Who We Are

Our intention is to inform people of racist, homophobic, religious extreme hate speech perpetrators across social networking internet sites. And we also aim to be a focal point for people to access information and resources to report such perpetrators to appropriate web sites, governmental departments and law enforcement agencies around the world.

We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Church plans Quran-burning event (USA)

In protest of what it calls a religion "of the devil," a nondenominational church in Gainesville, Florida, plans to host an "International Burn a Quran Day" on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The Dove World Outreach Center says it is hosting the event to remember 9/11 victims and take a stand against Islam. With promotions on its website and Facebook page, it invites Christians to burn the Muslim holy book at the church from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"We believe that Islam is of the devil, that it's causing billions of people to go to hell, it is a deceptive religion, it is a violent religion and that is proven many, many times," Pastor Terry Jones told CNN's Rick Sanchez earlier this week.

Jones wrote a book titled "Islam is of the Devil," and the church sells coffee mugs and shirts featuring the phrase.
Muslims and many other Christians -- including some evangelicals -- are fighting the initiative.

The church launched a YouTube channel to disseminate its messages.

"I mean ask yourself, have you ever really seen a really happy Muslim? As they're on the way to Mecca? As they gather together in the mosque on the floor? Does it look like a real religion of joy?" Jones asks in one of his YouTube posts.

"No, to me it looks like a religion of the devil."

The Islamic advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Muslims and others to host "Share the Quran" dinners to educate the public during the monthlong fast of Ramadan beginning in August. In a news release, the group announced a campaign to give out 100,000 copies of the Quran to local, state and national leaders.

"American Muslims and other people of conscience should support positive educational efforts to prevent the spread of Islamophobia," said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper in the release.

The National Association of Evangelicals, the nation's largest umbrella evangelical group, issued a statement urging the church to cancel the event, warning it could cause worldwide tension between the two religions.

"The NAE calls on its members to cultivate relationships of trust and respect with our neighbors of other faiths. God created human beings in his image, and therefore all should be treated with dignity and respect," it said in the statement.

Dove's Facebook page, set up for the September event, has more than 1,600 fans.

"Eternal fire is the only destination the Quran can lead people to, so we want to put the Quran in it's [sic] place -- the fire!" the page says.

But another Facebook group with more than 3,100 fans says it stands "against the disrespect and intolerance that these people have for the Muslim people" and encourages people to report Dove's page to Facebook.

Targeting another group it calls "godless," the Dove center is also hosting a protest against Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe, who is openly gay, on Monday at Gainesville's City Hall. The group previously fought -- unsuccessfully -- to derail Lowe's election campaign.

"We protest sexual perversion because the Bible protests it. ... What is acceptable to today's leadership becomes acceptable to tomorrow's society," the church says in its blog entry about the event.

Lowe and other government figures and media outlets received e-mails from the church about the event, The Gainesville Sun reported. Lowe isn't concerned with Monday's event.

"I've got other things to do," he said, The Sun reports.

On the outreach center's front lawn, alongside a sign reading "Aug. 2 Protest, No Homo Mayor, City Hall," stands not just one, but three signs bearing the slogan "Islam is of the Devil."

One of the signs -- one reading "Islam" on one side, "Devil" on the other -- was vandalized. On its blog last week, the church said the sign will be replaced.

"This is private property and vandalism is a crime here in America," the blog says. "In Islam, many actions that we consider to be crimes are encouraged, condoned or sheltered under Islamic teaching and practice, though. Another reason to burn a Quran."


Racist group planning to target fans at Pittodrie (Scotland)

Racist extremists are once again planning to target the fans of one of Scotland’s biggest football clubs.

The National Front has confirmed it plans to canvass support outside Pittodrie Stadium.

The group’s Aberdeen branch has announced it intends to distribute literature outside the home of Aberdeen Football Club to try to boost its membership.

The National Front is a far right political party widely considered a racist group. The British prison service and police forbid employees to be members of the party.

But Grampian Police is powerless to prevent members from selling papers and handing out leaflets on the streets around the ground.

The club is adamant, however, that members will be thrown out if they try to enter the stadium.

A spokesman for the group said they will be campaigning on local issues that are “relevant to the citizens of Aberdeen”.
He said: “This may be child molesters, muggers, immigration problems with the expanding immigrant population in the city.

“All these topics are of interest and we will have leaflets printed that show our views on these topics.”

He said the group would specifically target the visit of Celtic in December.

He added: “We have had a lot of success at our paper sales at Pittodrie in the past and the Celtic game is always a popular game for us to canvass support.”

The club is already preparing for the group’s advances.

Dons spokesman Dave Macdermid said: “We have made it clear the National Front is not a group we want to see associated with a family club.”

The group has targeted the club in the past. In 2003, there were fears that its presence at the ground would cause trouble.

The club’s first match programme of the 2003/04 season contained a statement telling fans not to be intimidated by anyone trying to sell them anything outside the ground.

Later that season, the club revealed it had kicked out a bid by the National Front to sponsor one of its matches.

Press and Journal


The Czech state should find money for the construction of a Romany Holocaust Information and Education Centre on the spot of a former internment camp for Romanies in Hodonin u Kunstatu, Education Minister Josef Dobes told journalists yesterday. "It may be good to send a moral signal during a crisis," Dobes said. He admitted that he temporarily stopped all investment and is seeking how to save money. But the Romany Holocaust Centre may be an exception. The previous Czech government earmarked 90 million crowns for the centre. The Education Ministry bought the area of the former camp, now used as a recreation facility, for 20 million crowns last year. Dobes plans to present the budget for the centre's construction to the government in October.

Michal Kocab, government human rights commissioner, said this would be the first centre focusing on Romany Holocaust in the world. Some 1300 Romanies went through the Hodonin internment camp operating from August 1942 to December 1943. Over 200 died there and the rest of the inmates were moved to the Oswiecim (Auschwitz) extermination camp where most of them perished. In total, about 580 of 6000 Czech Romanies returned from Nazi camps after World War Two. Lucie Matejkova, from Brno-based Roma Culture Museum, said the centre should be open both to the general public and researchers. Dobes said the operation of the planned centre would cost from 600,000 to 3 million crowns, depending on the financial situation. ($1=19.233 crowns)

Prague Monitor

Anti-fascists not welcome in Estonia

Estonian authorities have banned anti-fascist activists from entering the country. The activists were going to rally against the meeting of Estonian veterans who fought on the side of Nazi Germany.

The bus with Lithuanian and Latvian anti-fascists was unable to cross the border between Estonia and Latvia, as the border guards said the bus was in poor technical condition.

Six activists were made to go back to Latvia. 16 others were admitted, however, they were made to board an Estonian bus specially sent in, reports news agency Interfax.

The forum of the Waffen SS division is scheduled for Saturday and is to take place in the north-east of the country, in a village called Sinimäe. The anti-fascists want to hold their protest, which was officially permitted by Estonian authorities, just not far from this place.

Back in 1944, this neighborhood was the scene of fierce fighting between Soviet soldiers and SS forces. According to estimates, the death toll from both sides reached 200,000 people.

A day earlier, Estonia refused to allow Finnish activists to enter the country. The head of Finland’s anti-fascism committee, Johan Beckman, said the ban is a sign that Estonia supports pro-fascism events and is becoming the most dangerous place in the modern world.

On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed indignation at Estonian authorities’ encouraging events that celebrate the crimes of SS squads.


Friday, 30 July 2010

Migrationsverket cuts asylum seeker estimates (Sweden)

The National Migration Board (Migrationsverket) believes that the number of asylum seekers in Sweden will decline to 29,000 in 2010 and 27,000 next year.
This is a decline from the May estimate of 31,000 in Sweden this year and 28,000 next year. The primary reason behind the adjustment is that the number of applicants from Somalia is no longer increasing at the same pace as before, the agency wrote.

The change means that the agency will have better conditions to continue efforts to shorten the waiting times for applicants. The average processing time is currently four and a half months, the shortest in 20 years.

At the same time, the agency also lowered its forecast for unaccompanied children by 400 to 2,400. However, more are expected this year and the need for places remains high. At mid-year, over 450 children were still waiting to be received in a municipality.

The forecast for the number of cases relating to work permits has increased. The agency estimates that it needs a significant cash injection for next year, 312 million kronor ($42.68 million) more than the government's current proposals.

The Local Sweden

Skilled migrants urgently needed, says minister (Germany)

With Germany industry facing a looming skills shortage, Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle revealed on Friday he was planning a major recruitment drive to attract skilled migrants.

That included encouraging German firms to pay cash incentives to lure foreign workers, he told daily Handelsblatt.

“The question of how Germany becomes lastingly attractive to skilled migrants is right at the top of my agenda,” he said.

Part of the plan encourages payment of Begrüßungsgeld or “welcome money” for guest workers.

“It is conceivable that some businesses who can afford it and have an urgent need, pay skilled foreign workers an incentive,” he said.

He ruled out, however, using taxpayers’ money to subsidise skilled migrants to relocated to Germany.

Economists agree that Germany’s export-driven economy, which relies heavily on skilled workers such as engineers to develop its high-end manufactured goods to sell overseas, will be gradually eroded in years to come by a dearth of such qualified professionals.

