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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.

Monday, 29 March 2010


At the headquarters of Human Rights Watch, more than 30 storeys above the noise and bustle of Manhattan, there is so much high-mindedness hanging in the air you can almost taste it. This is the epicentre of a certain type of socially smart, progressive activism — the kind that persuades Hollywood grandees, power lawyers and liberal financiers to dig deeply into their pockets. When the story broke that one of the organisation’s most prominent and vocal members of staff might be a collector of Nazi-era military memorabilia it felt like some sort of sexual scandal had erupted in the Victorian church. For a lobbying group accustomed to adulatory coverage in the media, it was a public-relations catastrophe. Human Rights Watch is one of two global superpowers among the world’s myriad humanitarian pressure groups. It is relatively young — established in its current form in 1988 — but it has grown so quickly in size, wealth and influence that it has all but eclipsed its older, London-based rival, Amnesty International. Unlike Amnesty, HRW, as it is known, gets its money from charitable foundations and wealthy individuals — such as the financier George Soros — rather than a mass membership. And, also unlike Amnesty, it seeks to make an impact, not through extensive letter-writing campaigns, but by talking to governments and the media, urging openness and candour and backing up its advocacy with research reports. It is an association that is all about influence — an influence that depends on a carefully honed image of objectivity, expertise and high moral tone.

So it was perhaps a little awkward that a key member of staff was found to have such a treasure trove of Nazi regalia. By day, Marc Garlasco was HRW’s only military expert, the person that its Emergencies Division would send to conflict zones to investigate alleged war crimes. He wrote reports condemning the dropping of cluster bombs in the Russia-Georgia war, the alleged illegal use of white phosphorus by the Israeli army in Gaza and coalition tactics that he said “unnecessarily” put Iraqi or Afghan civilians at risk. An enthusiastic source of quotes for the media, he was incessantly on the phone to journalists. But by night, Garlasco was “Flak88”, an obsessive contributor to internet forums on Third Reich memorabilia and an avid collector of badges and medals emblazoned with swastikas and eagles. A lavishly illustrated $100 book he compiled and self-published is dedicated to his grandfather, who served in the Luftwaffe. On members-only sites such as Wehrmachtawards.com he was writing comments like “VERY nice Hitler signature selection”; “That is so cool! The leather SS jacket makes my blood go cold it is so COOL!” An interest in Nazi memorabilia does not necessarily suggest Nazi sympathies — but it is hardly likely to play well in the salons where Garlasco’s employer might solicit donations. Human Rights Watch started small, but there is now a grandness about it, a deep hum of power and connectedness. In Los Angeles, its annual Hollywood dinner is said to raise more than $2m. When he was guest editor of Vanity Fair, Brad Pitt published a profile of the executive director, Kenneth Roth. In London, HRW’s board meetings and fundraising parties are held in huge houses in Notting Hill and Hampstead, with wealthy expat Americans — “the Democratic party in exile”, one board member calls it — vying to outdo each other in lavishness.

Significant contributors in the UK include Tony Elliott, the owner of Time Out, and Catherine Zennstrom, whose husband, Niklas, created Skype. When the philanthropic London-based banker John Studzinski joined the board it was proof positive that he had “made it”. The enthusiasts for Third Reich memorabilia who meet up in cyberspace make up a cosy little community. In one posting Garlasco put up a photograph of himself wearing a sweatshirt with an Iron Cross on the front, sitting next to his daughter. One of his internet buddies comments: “Love the sweatshirt… Not one I could wear here in Germany though — well I could but it would be a lot of hassle.” Garlasco certainly seems to have been more open with his online collector friends than he had been with his employer. “Flak88” was more than happy to talk openly about his day job. He wondered whether he should reveal his hobby to Human Rights Watch — who evidently knew nothing about it: “So I am trying to figure out what to do. My book is clsoe [sic] to done, but I am not sure if I should put my name on it. If folks at work found out I might very well lose my job.” His dilemma did not last long. In September a blogger noted that Marc Garlasco had long been reviewing books on Third Reich memorabilia on Amazon — and that he was the same Marc Garlasco who had written controversial HRW reports about alleged Israeli violations in Gaza and Lebanon. The blogger did not accuse him of being a Nazi, but wondered if Garlasco’s “obsession with anti-Semitic Nazi genocidal lunatics” was in any way related to his “apologism for anti-Semitic genocidal Hamas lunatics”. The story soon gained momentum. Human Rights Watch was forced to investigate.

