US religious fundamentalists, Dutch nazis against Nelson Mandela

This video says about itself:

Nelson Mandela first interview 1961

Nelson Mandela‘s first interview in 1961 for ITN … . A young Mandela flushes out his strategy for reclaiming fundamental rights for black South Africans from his hideout before his arrest.

Nelson Mandela died. Billions of people all over the world sincerely mourn and honour this freedom fighter.

However, a minority of the tears now is not so sincere. Like in the case of British Conservatives who used to call Nelson Mandela a “terrorist”, and to call for him to be hanged, while he was alive. Or in the case of the Spanish conservative ruling party, which used to prefer dictator Franco to Mandela while Mandela was alive, but who now shed crocodile tears as well.

On the extreme Right side of the political spectrum, some show their anti-Mandela bigotry even now.

The Westboro Baptist Church in the USA is infamous for its homophobia and its anti-Semitism.

Now, they are planning to disrupt the ex-president of South Africa’s funeral with an anti-Mandela protest. They say they thank God for killing Mandela. They claim that is because Nelson Mandela divorced and remarried. Extremely probably, they hate Mandela too for abolishing the anti-LGBTQ laws of the Apartheid regime in South Africa. Plus they will hate Mandela for the usual far Right “reasons”, for supposedly being a “communist terrorist” etc.

We, the Baptist Convention of South Africa, as represented by its leadership, have noted with utmost disdain the insensitive, unbaptistic and unchristian statements issued by the Westboro Baptist Church in USA, about out former President, Dr Nelson Mandela: here.

Dutch neo-nazi party Nederlandse Volksunie (NVU) on 6 December 2013 put an article on their Facebook page (no, I will not link to them) by Geert Wilders admirer Joost Niemoller. The article claims that Mandela changed a South Africa where things supposedly went well under the Apartheid regime, to a “hell on earth”.

Constant Kusters, Nederlandse Volksunie fuehrer, proposes in the election platforms of his party for the 2014 Dutch local elections, to remove the name Nelson Mandela from streets, bridges etc. named after the South African freedom fighter in various towns in the Netherlands.

The NVU was founded in 1971, “with as key purpose to rehabilitate convicted WW-II war [nazi] criminals“, as Wikipedia says.

Soon after that, a Dutch football club played a European cup match in a big stadium in Portugal. The dictatorship in Portugal then waged bloody colonial wars in Angola and its other colonies. In Angola, Africans had to work on Portuguese coffee plantations in conditions very akin to slavery. In the Netherlands and other countries, anti-racists and anti-colonialists campaigned for a boycott of coffee from these plantations in Angola.

During the football match, millions of TV spectators saw big signs, saying in Dutch: “Importeer en drink Angola koffie” [Import and drink coffee from Angola]. The Portuguese regime had put these signs around the football pitch; tipped off to do so by their Nederlandse Volksunie sympathizers.

Present NVU fuehrer Constant Kusters was still a non-political toddler when this happened. However, he is continuing his party’s racist policies on southern Africa which date from the NVU’s earliest days.

Al Sharpton Rips Historical US Policy Towards Nelson Mandela: here.

12 Mandela Quotes That Won’t Be In the Corporate Media Obituaries: here.

World leaders continued to heap praise on anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela over the weekend. But it was at grass-roots level that true affection for the revolutionary leader was being expressed: here.

Latin American solidarity activists paid heartfelt tributes to South African liberator Nelson Mandela at the weekend: here.

Fred Phelps dies: here.

Northern hawk-owl at football ground

This video is about the northern hawk-owl in Zwolle, the Netherlands; cleaning its feathers on 2 December 2013.

Today, the bird is still present.

Early in the morning, it was a bit further away, sitting on an electric light pole of Pierik football ground.

Later, it moved back to its trees near the motorway.

Zwolle owl photo: here.

How Bahraini dictatorship destroyed Bahraini football

This football video is called Asian Cup Nation 2007 Bahrain 2 vs 1 S.Korea.


How the Arab Spring brought a cruel end to Bahraini football’s golden years

This headline is misleading. Not the Arab Spring attacked Bahraini sports cruelly; but the crackdown on the Arab Spring by the forces of the Bahraini regime, and the forces of the Saudi, Qatari etc. regimes.

