Xenophobic homophobia in Austria

This video says about itself:

Austria: ‘Let us stay!’ – Afghan asylum-seekers march against deportations in Vienna

20 May 2017

Hundreds marched against the deportation of asylum-seekers to Afghanistan, on the streets of Vienna on Saturday, under the motto “Afghanistan is not safe, let us stay.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

AUSTRIA: An immigration official has been disciplined for “linguistic lapses” after rejecting an Afghan man’s application for asylum on grounds of homosexuality.

Homosexuality is illegal in Afghanistan and those who murder gay people can use the victim’s sexuality as a mitigating factor, making it an “honour killing” with reduced penalties.

The Austrian official told the applicant that “neither the way you walk, nor your behaviour, nor your clothes even slightly suggested you might be homosexual.”

Right-wing Austrian bureaucrats may not know, but: LGBTQ people, like straight people, walk with two legs. Like with straight people, there are very big individual differences in behaviour among LGBTQ people. Like with straight people, there are big differences in ways LGBTQ people dress.


‘Stop killing refugees’, demonstrators say

Pro-refugee demonstrators in Leipzig, Germany

From the World Socialist Web Site in Germany:

Thousands demonstrate in Germany against far-right attacks on refugee rescue ships

By our reporters

7 August 2018

In over 30 cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, thousands of people took to the streets on Saturday to demonstrate in favor of welcoming refugees to Europe and against the criminalization of emergency rescue workers at sea and the shutting of Europe’s borders. The numerous local protests were called by the “Sealift–Create safe harbors” alliance.

Over recent weeks, protests have taken place in dozens of cities that have been much larger than the organizers anticipated. Some 10,000 people took to the streets in Berlin in early July, while protests and minutes of silence were held in Frankfurt and other cities to commemorate drowned refugees.

In spite of the extreme heat, many people responded this past weekend across the country to calls for demonstrations, which were often spread via Facebook. Seven hundred people gathered in Dortmund, while there were 500 in Kiel and 400 in Braunschweig. Around 500 people turned out in Mainz, even though it was the second demonstration within three weeks. Further protests are planned in other cities into September.

Meanwhile, the European governments are intensifying their crackdown on refugees seeking to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean. In a flagrant violation of international law, an Italian merchant ship returned more than 100 people to Libya on July 30. It is now known that only one in four of the refugees who leave Libya reach Italy. Some 71 percent are brought back to Libya. The remainder are considered missing, with most drowning at sea.

At one of the largest demonstrations, in Leipzig, reporters for the WSWS spoke with participants about the situation facing refugees and the sharp shift to the right within the ruling class. According to the organizers, some 2,000 people gathered in the city, the majority being young people and families.

Aziz, who fled the Middle East, said he felt it was important to be at the protest because there are large numbers of people who have spent the summer and winter in Greece, Turkey, Serbia and Hungary at the border. They have nowhere to live and are stuck. Some of them live in the forest, he said. They urgently require help. “I am very happy to see this support for refugees from so many Germans”, he added.


Aziz is originally from Syria and fled to Europe through Turkey. He assisted a group of refugees who spoke only Arabic and were lost due to their inability to communicate.

Asked whether the attacks on refugees were an international problem, Aziz responded, “This issue has no borders!” This is not a local problem, he explained, but something that concerns people around the world. “The refugees are just normal people. They have ordinary lives, go to work, go shopping, and have families”, he said.

He said the military interventions in the Middle East and North Africa were responsible for the refugee crisis. They gave rise to political conflicts and wars. Anyone studying the history of his region, Aziz continued, would see that every five years a new war begins. These wars are supported by international arms companies that provide munitions. To deal with these conflicts, Aziz stated, the major countries, which are in any case interested only in oil and gas reserves, would have to keep out.

Aziz rejected the German government’s claim that there are “safe countries of origin”. In his opinion, it is wrong to send refugees back to war zones. “It’s absolutely unacceptable that refugees are distinguished according to where they come from, or what their political or economic situation is.”

The WSWS also spoke to Nolte Bauer, a crew member with Mission LifeLine. He explained how the project was initiated in 2015.