Initially HRW offered Garlasco unequivocal support. This was not surprising. The organisation is supremely self-confident. When I asked the executive director Kenneth Roth if he could think of any errors made by HRW, he replied: “Nothing major. There is an errata page on our website.” And despite his oddness, Garlasco was also an asset. Born in Manhattan and raised in Queens, his background was a useful counterpoint to the posh-boho culture that pervades the group. He is a keen gun-owner, a member of the National Rifle Association, had worked for the Pentagon and counted key members of the military as friends. More than anything, his military and strategic know-how provided the group with desperately needed credibility — especially when talking about “disproportionate” military responses. HRW’s public-relations machine quickly went into action. Garlasco was defended as “the author of a monograph on the history of German air force and army anti-aircraft medals and a contributor to websites that promote serious historical research… and which forbid hate speech”. They said that comments by Garlasco about Nazi regalia merely “reflect the enthusiasm of a keen collector… and have no bearing on Garlasco’s work for Human Rights Watch”. Garlasco himself wrote an apologetic column on the political website the Huffington Post in which he claimed he had “never hidden my hobby, because there’s nothing shameful in it, however weird it might seem to those who aren’t fascinated by military history. Precisely because it’s so obvious that the Nazis were evil, I never realised that other people, including friends and colleagues, might wonder why I care about these things”.

It wasn’t enough for HRW to defend Garlasco or to make the sensible distinction between an innocent interest in the second-world-war German army and an unhealthy attraction to Nazi iconography. HRW also went on the offensive. It accused those who raised the issue of Garlasco’s hobby of being part of “a campaign to deflect attention from Human Rights Watch’s rigorous and detailed reporting on violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by the Israeli government”. It even used the word “conspiracy”: its programmes director, Iain Levine, later went so far as to directly accuse the Israeli government of being behind it. But he provided no evidence for the charge. The vehemence of Human Rights Watch in defending Garlasco surprised many. But it made sense for two reasons. Though HRW relishes complaints from infuriated dictatorships, it is not used to its personnel and methods being questioned at home. And it coincided with a series of less-well-publicised criticisms of the group. Suddenly, when its own practices came under scrutiny, it became very touchy. On September 14 last year the organisation suspended Marc Garlasco with pay “pending an investigation”. But as the months went by, HRW said nothing about the investigation — and nothing about Garlasco’s status. Garlasco himself kept mum. When I called him, he told me that he “had nothing more to say”. I learnt from friends of his, however, that he had been gagged by a confidentiality agreement. They said that he had in effect been fired, but would be paid for the duration of his contract as long as he kept silent. When I visited HRW’s New York headquarters in February, I asked Kenneth Roth about Garlasco’s status. He said nothing had changed. Did he mean that Garlasco is still suspended pending an investigation? “Yes,” came the reply. On March 5, Garlasco’s name was removed from the list of staff members on HRW’s website. Later that day, the Jerusalem Post newspaper asked about Garlasco’s status. A spokeswoman replied by email that HRW had “regretfully accepted Marc Garlasco’s resignation” two weeks before. Kenneth Roth has sent an email to staff, board members and some key donors insisting that they do not respond to any media inquiries about the matter. Garlasco, meanwhile, prefers to stay out of the limelight: when The Sunday Times Magazine inquired about using the picture of Garlasco wearing a sweatshirt featuring an Iron Cross, we received this reply: “It is my understanding that you intend on using a photo or likeness of him, which is copyrighted, without his permission. Should you do so… we will prosecute this matter to the fullest extent of the law. Sincerely, Attorney Paul James Garlasco.” We contacted Attorney Garlasco to find out if he was related to Marc Garlasco; he did not return our calls or emails. HRW was also cagey about the photograph. Garlasco has become a non-person. “It might be him,” hedged the communications director Emma Daly, but “he doesn’t work here any more.”
Every year, Human Rights Watch puts out up to 100 glossy reports — essentially mini books — and 600-700 press releases, according to Daly, a former journalist for The Independent. Some conflict zones get much more coverage than others. For instance, HRW has published five heavily publicised reports on Israel and the Palestinian territories since the January 2009 war. In 20 years they have published only four reports on the conflict in Indian-controlled Kashmir, for example, even though the conflict has taken at least 80,000 lives in these two decades, and torture and extrajudicial murder have taken place on a vast scale. Perhaps even more tellingly, HRW has not published any report on the postelection violence and repression in Iran more than six months after the event. When I asked the Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson if HRW was ever going to release one, she said: “We have a draft, but I’m not sure I want to put one out.” Asked the same question, executive director Kenneth Roth told me that the problem with doing a report on Iran was the difficulty of getting into the country. I interviewed a human-rights expert at a competing organisation in Washington who did not wish to be named because “we operate in a very small world and it’s not done to criticise other human-rights organisations”. He told me he was “not surprised” that HRW has still not produced a report on the violence in Iran: “They are thinking about how it’s going to be used politically in Washington. And it’s not a priority for them because Iran is just not a bad guy that they are interested in highlighting. Their hearts are not in it. Let’s face it, the thing that really excites them is Israel.”

