Racism and homophobia in British football

This video from Britain says about itself:

Footballer Jason Roberts: I’ve had monkey chants in the past few years

2 March 2014

The former Premier League striker Jason Roberts says he has been a victim of racism throughout his career. In an interview for Channel 4’s Dispatches, he says he has had monkey chants directed at him in the last two or three years. Dispatches: Hate on the Terraces airs on Monday at 8pm on Channel 4.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Secret filming shows abuse at football grounds

Racist, homophobic and antisemitic abuse recorded at grounds, and many black players subjected to racist remarks on Twitter

Matthew Taylor

Sunday 2 March 2014 19.33 GMT

Racist, homophobic and antisemitic abuse is commonplace among supporters at some of the biggest football clubs in England, according to an undercover investigation.

Researchers for Channel 4’s Dispatches programme recorded secret footage showing that despite repeated attempts by the authorities to clamp down, offensive chants and abuse are still a regular feature on the terraces.

The programme to be aired on Monday shows West Ham fans chanting antisemitic and racist slogans before a game against Tottenham Hotspur in December as well as several incidents of homophobic chanting at games involving Brighton.

It also reveals that at least 40% of the 150 black Premiership players have been subjected to some racist remarks on Twitter over the last two years.

The findings follow Sol Campbell‘s allegations on Sunday that the Football Association is “institutionally racist”.

In Dispatches, Jason Roberts, who has played for a number of Premier League and Championship clubs, says he regularly encounters racist abuse.

Roberts says: “I’ve had it from people in the street, I’ve had it from teammates, I’ve had it from managers, I’ve had it from coaches, I’ve had it from crowds. I have had monkey chants in the last two, three years.”

He said people were aware of which clubs were the worst but not enough was being done. “I can tell you at certain clubs, certain places … exactly where in a crowd you’re going to get racial abuse from. It’s been the same when I started and it’ll be the same now.”

Last year the police and the Crown Prosecution Service, backed by the Football Association, promised to tackle “… all forms of abuse in football, be it in the stands, or on our computer screens”.

But the undercover reporters exposed a catalogue of abuse, including antisemitic chanting by Chelsea fans targeting Tottenham’s Jewish links, antisemitic chanting at fixtures between West Ham and Tottenham, several incidents of racist and Islamophobic chanting by Millwall fans at an away match at Leicester, and homophobic chanting at games involving Brighton.

Andy Holt, of South Yorkshire police, acknowledged that part of the problem was a failure to report or act on abuse by police and stewards. “I think it’s a more common problem, because of under-reporting, than the statistics would indicate … I think there’s potentially under-reporting by police officers and by clubs.”

A spokesman for the Football League said it, along with the clubs, was “fully committed to tackling discrimination, in whatever form it may occur”. He added: “We will continue to work with the police to prevent football being used as a platform by those holding views that are completely unacceptable.”

The Premier League says it is committed to eradicating discrimination. Darren Bailey, FA director of governance and regulation, said: “They [the football clubs] understand that this affects their business, they understand that it affects their brand, they understand it affects their club and they want to do something about it.”

He added: “We have to continue to squeeze out those … incidents wherever we’re able to do so. We can only do this collectively. So we need the work of the police, we need the work of the Crown Prosecution Service, we need the work of the judiciary.”

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French extreme Right racism and homophobia and the US Tea Party

This video says about itself:

Demonstration in Paris (8.6.2013)

Murder Charge Sought in Paris Activist Death

PARIS – Thousands of supporters marched in grief and anger Saturday to honour an anti-fascist activist who died after a brawl with far-right militants, while authorities opened a murder investigation against a 20-year-old skinhead suspected of delivering the fatal blow in a killing that has shocked France.

France’s Socialist government also took a first step toward banning the security branch of a nationalist youth group that the suspect and four alleged accomplices had claimed ties with, according to the Paris prosecutor.

The death of 18-year-old Clement Meric, a student at Paris’ prestigious Sciences-Po political science university, has renewed concerns that hate groups are on the rise — not just in France, but across Europe.

