Posts Tagged ‘antifascism’
The EDL were in Blackpool today, stirring up hatred as usual.
Anyone tempted to comment should first read the comments policy.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
Anyone following the activities of the BNP would know that they are suffering from numerous internal problems, thankfully.
“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?
“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
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what does the photo below tell us about the EDL?
An EDL supporter giving a Nazi salute during the EDL’s demonstrations in Blackburn, 2nd April 2011:
Update 1: Any dim witted EDLers or their mates tempted to comment should first read my comments policy, and leave.
English Defence League members and supporters were in court this week after their attack on an SWP meeting at Tyneside Irish Centre, Newcastle, the Chronicle reports:
“TEN suspected right-wing extremists have appeared in court charged with violence.
The men, from across Tyneside, are accused of attacking doormen at the Tyneside Irish Centre during a rival political meeting.
The alleged attack is said to have happened on September 22 last year, when the left-wing Socialist Workers’ Party were meeting at the centre on Gallowgate, Newcastle city centre.
The SWP had called the meeting to discuss ways to counter far-right groups.
Rebecca Gibson, prosecuting, told Newcastle Magistrates Court that the 10 men, all believed to be members of the far-right English Defence League, allegedly gathered in nearby Rosie’s Bar.
She claimed they then descended on the Irish Centre, hurling abuse and attacking the doormen. “
“…From at least 1984 through 1992, [Noam] Chomsky corresponded with a man who, during those time periods, was one of the leading authors and editors in the Holocaust denial movement. And it was a very friendly correspondence, complete with praise for the denier’s work, and an offer of assistance on Chomsky’s part.
The denier in question is L.A. “Lou” Rollins. At the time of the first Chomsky correspondence, Rollins was a writer and contributing editor at the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), the North American headquarters of Holocaust denial and Nazi literature. And although the IHR has, in the past two decades, attempted to reinvent itself as a “respectable” Holocaust denial institute by eschewing clumsy, vulgar anti-Semitism in favor of pseudo-academic “historiography,” back in 1984 there was no subtlety in the IHR’s presentation. The publishing arm of the IHR sold such titles as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the “pro-Hitler” reprint of “Mein Kampf,” “The Testament of Adolf Hitler,” “The International Jew,” “The Turner Diaries,” KKK leader David Duke’s autobiography “My Awakening,” and various anti-Semitic and white supremacy booklets and leaflets. Contributors to the IHR included former SS Standartenführer Leon Degrelle, and former Nazi General Otto Ernst Remer….
It is against this backdrop that Chomsky and Rollins corresponded. In the first of the recently uncovered letters, Chomsky expresses happiness that Rollins was able to find Chomsky’s anti-Israel book “The Fateful Triangle” useful in his work. Chomsky tells Rollins that he’s pleased to hear that he (Rollins) is writing about Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who Chomsky proceeds to call “one of the major frauds of our time.” He compares Wiesel to Nazi collaborators, and accuses him of “exploiting the Holocaust to justify oppression and murder.”
Chomsky promises to send Rollins “news clippings from the Jewish press” to assist him with his anti-Wiesel screed (Rollins’ Chomsky-assisted essay would appear in the fall 1985 edition of the IHR’s “journal”).
Chomsky closes by writing, “I’m looking forward to hearing more about your study.”
Still, I find it hard to believe.
Rollins certainly is connected to the IHR, as this cached extract from one of his articles shows:
“About the author
L.A. ROLLINS is a Contributing Editor of the IHR Newsletter. He has also written for other publications, including Reason, New Libertarian, Critique, Spotlight and The JHR. He is the author of The Myth of Natural Rights.”
Then imagine two dozen plus active Holocaust deniers much worse than him, hard core racist types, embittered cranks and semi-professional antisemites, imagine that and you’ll only have scratched the surface. This is what the SPLC says about them:
“IHR’s first annual conference in 1979 attracted deniers from around the world and helped to introduce some key American extremists to Holocaust denial. David Duke, the neo-Nazi who was then the national leader of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was so taken with the idea that he followed up the conference with a “Special Holocaust Edition” of his Crusader newspaper. In the same way, National Socialist Party of America leader Frank Collin enthusiastically embraced denial, saying, “There was no Holocaust, but they deserve one — and will get it.” For years, IHR’s yearly conferences were key events that offered networking opportunities for neo-Nazis and anti-Semites from around the world.
A critical contribution by IHR was the pseudo-academic gloss it applied to its anti-Semitism. The group actively tried to avoid blatant anti-Jewish slurs, and instead sought to couch its politics in distortions of history and science meant to sound reasonable. Though the theories that resulted were far out, they had at least the appearance of legitimacy, as did The Journal of Historical Review that the IHR began to publish in 1980. Deniers would claim, for example, that the Anne Frank diary is a fraud because it contained marks made with a postwar ballpoint pen (they didn’t mention that the marks were made later by Frank’s father, who survived German concentration camps to edit and publish the diary). They would assert that the death-camp ovens were not capable of burning as many bodies as the Allies had said were disposed of after gassing. They lied about the qualities of the Zyklon B gas used to kill Jews, the operation of the Einsatzgruppen (the mobile killing squads which shot to death more than 1 million Jews in Eastern Europe), and hundreds of other facts. Through it all, IHR sought to give the appearance that its writers were honest, if skeptical, students of history. “
They should be avoided at all costs, I can’t imagine why Chomsky would even think of corresponding with these neo-Nazis?
