Donald Trump-International Criminal Court conflict

This 12 June 2020 video says about itself:

ICC says Trump sanctions attack the court, victims of atrocities

The International Criminal Court has rejected the US president’s plans to impose sanctions on some of its officials.

Donald Trump is trying to stop an investigation into allegations of American war crimes in Afghanistan.

But the ICC says the move will undermine its efforts to ensure accountability for mass atrocities.

Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan reports from Washington.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 3 September 2020:

International Criminal Court hits back at ‘unprecedented’ and ‘unacceptable’ US attacks

THE International Criminal Court (ICC) condemned sanctions imposed by the US on its court’s prosecutor and a member of her office as “unprecedented” yesterday.

It warned that the latest measures announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday were “another attempt” to interfere with its work in addressing grave crimes and humanitarian atrocities.

“These coercive acts, directed at an international judicial institution and its civil servants, are unprecedented and constitute serious attacks against the court, the Rome Statute system of international criminal justice and the rule of law more generally.”

Trump accepts American neonazi support

This 13 January 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Aryan Nations gang member who shot police officer captured

Ronnie Lucas Wilson was arrested at an abandoned home early Saturday.

Read more here.

Trump campaign has accepted at least $2,000 from leader of neo-Nazi group ‘Aryan Nations’.

United States police and the violent far-right

This 28 August 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Kyle Rittenhouse CHARGED with Murder: Kenosha Shootings White Vigilante caught 4 other felonies

The 17-year-old arrested in the fatal shooting of 2 Jacob Blake protesters in Kenosha allegedly killed at least one unarmed man, and could get life in prison for murder. …

The criminal complaint against Kyle Rittenhouse was released Thursday, and it says the first person the Illinois teenager allegedly shot, Joseph Rosenbaum, “appeared to be unarmed for the duration of video” reviewed by investigators.

Prosecutors say Rosenbaum appeared to throw an object at Rittenhouse before the fatal shooting, and a second video apparently shows the object in question was nothing more than a plastic bag.

Rittenhouse is also charged with first-degree intentional homicide of Anthony Huber. Prosecutors say Huber — seen with a skateboard in several videos — approached Rittenhouse, who was lying on his back, and appeared to reach for Rittenhouse’s gun. According to the complaint, Rittenhouse fired a round, sending Huber staggering away before collapsing to the ground and dying from a gunshot wound.

Prosecutors charged Rittenhouse with 5 felonies — the 3 others are 2 counts of first-degree reckless endangerment and one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

That last count was for allegedly shooting Gaige Grosskreutz.

By George Zornick in the USA today:

White Vigilantes Have Always Had A Friend In Police

New data shows that far-right vigilantes, often with support from cops, have threatened protesters nearly 500 times since police killed George Floyd.

On Tuesday night in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a 17-year-old named Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly opened fire on anti-racist protesters, killing two people. Video posted to social media captured Rittenhouse roaming the streets in the hours before the shooting as part of a self-styled militia that purportedly was protecting local residents and their property from the protests — and appearing to receive some tacit support from police. Christopher Mathias is a senior reporter at HuffPost covering the far right, and he spoke with Must Reads about his story on how this incident actually has a long historical lineage in the United States.

How common has white vigilante presence been at the anti-racist protests this summer?

Pretty common! The data collected by the Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right counted at least 500 times vigilantes or far-right paramilitaries appeared to confront anti-racist protesters since George Floyd was killed in May. That could be an undercount, too.

‌I think one of the strange developments this year is how accustomed we’ve grown to the presence of militia types, Boogaloo bois, Proud Boys and other far-right actors turning up to confront Black Lives Matter protests. Like, what a strange and awful routine: a video emerges of cops killing a Black American, a volatile uprising breaks out with images of burning cop cars and smashed windows, militias turn up to patrol the protests or “protect property,” as they put it, there are clashes with protesters, and then police crack down on protesters. It’s been a long, hot summer.

Videos from the scene in Kenosha showed Rittenhouse talking with police before he allegedly shot three people. To what extent have you seen white vigilantes’ presence accepted by law enforcement?

