German pro-refugee activists attacked


This video says about itself:

One woman’s strength is helping refugees in Macedonia

“I’m doing this because I have never seen so many people on the street. No one is helping them.”

The smiling face that greets refugees when they get to the Greece-Macedonia border is that of Gabriela Andreevska. She welcomes them, feeds them, and sends them on their way to the EU feeling like human beings.

Filmed by Matthew Cassel.

By Verena Nees in Germany:

Pro-refugee organisation comes under political attack in Germany

6 February 2016

The Berlin-based refugee support organisation Moabit Hilft (Moabit Helps) has recently come under strong media criticism. In the course of the past 10 days the organisation has received threats of murder in hate mail and by telephone.

An online group calling itself “Moabit Lies” has become active,” backed by the well-known Berlin neo-Nazi Gregor Stein. It has accused Moabit Helps of dishonestly using donations. On Monday, the door of its office on the grounds of the Berlin state office for health and social care (Lageso) was kicked down. The media has also joined in the attacks on Moabit Helps.

The immediate pretext was an incident last week. A volunteer assisting refugees who was part of the circle around Moabit Helps claimed on Facebook that he had assisted a young Syrian who had been forced to wait in line at Lageso for days. The volunteer alleged the Syrian had caught a high fever and frostbite, and died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

But later that day, the author of the message, Dirk V., admitted to police he had made the story up. Diana Henniges, a Moabit Helps spokeswoman, said they had made a mistake in not reviewing the Facebook message more closely. However, “every volunteer, every politician and every press representative” had been able to imagine the death of a refugee. “This is the real tragedy”, she said. “It could have been possible.”

Dirk V. stated he had been pushed to the breaking point by the back-breaking work of providing assistance and wanted to use the story to “shake things up and change something.” In fact, Dirk V. had just been released from a long stay in hospital due to burnout, according to Reyna B., another volunteer who chatted with him during the night.

Reyna B. also did not initially doubt the veracity of the report of a fatality.

“For six months, we residents have watched what has happened”, she wrote in shock after Dirk’s final message. “For six months we have assisted, rushed around cared, fed, provided, healed … and we have repeatedly said, there will be deaths if this continues. And it is downplayed, sugar coated and dismissed. It is being presented as if this is normal, just a minor administrative crisis … ”

She referred to miscarriages, the case of the young refugee boy who was kidnapped in the chaos at Lageso last summer and murdered, several resuscitations on the Lageso grounds following heart attacks, diabetes shocks, all-night ambulance deployments to assist collapsed individuals, and the hunger endured by refugees when Lageso refused to pay out pocket money. She wrote, “Last Friday, I cried on the way home for the first time. Until then, the hope that this city, this country, would hear the humanitarian call had not been broken.”

Politicians and the media have used the incident to launch a cynical propaganda campaign against Moabit Helps. It is aimed not only at intimidating this organisation, but all volunteers assisting refugees. It also opens the door for right-wing hate mail, as Henniges told the WSWS. “Cologne was the starting gun. But the report of a dead refugee has released the genie from the bottle.”

Media representatives, who went to Lageso in the morning after the report with large camera teams to sensationalise the death of a refugee, are now targeting Moabit Helps. They are accusing an organisation of volunteers, most of whom work for free and without whose efforts the provision of care to refugees would have long since collapsed, of being “unprofessional”, “haughty” and “starry-eyed.”

A report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung from January 29 was especially repugnant. Under the headline “The haughtiness of the helpers”, it stated, “Many still feel the exhilaration of the summer days, when anyone who brought a case of mineral water to the Lageso felt they were better than the Berlin administration, leading to haughtiness. Several helpers have been cultivating an exaggerated image of themselves ever since, which they would never concede to a professional politician.”

The FAZ based itself on the statement of a Berlin Green Party politician, Bettina Jarasch, who described the work of the volunteers as basically “self-fulfillment”.

In a piece headlined “How to make propaganda with a lie”, N-TV wrote that the problem was not the author of the false report, but rather “an association like ‘Moabit Helps’, which did not even check the story before using it as a pretext to score points.”

