Hungarian homophobic government bans Eurovision song contest


This February 2017 video says about itself:

Muslims and gays ‘are unwelcome here’ – BBC News

A village in Hungary has banned Muslim dress, the call to prayer and “homosexual propaganda”. By leading what it calls “the war against Muslim culture“, it hopes to attract other Christian Europeans who object to multiculturalism in their own countries.

Its mayor, Laszlo Toroczkai, says that while he would welcome people from Western Europe to live in the area, “we wouldn’t like to attract Muslims to the village”. Lesley Ashmall reports.

After the right-wing government ban on Ukrainian participation in the Eurovision song contest this year because they hated Ukrainian participant Ms Anna Korsun, now a right-wing government ban on Hungarian participation in the 2020 Eurovision song contest because of governmental homophobia.

From daily The Independent in Britain today, by Samuel Osborne:

Hungary’s far-right government pulls out of Eurovision song contest because it is ‘too gay’

Commentator describes competition as ‘homosexual flotilla’ and says country’s mental health would be better if it did not participate

Hungary has pulled out of the Eurovision song contest amid speculation the competition is “too gay” for the country’s far-right government.

Although no official reason has been given for the withdrawal, a source inside Hungary’s public broadcaster reportedly said they assumed hostility to the contest’s LGBT+ links were behind the decision.

One pro-government commentator described Eurovision as a “homosexual flotilla” and said the country’s mental health would be better if it did not join the competition.

A source inside MTVA, the Hungarian public broadcaster which typically hosts its own song contest where the winner goes on to represent the country at Eurovision, told The Guardian: “I was not surprised. It comes from the organisational culture of MTVA.”

Positive coverage of LGBT+ rights in the media was discouraged, they told the paper.

It comes after Hungarian website index.hu quoted public media sources speculating the country had withdrawn because Eurovision was considered “too gay”. …

Hungary’s decision not to participate in Eurovision was then confirmed last week when the list of competing countries was published.

“I welcome the decision, including from a mental health perspective, that Hungary will not take part in the homosexual flotilla that this international song competition has been reduced to,” said Andras Bencsik, the editor of a pro-government magazine, said.

“Many young people thought that this is something for people under 18, but at this event the destruction of public taste takes place with screaming transvestites and bearded women.”

Associates of Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, have gained control of a large swathe of the country’s media in recent years and his Fidesz party has taken control of state media.

The prime minister has launched a policy to promote traditional family values and boost birth rates, amid a rise in homophobia.

Government censorship means no Ukraine at Eurovision 2019


This 23 February 2019 music video from Ukraine shows the song ‘Siren song’ by ‘Maruv’, the stage name of singer Anna Korsun. With this song, Maruv won the Ukrainian final for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. Maruv was supposed to go to Tel Aviv in Israel for the international final.

However, then right-wing Ukrainian government politicians intervened.

According to them, the Ukrainian representative at the song contest should make far-right Ukrainian nationalist ‘patriotic’ propaganda. And Ms Korsun did not do that.

So, Maruv was banned.

According to Dutch NOS TV today, the consequence is that there won’t be any Ukrainian singer at the final in Israel.

Authorities asked other Ukrainian singers to scab as substitutes for Maruv. But they refused.

With less than two weeks left in the presidential campaign, the Ukrainian Interior Minister has mobilized against incumbent president Petro Poroshenko the very same far-right forces that were instrumental in the imperialist-backed 2014 coup that brought Poroshenko to power. Last week, Poroshenko, who currently sits in third place in Ukraine’s Presidential election polls, behind comedian and leading candidate Volodmyr Zelenskiy and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, was accosted by members of the far-right Azov Battalion-affiliated National Militia in the city of Zhytomyr during a campaign stop. In a photo that was widely shared on social media, Poroshenko was seen fleeing reporters and the far-right thugs while jumping through puddles in the street: here.

Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky won the Ukrainian presidential elections Sunday with over 73 percent of the vote, in a massive repudiation of the incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko, and the imperialist-orchestrated 2014 coup that brought him to power: here.

US, EU gave over $20 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine since 2014: here.

Ukraine government plagued by political infighting: here.

Ukrainian censorship of winning Eurovision singer


This 8 February 2019 music video from Ukraine is called MARUV – Siren Song (Lyric video) Eurovision 2019.

Well … Eurovision Song Contest 2019 … Ms Maruv did win the Ukrainian competition, so she was supposed to go to the international final in Tel Aviv.

However, then far-right Ukrainian ruling politicians intervened.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Ukraine must look for a new artist for the Eurovision Song Contest. The [Ukrainian] public broadcaster has withdrawn 27-year-old Maruv as their candidate after a fuss about her performances in Russia.