Update 1: A reminder to new readers please READ, re-read and make an effort to understand my comments policy.
Postings from fans of the IHR or their neo-Nazi mates will remain in the moderation queue until the end of time.
Oh, any fans of Chomsky should read Pierre Vidal-Naquet: On Faurisson and Chomsky before they consider posting.
Update 2: A PDF exists of the correspondence here.
Update 3: Even some of Chomsky’s fans are unhappy:
by Helena Kaplan on February 11, 2011 at 1:31 PM
I like a lot of Chomsky’s work, but I can’t make excuses for him on this one. By 1984, he knew exactly what those nuts were all about (especially because people had been alerting him ever since he spoke out for Faurisson in 1979). This is a shameful episode in his life. “
“POLICE and fire crews are combing the scene of a huge blaze which gutted a social club earmarked to become an Islamic cultural centre.
North Wales Police and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service visited the disused Shotton Lane Social Club five days after arsonists torched in order to establish whether the building was safe to enter.
The blaze broke out in the early hours of Friday, and police have confirmed they are treating the incident as suspicious.
Detective Chief Inspector Graham Talbot said: “The former social club, which remains owned by a brewery, has been secured as a crime scene and when we can commence our investigations it will be subject to forensic examination, which should help determine the cause of the fire.”
About 100 residents were evacuated from their homes over fears strong winds might spread the fire to adjacent properties.
Superintendent Dave Owens said: “Because of the windy weather the fire took hold very quickly and was difficult to bring under control. There were also compressed air cylinders in the club, which popped.
“It was very close to houses and if the wind had been blowing in another direction people could have lost their homes.”
Flintshire Muslim Cultural Society (FMCS) had been trying to raise £150,000 to buy the club – which had been closed since August – and turn it into an Islamic centre.
The plans provoked strong protests and about 100 members of right-wing group the English Defence League (EDL) marched through the streets of Shotton last month to voice their opposition.”
Anyone that has tried to read the Daily Star will know that it hardly counts as a newspaper. It is the type of publication you would put down to catch bird’s droppings, that’s all its good for.
Nevertheless, its open support of EDL is another marker in the rise of modern neofascism and anti-Muslim hatred.
“Yesterday’s Daily Star broke new ground by publishing a political splash. Over a picture of flag-waving marchers was the headline English Defence League to become political party.
As this reproduction of its front page shows, it was anything but a neutral presentation. It is a clear piece of propaganda on behalf of the EDL, a group that opposes the supposed spread of Islamic extremism in Britain.
The story cannot be read as anything other than a cheer-leading, uncritical piece on behalf of the EDL. Triumphalist in tone throughout, it required no between-the-lines deconstruction to grasp its intention – to build support for the group among its readers.
Desmond ought to think very carefully about letting the Star use far right politics to build sales.
He should remember what happened in those societies across Europe in the 1930s where Jewish minorities were demonised in the media for their religious beliefs.
Can he not see that the underlying agenda of groups like the EDL is anti-Semitic? What does he think he is doing? “
Update 1: As Minority Thought says:
Once more the thugs in the EDL want to stomp their supposed authority on the streets of Britain.
Each time they sought to attack ethnic minorities, intimidate ordinary people and even smash up restaurants. As I wrote before:
“1. The EDL *leadership* is stuffed full of BNPers, ex-BNPers, neo-Nazis and their allies.
2. The EDL always pick towns with high ethnic populations to hold their demonstrations. Their objective is to run amok, abuse and intimidate local people. That’s what they do.
3. The EDL want to start ethnic conflict and anyone that supports or excuses them is beyond the pale of reasoned debate, as they are aiding and abetting racial conflict. “
They are thugs, plain and simple, as their attack on Portsmouth’s Jami Mosque showed.
This time the EDL tried it on in Luton, but they couldn’t manage it despite their own bravado, plenty of booze and police protection, Nick Lowles of HOPE not Hate has more in a rolling commentary of the day:
” Foreign nazis are arriving in Luton looking for trouble. Far right activists from Sweden have been here for a couple of days and Norwegian and Dutch extremists are arriving shortly. Our spotters have also just seen a carload of German Blood & Honour supporters, wearing Combat 18 shirts, driving through the town.
We are also expecting hardliners from Vérité, Valeurs & Démocratie (VVD), a front organization of Bloc identitaire from France. ”
“Further to my last post the police have stopped the car carrying the German Blood and Honour supporters and are currently searching them.
Some of the Dutch Defence League have arrived. I’ve heard that they were staying in Bayswater, West London, along with some of the German Defence League.
