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“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for September 2010

The Tale Of Two EDL Supporters.

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The English Defence League is trying to be media savvy and downplay the involvement of Extreme Right activists in its activities.

Unfortunately for the EDL, the video and photographic evidence contradicts their PR offensive, as these two EDL supporters show:

Wayne Baldwin, member of the EDL’s Birmingham Division.

Abdul Hussein/Salaam. Bizarrely, he’s an EDL supporter too.

Kirklees Unity has more on him:

“EDL poster-boy Abdul Hussain is a Glasgow Rangers fan, filmed here at an EDL demo, singing sectarian hate songs which celebrate knee-capping and beating Taigs (meaning Catholics). Just as Islamophobic bigotry assumes all Muslims are terrorists, sectarian bigotry assumes all Catholics are Fenians and Provos (pro-IRA), and both are as stupid as black-power bigots who assume all white people must be racist because a few nutters join groups like the BNP and KKK. I despise the IRA, but sectarian hatred is disgusting, no matter where or who it comes from.

The EDL has over 25,000 supporters on Facebook, but only THREE non-white people regularly attend EDL protests. The 1st (Guramit Singh) is a proven racist. The 2nd (Joel Titus) says he’s anti-BNP but has been filmed travelling to EDL demos with BNP activist Chris Renton (let’s just say Joel seems VERY confused). The 3rd (Abdul Hussain) is a vicious bigot. In contrast, hundreds of EDL supporters show themselves on You Tube and Facebook to be BNP supporters and/or either Nazis or friends of Nazis.”

This is Wayne and Abdul together.

Here’s Wayne Baldwin with some of his real friends, giving a Nazi salute:
Wayne Baldwin and friends

I think it is very clear that the EDL merely use idiots like Abdul Hussein/Salaam to provide them with a veneer of respectability and plausible denial, but the reality is that Wayne Baldwin is more typical of their supporters. The swastika tattooed on Baldwin’s chest explains what his true views are.

[H/T: I hate the BNP group on Facebook.]

Update 1: If you have any doubts about the nature of the EDL look out for those giving the Nazi salute, here’s another lot of EDLers in Bradford 2010.

And one more below of EDLers in Bradford, saluting again:

[Thanks to Kirklees Unity for their diligence.]

Update 1: Thanks to Expose Tweets, an off shoot of Exposing intolerance and racism online XVI at Facebook.

They have identified one of those below giving the Nazi salute as Mike Bayliss from Bristol EDL.

From Expose Tweets.

Another EDL supporter.

Written by modernityblog

30/09/2010 at 02:07

19 And A Half Years.

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Blogging has been criminalised by the Iranian State.

Hossein Derakhshan has been jailed on spurious charges, which is intended to send a message to Iranian bloggers, “follow the State’s line or you’ll be locked up”.

Reporters without Borders has more:

“Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the extremely long jail sentence that has just been passed on Iranian blogger and journalist Hossein Derakhshan. He has been sentenced to 19 and a half years in prison followed by a five-year ban on political and journalistic activities. He has also been fined the equivalent of more than 30,000 euros.

“Such a long jail term has never before been imposed on a blogger in Iran and is indicative of a desire to make an example out of Derakhshan,” Reporters Without Borders said. “He is the victim of political rivalry within the government and the case against him was fabricated. We urge President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to intercede personally in order to obtain his release without delay.”

The press freedom organisation added: “Derakhshan defended the Islamic Revolution’s principles, supported Ahmadinejad’s policies and returned to Iran from Canada after being assured by people close to the president that he would not be arrested. Canada and the rest of the international community must press for this harsh sentence to be quashed and for Derakhshan to be freed at once.”

Derakhshan’s partner, Sandrine Murcia, said the judge in charge of the case telephoned the family today to confirm the verdict and sentence, details of which had been published on the pro-government website Asriran.

Derakhshan was convicted of collaborating with enemy states, propaganda against the Islamic Republic, propaganda in support of counter-revolutionary groups, “insulting what is holy” and creating immoral websites. He can appeal against the verdict.