Immediately after her victory at the national qualifying round last weekend, several politicians said they did not want Maruv to represent Ukraine. As the singer sings regularly on Russian stages. Those performances are controversial

A commenter at Maruv’s YouTube video mentions that meanwhile, to Ukraine’s far-right warmongering billionaire oligarch president Poroshenko, the profits of his own businesses in Russia are not controversial at all; contrary to Maruv’s singing.

The singer and the public broadcaster sat around the table yesterday to come to a solution. Maruv offered to cancel her shows in Russia in the coming months. But that was not enough for the broadcasting authority, whom she accused of censorship.

“I am a Ukrainian citizen, who pays taxes here and I love Ukraine with all my heart”, she writes on Facebook.

One should hope that Facebook will not censor her now as well.

“But I refuse to parrot slogans and use my participation for the honour and glory of our politicians. I am a musician, not an instrument in the political arena.”

Patriot

The broadcaster states that the Eurovision participant is a cultural ambassador for the country and that the opinion of the Ukrainian people

Especially the opinion of rich oligarchic people like Poroshenko

must be propagated. The Ministry of Culture takes that even further and says that “only patriots who are aware of their responsibility” should be allowed to participate in the song competition as long as “thousands of heroes die for the territorial integrity of Ukraine”.

Hey President Poroshenko and Poroshenko Ministry of Culture: if you have a few seconds time to listen in between your censoring of the internet and counting your profits from military weapons production and from tax dodging in Panama: then I will tell you that you might inspire far-right politicians in other European countries with your censorship.

Eg, ABBA won the Eurovision song contest with Waterloo. But they oppose the Danish extreme right abusing their music. And they are not members of the Swedish neofascist party ‘Swedish Democrats‘, as far as I know. So, not patriots at all according to extreme right standards. ABBA should give their Eurovision trophy back immediately.

Dutch Eurovision contest singers have sometimes been of African or Asian ancestry. Dutch racists don’t like that. How can they ever be real right-wing Dutch patriots? That kind of singers should be banned forever. Etc. [Sarcasm off]

Lys Assia, first Eurovision song contest winner, RIP


This music video says about itself:

Eurovision 1956 Switzerland / Lys AssiaRefrain

The first Eurovision Winner ever! Switzerland and Lys Assia!!

Dutch NOS TV reported on 24 March 2018 that Ms Assia had died. Her real name was Rosa Mina Schärer. She was 94 years old.

In 2011 and 2012, when she was already in her late eighties, they tried again to represent Switzerland at the Eurovision song contest, but was not selected.

British Conservative anti-Irish racism


This video from Britain says about itself:

Elaine on First Dates Channel 4 (Feb 2017) – “No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish

Jamaican-born Elaine recalls the shared racism that the Black and Irish communities experienced in London in the early 1960s.

By Felicity Collier in Britain:

Tory councillor suspended after bigoted Eurovision tweet

Monday 15th May 2015

A TORY councillor has been suspended for six months following racist tweets he made about Irish people during Saturday night’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Warwickshire councillor Nick Harrington, who is also a magistrate on the Coventry & Warwickshire bench, tweeted at about 11.15pm: “Thanks Ireland. You can keep your f’king gypsies! Hard border coming folks!”

His outburst was in response to Ireland choosing to not give Britain any points in the cheesy competition.

He also retweeted an offensive post featuring a photo of shadow home secretary Diane Abbott [who is of African ancestry].

Originally posted by a user called @SuperOldHolborn, it read: “One hundred and eleventy seven points to the glorious socialist utopia of Mogadishu West.”

Twitter users called for Mr Harrington to delete his account, which he did yesterday morning, while others invited him to resign.

By noon leader of Warwick District Council Andrew Mobbs announced that Mr Harrington had been suspended with immediate effect and that an investigation into his behaviour would be launched.

Mr Mobbs said: “I am appalled at the comments. There is no defending such behaviour.”

On Twitter, there was mass condemnation of his offensive posts.

Irish Communities, Culture and Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Riordáin sent a message to British Prime Minister Theresa May asking: “Can we assume he will be expelled for this outburst? “Is this why Conservatives are gobbling up Ukip votes? Disgusting racist tweet from a Tory councillor.”

Twitter user Conor O’Carroll responded to Mr Harrington: “You are a perfect Tory. A nasty bigot that drops his guard when he’s pissed and makes a fool of himself. You believe every word you said.”

The Irish Mirror reported that the incident had been referred to the police. Mr Harrington did not respond to phone calls from the Star.

A TORY councillor has been suspended over a retweet that compared shadow home secretary Diane Abbott to an ape wearing lipstick, it was revealed yesterday: here.