So the dataset we used found about two dozen examples of law enforcement supporting or encouraging vigilantes and far-right paramilitaries this year. Those are just the ones we know about, of course. Over the last few years, there have been numerous examples of cops showing animosity toward leftist protesters while cozying up to fascists.

‌It’s also worth noting — and this is something I didn’t put in the article — but one of the favorite symbols for modern American cops is the Punisher skull. You see it on their uniforms. (I saw an NYPD cop wearing one when I got arrested earlier this summer.) They have it as tattoos, as bumper stickers on their cars. It’s firmly part of the Blue Lives Matter aesthetic that’s so, so popular with cops in this country. And it’s an ode to a white vigilante! Honestly something we don’t talk about enough.

There’s a long history of this kind of relationship in America — tell us about it.

This country was founded on white supremacy, and that racial hierarchy has, since the country was founded, been maintained and enforced by white vigilantes, always in partnership with the state. Vigilantes captured runaway slaves and massacred Native Americans for land.

The Ku Klux Klan was teeming with cops and government officials in the 1920s, even as it dealt out horrifying acts of terrorism against Black Americans. Then you had “Sundown Towns” across the U.S. during the Jim Crow era — essentially all-white municipalities — that prohibited Black people from being inside their borders after sunset. These kinds of laws, of course, were often enforced violently by vigilantes in partnership with police. What we’re seeing now during this summer’s uprising is an extension of that history.

What’s the danger moving forward that more vigilantes decide to act violently? Are experts concerned about that?

Experts are very concerned about copycat attacks after Kenosha. The rhetoric of right-wing media, the GOP and the White House is also adding fuel to the fire. Over the past few days, the MAGAverse has rushed to defend Kyle Rittenhouse. This will only embolden other vigilantes across the country. Not to mention we’re heading into an election, which is contentious enough on its own, let alone during a pandemic and a historic uprising against police. There are so many explosive elements to our current situation.

Shut down the gun-mad gang who back Trump. PETER FROST stays up late to watch some of the worst aspects of the gun-loving culture that is Trump’s United States.

How K-Pop fans are drowning out #AllLivesMatter hashtags.

‘FACEBOOK HAS BLOOD ON ITS HANDS’ Facebook deliberately took no action against a group on its platform as members plotted an armed takeover of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and encouraged each other to “shoot and kill.” Civil rights organization Muslim Advocates repeatedly highlighted the danger until Facebook took down the page. [HuffPost]

Racism, anti-racism, worldwide

This 27 August 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

“On a Hunting Spree”: Wisconsin Representative David Bowen Says Cops Turned Blind Eye to White Militias in Kenosha

The police shooting of Jacob Blake has sparked massive protests across the country and in Kenosha, where a white teenager opened fire on Black Lives Matter protesters and killed two people.

Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old self-declared militia member and avid Trump supporter, was apprehended in Antioch, Illinois, after fleeing Wisconsin. He has been charged with murder.

Wisconsin state Representative David Bowen, who has attended racial justice protests in Kenosha, says he “witnessed firsthand” how freely organized white supremacists targeted protesters without interference from law enforcement, and accuses police of giving Rittenhouse the “Dylann Roof treatment”, managing to arrest him without incident, while unarmed Black people are frequently met with deadly force.

“This is Exhibit A and Exhibit B of why we need to transform law enforcement and public safety in Wisconsin and in this country,” Bowen says.

NBA TEAMS BOYCOTT GAMES IN PROTEST The NBA postponed playoff games in response to several teams’ decisions to not participate over Sunday’s police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Bucks initially staged a walkout during their playoff game against the Orlando Magic. WNBA and some MLB teams have also postponed games in solidarity. [HuffPost]

Players shut down NBA playoffs in protest over Jacob Blake shooting. By Alan Gilman, 27 August 2020. The refusal of the Milwaukee Bucks to take the court for their Wednesday playoff game forced professional basketball to postpone all of Wednesday’s games.

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT KENOSHA SHOOTING Catch up on the facts surrounding the police shooting of Jacob Blake and the protests. Amid the unrest, a 17-year-old from Illinois who was among a group of heavily armed vigilantes has been charged in a shooting at a protest that left two dead and one injured. [HuffPost]

Tucker Carlson tries to justify actions of teen charged in Kenosha killings.

