ModernityBlog

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

Posts Tagged ‘anti-Roma

Soviet-Era Portrayals And The Jobbik.

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The JPost has a good article:

“In August, the leading Hungarian weekly Hetek sent reporters to cover a right-wing rally and musical festival in the city of Veroce. The reporters were welcomed at the gate with horse-whips. Organizers spewed lethal threats at the “filthy liberal” journalists, and assigned “escorts” to harass and prevent them from covering the event.

Last year, journalists received similar treatment at the annual ultra-national gathering, and were even forced to wear vests matted with dog feces. Masked men greeted them with mock guns and swords, shouting in German: “Deine papieren, Jude!” (“Your papers, Jew!”).

Hetek’s ordeal reflects the recent dramatic turn in Hungary toward neo- Fascism, dating to a spate of fierce anti-government riots in 2006. There were anti-Semitic and racist manifestations before, such as vandalizing cemeteries. However, since 2006 the neo-Nazi movement has become bolder and more aggressive, carrying out violent and sometimes deadly attacks against Gypsies and Jews, stoning synagogues and homes of rabbis during Passover, and staging paramilitary marches across the country to intimidate the local population.”

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15/10/2010 at 00:24

Sarkozy And The Jobbik.

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I often wonder if politicians and political activists actually have a sense of history?

You only need to see the treatment of the Roma by the Sarkozy government to think that politicians have learnt nothing?

Or possibly they have? That stirring up hatred against the Roma is politically useful? Whatever the supposed reasons, now that Sarkozy’s government has started an institutional attack on the Roma the Jobbik are joining in, again.

This is not new, as I pointed out before, but the actions in France have allowed xenophobia into the open and the Jobbik fully intend to exploit it.

That this was going to happen is perfectly foreseeable, even by the Sarkozy government.

The Toronto Star reports:

“BUDAPEST—Hungary’s leading far-right party said on Wednesday that Roma who are considered a threat to public safety should be forced from their dwellings and placed in highly-controlled camps, some of them for life.

The Jobbik party capitalized on deep-seated popular resentment toward Hungary’s large Roma minority to get into parliament for the first time in April elections. It recently launched its campaign for municipal elections due on October 3.

“We would force these families out of their dwellings, yes,” Csanad Szegedi, the party’s vice chairman and European Parliament representative, told Reuters. “Then, yes, we would transport these families to public order protection camps.”

“At these camps, there would be a chance to return to civilized society. Those who abandon crime, make sure their children attend school, and participate in public works programmes, they can reintegrate,” he said.

“No doubt there will be people who show no improvement. They can spend the rest of their lives in these camps.”

Jobbik is particularly strong in the northeast of Hungary, where most of the country’s 700,000 Roma live, many in squalid conditions. Unemployment among Roma is extremely high and petty crime is rampant. Jobbik Chairman Gabor Vona said that attempts to integrate the Roma community had failed and that segregation was the best tool to teach them to coexist with the majority, national news agency MTI reported.

Szegedi rejected the idea that the public order protection camps, where inmates would need permission to leave the premises and a 10 p.m. curfew would be enforced, resembled ghettos. “These are not ghettos, they are camps to protect public order,” he said. “I don’t believe this should be a problem as we would execute these plans in accordance with all laws.”

The plight of the Roma, Europe’s largest ethnic minority, has gained attention since French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a crackdown one month ago on Roma camps in France.”

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03/09/2010 at 11:55

The Other Election.

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Meanwhile over in Hungary the up-and-coming election might have dire results, as the Irish Times reports:

“HUNGARY’S centre-right Fidesz opposition party is expected to win a landslide victory in tomorrow’s general election, but the headlines could be stolen by nationalists who stand to make startling gains.

The far-right Jobbik party is vying for second place with the ruling Socialists, whose support has been decimated by scandals, corruption and an economic crisis that forced Hungary to seek emergency help from the International Monetary Fund.

Jobbik has enjoyed a boom in popularity thanks to vigorous local campaigning across Hungary, but above all because of its pledge to bring patriotism back into politics and crack down on crime – particular the “gypsy crime” it claims is blighting the nation.

Jobbik’s many critics at home and abroad denounce the party as a group of dangerous extremists who are using demagoguery to turn a frustrated country’s anger against a vulnerable minority, and rights groups report an alarming rise in fatal attacks on Roma in recent years.

“For 500 years, gypsies have not been able to adopt the cultural norms to live in peace with the majority,” Jobbik candidate Andras Kisgergely told a recent rally.

“Nine out of 10 criminals are gypsies . . . We need to end that. We need to improve public safety and create jobs. Make them work. We need to tie welfare to community work.”

Jobbik is also regularly accused of using anti-Semitic rhetoric and is closely linked with the Hungarian Guard, a paramilitary group that wears uniforms and uses emblems reminiscent of those associated with Hungary’s wartime fascist regime.”

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11/04/2010 at 01:57

Racism In The UK.

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The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has just released a report on racism in the United Kingdom.

