Finnish punk rockers with disabilities to Eurovision Song Contest


This video from England says about itself:

21 December 2014

Finnish punks Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (PKN) at the Lexington, London.

After Finnish hard rock band Lordi, who participated in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006, and won (dressed like dinosaurs) …

From the BBC:

1 March 2015

Finland punk band PKN set for Eurovision

A punk band made up of men with learning disabilities is to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest.

The quartet, named PKN, was chosen by Finnish viewers on Saturday and has now been ranked by bookmakers as among the favourites for the contest.

The group, whose members have Down’s syndrome and autism, will perform their 85-second song Aina Mun Pitaa (I Always Have To) at the event in Vienna in May.

“Every person with a disability ought to be braver,” singer Kari Aalto said.

“He or she should themselves say what they want and do not want,” he told Finnish broadcaster YLE.

The group – full name Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat (Pertti Kurikka’s Nameday) – will also become the first punk band to compete at Eurovision.

They first got together during a charity workshop and appeared in an award-winning 2012 documentary called The Punk Syndrome.

This Finnish video says about itself:

The Punk Syndrome – Kovasikajuttu

12 February 2015

A Finnish punk-rock band formed by four mentally disabled guys.

The BBC article continues:

The song deals with the frustration of the rules of daily life, like having to eat healthily and doing chores like cleaning and washing up.

‘Changing attitudes’

“We are rebelling against society in different ways, but we are not political,” bassist Sami Helle told The Guardian.

“We are changing attitudes somewhat, a lot of people are coming to our gigs and we have a lot of fans.

“We don’t want people to vote for us to feel sorry for us, we are not that different from everybody else – just normal guys with a mental handicap.”

They are 5/1 to win the contest, according to Betfred, making them third favourites behind Italy and Estonia.

Heavy metal band Lordi gave Finland its only Eurovision win to date with Hard Rock Hallelujah in 2006.

The UK’s Eurovision entrant will be named on Saturday.

Libya, from bloodshed to more bloodshed


This video says about itself:

Women refugees flee Libyan violence

8 March 2011

As the world marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, euronews went to the Libyan-Tunisian border to meet some of the female migrants who are fleeing the violence in Libya.

By Joseph Kishore in the USA:

US imperialism and the catastrophe in Libya

17 February 2015

This weekend, the Islamic State (ISIS) released a video of the horrific beheadings of 21 Coptic Christian workers seized in the town of Sirte in eastern Libya. This barbaric act was the latest in a series of such killings, including the beheading or immolation of hostages from the US, Britain, Japan and Jordan.

The latest ISIS atrocity has triggered predictable expressions of shock and anger by news anchors and editorialists in the United States, along with further massacres. Within hours of the release of the video, Egypt, led by US-backed dictator General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, launched a wave of air strikes killing 64 people, including seven civilians.

Washington and its political allies are politically and morally responsible for these atrocities. The Islamist beheadings in Libya are the product of a monumental crime: the 2011 NATO war in Libya to oust the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Prior to the intervention of NATO, there were no sectarian murders of Christians in Libya and Islamist militias tied to Al Qaeda were small groups with no broader influence. These forces were armed and promoted when, in 2011, the Obama administration and its allies in Europe, led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, took the decision to topple Gaddafi.

The imperialist powers funneled massive amounts of money and weaponry to Islamist militias and Al Qaeda operatives, providing them with air support through a mass bombing campaign that killed tens of thousands of Libyans.

As the World Socialist Web Site wrote at the time: “Far from a ‘revolution’ or struggle for ‘liberation,’ what the world is witnessing is the rape of Libya by a syndicate of imperialist powers determined to lay hold of its oil wealth and turn its territory into a neo-colonial base of operations for further interventions throughout the Middle East and North Africa.”

The disastrous consequences of the rape of Libya are now all too clear to see.