New museum exhibit explores science of racism. ‘Us and Them’ examines why prejudice persists, By Laura Spinney, 8:00am, May 14, 2017: here.

Theresa May orders Tory MP to be suspended after using N-word. Anne Marie Morris, the MP for Newton Abbot, recorded casually using term at East India Club in London: here.

Ukrainian government stops rainbow under neonazi homophobic pressure


Unfinished rainbow in Kyiv, Ukraine

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Kiev: the end of the rainbow?

Today, 17:34

Ukraine is not known as a particularly pro-gay country, but with the Eurovision Song Contest, the city of Kiev wanted to improve its image. Therefore it was decided to paint a monument from the Soviet era in the colours of the rainbow.

Meanwhile, the monument to the brotherhood between Russians and Ukrainians is almost completely “coloured”. But at the last moment, the project has been suspended because of protests.

Homo propaganda

The painting is almost finished, only at the top of the middle it is still grey. And that will probably stay that way. The nationalist party ‘Right Sector‘ held a protest at the arch last week. In a statement, the party called the rainbow a symbol of “homo propaganda“, and it was supposedly against “Ukrainian values“.

‘Nationalist’ is an euphemism for the violent neonazi Right Sector. Their leader Yarosh makes lots of money as adviser to the Minister of War … err … ‘Defence’. They use to attack Gay Pride marches in Ukraine violently, including with grenades to which in most countries only police and armed forces or people who are special friends of police and/or armed forces, have access.

Contrary to what the Right Sector says, the rainbow is not just for gay people, but also for wider unity in diversity. It is also a symbol in, eg, the Christian religion.

Prime Minister Grojsman said at a vote in parliament that “God forbid” that the country would legalize equal marriage for homosexuals.

‘Celebrate Diversity’

Ukraine organizes this year’s Song Festival, the motto is Celebrate Diversity. The first semifinal is on May 9th. Many people are happy with the rainbow colours. They hope the colours will still be there at the Gay Pride. That wil be in Kiev on June 18th.

After the protests of the nationalists, Mayor Vitali Klitschko has proposed a compromise: the last part, which is still grey since the protests, will be painted in a “traditional Ukrainian pattern”.

The “Arch of Friendship of the Nations” was built in 1982 to celebrate the brotherhood of Russians and Ukrainians in the Soviet Union. The monument is of titanium, 50 meters high, and can be seen from many places in the city.

Last year, the government announced it would be destroyed, because the relationship between Moscow and Kiev … has worsened strongly.

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 2012 Finnish video is the trailer of the film The Punk Syndrome – Kovasikajuttu. About 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.

Common linnets, spoonbills and terns on Dutch desert island


This music video is called The Common Linnets – Calm After The Storm (The Netherlands) 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. With this song, the Common Linnets (Ilse DeLange and Waylon) will be in the song contest final, tomorrow.

This video is about a real common linnet singing.

Common linnet song audio: here.

One of the places where these birds sing now is Rottumerplaat desert island in the Netherlands, according to a blog post by the wardens Martijn Bunskoek en Tim van Nus.

They report that so far, there are less spoonbill nests on the island than last year, but more birds may arrive still.

Arctic terns, common terns and little terns have arrived back from migration. They are in an amorous mood sand nesting is expected to start soon.

There are about 500 eider duck nests this spring.

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Common Linnets at Eurovision song contest


This video is about a common linnet singing.

Common linnets will be the Dutch participants in the 2014 Eurovision song contest in Denmark.

Not meaning the birds, but two Dutch country and western singers with that stage name.

From the Eurovision song contest site:

The Common Linnets to represent the Netherlands in Copenhagen

Hilversum, the Netherlands

Today at the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum, AVROTROS announced that The Common Linnets (Ilse DeLange and Waylon) will represent the Netherlands at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen.

Ilse DeLange and Waylon are definitely not unknown on the Dutch music scene both having made a big impact throughout the years.

Today it was announced by broadcaster AVROTROS that the two have joined together to form The Common Linnets and are poised to represent the Netherlands at Europe’s favourite TV show in May.

It was also announced that the song will be presented at the beginning of March. Below you can find some more information about this exciting duo.

This video says about itself:

The Common Linnets PREVIEW of Eurovision 2014 – The Netherlands.

Azerbaijan, dictatorship and song contest


This video, recorded in Azerbaijan, says about itself:

22 May 2012

Today at 1pm, Public Chamber opposition activists held protests in several locations across central Baku.