“The skills shortage, and not unemployment, will in the coming years be the key problem for the German job market,” Brüderle said.

The Local Germany

BNP faces fines for third accounts failure (UK)

The British National Party has failed to submit its 2009 accounts to the Electoral Commission, the third time the fascist party has been late.

The Electoral Commission said today: “The British National Party and the party’s Regional Accounting Unit were both granted an extension to the deadline for submitting their statements of accounts. Both have failed to deliver their accounts within the extended deadline so the party will be fined a minimum of £500 and the accounting unit will be fined a minimum £100, this figure will increase if the accounts are more than three months late.”

The 2008 accounts, which were submitted nearly six months late, remain under investigation by the Electoral Commission because the auditors reported that they did not give a true and fair view and did not “comply with the requirements of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 as adequate records have not been made available”.

At the time, Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, described the accounts as “inadequate”. In his introduction to the 2008 accounts Griffin claimed that “the task of maintaining central office accounts had become too big for any one individual”. However, he continued, the problem had now been solved because the job had been “outsourced” to “an independent Chartered Accountant and Accounts Technician with the aim of presenting acceptable accounts for the accounting year 2009”.

The independent chartered accountant was John Thompson, a close business associate of Jim Dowson, the man whose web of financial links with the BNP is such that he in effect “owns” the BNP.

The failure to submit accounts will add to Dowson’s unpopularity with many BNP members and plays into the hands of Eddy Butler, who is currently trying to collect enough nominations to challenge Griffin for the party leadership. Butler’s response was: “Nick Griffin has brought disgrace upon the BNP yet again. There is only one way that you can change this. Sign the nomination form and vote for change.”

That the accounts have not appeared was no surprise to Searchlight. Given the BNP’s huge liabilities as a result of Griffin’s long list of reckless legal actions, the party’s independent auditors are likely to have had difficulty certifying that the BNP is a “going concern”.

In recent years, although the party has been insolvent, the auditors have assumed it can meet its liabilities by raiding the funds of its groups and branches, something with which many local officers are unhappy. Now, the liabilities are so big that branch funds are not enough, and many branch treasurers have adopted measures to keep head office’s hands off their money.

An organisation that is not a “going concern” cannot operate unless it pays for all goods and services in advance, something the BNP does not have the money to do.

Many party members are beginning to realise that although Dowson has raised unprecedented sums in donations, Griffin has been spending far more on madnesses such as using an image of Marmite on a BNP election broadcast, which attracted an injunction from Unilever, defending indefensible unfair dismissal claims from former employees and dragging out his response to the Equality Commission’s action over the party’s racist constitution to the extent that the legal costs are believed to be running at £300,000 so far.

Another problem the auditors might have had is that the party apparently no longer owns any of its assets. One of the sections of the new BNP constitution that Griffin slipped in without telling anyone states that all the party’s assets belong to the so-called Founders’ Association. That body is not defined in the constitution but it is understood to be all BNP members who joined before the new constitution came into effect in February and are still members. If the party does not own its assets, they cannot correctly be included in its accounts, which would greatly increase the party’s insolvency.

The BNP, however, is hoping its members will keep their heads firmly in the sand. The day before it emerged that the party’s accounts were missing, Dave Hannam, the party treasurer, sent out an email listing all the party’s financial achievements but admitting that he had been forced to implement new stringent financial controls and submit to monthly inspection of his “treasury office” by “an outside accountant”.

According to Hannam the party lacked “financial stability”. One reason was: “the large number of court cases launched at this party in a deliberate attempt to derail us,” skating over the fact that almost all the legal costs were entirely the fault of the BNP. Another reason was “a general lack of accountability with regards to the National Treasurer and his office”. And it had been “discovered that some officials has incurred expenditure that was both unauthorised and previously unknown to the Treasury department”.

In other words, Hannam had been as incompetent as most people, other than Griffin, Dowson and their sycophants, always knew he was from the time he first became the party’s deputy treasurer.

The email said nothing about the 2009 accounts being late, appealed for new regional treasurers – in other words new people Hannam can blame the next time it all goes wrong – and ended with a “donate” button, in the hope that the party’s stupid supporters will throw more money into Griffin’s bottomless pit.

Hope Not Hate


The latest figures from Statistics Denmark have revealed that women from non-Western immigrant groups are now having fewer children than their white Danish counterparts. Twenty years ago women from ethnic minorities had twice as many children as their Danish sisters, but by 2009 their birth rate had fallen to just 1.6 children per woman, below the 1.9 rate for Danes. Garbi Schmidt, a senior researcher in Islamic studies at the Danish National Centre for Social Research (SFI) pointed out a number of explanations for this trend. Speaking to Kristeligt Dagbladet newspaper, she said: ‘One explanation is that women from ethnic minorities are waiting to have children because they are getting an education. At the moment there is a great focus on education and many are extremely ambitious about what they want to achieve in the educational system.’ Another explanation is that minorities are beginning to behave in the same way as the general population with regard to marriage, starting families and getting an education, she added. ‘This means that women from ethnic minorities are waiting longer before starting a family.’ The stricter rules now in force regarding residence permits for foreign-born spouses also make it more difficult for immigrants to marry people from their home country, Schmidt said. Last year SFI carried out a study among immigrant groups and discovered that minorities were delaying marriage as a direct result of the ‘24-year rule’. The rule, which has been part of immigration legislation since May 2002, stipulates that ‘naturalised citizens’ must have lived in Denmark for at least 24 years before being allowed to bring their spouse here.



Bucharest will not abandon its citizens abroad and will better cooperate with France on its plans to tackle illegal immigration, Romanian authorities have said, following an announcement from Paris that the government would dismantle some 300 illegal Roma/Gypsy camps across the country. "Our main interest is to help integrate Romanian citizens abroad, whatever their ethnicity is. But the social inclusion of Roma people is not only a Romanian issue," Prime Minister Emil Boc said on Thursday. France on Wednesday announced it would step up measures agains illegal immigration, including the deportation of Roma people from illegal camps in a move the government said is aimed at cracking down on increasing crime and urban violence. The move has prompted a significant reaction in France, where human rights groups and the main opposition Socialist party have denounced the measures, calling them racist and xenophobic. A press release from the French Presidency calls the illegal camps "sources of illegal trafficking, of profoundly shocking living standards, of exploitation of children for begging, of prostitution and crime". It added that new legislation would be introduced soon to make the expulsion from France of illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe easier, "for reasons of public order".
Paris made the move after riots erupted in two French towns over the weekend, one of which involved an attack on a police station by a group of Roma people angered after police shot a fellow traveller. In his press release, French president Nicolas Sarkozy said that he would ask the French National Assembly to vote on an agreement between France and Romania that would facilitate the return of unaccompanied Roma minors back to Romania. He also said that France would undertake a cooperation effort with Romania to fight against trafficking and allow for the return of Roma people from France to Bulgaria and Romania. The project would involve cooperation between French and Bulgarian and Romanian police, Sarkozy explained. An estimated 15,000 Roma people, also known as "gypsies" and "travellers", live in France, many in squalid shantytowns on the fringes of cities. Many of them come from Romania, but also from Bulgaria, both EU countries. Although these Roma people are European Union citizens, critics say they are often treated like a sub-class of immigrants and targeted by police.

Balkan Insight


Far-right nationalists in the German state of Thuringia are seeking to reach a wider audience by founding five new newspapers in the region. The worrying move by the National Democratic Party (NPD) is aimed at capturing more voters. The publications purport to address regional issues, running headlines such as "Is Erfurt broke?", "Venturing more democracy," and "Schools are the future." But behind this veneer of seemingly harmless headlines lies the NPD's true agenda. "The NPD's ideology is communicated above all else in these articles," said Stefan Heerdegen of the Mobile Council in Thuringia for Democracy - Against Right-wing Extremism, based in the state's capital, Erfurt. "There is always a hostility towards democracy being piggybacked [in these stories]," said Heerdegen. The NPD is the official political arm of the right-wing neo-Nazi movement in Germany. It is often involved in far-right extremist marches and is widely opposed throughout the country. There have been numerous attempts to have it banned from German politics. Its existence is permitted through somewhat of a legal loophole. The party is allowed to operate because its founding documents pledge allegiance to the German constitution, unlike other far-right and far-left parties that have been banned.

Racist messages
Stefan Kausch, a political scientist who works with the Forum for Critical Research of Right-wing Extremism, said "the topics of the articles are connected with the party's objectives - racist ideologies are repeatedly conveyed." An example of this is given in an NPD article on municipal finances: "Instead of prescribing to the protection of identity, sovereignty and solidarity of Germans," the article reads, "The anti-German political cartel instigates a well-planned policy [serving the] interests of foreigners, foreign countries and high finance." Heerdegen says the far-right party is trying to use the new publications to position itself as the lone voice of political opposition in Germany. "And so these are NPD newspapers, not true newspapers in the sense of journalistic seriousness," he said.