EDL groups from North London, Gateshead, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes are already here. A group boarded a train at St Pancras this morning but nowhere near the numbers the EDL gave to the press. The EDL have been given two pubs and a nightclub to meet up in. The landlords/owners are allowed to serve drinks until 12pm and then close the venues an hour later, after which the EDL march will begin. All 300 pubs across the town will be shut from 12pm and not allowed to reopen until 7pm.
Interestingly, the police have been erecting steel barriers across streets, both to keep the EDL and UAF apart but also on some of the roads linking the EDL march route and Bury Park, where the Muslim community are gathering.”
“There are 18 EDL coaches lined up along Dunstable Road waiting to enter Luton. Police seem unwilling to allow them to move until much closer to the time the demo starts.”
“The EDL leadership appear to have their hands full trying to keep their rowdy bunch in order. There’s the drunken Sunderland group, others throwing bottles at the police and now the Scottish Defence League are taunting their English counterparts with chants of “where are your famous EDL?” ”
“I can now reveal that two of the speakers at today’s rally will be Austrian Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff and the surfing rabbi from the US, Nachum Shifren.
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is a representative of “Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa” and last year she was charged with “incitement” and “defamation of religious teachings” in Austria.
Nachum Shifren is an extremist Rabbi from California who has close links to the Tea Party.
Just for clarification, the march hasn’t actually started yet. There was some movement 25 minutes ago but it seems that they just moving into position. However, it is about to start any minute now.”
“One really has to question the tactics of the local police. While EDL thugs fight with police Stephen Lennon is helped out of the march and escorted – by police and his own security – to the square where the rally will be held.
Are they affording the same protection to local citizens terrified by the EDL demo?”
Keep on reading here.
“A prominent member of the English Defence League is a convicted people smuggler.
Ex-serviceman Allan Hetherington-Cleverley, 55, [pictured, left] is a regular at protests for the far-right group that advocates kicking Muslims out of the UK. But the Daily Star Sunday can reveal he spent four years in prison for smuggling Chinese immigrants across the Channel in an inflatable speedboat.
The former Grenadier Guard was paid £20,000 by an Albanian gangster to ferry the illegals from Calais in France to Newhaven in East Sussex in 2004. In two dangerous night-time trips across the world’s busiest shipping lane he helped to sneak 20 Chinese into the UK. The ex-soldier – who has changed his name from Allan Gallup – made the first trip alone but enlisted soldier pal Marcus Wakelin for the second a month later. But both missions were tracked by police from the air. The men were arrested and charged with facilitating illegal entry to the UK. Hetherington-Cleverley was sentenced to four years in 2005.
During their trial the court heard the pair showed little concern for the safety of the immigrants, who had paid £7,000 each to Triad gangsters.
Hetherington-Cleverley, who was in the Army between 1971 and 1977, is now good friends with EDL leader Stephen Lennon and has made speeches at their events. And the smuggler, who has also worked as a mercenary in Africa, has no regrets about his past. He said: “I am not ashamed of what I did. I did not steal anything, I did not hurt anyone, it was not a drug or sexual offence. It has nothing to do with my beliefs or my support for the EDL.” “
The organisation is insolvent:
“Any remaining pretence that the BNP is not on the verge of insolvency was blown away when a document headed OFFER OF DEBT COMPROMISE sent by Jim Dowson to the BNP’s lengthy list of unpaid creditors surfaced over the weekend.
Dated October 6th (a Wednesday), the document gives the BNP’s “preferred” creditors just a few days – until Thursday October 14th – to accept a 20p in the pound settlement, and warns: “Thereafter there is no prospect of your invoices being paid at any time in the forseeable future.”
Nakedly attempting to bluff creditors tempted to use the courts to enforce payment, the heavy-handed Dowson claims: “Additionally, the lawyers who have reviewed the underlying contracts to most of the outstanding invoices have advised that most are not enforceable.”
This is almost certainly untrue, but it is an admission that the BNP considers any contract entered into with itself is not worth the paper it is written on.”
Add to that the court case which the BNP faces and it is not a happy time to be a British neofascist, and yes, that is a big smile on my face. They deserve it, and much more:
“The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) accuses Griffin, Simon Darby, the BNP deputy, and party officer Tanya Lumby of failing to comply with a county court judgment earlier this year ordering the removal of potentially racist clauses from the BNP’s constitution. The party faces a fine, hefty costs or possibly the sequestration of its assets if the court finds in favour of the EHRC.
Robin Allen QC, appearing for the watchdog, accused the BNP of “playing with” the commission and its officials instead of obeying the judgment.
He added: “Our principle position is: [Griffin] is simply lying [when he says] he did not know the terms of the order.”
Allen described Griffin as a “persistent offender” who had repeatedly failed to comply with various orders to change the constitution.”
A profile of Nick Griffin at Searchlight.
Other BNP personalities, and an unsavoury bunch they are.
Duncan’s What on earth is going on in the BNP? A rough guide is very good.
Simon Nicholson, once a rising star exposing the BNP.