Noah Pollak, a New York writer who has led some of the criticisms against HRW, points out that it cares about Palestinians when maltreated by Israelis, but is less concerned if perpetrators are fellow Arabs. For instance, in 2007 the Lebanese army shelled the Nahr al Bared refugee camp near Tripoli (then under the control of Fatah al Islam radicals), killing more than 100 civilians and displacing 30,000. HRW put out a press release — but it never produced a report. Such imbalance was at the heart of a public dressing-down that shook HRW in October. It came from the organisation’s own founder and chairman emeritus, the renowned publisher Robert Bernstein, who took it to task in The New York Times for devoting its resources to open and democratic societies rather than closed ones. (Originally set up as Helsinki Watch, the group’s original brief was to expose abuses of human rights behind the iron curtain.) “Nowhere is this more evident than its work in the Middle East,” he wrote. “The region is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human-rights records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel… than of any other country in the region.” Bernstein pointed out that Israel has “a population of 7.4m, is home to at least 80 human-rights organisations, a vibrant free press, a democratically elected government, a judiciary that frequently rules against the government…and probably more journalists per capita than any other country in the world… Meanwhile the Arab and Iranian regimes rule over some 350m people and most remain brutal, closed and autocratic”. Bernstein concluded that if HRW did not “return to its founding mission and the spirit of humility that animated it… its credibility will be seriously undermined and its important role in the world significantly diminished”. HRW’s response was ferocious — and disingenuous. In their letters to the paper, Roth and others made it sound as if Bernstein had said that open societies and democracies should not be monitored at all. I met Robert Bernstein at an office he keeps in midtown Manhattan. Though he has been retired from publishing for more than two decades, and from HRW for 12 years, he remains active in human rights, especially in China. He said: “It broke my heart to write that article… Of course open societies should be watched very carefully, but HRW is one of the very few organisations that is supposed to go into closed societies. Why should HRW be covering Guantanamo? It’s already covered by a lot of other organisations.”

