New Zounds music video, Dancing 2020, review

This 14 November 2020 music video is called ZOUNDS “DANCING 2020” – “This is an anti-fascist song”.

The original version of this song Dancing came out in 1982 on Rough Trade records.

This video is how it sounded in 1982.

The band Zounds had started in 1977.

Today, Steve Lake from Zounds in England, author of the song, wrote to me:

We recently made a lockdown video of our song Dancing.

Quite a lot of people play on it.

You might recognise Mark from the Mob [see here, page 9] and Mark from the Astronauts, also Joe from the Cravats.

If you listen please play very loud.

Best wishes to you all.


Thanks, Steve!

The lyrics are:

It’s nineteen thirty-three
But she just wanna go
Dancing, dancing
Dancing, dancing
Dancing, dancing
Dancing, dancing

She walks the street by day
There’s people all around
But she don’t worry ’bout that
Cause she was gone downtown
She’s going dancing, dancing
Making the noise
And dancing, dancing
Girls and the boys
Dancing, dancing
Dancing, dancing

Sweet mother Germany
Come to the cabaret
Don’t worry about history, history, history
Dancing, dancing
Girls and the boys
Dancing, dancing
Making the noise
And dancing, dancing
Dancing, dancing

It’s nineteen thirty-eight
Sweet mother Germany
It seems so far away
And she will never be, never be, never be
Dancing, dancing
The girls and the boys
Dancing, dancing
Making the noise
And dancing, dancing
Dancing, dancing, dancing,
Never again, never again,
Never again, never again,
Never never never again
Never never never again
Never never never again
Never never never again
Never never never again

After all these years, the lyrics, comparing the start of Hitler’s Germany in 1933 to the Kristallnacht and other horrors of 1938, still stand.

It is a technical feat to record such a music video with so many musicians while not endangering safety in the coronavirus pandemic, which is getting worse and worse in England and many other countries.

Now, the music. When Zounds toured the Netherlands (see page 4ff.), Belgium and Berlin, with Dutch punk band Cheap ‘n’Nasty in 1980, they were a three-piece punk band.

The line-up for this 2020 video are many people more:

Steve Lake – lead vocals / guitar
Paul O’Donnell – bass / backing vocals / claps
Paul Gilbert – drums / backing vocals
Dominic Perez-Silva – guitar / backing vocals
Tim Hutton – trumpet

Joe Davin – keyboards / backing vocals
Bethan Prosser – violin
Mark “Mob” Wilson – backing vocals
Mark “Astronaut “Wilkins – backing vocals
Mia “Antler Family” Dean – backing vocals
Annette Dada – backing vocals
Farivar Gorjian – claps

Mia Dean does lead vocals and guitar in her Antler Family band. She is from California, USA. Again, a technical feat to include her from so far away.

So, twelve people. The minimum size of a big band.

When the Beatles were in the Netherlands in 1964, Dutch TV asked them: Will you become a big band? No, the Beatles said, we don’t want that. They were aware a big band would not be ‘Mersey Beat’ any longer. Less is often more.

I am afraid that I have to say that with this ‘big band’ Zounds, Dancing does not sound like much of a punk melody any more.

Before playing the song, I was very happy to read about the line-up: Bethan Prosser – violin. It brought back very fond memories of Vicky Aspinall of the Raincoats (page 8). However, unfortunately, the sound of the eleven others basically drowns Bethan’s violin.

I think you can basically do four things with a violin. Play classical music: OK, that’s classical music. Or folk music: OK, that is folk. In punk, you can do two things with violins: either you have the very much on the foreground great scratchy sound of Vicky in the Raincoats (Mark Perry did not like the Raincoats’ violin sound (page 17). But Mark Perry is not always right, only sometimes). Or you have lots of violins, like Sid Vicious did in his immortal parody of the musical establishment in My Way.

With those critical comments, I do not mean at all to undermine the very necessary political warning in the video. The video correctly points out the danger to democratic rights in the USA, and worldwide, which Donald Trump and his military grade gun toting and nazi saluting supporters represent.

I might have added that, even if Joe Biden will become president as he won the election, there are still dangers to the environment, to peace and to democratic rights if Biden will listen more to the corporate-Hillary Clinton right wing of the Democratic party than to Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

But you cannot put everything in a five-minute video.

Dutch neo-nazi terrorists arrested

This 2019 video is called Netherlands: ‘Nijmegen against racism’ demo held against neo-Nazi RVF.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio, 30 October 1980:

The police arrested two 19-year-old men from Amsterdam and Zwijndrecht for right-wing extremist incitement and crimes with a terrorist aim. The two had large amounts of Nazi material at home, searches revealed.

These are two separate cases, the Public Prosecution Service writes in a press release. Both suspects had eg, Nazi uniforms, posters, flags and illegal knives in their parents’ homes.

