Michael Brown killed, new video shows truth

This video from the USA is called Two White Construction Workers Saw the Michael Brown Shooting, This Is What They Have To Say.

By Mollie Reilly in the USA today:

Video Shows Witnesses’ Disbelief Following Michael Brown Shooting

A video airing on CNN Wednesday showed witnesses’ immediate reactions to the shooting death of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer last month.

In a cell phone video provided to CNN, two men who were doing construction work on a home near the scene react to seeing Brown shot by Officer Darren Wilson.

“He had his f**king hands up,” one man says in the recording.

The men later spoke to CNN about what they saw. One worker said he heard two gunshots about 30 seconds apart:

“The cop didn’t say get on the ground. He just kept shooting,” the man said.

That same witness described the gruesome scene, saying he saw Brown’s “brains come out of his head,” again stating, “his hands were up.”

The other contractor told CNN he saw Brown running away from a police car.

Brown “put his hands up,” the construction worker said, and “the officer was chasing him.”

The contractor says he saw Wilson fire a shot at Brown while his back was turned.

The two men in the video spoke under the condition of anonymity to CNN. It is not clear if they are the same construction workers who spoke to St. LouisFox 2 and the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

“I saw him staggering and running and when he finally caught himself he threw his hands up and started screaming OK OK OK OK OK and then the three officers come through the thing and the one just started shooting,” one man told Fox 2 last month.

A friend of Brown’s, Dorian Johnson, has also come forward as a witness. Speaking to KSDK in St. Louis last month, Johnson said Brown had not reached for Wilson’s weapon.

“It was definitely like being shot like an animal,” Johnson said.

Federal investigators stepped in to help probe Brown’s death after protests erupted in the St. Louis suburb following the August 9 shooting. The Justice Department is also investigating the conduct of Ferguson’s police as well as the county police force.

New eyewitness testimony has emerged in the case of the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Accounts given to local media by two construction workers further substantiate already existing evidence that police officer Darren Wilson fired numerous rounds into the unarmed Brown, even as the youth sought to surrender: here. And here. And here.

Over 600 people attended a meeting of the Ferguson, St. Louis City Council Tuesday, demanding the prosecution of Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9, and expressing opposition to the city’s abusive police practices: here.

Ukraine’s neo-nazi Azov battalion

This video says about itself:

Neo-Fascist Mercenaries From Europe Fill the Ranks of Ukraine’s Army Azov Battalion

9 June 2014

One special forces group, fighting separatists in Eastern Ukraine, is bringing together many self-declared neo-fascists.

The volunteers joining the so-called Azov battalion, raised by Ukraine’s interior ministry, includes men from Russia, Sweden and Italy who believe in national socialism.

Al Jazeera’s David Chater reports from Mariupol.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Azov fighters are Ukraine’s greatest weapon and may be its greatest threat

The battalion’s far-right volunteers’ desire to ‘bring the fight to Kiev’ is a danger to post-conflict stability

Shaun Walker in Mariupol

Wednesday 10 September 2014 13.36 BST

“I have nothing against Russian nationalists, or a great Russia,” said Dmitry, as we sped through the dark Mariupol night in a pickup truck, a machine gunner positioned in the back. “But Putin’s not even a Russian. Putin’s a Jew.”

Dmitry – which he said is not his real name – is a native of east Ukraine and a member of the Azov battalion, a volunteer grouping that has been doing much of the frontline fighting in Ukraine’s war with pro-Russian separatists.

The Azov, one of many volunteer brigades to fight alongside the Ukrainian army in the east of the country, has developed a reputation for its fearlessness in battle.

But there is an increasing worry that while the Azov and other volunteer battalions might be Ukraine’s most potent and reliable force on the battlefield against the separatists, they also pose the most serious threat to the Ukrainian government, and perhaps even the state, when the conflict in the east is over. The Azov causes particular concern due to the far-right, even neo-Nazi leanings of many of its members.