A medical examiner determined that Meric died from head trauma sustained in the fight that erupted after a chance encounter Wednesday between the far-right militants and anti-fascist activists including Meric in a posh Paris shopping district, prosecutor Francois Molins said at a news conference. He said a murder investigation was under way into one suspect — a security guard who was identified only as “Esteban” — while he and three other skinheads were also facing charges for group violence in the fight that led to Meric’s death.

The four suspects were being held, and a fifth suspect, a 32-year-old woman named Katya who was said to be Esteban’s girlfriend, was facing the prospect of preliminary charges for complicity in group violence, Molins said. The suspects, under police questioning, acknowledged links to an ultranationalist group known as “Troisieme Voie” — or Third Way, he said. None of the suspects had a prior criminal record, though Esteban was known to police for possession of banned weapons in Paris in May 2011, the prosecutor said.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault‘s office said in a statement Saturday that he had asked the interior minister to immediately take steps, under a 77-year-old domestic security law, toward dissolving a far-right group known as Revolutionary Nationalist Youth — considered the security unit of Third Way.

Militant extreme-right groups have become increasingly visible in France, and the government said after Meric’s death that it wants to ban fascist and neo-Nazi groups. Extreme-right groups have gained attention in numerous European countries, particularly Greece, where the Golden Dawn party, broadly vilified for alleged Nazi sympathies and violence against immigrants, holds seats in parliament. Last month, the World Jewish Congress said it’s greatly concerned about the emergence of what it called neo-Nazi parties in places like Greece, Hungary and Germany.

On Saturday, demonstrators poured into the streets of eastern Paris to honour Meric, chanting “we don’t forgive, we don’t forget” and marching behind a banner that said he was “forever in our memories, forever in our hearts.”

The fight erupted outside a clothing store where members of the two groups had run into each other by happenstance Wednesday, Molins said, citing witness accounts and testimony by the suspects during police questioning. … He said a saleswoman in the store testified “having heard one of the skinheads call in reinforcements to do battle, saying — and I quote — ‘in any case, we’re going to call in the others, and we’re going to mess them up'”— in a charitable translation of the profanity-laced remarks.

By the time Meric and his three leftist friends left the store, a group was waiting for them outside — and blows were exchanged, Molins said. Others were injured in the brawl.

During questioning, “the one named Esteban acknowledged to police that he had struck Clement Meric twice — bare-fisted, he claimed — including the blow that caused him to fall to the ground,” Molins said. “A friend of Clement Meric said he saw him (Esteban) with brass knuckles, while another witness of the scene referred to a ‘shiny object’ in his hands.”

By Robert Myles:

France’s interior minister warns of emerging ‘tea party of the French’

Feb 02, 2014 at 1:31 AM PST

France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls, a key minister in President François Hollande’s cabinet, warned Sunday of the emergence of a “tea party of the French,” on the far right of French politics.

Valls was interviewed in the French Sunday newspaper Journal du dimanche. His remarks came a week after Paris witnessed a demonstration under the banner “Jour de Colère” — Day of Rage — against the policies of socialist President Hollande.

Last week, up to 50 disparate groups, united in their opposition to Hollande’s government, took to the streets. Organizers put the numbers of those demonstrating at 120,000, though, as is the norm in France, the police estimate of numbers was a more modest 17,000.

As the demonstration broke up, it turned violent. Police arrested up to 250 demonstrators, mainly on public order and police assault charges, when police came under attack from a hail of bottles, fireworks, stones and other missiles.

Up to 50 disparate groups participated in the Jour de Colère. Demonstrators ranged from far-right fundamentalist Catholic movement Civitas, anti-abortionists, through Comité de Lépante,

This anti-immigrant organisation calls itself after the 1571 naval battle of Lepanto.

Then, a coalition of Roman Catholic States, mainly the kingdom of Spain, fought against the navy of the Turkish Ottoman empire.

However, the 21st century French bigots don’t know their French history in choosing their name. The kingdom of France did not participate in the battle of Lepanto. Often, France then saw the Muslim Ottoman empire as allies against the Habsburg rulers of Spain and Austria.