New take, old idea
Publishing regional newspapers is not new for the far-right. Since 2001, publications such as the Inselboten, a regional paper in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, have been in print. The state's largest city, Rostock, is home to the right-wing Rostocker Boten, while a far-right newspaper can also be found in the city of Trier, in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Pre-election periods usually see an increase in the number of these far-right publications. "We have also noticed this [in the eastern city of] Leipzig," said Kausch. "However, these publications don't last." Two exceptions to the short-lived nature of many right-wing newspapers are the Wartburgkreisbote and Der Rennsteigbote in Thuringia. In its 14th edition the former printed 22,000 copies, according to the NPD District Council Chairman and the paper's publisher, Patrick Wieschke. "The new regional papers are financed in mixed ways," said Wieschke. The lion's share comes from the NPD's associations at the state level, but local groups must also pay up, he says.

Parliamentary push
The NPD in Thuringia wants to use its five new publications to strengthen its grass-roots movement and create the conditions for entry to state parliament in 2014, says Wieschke. In 2009, the party only marginally failed to garner the 5 percent of votes needed for representation. The right-wing party says it wants to appeal to common voters by focusing on local issues in the hope this will demonstrate some kind of capacity to serve communities. The front and back sheets of the four-page publications attempt to deal with local issues and differ from paper to paper. The inner two pages, however, are identical in each of the five publications. Most Germans still view the NPD as embodying the neo-Nazi movement, and the new publications are unlikely to sway voters from these firmly held positions.



For years, the two women were not allowed to live with their husbands. On Thursday, the court announced that both women would be awarded €5,000 (SFr6,800) in compensation. Both the women and their husbands – all Ethiopian – came to Switzerland independently and sought asylum between 1994 and 1998. While awaiting the decision, the women were sent to cantons Saint Gallen and Bern, the men to canton Vaud. After their asylum applications were turned down, the Ethiopian authorities blocked them from returning home. During their continued stay in Switzerland, the women met and married their countrymen in Lausanne in 2002 and 2003. However, the Federal Migration Office refused to re-assign the women to canton Vaud so that they could live with their new husbands. The authorities said that a change of canton was against policy for rejected asylum candidates. The woman living in Saint Gallen decided to move to Lausanne anyway, but was eventually arrested and sent back in handcuffs in 2003. The canton also withdrew her welfare payments. Both women were finally permitted to join their husbands in canton Vaud in 2008. In response to their complaints, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Switzerland had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by preventing the spouses from living together.


Hate crime accusations fly as white man beaten 'for listening to rap music' (America)

A BLACK Palm Bay teenager could be charged with a hate crime after being accused of attacking a white man because he was listening to rap music.

Joshuah Lamb, 14, allegedly punched 22-year-old David McKnight because he did not think white people should listen to that type of music, Florida police were quoted as saying on WFTV.com.

Mr McKnight had been on the sidewalk listening to Wasted by Gucci Mane on a stereo before the incident.

“The argument involved the black male suspect saying, ‘You shouldn't be listening to rap music because you're white.’" Palm Bay police spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez said.

"The victim said he can listen to whatever type of music he wanted to and then the fist fight was on.”

Mr McKnight said he did not fight back.

“I couldn't get away fast enough, let’s just put it that way. Then one of them spit on me, punched me, knocked me down, got a couple of kicks in from a couple of them,” he said.

Mr Lamb was reportedly with seven friends at the time.

“I told him to drop it. I was like, ‘Just drop it, let's go, there is eight of you and one of me. Just drop it.’ And he says, ‘I'm not dropping anything.’ Bam! Punched me,” Mr McKnight said.

“I feel it's a racial thing really,” he added.

Mr McKnight suffered a broken toe, concussion, a swollen eye and strangulation marks around his neck.

Officers later arrested Mr Lamb on battery charges and he was now being held in a juvenile detention centre.

State prosecutors were now deciding if he would be charged with a hate crime.

Herald Sun

3 men in racist YouTube assault found guilty (Canada)

Three men who attacked a black man in a swarming that went viral on YouTube have been found guilty of assault by a judge who says "the acid fog of racism" permeates the case.

Provincial Court Judge Peter Doherty said Thursday that one of the men who pummelled Jay Phillips, 39, yelled a racial slur when he was confronted in Courtenay, B.C., last July.

"The three young white men, fuelled by alcohol and testosterone and their own immaturity, crossed paths with a black man and lives changed forever," Doherty told a packed courtroom.

Doherty concluded that David White, 19, called Phillips "nigger" as he sat in the back of a truck leaving a restaurant while his co-accused, Robert William Roger and Adam David Huber, both 25, sat in a cab as they saw Phillips standing in a nearby parking lot.

The trial heard Huber believed Phillips was a drug dealer in the Vancouver Island town.

"In the end it does not matter one way or the other to the issue at hand except to note that Mr. Huber, when confronting Mr. Phillips, thought he was high on something," Doherty said. "I think he was just in a rage."

After White yelled the racial slur, Phillips threw a water bottle at the truck, prompting Huber to ask Phillips if he'd tossed something at the vehicle.
"Mr. Huber, unable to walk a mile in the shoes of Mr. Phillips, let alone stand in them for one moment, repeated the question several times," Doherty said.

White also threatened to kill Phillips and his entire family.

"What Mr. White said was ugly, racist and provoking," Doherty said. "It is not surprising then, that Mr. Phillips reacted by throwing a water bottle at the receding truck."

Court heard the three men spent the day tubing and drinking before the attack on Phillips, which was videoed by a man from his balcony.

"As I have observed in other cases, it has been my experience that the collective IQ of young men, filled with testosterone and alcohol, declines with the numbers involved," Doherty said. "In relation to the three accused, that certainly proved to be the case."

White and Rogers kicked Phillips at least five times, Doherty said.

"The kicks applied to Mr. Phillips while he was on the ground were beyond the consensual nature of the fight," he said. "They were applied with force and I infer they were intended to cause, and did in fact cause, bodily harm."

Phillips was not in court to hear the verdict after having testified in the trial for two days.

"Jay chose to stay away from this," his mother, Kirsten Phillips, said outside court. "He did not want to be a part of it."
"Racism is here as it is everywhere," she said. "People should be allowed to walk around parking lots and not be assaulted. A lot of people are angry about this," she said of the town where residents staged a rally against the attack last summer.

A date for sentencing the three men will be set on Aug. 12.



The swastika now shows up so often as a generic symbol of hatred that the Anti-Defamation League, in its annual tally of hate crimes against Jews, will no longer automatically count its appearance as an act of anti-Semitism. “The swastika has morphed into a universal symbol of hate,” said Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish advocacy organization. “Today it’s used as an epithet against African-Americans, Hispanics and gays, as well as Jews, because it is a symbol which frightens.” Observing the trend, he said that his group had decided it would examine reports of scrawled swastikas for contextual clues. If it appears Jews were not the target, the incident will not be included in the league’s annual audit of anti-Semitic hate crimes. “A year ago, there was a swastika put on Plymouth Rock,” Mr. Foxman said in an interview. “We saw it as a symbol of hatred against America, maybe against immigrants, I don’t know. But to count that swastika as an anti-Semitic incident would not be accurate.” Using the new measure, the Anti-Defamation League logged 1,211 anti-Semitic incidents in the United States in 2009. It included 422 cases of anti-Semitic vandalism like swastika graffiti, as well as violent episodes like the murder of a security guard at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

The tally was down from 2008, which found 1,352 incidents — in part because of the new approach to swastikas. (The group is considering whether to issue a separate report on swastika incidents that were excluded from its audit). The change was first reported by The Jewish Week, a New York news weekly. The swastika symbol, a symmetrical, hooked cross sacred to Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, was appropriated by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party and became the defining motif of anti-Jewish hatred. It is still the contemporary calling card of many neo-Nazi groups. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish educational and human rights group based in Los Angeles, said he understood the reasoning behind the Anti-Defamation League’s move. “The swastika is shorthand for every racist and bigot on the planet,” Rabbi Cooper said. “It is amazing that 60 or 70 years later that symbol has not lost any of its potency.”

NY Times

Thursday, 29 July 2010

German prosecutors charge alleged Nazi death camp guard with murder

Samuel Kunz lay low for 65 years after World War II. Now the 90-year-old former death camp guard is on trial for participating in the murder 430,000 Jews in Poland. Nazi-hunters say it's about time.
German prosecutors announced Wednesday that they had begun proceedings against 90-year-old former Nazi guard Samuel Kunz.

Kunz, who admitted to working as a guard at the Belzec extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland from 1942 to 1943, stands accused of participation in the murder of 430,000 Jews. He is also charged with the shooting of 10 Jews in two separate incidents, prosecutor Christoph Goeke told the Associated Press news agency.
Kunz, who worked as a craftsman after World War II in the western German city of Bonn, was third on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's top-ten list of most-wanted Nazi suspects published in April. The Wiesenthal Center's Ephraim Zuroff said Wednesday that the Kunz case proves it is not too late to bring Nazi criminals to justice.

According to Zuroff, Kunz was uncovered by the US Justice Department through testimony given at the trial of Ukrainian-born John Demjanjuk in Munich. Demjanjuk was first brought to court last November for his alleged involvement in the murder of 27,900 people at the Sobibor death camp in Poland.

Policy change from Berlin
Following World War II, several top Nazi criminals were tried and hanged in Nuremberg. Although German authorities have since examined over 25,000 cases, very few of these cases were ever brought to court.