OREGON GOV.: TRUMP ERASING MINORITY VOICES The Trump administration’s sudden decision to end 2020 census field operations a month early will disproportionately hurt communities of color, and this is absolutely what the administration intended to do, according to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat. [HuffPost]

Americans who trust Trump more likely to discriminate against Asians, study says.

Tomi Lahren accidentally calls Trump an idiot in Hindi.

PENCE KEEPS MUM ON CRISES The vice president barely touched on the crises facing America — including the pandemic, police brutality, racial injustices and Hurricane Laura — in a convention speech that praised President Donald Trump at length. [HuffPost]

Why a zoo took 114 years to apologize for caging a man

LIFE SENTENCE FOR CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUE SHOOTER The white supremacist who killed 51 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques was sentenced to life in prison without parole, the maximum. The judge said Brenton Tarrant‘s crimes were so wicked that a lifetime in jail couldn’t begin to atone for them. [HuffPost]

Racists murder in the USA

This 27 August 2020 CBS TV video from the USA says about itself:

Events Leading To Shooting That Left 2 Dead In Kenosha Played Out On Social Media

Police not only didn’t arrest suspect [racist far-right murderous gunman] Kyle Rittenhouse at the scene, but at the start of the night they thanked an armed group who had come out – and at the end of the night, video shows Rittenhouse was able to walk right out of the Kenosha hot zone. CBS 2’s Chris Tye reports.

The Republican National Convention: A frightened ruling class incites fascist violence. 27 August 2020. The convention, dominated by hysterical threats against left-wing political opposition, took place against the backdrop of a shooting of demonstrators by a right-wing vigilante: here.

Republican National Convention speaker criticized for several actions seen as dogwhistles to alt-right.

REPUBLICANS RESURRECT RED MENACE The GOP is going hard on the message that Democrats are for socialism — it’s not the first time in American history they’ve relied on this tactic. Read this piece to get educated on the history of this maneuver. [HuffPost]

By Jacob Crosse in the USA, 27 August 2020:

Far-right militia member arrested for fatally shooting two protesters and wounding a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin

27 August 2020

Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old former police cadet from Antioch, Illinois, located less than 20 miles from Kenosha, Wisconsin, was arrested and charged with first-degree homicide on Wednesday morning in connection with the fatal shootings of two protesters and wounding of a third.

The killings came on the third night of protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police on Sunday. Police officer Rusten Shesky, a seven-year veteran of the department, fired seven shots point-blank into the back of the unarmed 29-year-old African American father of six as he was attempting to get into his SUV. The fusillade severed Blake’s spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

The arrest of Rittenhouse took place some 10 hours after he was identified on social media video and by eyewitnesses. The video shows that Rittenhouse shot multiple people in two separate incidents, first in a car lot and minutes later in the middle of the street.

Police have yet to publicly identify the victims. However, at a Wednesday press conference police confirmed that all of the victims were from Wisconsin, including the two who died—a 26-year-old Silver Lake resident and a 36-year-old Kenosha man—and the injured individual, a 36-year-old man from West Allis. All three were unarmed.

Comrades and friends have placed posts on social media identifying one of the murdered protesters as Anthony Huber of Silver Lake. A GoFundMe page established to help pay for funeral expenses for Huber exceeded its $25,000 goal in less than eight hours.

A friend of Huber told the local CBS television affiliate he believed Anthony was a hero because he tried to stop the shooter. “He is a peaceful person,” said the friend. “He didn’t go out looking to beat people up. He’s more of a defender. And he put his life on the line for others. That’s what he did.”

Immediately after the shootings, the police refused to question, much less detain, Rittenhouse. In a graphic video viewed over 2.6 million times, Rittenhouse is seen walking past police and armored trucks with his AR-15 slung over his chest after having fired dozens of rounds less than a minute before, leaving several people injured or dying.

Police can be seen ignoring shouts from protesters claiming Rittenhouse was responsible. Instead, they drive down the street, allowing the killer to leave the city and drive home to Illinois.

