ModernityBlog

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

Posts Tagged ‘antifascism

Boozy Neo-fascists In Blackpool.

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The EDL were in Blackpool today, stirring up hatred as usual.

Here is a photo from one of their many drinking sessions, note the bloke in front:EDL in Blackpool, May 2011

Anyone tempted to comment should first read the comments policy.

Belgium’s Easy Accommodation With The Far Right.

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I vaguely remember reading something about this a few weeks back, but it didn’t register, thankfully this Guardian piece reveals how Belgium’s politicians have sunk to a new low, with the sole exception of the Greens.

Politicians have agreed with the Far Right’s attempt to organise an amnesty for collaborators during the Nazi occupation of WW2:

“On 12 May, the 333rd day of Belgium’s political crisis, all the mainstream Flemish parties, apart from the Greens, supported a motion by the far-right Vlaams Belang party advocating an amnesty for those who collaborated with the Nazi occupation in 1940-45. The bill suggests effacing all the effects of “sentences and sanctions inflicted on the grounds of alleged breaches of public loyalty”. It proposes compensation for “financial prejudice” suffered by “victims of postwar repression or their descendants”.

Flemish-speaking far-right parties have been battling for almost 20 years for an amnesty. Until now all the proposals by Vlaams Belang, which is largely isolated, have failed. But when the Flemish Social-Democrats (SP.a) decided to endorse the proposal it opened the way for the Flemish majority in the upper house to authorise a debate. Parliament had previously refused to entertain the idea. “In these difficult times it is particularly worrying that this rule should have been broken,” said Philippe Mahoux, a Walloon Socialist (PS) party senator. “It is a major obstacle in the path of those who want to establish stable government,” said Francis Delpérée, a member of the centrist CDH party.

Armed collaboration with Germany involved roughly equal numbers from the Walloon and Flemish communities, but political collaboration was more extensive in Flanders. where the Nazis awarded privileges such as releasing prisoners of war and placing militants of the Vlaams Nationaal Verbond, a nationalist pro-collaboration party, in positions of authority in Flemish localities, according to the writer Charles Bricman. In 1943 about 2,000 collaborators enrolled in the Walloon Legion, almost 3,000 in its Flemish counterpart. Nearly 14,000 Belgians fought in the Wehrmacht under German colours. The move looks like a warning to French-speaking politicians suspected of holding up negotiations to end the political stalemate. It might even herald a repeat of the events of 2007, when in the course of committee proceedings in parliament the Flemish majority unanimously voted to split the bilingual Brussels-Hal-Vilvorde district. “

Small wonder people have such a low opinion of politicians, they can’t even stand up and say no to the rehabilitation of WW2 fascists.

Update 1: The Jewish Museum of Deportation and Resistance in Belgium has more on the country’s Far Right:

“The Vlaams Nationaal Verbond (VNV) (Flemish National Alliance) was constituted in 1933 and was a radicalisation of the Frontpartij (Front Party). The language question and the demands for Flemish independence formed the basis of their manifesto. The catholics were also represented in this party, however the clergy, who were monarchists, found it difficult to accept the anti-Belgium attitude of the VNV.

The leader of the VNV, Staf de Clercq (d. 1942), gained the electoral support of the middle class and the agricultural community, groups, in fact, who had constantly suffered during the crisis. From the election results it can be seen that the VNV experienced constant growth during the 1930’s.

REX grew from the French speaking catholic circles at the University of Louvain. This party did not have any clear cut political agenda. REX and its leader, Léon Degrelle, drew support from the public’s abhorrence for political and financial scandals.

With the slogan “100% catholic” REX was able to take advantage of the fact that a number of important leaders of the catholic party were suspected of corruption. In the 1936 elections they won 21 seats.”

The English Defence League, Red Watch And Neofascist Thugs.

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Many readers will be familiar with Red Watch, a neofascist outfit which publishes the details of its political opponents.

Its purpose is very clear, to ensure that the houses and dwellings of its political opponents are attacked, bricks through windows, firebombed, etc

It is an old fascist technique that has been updated for the 21st century.

Unsurprisingly, the English Defence League take a similar approach. A secret Facebook group of the EDL are posting the names, addresses and phone numbers of their perceived enemies.

Presumably, the EDL will organise, directly or indirectly for them to be attacked, physically.

Now their apologists will try to explain that the EDL are not neofascists, that is despite the fact that their events are published on neofascist forums, that is regardless of the presence of neo-Nazis, BNPers and certifiable racists at their events, etc etc.

This latest development shows how the EDL are changing from a proto-fascist street gang to a more traditional neofascist setup.

No surprise there.

SPLC, 40th Anniversary Celebration.

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I had forgotten about this, but the excellent and dedicated Southern Poverty Law Center has just celebrated its 40th Anniversary:

“Since its founding, the SPLC has shut down some of the nation’s most dangerous hate groups by winning multimillion-dollar jury verdicts on behalf of victims of their violence. It has dismantled institutional racism in the South, reformed juvenile justice practices, shattered barriers to equality for women, children and the disabled, and protected low-wage immigrant workers from abuse. It has reached out to the next generation with Teaching Tolerance, a program that provides educators with free classroom materials that teach students to respect others.”

Their on-line resources are great, the Hatewatch Blog, the Intelligence Reports, the Intelligence Files, Publications and finally, the Hate Map.

SPLC’s Ku Klux Klan: A History of Racism is free to download, as a PDF, well worth a read.