Dmitry claimed not to be a Nazi, but waxed lyrical about Adolf Hitler as a military leader, and he believes the Holocaust never happened. Not everyone in the Azov battalion thinks like Dmitry, but after speaking with dozens of its fighters and embedding on several missions during the past week in and around the strategic port city of Mariupol, the Guardian found many of them to have disturbing political views, and almost all to be intent on “bringing the fight to Kiev” when the war in the east is over.

The battalion’s symbol is reminiscent of the Nazi Wolfsangel, though the battalion claims it is in fact meant to be the letters N and I crossed over each other, standing for “national idea”. Many of its members have links with neo-Nazi groups, and even those who laughed off the idea that they are neo-Nazis did not give the most convincing denials.

“Of course not, it’s all made up, there are just a lot of people who are interested in Nordic mythology,” said one fighter when asked if there were neo-Nazis in the battalion. When asked what his own political views were, however, he said “national socialist”. As for the swastika tattoos on at least one man seen at the Azov base, “the swastika has nothing to do with the Nazis, it was an ancient sun symbol,” he claimed.

The battalion has even drawn far-right volunteers from abroad, such as Mikael Skillt, a 37-year-old Swede, trained as a sniper in the Swedish army, who described himself as an “ethnic nationalist” and fights on the front line with the battalion.

For the commanders and the generals in Kiev, who many in Azov and other volunteer battalions see as responsible for the awful losses the Ukrainian army has suffered in recent weeks, especially in the ill-fated retreat from Ilovaysk, there was only contempt.

“Generals like those in charge of Ilovaysk should be imprisoned for treason,” said Skillt. “Heads are going to roll for sure, I think there will be a battle for power.”

The Ukrainian armed forces are “an army of lions led by a sheep”, said Dmitry, and there is only so long that dynamic can continue. With so many armed, battle-hardened and angry young men coming back from the front, there is a danger that the rolling of heads could be more than a metaphor. Dmitry said he believes that Ukraine needs “a strong dictator to come to power who could shed plenty of blood but unite the nation in the process”.

Many in the Azov battalion with whom the Guardian spoke shared this view, which is a long way from the drive for European ideals and democracy that drove the protests in Kiev at the beginning.

The Russian volunteer fighting with the Azov said he believes Ukraine needs “a junta that will restrict civil rights for a while but help bring order and unite the country.”

This disciplinarian streak was visible inside the battalion itself. Drinking is strictly forbidden. “One time there was a guy who got drunk, but the commander beat him in his face and legs until he could not move; then he was kicked out,” recalled one fighter proudly.

Other volunteer battalions have also come under the spotlight. This week, Amnesty International called on the Ukrainian government to investigate rights abuses and possible executions by the Aidar, another battalion.

“The failure to stop abuses and possible war crimes by volunteer battalions risks significantly aggravating tensions in the east of the country and undermining the proclaimed intentions of the new Ukrainian authorities to strengthen and uphold the rule of law more broadly,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International Secretary General, in Kiev.

Fighters from the battalion told the Guardian last month they expected a “new revolution” in Ukraine that would bring a more decisive military leader to power, in sentiments similar to those of many Azov fighters.

Despite the desire of many in the Azov to bring violence to Kiev when the war in the east is over, the battalion receives funding and assistance from the governor of Donetsk region, the oligarch Serhiy Taruta.

German official sabotage of nazi terrorism investigation

This video is called Neo Nazi Killers of Germany (SHOCKING Crime Documentary).

By Sven Heymann in Germany:

Germany: Official report speaks of “deliberate sabotage” by secret service in NSU case

10 September 2014

In mid-July, the Thuringia state parliamentary committee of inquiry into the series of murders by the far-right National Socialist Underground (NSU) presented its final report. It raises serious allegations against the state security authorities.

So far, the actions of the secret services and judicial authorities in relation to the NSU have been mostly described as errors, incompetence, official sloppiness, failures, breakdowns, unfortunate circumstances, accidental shredding, and so on.