The revelation of Marc Garlasco’s hobby was also significant because he was the first and only person at Human Rights Watch with any kind of military expertise. While staff members at HRW tend to be lawyers, journalists or political activists, Garlasco, 40, had worked as a civilian employee at the Pentagon for seven years before joining HRW in 2004. According to his HRW biography, he had served as “a senior intelligence analyst covering Iraq” and his last position there was as “chief of high-value targeting” at the very beginning of the Iraq war. This apparently meant that it was he who selected targets for air strikes. According to an interview Garlasco gave to Der Spiegel, he was a key player in an air strike on Basra on April 5, 2003 intended to kill Ali Hassan al-Majid, better known as Chemical Ali, but which instead took the lives of 17 civilians. In another interview, Garlasco said he was responsible for up to 50 other air strikes — none of which killed anyone on the target list but which accounted for several hundred civilian deaths. Soon after the Chemical Ali air strike, he left to join Human Rights Watch. In interviews he has suggested that he did so because he was sickened by his responsibility for these deaths, and had always been opposed to the war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Associates of Garlasco have told me that there had long been tensions between Garlasco and HRW’s Middle East Division in New York — perhaps because he sometimes stuck his neck out and did not follow the HRW line. Garlasco himself apparently resented what he felt was pressure to sex up claims of Israeli violations of laws of war in Gaza and Lebanon, or to stick by initial assessments even when they turned out to be incorrect. In June 2006, Garlasco had alleged that an explosion on a Gaza beach that killed seven people had been caused by Israeli shelling. However, after seeing the details of an Israeli army investigation that closely examined the relevant ballistics and blast patterns, he subsequently told the Jerusalem Post that he had been wrong and that the deaths were probably caused by an unexploded munition in the sand. But this went down badly at Human Rights Watch HQ in New York, and the admission was retracted by an HRW press release the next day.

Since the Garlasco affair blew up, critics of Human Rights Watch have raised questions about other appointments. An Israeli newspaper revealed that Joe Stork, the deputy head of HRW’s Middle East department, was a radical leftist who put out a magazine in the 1970s that praised the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. In 1976 he attended an anti-Zionist conference in Baghdad hosted by the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. As Kenneth Roth pointed out to me, this was all three decades ago, Stork was just one of seven editors of the magazine when its editorial praised the massacre, and he later became a staunch critic of Saddam Hussein. Certainly, he no longer spices up reports with talk of “revolutionary potential of the Palestinian masses.” That said, when Stork was hired by HRW in 1996 he had never worked for a human-rights group, had never held an academic position, and had a history of anti-Israel activism. Stork’s boss, Sarah Leah Whitson, and most of his colleagues in the Middle East department of Human Rights Watch, also have activist backgrounds — it was typical that one newly hired researcher came to HRW from the extremist anti-Israel publication Electronic Intifada — unlikely to reassure anyone who thinks that human-rights organisations should be non-partisan. While it may be hard to find people who are genuinely neutral about Middle East politics, theoretically an organisation like HRW would not select as its researchers people who are so evidently on one side.

While HRW was dealing with the fallout from the Garlasco affair, it was already on the defensive as a result of criticism of a fundraising effort in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s worst human-rights violators. This involved two dinners for members of the Saudi elite in Riyadh, at which Sarah Leah Whitson curried favour with her hosts by boasting about HRW’s “battles” with pro-Israel pressure groups, such as NGO Monitor. Although HRW has a policy of not taking money from governments, there were at least two Saudi officials present. One was a member of the Shura Council, which, among other things, oversees the implementation of the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islamic law. HRW has not given out a transcript of its appeal for donations or to publish a list of attendees at the dinners. I asked the HRW executive director Kenneth Roth about the controversy that surrounded the Saudi dinners. He said: “Because somebody is the victim of a repressive government, should they have no right to contribute to a human-rights organisation?” Even if they had been invited, few victims would have been able to make the dinners — most Saudi dissidents are either in prison or live abroad in exile. It probably gives little comfort to Human Rights Watch that Amnesty International, the association’s great rival, is also dealing with a queasy scandal involving questionable links. Amnesty’s image suffered a blow in February when Gita Sahgal, the director of its gender programme, told The Sunday Times she was concerned that the organisation was compromising its core values by getting into bed with radical Islamists.