The Berlin Senate exploited the incident for its own ends. On the following day, it quickly signed off on a plan to create a refugee ghetto on the grounds of the former Tempelhof airport.

Interior Senator Frank Henkl (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) called for legal consequences for Dirk V., fully aware that simply posting a false message online is not a criminal offence. He threatened the spokespeople at Moabit Helps, stating, “Whoever triggers and spreads such rumours without checking them is deliberately trying to poison the atmosphere in our city.”

Responding to the call for “professionalisation”, Diana Henniges said, “Only because we neglected a trifle and did not check the message? We were forced out of bed in the early hours of the morning and press representatives demanded statements by telephone. Where were these parties and media representatives six months ago, when the people at Lageso were starving, having to stand in line day and night and sleep on the ground? Nobody was talking about professionalism then. Without us, without the many people who assisted without pay in their free time, we would have a worse situation today, the probability of deaths would be much higher.”

Moabit Helps was formed by residents in the longstanding Berlin working class district of Moabit at the beginning of the refugee crisis and became a role model for many other volunteer initiatives across the city. It plays a leading part in the strong solidarity towards refugees in the Berlin population, which has not diminished in the wake of the New Year’s Eve events in Cologne. They have repeatedly criticised the terrible conditions at Lageso and in the mass accommodation centres, and organised protests against them. Based on their information, 40 lawyers filed charges against those responsible in the Senate for violations of law at Lageso.

The Berlin Senate had recently come under criticism from the establishment. The pictures of people lined up at Lageso and overcrowded accommodation centres are inopportune for the capital city. If the report of the fatality of the Syrian refugee had been true, some journalists speculate, the Senate and Social Affairs Senator Mario Czaja could well have been brought down.

It is no wonder that Moabit Helps has long been a thorn in the side of the city’s political elite. For workers and young people in the city and beyond, the attack on the organisation is a warning sign. The stepped-up attacks on refugees are increasingly also directed against the general population that has spontaneously come to the aid of refugees and who, like them, oppose war and poverty.

Thousands of people attended demonstrations across Australia on Thursday, opposing Wednesday’s High Court ruling sanctioning the bipartisan government-Labor Party regime of indefinitely detaining refugees in virtual concentration camps on Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island: here.

Syrian refugee elected carnival prince in the Netherlands


Prince Ali making carnival clothes, NOS photo

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands, 5 February 2016:

Carnival Prince Ali from Aleppo

Ali came eighteen months ago to the Netherlands as a refugee from Aleppo, now he is one of the princes of Maastricht. The 21-year-old Syrian will from tomorrow on be carnival prince Ali the First in Maastricht during Vastelaovend – as they call carnival in Limburg province.

We walked along for a day with him, while the final preparations for the carnival were done.

Ali is the prince of the temporary carnival society Common Carnival, an initiative of Limburg art students to create integration by means of carnival. Maastricht people and asylum seekers together make a carnaval float and costumes. Besides students also other inhabitants of Maastricht are welcome to participate.

It is not the first time that he celebrates carnival. Last year he was in Eindhoven, but before that he celebrated it in Syria. “We celebrate it as well with wagons in many different colours. People then drink on the street,” says Ali. “The difference between carnival here and in my country is that it only lasts one day there and here it continues for three days.”

That excessively alcohol will be drunk is no problem according to Ali. “The image that many people have is that we are all strict Muslims. There are eighteen religions in Syria, but few people here know that. We are very open-minded people.”

Ali himself says he will drink some beer, but not too much. “With the music we will keep ourselves under control. We are going to make something beautiful!”

British nazi violence and anti-refugee racism


This video from England is called EDL NAZI SCUM WAYNE BALDWIN EXPOSED.

By Sabby Dhalu in Britain:

The Rise of Dog-Whistle Politics

Thursday 4th February 2016

Racism and demonisation of migrants is no longer coming from the political fringes – it’s entered the mainstream, warns SABBY DHALU

FOR the first time in a while, the National Front (NF) made headlines last Saturday. At its demonstration in Dover the NF were openly sieg-heiling — emulating Hitler’s nazis is unlikely to draw large numbers of support.