Rittenhouse was drawn to the anti-police violence protest by a group called the Kenosha Militia, which had posted a “Call to Arms” on Facebook. The call for right-wing forces to arm themselves and confront protesters in Kenosha on Wednesday was promoted on the far-right conspiracy website Infowars. In interviews given throughout the evening to internet streamers, Rittenhouse boasted that “we don’t have non-lethal” weaponry and that he was there “to protect the property.”

In another recorded interaction, Rittenhouse, AR-15 in hand, is seen with several older members of the militia outside of a boarded-up business. Police drive up and through their loudspeaker offer their “appreciation” to the heavily armed militia members. “We really appreciate you guys,” one cop says over the loudspeaker, while another asks “if you guys need any water.”

President Trump has repeatedly made statements inciting far-right and fascist forces to attack opponents on the left. The murder of the Kenosha protesters took place in the midst of the Republican National Convention, which has featured speaker after speaker denouncing anti-police violence protesters as anarchists, Marxists, terrorists, looters and rioters. In April, Trump posted a tweet urging armed militia groups opposed to state [anti-coronavirus] lockdown orders to “liberate” states with Democratic governors such as Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia.

Far-right groups including Proud Boys and boogaloo bois have gone to Kenosha, a rust belt city devastated by the closure of factories and destruction of manufacturing jobs, to confront and threaten protesters, as they have in other cities across the country where protests have continued since the May 25 police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In seeking to build his personalist base of support, Trump has embraced the fascistic conspiracy group QAnon, which pledges to carry out a “storm” that will end in the execution of Trump’s political opponents.

Trump took to Twitter Wednesday afternoon claiming he had spoken to Wisconsin’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, and would be sending “federal law enforcement and the National Guard… to restore LAW and ORDER!”

Evers has already declared a state of emergency, imposed a curfew and ordered hundreds of National Guard troops into the city, underscoring the fact that state violence against protesters is a bipartisan policy.

Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian, also a Democrat, has unleashed his police force to attack peaceful demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets and deployed military-style armored vehicles on the streets. Unlike protesters, the gun-toting fascists have been permitted by police to break curfew each of the last two nights.

Trump has derided Democratic governors and mayors for not being sufficiently brutal in suppressing protests. In response, police departments in Democratic-run cities such as Pittsburgh and New York City are taking it upon themselves to “disappear” protesters. The same is true in Wisconsin. Within the last 24 hours, video has emerged of police appearing in unmarked vehicles and kidnapping people without due process or explanation.

On Monday, a teenage boy in Madison was taken in by police without explanation after protests had died down. In Kenosha, before the curfew went into effect, heavily armed agents surrounded a “riot kitchen” food truck, which serves meals to protesters and the homeless free of charge, and proceeded to smash the windows and kidnap those inside in broad daylight. Details of the exact sequence of events that led to the shootings in Kenosha are still being determined. However, social media video collected throughout the night shows that the authorities, including the Kenosha police and the Sheriff’s department, were well aware of and encouraged the intervention of far-right militia groups to terrorize demonstrators.

In one video, an unidentified militiaman is seen talking with protesters after the shootings. “Ya know what the cops told us today?” he asks, and then says the police told him they were going “to push them down by you, ‘cause you can deal with them, and then we are going to leave.”

In the first press conference held by Kenosha authorities since Blake was shot on Sunday, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth acknowledged that he had been approached regarding the prospect of deputizing armed civilians. Beth said he discouraged this primarily because of the “liability” it would entail.

At the press conference, Police Chief Daniel Miskinis denied that he had interacted with the militia group or had any knowledge pertaining to it.

The day prior, in a public Facebook post that has since been taken down, the militia group sent a message to Miskinis signed by the “Kenosha Guard Commander.” The message implored the police chief, “Do NOT have your officers tell us to go home under threat of arrest as you have in the past. We are willing to talk to KPD and open a discussion. It is evident that no matter how many Officers, deputies and other law enforcement officers that are here, you will still be outnumbered.”

Asked during Wednesday’s press conference why the police allowed Rittenhouse to simply walk away after his violent rampage, Sheriff Beth enumerated a laundry list of excuses, citing screaming, sirens, and radio traffic, which, according to Beth, can cause “tunnel vision.”

Beth has previously had to apologize for “letting his emotions” get the best of him. At a press conference in February 2018, he spoke to the media regarding an arrest involving stolen property from a nearby mall. No one was injured in the incident, but this did not prevent Beth from pontificating on what he deemed justice.