Nazi-hunters have welcomed a recent flurry of Nazi murder trials - including the Kunz and Demjanjuk cases - as a sign of changing times in the German legal system.

"It reflects recent changes in the German prosecution policy, which have significantly enlarged the number of suspects who will be brought to justice," said Zuroff.


Police defend £400,000 operation at a Dudley protest by the EDL

Police have defended their £400,000 operation to keep law and order in Dudley during the latest protest by the English Defence League (EDL).
Around 900 officers from the West Midlands force were posted to the town while just over a third of the expected 1,500 EDL supporters turned up.

Dudley Council spent around £200,000 on security measures for the day, that also saw a rival protest by anti-far right group Unite Against Fascism (UAF). There were 21 arrests after EDL protesters tried to break through Stafford Street. They have since been bailed.

Chief Superintendent Keith Baldwin, commander of Dudley Local Policing Unit, said: “Any demonstration of the size and nature requires significant resources.

“Some of those involved were intent on disorder and people living or working nearby were subjected to scenes of violence, and others suffered damage to their property.

“A great deal of time, effort and cost went into policing this demonstration, and when added to the costs of the previous EDL protests across Dudley and the wider area, this amounts to a significant figure.”

The force had already spent £300,000 policing the groups’ rallies in the town over the Easter Bank Holiday, when the council again forked out around £200,000. On both demo days the market stayed closed along with many shops over fears of violent clashes between rival protestors.

“Regardless of what we as an organisation, the local authority or local residents want, we have no power to ban such protests,” added Chief Supt Baldwin.

The EDL claims to be opposed to “Islamic extremism,” and said it was protesting against a new mosque in Dudley. However, the council said plans for the mosque, in Hall Street, have been jettisoned in favour of renovations at an existing mosque in Castle Hill.

Birmingham Mail

France to shut illegal Roma camps and deport migrants

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered 300 illegal camps of travellers and Roma to be dismantled.

People in the camps found to be living illegally in France would be expelled, he said.

The order is a response to riots last week in which travellers attacked police in a Loire Valley town after a youth was shot dead.
The government said the camps are sources of crime but critics say an ethnic minority is being singled out.

"Within the next three months, half of the illegal camps will be dismantled - camps and squats - that is to say some 300," said Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux after a special government meeting.

A statement issued by the president's office after the meeting described the illegal camps as "sources of illegal trafficking, of profoundly shocking living standards, of exploitation of children for begging, of prostitution and crime".

'Severely punished'
The meeting was called to discuss the riot in the small Loire Valley town of Saint Aignan, where dozens of travellers armed with hatchets and iron bars attacked the police station, hacked down trees and burned cars.

The riot erupted after a gendarme shot and killed a traveller who had driven through a checkpoint, officials said.

Mr Sarkozy has promised that those responsible for the violence would be "severely punished".

His office also announced that new legislation would be drafted before the end of the year that would make it easier to expel illegal Roma travellers "for reasons of public order".

There are hundreds of thousands of Roma or travelling people living in France who are part of long-established communities.

The other main Roma population is recent immigrants, many from Romania and Bulgaria, who have the right to enter France without a visa but must have work or residency permits to settle in the long-term.

Mr Hortefeux said the new measures "are not meant to stigmatise any community, regardless of who they are, but to punish illegal behaviour".

BBC News

US court blocks Arizona migrant law

Key parts of a controversial new immigration law in the US state of Arizona have been blocked by the federal court.

The law will still take effect as scheduled on Thursday, but parts of the legislation have been suspended, including a provision that requires police officers to determine the immigration status of people they detain.

US district judge Susan Bolton also blocked a provision that requires immigrants to carry identification papers at all times.

"There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens under the new [law]," Bolton ruled on Wednesday.

"By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a 'distinct, unusual and extraordinary' burden on legal resident aliens."

Federal responsibility
The decision was a ruling on a lawsuit filed earlier this month by the US justice department. Bolton has said that the law was "awkward" in its wording, and that she doubted it could be properly enforced.

Her ruling held that only the federal government, not state governments, can set US immigration policy.

Jan Brewer, the Arizona governor, said that this was "a temporary bump in the road" and an appeal against the judge's decision would be filed.

"The bottom line is that we've known all along that it is the responsibility of the feds, and they haven't done their job, so we were going to help them do that."

"We will take a close look at every single element Judge (Susan) Bolton removed from the law, and we will soon file an expedited appeal at the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit," Brewer said.

The Mexican government praised the judge's decision and said it would carefully follow the process to suspend the law.

"It's a first step in the right direction," Patricia Espinosa, Mexico's foreign minister said.

She said Mexico was still concerned about the rights of its citizens in Arizona and was stepping up consular protections in the border state.

Arizona is believed to be home to up to half a million illegal immigrants, many of whom are from Mexico.

The Obama administration has pushed the US congress to pursue an immigration reform bill, but that legislation has stalled, largely because of Republican opposition.

"We would love for the congressional delegation from Arizona, and the senators there, to support comprehensive immigration reform," Jennifer Kottler, a policy director at Sojourners, a Christian advocacy group, said.

"That would address so many of the issues there."

Popular support
The law was passed in April by Arizona's Republican-controlled legislature, which called it a necessary step to stop illegal immigration.

Opinion polls have showed that nearly 60 per cent of the US population supports the law.

It has been criticised by human rights groups, the Catholic Church and the Mexican government, and by Barack Obama, the US president, who called it "misguided".

Thousands of activists have planned a demonstration against the law in Arizona on Thursday. That rally is still expected to take place, despite the court's verdict.

"Even if it issues a temporary injunction ... we're still going ahead with our protests, because 21 other states want to follow Arizona's footsteps with racist laws" of their own, Paulina Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for the group organising the protest, said.

One group, the National Day Laborer Organising Network, plans to fill nearly a dozen buses with activists in Los Angeles. The buses will drive from there to Phoenix, the capital of Arizona.

Organisers say none of the people on the buses will carry identification papers.

"Thursday will be our national civil disobedience day, when we'll stand up to a racist, discriminatory and hypocritical measure," Pablo Alvarado, the director of the network, said.

Another group plans to block access to federal government offices in Phoenix.

One-third of the roughly 6.6 million people living in Arizona are foreign-born, and more than five per cent of the population is estimated to be illegal immigrants.


Hackers replace Buchenwald Book of the Dead with neo-Nazi slogans

Hackers replaced a Book of the Dead with neo-Nazi slogans and symbols on the website for second world war concentration camp Buchenwald today .

One slogan read: "Brown is beautiful", referring to the colour of the shirts worn by Hitler's SA stormtroopers. Another threatened in German: "We'll be back."

The hackers also completely erased the Mittelbau-Dora camp's website. Volkhard Knigge, head of Buchenwald, said: "By damaging the documentation we offer, such as the Book of the Dead, the perpetrators were trying to efface the memory of victims of the Nazis' crimes."

The Guardian

White S.Africans face fine for racist abuse video

Four white South Africans Wednesday faced a fine in court after pleading guilty to humiliating five black housekeepers in a video depicting racial abuse at their former university.

They made the video in 2007 as students at the University of Free State in protest at plans to integrate student housing.
One clip showed a young man apparently urinating into a bowl of stew and then serving it to the housekeepers. It ended with the words: "That, at the end of the day, is what we think of integration."

The video sparked an international scandal when it landed on the Internet in February 2008.

In a sentencing hearing Wednesday, both the defence and the prosecution said the four should face only a fine as punishment, after they pleaded guilty to the charge of crimen injuria, or seriously impairing the dignity of the five housekeepers.

Defence lawyer Kemp J Kemp requested a 5,000-rand (680-dollar, 525-euro fine) fine, while prosecutor Johan Kruger sought three times that amount.

"They deliberately manipulated the five cleaners because they are illiterate," Kruger told the court.

Magistrate Mziwonke Hinxa said he would decide on the sentence on Friday.

In the statement the boys denied urinating on the food, saying: "It was an act meant to look like urine."

Mediation efforts had failed to resolve the case, with the housekeepers saying they wanted to pursue a trial against the students. The guilty plea avoided what could have been an emotive trial.

Kemp told the court that the students had not intended to humiliate the housekeepers, but later realised they had done just that.

"The accused did not realise the effect of the video and what it would have on the university and the plaintiffs. They now, in retrospect, accept that the use of the workers for the video was insensitive, ill considered and wrong," he said.

The video was shot at a time when the University of Free State was introducing racial integration at student hostels, following decades of race-based hostel allocation.

Throughout the video, the workers were voluntary contributors, who could have withdrawn at any time and understood they were acting, Kemp said.

Kemp said the students had good relations with the workers until the video hit the Internet.

None of the young men -- Johnny Roberts, Schalk van der Merwe, RC Malherbe and Danie Grobler -- are still studying at the university.

The whites-only male hostel where the video was shot was later shut down and eventually re-opened as a diversity centre to address issues of racism, sexism, xenophobia and reconciliation.

In October last year, university rector Jonathan Jansen came under fire when he announced the school was withdrawing disciplinary charges against the students, in an attempt to promote reconciliation.