Anti-fascists outnumbered the NF in Dover and Britain First in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, on the same day.

For at least half a decade anti-fascist mobilisations have been consistently larger than those of fascist groups.

Unite Against Fascism has been at the forefront of these demonstrations, and the defeat of the British National Party and the English Defence League — important victories in light of the rise of the Front National in France and other European fascist movements.

However, we cannot be complacent. The NF made headlines not because of the size of the demonstration, but because of the vicious and violent attacks on anti-fascists.

To understand the dangers of the present period, one has to look at the context in which fascists are mobilising.

The cutting edge of the NF’s mobilisation in Dover was the racist reaction to refugees and, in particular, refugees stuck in squalid conditions in Calais and Dunkirk — most of whom are fleeing war and persecution — and for various reasons are desperate to come to Britain.

A few days before the Dover NF demonstration in response to Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to the Calais and Dunkirk refugee camps, David Cameron described these refugees as a “bunch of migrants” — on Holocaust Memorial Day.

Describing refugees as a “bunch of migrants” or “swarms,” as the Prime Minister has, is deliberately dehumanising and dangerous.

This is dog-whistle politics. In the 1970s this came from the fringes of the Conservative Party with Enoch Powell’s anti-immigration “Rivers of blood” speech.

Today it comes from the Prime Minister and the front bench of politics. This is what distinguishes the current period from other periods in the post-war era. And this is why now, more than ever, we must mobilise against racism.

There is a direct correlation between this language and racist attacks on the ground. Anti-Muslim hate crime is increasing and recent figures show a staggering 37 per cent rise in racist attacks on public transport. There is also a direct correlation between such language and violent fascist demonstrations.

A startling feature of the Tory government elected in May 2015 is the unrelenting racist offensive it has waged.

Speech after speech, policy after policy attacking refugees, Muslims and economic migrants are fast becoming normal.

Two weeks ago Cameron threatened Muslim women with deportation if they failed to meet arbitrary targets on learning English — while simultaneously cutting funding for English for speakers of other languages.

The latest episode includes proposals to withdraw tax credits from EU migrant workers for the first four years after arriving in Britain, as part of a deal to prevent a “Brexit.”

Aren’t there more important issues to discuss regarding Britain’s membership of the EU? Why shouldn’t EU migrants who pay the same tax receive the same in-work benefits?

The purpose of elevating this to an issue on which Britain’s membership of the EU depends is to distract attention away from the government’s dire economic policy, scapegoat immigrants and divide and rule by pitting British-born workers against immigrant workers.

As the impact of austerity bites, public opinion is lacking confidence in the economy. So racism goes hand in glove with austerity.

As we build a movement against austerity, we must also build a movement against racism and fascism. We must unite and mobilise against Tommy Robinson’s relaunch of the British equivalent to the German racist Pegida movement in Birmingham this Saturday. We must also build a movement that says: “Refugees are welcome here.”

The government is clearly feeling the pressure from the #RefugeesWelcome movement. Although nowhere near enough, the government conceded to pressure when it announced in September that it would take 20,000 refugees over five years directly from Syria and more recently when it announced that it would accept some unaccompanied refugee children.

Britain must adhere to its international obligations and take a fair proportion of refugees currently in the EU, including those in Calais and Dunkirk.

Instead of whipping up racism and Islamophobia, the government must address economic stagnation and improve the living standards of the British population.

That is why the “Refugees Welcome Here — Stand up to racism, Islamophobia, anti-semitism and fascism” UN Anti-Racism Day national demonstration on Saturday March 19 is vital. Let’s build the biggest and broadest anti-racist demonstration in recent history.

Sabby Dhalu is Unite Against Fascism joint secretary and Stand up to Racism organiser.

– UAF will be be discussing these issues at its national conference this Saturday February 6, 10.30am-4.15pm, Mander Hall, Hamilton House, NUT HQ, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD. For further details visit www.uaf.org.uk.