He declared: “I think at some point society has to get so fed up that they are no longer willing to tolerate people who are not an asset to society. I think we have to create a threshold where, once you cross the threshold, Wisconsin, the United States, builds warehouses where we put these people who have been deemed to be no longer an asset, that are really a detriment…”

Prior to the shootings, hundreds of protesters and residents had gathered outside the city courthouse, defying an 8 p.m. curfew imposed Tuesday night to demand justice for Jacob Blake. No charges have been announced to date against the killer cop Rusten Shesky, who remains on paid administrative leave, along with two other officers.

Leading up to Wednesday night’s protests, police had erected a steel fence around the public safety building, which protesters attempted to knock over. Riot police and several large BearCat armored police vehicles equipped with Long Range Acoustic Devices responded with tear gas, ear-splitting sirens, pepper balls and rubber bullets. Protesters gathered in the park across the street from the building and responded with off-the-shelf fireworks and water bottles, while attempting to shield themselves from the barrage with garbage dumpsters and umbrellas.

Riot police backed by their armored vehicles then formed a line and moved into the park, as they deployed smoke and tear gas. Protesters attempting to flee were blocked off by armed militiamen, believed to be part of the Kenosha Guard. The group’s Facebook page was taken down Wednesday, but not before roughly 3,000 people had expressed interest in attending the event called “Armed Citizens to Protect our Lives and Property.”

Meanwhile, officers under the direction of Sheriff Beth blocked off interstate exits and on-ramps prior to the curfew, preventing people from leaving or entering the city.

At the Wednesday press conference, National Guard Major General Paul Knapp said the number of National Guard troops being sent to Kenosha would be doubled, possibly including soldiers from out of state. Sheriff Beth confirmed that federal agents with the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and the US Marshals Service were already deployed in the city, along with “equipment and information.”

BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTER SHOT A protester marching with a group of fellow activists through rural Pennsylvania was allegedly shot by a white man on Monday night. The protesters are marching from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C. [HuffPost]

Young Black Voters are alienated from the Democratic Party. Can Biden fix it in time?

German nazi policemen threaten immigrant women’s lives

Turkish German comedian Idil Baydar, photo by Marlena Waldthausen

This photo by Marlena Waldthausen shows Turkish German comedian and youth worker Idil Baydar.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant, 24 August 2020:

Extreme right within German police

“Stop saluting Hitler. He is dead’

Threatening e-mails via a police computer to prominent German women with a migration background feed the long-standing suspicion that extreme right-wing networks are active within the police in Germany. Idil Baydar is one of the victims. Why does Germany seem to close its own eyes?

By Sterre Lindhout

“Honestly, Germany, what’s wrong with your police?” Jilet Ayse, self-proclaimed ghetto bride and integration nightmare, wondered a few years ago. In one of her video tirades, she lists police misconduct, often directed against people with a migrant background. “What, police are your friend and helper? You mean your executioner!” she snorts. “Wallah, I swear we are not here at Miami Vice.”

Jilet Ayse doesn’t really exist. She is a creation of cabaret performer and youth worker Idil Baydar (45), a native of Berlin with Turkish ancestors. Her slang, tracksuits, and cheap glossy lip gloss are deceiving. Jilet Ayse holds up a razor-sharp mirror to German society in her videos, making her creator loved by some and hated by others.

Idil Baydar has been threatened with death by the far right for nearly two years. The mails that the Volkskrant saw show a toxic mix of racism, contempt for women and glorification of National Socialism. They are signed with “NSU 2.0”, a reference to the terrorist group Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund that murdered ten Germans with Turkish roots at the beginning of this century.

Problematic enough that there are those who want to follow in the footsteps of this NSU, but even more alarming is that Idil Baydar’s private data comes from a police computer, as is confidential information about two other known women who received threats with the same caption, a criminal defense attorney and a left-wing politician. The leak is at the police in the state of Hesse, that much is known. But otherwise, the police and public prosecutor say they have been in the dark for two years.