Nov 2, 2013 10:00:00 AM

In a special report from the Middle East, Omar Almasri explains how political interferences disrupted the progress of Bahraini football and set the nation back

2004, a year Bahrainis will never forget. In that year, China hosted Asia’s biggest football tournament. It was the AFC Asian Cup and Bahrain, with its golden generation of players, shocked the entire continent by reaching the semi-finals frustrating the likes of China and Japan along the way.

With the continued progress and rise of Bahraini football, which included two consecutive World Cup play-offs, nothing looked to be stopping this momentum from pushing forward. But that was not to be case, as the nation was about to be hit with its biggest crisis since gaining independence in 1971.

After the successful downfalls of the oppressive regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, anti-government supporters and political activists flooded the social media networks with messages of a huge, pro-democracy protest and rally on February 14, 2011 in the now torn down, Pearl Roundabout in Bahrain.

What first started out as peaceful rallies calling for more government action and improvements, took an ugly turn for the worst. Three days into the protests, gunshots were fired at the Pearl Roundabout by government forces leaving four people dead and hundreds more injured, in a day now widely known as “Bloody Thursday”.

After the upturn of events, protesters heightened their demands, calling for the end of Al Khalifa rule of the island – a demand not taken lightly by government supporters who took to the streets themselves organizing pro-government rallies near Al–Fateh Mosque, one of Bahrain’s most popular landmarks.

In the midst of all the turmoil and divide, football got involved. Fifa has long voiced that football and politics don’t mix with each other but not in this case.

Pictures and videos of well-known and popular football players like Ala’a and Mohammed Hubail, and Sayed Mohammed Adnan, all Shias, joining the anti-government protests spread all over Bahraini forums and social media sites like wildfire, angering many who once idolized such figures labeling them as ‘traitors’ and ‘criminals’, and calling for their arrest.

“What was, and still is, ongoing for athletes in Bahrain, is a campaign organized by the Bahraini regime in revenge against the backdrop of these athletes participating in peaceful protests demanding democracy,” Faisal Hayyat, a Bahraini sports journalist/critic and host of political satire show ‘Sha7wal’ who was among those arrested by the Bahraini government, informed this writer.

“One look at the list of these detained athletes reveal obnoxious, sectarian revenge, because all these athletes belong to a specific group – the Shiite community, the majority of which are pressing for democratic reforms and changes.”

Amidst the outrage, Ala’a Hubail and his cousin, Mohammed Hubail, along with former national team keeper, Ali Saeed, were among over 160 sporting figures arrested with accusations ranging from kidnapping, attacking patrol officers, burning tires, providing protection for the wanted, killing a police officer, burning homes down among others.

“Many of these figures were arrested and detained without any substantive evidence against them,” Hayyat explained.

“They were detained under arbitrary circumstances; forcibly taken from their homes unlawfully and without a search warrant, and providing dubious confessions coerced under appalling subjugation and mental and physical torture, facts later emphasized by the regime-endorsed Bassiouni Report.”

In the meantime, Sayed Adnan, in fear of his safety, sought refuge in Australia, after his former club, Qatar‘s Al Khor,abruptly terminated his contract, eventually signing on with Brisbane Roar in the A-League.

“This (the Arab Spring) had never happened, all the countries saying to the king or government they want them to step down. Our situation was difficult; it was just to fix the government. Everybody wants a good life and that’s it,” Adnan said in an interview with The Brisbane Times, which according to Times‘ sports editor Phil Lutton, he was “unwilling to do at first” due to the fraught and alarming situation at home.

“But I didn’t go there to say ‘because you killed my cousin, I go to protest’. I go because we don’t want any problems with each other. It doesn’t matter, Sunni, Shia, Christian, we don’t care. We just want to live as before and respect everyone.”

After Fifa pressure, the charges against Ala’a and Mohamed, and other sporting figures, were dropped and Ala’a left to ply his trade in Oman with Al Taleea.

”I served my country with love and will continue as much as I can,” Ala’a stated after his arrest in his hometown of Sitra.

“But I won’t forget the experience which I went through, for all my life. What happened to me was a cost of fame. Participating in the athletes’ rally was not a crime.”

The abuse and torture of Bahrain’s footballers and athletes such as Alaa were put into question upon newly elected AFC president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who allegedly played a major role in their abuse. …

“The allegation is that his office was involved in pointing out soccer players who participated in protests; an allegation he has denied,” Middle East football expert James Dorsey explains.