Arrested by Revolutionary Guards on 1 November 2008, Derakhshan was given a trial without due process and had remained in detention even since awaiting the court’s verdict. He is a collateral victim of in-fighting between the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian intelligence services.”

The Globe and Mail has background:

“Mr. Derakhshan, 35, is widely known by his online name “Hoder.” He was born in Iran, but moved to Canada and became a Canadian citizen in early adulthood. He is a staunch advocate of free expression in Iran, and became known as the “blogfather” of Iran’s on-line community for training pro-democracy advocates to blog and podcast in the late nineties. Later, he apologized for his dissenting views, and emerged as an unlikely supporter of the regime, at one point comparing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a modern-day Che Guevara.

So when the Iranian government invited him to travel to Iran in 2008, he accepted, thinking he would help his country reach out to the world, according to friends and family. Upon his arrival, however, another branch of the government arrested him.

On Tuesday, he was convicted of insulting Islamic thought and religious figures, managing obscene websites and co-operating with “enemy states” because he visited Israel five years ago. He was also ordered to pay the equivalent of approximately $45,000 in fines.

“It’s not as bad as a death sentence, but it’s an awful and really bad sentence for someone that’s only writing,” Mr. Derakhshan’s former wife, Marjan Alemi told CBC’s The Current.

“He went back thinking he could go back to Iran and help,” she added.

Ms. Alemi said Mr. Derakhshan has spent most of the two years preceding his trial in solitary confinement.

He can’t exercise. He can’t have books. He can see his family for only five or 10 minutes a week,” Ms. Alemi said. Neither the family’s lawyer, nor any representative from the Canadian government were present at his trial.”

Update 1: Iranian.com has a piece on him.

These are clips from Hossein Derakhshan before his return to Iran and arrest. He answered questions from his blog visitors.

Update 2: Free the blog father has a petition.

Update 3: I missed Terry Glavin’s earlier piece on this issue.

Plus the Free Hoder blog.

And the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran too.

Written by modernityblog

29/09/2010 at 21:44

Respect And Racism.

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I don’t much followed the antics of the Respect political party in Britain, but even I was surprised that one of its senior members would indulge in such conspicuous racism, anti-Jewish racism that is.

Respect had no choice but to expel him, I imagine his views are only the tip of the iceberg as Dave Hill reports:

“On Monday he re-published some banter that took place on Facebook between a senior figure in Respect called Abul Hussain and others. Respect’s leadership responded by expelling Hussain. Their grounds?

We are extremely upset to discover that recently published comments from one of our party members are indicative of anti-Semitism. The National Officers have conducted an investigation and met on Monday evening (27 September) to consider the matter. We have decided that such views are demonstrably incompatible with party membership.

Respect has done the right thing, but the episode is an indication of the part Jew-mocking and hating plays in Tower Hamlets politics. Ted Jeory’s reports are here and here. Will Lutfur Rahman disassociate himself from such attitudes, whether expressed by Abul Hussain or anyone else? If not, why not?

Ted Jeory’s blog has more details:

  • 2 people like this.
  • Abul ‘Abz’ Hussain I should have put u on that convoy to Gaza, could have traded the Jew with the Israelis to let the aid through, but then again they’d probably reject u as ur too much of a jew by their standards!
  • As Jeory argues: “Silly kids messing around is one thing, but Abul Hussain is a national council member and policy maker for Respect, whose founding principles include anti-racism.”

    Update 1: Jeory has Respect’s statement on the matter.

    Written by modernityblog

    29/09/2010 at 12:24

    EDL Organisers Are Proven Neo-Nazis.

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    The YouTube video clip below dispels the myth that neo-Nazis are not at the heart of the English Defence League.

    In the video clip you will see Luke Pippen, EDL’s Welsh Division organiser, in front of a house with his friends, tattooed skinheads giving the Nazi salute.

    You can also see how Pippen is mentioned on the Casuals’ United blog [here's a link to a Google cached copy.]