Photos of the day.

My best wishes to the SPLC, may they be around for another 40 years. Fine people.

Written by modernityblog

07/05/2011 at 00:51

Osama Bin Laden, An Antifascist’s Approach.

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I had previously wrote a longer draft on the similarities between Osama bin Laden and other rich sociopaths that indulge their hatreds, but on reflection I am not so sure that is the best description for him.

For all I know bin Laden might just have been a misanthrope with a love for AK-47s?

Still, with his views and participation in the death of others he strikes me, at the very least, as a quasi-fascist, someone who revels in the use of violence and mass murder as a means to an end.

Directly or indirectly, he murdered hundreds of civilians in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

So in the same way I didn’t mourn over the deaths of António Salazar, Francisco Franco or Augusto Pinochet I don’t worry about bin Laden’s demise either.

Neither should anyone else, particularly those who consider themselves to be anti-fascists.

Update 1: Norm look at this way:

“As a subordinate matter here, those of us who recognize the above difference can’t help but notice the contrasting reaction of others ‘not mourning’ Bin Laden but seemingly capable only of biliousness in speaking about his death. Poor lost socialist, liberal and democratic souls (for that is what they mostly are). In the demise of a reactionary murdering theocrat they are unable to see and plainly articulate the sense of anything good. That, in its way, also gives grounds for satisfaction: many people bothered who ought to be.”

Written by modernityblog

05/05/2011 at 23:58

Gullible BBC News And The BNP.

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Anyone following the activities of the BNP would know that they are suffering from numerous internal problems, thankfully.

There has been numerous splits in the BNP leadership and a financial meltdown, yet BBC News couldn’t even get that right as HOPE not hate details:

“There are always a few in the media prepared to swallow the British National Party’s statements uncritically and talk up the racist party’s electoral prospects. But we didn’t expect the chief political correspondent of BBC Radio 4 to be one of them.

Norman Smith’s article on the BBC website today reported a claim by Simon Darby, the BNP’s media spokesman, that the BNP was “not going bust” and expects to pay off its debts of more than £500,000 by the end of the year.

“BNP officials” had told Smith that the party had instituted austerity measures including laying off staff and closing its Belfast call centre. In fact the call centre, which closed several months ago, never belonged to the party.

Smith also reported a claim that there had been an increase in donations “from the party’s 12,000 members”. Searchlight’s own sources and several disaffected former BNP officers all agree that the BNP’s membership currently stands at 6,000 maximum after large numbers of disillusioned members failed to renew or defected to rival organisations.

Darby told Smith that most of the party’s debts were the result of heavy spending on the European and general elections in 2009 and 2010 rather than on its reckless court cases and that the party was cutting back on election expenditure for this year.

In fact the BNP’s head office spent a mere £30,374 on the general election. Local party units paid for the rest and their expenditure does not contribute to the party’s current debts.

In any case, all election expenditure has by law to be paid within a few weeks of an election. Is Darby claiming that the £282,843 it spent on the 2009 European election campaign still forms part of the party’s debts two years later?”

Perhaps the BBC should take out a subscription to Searchlight?

Written by modernityblog

26/04/2011 at 17:23

BNP Election Material.

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In Britain there is a local election on the 5th May 2011, the Indy covers the piss poor quality of BNP candidates:

“The BNP was last night accused of turning to “a hardcore group of neo-Nazis and racists” to stand as candidates in next month’s local elections.

The anti-BNP campaign group Hope not Hate said it had compiled a dossier of extremist postings of candidates standing on 5 May, either in council elections or those to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. Among the postings the group collected from Facebook pages were:

* One BNP candidate in the North of England who posted on his Facebook page a mock advert for the gas Zyklon B – used in the Nazi extermination chambers of the Second World War – captioned, “Try Zyklon B. It’s a gas!”

Overall the BNP will be fielding just over 200 candidates in next month’s elections – nearly 500 fewer than the in 2007. It said it “was having to cut its cloth” because of the amount of money it had had to spend defending a legal action against the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Hope not Hate said: “As his party crumbles, Nick Griffin has been forced to turn to what even by BNP standards, is a hard core of neo-Nazis and racists. These are not just activists, but people Griffin is putting forward as candidates for elected public office. They are literally the best the BNP now has to offer.”

Hope not Hate, which is funded by the trades union movement, said the party had become hopelessly split – with many members defecting to the English Democrats and the breakaway party British Freedom Party. “

(H/T: Lancaster Unity)

Update 1: Another good piece from the Indy:

“The low-key launch of the BNP’s English manifesto in a deserted Stoke-on-Trent shopping street yesterday was in marked contrast to previous events held by the group in the area. In 2008 the city played host to a 300-strong BNP rally; only around 30 members turned up yesterday.

With three volunteers holding up modest Union flag backdrops to ensure they did not blow over during the speech by the deputy leader Simon Darby, and press interviews held in the corner of a giant retail centre car park, the event was notably different from last year’s general election campaign launch. Then, a man dressed as St George appeared with the leader Nick Griffin in Stoke to begin the party’s ill-fated push for a Westminster seat. Mr Griffin was unable to attend this time due to poor health, leaving the floor – or rather pavement – for Mr Darby to address his small gaggle of followers. “

Update 2: Also see HOPE not hate weekend of action.

HOPE not hate weekend of action

Written by modernityblog

19/04/2011 at 12:38

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