The suspects are probably affiliated with right-wing extremist groups that incite racial hatred and anti-Semitism online. One of those groups is The Base, a network mainly active in the USA.

German ‘moderate’ right helps far right again

This 6 February 2020 video from Germany says about itself:

Germany’s far-right AfD sparks election scandal | DW News

A scandal over the involvement of the far-right in a normally obscure regional election in the eastern state of Thuringia has shaken German politics to the core. The extremist Alternative for Germany, or AfD party helped install a premier, Thomas Kemmerich, from a mainstream party, the business-friendly FDP. He beat Bodo Ramelow, the incumbent candidate from the socialist party Die Linke. Kemmerich has now been forced to stand down after widespread condemnation. The affair is seen as having broken a taboo which has kept the far-right out of government.

By Martin Nowak in Germany today:

Germany’s parliamentary parties elect far-right AfD candidate to Gera city council

The latest developments in the east German city of Gera underline the sharp turn to the right by the ruling class. Last Thursday, a retired doctor and member of the far-right, racist Alternative for Germany (AfD), Reinhard Etzrodt, was elected chairman of the city council in the third-largest city in the state of Thuringia. His appointment was the first time in post-war history that a far-right candidate filled such a post. Etzrodt received 23 of 40 votes cast, although the AfD has just 12 seats on the city council. This means the right-wing extremist was elevated into office with the support of Germany’s mainstream political parties.

Etzrodt is a leading representative of the “Wing” faction of the AfD in Thuringia led by the Björn Höcke wing and has links to neo-Nazis and far-right terror groups. According to media reports, he took part in the “Thügida” demo in Gera in June 2015. The far-right march was organised by members of the fascist German Democratic Party (NPD) and the “Europe-Action” movement, which has since dissolved. Former cadre of the core cell of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) and activists of the fascist network “Combat 18”—banned at the beginning of 2020—also took part in the protest.

Etzrodt’s participation in the march alongside far-right terrorists was no accident but rather reveals the real character of the AfD. Just a few days ago, the party was forced to sack Christian Lüth, the head of the press office of the AfD parliamentary group. Lüth had proudly described himself as a “fascist” in chat discussions and, according to research by the TV station ProSieben, ranted, in the course of a secretly recorded conversation in a bar, that migrants should be “shot or gassed.” When asked whether he wanted to bring more migrants to Germany, he replied: “Yes, because it’s better for the AfD. We can still shoot them all afterwards. That’s not an issue. Or gas them, whatever you want. I don’t care!”

Following Etzrodt’s election, all of the establishment parties sought to maintain their hands were clean. The new Thuringian state chair of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Mario Voigt, declared his faction had “clearly agreed not to vote for the AfD candidate,” while the Left Party and the Greens accused the CDU of doing exactly that. “If red-red-green did not vote for the AfD candidate, which one can assume, then in terms of arithmetic there must have been votes from the CDU for Etzrodt. So that’s clear,” declared Daniel Reinhardt, who sits on the Gera city council for the Left Party.

What is “arithmetically” clear is that the fascist candidate received support from the ranks of mainstream parties. There are currently 42 seats divided between 11 parliamentary groups on the Gera city council. The AfD has 12 MPs, the Left Party eight, the CDU six, the Citizenship Gera group three, the alliance “For Gera” three, the Greens three, the SPD three, and one each for the Free Voters, the Liberal Alliance, the neo-liberal FDP and The Party. Even if one assumed—which is unlikely—that all the representatives of smaller factions voted for the AfD, Etzrodt would still have received only 21 votes. In other words: at least two pro-AfD votes came from mainstream parties with representation in the German parliament.

There are some indications that the votes may have come from the CDU and FDP. In November 2019, the deputy chair of the CDU parliamentary group in Thuringia, Michael Heym, and 17 other CDU state politicians spoke in favour of “open-ended” talks with the AfD. Heym referred to a “bourgeois right-wing majority” and speculated on the possibility of a CDU-FDP government tolerated by the AfD. This was an option raised at the time by the fascist chairman of the Thuringia AfD, Björn Höcke, and this strategy was then implemented after the state election. In February this year, the state chairman of the FDP, Thomas Kemmerich, was elected state premier with the votes of the CDU and AfD. Following spontaneous mass protests all over Germany—20,000 alone took to the streets in the Thuringia state capital, Erfurt—Kemmerich resigned from his post.

This, however, had no impact on the right-wing policy of the CDU and FDP. In the course of a right-wing demonstration in Gera against coronavirus restrictions, Kemmerich marched alongside well-known neo-Nazis. The protest was organised by the Gera-based entrepreneur Peter Schmidt, a non-aligned member of the CDU Economic Council. Introducing Kemmerich as a speaker at the demonstration, Schmidt declared him to be the “only legitimate prime minister.” …

The SPD and the Greens are also quite prepared to line up with the AfD and other right-wing extremist parties. Also last Thursday, the SPD voted in Eisenach, Thuringia, together with the AfD and NPD in favour of an application to fill a position on the local Board of Trustees.