Amnesty has allied itself with the Cageprisoners programme that Sahgal said “actively promotes Islamic Right ideals and individuals”. The programme is led by Moazzam Begg, the former Guantanamo Bay detainee whom Sahgal called “Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban”. Amnesty’s reaction to Sahgal’s criticism was swift and jaw-droppingly incompatible with the work of an outfit that actively encourages whistleblowing: she was suspended from her job. Although this provoked a fierce response from Salman Rushdie and a Facebook campaign, it is sticking to its guns while denying that Sahgal was suspended “for raising these issues internally”. Many of those on the left of the human-rights “community” may feel conflicting emotions when it comes to dealing with radical Islam, as if the former is somehow a dangerous distraction from the real struggle. In 2006 Scott Long, the director of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights programme at Human Rights Watch, attacked the British campaigner Peter Tatchell, accusing him of racism, Islamophobia and colonialism for having the temerity to lead a campaign against Iran’s executions of homosexuals — a campaign that Long believed was unconstructive and based on “a Western social-constructionist trope”. Human Rights Watch does perform a useful task, but its critics raise troubling questions that go beyond Garlasco’s hobby or raising money from Saudis. Why put such effort into publicising alleged human-rights violations in some countries but not others? Why does HRW seem so credulous of civilian witnesses in places like Gaza and Afghanistan but so sceptical of anyone in a uniform? It may be that organisations like HRW that depend on the media for their profile — and therefore their donations — concentrate too much on places that the media already cares about. HRW’s reaction to the scandals has perhaps cost it more credibility than the scandals themselves. It has revealed an organisation that does not always practice the transparency, tolerance and accountability it urges on others n nalways practice the transparency and accountability it urges on others.
Times Online

Punk star’s anger at rally claim (Wales, UK)

UNDERTONES star Feargal Sharkey has asked Facebook to remove profiles claiming he was supporting a protest by a far-right political group taking place in Cardiff later this year.
A page on the site advertising the Welsh Defence League’s ‘No Sharia’ demonstration contained a profile, claiming to be the Teenage Kicks singer, saying he would be at the event offering his support.

But when Wales on Sunday contacted Sharkey, now chief executive of UK Music, an organisation that protects the rights of the commercial music industry, he said was unaware of it and he supported anti-racism projects.
Just three weeks ago the singer spoke at the annual Hope, Not Hate rally in County Durham which celebrated multiculturalism.
He said: “Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’m now in the process of contacting Facebook and getting a number of bogus addresses removed.”
The ‘static demo’ is due to go ahead in June outside Cardiff Central railway station. The online description of the march states: “It will be a peaceful event to show our displeasure at the increasing influence of medieval Sharia Law in this country.”
A spokeswoman for South Wales Police said that they were aware of the planned demonstration.
Wales Online

BNP's man walks into governor role (UK)

A BNP councillor has joined the governing body of a city high school – because none of the other parties put up candidates.

Councillor Steve Batkin will fill one of the three vacancies at Edensor High School, in Longton.
He was elected unopposed after the other political groups failed to put up alternatives.
Councillors had previously accused the BNP group of using underhand tactics to get its members elected as school governors.
They complained that the BNP had sprung nominations at the last minute, breaking the unwritten rule that candidates have to be announced in advance

On this occasion the BNP followed this rule, declaring its nomination a week before the meeting.

Council leader Ross Irving, who also leads the Conservative group, said the Tories had been unable to find a suitable candidate for Edensor.
But he admitted that he was disappointed that none of the other groups had put up a nomination either, allowing Mr Batkin to be elected unopposed. He said: "I think this shows how difficult it can be to get people to commit to being a school governor. It isn't like it used to be when the role wasn't very onerous.

"It is worrying that the BNP were the only group which could find a candidate. I certainly hope Mr Batkin will bear in mind the educational mix found at that particular school."

In October the BNP failed to get two of its members elected as governors at Longton High School and St Augustine's Primary School, both in Meir.
Although the BNP group waited until halfway through a full council meeting to make its nominations, the Labour group also put up candidates, who were both elected.

But this time there were no nominations forthcoming from the group.
Labour leader Mohammed Pervez said: "I very much hope that other mainstream political parties will now join forces to ensure that more people put their names forward for these important positions."

