organisation’s campaign of mosque invasions.

When police alerted the landlord, the fascists were told they were not welcome.

A message posted by the pub’s Twitter account yesterday said: “The function room was booked under false pretences, we had no idea it was Britain First until last night.”

The White Swan was deluged with messages of support for their stand against fascism.

Lisa Lawley tweeted: “Next time I visit Yorkshire I will be certain to pay a visit and shake the landlord’s hand. #stillsmiling”

BRITAIN First’s claim that leader Paul Golding had been nicked for a fourth time was yesterday exposed as a desperate lie designed to raise cash for their fascist gang: here.

Ku Klux Klan interview on BBC


This video from the USA is about the Ku Klux Klan and lynching.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Protests were also held outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House in Belfast yesterday over the publicly funded corporation’s decision to interview a Ku Klux Klan member on Wednesday’s Good Morning Ulster programme.

Belfast Trades Council and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions Youth said the BBC’s decision beggars belief.

“The KKK are renowned for lynching people because of the colour of their skin. There can be no justification for these racist, divisive, reactionary beliefs nor should they be given the oxygen of publicity by the largest broadcaster on these islands,” they said.

Hitler’s ‘most beautiful Aryan baby’ was Jewish


This video is called Jewish Survivor Hessy Taft on being the “Aryan poster child.”

By Scott Kaufman in the USA:

Winner of Nazi 1935 ‘most beautiful Aryan baby’ contest revealed to be Jewish

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 9:40 EDT

The winner of a contest in Nazi Germany to find the most beautiful Aryan baby was recently revealed to have been Jewish, the Telegraph reported today.

Last weekend, Hessy Taft presented the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel with copies of the Nazi family magazine Sonne ins Hause that featured an image of her as an infant on the cover.

The image was allegedly selected by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels himself, after it had been submitted by a well-known Berlin photographer, Hans Ballin.

Taft said that her parents, Jacob and Pauline Levinsons, had ordered the portrait in 1935, as anti-Semitic tensions in the city rose. Her father had been an opera singer, but had to work as a traveling salesman after the Nazis came to power.

Her mother was terrified when she discovered her daughter’s face on the cover of the Nazi family magazine. When she approached Ballin, the photographer told her that he knew the family was Jewish, and that he had submitted the photograph because of that fact.

“I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous,” the photographer told Taft’s mother.

The photograph appeared not only on the cover of Sonne ins Hause, but on postcards used throughout the Third Reich as well. The Nazis never discovered the true identity of their poster child, but they did arrest Taft’s father in 1938.

With the help of a friend, he was released shortly thereafter, then embarked on a path out of Nazi Germany that eventually landed the family in the United States in 1949.

When she presented the portrait to Yad Vashem, Taft acknowledged that “I feel a little revenge — something like satisfaction.”

Dutch nazis want new United States war in Iraq


This video is called WikiLeaks. Killing IRAQ قتل العراق WARNING Graphic War Footage.

Not only Tony Blair, George W Bush’s ex-United States Vice President Dick Cheney, and others responsible for the 2003 Iraq invasion which caused the present bloodshed, advocate, once again, war by the United States and its allies in Iraq.

While a big majority of people all over the world oppose that, they are not completely alone in this. In the Netherlands, ever since 1971, there is the neo-nazi party Nederlandse Volksunie. Its present fuehrer is Constant Kusters.

On a propaganda video, published 26 June 2014 on the NVU site (no, I am not linking to it), Kusters spoke on the present violence in Iraq. He claimed the solution was abolishing the present countries Syria and Iraq, and dividing them into apartheid Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish statelets. Looking at the partition of, eg, Yugoslavia in the 1990s, this is a recipe for bloody ethnic cleansing. Sunni, Shia, Kurdish, Christian, Yazidi, atheist, etc. etc. people, living in the ‘wrong’ ‘new Bantustan’ would then be killed or driven away violently.

Kusters claimed the way to arrive at this ‘solution’ was the United States armed forces waging war in Iraq once again ‘as they already have years of experience waging war there‘.

Sometimes, the NVU claims to be ‘against imperialism’. So, Kusters now exposes the spuriousness of that claim.

It reminds me of British nazi Daniel Lake of the BNP, sister party of the NVU.

As quoted in 2007 on this blog:

Daniel Lake first came to public attention in the run up to the attack on Iraq when he wrote a series of letters to the Swindon Advertiser, saying that everyone who opposed the war was a coward and a traitor, and that he intended to join the paratroop regiment so he could fight.

Chickenhawk, cartoon

Being called cowards caused some anger with the many ex-forces men and women who opposed the war, many of whom have faced enemy fire in the service of this country.

One old soldier, Allan Thipthorpe, who both opposed the Iraq war and had fought in Palestine during the mandate, offered to meet Daniel Lake, but Daniel didn’t have the bottle for it.

Anyway, despite mentioning his determination to join up more than once, time came and went, and Daniel noticeably stayed in Swindon, and did not enlist.

It seems he could be very mouthy when it was a question of sending someone else’s brother, husband or son to die in Iraq, but he wasn’t so keen on it himself.

Then lo and behold, in May 2006, Daniel was observed handing out BNP leaflets in Swindon saying that the BNP opposed the war in Iraq.

So Daniel, in his own terms was both a coward and a traitor?

One can also go back further in history. Hitler and Mussolini, Kusters’ historical rode models, sometimes criticized British or French imperialism. Meanwhile, Mussolini massacred many Africans in Libya and Ethiopia, Italian colonies then.

As for nazi Germany: prominent nazi Hermann Göring was the son of the governor of German South-West Africa (today: Namibia). The nazi paramilitary stormtroopers SA wore brown uniforms, originally intended for German soldiers in the colonies which Germany lost after World War I. In the 1930s, there was the Reichskolonialbund (Imperial colonial league), an organisation within the nazi party, aimed at reconquering the German colonies in Africa and Oceania. British Conservative Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was willing to return some African colonies to Germany; but not enough, according to Hitler, which contributed to Hitler starting World War II.

Revelations from the inquiry into British abuses in Iraq are the inevitable outcome of military adventures, writes IAN SINCLAIR: here.