Threatening emails

The threatening e-mails fuel the long-standing suspicion that extreme right-wing networks are active within the police in Germany. It has been raining cats and dogs especially in the past year: anti-Semitic jokes in app groups, a drunk policeman who beats an asylum seeker in his spare time, and officers who do the Hitler salute at a party or in the pedestrian zone of a provincial town. According to a survey by Der Spiegel, there are currently investigations into more than four hundred incidents.

As is the case with a summer shower: the first big raindrop is just a drop, the second too, the third just barely. But after that, the connection between the drops becomes unmistakable. It rains. It is also like this with the German army, the Bundeswehr. This spring, an entire elite unit was disbanded because of abundant evidence for far-right views and glorification of the Nazis.

“This must be a group, this cannot be one person’s work,” Idil Baydar says pessimistically on a high summer afternoon in a Berlin park. The cabaret artist has taken a friend to the appointment with the Volkskrant, for safety. Because Baydar no longer walks on the street alone. Cynically: “And I don’t really need police protection now.”

She tells how she filed a complaint after the first threat. “The police tried to sweep the case under the rug again, as the police always cover up everything. She should change her mobile number, they said at the police station. “It’s almost like saying to a woman: don’t put on a mini skirt, then you’ll never be raped again. So I asked, and who tells me you won’t give that new number to Nazis?”

NSU 2.0

In Germany, the story of Baydar is one of many variations on the theme that reads: the German police cannot tolerate criticism and does too little self-reflection. The reaction of police unions to the widespread media attention on the issue of “NSU 2.0” is characteristic.

Police unions warned of “general suspicion of police” and pointed to the increasing number of violent crimes against police officers. In response to the NSU 2.0 threats, Home Secretary Horst Seehofer (CSU) recently called the police “a jewel.” He categorically denies structural problems with racism and the extreme right. It would supposely only be incidents by malicious individuals.

“That’s bold. As a minister you have to dare”, says Rafael Behr. The criminologist and sociologist from Hamburg was himself a cop for twenty years and now teaches at the academy. He obtained his doctorate on the organizational structure of the police force.

The fact that the police have a major problem with racist behavior and extreme right-wing ideas in their own ranks is beyond dispute for Behr. … “I do not see structures that enforce racism, but also no structures that recognize and counteract racism and right-wing extremists. The latter is the biggest problem.”

The silent majority that allows these things to happen is crucial, according to Behr. “In Germany, the police has traditionally been a centrally organized institution that considers itself omnipotent and flawless. Anyone who criticizes internally is regarded as a renegade. “Moreover, there is no noteworthy independent reporting point where police officers can report wrongdoing by colleagues.” …

Ministers of the Interior, certainly a conservative one like Seehofer, reinforce that culture of unconditional loyalty by demonstratively suporting “their” police at the slightest reason. They do this partly out of electoral interest – the CDU / CSU wants to prevent this conservative professional group from going over to the (extreme) right-wing AfD – and partly under pressure from the powerful police unions in Germany that have been shouting for years that the police are victims of the ‘soft’ and ‘green and left’ climate that supposedly prevails in Germany today. They believe that the police receive too little money, but above all too little respect and too much social suspicion. Questionable claims because the current government … is actually investing heavily in the police force …

Blindspot in the making

But that uniformed inferiority complex does explain why Seehofer decided earlier this summer, at the height of the international Black Lives Matter protests, to call off a long-announced nationwide investigation into ethnic profiling by German police. His explanation: ethnic profiling is prohibited by law, so the police don’t do such a thing. In other words: what is prohibited does not exist. Seehofer’s argument sounds like a guide to creating a blind spot. Coalition partner SPD spoke against it, but Chancellor Angela Merkel did not correct her minister.

Seehofer’s reasoning reminds Behr, and many other Germans, of the look-away culture that led the NSU to commit ten racist murders at the time, while the police insisted that it was a series of revenge killings in a Turkish criminal environment.

The first time the caption NSU 2.0 surfaced was in 2018 in a threatening letter to lawyer Seda Basay-Yildiz, known, eg, as an advocate for the next of kin of the victims of the NSU. Yildiz’s data appeared an hour before the mail was sent, retrieved from a police computer in Frankfurt am Main.