Trump copies Adolf Hitler

This 6 October 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

A video tweeted by President Trump depicting his return to the White House on October 5, 2020 after being hospitalized with COVID-19 was clearly modeled after Hitler‘s arrival at the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in the Nazi film Triumph of the Will.

‘Trump Hitler-like’, 100-year-old Holocaust survivor says

Ruth Nussbaum with her son, right, and two grandsons. Photo by Ruth Nussbaum

By Steve North in the USA, 30 September 2020:

100-year-old Holocaust survivor compares Trump to Hitler

I’d like to say a few words about Adolf Hitler, Donald Trump, and Ruth Nussbaum.

Let’s start with Ruth, who is marking her 100th birthday on September 30th, and isn’t overly thrilled with the occasion. As she told me a few weeks ago, “I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody”.

Ruth Rozanski was born in Offenbach, Germany, a few miles from Frankfurt. By the age of five she’d learned how to knit, an activity in which she finds enjoyment and meaning to this day. After her father’s untimely death when she was 11, she lived with her mother Henriette and younger sister Ellen in a building owned by an aunt; her mom and aunt managed a small store downstairs from their apartment.

An exceptionally bright teenager, Ruth worked for three years as an apprentice bookkeeper until Kristallnacht in November 1938. During that nationwide anti-Jewish orgy of violence, death and destruction, Nazi thugs ransacked her family’s store and residence.

Several months later, fearing what the ominous future might hold for German Jews, Henriette made the wrenching decision to send Ellen to safety in England on the now-legendary Kindertransport.

Ruth, however, was already past the 17-year age limit; it took another year of desperate attempts – and the help of the refugee organization HIAS – to make her escape from Nazi Germany, leaving her mother behind.

In late 1940, the 20-year-old, with only the clothes on her back, got on a train that rumbled through Russia for days, made her way to Japan, and boarded a ship that eventually docked in Seattle. Literally penniless, it took her some time to raise the one cent needed to send a postcard to relatives in New York City, who arranged through HIAS to bring her east.

In New York, Ruth was reunited with her fiancé Norbert (later Norman) Nussbaum. The couple met at a dancing school in 1935 when he was 17 and she 15; he fled Germany separately, and they married in 1942.

I am familiar with Ruth’s saga because Norman was my mother’s cousin, and our two families lived near each other for decades in Queens, NY.

After World War II ended, Ruth discovered that her 55-year-old mother Henriette had been murdered in Treblinka.

In 1956, tragedy struck again, when the older of Ruth and Norman’s two sons died of leukemia at the age of nine. Although never fully recovered from that heartbreak, the Nussbaums carried on, moving to Delray Beach, Florida in the 1980s; Norman passed away in 1993.

In the years since being widowed, Ruth has kept busy by knitting blankets and hats for hospitalized children with cancer. Still living alone in her own home, she creates a blanket a day, and has been recognized several times for her remarkable charity work. She enjoys visits from her surviving son and two grandsons, as well as the children and grandchildren of her sister Ellen, who died in 2018.

One might think Ruth could look back with some sense of contentment and comfort at a lifetime of triumph over tragedy, but that’s not the case. In our recent conversation, she lamented the nation’s current crises, saying “I’ve seen a lot in my 100 years, but I don’t know why I had to stick around for all of this. It’s awful”.

Her pessimism has grown since 2016, when we met at an Italian restaurant for dinner during the presidential election campaign. After sharing joyful memories of my parents’ wedding and gossip about various relatives, Ruth turned to politics.

The woman who was forced to listen daily to Adolf Hitler’s lunatic rants on the radio for seven years in the 1930s was blunt: “When I hear Trump speak, I hear Hitler again. When I see his rallies, it’s like what I saw in Nazi Germany”.

I pushed back against Ruth’s emotional comments. As a journalist who has interviewed dozens of survivors and reported extensively on Holocaust-related topics, and as the son of a mother who escaped the Nazis and a father whose aunts, uncles and ten first cousins were murdered by them, I have long believed that nobody and nothing can or should be compared to Hitler and Nazism.

The slaughter of six million Jews has been used and abused far too often by those who have no concept of its mechanized magnitude, … to evangelical Christians on the extreme right. Its unfathomable evil has been cheapened by pop culture references to “soup Nazis” and sitcom jokes about Anne Frank.

So I told Ruth in 2016 I thought she was exaggerating, that the Holocaust was an event unique in its horror, that the unhinged diatribes of Donald Trump, as racist and moronic as they might be, were not equivalent to genocide.