Jansen was heavily criticised for choosing reconciliation over retribution, igniting further debate about the limits of forgiveness in a nation that has already forgiven much of its racist past.

He invited the students to return to campus to finish their studies -- an offer none accepted.

The five workers have also launched a civil case at the Bloemfontein Equality Court, where each of the students face are being sued for one million rand (136,00 dollars, 105,000 euros).

Google Hosted News

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Greece's locked up migrant children attempt suicide

Greece is imprisoning unaccompanied migrant children in violation of EU laws and often in appalling conditions, human rights campaigners have revealed.
In a report detailing how asylum seekers and irregular migrants are being detained "as a matter of course, rather than a last resort," Amnesty International has excoriated Athens for its policy of imprisoning children for long periods.

Conditions are so appalling, the report says, that children resort to hunger strikes in protest at their imprisonment, and some even attempt suicide.

"It is never acceptable that children are detained. Children should not be subjected to poor conditions and long periods of confinement," said says Nicolas Beger, head of the group's Brussels office.

"Although Greece is experiencing economic hardship and is receiving a large number of migrants, these issues cannot serve as an excuse for treating children in such a way."

The group documents how conditions in a "vast number" of the country's immigrant detention centres are poor, with overcrowding and sanitation a problem.

Unaccompanied children who are captured by authorities when arriving in Greece are usually detained following their arrest for irregular entry. Where a deportation order is issued, detention continues until a legal guardian is appointed and a place found in a special reception centre for unaccompanied children.

Overcrowding is problem particularly in the summer when a large number of migrants attempt to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to what they believe to be the promised land of the European Union.

At the Pagani immigration detention centre in the summer of 2009, some 150 children went on hunger strike to protest the length and poor conditions of detention. More than 850 people, including 200 unaccompanied children, 150 women and 50 small children, were kept in overcrowded and insanitary conditions.

It was only after a visit from the UN High Commission for Refugees, and the ombudsman for the rights of the child, that the authorities released 570 people, mainly families with kids and unaccompanied children.

In a letter to the European Commission, the group has demanded the EU executive take action to ensure that Greece adheres to its legal obligations to migrants and refugees - and particularly their children.

Amnesty International believes that there should be a prohibition on the detention of unaccompanied children provided by law, but even in the absence of such a step forward, Greece is beholden to a number of international and EU obligations that should prevent such situations from occurring.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Greece is a party, states that in their best interests, ‘‘unaccompanied or separated children should not, as a general rule, be detained, and that a government provide "special protection and assistance" to children who are not in their family environment.

Furthermore, the EU's Reception Conditions Directive sets out special provisions for unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors.

"The reality for migrants in Greece is dire," said Mr Beger. "The EU must put pressure on Greece to improve the situation. Each and every person has the right to basic legal assistance and to humane treatment upon arriving in an EU country."


Racist thug jailed after ripping off Muslim woman's hijab as she catches train (UK)

A racist thug who ripped off a Muslim woman's religious veil and threw it on the ground was jailed for two years yesterday.

Brute William Baikie grabbed the veil - known as a hijab - from 26-year-old Anwar Alqahtani as she was on her way to catch a train from Glasgow's Central Station.

Miss Alqahtani, who wears the hijab to protect her modesty as part of her religion, had to use another piece of clothing to cover her face after the veil was ripped as Baikie pulled it from her.

Baikie, 26, ran off but was later arrested by police after being identified on CCTV.

Miss Alqahtani, who had come to Scotland from Saudi Arabia to study for a masters degree, has quit her studies and is afraid to leave the house as a result of the attack.

Sentencing Baikie at Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday, Sheriff Lindsay Wood told the racist what he did was an "absolute disgrace".

Sheriff Wood added: "The offence you committed was a shameful one.

"You are a man who has a number of racist convictions and you knew full well how offensive the act would have been to the lady."

The dad-of-two, whose address was given as HMP Barlinnie, admitted racially assaulting Miss Alqahtani by forcibly removing her veil at Hope Street, Glasgow, on April 27.

Prosecutor Iain Bradley told the court: "The incident was totally without warning.

"Miss Alqahtani had never seen this man before."

He added: "This thoughtless, disrespectful act has had a very serious and profound effect on Miss Alqahtani.

"She now feels that she has lost her independence as she is afraid to go out on her own in case it happens again.

"She is effectively house bound as a result of what the accused did."

Def ence lawyer Ken Sinclair told the court that his client was drunk at the time of the attack and can offer no explanation for what he did.

Mr Sinclair sa id: "He appreciates that such behaviour is totally unacceptable and he is deeply ashamed of what he did."

The Daily Record

Former Nazi officer dies unprosecuted

A former Nazi SS officer died in Germany two months after the reopening of an investigation into his connection to massacres of Jews.

Erich Steidtmann, who as commander was accused of leading several Nazi police battalions who participated in the mass murder of Jews in Eastern Europe, died this week in Hanover, where he lived. He was 95.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center released a statement Tuesday expressing frustration that Steidtmann was never prosecuted for his crimes, saying it reflected decades of German judicial failure in the case.

“Had the prosecutors done their job properly in the sixties, he would not have escaped justice,” said Efraim Zuroff, the center's Israel director.

The case was reopened in April based on a letter that Steidtmann wrote in October 1943 that would have placed him in the area of the massacres at the time they occurred rather than at home on leave, as he told prosecutors during investigations in the 1960s, according to The Associated Press.

The case closed quickly for lack of evidence.

“It was only thanks to research by the Wiesenthal Center’s Dr. Stefan Klemp and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung Magazine that the case against Steidtmann was reopened," Zuroff said, "but unfortunately it will never come to court, nor will Steidtmann ever be punished.”



As civil society organisations were invited to send their recommendations in advance, and to discuss them at a roundtable on 28 June, ILGA-Europe was particularly active. The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) had invited us to speak at one of the roundtable’s panels dedicated to hate crime, and to join the working group in charge of editing the final recommendations.

NGOs had other ways to have their say, and ILGA-Europe, together with other LGBT organisations, made a number of interventions during the conference’s relevant sessions: combating racism, xenophobia and discrimination; the role of legislation, law enforcement, data collection and civil society in combating and preventing intolerance and discrimination; the role of education to promote mutual understanding and respect for diversity; and addressing public manifestations of intolerance. As this high-level conference was organised in Kazakhstan by the 2010 Chairmanship-in-Office of the OSCE, it was also a unique opportunity to help the local LGBT partners of the PRECIS project, Amulet (Kazakhstan) and Labrys, (Kyrgyzstan) to gain visibility. To that end ILGA-Europe organized a side event on the situation of LGBT people in Central Asia, which was attended by other NGOs and members of diplomatic delegations. ILGA-Europe, Amulet, COC Netherlands and Labrys also had a number of meetings with various national delegations: Belgium, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States. The final declaration of the conference, delivered by the Kazakh Chairperson-in-Office, makes no reference to LGBT fundamental rights, which was unsurprising, given that the OSCE decision-making is by the unanimous consensus of the 56 participating states. On a positive note, ILGA-Europe notes that the United States, as well as a growing number of European States, including the European Union’s Spanish Presidency, now ensure they mention LGBT fundamental rights in relevant interventions.



Russia continues to stop and search Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslim readers of Said Nursi's works for literature banned under anti-extremism legislation. However, Forum 18 News Service notes that a new development is the use of the Traffic Police - which is not part of the ordinary police, but is also under the Federal Interior Ministry - to conduct such searches. In another new development, police officers seized a Nursi title which is not one of the banned titles on the Federal List of Extremist Materials. They justified this by claiming that the text is identical to a banned title. A legal case following the seizure is pending. Police refused to tell Forum 18 how they knew that three minibuses they stopped and searched contained Jehovah's Witnesses, or how they knew that a person detained on arrival at Novosibirsk railway station would be carrying translations of works by Said Nursi. In another development, imports of every print edition of two Jehovah's Witness magazines - "The Watchtower" and "Awake!" - and not just editions on the Federal List of Extremist Materials, have been banned in Russia. An official denied to Forum 18 that this is censorship.

Forum 18 News

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu stopped and searched by police EIGHT times

The Archbishop of York yesterday revealed he has been stopped and searched by police eight times, as he  warned new anti-terrorist powers are a threat to civil liberties.

Dr John Sentamu said police should not be able to ask for someone's bank accounts to be frozen merely because they are suspected of terrorism.

The Ugandan-born Archbishop told peers that he had been stopped and searched by officers because he had been suspected of crime, warning that the new asset-freezing law could lead to people losing their money and property just because their faces did not fit.

His warning is likely to carry weight with ministers because of his powerful record both as an opponent of racism and a critic of left-wing 'multiculturalism'.

Dr Sentamu, who is second to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Church of England hierarchy, was speaking in the Lords on the Terrorist Asset-Freezing Bill.

The law, which is not opposed by Labour, would allow the courts to freeze assets on 'reasonable suspicion' that someone is a terrorist, rather than the more demanding rules that there must be a 'reasonable belief' of their involvement in terrorism.

Revealing his experience of being stopped and searched, the Archbishop said: 'When the policeman suddenly realised that I was a bishop, that didn't stop me being stopped and searched.'

And he claimed that such police checks were often on the basis of 'he doesn't look like one of us'.