USA: A white supremacist has admitted to a court that he planned to “start a race war” – allegedly by attacking black churches and Jewish synagogues. The FBI said that Robert Doyle was one of three men arrested for plotting to bomb the premises of such premises. They were arrested after trying to buy an automatic weapon, explosives and a pistol with a silencer from an undercover agent, posing as an illegal arms dealer: here.

Calais refugees attacked with rubber bullets


This video from London, England says about itself:

Developers board up new Banksy criticising Calais ‘Jungle’ teargas treatment

25 January 2016

Banksy has created a new artwork criticising the tactics used in The Jungle refugee camp in Calais – but it was covered up with wood shortly after developers discovered it. The latest mural was drawn opposite the French Embassy in Knightsbridge, west London, and depicts the young girl from the musical Les Miserables with tears streaming from her eyes as a can of CS gas lies beneath her. The artwork includes an interactive QR code which, when scanned, links to a video of teargas and rubber bullets allegedly used in a police raid on migrants and refugees in the camp on January 5.

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

French cops ‘use rubber bullets on Calais refugees

Thursday 4th February 2016

FRENCH police are using tear gas and rubber bullets against refugees living in the notorious Jungle camp outside Calais.

Manchester-based Refugee and Asylum Participator Action Research (Rapar), which has visited the camp to deliver vital humanitarian aid, released evidence of the attacks yesterday.

The camp contains 6,000 refugees living in appalling conditions of mud and squalor. Refugees in the Jungle sent some of the visiting groups photographic evidence of the injuries inflicted by police, including pictures of spent baton rounds.

Rapar member Rhetta Moran said: “Mohammed, an Afghan father of a toddler girl, sent Rapar photographs of rubber bullet wounds that he described as sustained by Calais refugee camp residents.”

Labour MEP Julie Ward has visited the camp, where French riot police tried to prevent her from getting in.

She said: “The use of tear gas, rubber bullets and physical force, such as I experienced, is insupportable when dealing with people who are dispossessed.

“The refugees should be protected from the extreme right-wing who lurk on the fringes of the camp, and vulnerable camp inhabitants should be given the humanitarian assistance they need.”

London-based Umjum Mirza, an assistant branch secretary of train drivers’ union Aslef, also visited the camp.

“We need to learn the lessons of history and let the refugees into Britain immediately,” he said.

German stupid NPD nazis’ anti-refugee poster own goal


NPD anti-refugee poster

This is an anti-refugee poster by German neonazi party NPD.

RT.com writes about it:

Germans out first! Social media on fire after radical party screws up deportation poster

Published time: 4 Feb, 2016 11:39
Edited time: 4 Feb, 2016 11:43

Germany’s NPD party, known for its hardline stance on migrants, posted an unfortunately-designed poster online, which could be perceived as a call to “systematically deport” Germans.

It was mocked by social media users, many urging the party to follow their own advice.

The poster, depicting a flying plane with an appeal to “systematically deport” scribbled above it and “our nation first” underneath, was initially posted on the Facebook page of the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD)’s branch in the German state Rhineland-Palatinate and since has gone viral.

The post was ridiculed by FB users, who called on NPD members to take their own motto’s advice and go away as far as possible. One user wrote: “Deport? It’s high time! NPD members to Siberia…” Another suggested sending them to even further locations: “To North Korea, there NPD supporters will be happy” or as another put it simply, expressing a prevailing sentiment: “bye, bye, Nazi, have a good trip.”

Twitter also reacted with a storm of giggles directed at the unfortunate poster’s creators.

“Systematically deport. Our nation first” – Oh, no, NPD. Only the Nazis. It’ll be enough.

The NPD responded to the barbs by firing back at the mockers: “Continue with your multicultural games and let yourselves be raped,” presumably referring to a recent string of sexually motivated attacks in Germany.

The original publication was removed on Wednesday and replaced with an edited version, in which the slogan “our nation first” is separated from “systematically deport” by a web link, directing to the party website.