The detailed report goes much further. For the first time, it openly says that the behaviour of the authorities involved in the NSU investigation in Thuringia gives grounds for “suspecting deliberate sabotage”. The police, secret service and judiciary had provided so little cooperation in the investigation of the NSU that one can no longer speak of unfortunate circumstances or breakdowns, committee chair Dorothea Marx (Social Democratic Party, SPD) said in Erfurt.

In the opinion of the committee, the series of murders by the neo-Nazi terrorist cell could have been prevented if the investigating authorities had not previously displayed such serious misconduct, Marx said. The alleged perpetrators come from Thuringia; therefore the Thuringia authorities bear “a special responsibility and a special guilt.”

The committee began its work in February 2012, after the NSU was broken up in November 2011. In just 70 sessions, more than 100 witnesses were heard. Its final report comprises more than 1,800 pages and is available online.

The report is of particular importance in many respects. The alleged right-wing terrorists Uwe Böhnhardt, Uwe Mundlos and Beate Zschäpe came from Jena, the second largest city in Thuringia. All three joined the far-right scene there in the 1990s.

Above all, it is clear that in Thuringia, more than in almost any other state, government agencies played a central role in building up this milieu. The undercover operative Tino Brandt received about 200,000 Deutsche Marks from the secret service, which he mainly invested in the construction of the neo-Nazi scene, he said. And Böhnhardt and Mundlos died in the Thuringia city of Eisenach on November 4, 2011, in a motor home, supposedly by committing suicide.

On that day, it came to light that, supposedly undetected over 13 years, the NSU committed 10 murders, at least two bomb attacks and 14 bank robberies. It is also known that at least two-dozen secret service undercover agents were placed in the immediate environs of the NSU.

Through financing these undercover operatives, large sums of money flowed into the far-right scene. Immediately after these close connections between far-right terrorists and the secret service became known, the destruction of thousands of intelligence files began. Police and intelligence officials who were called to testify before inquiry committees and in the Munich NSU trial were either not granted permission to give evidence, refused to testify, or could not remember anything.

The Thuringia committee of inquiry brought together facts exposing overwhelming evidence against the investigating authorities.

In relation to the NSU trio, who went to ground in 1998, the report says: “Seen all together, the history of all those involved in conducting, or not conducting, the manhunt between 1998-2003, is a disaster”. Even if one puts the best case, one must assume the responsible parties displayed “sheer indifference to finding the three fugitives in comparison to other tasks”. It then states: “The accumulation of false or untaken decisions, and the non-observance of simple standards, also lead to the suspicion of deliberate sabotage and deliberate thwarting of the search for the fugitives” (all quotations on p. 1,582 of the report).

The Thuringia State Office for the Protection of the Constitution (TLFV, as the state branch of the secret service is called) had prevented the trio from being found: “By withholding important information…the TLFV has at least indirectly protected the fugitives,” the report finds (p. 1,584).

In several cases, undercover agents had been protected by the secret service against actions by the police or the public prosecutor. In the case of Tino Brandt, “at least one attempt to influence an…investigation…by the TLFV was proven”, as far as the committee was concerned. Furthermore, the committee “came to the conclusion that Tino Brandt was warned—by whomever—about the investigation into him, benefiting from the perverting of the course of justice that resulted (p. 1,580).

It was also established that “the majority of the other undercover operatives and subjects” were “offenders, who committed crimes, in part during their deployment” (ibid).

As became clear, the Thuringia secret service could operate undisturbed and uncontrolled, especially in the 1990s. “With regard to the administrative and technical supervision” of the secret service by the Thuringia Ministry of the Interior, it must “be stated that at least until the year 2000 this did not exist” (p. 1,585).

However, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Thuringia State Office for Criminal Investigation (LKA) also face serious allegations. Their actions had led to “the case only [being] worked on sporadically”.

The LKA had left the search for the NSU trio to the Criminal Investigation Unit and the secret service. Moreover, the “State Security Division, in violation of its duty, had not brought together the results and findings and made all the necessary evaluations.” In the search for the fugitives, the public prosecutor “had also exercised only rudimentary governance and was only involved in individual actions” (p. 1,585).