BNP group leader councillor Michael Coleman says he has been left disappointed by members of his party being blocked from joining schools.
Mr Coleman, a governor at Longton High School, said: "It's disappointing that other groups don't back us being governors. I have voted for members of other parties in the past as it is important vacancies for governors are filled.

"It seems they would rather see them left empty or get the wrong people in just to keep us out. It's essential if the city is to progress to get the governing bodies working correctly.

"Steve Batkin will do his best for Edensor."
There are now seven schools in Stoke-on-Trent which have BNP councillors as governors.

The other six are: Longton High, Meir; Carmountside Primary School, Abbey Hulton; Mitchell Business and Enterprise College, Bucknall; Middlehurst School, Chell; Maple Court Primary, Bentilee; and Park Hall Primary.
Mr Batkin was unavailable for comment.


BNP criticised for prejudice over halal jobs (Wales, UK)

THE British National Party has been accused of putting their "narrow prejudice before the chance of good jobs" after vowing to oppose a major development earmarked for the region.

Carmarthenshire and Neath have been named as the preferred home for a proposed £150 million Super Halal Industrial Park, said to promise around 1,500 jobs.

But the BNP say they will fight the plans because the jobs would be given to Muslims.
Writing on our website, Kevin Edwards, BNP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Aberavon, said: "If the people of Wales think this will provide employment for them then they must think again. If this is given the go ahead the vast majority of jobs created will have to be allocated to Muslims."
Mr Edwards, a Penygroes community councillor, added: "The Welsh Assembly has a shameful record of handing out grants to companies that have fled as soon as the money has gone.

When this happens, as it inevitably will, 'the industrial estate' will wind up and there will be 5,000 more Muslims in the UK claiming benefits and living on our doorsteps.

 "Only the British National Party will oppose this development."

Criticism of how halal meat is produced has also sparked debate.
Traditionally, halal meat is killed by hand without stunning the animal first, and then blessed by the person doing the job, although some Muslims say a mechanised form is also now acceptable.
Julie Richards, from Pontarddulais, said: "It is absolutely barbaric. Lambs are going to be strung up and bled to death. It is not humane."
However, the possible jobs have been welcomed by some. An anonymous Post reader said: "If Carmarthenshire or Neath don't want it, can we have it in Swansea please?"
Llanelli AM Helen Mary Jones said she was pleased to hear Llanelli was being considered as a location, and branded the view of the BNP as "typical prejudice, racist misinformation".

"It is typical of them to put their narrow prejudice before the chance of good jobs for the many people in this area who are out of work," she said.
Managing director of Halal Industries UK, Mahesh Jayanarayan said: "We don't need Muslims necessarily to work there. If they are preparing food, we may have Muslim supervisors to certify it. The jobs will be given to multi-cultural skilled people and to people from the community.
"We are also not just going to have food processing, we are doing pharmaceuticals.

"We will be hiring from local schools, colleges and universities."

This is South Wales  -------------------------

Barnet Trade Unions Council proposes to unite with anti fascism movement against the BNP

UNION bosses have vowed to fight fascism in the borough after passing a motion at their annual general meeting last week.

Barnet Trade Unions Council met at Hendon Town Hall, in The Burroughs, on Thursday to outline proposals for the coming year and reaffirm their stance on the high profile national strikes that have been held recently.
Members of unions, including the RMT, Unison and the NUT, who live in the borough, voiced their support for the round of walkouts by British Airways staff and the Public and Commercial Services Union strikes.