The 35-year-old female detective who logged on to the device denied being guilty. She explained that she always left her computer open all day so that colleagues could also work on it. Rather than regard all those present as suspects, the internal commission of inquiry and the Hessian Public Prosecution Service decided to treat them as witnesses – even after they found chats with colleagues on a confiscated phone of a detective with a picture of a gas chamber. With the comment ‘the bigger the Jew, the warmer the tent’.

That detective was not arrested and just continued to work, as was the colleague from Wiesbaden whose account was searched for Idil Baydar’s personal data a few months later. Did the Hessian police “only” serve as a conduit, or did they write the mails themselves? Two years after the first threatening emails, no one knows. The number of people threatened by NSU 2.0 has now reached 70.

It was a journalist from the Frankfurter Rundschau, a Hessian newspaper, who told Idil Baydar in July this year that her data had been viewed from a police computer in Wiesbaden. It is unclear how long the police have known this themselves. Even after the newspaper released the news, “the police apparently did not think it necessary to report to me,” she says.

Idil Baydar wonders how she can trust a police force that is stealing her data, then not really trying to find out who did it and “not taking the threats to her very seriously.” “There was lack of just one policeman saying: we hear you, we’re going after it.”

Different mindset

How difficult it is to bring about a change in mentality in the police force, Thomas Müller (66) knows from his own experience. Müller was a policeman in Bremen for forty years, his entire professional life. When the concept of ethnic profiling was first circulated at the beginning of this century, he says on the phone, he was just as outraged as most of his colleagues. “We didn’t feel it was like that at all, we just did our job.”

For years, Müller also believed that this work should enable making certain comments and jokes about minorities. “When we chased someone with an Arab appearance, we talked to colleagues about an “oil eye”, they also sometimes talked about “smashing up some blacks“.

That changes when he goes to study criminology alongside his job, and he hears the other side of the story for the first time: of people who are arrested time and again “because they cannot drive such an expensive car because of their skin color“. After his studies, he starts working for the police as an integration expert. He organizes seminars where police officers meet with victims of racism, to which the force management initially reacts positively. But there are also colleagues who suddenly stop greeting Müller.

And then it was finished from one day to the next in 2018. Müller is ‘promoted’ without giving reasons “to a desk job deep within the organization, without contact with the outside world” and is banned from doing interviews in the remaining year until his retirement.

Now that Müller is allowed to talk again, he works for Amnesty and Polizei Grün, a still young interest group that fights within the police for a change of mentality. In recent years, the club had about 50 members among 270,000 police officers. Since the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, the number has doubled. “That’s something.”

Müller advocates developing the “soft” skills of the police. “Those people are confronted day in and day out with hatred, violence and crime. That is not talked about, because then you are weak.”

Criminologist Behr also speaks of the “practical shock” that many police officers experience when they leave the academy full of good intentions. Since there is no supervision or room for reflection for them, they entrench themselves behind authoritarian behavior and, in some cases, extremist ideas and fantasies of violence.

Idil Baydar puts it this way: “You don’t get respect with just a uniform and a weapon. It should include certain behaviour.”

And in the person of Jilet Ayse, she has a golden tip for extreme right-wing policemen in one of her videos: “Stop saluting Hitler. He is dead. It’s pointless. He doesn’t hear it.”

Nazi death threat to Belgian COVID-19 doctor

This May 2020 video says about itself:

Brazil’s Bolsonaro: Turning COVID-19 denial into media spectacle

On The Listening Post this week: Brazil’s President Bolsonaro and COVID-19 misinformation.

Worldwide, extreme rightists claim that COVID-19 is supposedly ‘just a flu’, that it is a ‘hoax’ by ‘the Jews’ or by green lizards from Mars, that people should not spatially distance to stop spreading the disease, that there should be no vaccination against the coronavirus, etc.

Some coronavirus denialists threaten the lives of doctors fighting the pandemic, like Dr Siouxsie Wiles in New Zealand or Dr Marc Van Ranst in Belgium.

This tweet by Belgian anti-COVID-19 virologist Marc Van Ranst says, translated:

In Mechelen railway station, a bloke went to me because he was going to ‘kill me because I was a leftist rat‘. He went away while doing Heil Hitler salutes. Poor guy.