One of the most controversial elements of the report was almost completely buried in the already extremely sparse media coverage: The report places a question mark over the alleged suicides of Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt in their motor home in Eisenach on November 4, 2011.

The previous official version of events goes something like this: after a bank robbery in the morning, the two had holed up in a rented motor home, on the run from the police. After this was discovered by two police officers at about noon, Mundlos and Böhnhardt had fired shots, set the vehicle on fire from the inside, and then shot themselves. Contrary to their previous ruthlessness, and despite an extensive arsenal of weapons in the vehicle, both made no attempt to escape the situation.

As an essential proof for this version, it has always been stated that soot was found in the lungs of Mundlos during the autopsy, which he had inhaled after setting the motor home on fire; in Böhnhardt’s mouth, however, no soot was found, since he was already dead.

As the Thuringia committee of inquiry has established, this was based solely on the assertion of a police officer from the crime scene, who claims to have received this information by telephone from the pathologist—and it does not correspond with the facts, according to the investigation report. The committee received the autopsy report, which notes that neither Böhnhardt nor Mundlos had inhaled soot before they died.

That posed “the classic question of whether the fire had been started after the deaths of the two, by a third party, who would thus also come into consideration as a perpetrator for the killings”, the report declares (p. 1,574).

Having reviewed the scenario at the crime scene in detail, the report concludes that the involvement of a third party, who could have silently slipped away unnoticed by the police officers, can by no means be ruled out.

Who this unknown third party is, an individual who may have shot the two right-wing terrorists, and his relationship to them or to the secret service, is one of the countless questions about the NSU that are still completely unanswered.

The committee of inquiry in the Thuringia state parliament has clearly shown how deeply government agencies are involved in the development of far-right and right-wing terrorist organisations. Ten years ago, when the attempt to ban the neo-Nazi German National Party (NPD) failed, the judges declared that legal proceedings could not continue because the secret service had flooded the executive level of the NPD so massively with undercover agents that in the court’s view this was an “affair of state”.

In a similar way, the report of the Thuringia NSU Committee shows that secret service authorities, police and other parts of the security apparatus function as a state within a state, aloof from any democratic control and legal remedy.

French extreme and ‘center’ Right racism, sexism

This video says about itself:

Is France Becoming Racist? (Part 1) – #F24Debate

8 November 2013

“It’s an attack at the very heart of the French Republic” This is how the country’s Justice Minister, Christiane Taubira, describes a recent spate of racist acts directed at herself. The politician was recently compared to a monkey on a far-right candidate’s Facebook page. Annette Young and her guests discuss the rise of racism in contemporary France.

Our guests on the show: Louis-Georges TIN, President of the French Black Coalition, Madjid MESSAOUDENNE, Councillor, Saint Denis, Paris, Nonna MAYER, Research Director at CNRS, the French Public Research Centre, Philippe MOREAU CHEVROLET, Commentator at Le Nouvel Observateur.

Syrian gunmen, called ‘moderate’ may sell prisoners like Steven Sotloff to the not so moderate gunmen of ISIS.

Some ‘center Right’ French politicians may also not be as ‘moderate’ as they call themselves

From daily The Independent in Britain:

France’s Moroccan-born education minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem fights back against slurs

Two new false rumours about Ms Vallaud-Belkacem are being pedalled this week by right-wing websites and on Facebook and Twitter

John Lichfield

Paris, Monday 08 September 2014

France’s new education minister – young, female and Moroccan-born – has become a lightning rod for all that is nasty in French politics.

Since she took over the job two weeks ago, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, 36, has been besieged by racist and sexist comments and malicious rumours on social media. Her appointment has been attacked by magazines of the far right, and the less far right, as a “provocation” and a politically-correct piece of social engineering by President François Hollande.