Nolte Bauer

“The LifeLine developed out of the Dresden-Balkan Convoy, which operated on the Balkan route when it still existed”, he said. The group’s response to the closure of the Balkan route was to purchase a ship and become active in rescuing refugees at sea.

He reported on the terrible situation confronting refugees, “They come from a country, Libya, where they are detained by people smugglers. Entire families are blackmailed to give up their money.” An acquaintance reported that he had been covered in oil and photographed by a gang so as to threaten his family that he would be burnt alive. “This is also enforced by beatings, knives and weapons”, Bauer said. Some people get lost and drift at sea for several days, while others try several times to make the crossing, only to be recaptured.

The situation for refugees is now deteriorating sharply. Following the closure of the Balkan route, the EU also closed the Aegean Sea to refugees by reaching an agreement with Turkey. The route from Libya to Italy is also practically closed, reported Nolte. He said he expected that the route would now shift to Morocco and Spain, which would be even more dangerous due to the tides coming in from the Atlantic and the higher waves they create.

Emergency rescue at sea is part of international law, which states that each ship is responsible for rescuing people from a vessel in an emergency. The crew of the LifeLine has always operated within the law and is now being unilaterally blocked by Italy, Nolte said.

This shift to the right is “not a new phenomenon,” he added. “Europe and the entire first world” has long exploited Africa. It is “only logical” that the subsidized markets put African workers under pressure, prevent them from earning money, and force them to look elsewhere for work. It is hardly surprising that there are so many refugees given such economic and trading practices, and given the incitement of and support for new wars, he said.

Asked about the international character of the attacks on refugees, Nolte said that the weak are always played off against the weakest by the powerful. “Thus far, the EU has always portrayed itself as a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and criticized the wall to be built on the border with Mexico.” But then you look at the Balkans and see barbed wire and walls. Domestically, they’re doing the same thing. “They just criticize things from a distance and are only concerned with maintaining their image.”

He said his crew were aware that their sea rescue efforts do not resolve the fundamental problem. Conditions have to be created where people no longer feel the need to get into boats and risk such a dangerous crossing, he said. Everyone now has to influence politics and participate in these demonstrations.

British Serco mercenaries, Conservatives against refugees

This video from Scotland says about itself:

30 July 2018

Sajid Javid urged to halt Serco eviction of Glasgow asylum seekers.

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, is being urged to intervene to stop a housing provider from locking hundred of asylum seekers out of their homes, leaving them destitute. Glasgow city council and MPs expressed “deep concern” that an imminent mass eviction of asylum seekers by Serco would trigger a humanitarian crisis in the city. Serco, a private firm which houses thousands of asylum seekers in Glasgow, says it will start evicting more than 300 people.

By Conrad Landin in Scotland:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Glaswegians rally to protest against ‘mass eviction’ of refugees by Serco

HUNDREDS of Glaswegians rallied last night in protest at the “mass eviction” of refugees by Serco.

The outsourcing giant has provoked a wave of outcry by proposing to change the locks on the front doors of 300 refugees’ homes in Glasgow who have been refused asylum in Britain.

Serco, which provides asylum-seeker housing under a public contract, announced at the weekend that it would “be commencing with the issuing of lock-change notices” from Monday.

Serco said it was “considering” halting the plan, but SNP, Greens and Labour politicans have all co-signed a letter calling on Home Secretary Sajid Javid to intervene. They argued that that evictions would cause a “humanitarian crisis” on the streets of Scotland’s largest city.

Yesterday housing associations and homelessness charity Shelter joined the condemnation.

Homelessness is a damaging and horrific experience for anyone to face and it is something that should never be wilfully forced on our fellow human beings, particularly those that have come to Scotland seeking a new life and support”, Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said. “This is a tragic and deplorable situation.

“We call on the Home Office and Serco to immediately cease this course of action and remember that these are people’s homes and lives that are being treated with such contempt.”

Scottish Federation of Housing Associations chief executive Sally Thomas said: “We are concerned now that Serco is in danger of putting profit before people, failing to work within the spirit of the law and letting down vulnerable households in the support and inadequate time they need to make alternative housing arrangements.

Serco leases many of the homes they provide to asylum-seekers from housing associations in Glasgow. Speaking on behalf of members, we would be concerned if even lawful evictions were done in such a way that was inhumane and put vulnerable households on the streets, without support.”