    Readers will remember that Casuals United is a close affiliate of the English Defence League. A screen shot of that page is at the bottom:

    Later on in the video another EDL organiser Steven White is caught wearing a Blood and Honour shirt, as Wiki relates:

    “Blood & Honour is a neo-Nazi music promotion network and political group founded in 1987 with links to Combat 18 and composed of white power skinheads and other white nationalists. “

    Once more Steven White is found amongst his friends giving the Nazi salute, the video finishes with a shaven White displaying a large swastika tattooed on his chest.

    That’s the type of people drawn to the English Defence League, those interested in racial conflict, violence and neofascism.

    Luke Pippen at Casuals United:


    [Thanks to FightbackUK]

    Update 1: The Centre for Social Cohesion produced a rather good report on the Blood and Honour by Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens and Edmund Standing.

    This is an extract:

    “The B&H organisation in the UK constitutes an undeniable threat to both security and community relations within the UK. Its propaganda is centred on an apocalyptic vision of racial conflict, and unambiguously encourages respect for, and glorification of, terrorist actions carried out in the name of furthering the cause of neo-Nazism. The B&H National Socialist Political Soldiers Handbook, in particular, provides information and advice that would clearly be useful in the commission or preparation of an act of terrorism.

    B&H is ostensibly a ‘political’ movement; but arguably it has far more in common with other violent ideological forms of extremism than it does with what is generally understood as ‘politics’, even of a nationalist variety. Certainly, as an explicitly anti-democratic, anti-liberal, fascist organisation, B&H constitutes an atavistic manifestation of the same venomous mix of racial hatred and a cult of violence that came to prominence in the original Nazi movement. B&H takes its name, its imagery and indeed much of its ideology from the Third Reich, which is exalted as the apotheosis of white European achievement.

    As fervent followers of Nazism in a world that has, in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, so clearly rejected this ideology, B&H supporters exist outside the bounds of normal social and political interaction. The group, therefore, acts as a magnet to those who feel disenfranchised and, in more extreme cases, to the pathological, who find in its message and its embrace of neo-Nazism as an ‘identity’, a vehicle by which to indulge their extreme prejudice and nihilistic hatred of the modern world. As such, B&H is less a genuine ‘political’ threat than it is an incubator for racially motivated violence, which has already spilled over on a number of occasions into outright terrorism. “

    Blood & Honour: Britain’s Far-Right Militants, Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens and Edmund Standing is available as a PDF.

    Written by modernityblog

    28/09/2010 at 02:05

    Blue Plaque for Peter Tatchell.

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    A well earned Blue Plaque is going to Peter Tatchell, and I can think of no better living human rights activist that deserves one, the Pink Paper has more:

    “Hollywood actor Sir Ian McKellen will unveil a blue plaque honouring Peter Tatchell, campaigner for human rights, gay freedom and social justice, this month.

    The ceremony takes place on Wednesday 29 September at 11am outside 62 Arrol House, Rockingham Street, London.

    For over 40 years, Peter Tatchell has spearheaded campaigns for gay rights and human rights in Britain and across the globe. In 1983 he was the defeated Labour candidate in the Bermondsey by-election – the dirtiest, most violent election in Britain in the twentieth century. He co-founded OutRage! in 1990 and he twice attempted a citizen’s arrest of President Mugabe of Zimbabwe on charges of human rights abuses.

    Last year he was named Campaigner of the Year at The Observer Ethical Awards.”

    Written by modernityblog

    27/09/2010 at 15:24

    The Draw Of Power.

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    According to Henry Kissinger, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

    I am not sure if that is true but I am trying to work out why anyone would want to meet President Ahmadinejad?

    Unless it is to be close to his power, to be able to say they have actually met a President, even if his election win was fiddled and anti-Ahmadinejad protesters killed as a result.

    Why would supposed radicals in North America wish to meet Ahmadinejad after he’s just given a conspiratorial speech on 9/11?

    Why would anyone, with any sense, want to meet this certifiable racist?