Four years later, I’ve come to realize Ruth is right. Donald Trump still is not the Adolf Hitler of 1944. But he legitimately can be compared to the Hitler of 1934 – and that, perhaps, is by design. Legal filings from Trump’s first divorce revealed he owned and studied a book of the Führer’s early speeches. A new analysis by prominent civil liberties attorney Burt Neuborne cites twenty ways Trump’s words and actions are similar to those of Hitler in the early years of the Third Reich, from the attacks on mainstream media and objective truth to huge rallies, mass detention, ultranationalism and demonization of all opponents.

In recent weeks, as early voting begins, Trump has repeatedly refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses in November. This is no surprise to Ruth, who told me earlier this month that “Trump is like a dictator. He’s crazy like Hitler was”.

Despite the barbed wire and caged children, a detention center in Texas is not Dachau in Bavaria. But when an eyewitness such as Ruth Nussbaum with a century of wisdom and lived experience warns us of the similarities, we ignore her at our own peril.

For Holocaust survivors, Trump’s refusal to concede is a bad memory.

Facebook bans Dutch anarchist, welcomes nazis

This 9 February 2016 video says about itself:

Zuckerberg slammed after Facebook censors posts

Many are furious with CEO Mark Zuckerberg after Facebook censored an iconic photograph from the Vietnam War.

On 11 September 2020, Dutch anarchist Peter Storm reported on his blog that Facebook corporation had banned his Facebook account forever.

Why did Facebook censor me? Peter Storm wanted to know. He got the vague reply that he had supposedly violated ‘Facebook guidelines’. WHICH guidelines?

Facebook did not reply. But Peter very strongly suspects that it is because he is an anarchist and an anti-fascist. He mentions other anarchists banned by Facebook. Like CrimethInc and Its Going Down and many others.

Many Facebook bans of anti-fascist, otherwise leftist or simply artistic or scientific accounts preceded billionaire Facebook boss Zuckerberg‘s banning of Peter Storm now.

Facebook welcomes neo-nazis, and censors leftists and famous painters.

Facebook censors Thai critics of the absolute monarchy in their country.

Facebook censors the Dutch photography museum.

Facebook censors information on war crimes whistleblowers.

Facebook censors a leftist artist for being against Donald Trump.

Facebook censors posts against Trump’s attempted far-right coup in Venezuela.

Facebook has the extreme right censor the left.

Facebook censors the leftist United States Young Turks site.

The same United States neo-nazis who had murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville planned to march in Washington. Anti-fascists announced a counter-demonstration on Facebook. Facebook then banned the anti-fascists and opponents of Trump’s xenophobia for being supposedly (don’t laugh) ‘Russian propaganda‘.

Facebook censorship helped corporate Democrat politicians against leftist candidate Bernie Sanders in the primary elections in the USA.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

Whom does Facebook NOT censor? Denialists of Adolf Hitler’s Holocaust. The Nederlandse Volksunie, an Adolf Hitler worshipping violent neonazi criminal gang, has been welcome on Facebook for years and still is today.

BARR: KNIVES OUT FOR ‘ANARCHIST’ DEM CITIES With just weeks to go before the 2020 presidential election, the Justice Department is once again attacking elected Democratic officials, this time by designating New York City, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon, as “anarchist jurisdictions” and suggesting their federal funding may be in question. The Justice Department, responding to a memo from Trump that attacked all three cities, said the cities have “permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities.” [HuffPost]

New York Times echoes Trump’s attacks on “violent anarchists”. Times editorial board member Farah Stockman attacks supposed anarchist: here.

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’.

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.

Belgian nazi-saluting police kill detainee

This 20 August 2020 video says about itself:

Nazi saluting police brutality footage shows Belgian officers laughing as they pinned down prisoner

For more about Nazi-saluting police brutality: Footage shows Belgian officers laughing as they pinned down prisoner who later died, please read here.

Jozef Chovanec died in the wake of his arrest at Charleroi airport in early 2018. Footage shows him banging his head against a wall while officers pin him down.

Belgium was in shock today after footage emerged of a man being pinned down by police shortly before he died – while officers laughed and one of them gave a Nazi salute.

The footage has sparked comparisons with the death of George Floyd in the US.

Chovanec was taken off a plane in Charleroi after refusing to show a ticket as he boarded, and taken to a holding cell where the footage shows him banging his head against the wall until his face bleeds heavily.

One policeman sat on his chest for 16 minutes while a laughing female officer performed the ‘Hitler greeting‘, before Chovanec died in hospital the next day.

What do you think of the police officer doing a Nazi salute as a man dies?

Daily De Standaard in Belgium reports today that the nazi-saluting officer (an inspector, not a rank-and-file cop) will at last be transfered from working with detainees to a desk job.