Scotland’s Living Rent tenants’ union said the evictions could be resisted through a mass programme of community engagement.

“As a tenants’ union, we will not allow this brutal attack by Serco on some of the most vulnerable people in our city to become just another episode in the shameful history of housing in Glasgow”, Craig Paterson said.

“Our position as a union is clear. We are against all evictions, we are against homelessness, we are against the victimisation and intimidation of tenants by those who hold power, wealth and property in their hands.”

The Campaign for Socialism, a left-wing group which works within Scottish Labour, is holding a public meeting to rally support against the evictions tonight at 7pm at John Smith House, 145-165 West Regent Street, Glasgow G2 4RE.

Protester demands the Serco-run Yarl’s Wood detention centre is shut down – Serco are now evicting hundreds of asylum seekers

THREE hundred asylum seekers are threatened with eviction by private company Serco. It has already begun to change the locks, throwing them onto the streets of Glasgow. Serco, which houses thousands of asylum seekers in Glasgow, issued the first six ‘lock change’ notices on Monday, giving residents just seven days’ notice to leave the properties: here.

Scotland: Protests force Serco to halt asylum seeker evictions: here.

By Sam Tobin in England:

A PALESTINIAN man fighting deportation to Gaza had his latest legal challenge upheld by the Court of Appeal today.

The 34-year-old, known as MI, said the upper tribunal that rejected his previous appeal had not properly considered the effect of deportation on his heavily pregnant wife, who suffers from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The tribunal heard medical evidence that MI’s wife’s condition had worsened due to the stress of the appeal and the threat of deportation.

MI also spoke of the difficulties his family faced in “re-establishing themselves following a two-year absence from Gaza” following Israeli military operations in July and August 2014. He said his own home had been destroyed, which had forced his family “to move to a small house without electricity or clean water.”

Manjit Gill QC, for MI, told the court that, if deported, MI and his wife “would either be returning to Gaza with a very young baby or perhaps [his wife would be] giving birth on return to a child who would have to suffer the deprived conditions in Gaza.”

The court also heard MI’s family members living in Gaza have had “difficulties with Hamas”, in part because of his father and sister’s role working in Fatah’s intelligence services.

Lord Justice Flaux ruled that the tribunal “failed to have proper regard to … the evidence as to the seriously worsened position after the Israeli military operation in 2014” and remitted the case back to the tribunal.

Permission to appeal against the decision to the Supreme Court was refused.

Home Office ‘misled’ High Court over child refugees, by Sam Tobin at the Court of Appeal.

Italian right-wing government persecutes anti-mafia author

This 28 May 2016 video says about itself:

‘I’ve lived with death threats for 10 years’: Roberto Saviano – BBC News

Speaking out about the mafia can come at a price and for writer Roberto Saviano that has meant 10 years living under police protection. In a book published in 2006, he exposed the activities of the Camorra, a mafia organisation based in Naples, described as Italy’s most bloody and ruthless criminal group. Matthew Price spoke to Mr Saviano, for the Victoria Derbyshire programme, about living with a death threat from the mafia.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Gomorra author Saviano sued after denunciation by Lega minister

The public prosecutor in Rome prosecutes Roberto Saviano, the writer of the bestseller Gomorrah, for defamation and slander. Minister Salvini of the Interior, also leader of the right-wing … Lega [party], had filed a complaint against him.

Saviano is a fierce critic of the Italian government and in particular of the Lega. In the media and on Twitter and Facebook, he regularly criticizes fiercely Salvini’s harsh migration policy. The writer also denounces the, in his eyes, dubious Lega financial sponsors.

The tweet that prompted Salvini to report the writer dates from more than a month ago, when the dead bodies of a woman and a child were found in the sea near the Italian coast. “What joy do you derive from the death of innocent children at sea?” tweeted Saviano. “The hatred that you have sown will turn against you.”

Nickname of the mafia

Saviano also called Salvini the “minister of Mala Vita”, which is one of the mafia‘s nicknames. The Lega minister has already threatened to stop the police protection that the writer receives because of death threats from the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra.

These threats came after the publication of the novel Gomorrah in 2006. The book is a non-fiction work about the Neapolitan mafia. Later on, a TV series was also made based on it.