There have been four such reports since 1999 and they can be found here, in English and French.

Briefly scanning the report I noticed a few issues, particularly concerning blacks in Britain, the Roma, refugees and how many Muslims feel stigmatised in the current political climate:

“While progress has been made towards eliminating discrimination, many inequalities remain. Black children are still around twice as likely as others to be permanently excluded from school, and outcomes in the field of de facto ethnic and religious segregation in schools also do not seem to have improved significantly. Not enough has been done to eliminate prejudices and discrimination occurring in the workplace, for example against Muslims; Black and minority ethnic groups are also under­represented across the public sector. In parallel, discrimination law has become more complex, meaning victims need legal assistance in this field. Some ethnic minorities continue to face specific health problems, and their health in general is vulnerable to conditions of social and economic disadvantage. Ethnic minorities continue to be over­represented in the prison population, and their proportion continues to rise.

Gypsies and Travellers are still among the most disadvantaged minority ethnic groups in the United Kingdom and the most likely to face discrimination in all fields of daily life, and they face some of the most severe levels of hostility and prejudice. Much more still needs to be done to redress the situation. Adequate site provision, which is frequently at the crux of escalating community tensions, remains an especially pressing issue.

Refugees and asylum seekers also remain vulnerable in the United Kingdom to destitution, wrong decisions and wrongful detention, and the tone of public discourse remains frequently hostile towards them. At the same time, measures put forward by the authorities as part of proposals to consolidate immigration legislation foreshadow generally more restrictive policies in this field, and hostility towards migrant workers appears to be increasing.

Anti­terror provisions also continue to cause concern. Stops and searches under anti­terror legislation disproportionately affect members of Black and minority ethnic communities. Research has shown that Muslims feel stigmatised and alienated by these measures, and young Muslims who have been regularly stopped and searched feel increasingly marginalised. Black men are also around four times more likely than White men to be included in the national DNA database. Overall, Black and minority ethnic people are more likely to be imprisoned than White people, and more likely than White people to die in prison. “

I think the ECRI’s report paints an accurate picture as far as I can make out. I will come back to it later, time permitting.

Update 1: The ECRI discusses the Crown Prosecution Service’s annual report on hate crime.

Unfortunately it’s not very easy to find nor is the latest report terribly lucid, it doesn’t tell you anything significantly worthwhile. I was hoping for a breakdown on racial offences in Britain, etc but the best I could find was that some “75% of hate crime defendants were identified as belonging to the White British category, and 79% were categorised as White.”. That’s about it.

Roma in Turkey.

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Disturbing news from Turkey:

“Local Roma in the Selendi district of the province of Manisa were taken out of the city and will be relocated elsewhere after being subject to violence that the Roma claimed the mayor of the district provoked.

Early media reports from the Aegean province said fighting began after a member of the Roma community, Burhan Uçkun, wanted to smoke in a coffeehouse. But Uçkun told daily Radikal that it was not about smoking; instead, he said, the owner of the coffeehouse refused to serve him tea.

Uçkun’s father died on the same day of the fight from a heart attack. Five days later, a second fight erupted between the same people, but this time, around 1,000 local people attacked Roma houses, tents and other property.”

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09/01/2010 at 15:51

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Facebook’s Anti-Roma Group.

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A cautionary tale, as to how modern media and the web are being used to attack the Roma in the most disgusting of ways:

“Yesterday the daily Lidové noviny (LN) reported that the new racist group on the Facebook social networking site called “Every Fan Means One Less Gypsy! Let’s Clean Up the Czech Republic!” (“Za 1 fanouška…o 1 cikána méně! Pojďme vyčistit ČR!”), which incites hatred against the Roma and calls for their extermination, no longer has an administrator and cannot be contributed to. Some former administrators of the group claim to have had no idea they were even filling that role. The group was created on 4 November and almost 10 000 people have joined it. Detectives are investigating its creation and its members.

LN reports that the person who founded the group has not contributed to it. The group has had a minimum of four different administrators entrusted with excluding people from the group or erasing their contributions. Two such administrators claim they were assigned the role without asking for it.

“I accepted an invitation to the group without realizing it was racist,” Ondra Zugar told the paper. He left it after realizing what kind of group it was. “Then some people started writing to me saying I was its administrator and I should erase it,” he said, adding that he wants nothing to do with it.

“Police are investigating this Facebook group. However, I cannot publicize what specific steps they are taking at this time,” said police spokesperson Pavla Kopecká, who says police are able to determine who the group’s founder was even if the person is no longer active as its author.

LN reported previously that the commentaries posted by sympathizers of the racist group were very harsh because no administrator was erasing any submissions and contributors could write whatever they wanted. Participants in the discussion called for Roma to be shot or for people to take to the streets armed with brass knuckles and nightsticks.

The group is not the first case of a racist discussion on Facebook. Kopecká says police have already investigated a group called “Final Solution to the Gypsy Question” (“Konečné řešení otázky cikánské”) where similar statements appeared. “

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14/11/2009 at 13:42

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