    Apparently, over a hundred people, including some radical political leaders met him recently, Fightback News covers it:

    “New York, NY – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met here, September 21, with 100 leaders and representatives of anti-war, labor, alternative media and Iranian and Palestinian solidarity organizations. Among the participants were Sarah Martin, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Margaret Sarfehjooy, board member of the Minneapolis-based Women Against Military Madness, former attorney general Ramsey Clark, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Sara Flounders from the International Action Center, Brian Becker of the ANSWER coalition, Ramona Africa of the Free Mumia Coalition and Amiri Baraka, poet and activist.

    The meeting was called by the president of Iran with the hope that a frank and honest exchange of views will help activists further the cause of peace between the people of Iran and the U.S.

    Specific demands raised include to oppose war, occupation and hostility worldwide; oppose interference in the internal affairs of other countries; support the right to nuclear energy for all, but nuclear weapons for none; and to support dialogue, justice and equality among all countries in the UN.

    After listening intently to the statements of 22 of the participants, President Ahmadinejad said, “We have a treasure chest full of views. I agree with everything you have said and therefore you have spoken from my heart also. Now I will speak in my own way.”

    He said that the source of war, capitalism, must be identified and pointed out. “Violent capitalism is based on superiority, hegemony and violation of rights.” He went on to say that one reason capitalists start wars is to fill up their pockets. They must empty their arsenals so they can build more weapons. As he said at a U.N. meeting earlier in the day, “Capitalism has come to an end. It has reached a deadlock. Its historical moment has ended and efforts to restore it won’t go very far.”

    Ahmadinejad spoke of the U.S. wars in Iraq and deaths of over 1 million people for oil . He pointed out that in an Afghan village over 100 innocent people were killed just to get a few terrorists. He expressed anger that even with the floods in Pakistan, the U.S continues to bomb Pakistani villages. He said it is hard to sleep at night after hearing the heart-wrenching stories of the Palestinians living under siege in Gaza with no medicines, no clean water and not enough food. He expressed solidarity with the activists’ goals of struggling for peace and justice at home and abroad and he pledged that Iran will stand strong to the end.

    “Speaking with Mrs. Ahmadinejad and hearing the president reinforced the importance of struggling against the U.S. campaign to isolate and demonize Iran,” said Sarah Martin. Margaret Sarfehjooy reported, “I think the meeting was important because we had the opportunity to meet with so many dedicated grassroots activists from all over the country and share our hopes for peace and justice with the Iranian people through their president and his wife.” “

    Unbelievable.

    I wonder if President Ahmadinejad’s old friend, David Duke, will be joining them at the next meeting?

    (H/T: Contested Terrain)

    Eustace Mullins and Glenn Beck.

    with 6 comments

    Glenn Beck’s shift from being on the hard right to the almost barking mad right continues apace, as Mediamatters demonstrates:

    “On Fox News, Glenn Beck promoted Eustace Mullins’ book Secrets of the Federal Reserve. Mullins was a 9/11 truther who has been described as an “anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist” and a “nationally known white supremacist”; the Anti-Defamation League called the book Beck promoted “a re-hash of Mullins’ anti-Semitic theories about the origins of the Federal Reserve.”

    On-screen text identified Mullins book as source for quote Beck read. On the September 22 edition of his Fox News program, Beck attacked early 20th century diplomat Edward House for saying of the Federal Reserve, “I am suggesting that the Central Board be increased from four members to five and their terms lengthened from eight to ten years. This would give stability and would take away the power of a President to change the personnel of the board during a single term of office.” While Beck spoke, on-screen text indicated that the House comment was “Quoted In ‘Secrets of the Federal Reserve,’ ” which was authored by Eustace Mullins: “

    Here’s a snippet from nizkor on Mullins:

    “In a 1952 book, Mullins wrote a book blaming Paul Warburg, Bernard Baruch, and other U. S. Jews for drowning Americans in debt. According to Mullins, The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 put the nation’s banking reserves in the hands of the “Jewish International Bankers” for the purpose of carrying out a plan for world dictatorship.