The war culminated in the carpet bombing of Sirte and the torture and murder of Gaddafi, after which then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gloated, “We came, we saw, he died.” Since then, Libya has collapsed into an ever-bloodier civil war between various Islamist factions and rival militias vying for state power. The country has also served as a training ground for CIA-backed Islamist forces preparing to fight the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Less than four years after the war, the American media report on ISIS atrocities in Libya as if US imperialism had nothing to do with them. No one reading the editorial produced Sunday by the New York Times (“What Libya’s Unraveling Means”) would have any inkling of Washington’s role in producing this catastrophe, or the US media’s role in supporting the operation. One of the key figures in the war, the late US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, who was killed in an Islamist raid in Benghazi after the war, was himself a friend of many Times journalists.

The Times worries that “this oil-rich nation [is veering] towards complete chaos,” and that “the growth and radicalization of Islamist groups raise the possibility that large parts of Libya could become a satellite of the Islamic State.” It manages to describe the conflict that led to Gaddafi’s ouster simply as a “civil war,” without even mentioning NATO’s six-month bombing of Libya.

ISIS is now strongest precisely where Washington has intervened most aggressively. Another article published in the Times over the weekend warns, “The Islamic State is expanding beyond its base in Syria and Iraq to establish military affiliates in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya.” The Times does not mention that the US has invaded or financed Islamist proxy wars in four of the six countries mentioned: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

The world is now witnessing the consequences of the recklessness, brutality, greed and limitless stupidity of Washington and its NATO allies.

Responsibility for the disaster in Libya lies squarely with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the initial champion of a NATO war in Libya; President Obama, whose administration provided the bulk of the firepower that shattered Libya’s armed forces and its major cities; and the NATO allied powers that joined in this murderous adventure.

What is unfolding across the Middle East today is an indictment of imperialism, its ruling elites, its political servants and its lying media.

Britain: David Cameron’s ‘free Libya’ is no-go area, Foreign Office says: here.

LIBYA: ISIS‘ NEW HOME BASE “The beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by Islamic State followers has finally drawn the global spotlight to the group’s rising clout in Libya, which not long ago was touted as a successful example of Western intervention. The killings prompted Egyptian airstrikes on Islamic State strongholds in Libya and spurred calls for more active international involvement in what is fast becoming a failed state on Europe’s doorstep.” [WSJ]

Egypt’s Sisi becomes ‘key anti-IS ally’ after Libya raids. Egyptian strikes against IS in Libya likely to improve Cairo’s ties with US, as human rights ‘take a back seat’, say experts: here.

Thousands of migrants nearly die in a week trying to reach Italy from Libya: here.

Copenhagen murderer terrorist, North Carolina murderer not terrorist?


This video from the USA says about itself:

#MuslimLivesMatter: Loved Ones Honor NC Shooting Victims & Reject Police Dismissal of a Hate Crime

12 February 2015

Thousands gathered on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last night to remember the three Muslim students shot dead by a gunman who had posted anti-religious messages online. The victims were two sisters — 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha and 21-year-old Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha — and Yusor’s husband, 23-year-old Deah Barakat. Suspected gunman Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

… On Wednesday, police said the killings resulted from a dispute over a parking space. But Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of Razan and Yusor, described the shootings as a hate crime. The killings in Chapel Hill have sparked an international outcry, with the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter spreading across social media. A community Facebook page was set up Wednesday in memory of the three victims, called “Our Three Winners.” We are joined by two guests: Amira Ata, a longtime friend of Yusor, and Omid Safi, director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center.

When recently a gunman murdered three human beings in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, many people wondered why establishment politicians and corporate media did not call this crime terrorism.

Was it because the victims were Muslims, and the perpetrator hated Muslims? People asked that about media in, eg, the USA, in Britain, and in the Netherlands.

Shortly after North Carolina, another gunman murdered human beings. Two human beings in Copenhagen, Denmark.

This video from Denmark says about itself:

People laid flowers outside the Copenhagen synagogue on Sunday (February 15) where a shooting killed one person and wounded two police officers.

Suddenly, politicians and corporate media re-discovered the word ‘terrorism’. Already before anything was known about who perpetrated this crime, and why (like in the mass murders by Norwegian Islamophobe Breivik, when the Murdoch media and others claimed these massacres were by Muslims, while they did not know anything about Breivik yet). The Prime Minister of Denmark does use the word terrorism now. The New York Times in the USA does. Eg, Dutch daily paper Metro of 16 February 2015 had the word Terror in chocolate letter size in the headline of its main front page story.