Calling for automatic judicial review of asset-freezing orders, the Archbishop said that 'otherwise you have no money and your assets have gone'.

'I am not very happy with this very low bar in court.' He told ministers: 'I think you are going in a wrong way.'
Acknowledging terrorism is a 'heinous crime' he added: 'I don't think we need to have a law which almost doesn't say that, when you are taken before a court in this country and people are about to seize your assets, you will know that it has been done justly and not simply on reasonable grounds to suspect.

'And, because terrorism is a crime, should the lawyers who are intending to participate in it also be seen as criminals?'

Dr Sentamu, right, was a member of Sir William Macpherson's inquiry which in 1999 accused the Metropolitan Police of 'institutional racism' in its bungled handling of the 1993 murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

He has spoken in the past of his view that police unfairly use stop and search powers against people because they are black, and of his own experiences of being stopped.

However he has also defended the record of the British Empire, stood up for British culture against the multiculturalists and criticised migrants who fail to integrate into British life.

His Lords intervention won support from cross-bencher Lord Pannick, a leading QC, who said: 'To freeze a person's assets is a very substantial restriction on their liberty.'

Treasury Commercial Secretary Lord Sassoon said the Government would 'think about' Dr Sentamu's points.

Daily Mail

White students plead guilty in racism video case (South Africa)

Four white former students pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges surrounding a video they made humiliating black university employees in a case prompting bitter protests that racism remains entrenched in South Africa more than a decade after the end of racist white rule.

The men pleaded guilty to charges of illegally and deliberately injuring another person's dignity. The video showed the employees being forced to consume food and drinks that appeared to be tainted with urine. The students later described it instead as a "harmless" liquid.

The court accepted the guilty plea and adjourned to Wednesday for closing arguments from attorneys on sentencing that is unlikely to include imprisonment.

The video, which was shot in 2007 at the University of the Free State some 250 miles (400 kilometers) southwest of Johannesburg, used the university employees to re-enact the initiation rights normally given to students trying to get into the residence hall. The employees included four middle-aged women and one man.

After the video first emerged in 2008, police dispersed stone-throwing students on the sprawling campus and classes were cancelled.

Students Roelof Malherbe and Schalk van der Merwe were banned from the campus and two fellow students living in the university accommodation known as the Reitz men's residence, Danie Grobler and Johnny Roberts, were implicted in making the video after they graduated and had left the campus.

The men's residence was also shut down after video received worldwide publicity.

The university in the city of Bloemfontein has been regarded as a bastion for Afrikaners, descendants of Dutch settlers who are often most closely linked with white apartheid rule.

Commentary on the video in the Afrikaans language included sarcastic references to the university's policy of integrating the campus dorms years after the end of apartheid.

Black students make up 60 percent of the Free State university's 25,000-strong student body. Most of the support staff are black but the teaching staff are mainly white.

Multiracial elections in 1994 ended decades of white rule in South Africa but racial undercurrents remained strong.

Amid tensions on the campus in 2008, lawyers for the students said although it appeared as if the food had been urinated on, a "harmless" liquid had been squirted from a bottle.

Apologizing in the statement, two of the students said they had been "crucified as racists" and regretted making the film, meant as a "satirical slant" on the issue of racial integration at the university hostels.

In a sign of the gravity of the case, South Africa's most senior prosecutor, Johan Kruger, appeared for the state Tuesday. Renowned defense attorney Kemp J. Kemp, who represented Jacob Zuma before he took office as president last year, represented the students. Prosecutors dropped the corruption charges against Zuma.

Associated Press

Muslim leaders call on communities to prevent all groups 'disrupting peace' (UK)

Bradford’s Council for Mosques has backed the Telegraph & Argus campaign supporting calls for a ban on a proposed English Defence League rally in the city.

The EDL has planned to flood the streets with thousands of supporters during August Bank Holiday weekend.

Today, Muslim leaders in Bradford called on all of the city’s diverse communities to stop any groups “disrupting the peace”.

A spokesman for the Council for Mosques said in a statement: “All communities in Bradford must unite to say that EDL or other organisations of its type are not wanted in Bradford.”

He said that the Council for Mosques was united in its determination to keep such elements out of neighbourhoods and the city.

“EDL is committed to disrupting the peace and harmony of our neighbourhoods, towns and cities,” he added. “They do this through propaganda, which encourages and incites racial and religious hatred, and by setting communities against each other. We must not allow ourselves to be drawn into their web of hatred.”

The Council for Mosques is working with Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Police and Bradford District Faith Forum, as well as voluntary groups, to make people aware of EDL tactics.

A campaign against the rally has been started by groups under the Bradford Together Banner and is backed by politicians in the city, business and faith leaders, academics and members of the public.

Khadim Hussain, president of the Council for Mosques, said: “Some people may think that EDL is only targeting Muslims and that therefore they should not get involved.

“The EDL is against everyone who does not fit into their misguided and false definition of what constitutes Britishness.

“This time its Muslim; next time it will be someone else. Therefore, let us work together – Muslim, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, humanists – to say to EDL: ‘We are not interested in your type of politics’.”

The Telegraph and Argus

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Russian court sentences 14 neo-Nazis to jail

A court in central Russia has sentenced a neo-Nazi leader to life in jail and imprisoned 13 others for four hate killings and multiple assaults.

The Tver city court said in a statement Tuesday that 22-year-old Dmitry Orlov led a cell of the Russian National Unity, a once-powerful organization that since 1990 has actively advocated white supremacy and Orthodox Christian fundamentalism.

It says the other defendants, including three teenagers, received sentences of between 3 1/2 and 17 years.

In addition to the attacks, the court says, the defendants also owned arms and extremist literature and desecrated Muslim and Jewish cemeteries.

The Kremlin has recently cracked down on ultranationalists amid a spike in ethnic violence and killings of non-Slavs: mostly labor migrants from Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Associated Press

More about this story as we get it.

EDL members arrested over Bournemouth mosque bomb plot fears (UK)

Armed police opened fire during an operation to arrest members of the controversial far-right English Defence League, who were feared to be masterminding an attack at a Bournemouth mosque.

Marksmen shot the tyres out on a van belonging to John Broomfield, who describes himself as Dorset EDL head, as he drove alone through Corfe Castle.

He and six others were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause an explosion at a Bournemouth mosque.

All seven, including at least six EDL members, have since been released without charge.

Armed officers pounced from an unmarked car close to the Norden roundabout as 27-year-old Mr Broomfield, from Swanage, drove home from work around 5pm.

They used special rapid tyre deflation rounds, fired from a shotgun, to disable his vehicle.

Officers, including specialised forensic experts, then swooped on his Bell Street home, removing clothes, computer equipment, mobile phones and passports.

The suspects were held at Poole police station and a police station in Southampton, following last Thursday’s arrests.
The English Defence League is a contentious group that has been leading “anti-Muslim extremism” demonstrations around England since 2009.

Thousands of people have attended its protests – many of which have involved racist and Islamophobic chanting.

However, organisers insist it is not a racist organisation.

A number of violent clashes have also taken place at EDL demonstrations since the group first emerged in Luton last year.

In a statement to the Daily Echo, Mr Broomfield said: “While travelling home from work I was stopped and arrested by armed police. I was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause an explosion at a Bournemouth mosque.

“Five other members of the EDL were also arrested and held for 24 hours for questioning while searches of their homes took place. Then all of us were released without charge.

“There has been no conspiracy.

“There has never been any conspiracy. The EDL is not a terrorist organisation.”

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “Dorset Police can confirm that as part of an investigation surrounding threats to a Bournemouth mosque a total of seven people were arrested for conspiracy to cause an explosion.

“Following an investigation police can now confirm these people have been released without charge.

“We can also confirm that one of the people arrested was detained safely by armed officers in the Corfe Castle area.

“We’ve been working very closely with the Muslim community since last Thursday and our local safer neighbourhood teams have been providing advice and reassurance throughout.

“At this stage there is no indication whatsoever that any of the mosques in Dorset are under threat of attack.”

Bournmouth Echo

Paranoid Politics: The Denial of Islamophobia (USA)

Imagine a fairly widespread, fairly mainstream ethos in which politicians, pundits, and academics convened to denigrate practitioners of Christianity or Judaism. Imagine that these commentators picked apart the New or Old Testament to find its most heinous contents, then used those phrases to justify their hatred and distrust. Imagine a world in which this was utterly acceptable, even encouraged. Now turn on your television.

The debate over the proposed Muslim community center near Ground Zero and the more recent community mobilization against a Muslim group's attempted purchase of a vacant convent in Staten Island are indicative of the unhealthy Islamophobia that has taken root in right-wing American politics. Far from being a fact-based movement, its leaders and thinkers propagate falsehoods and myths towards the discriminatory goal of silencing Muslims in America.

This type of race and religion-baiting politics is not at all new. The tactics and orientation of those opposing Muslim-American institutions bring to mind what Richard Hofstadter called "the paranoid style in American politics." Hofstadter, writing in 1964, described the hallmarks of this style: "heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy."

The idea that a vast Muslim conspiracy exists to take over the United States and Europe from within is simply ridiculous. Yet it serves as the grounds for their opposition to the freedom of American Muslims to practice their religion in their own communities, such as Staten Island.