Two new false rumours about Ms Vallaud-Belkacem are being pedalled this week by right-wing websites and on Facebook and Twitter.

A forged letter carrying the minister’s signature calls for primary school pupils to be given lessons in Arabic each week in the name of good community relations. A fake identity card appears to “prove” that Ms Vallaud-Belkacem adopted an Arab identity to further her political career. The card suggests that her real name is “Claudine Dupont”.

Ms Vallaud-Belkacem has started criminal proceedings, but her advisers say that the volume and tenacity of the lies threatens to overwhelm them. As soon is one is shot down, another springs up.

Although the rumours seem to begin with the far right, they are often passed on by moderate right-wing individuals and websites as if they were true. A parliamentarian of the main centre-right party, Isabelle Balkany, retweeted the “Arab language classes” letter at the weekend before she realised that it was false.

The campaign against Ms Vallaud-Belkacem is reminiscent of a barrage of attacks last year against the French Guiana-born justice minister, Christiane Taubira. The two women are detested on the hard right of French politics not just because of their racial background.

Ms Taubira pushed through the law legalising gay marriage last year. Ms Valaud-Belkacem, as a junior minister for women’s rights, helped to devise an experimental programme in which some primary schools tried to combat gender stereotypes. The programme, though clumsy, was widely misrepresented on the far right and on the radical Catholic right as the spearhead of an attempt to “abolish differences in gender”.

Ms Vallaud-Belkacem’s appointment as France’s first woman education minister in a reshuffle two weeks ago was taken by many right wingers – even relatively moderate ones – as a “provocation”. This was the word used by the far-right magazine, Minute, on its front cover. A supposedly more moderate magazine, Valeurs Actuelles, carried an evil-looking image of the new minister with the front-page headline “L’Ayatollah”.

Ms Vallaud-Belkacem tried to respond with an intellectual joke. She said that buying Minute was better value than buying books by the existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. “For the price of a newspaper you get both Nausea and Dirty Hands (two Sartre titles).”

The new minister has also been the object of sexist attacks. Franck Keller, a centre-right councillor in Neuilly-sur-Seine, where Nicolas Sarkozy was once mayor, tweeted an alluring picture of Ms Vallaud-Belkacem and the message: “I wonder what attributes persuaded Hollande to give her a big ministry.”

The education minister is a rare symbol of political success in France by someone from a poor background. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem was born in 1977, the second oldest of seven children in the impoverished village of Bni Chiker in Morocco. Her family emigrated to France to join her father, a labourer, when she was five.

After a brilliant school career in Amiens, she graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Studies in 2002.

Foreign mercenaries in Ukraine war

This video from Sweden says about itself:

Neo-Nazi march in Stockholm and counter-demonstration

22 September 2013

Eight people were detained Saturday, as a march by the Neo-Nazi “Party of the Swedes” was confronted by co-demonstrators. Some 200 supporters took part in the march by the “Party of the Swedes”, which is the current name of the former National Socialist Front. The march started at Stockholm’s Humegården Park and then tried continue to Högtorget Square.

This nazi “Party of the Swedes” is the party of Mikael Skillt, now an officer on the side of the Kiev government in the bloody war in Ukraine.

As this blog blogged earlier, the Dutch nazis of the Nederlandse Volksunie have sympathy for, and contacts with, the Azov Battalion in the armed forces of the Ukrainian government in Kiev. A unit with as its symbol the wolfsangel, known from German and Dutch nazis during World War II.

The BBC wrote about this (para-)military unit:

16 July 2014, Last updated at 12:43 GMT

Ukraine conflict: ‘White power’ warrior from Sweden

By Dina Newman, BBC News

The appearance of far-right activists, both foreign and home-grown, among the Ukrainian volunteers fighting in east Ukraine is causing unease.