In an interview with the German news site Jetzt.de, Markus Walter, chairman of the party’s Rhineland-Palatinate branch, confessed that the members “had seven poster designs” and “the majority decided to go with this one.”

‘Afghan government, stop refugees or else’, German government says


This video is about Germany. Hundreds demand justice for Kunduz massacre victims in Afghanistan.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Germany to continue security operations in Afghanistan only if arrival of refugees stopped

Alexandra Sims

Germany’s interior minister has promised Afghanistan it will continue to provide security support to the country, but only if the arrival of Afghan refugees to the country is stopped.

During a visit to Kabul on Monday, Thomas de Maiziere said: “We’re staying here as long as it’s necessary. But we also expect that the Afghan population stays here,” N-tv reports.

“We want the influx of refugees to be stopped.”

And how, Herr de Maiziere, is the Kabul government supposed to stop Afghan refugees from fleeing?

By bringing peace to the country? They and their big NATO paymasters have proved to be extremely unable to do that for the past fourteen years and longer.

By improving the situation of Afghan women? They and their big NATO paymasters have proved to be extremely unable to do that for the past fourteen years and longer.

By stopping sexual abuse of children? United States occupation generals have said it is OK for Afghan warlords to carry on with that.

By stopping the poverty and hunger? They and their big NATO paymasters have proved to be extremely unable to do that for the past fourteen years and longer. As all the trillons of money go to warfare, to corrupt Western merchants of death and to corrupt Afghan warlords.

Then, in what other way should the Afghan government stop refugees?

Recently, in Germany extreme right racist politicians advocated violently stopping Afghan and other refugees crossing the German border. Asked if they really believed that German border guards should stop refugee women and children from crossing the border through open fields with firearms they answered ‘Yes’.

Is Herr de Maiziere now advising the Afghan government that their border guards should stop refugee women and children from crossing the border out of Afghanistan through open fields by killing these refugee women and children?

By the way, only a small minority of refugees from the bloody war in Afghanistan go to Germany.

Why have millions of refugees fled Afghanistan? Partly because of war crimes there by Herr de Maiziere’s German armed forces. Like the Kunduz massacre of civilians. A massacre covered up by you, Herr de Maiziere. When you were not yet Minister of the Interior like now, but Minister of War … oops, I should have used the euphemism ‘Defence’. You, Herr de Maiziere, demonstratively promoted Colonel Klein, responsible for that bloody massacre, early in 2013 to the rank of brigadier general.

Of course, refugees from Afghanistan flee not only German war crimes. If we limit ourselves to Kunduz, where the German Bundeswehr had committed their massacre: recently, the United States Air Force, your NATO allies, Herr de Maiziere, lethally attacked the MSF hospital, the only hospital in Kunduz.

Germany has been engaged in operations in Afghanistan since 2003 and has trained over 73,000 Afghan police personnel. Around 980 German troops remain in the country since the NATO mission in Afghanistan officially ended in 2014.

Mr Maiziere said German police and soldiers will remain in Afghanistan “as long as it asks for security,” but stressed, “because we want to stay, we do not want that many Afghans to leave their country.”

The minister quashed any expectations Afghans may hold upon coming to Germany, stressing chances of asylum seekers finding success were slight.

“There is no welcome money in Germany. There is no guarantee of a job or an apartment,” Mr Maiziere told state broadcaster ZDF, warning Afghans not to succumb to propaganda spread by people smugglers. …

Mr Maiziere promised to bolster deportations of Afghans from Germany, using current flight routes between the countries and hiring charter planes. …

Mr Maiziere made the comments just hours after a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Kabul police station, killing at least 20 people and wounding 29 others – the latest attack in the Afghan capital. …

On social media, people remarked upon the German government’s call to send refugees back to Afghanistan in the wake of the attack.

One Twitter user wrote: “Mr Maiziere is demanding from others that they live in a land that he’ll only visit with the protection of a division of soldiers

Another said: “Despite the attack in Kabul, Mr Maiziere is calling for Afghans to go back”

British Jewish solidarity with refugees


This video is about Jewish refugees from nazi Germany in the 1930s.