Why this rediscovery of the t-word? Because, unlike in North Carolina, the victims were not Muslims, and the perpetrator (probably) was Muslim, or at least had an ‘Islamic sounding name’?

On page two of that Metro issue, columnist Jan Dijkgraaf leaves the distinct impression that this is the case, in a column called What’s next? He claims there is a pattern in ‘Islamic terror'; basing himself on only two murder cases: in Paris, and in Copenhagen. He writes (translated):

So, there is a pattern.

One arranges to get a weapon.

One goes to a capital of a European country.

Dijkgraaf’s second and third sentences clearly fail to prove a ‘pattern of Islamic terrorism’. As both the perpetrators in France and in Denmark did not need to get weapons especially for ‘Islam’ (‘Islam’ as both fanatics like ISIS and Islamophobes see it; not the Islam of most Muslims all over the world). They already had histories of violent crime. Completely a-political, a-religious violent crime.

The New York Times writes about this:

The gunman, identified in Danish news reports as Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, appears to have shared some traits with at least two of the militants responsible for the Paris violence — notably a criminal record and an abrupt transition from street crime to Islamic militancy.

The Copenhagen police have not publicly identified the gunman, saying only that he was 22 years old, was born and raised in Denmark, and was known to law enforcement officers because of gang-related activity and several criminal offenses linked to weapons violations and violence.

So, now Dijkgraaf’s third sentence: ‘One goes to a capital of a European country.’

This gives an impression of evil barbarian outsiders traveling from far away lands to European capitals. But Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein did not need to travel to Copenhagen. He was born there. He was raised there. He lived there. He had Danish nationality.

DR2 Deadline (Danish TV) said that Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein was not known as a radical Muslim by his friends.

Why this sudden transition from a-political a-religious crime to (probably; not proven 100%) ‘religious’ crime?

We may never know. Danish police say they don’t know. Danish police shot Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein dead. He did not leave behind any message outlining his motives for his murders, as far as I know.

We may guess a bit more about another transition in Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein’s life: from non-criminal to non-religious criminal.

From Danish radio (translated):

By Emma Toft

Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein was born in Denmark in September 1992.

He grew up in the metropolitan area.

He is the child of Palestinian parents. They are now divorced. He has a younger brother. …

He has also completed the Higher Preparatory Examination [which, in theory, means he can be admitted by universities] – the last part of it while in prison with fine results.

According to his own statements, he has tried to be admitted to an IT course in college – without success.

Multiple convictions

He has repeatedly been convicted and held in prison for, among other things violence and violation of the Arms Act.

A probation psychological consultant said during the trial that he did not suffer from a serious mental illness. He was only suspected of drug use. But Omar El-Hussein himself said he was suffering from anxiety and felt paranoid.

The entire case was appealed to the High Court. Therefore, Omar El-Hussein was released January 30, 2015 – two weeks before the shooting attacks in Copenhagen.

More details have emerged regarding Hussein’s biography, confirming how well-known the gunman was to police. The head of Denmark’s secret service, PET, Jens Madsen, said that El-Hussein may have been “inspired by Islamist propaganda issued by Islamic State and other terror organisations.” Madsen did not offer evidence substantiating this allegation, however: here.

It now appears El-Hussein never received training from ISIS or Al Qaeda forces in the Middle East. His turn to terrorist activity was produced by conditions in Denmark and the depraved militarism of the major powers in the Middle East and Africa, in which the government in Copenhagen has taken full part: here.

Dijkgraaf uses the last paragraph of his column in Metro for claiming that the supposed ‘pattern of Muslim terror’ will show itself next in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He blames liberal opposition politician Alexander Pechtold, party leader of D66, for future murders in Amsterdam as Pechtold rejects Islamophobia. Dijkgraaf depicts Muslims in general as inherently ‘evil’, in order to avoid real causes of terrorism; like racism and ‘austerity’ economic policies. Pechtold is one of few politicians in the Dutch parliament with the courage to denounce the racism of politicians like Geert Wilders. Unfortunately, Pechtold, like Dijkgraaf and Wilders, supports ‘austerity’ economics which aggravate racism.