    In a 1955 article entitled, “Jews mass poison American children”, Mullins claimed that the polio vaccine, invented by Jonas Salk, was a poison because it contains live polio germs. Other books depict Jews as parasites, living off their gentile hosts. In what has to be one of the most bizarre of Mullins’ beliefs, it has been reported by L. J. Davis that Mullins has claimed that the phrase “Have a nice day” is a code for Jews to begin killing Christians.”

    (H/T: Adam Holland)

    Written by modernityblog

    23/09/2010 at 15:16

    Johanna Kaschke’s Appeal.

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    According to the Index on Censorship:

    “Lady Justice Smith today refused blogger and activist Johanna Kaschke the right to appeal against a judgement which deemed her suing of David Osler an abuse of process.

    In 2008 Kaschke sued the labour blogger Osler for libel, reacting to a post on his site which referenced an article in leading German news publication Der Spiegel. This article reported her wrongful arrest by German police in 1975.”

    Update 1: This past post hopefully will provide some background, Jack And Johanna.

    Update 2: There is a long history to this case and the posts below should help clarify the issues:

    John Gray, Alex Hilton And Johanna Kaschke’s Libels.

    The Implications.

    Jack’s Shorter Version.

    The Judgement.

    Dave Osler Has Won!!

    Some Round Up?

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    Been away for a few days and it is rather hard to catch up with moving events, but here is a bit of a round up as recompense:

    Richard Millet has a persuasive post on Those “disloyal Jews” and the racist thinking that under pins it.

    CiF Watch covers Hamas Huggers.

    Entdinglichung highlights how appallingly Syrian Kurds are treated in Denmark.

    Some golden oldies from Engage. I particularly like Dave Rich’s If I say “Zionist” not “Jew” then I can’t be antisemitic, can I?

    Contested Terrain has many informative posts, including a pointer to The Myth Of Jewish Communism and AK Press To Fox News’ Glenn Beck: We Have A Lot In Common.

    For a background to Glenn Beck’s weird views see Adam Holland’s coverage.

    Judeosphere And The Crazy Just Keeps On Coming…

    Left Foot Forward on Clegg completes Thatcherite conversion with household debt metaphor.

    Dave Osler on Benedict XVI: Antichrist, or just a bit confused?

    Your Friend in the North is having none of it, Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Ratzinger?

    Weggis on the case of two Greenpeace activists.

    Jim on the Swedish elections.

    Greens Engage on Passing over antisemitism and EU Commissioner Karel de Gucht.

    Eric Reeves and The death of ‘Ahmed’ of Kassab camp.

    Finally, a host of political delights at Peter Tatchell’s.

    Update 1: I missed this marvellous post from Stroppyblog, More taking pops at the Pope !

    Written by modernityblog

    21/09/2010 at 22:24

    A Quick Linux One.

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    I might not be posting for a few days so I thought I would do a quick technology post, rather predictably on Linux.

    Whilst Windows 7 will cost you a small fortune Linux is largely free, but the choice is somewhat daunting as can be seen at Distrowatch.

    Which particular version of Linux should you choose, is not an easy question to answer, the trite response might be: it depends.

    I have tried innumerable Linux distributions and settled on a few that I find reliable and usable.

    Firstly, PCLinuxos.

    This distro comes in many varieties, I tend towards the smaller version with less bloat.

    MiniMe is good, and you can add whatever application you please (again, free). It is KDE based but that shouldn’t be too much of problem now as KDE 4 is getting quite mature.

    The other one I find useful is Zen Mini, which is Gnome based but a lot smaller and faster, or so it seems. I should say that the one winning feature in these PCLinuxos distros that I do appreciate is the ability to clone the existing setup from within itself.

    That’s right, make an image copy of the existing setup, which could be installed else where or just kept for safety. A marvellous feature, and it works. It is called MkLiveCD. It is simple to use.

    Secondly, my fallback distributions are Simply MEPIS (for faster machines) and AntiX Linux for older ones.