Mikael Skillt is a Swedish sniper, with seven years’ experience in the Swedish Army and the Swedish National Guard. He is currently fighting with the Azov Battalion, a pro-Ukrainian volunteer armed group in eastern Ukraine. …

In a telephone conversation from an undisclosed location, Mr Skillt told me more about his duties: “I have at least three purposes in the Azov Battalion: I am a commander of a small reconnaissance unit, I am also a sniper, and sometimes I work as a special coordinator for clearing houses and going into civilian areas.”

As to his political views, Mr Skillt prefers to call himself a nationalist, but in fact his views are typical of a neo-Nazi.

“It’s all about how you see it,” he says. “I would be an idiot if I said I did not want to see survival of white people. After World War Two, the victors wrote their history. They decided that it’s always a bad thing to say I am white and I am proud.”

Mr Skillt believes races should not mix. He says the Jews are not white and should not mix with white people. …

He says his comrades do not discuss politics much, though some of them may be “national socialists” and may wear swastikas. On the other hand, “there is even one liberal, though I don’t know how he got there”, he adds, with a smile in his voice. …

The key figures in the Azov Battalion are its commander, Andriy Biletsky, and his deputy, Ihor Mosiychuk.

Andriy Biletsky is also the leader of a Ukrainian organisation called the Social National Assembly. Its aims are stated in one of their online publications:

“to prepare Ukraine for further expansion and to struggle for the liberation of the entire White Race from the domination of the internationalist speculative capital”

“to punish severely sexual perversions and any interracial contacts that lead to the extinction of the white man”

This, according to experts, is a typical neo-Nazi narrative.

‘Foreign journalists’

The Azov Battalion was formed and armed by Ukraine’s interior ministry. A ministerial adviser, Anton Gerashchenko, got angry when I asked him if the battalion had any neo-Nazi links through the Social National Assembly. …

Mr Gerashchenko was adamant, however, that there were no foreign citizens fighting in the Azov Battalion.

“There are foreign journalists, from Sweden, Spain and Italy, who have come to report on the heroic achievements of the fighters in their struggle against terrorism,” he said.

He insisted he had never heard of Mikael Skillt, the Swedish sniper.

Also about the Azov battalion; Fausto Biloslavo mentions:

Gaston Besson, a former French paratrooper who helps oversee the battalion’s foreign cohort. “We are anti-communist, but the spirit is the same as that of the International Brigades that fought [against Fascism] in Spain in the thirties.”

More like the Spanish Legion, the Tercios, Franco’s pro-fascist foreign legion in the Spanish civil war.

Many of the Azov Battalion members describe themselves as ultra-right Ukrainian nationalists. They proudly wear symbols and use slogans associated with neo-Nazis, such as black t-shirts with the Celtic cross. Football ultras have also joined the ranks of the battalion, which was founded by the National Social Assembly, a confederation of ultra-nationalist organizations … This far-right ideology is what continues to draw like-minded activists from Sweden, Italy, France, Canada and even Russia.

For an Italian citizen in the Azov Battalion, 53-year-old Francesco F., the fight in Ukraine has given him a sense of purpose. “On the Maidan barricades I was like ET, finding ‘home’ on the side of Ukrainian nationalists”, said Francesco, who during the 1970s and 80s was affiliated with the National Vanguard ultra-right movement in Italy. “After the annexation of the Crimea and the explosion of the Eastern part of the country, I could not abandon them [Ukrainians] to face the Russian threat alone. That’s why I chose to enlist and fight.”

On their way to shooting practice and maneuvers, fighters paid homage to their Italian comrade Francesco F. by singing a hymn honoring Mussolini. Francesco, whom everybody calls “Don,” or “uncle,” fights under the nom de guerre Stan.

Francesco was sitting next to Severin, a 20 year-old Swedish volunteer who has a tattoo on his bodybuilder-like biceps with the inscription “son of Odin.” A pounding nationalist rock song called “Death to the Enemy” played from a mobile phone, and battalion members took turns insulting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s manhood.

At the firing range, a Swedish instructor offered training on urban warfare. The man, who did not want to be identified, was dressed in black, shaved, lean, and muscular. “I came to train you in the most difficult tactics, urban warfare.” He harangued the battalion with the attitude of an officer. “I will show you how to break into a building, take it and, if you are lucky, get out of it alive.”