Outraged unionists criticised the government for “wanting to smash the public sector and take away jobs” while others called on Barnet TUC to join national campaigns against the changes.
Proposals were also put forward for Barnet TUC to affiliate with the Unite Against Facism movement, which aims to alert British society to “the rising threat of the extreme right”, and targets in particular the British National Party (BNP).
Members agreed the increased political presence of some far right parities “needs a specific response” and approved a raft of monitions that aim to curtail the “divisions” caused by their policies.
These include supporting campaigns to remove BNP members in public services and producing their own materials on any emerging issues in Barnet to fight any appearance of the far right.
Helen Davis, chair of Barnet TUC, said: “Fascism creates a feeling that we have to keep our heads down and have to be afraid of being counted.
“The BNP have tried to stand in this borough but the pattern we have seen across the country is they keep chancing there arm where they can.
“It is only a matter of time before they come into Barnet and start trying to divide our community and we on the left want to be ready for that.”
Barnet TUC was relaunched in 2008 to “improve generally the economic and social conditions of working people” around the borough.
It has been at the forefront of campaigns against Barnet Council's plans to cut sheltered housing wardens and the future shape policy, branded easyCouncil, which seeks to outsource services to private contractors.

Ms Davis said they are key in “challenging inequality” in the community, and added: “It is clear people have come round to the idea of having a strong trade union culture in the borough.
“In the context of the economic crisis it has never been more important for a concerted effort to make sure workers in the public sector have an organised approach for that.
“The terms and conditions most people experience in order to live are under threat and the institutions and services they rely on to make sure they are okay, are under threat, and we don't think that resulting social inequality is acceptable.”


Men pushed into canal in anti-gay attack

Police are appealing for witnesses after a homophobic assault on two men who were walking along a Leicester canal path.

The incident happened at around 1.30am on Saturday March 20th, when the two victims, aged 33 and 35, were approached from behind by a group of four men as they walked along the canal behind Tudor Road.
One of the men was pulled to the ground while the other was punched and kicked. Both victims were then pushed into the canal.
As the suspects ran off, one shouted homophobic abuse at the pair.
The two victims then walked to the city until they found police officers to report the attack to. One man was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary for treatment to his injuries.
One of the suspects is described as white, about 5’8” tall, of stocky build aged between 25 to 35.. He had mousy brown hair and was wearing a white t-shirt while the rest of his clothes were dark.
A second man from the group is described as white, about 6’2” tall, aged between 25 and 30 years-old and had very short hair. He was wearing a dark t-shirt and trousers and spoke with a local accent.

There is no description for the other two men.
PC Paul Smith, the officer investigating the incident, said: “Both victims were very distressed by the assault and one of them had to have surgery on an injury to his face.
“We would like anyone who witnessed this nasty assault to contact us immediately. The homophobic nature of this is not something we will tolerate and I hope that anyone who has information about the four men responsible will call us immediately and help us with our enquiries."

Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact police on 0116 222 2222 or Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous on 0800 555 111.

Pink News

Muslim woman stabbed 18 times in Court (Germany)

In July 2009 a Muslim woman Marwa Sherbini, 31, was stabbed 18 times by Alex W during a court room trial in Germany.
Alex W and Ms Sherbini and family were in court for his appeal against a fine of 750 euros ($1,050) for insulting her in 2008, apparently because she was wearing the Muslim headscarf or Hijab.
A You Tuber has recently uploaded a video about this incident that has largely gone unreported around the world.
We believe it is well worth watching and giving it some support.
More about this news story can be found at BBC News

Please support the You Tuber naziwatcher and his channel.

Thousands protest neo-Nazi demonstration in Duisburg (Germany)

More than 4,500 people gathered at a mosque in the North Rhine-Westphalia city of Duisburg on Sunday to protest marches by neo-Nazis and anti-Muslims.

Because the right-wing extremist groups had said they expected some 1,000 participants, police were out on the streets in full force with water cannons and street closures. But their “March on the Mosque,” meant to be the high point of several days of meetings ahead of a state election in May, garnered only 400 supporters.

The neo-Nazi NPD party and the right-wing populist regional Pro NRW group were grossly outnumbered by citizens, politicians, unions and church groups who showed their solidarity together before the Merkez mosque – one of Germany’s largest.
Head of the centre-left Social Democratic party Sigmar Gabriel was also at the demonstration.
“Vote at the state election for any democratic party, no matter which one, just not for the right-wing extremists,” he said.
Though police reported that 136 people were detained in the protest, they said the event was largely peaceful. By 4 pm protesters had gone home and regular mosque activities resumed with afternoon prayers, they said.
The Local Germany

Two men injured in racist attack (UK)

Police are hunting three teenagers who assaulted, robbed and racially abused two Asian men in Aberdeen.