The inherent suspiciousness of the anti-Islam movement is so rich that its participants are unable to reconcile the contradiction between their narrative of secretive Islamic terrorists pursuing "jihad" and the high-profile, publicly conciliatory moves such as the Cordoba Initiative's efforts to purchase a building near Ground Zero and convert it into a public community center. In opposing both the secretive and the public display of Muslimness, they reveal that their actual goal is simply the silencing of Muslims in America. This is most clearly displayed in the way they claim to only target militant extremists, and then proceed to include the most mainstream and popular Muslim organizations in that category.

Within their narrative of a hateful religion bent on the destruction of the West, opposing any form of Islam in America comes out as justifiable. However, it closes them off to the actual practices and beliefs of the vast majority of Muslims in the United States and the world. They are intentionally ignorant because, as Hofstadter wrote, "The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms -- he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values." Though Hofstadter wrote of fears over Masonic and Jesuit conspiracies, his descriptions are easily applied to the anti-Islam movement.

It is ironic that in Staten Island so many Catholic parishioners sought to block the sale of an empty convent to the Muslim American Society (MAS) because they feared the spread of Islamic extremism, or what one group crudely calls "the Islamization of America." They contend that MAS is the "public face" of the Muslim Brotherhood despite the fact that both organizations deny a link and none has been found by America's now 900,000-strong intelligence community. Such flimsy evidence is common to the paranoid crowd.

A case about which Hofstadter wrote was the trend of anti-Catholicism in 19th century America, which took the form of heightened suspicion of Jesuits. It was in much the same manner as today's suspicion of Muslims. Hofstadter cites the example of an 1855 Texas newspaper article, which read, "It is a notorious fact that the Monarchs of Europe and the Pope of Rome are at this very moment plotting our destruction and threatening the extinction of our political, civil, and religious institutions."

Such rhetoric is never entirely without evidence. Participants in the anti-Islam movement are often quick to point to the 9/11 attacks, as well as subsequent attacks around the world, as justification for their hatred of Islam. The evidence of linkage is often weak. They may cite these attacks as reasons for denying the sale of the convent without showing that MAS was responsible for any.

The Islamophobe is unable to deal with complexity. They do not mention the fact that numerous Muslims died as victims of the 9/11 attacks, that Muslims have been in the United States for hundreds of years, and that the vast majority of American Muslims condemned the attacks on civilians as contradictory to the tenets of Islam.
They even go to the extent of denying the most clearly formed and documented counter-evidence. For example, in a recent debate over the proposed mosque on Staten Island on Russia Today's Alyona Show, Pamela Geller--a blogger and self-styled "expert" on Islam and jihad--claimed that backlash against Muslims in the United States following the events of September 11, 2001 has been "non-existent":

"there is no Muslim backlash...that's part of this Islamic narrative...you cannot cite any hate crimes...there have been no hate crimes...America has gone out of her way to make sure that there is no backlash."

In reality, hate crimes perpetrated against Muslims since 2001 and particularly in the years immediately following are well-documented. Just three years after the attacks, a report by the Council on American-Islamic relations found that in 2004, more than 1,500 hundred cases of anti-Muslim harassment and violence occurred, including 141 documented hate crimes, a fifty percent increase from the 2003.

Nine years after the attacks, the attitude toward Muslims in America that allows such attacks to continue, an attitude perpetuated by bloggers like Geller, show no signs of abating. According to a February 2010 report from the The United States Department of Justice, its Civil Rights division, along with the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys offices, have investigated "over 800 incidents since 9/11 involving violence, threats, vandalism and arson against Arab-Americans, Muslims, Sikhs, South-Asian Americans and other individuals perceived to be of Middle Eastern origin."
Geller is by no means alone in her attempts to deny the existence of Islamophobia. Though Tea Party leader Mark Williams was recently ousted for his racist diatribe directed at the NAACP, comments made months earlier in which he referred to Muslims as worshipping a "monkey god," went almost unnoticed by the media. Right-wing pundit Pat Robertson has regularly referred to Islam as a "fascist group" on television, and academic Daniel Pipes has denied the existence of Islamophobia entirely, asking:

"What exactly constitutes an "undue fear of Islam" when Muslims acting in the name of Islam today make up the premier source of worldwide aggression, both verbal and physical, versus non-Muslims and Muslims alike? What, one wonders, is the proper amount of fear?"

Even the Wikipedia article for "Islamophobia" contains an entire section on the debate surrounding the term. Of course, Wikipedia is a crowdsourced project, but perhaps that makes it all the more telling, and reflective of popular opinion. The page for "anti-Semitism" contains no debate, nor is it likely that any would be accepted by the public; while anti-Semitism means, rightly, social death, Islamophobia might get you a television spot, a column in a newspaper, or academic tenure.

In the paranoid Islamophobic mind, Islam is the perpetrator. Thus, Muslims cannot be victims. Islam is a monolith, acting in coordination towards the nefarious end of overturning Western civilization, according to their paranoid schema. So how could Muslims be anything but ill-willed? How could they be victims of any backlash when the West equals civilization and Islam so clearly conflicts with that idea? Were these views merely flights of personal fantasy, they would be harmless. The danger is that they have become part of the mainstream and are denying the freedom of Muslims to practice their religion, a freedom enshrined in the Constitution.

Luckily, significant portions of Americans who work or study with, live next to, or otherwise interact with, American Muslims, reject the simplistic hate-mongering of these groups. However, if Islamophobes really believe Muslims are a grave threat, the kind of post-9/11 violent backlash against them will grow.

Hofstadter would even predict that Islamophobes, like other paranoid movements in the past, would become more like the enemy they project. He pointed out that the "Ku Klux Klan imitated Catholicism to the point of donning priestly vestments, developing an elaborate ritual and an equally elaborate hierarchy." Also, the John Birch Society emulated "Communist cells and quasi-secret operation through 'front' groups, and preache[d] a ruthless prosecution of the ideological war along lines very similar to those it finds in the Communist enemy."

The best hope is that Islamophobia be pushed back into the fringes and local and federal authorities aggressively prosecute anti-Muslim violence and discrimination. Concerned communities should engage in dialogue with Muslims and their organizations, and learn more about them, rather than rely on the types of prejudices and paranoia being hawked by Islamophobes.

Jillian York Huffington Post

Filmmaker Oliver Stone slammed for anti-Semitism (USA)

The U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League on Monday slammed filmmaker Oliver Stone for comments he made to The Sunday Times of London, calling the film director's views "anti-Semitic."

Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, said: "Oliver Stone has once again shown his conspiratorial colors with his comments about 'Jewish domination of the media' and control over U.S. foreign policy. His words conjure up some of the most stereotypical and conspiratorial notions of undue Jewish power and influence."

The ADL said Stone used an old stereotype "in a particularly egregious fashion by suggesting that Hitler has gotten an unfair shake because of Jewish influence."

When asked in an interview with the Sunday Times of London why he focused on the Holocaust in his latest filmmaking project, Stone replied: "The Jewish domination of the media."

He added: "They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f***** up United States foreign policy for years."

Late Monday Stone issued an apology.

"In trying to make a broader point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret," Stone said in a statement."
"Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry," the statement said. "The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition to the remembrance of this atrocity -- and it was an atrocity."

This isn't the first time Stone has made controversial comments about the Holocaust. In January, he characterized Hitler as an "easy scapegoat" in a presentation to television critics in support of his upcoming Showtime miniseries "Oliver Stone's Secret History of America."

Yahoo News

Monday, 26 July 2010

Boss of city right-wing group Exeter's English Defence League quits

THE chairman of Exeter's English Defence League has resigned after being caught up in violent clashes  between police and right-wing protesters.

Jim Myers, 43, a door supervisor in the city, sparked controversy by saying Britain needed to follow the French lead and ban the burka.

But he has decided to stand down after last weekend's protest over a planned £18million mosque which left the people of Dudley, West Midlands, with a damage bill for £150,000.

Mr Myers, who lives in St Thomas, had, along with 13 other Exeter EDL members, taken a minibus from Cowick Street to join about 600 EDL protesters from across the country.

They were corralled in a car park but a group of about 200 protesters broke through the gates and clashed with lines of police and vans.
Bricks and cans were thrown at officers, forcing them to change into riot gear, and police dogs were brought in as a back-up. After a ten-minute stand-off with police, the protesters returned to the car park.

Houses and cars were damaged, missiles were hurled at officers and steel fences were pulled down.

Mr Myers, who, along with the Exeter contingent, was not involved in any of the disorder, said: "I was left really disgusted by what I saw in Dudley — from both sides, police and a minority of the protesters.

"There are always troublemakers who will latch on to a protest, whatever it is, and some tempers got heated.

"After what happened, I have decided to resign as Exeter chairman. We will have a meeting in August to see where we go from here."
Mr Myers also revealed that his hopes of holding a 9/11 memorial march through Exeter on September 11 had been dropped.

"I have spoken to the police, with whom I have a good relationship, and I have been told they would oppose such a march," he said. "We had hoped to remember those killed in the 9/11 tragedy."

He also indicated that he would not support a protest at the city's York Road mosque, which he admitted was being considered by EDL members.