Mikael Skillt is perhaps the most well-known foreign fighter of the battalion. This Swedish sniper, with seven years’ experience in the Swedish Army and the Swedish National Guard, was a member of the neo-Nazi Svenskarnas party in Sweden.

The Azov battalion is not the only Kiev military unit including foreign mercenaries. According to Ukrainian paper Kyiv Post, Semyon Semenchenko, commander of the Donbas battalion, is Russian; and

And moves to strengthen the force have not been confined to Ukraine.

Many volunteers come from Belarus, Georgia, Russia and even Spain.

From corporate media and ruling politicians in NATO countries, these days one hears much about the danger that ISIS fighters, returning from Syria, might commit violence in their countries of origin. Prime Minister David Cameron of Great Britain even uses this as a pretext for attacking civil liberties, not only of (ex-)ISIS fighters, but of all airline passengers and of people in general.

What, however, will happen if fascists like Mikael Skillt or Fabio F. return from Ukraine to Sweden, Italy, or other NATO countries, with nearly learned military skills and used to ‘solve’ issues by violence? What will happen if they meet a non-white person; or a person whom they, rightly or wrongly, perceive to be Jewish? or Russian? or Leftist? or gay or lesbian?

You don’t hear David Cameron or similar politicians about that.

Theatre in Scotland about the extreme right

This video about theatre in Britain is called There Has Possibly Been An Incident: Interview with Chris Thorpe.

By Mike Quille, writing about the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland:

Reality checks with a future

Wednesday 3rd September 2014

MIKE QUILLE recommends two plays on far-right extremism that merit wider exposure beyond an apolitical festival

GIVEN the open, if undeclared, war being waged by the ruling classes across Britain and the energising effect of the referendum debate on Scottish politics, you might think that this year’s festival would have provided more in the way of artistic critiques, protest and alternative imaginings.

Yet much of the theatre on offer seemed unwilling to “stimulate a desire for understanding, a delight in changing reality,” to quote Bertholt Brecht.

Because political apathy rules, maybe no more should be expected from artists.

But this seems pretty undemanding when you see examples of good political theatre.

A case in point is Blood Orange, a classic piece of agitprop by the Electric Theatre Collective. It’s based on real-life recent events in Dumfries, when the Scottish Defence League attempted to march and mobilise support.

In the play, a young man’s grief for his mother and the loss of their family shop is manipulated by a shadowy skinhead into racist violence, with tragic results.

In the process of telling this story, Blood Orange successfully combines a strong political message, exuberantly expressed in poetic writing and great ensemble acting, which is presented within the — brilliantly appropriate— crazed visual and sonic aesthetics of clubbing.

It’s a show which could and should be shown anywhere in Britain as a wake-up call to the dangers of the far-right’s mobilisation of alienated working-class youth.

Confirmation, a one-man show by writer-performer Chris Thorpe, works differently but is equally effective.

Based on the psychological theory of confirmation bias — by which we tend to interpret the world in ways which reinforce our convictions —it explores what happens when liberal, tolerant attitudes come up against right-wing extremism.

Thorpe and director Rachel Chavkin dramatise the resulting conflict in an innovative way through role play, thought experiments and Q and A sessions with the audience.

These are all delivered passionately, even aggressively, by Thorpe as he lurches violently around centre stage. Like a demented boxer, he confronts himself, his imagined political opponents and us.

Through a dramatised dialogue with a white supremacist and Holocaust denier, Thorpe negotiates through the psychology of engagement with far-right opinions and the cautionary need to keep our core values while being aware of our natural bias.

Enlightening and entertaining, it’s an unpredictable, intimidating and daring performance.

Both shows plaited together ideas and action — they’re outstanding examples of another Brecht dictum, that “theatre must teach all the pleasures and joys of discovery and all the feelings of triumph associated with liberation.”

More of that, please.