“His assertion that sports and politics are separate is a fiction and a position held globally by sports executives that increasingly is being challenged. What is more difficult for him to confront is his failure to speak out on behalf of penalized players against the background of an independent, government endorsed investigation (Bassiouni Report) that concluded that there had been abuse.”

Many human rights organizations, including Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) and Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR), protested his candidacy in light of these allegations including the forceful demotion of Premier League sides Malkiya and Al Shabab to the second-tier, two clubs that had players attending protests, among others.

Despite the hardships, Hubail put up a respectable showing during his stint in Oman, and even harboured thoughts of a potential return to the Bahrain national team setup, when quizzed about it by Oman’s Al Shabiba.

“Who doesn’t think about representing his country?” he said. “It’s an honor for any athlete to be a part of his or her nation, no matter which sport they play in. Besides, I didn’t retire internationally like some have reported. But, in the end, it’s up to the manager and I have to respect that.”

Unfortunately, with the team undergoing transition and such, that wish may never come true. …

“Arresting some of your best players is never a good idea and as Bahrain were punching above their weight anyway by coming very close to qualifying for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, it was even worse,” ESPNFC’s John Duerden stated.

“Qualification for the 2014 World Cup confirmed that the team is fading somewhat as a force. The 2013 Gulf Cup did nothing to dispel such feelings and there is a long road ahead for the national team. Only a united Bahrain has a chance of success and at the moment, the country is far from that.”

But, in contrast, the hopes and prospects of political reforms and reconciliation – with the government imposing a ban on protests, inefficiency in implementing recommended “correlative actions” provided by those responsible for the Bassiouni Report – the BICI (Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry) – which are conferred by a number of organizations, including ADHRB (American for Human Rights and Democracy in Bahrain) and POMED (Project on Middle East Democracy), and their ongoing, relentless arrests and detainments of opposing figures and protesters to suppress dissent for even the most miniscule of accusations – look rather dim, stuck – according to Al Wasat editor Mansoor Al Jamri – in a political “cul-de-sac”.

Bahrain: The Bahraini Regime Detains the Signatories to Notification of Organizing a Peaceful Demonstration: here.

Bahrain- Ongoing judicial harassment against BYSHR co-founders and members for their cooperation with the UN: here.

German governmental spying on anti-nazi journalists

This video from the USA is called Long Before Helping Expose NSA Spying, Journalist Laura Poitras Faced Harassment from U.S. Agents.

By Sven Heymann in Germany:

German state intelligence agency spies on journalists

7 September 2013

The intelligence agency of the state of Lower Saxony has for years been illegally spying on journalists involved in researching and publishing information about extreme right-wing circles.

Maren Brandenburger, the new head of the State Intelligence Agency (LfV), announced in mid-September that attention had been drawn to particular journalists during the sampling of at least 9,000 departmental records. Meanwhile, files relating to seven of the journalists have been deleted. The surveillance of the data apparently covered the period from 2006 to 2012.

Those affected include freelance journalist Andrea Röpke and sports journalist Ronny Blaschke. Brandenburger personally telephoned both of these journalists in recent weeks to inform them about the spying.

For more than 20 years, Röpke has been carrying out research on the background to the far right-wing scene and is considered one of Germany’s leading experts in the field. She has been the target of neo-Nazi attacks several times. Results of her work have appeared in newspapers and magazines, including Der Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Focus and Stern, as well as on television programmes such as “Fakt” and “Panorama.” She has been repeatedly acclaimed for her work.

Röpke had earlier become suspicious that she was under surveillance and last year demanded a response from the LfV in relation to her fears. The office simply lied to her, falsely claiming it had no file on her.

Blaschke writes about violence and right-wing extremism in football. He once explained in a guest commentary in the Süddeutsche Zeitung that he lectures and conducts workshops and panel discussions “in fan projects, schools, universities, local and state administrative bodies…with the support of associations, foundations, trade unions, and does so on the initiative of churches and all the democratic parties”.

The LfV head, Brandenburger, told him on the telephone that a lecture to the Left Party in Hanover may have made him a target of the secret service. According to Blaschke, however, she did not provide him with any further details. He said the LfV confirmed to him in writing that his records had been deleted, following the investigation into his case. But he still did not know what they had on him.

Unlike Andrea Röpke, Blaschke said he had never worried that he might have been watched by the secret services. “I didn’t think sport would be important enough. I thought my field wouldn’t be as interesting for the authorities as far right-wing rallies, concerts or camps.”