    Fortunately, new releases are coming out nearly every day and two that deserve scrutiny are Mint’s Debian 201009 and Mint Fluxbox.

    Finally, it is handy to make a USB installation of Parted Magic via Unetbootin, it will boot up a very small but functional vision of Linux and you could use it as a browser package, as it includes basic networking, it is surprisingly fast.

    PS:Whatever you pick try it out first on an old or spare machine, get use to the installation, read the screens carefully and check the web if you get stuck, it ain’t too hard.

    Written by modernityblog

    17/09/2010 at 23:30

    Posted in Uncategorized

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    An ABC Of Antisemitic Themes

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    Judging what is or isn’t antisemitic isn’t as easy as many people think, even the word itself is debated.

    I prefer to use the slightly clumsy expression of anti-Jewish racism, but whatever you choose it is important to be able to pick out the themes which go hand-in-hand with that phenomena.

    CiF Watch is a helpful resource in doing that, they monitor the Guardian’s Comment Is Free and often highlight the institutionalised bias which is evident at that newspaper.

    More recently one of the threads at CiF Watch was swamped by neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers.

    The moderators at CiF Watch did a fine job of cleaning up the mess, but looking at the detritus that was left behind is extremely illuminating.

    A later post by Adam Levick uses this racist filth to illustrate the connection between old-fashioned antisemitic attacks on Jews in the media and how they have metamorphosized in the 21st century.

    He shows how common themes run through many of the modern arguments put forward, not only by neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers, and in doing so he provides a very worthwhile ABC of antisemitic themes.

    It is well worth a read and a think, CiF Watch under attack!

    Written by modernityblog

    15/09/2010 at 22:33

    Veterans Today Update.

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    In a previous post I had highlighted racism and conspiracy theories found that Veterans Today.

    Mistakenly, I had assumed that it was a legitimate organisation populated by sincere, if slightly misguided, individuals, but now I find out that it is a one-man band, run by Gordon Duff.

    Duff is apparently a conspiracy crank and holds some very weird views on 9/11.

    I apologise to readers for giving the impression that Veterans Today might have been a legitimate organisation concerned with the welfare of veterans. In reality, the web site is just the product of a fevered mind with a chip on its shoulder against Israelis, best ignored.

    Arnaud de Borchgrave’s piece explains it all:

    “WASHINGTON, July 26 (UPI) — The “Veterans Today” Network, a one-man show on the Internet created and run by Gordon Duff, a 100 percent disabled Marine Vietnam veteran, states flatly that 9/11 was a CIA/Mossad conspiracy and that Osama bin Laden wasn’t involved and died in 2001.

    Duff does commentary on his conspiracy theories for radio and TV news programs; his provocative articles are carried the world over and his Web site gets 22 million page hits a month. Some of his recent “Top 10 Stories of the Week”: “The CIA: Beyond Redemption and Should Be Terminated”; “Does Event Honoring Israeli Spy Suggest Another Israeli Operation?”; “Wikipedia Revisionism to Israeli Pressure Groups.” “

    PS: Any supporters of Veterans Today should read my comments policy.

    Written by modernityblog

    15/09/2010 at 02:16

    Glasses And Bottles.

    with 8 comments

    The true character of the EDL was revealed over the weekend.

    They sought conflict in Oldham and when the police tried to restrain them the police were attacked with glasses and bottles.

    The HOPE not hate blog and Nick Lowes describes events:

    “A hundred EDL supporters turned up unannounced in Oldham town centre yesterday in a worryingly new development. While they ostensibly claimed to be marking the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and indeed they did lay a wreath, the nature of their mobilisation could be a sign of things to come.

    The EDL met up in the Greaves Arms and marched through Oldham town centre to the local cenotaph where they laid a wreath and held a two minutes silence. Among those there were a number of current and former BNP members, including Griffin’s former bodyguard and convicted drug dealer Jock Shearer. The police moved in to break up the gang and they were met with a volley of glasses and bottles. A number of people were served with dispersal orders (Section 27 of the Public Order Act) which banned them from the town for 24 hours.