‘Leftist rats’ (linkse ratten) is the favourite insult for non-nazis by Flemish extreme right party Vlaams Belang.

English policeman in neo-nazi terrorist gang

 Probationary Met Police officer Benjamin Hannam leaves Westminster Magistrates' Court, London, England earlier this month

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 14 August 2020:

Met officer to face trial over alleged membership of neonazi National Action group

A METROPOLITAN POLICE officer will face trial next year for allegedly being a member of the banned neonazi group National Action.

Benjamin Hannam, 22, of Enfield, north London, is also accused of lying on his police application and vetting forms.

He allegedly claimed he was not a member of National Action, which was outlawed under terrorism legislation in December 2016.

The probationary officer is further accused of possessing an indecent image of a child and a prohibited image of a child.

Mr Hannam is charged with belonging to or professing to belong to a proscribed organisation, namely National Action, contrary to section 11 of the Terrorism Act 2000, between December 2016 and January 2018.

He is also charged with two counts of fraud by false representation in relation to his police application and vetting forms.

The charges state he claimed he had not been a member of an organisation similar to the BNP, namely National Action, intending to make gain for himself, contrary to section 1 and 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

At a brief hearing at the Old Bailey today, Mr Justice Sweeney fixed Hannam’s trial for March 1 2021, with the case expected to last for five weeks.

Nestlé corporation accused of killing many fish

Dead fish in the Aisne river in France, photo by Fédération de pêche des Ardennes

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Nestlé sued for thousands of dead fish in French river

A French fishing federation is suing food corporate giant Nestlé after finding thousands of dead fish in a river near a Nestlé factory. “Everything is dead over a length of seven kilometers,” says the fishing federation.

The dead fish were spotted on Sunday night in the river Aisne near the village of Challerange, between Reims and Verdun. According to local authorities, the fish died from a lack of oxygen in the water. The Ardennes fishing federation estimates the damage at several thousand euros and wants this to be paid by Nestlé France, the owner of the factory in Challerange. Where milk powder is made for in coffee cups.

“Fourteen fish species have been affected,” the federation told AFP news agency. “Including the protected eel and the lamprey.” Volunteers from the Fish Federation and the Fire Department have been working all week to remove dead fish that have washed up. At least 1 ton of fish has already been removed. The banks of the Aisne are off-limits until further notice because there are still many fish that are decomposing by the heat.

The factory says that a liquid was indeed accidentally spilled into the river on Sunday evening. …

It is still being investigated what exactly was in the water.

Neo-nazi problem in Germany

On July 9, Germany’s annual report on domestic extremism showed a sharp increase in far-right extremism in 2019 — 32,080 known individuals, up from 24,100, and 13,000 of them prepared to use violence

By Duroyan Fertl, 11 August 2020:

Kill-lists and commandos: Germany still has a Nazi problem

Europe’s most powerful nation is experiencing a worrying growth in far-right extremism, violence and killings — including infiltration of the government, army and police, reports DUROYAN FERTL in the first of a two-part series

On July 9, Germany’s annual report on domestic extremism showed a sharp increase in far-right extremism in 2019 — 32,080 known individuals, up from 24,100, and 13,000 of them prepared to use violence

SOON after the government announced dramatic steps to combat far-right extremism in the military, it emerged that a new wave of neonazi death threats have been sent to left-wing politicians and public figures. After turning a blind eye to the neo-fascist threat for years, authorities are now finding its tentacles spread throughout Germany’s security apparatus and society.

On July 9, Germany’s annual report on domestic extremism showed a sharp increase in far-right extremism in 2019 — 32,080 known individuals, up from 24,100, and 13,000 of them prepared to use violence. Christian Democrat (CDU) Interior Minister Horst Seehofer — who infamously celebrated the deportation of 69 asylum-seekers on his 69th birthday and asserted “there is no place for Islam in Germany” — suddenly declared right-wing extremism the biggest threat to Germany’s security. This was a clear departure from previous years, where conservative rhetoric had focused on the dangers of Islamism and “left-wing extremism”.

After years of government indifference, the far-right has been growing rapidly in Germany, with often deadly consequences. Interior Ministry figures record 986 acts of attempted or perpetrated far-right violence in 2019, over 600 targeted at elected politicians.