Like the Dutch, mainly Protestant Christian, rebels against the king of Spain also preferred the Turkish empire to the Habsburg rulers. Geert Wilders, the Dutch ally of the French extreme Right, also does not know his Dutch history about this.

which campaigns against what it sees as the Islamization of Europe, and Printemps Français (French Spring), the most vocal and extreme of the broader Manif pour Tous coalition, campaigning against France’s recently introduced relaxation of laws on same-sex marriage.

One week later, with a further Manif pour Tous anti-gay marriage rally scheduled to take place in Paris Sunday, Valls expressed deep concern at a society “tormented by the dark forces of division” and called on what he termed “the Republican right” of French politics, to distance itself from these groups.

Valls’ call Sunday echoed remarks made by President Hollande two days ago during a visit to the UK for a Franco-British summit with UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Asked about the Jour de Colère, Hollande condemned “the manipulation of minds” with specific reference to what he said were unfounded rumors started by minority groups with the aim of fomenting fear and division, focusing on stories which had been circulating concerning the teaching of gender theory in French schools. Such rumors resulted in a number of French parents withdrawing their children from school, prompting France’s minister for education to write to all school heads in France.

But Valls went a step further, drawing a parallel between the intolerance of elements of Jour de Colère with 1930s Europe in a thinly veiled reference to the rise of Nazism. He described it as “a revolt of the antis: anti-elite, anti-government, anti-tax, anti-parliament, anti-journalist,” but said it went further being especially, “anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic…simply anti-Republican.”

Analyzing what he thought was happening in French politics, Valls said he believed “we are witnessing the creation of a tea party of the French,” drawing a comparison with some far right wing elements of the Republican Party in the US.

“Bound up with the crisis of leadership of the right [in French politics], and faced with the refocusing of the [far right] Front National [political party],” Valls said, “a conservative and reactionary right has come into being. With opposition to marriage for all [same-sex marriage reform], it has increased its forces tenfold. It occupies the streets as it considers that the left [Socialist Party] in power is not legitimate.”

And in a call to the mainstream right of French politics to stand up for democracy, Valls stressed, “In this, the Republican right has a clear responsibility to stand clear of movements that do not accept democracy and the will of parliament.”

However correct Mr Valls may be on the dangers of the extreme right on France, and on the “moderate” right’s role in helping the extremists: let us not forget Mr Valls’ own role in helping the extreme right. Mr Valls wages a campaign against Roma people with bigoted rhetoric. And with anti-democratic repressive measures, like the deportation of Roma schoolgirl Leonarda and her family to dangerous Kosovo. Like the deportation of Armenian student Khatchik Kachatryan. The youth organisation of Valls’ own Socialist Party demonstrated massively against Valls’ xenophobic deportations. In this context, even the truest truism in what Valls says on the French bigoted “tea party” far right sounds hypocritical.

France’s centre-left president Francois Hollande has given a chilling glimpse of what could be in store for Britain under a future Labour government. Hollande capitulated to reactionary protests against his government’s tame pro-LGBT reforms last week: here.

Anti-gay stigma significantly shortens the life-spans of people who identity as gay, lesbian, or bisexual: here.

Al Sharpton: From Arizona to Uganda, We Must Protect the Rights of the LGBT Community: here.

Conservative California Catholic bishop forces out popular, progressive gay priest: here.

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Nigerian governmental homophobia, satiric video

This video says about itself:

17 Jan 2014

Nigeria’s anti-gay lobby thinks homosexuality is a sickness. No wonder they’re celebrating Goodluck Jonathan‘s newly signed Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. But Ikenna has other ideas about the future of Naija‘s health…

What’s Up Africa is a video blog created and presented by Ikenna Azuike and filmed and edited by Sandesh Bhugaloo about creative Africa.

From AMERICAblog about this today:

Nigerian-British comedian Ikenna Azuike does a cute video about how Nigeria’s draconian new anti-gay law is going to end up turning all the straight people gay. …

“So you see, if this jail the gays law stays in force, the economy will collapse. Everyhone who calls in sick for pretending to be gay will be arrested for wanting to be gay. Jails will be full of people who claim to be gay, making jail a ‘gay institution.’ Therefore jails will be illegal, and the only solution will be to let the gay people out, and lock up all the straight people, so jail can be legal again.”