OVER 30,000 MOURN VICTIMS OF COPENHAGEN TERRORIST ATTACKS Authorities believe Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein acted alone when he killed two in separate shooting attacks in Denmark Saturday. Hussein was in turn killed by police fire. [WaPo]

From the New York Times in the USA:

COPENHAGEN — The attack on Copenhagen’s synagogue earlier this month that left a volunteer Jewish watchman dead is a tragedy for a society that, for more than two centuries, has insisted that there is no tension between being Jewish and being Danish. It was precisely this sense of national solidarity across religious lines that helped save Denmark’s Jews from the Nazis during World War II.

And that’s why it rubbed many Danes the wrong way when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Danish Jews to “come home” to Israel after the attack. Even if Denmark’s Jews clearly face a new threat, this time from a small group of extremist Muslim Danes, Mr. Netanyahu seemed to be belittling the social unity that is so treasured by most Danes and denying both Denmark’s proven ability to protect its Jewish population — something that Danes are very proud of — and Danish Jews’ affinity for their country.

Oslo Muslims to form ‘peace ring’ around synagogue during Shabbat services: here.

Contrary to the gunman in Copenhagen, police did not kill the North Carolina murderer, but arrested him. So, we may know, and yet get to know, more about him than about his Danish colleague.

The New Yorker magazine in the USA writes about the Chapel Hill murderer:

Far more Americans are killed each year by the shooters in our midst like Craig Stephen Hicks than have ever been killed by all the jihadist terrorist outfits that have ever stalked this earth. That’s the price, or so the rhetoric goes, of our wild freedom. But maybe to understand the Chapel Hill murders better we need to imagine how it would be playing out if it were the other way around—if some gun-toting Muslim, with a habit of posting hate messages about secular humanists, took it upon himself to execute a defenseless family of them in their home.

Oh, why does a vigilante man,
Why does a vigilante man
Carry that sawed-off shotgun in his hand?
Would he shoot his brother and sister down?

The last four lines of this quote are a quote from a song by Woody Guthrie.

This is a music video of that song Vigilante Man – Woody Guthrie. The lyrics are here.

Craig Stephen Hicks calls himself a “patriotic American”. He said he is a member of the National Rifle Association, the right-wing lobby organisation which says there are not enough firearms yet in the USA. He is a ‘gun nut': police found thirteen firearms at Craig Stephen Hicks’ place.

Craig Stephen Hicks and his NRA strongly support the second amendment of the United States constitution. As they see it; not as politicians in 1789 saw it when they passed it. The second amendment links bearing arms to popularly controlled organized ‘well regulated militias’ to prevent in an organized way a tyrannical government in the USA, or an invasion by the British empire, then recently enemies in the American revolutionary war.

So, no ‘right to bear arms’, as interpreted by Hicks and other ‘vigilante men’ for shooting one’s brother or sister, as Woody Guthrie sang. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being African American. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being Muslim (or Sikh, or Hindu, but ‘looking like a Muslim’ to Islamophobes). No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being Jewish. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being from Latin America. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being LGBTQ. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being atheist. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being communist. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being anarchist. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for having red hair.

In practice, in the USA today, there is not only the violence of Hicks and similar ‘vigilante men’. There is also, contrary to the wishes of the eighteenth century American revolutionaries, a standing army. The biggest standing army in the world. But that is another long story.

We petition the Obama administration to:Declare the Chapel Hill shooting of 3 innocent Muslim-American students a Terrorist Attack: here.

North Carolina killings reveal double standards when victims are Muslims: here.

Shoot up a crowd while white, you’re a “murderous misfit.” Do it with a “cultural motive,” you’re a terrorist: here.

The Chapel Hill executions were a hate crime committed by a white terrorist of the Fox News generation, writes RAMZY BAROUD: here.

Islamophobic network fuelling hate sentiments in US: Report – See more here.

THE DANGER OF RIGHT-WING SOVEREIGN CITIZEN EXTREMISTS “They’re carrying out sporadic terror attacks on police, have threatened attacks on government buildings and reject government authority. A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security earlier this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists, and comes as the Obama administration holds a White House conference to focus efforts to fight violent extremism.” [CNN]