The Muslim community in Exeter is said to be frightened at talk that the group — which has seen several of its demonstrations across the country end in violence — would target the mosque in York Road.

Formed just over a year ago, the EDL claims to be against "Islamic fundamentalists" but its opponents said targeting a mosque with no recognised link to terrorism was proof of the group's overall anti-Muslim agenda.

A South West division member says in a posting on the group's Facebook site: "I think a protest is due in Exeter at the mosque."

He then incorrectly states: "The council have given £3million to refurbish it and extremists use this mosque as it's out of the public eye.

"Exeter has had an attempted bomb attack and we don't want another. So please let's make this happen."

In fact, the mosque relies on public donations and the bomber who targeted the Giraffe restaurant in Exeter, Nicky Reilly, was influenced by extremists in Plymouth.

Lizi Allnatt, of the Exeter division of the Unite Against Fascism group, said: "Why have a demonstration at the mosque? It is like a church and is not a place that fundamentalists go to use. It is for everyday, ordinary Muslims. The Muslim community is quite rightly frightened at such a prospect."

SouthWest Business

Minister to ban NPD members from running child care facilities

Politicians in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania hope that a new proposal will prevent private child care centres from being run by neo-Nazis or members of the far-right NPD party, a media report said on Monday.
According to the proposal put forward by state minister for social affairs Manuela Schwesig, those responsible for starting new day care centres or kindergartens must be able to show that their activities are constitutional, daily Ostsee Zeitung reported.

“I’m bothered by the worry that right-wing extremists could become kindergarten leaders,” Schwesig, who is also the deputy leader of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), told the paper.

Only after it was demonstrated that the facility proprietors did not belong to any far-right organisations would they be allowed to care for children, the paper said. Such scrutiny would be unprecedented in Germany’s northeastern states,

Schwesig's proposal follows the revelation in February that an NPD member tried to take over a child care centre in Bartow. When the tiny town of 550 began searching for a new owner for a local kindergarten, the town council was only barely able to prevent it from being taken on by an NPD member.

The Local Germany


In theory, Gerti Töpfer should be celebrating these days. Töpfer, who is the mayor of the small town of Riesa in the eastern German state of Saxony and a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is being feted all over Germany for her efforts to combat right-wing extremism. The 56-year-old mayor seems stressed, however, as she sinks into a white leather chair for an interview in her office in Riesa's town hall, where a sign in the stairwell reads "Diversity Is Good." Töpfer explains that the phone in the town hall has been ringing off the hook ever since it was announced that a Riesa street was, as a result of her initiative, going to be renamed after Hans and Sophie Scholl, young members of a resistance movement in Nazi Germany who were executed and have become folk heroes in modern-day Germany. People have been calling the mayor to congratulate her on her courageous action. The move is regarded as a particularly brave step because Deutsche Stimme, the publishing house of the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), is located on that very street. The right-wing extremist publisher would hence be forced to incorporate the names of anti-Nazi resistance fighters in its letterhead. A nice coup for the mayor, it would seem. Indeed, Töpfer is pleased about the sudden attention. The only problem is that very few callers are interested in what else she has achieved for the town over the past seven years. All they care about is the fact that Riesa is an NPD stronghold. "It's annoying," Töpfer says, suddenly looking tired.

Bitter History
The story of Riesa and the NPD is a long and bitter one. Deutsche Stimme has been publishing the NPD party newspaper of the same name, which consists largely of incitement against immigrants, in the town for the past 10 years. The publisher also has a mail order business called the "National Department Store" offering, among other things, replica aviator watches from the Nazi era. Prominent NPD politicians such as Holger Apfel and Jürgen Gansel have moved their offices to Riesa. Their wives, meanwhile, have apparently been trying to infiltrate voluntary organizations for children and young people in the town. The town is set to elect a new mayor on Aug. 22, and Töpfer is running for reelection. The issue of the far-right has divided the local political parties. Töpfer herself seems to have no idea how to address the far-right in her election campaign, apparently out of fear of damaging the town's reputation. In her election program, there is not a single line about the NPD politicians or the Deutsche Stimme publishing house.

Below the Belt
Journalist and blogger Thomas Trappe, however, believes that the town's problems should be openly acknowledged -- something that has caused him to fall out with the mayor. The 29-year-old writes about the NPD on his personal blog about Riesa, in an attempt to demystify far-right agitators like Gansel and Apfel who try to cultivate a respectable image. Töpfer, however, sees Trappe as someone who lacks sensitivity for the town. Many of his blog entries were below the belt, she says. "You can tell that he does not come from Riesa." Trappe's blog was nominated this year for the prestigious Grimme Online Award. On his blog, Trappe describes, without mincing his words, just how helpless the democratic parties and the administration are in their efforts to deal with the NPD. Recently he made fun of a CDU politician who apparently replied to e-mails from the NPD with the single word "asshole." Trappe is sitting in a café in Riesa's renovated pedestrian zone, sipping a Coke. Most of the town's residents have no problems with far-right extremists, he believes. "They consider the NPD to be a normal party." The party's anti-immigrant stance comes across well in a town like Riesa where the unemployment rate is 11 percent. If you ask around in the town's kebab shops and Asian fast food restaurants, few people are willing to admit having had bad experiences with customers who wear Thor Steinar, a clothing label favored by neo-Nazis. Those are just ordinary people, comes the curt reply.

'People Try to Gag Me'
Thoralf Koss is one of Trappe's allies. He is a 46-year-old teacher who also favors taking the far-right on openly. "You're writing about our mayor's heroic acts?" he shouts into the telephone. "I'll come by in 15 minutes and pick you up." In the car, Koss begins his tirade. He argues that the renaming of the street is yet more proof of how Mayor Gerti Töpfer changes her position depending on which way the wind is blowing. Koss is a member of the town council for the Green Party, although he himself is an independent. He is engaged in a perpetual struggle with Töpfer and is also running for mayor. Koss can hardly contain himself. "I've been fighting the NPD for years, and people try to gag me," he says. Töpfer has accused him of damaging Riesa's reputation, he says, as if he were to blame for the town's image. No matter where she goes in Germany, the mayor apparently complained, the name of Riesa is associated only with neo-Nazis -- because Koss, she said, takes every opportunity to draw people's attention to that fact. "And now Töpfer is being seen as a great fighter against the far-right," Koss complains.

Raising Awareness
Koss stops his car in front of a single-family house barely three blocks from the Deutsche Stimme offices. This is where he is preparing his election campaign. As it happens, he almost didn't manage to secure his candidacy. The local Green Party is angry with him because he supported the NPD in a town council vote -- because he considered their motion, which involved reducing council members' allowances, to be sensible. If the NPD were to finally be banned, he would no longer face such moral dilemmas, Koss says. He wants to use local business tax revenues from the Deutsche Stimme publishing house to fund education programs in Riesa to raise awareness about right-wing extremism. His goal is to make his students immune to propaganda efforts by neo-Nazis, who distribute pamphlets and CDs with music by far-right bands in schoolyards. In the Riesa sports stadium, it becomes clear just how strong the far-right is in the town. The semi-final of the World Cup, where Spain is playing Germany, is being shown on giant screens. Men with shaved heads openly sing the old first verse of the German national anthem, which included the notorious phrase "Deutschland über alles" and which is no longer part of the official version due to its Nazi associations. Nobody seems bothered by their T-shirts featuring images of tanks or their neo-Nazi tattoos. When the German team loses the game, garbage cans start flying through the hall.

Appeal against Neo-Nazis
Given such conditions, Andreas Näther, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party must feel a sense of desperation. He has been involved in the fight against right-wing extremism for years: He already took part in a protest march through Riesa's industrial zone back when Deutsche Stimme moved into its offices there. Näther would surely make a convincing mayoral candidate because of his work taking on the neo-Nazis. Unfortunately, the SPD has not put forward its own candidate for the upcoming election. Näther, a well-built 52-year-old man with a moustache, is a member of the town council and the head of an association that works with young people. Recently he got together with his colleagues from other similar organizations to launch an appeal against the infiltration of youth centers by neo-Nazis. The NPD is getting increasing bold in its attempts to hinder the work that youth clubs are doing to try to teach young people about democracy, says Näther. He says that colleagues of his recently had a run-in with Jasmin Apfel, the wife of NPD politician Holger Apfel. Jasmin Apfel allegedly approached a club for children and young people to try to get involved as a volunteer. As a result, Näther now wants to train his staff in how to deal with supposedly well-meaning parents who in fact want to recruit young people for the NPD under a veneer of respectability.

When asked about the work of Thoralf Koss, who he knows from his time in the opposition movement in the former East Germany, Näther shakes his head. Koss, he says, refused to support his recent appeal, because it did not also condemn left-wing extremism. "And yet we clearly referred to Deutsche Stimme as a problem," Näther says. Amid such disputes, the different political parties have lost sight of their real goal. The NPD has set up its propaganda center in the town and shows no signs of leaving. Many people wish the democratic parties would at least work together in the fight against the right-wing extremists. Meanwhile Gerti Töpfer is hoping for reelection -- and that the neo-Nazi menace will somehow go away by itself. She's been hoping for that for years.