British rich homophobe: A former donor to UKIP has inexplicably responded to a Times columnist’s article condemning a Russian anti-gay law, by taking out an advert in the Telegraph and claiming that homophobia does not exist: here.

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Gays caused British flood disasters, politician says

This video is called UK Storms 2014: Flooding Across England.

There are not only funny theories in Texas, USA about the causes of the first world war. There are also funny theories in England about the causes of recent flood disasters.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Ukip suspends councillor who claimed floods were caused by gay marriage

Ukip councillor David Silvester’s suspension comes after new interview in which he says gay people ‘can be healed’

Patrick Wintour

Sunday 19 January 2014 15.32 GMT

A Ukip councillor who blamed the Christmas and new year floods on the passage of gay marriage laws has been suspended from the party, Ukip said on Sunday, reversing an earlier view that he was entitled to his opinion.

Henley-on-Thames councillor David Silvester, who defected from the Tories in protest at David Cameron‘s support for same-sex unions, said he had warned the prime minister of “repercussions” if gay marriage went ahead.

He was suspended by Ukip after defying a request not to do further interviews on his beliefs following his initial claims made in a letter to a local newspaper. The move came as leader Nigel Farage launched a clearout of “extremist, nasty or barmy” views from the party ahead of polls in May.

On Sunday Silvester caused fresh controversy, telling BBC Radio Berkshire that being gay was a “spiritual disease” that can be healed. His remarks led Ukip’s official gay and lesbian group to send Silvester a letter saying he had “rightly attracted derision from people of all political beliefs, and once again painted Ukip in a negative light – an unacceptable act for which you cannot be excused”.

Tory business minister Michael Fallon said the comments showed “there clearly are one or two fruitcakes still around there” – a reference to David Cameron’s previous criticisms of Ukip.

Silvester said the new law, paving the way for the first gay marriages in Britain this spring, was the latest mistake that would anger God – following on from abortion laws, which he likened to the Holocaust.

In the radio interview, which followed his initial claims about the link between flooding and gay marriage in a letter to the Henley Standard, Silvester said: “I don’t have a problem with gay people. “I believe as a Christian I should love gay people and indeed, I do.

“My prayer for them is they will be healed. It is nonsense to say it is homophobic. If you love a person enough to want them to be healed and to have a proper family, that is hardly homophobic. It is a spiritual disease … it’s not what I say, it’s what the Bible says.”

Silvester added: “I am a man who prays every day for every member of the cabinet and for every member of the royal family and when, two years ago, I wrote to the prime minister to warn him there are repercussions for serious breaches of the coronation oath, such as this one has been, when I saw what followed I naturally assumed this was the result of them going against God’s laws.

“This is not new, this happened in the Old Testament – they were warned if they turned against God there would be pestilence, there would be war, there would be disasters.”

The open letter from Ukip’s LGBT group said: “The Met Office have stated ‘the main reason for the mild and wet weather so far is that we have seen a predominance of west and south-west winds, bringing in mild air from the Atlantic – as well as generally unsettled conditions’ – regardless of whether you believe in a God or not, sudden rainfall has not just formulated out of nowhere upon the UK. An Act of God this is not.”

Protesters egg home of UKIP ‘gay marriage caused storms’ councillor: here.

United States Republican politician blames gays for tornadoes, diseases, etc.: here.

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Kuwait dictatorship’s LGBTQ persecution

This video is called Kuwaiti Stateless (Bedoon) are beaten, arrested.

Kuwaiti Police Humiliate Arrested Migrants: here.

Kuwait upholds 10-year prison sentence for Twitter ‘insults’: here.

As if oppressing human rights activists, workers, women, doctors, athletes, photographers, poets, etc. etc. in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are not already enough …

From Gulf News:

Homosexuals ‘to be barred from entering Kuwait

Medical screening tests to be used to reinforce decision

By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief

Published: 14:55 October 7, 2013

Manama: The routine clinical screening of expatriates coming into the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) might be also used to “detect” homosexuals, a senior Kuwaiti official has said.