Röpke, Blaschke and the five other journalists, whose files—according to the intelligence agency—have been deleted, apparently represent only the tip of the iceberg. The Der Spiegel news magazine reported on additional cases encountered during the investigation of the office’s database.

Among the new cases is that of André Aden, who works primarily as a photographer for—among others—the “Research North” network, a coalition of journalists focusing public attention on the far right-wing extremist milieu.

Its interest in spying on journalists investigating neo-Nazis casts a revealing light on the political orientation of the intelligence agency. It is now known that members of the far-right National Socialist Underground (NSU) committed their murders under the noses of the intelligence services. At least two dozen of the intelligence service’s undercover agents operated in the immediate vicinity of the NSU. The Thuringian Homeland Defence group, from which Uwe Böhnhardt, Uwe Mundlos and Beate Zschäpe came, was supported by ample funding supplied to the undercover agents.

The Lower Saxony Intelligence Agency played an important role in the operation. A certain Holger G. is one of the five accused in the Munich NSU trial, because he is said to have supported the NSU from its inception until its exposure. Holger G. lived in Lower Saxony, where he was monitored by the intelligence agency in 1999 owing to his relations with the trio, who were then in hiding. But the agency allegedly called off the surveillance after three days, which it subsequently admitted was a “serious mistake”.

The banned extreme right-wing organisation “Blood & Honour” was also particularly active in Lower Saxony in 2000, and had numerous connections to the NSU.

Far-reaching questions are raised by the fact that the intelligence agency ended its surveillance of NSU assistant Holger G. after only a few days, but for years spied on journalists illuminating the murky world of extreme right-wingers. Why did it spy on the journalists, what data did it gather, and what did it do with the data? Was it itself actively involved in obstructing the journalists’ investigations?

The deletion of the data has made it practically impossible to answer these questions.

Newly appointed interior minister Boris Pistorius (Social Democratic Party, SPD) has cited statutory provisions in an attempt to justify the destruction of the data. But this is a blatant deception. The law expressly does not provide for the deletion of the data. It explicitly states that deletion is not to be carried out “if there is reason to believe that the legitimate interests of concerned parties would be thereby affected. In such a case, the data is to be blocked. It may again be processed only with the consent of the party concerned”.

Andrea Röpke has therefore filed charges on suspicion of concealment of documents. Her lawyer, Sven Adam, said that she has also lodged a disciplinary complaint against the officer in charge. She has now also submitted a request for disclosure of files to all the other intelligence agencies in Germany.

The Lower Saxony Intelligence Agency has a long history of targeted provocations. In 1978, its undercover agents blew a hole in the outer wall of the Celle high-security prison to simulate a rescue attempt for Red Army Faction (RAF) terrorist Sigurd Debus who was imprisoned there.

The provocation was only exposed by an investigative journalist eight years later. In addition to the intelligence agency, Ernst Albrecht (Christian Democratic Union, CDU)—head of the government of Lower Saxony at the time and father of current federal labour minister Ursula von der Leyen—had known about it.

The clandestine surveillance of journalists came to light due to the change of government in Lower Saxony. The SPD and the Greens replaced the former coalition of the CDU and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the spring.

The spying carried out in the years 2006-2012 occurred within the remit of CDU minister Uwe Schünemann. Schünemann is a security policy hardliner who never misses a chance to demand stronger measures against “terror suspects” and an upgrading of the state apparatus.

The SPD and the Greens are primarily concerned with limiting the damage done to the intelligence agency and diverting attention from its involvement with the extreme right-wing milieu. The new head of the department, Maren Brandenburger, is not without a track record. She was previously spokesperson for the Lower Saxony Intelligence Agency and therefore responsible for defending its public image.

The SPD and the Greens are full of praise for the new LfV boss, who is a member of the SPD, according [to] the Berlin Tageszeitung daily. The paper reported that she not only personally informed the journalists affected, but also immediately deleted the illegally collected data. By immediately destroying the data, she has in fact put a stop to further attempts to clear up the matter.

During their state election campaign, the Greens demanded “the complete dismantling of this department”. After their electoral success, the new SPD-Green Party government agreed in their coalition contract to a reform of the intelligence service, and made the agency’s former official spokesperson its head in order to ensure continuity.

Edward Snowden papers unmask close technical cooperation and loose alliance between British, German, French, Spanish and Swedish spy agencies: here.