The protesters gathered in front of Khagani shopping mall, and marched towards Fountain Square. Shouting “Resign”, “Freedom” and “No corruption”, they made several loops, before heading towards Sabir gardens, where they encountered police. The police were unable to take control of the protesters. Only after the arrival of special police units did the dynamic change. Violence was used against the protesters, and several plain-clothed policemen also used pressure on the protesters.

Dozens of protesters were detained, including activists from Azerbaijan Popular Front Party and other youth organizations.

Marches also took place in other areas of Baku. All of these protests took place before the eyes of numerous foreign journalists, who are in Baku to cover the Eurovision song contest.

Another march began in front of the Constitution Court, and went to the boulevard. Special purpose police units stopped them in the garden opposite the Puppet Theater. Police assaulted and detained a number of protesters. One woman fainted. Detainees were taken to Sabail District Police Office.

The police also used pressure on the journalists filming the demonstration. A photographer and operator of Objective TV were assaulted, and their video and photo cameras were damaged. One foreign journalist also encountered pressure from Azerbaijani police.

The Public Chamber had notified Baku Executive Power of their planned protest; however they were denied permission on the grounds that the request had come “too late”.

The Public Chamber also applied to hold a protest in front of the Public Television building on May 24th. Baku Executive Power advised that as the Eurovision semifinals will be held on the same day, this can be deemed as an impediment to the celebration of an international event.

More than 10 opposition activists are in prison in connection with last year’s protests of the opposition. Local and international human rights organizations demand the release of these prisoners.

From Tanjug news agency in ex-Yugoslavia:

May 24, 2012 | 15:42

Rights concerns shadow Eurovision in Azerbaijan

BAKU — Azerbaijan police on Thursday detained around 30 opposition activists who staged a protest in Baku which is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.

The protesters were detained at the opposition rally attended by scores of people outside the state television station which is the Azerbaijani partner for Eurovision broadcasts.

“Thirty to 35 people were detained,” Public Chamber opposition alliance Spokeswoman Leila Mustafayeva told AFP.

Among those arrested were two women holding a placards saying “We want public TV, not Ilham TV” – a reference to Azerbaijan‘s strongman President Ilham Aliyev, whose activities and speeches dominate news broadcasts in the country.

The Public Chamber said in a statement posted on Facebook that four opposition politicians were also detained in the morning as they left their homes ahead of the protest, adding that one had subsequently been released, AFP has reported.

Rights activist Fuad Hassanov who was monitoring the protest called the police reaction typical.

“I’m not surprised because this is the usual life of the activists,” he said, adding that protesters were simply trying to “express their right to freedom of assembly.”

Human rights activists in Azerbaijan have decided to use the Eurovision Song Contest to draw media attention to the repression in the former Soviet republic.

The opposition accuses the Aliyev dynasty that has ruled Azerbaijan almost since the fall of the Soviet Union of clamping down on dissent and public protests, and of jailing political opponents on trumped-up charges.

Taking advantage of the unprecedented influx of foreign media to the capital Baku, activists are using tactics ranging from rallies to hunger strikes to draw attention to their cause, AFP says.

“For the first time in Europe, people have used Eurovision as a tool to try to resolve problems linked to human rights,” leading Azerbaijani rights campaigner and youth protest organizer Rasul Jafarov told AFP.

Wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Sing for Democracy”, Jafarov, 27, said he had asked one of the favorites, Sweden’s Loreen, to talk about rights during her appearance.

The Sing for Democracy movement, an alliance of groups and individual bloggers and journalists, plans several peaceful “walking” protests in Baku during the contest while the media spotlight is on Azerbaijan.

However, some activists are resorting to more drastic tactics, AFP reports.

In a ramshackle suburb of Baku, a group of six men sat on beds reading newspapers and chatting, a national flag pinned on the wall along with photos of political prisoners. The protest was taking place in the headquarters of the country’s main liberal opposition party, Musavat.

“It’s good that foreign journalists are coming and are interested,” said activist Oktay Lygenderei, but added he feared that “after Eurovision, mass arrests may begin.”

Musavat is part of an opposition alliance called the Public Chamber that has held two rallies this month broken up by police. It plans another unsanctioned demonstration Thursday outside the television centre.

Max Tucker of Amnesty International, which counts 17 prisoners of conscience in Azerbaijan, travelled to Baku to rally media interest but warned of a possible backlash.

“The thing Amnesty International is extremely concerned about is after Eurovision finishes,” he stressed.

“This is a rare opportunity but unfortunately it’s not going to happen afterwards. When the Eurovision song contest ends, the government will go after all the critics. I’m absolutely sure,” said award-winning Radio Liberty journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who had been digging into the Aliyevs’ business involvement in the new Eurovision venue the Crystal Hall.