A central committee tasked with the status of expatriates will look into the proposal when it convenes on November 11, Yousuf Mindkar, the director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, has said.

“Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries,” he said. “However, we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states,” he said, quoted by local daily Al Rai on Monday.

Homosexual acts are banned in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the GCC member countries.

The top-level bureaucrats of the Kuwaiti absolute monarchy seem to be ignorant about the World Health Organisation having stopped its classification of being gay as a “disease” already 23 years ago.

Instead of on this pseudo-medical witch-hunt, Kuwaiti health authorities should rather spend taxpayers’ money on stopping diseases caused by bad labour conditions for workers in Kuwait.

USA: Catholics push back against the firing of gay teachers at Catholic schools: here.

Christian students condemn gay classmates for ‘unpatriotic’ rainbow flag at US university: here.

Anglican bishop on equal marriage and slavery

This video says about itself:

On January 30, 2003, Belgium became the second country to open marriage to same-sex couples. It is not a separate regime or process. Gays and lesbian couples share in the same marriage legislation as opposite-sex couples.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

‘Opposing gay marriage like supporting slavery’

Friday 31 May 2013

Bishop of Salisbury Nicholas Holtam likened opponents of gay marriage to Christians who used the Bible to support slavery yesterday.

The senior Anglican pointed out that the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa had also supported apartheid thanks to its reading of the Bible.

“Sometimes Christians have had to rethink the priorities of the Gospel in the light of experience,” he wrote in a letter to the Telegraph.

“No-one now supports either slavery or apartheid. The biblical texts have not changed – our interpretation has.”

He said attitudes towards homosexuality had changed considerably over the last 50 years and thought legalising same-sex marriage would provide a “very strong endorsement of the institution of marriage.”

MPs have voted to legalise same-sex marriage, but it is likely to face stiff opposition in the Lords next week.

A Gay Mayor in France Sees Good Banish Hate: here.

Anti-racist football smartphone app

This video is called Kick Racism Out Of Football (Advert 1996).

From the BBC:

Kick it Out launches phone app to report discrimination

Football’s anti-racism group Kick It Out has developed an app for mobile phones so fans can report discrimination at games.

The body took the step after a survey of more than 5,000 supporters suggested at least two thirds had witnessed racist or homophobic chanting aimed at fans, officials or players.

The Tackling Discrimination survey also revealed many fans were unclear how to report incidents and were scared of being singled out if seen to take action.

The app and an online guide to reporting abuse and discrimination will be available to use from the start of the 2013-14 season.

“It will combat the fear that some fans expressed about being singled out if they are seen standing up to discrimination,” said a Kick It Out spokesman.

Reports can be made anonymously and will be sent to the club concerned, with a copy forwarded to the Football Association.

Roisin Wood, director of Kick It Out, said: “The majority of football fans have told Kick It Out they want action to get rid of discrimination at all levels of the game.

“These new reporting tools will allow fans to help clubs and the relevant authorities target instances of discriminatory behaviour more consistently while maintaining healthy and vocal rivalries.”

As well as highlighting a lack of awareness on how to report incidents and the fears that prevented some from taking action, the consultation also revealed:

93% of fans say it is important to do more to tackle racism
75% say that discriminatory language and behaviour and abusive language and behaviour are still a problem in football in the UK
more than three in 10 fans have witnessed racist (31%) or homophobic (33%) chanting aimed at other fans and nearly half have heard racist (44%) or homophobic (45%) abuse aimed at officials or players
47% of all fans had never heard any discriminatory chanting aimed at other fans and 33% had never heard any directed at match officials or players.
90% of fans support ejection from grounds for supporters caught acting in a discriminatory way, 82% support season-long bans, 67% support compulsory education courses from the club and 63% support life bans from the ground.

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Federation, said: “These incidents when the behaviour of the minority crosses over the line are rare, but we’re encouraging all football fans to download the free app and read the reporting guide, so if they are ever in that situation, they are clear on what to do.”

The survey was supported by the FSF, Supporters Direct, Level Playing Field and the Gay Football Supporters’ Network.