    It was clear that many EDL supporters are becoming increasing frustrated at how the police have contained them in recent protests, not least in Bradford, where they were penned in by police and an eight foot wall. A growing number seem keen to just go it alone with spontaneous actions.

    I’m nervous about where this is all going and I fear a growing cycle of both targeted and indiscriminate violence by EDL supporters. Some are actively hunting down their opponents, including myself, while actions like we saw yesterday in Oldham could spark off real violence within communities. And of course violence is what these people are after.”

    Update 1: Thanks to entdinglichung:

    The EDL’s opportunism knows no limits:

    “POLICE officers swooped to quell a racist confrontation which flared up shortly after soldiers had paraded through Nuneaton yesterday afternoon.

    Members of the English Defence League attended the ceremony, which granted the Borough Council’s Freedom of Entry to the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

    The acting servicemen, carrying machine guns and led by a regimental band, were cheered by large crowds who lined the town centre streets.

    As the march came to an end, the 60-strong EDL entourage headed towards the Edward Street area of the town, which is the heart of the local Muslim community.

    We were expecting some people connected with the EDL to be at the parade and after it had finished they congregated at The Crew bar in Queen’s Road,” said Chief Inspector Chris Lewis.

    “They positioned themselves outside and raised tensions with the Muslim community, which caused a few minor skirmishes but nothing of any consequence.

    “We moved in to keep people at a distance and to calm things down. The EDL members were then escorted away from the scene and back to Nuneaton train station.”

    The Warwickshire force commander, who was in charge of policing the parade, added: “We are constantly scanning for intelligence and knew that the EDL were planning to be in attendance for this occasion.

    Many of them had travelled from other parts of the country but they also had some local supporters.” “

    Update 2: Another bottle thrown:

    “One person has been arrested in Nuneaton after police kept apart English Defence League sympathisers and members of the Asian community following an Army parade.

    Warwickshire Police said no incidents occurred during Sunday’s parade, which marked the granting of the Freedom of Entry to the Borough to the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

    Officers estimated that around 60 people who appeared to be associated with the English Defence League gathered in and around a pub following the parade, which passed off peacefully, at about 2.30pm.

    A Warwickshire Police spokesman said: “This attracted the attention of the local community and as a consequence a large group of people, principally from the Asian community, gathered a few yards away at the junction of Edward Street and Queens Road.

    “There was much chanting and potential provocation from both groups, but fortunately no-one was injured.”

    The spokesman confirmed that a bottle was thrown, which led to one arrest being made.

    Meanwhile, in what police described as a separate incident, a car was attacked and damaged as it travelled along Queens Road.

    Ch Insp Chris Lewis said the day was marred by the tense situation in Queens Road, which was contained by officers from both Warwickshire Police and West Midlands Police, who escorted English Defence League sympathisers to the town’s railway station at about 5pm.

    The officer thanked local community leaders for providing “very active support”. “

    Written by modernityblog

    14/09/2010 at 03:53

    Only 30,000?

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    Is this really surprisingly?

    “LONDON (Reuters) – The United States has released several thousand Iraqi prisoners into Iraqi custody despite documented evidence that Iraqi security forces have abused detainees, Amnesty International said Monday.

    The handover of prisoners occurred following the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq last month.

    “Iraq’s security forces have been responsible for systematically violating detainees’ rights and they have been permitted to do so with impunity,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    “Yet, the U.S. authorities, whose own record on detainees’ rights has been so poor, have now handed over thousands of people detained by U.S. forces to face this catalogue of illegality, violence and abuse, abdicating any responsibility for their human rights.”

    The Amnesty report documents thousands of arbitrary detentions and beatings of detainees to obtain forced confessions.

    It estimated 30,000 people were being held without trial in Iraq and 10,000 of those were recently transferred from U.S. custody.

    Amnesty said it believed several detainees had died, possibly as a result of what it described as torture and other ill-treatment by interrogators and prison guards.”