By Shlomo Ankar in Britain:

The Jewish community stands in solidarity with refugees

Wednesday 3rd February 2016

Memories of the Holocaust mean that even right-wing Jewish people are sympathetic to the plight of Syrian refugees, says SHLOMO ANKAR

JEWISH people never seem to agree on much when it comes to politics, and above all on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We tend to argue with each other more than any other community, but we are united in feeling that we must do more to help those escaping the conflict in Syria.

Since the crisis emerged, the Jewish community has taken a very pro-refugee view. And this has not only come from those people on the left but has also come from those who are non-political and even some who are Conservatives.

The two main Jewish newspapers in Britain — the Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish News, which are traditionally quite reactionary, have broken with their usual right-wing agenda and have been publishing regular articles that are sympathetic to refugees.

Most Jewish institutions, with only a few exceptions, have been opposed to the anti-migrant hostility of the Daily Mail and other right-wing newspapers.

The chief rabbi, who rarely gets involved in any matter which may appear controversial, recently made a symbolic visit to a refugee camp in Greece to meet refugees.

He and a team of leading rabbis went to show solidarity with the people there and the chief rabbi was so moved that he later compared the camp to Auschwitz.

The Movement of Reform Judaism has been active in building a campaign to help refugees.

It has raised funds for charity but has also engaged in political lobbying of local councils to take in more Syrian refugees.

Jewish celebrities such as David Baddiel and David Schneider have been very vocal on Twitter, on TV and on the radio in calling for better treatment of refugees.

They, like many others, feel that Jews like themselves are only alive due to their parents being given asylum, hence we should now provide that to Syrians, Afghans and others in need.

Campaigners and political activists too have been speaking out. Dan Judelson, who is a long-time campaigner from north London, organised a trip to Calais, filling a van full of clothing, blankets and other useful items to offer to refugees there. And there are many more examples of similar stories from the community in recent months.

Junior doctor Jonathon Schwartz, who is a regular at his local synagogue, said he was worried about how vulnerable the refugees from Syria are.

He encourages Jewish people to help, “not only [because of] our own history, but also the Torah clearly states that we have an obligation to help vulnerable people.”

Film-maker Yoni Higgsmith compared the experience of Jews who escaped nazi Germany to Syrian refugees.

He added that “for refugees to leave all their belongings behind to face such peril in the hope of a livelihood, well, these people deserve our admiration and our help.”

Members of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) have also been active. UJS members tend to only campaign on pro-Israel issues, with many of them being Conservative voters.

Yet UJS members do not share David Cameron’s lack of compassion for refugees and have been active both in raising funds for charity and also in some political activity to help refugees.

This contradicts the right-wing bloggers’ stereotype that the Jewish community is opposed to allowing refugees into the country.

Some have suggested that the Jewish community is only concerned about crime and terrorism, that Jews are more in line with Ukip policy in opposing migration, especially from Muslim countries.

But this could not be further from the truth. For many of us it is heartbreaking that in 2016 there are still people living in refugee camps who are struggling to survive.

This feeling is not confined to Jews on the left, such as myself. It is shared by others who are non-political or even right-wing.

After decades, if not centuries, of learning about Jewish suffering, we all see similarities with the plight of Syrians and hence want to do what we can to help.

Of course it would be wrong to exaggerate. Some members of the Jewish community share David Cameron’s views on migrants and some even support Ukip’s position. But they are in the minority. Most share Jeremy Corbyn’s view that we must do far more to help those fleeing war and persecution in their home countries.

The refugee crisis has warmed much of the community to Corbyn after seeing pictures of him in Calais standing in solidarity with the people in those camps, particularly after Cameron’s criticism of Corbyn for wanting to help “a bunch of migrants.

Jews in 2016 still feel the pain of World War II, even if that occured decades ago. So most Jews stand in solidarity with their fellow humans who had to flee war in Syria and now languish as refugees.