    Over at AI.

    Written by modernityblog

    13/09/2010 at 02:54

    Poor Taste.

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    The antics by the hodgepodge of opponents to Cordoba House in New York made the news.

    Capitalising on the 9/11 anniversary is in extremely poor taste.

    But then again I would suspect that those so keen to stir up anxiety and anger over this issue are not the least bit concerned by the feelings of others, and in particular the 9/11 families. They are merely using it as political capital for their own ends.

    Haaretz has an interesting piece:

    “Donna Marsh O’Connor, the national spokesperson for the September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, lost her pregnant daughter in the terror attack on September 11, 2001 in one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City.

    The September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows is a nationwide group founded by family members of the victims of the 2001 attacks. The group advocates non-violent options and actions in pursuit of justice, hoping to break the cycle of violence.

    O’Connor spoke to Haaretz on the recent controversy surrounding a plan to build an Islamic center close to the site of the World Trade Center attack. The specific location has offended many Americans, and many around the world, who contend the proximity to the site of the attack, perpetrated by Islamist terrorists, disrespects the victims. The imam behind the initiative, however, insists that the Islamic center’s goals are to inspire peace.

    This remembrance day seems like no other, with the controversy surrounding the Islamic center meant to be built in Lower Manhattan. Why do you support this project?

    “I am an American citizen, and I know that my family and many American families have the same story – families that came here to escape religious persecution. It doesn’t make sense in America that we say no to the Muslim people – to the very people who denounced this horrible tragedy. This is, in our opinion, an act of peace and understanding and reconciliation. That’s what 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows stands for.”

    “I have been teaching writing and rhetoric for 26 years, and I have been teaching students what rhetoric and racism are and what mechanisms are at work here – how no one thinks they are racist or bigoted, and still we are a nation that has a very bad history regarding racist tendencies and religious intolerance. These Muslim people didn’t perpetrate the crime on 9/11. 19 hijackers backed by the horrible criminal group al-Qaida did it, and also the Taliban supported that work, but not Muslim American people.”

    Did the Islamic center backers contact you asking to intervene on their behalf?

    “No. We reached out to Daisy Khan (Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement , wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who stands behind the Park 51 initiative), though not right away. But when it was clear that they were being ripped on by a lot of people who we thought were using 9/11 families as a monolithic voice against Daisy Khan – we as an organization reached out to her to say: ‘Look, we don’t think you are these horrible conquerors, we don’t think that this Islamic cultural center is more than just an attempt to build the facility, to support residents of Lower Manhattan with a swimming pool, with a gym, with a prayer center, with a memorial to 9/11, with all the other things this center was going to be for the use of people in Lower Manhattan.’”

    “So we reached out to her to say: ‘We are sorry you are going through this.’ When it got huge and reached a crescendo, Daisy actually tried to call me one day, and I couldn’t talk to her – I was inundated with people from the press calling and asking why we were 9/11 family members and we didn’t agree with other 9/11 family members who basically took the position that if we are going to do this, Allah is going to kill all the Americans.”

    “It was so hyper inflated on the part of other people that should know better that to use the inflated inflammatory diction. I am happy they have the right to do it, just as I am happy that Imam Rauf and Daisy Kahn have the right to build this Islamic cultural center. So frankly, I never had an opportunity to have a conversation with Daisy after things got to a crescendo. But I look forward to having this conversation at some point. I don’t know what necessarily we would say, except for how stunned we are at all of this.”

    “But as for the question – are we collaborators and in coalition with the imam and Daisy Khan – no, we are not. We don’t have to be. But we support the Muslim American efforts to build this facility. And we think it will be really shameful if they’ll be forced to move it elsewhere. I think it says to Muslim American people, who are peace-loving people and raising children in this nation, that they are another group in this nation that is not valued. I know what pain can be inflicted on groups of people when they have rhetoric shout at them in negative way.”

    Update 1: 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows are here.

    Written by modernityblog

    12/09/2010 at 02:42

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