Police said the unprovoked attack took place on George Street between 2300 GMT and midnight on Friday.
The victims, who were also threatened with a knife, were left with bruising and swelling.
Their attackers - two young men and a woman - took two bikes from the men and went towards the city centre. All three are thought to be in their mid-teens.
One of the suspects was described as being about 16-20 years, 5ft 11in to 6ft tall, of medium build with short, wavy dark hair. He was wearing a long-sleeved white tracksuit top with red and blue bands on the cuffs, black tracksuit bottoms and white trainers.
The other teenager was described as being 5ft 7in, aged about 15-16, of medium build with short, cropped dark hair and was wearing a black dress jacket, dark jeans and boots.
The female was described as being about 16-years-old, 5ft 6in, of medium build, with black hair to shoulder length hair which was not tied up. She was wearing a black jacket, similar to a combat jacket, navy blue jeans and high-heeled boots.
BBC News

Seven arrested in FBI raids linked to Christian militia group (USA)

At least seven people, including some from Michigan, have been arrested in raids by a FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana as part of an investigation into an Adrian-based Christian militia group, a person familiar with the matter said.
The suspects are expected to make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Detroit on Monday.

On Sunday, a source close to the investigation in Washington, D.C. confirmed that FBI agents were conducting activities in Washtenaw and Lenawee counties over the weekend in connection to Hutaree, a Christian militia group. Detroit FBI Special Agent Sandra Berchtold told The Detroit News the federal warrants in the case are under court seal and declined further comment.
Sources have said the FBI was in the second day of raids around the southeastern Michigan city of Adrian that are connected to a militia group, known as the Hutaree, an Adrian-based group whose members describe themselves as Christian soldiers preparing for the arrival and battle with the anti-Christ.

WXYZ-TV reports that helicopters were spotted in the sky for much of Saturday night, and agents set up checkpoints throughout the area. Witnesses told the station that it was like a small army had descended on the area. The Department of Homeland Security and the Joint Terrorism Task Force are also involved in the raids.
Mike Lackomar, of Michiganmilitia.com, said both The Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia and the Michiganmilitia.com were not a part of the raid.
Lackomar said he heard from other militia members that the FBI targeted the Hutaree after its members made threats of violence against Islamic organizations.
"Last night and into today the FBI conducted a raid against homes belonging to the Hutaree. They are a religious cult. They are not part of our militia community," he said.
Lackomar said he was told there were five arrests Saturday and another five early Sunday. The FBI declined to comment.
One of the Hutaree members called a Michigan militia leader for assistance Saturday after federal agents had already began their raid, Lackomar said, but the militia member -- who is of Islamic decent and had heard about the threats -- declined to offer help. That Michigan militia leader is now working with federal officials to provide information on the Hutaree member for the investigation, Lackomar said Sunday.

"They are more of survivalist group and in an emergency they withdraw and stand their ground. They are actively training to be alongside Jesus," he said.
Sources from the Michigan militia community said one of the FBI raids took place Saturday during a wake for a Hutaree member who had died of natural causes. A Hutaree leader was arrested during the wake while at the same time agents were conducting raids at other locations.
The Associated Press is reporting that FBI spokesman Scott Wilson in Cleveland said agents arrested two people Saturday in northwest Ohio. A third arrest was made in Illinois on Sunday, a day after raids in northwest Indiana.
Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on Islamic-American Relations of Michigan, made an announcement Sunday during the group's 10th anniversary banquet about receiving a call from a network journalist about the alleged threat against Muslims.
"Don't allow this news to scare you away from practicing your faith," said Walid.
Audible gaps were heard throughout the banquet hall when the news was announced. Walid said he will call local authorities about more information on the allegations. He urged local Muslims to recommitt themselves to their faith in light of the accusations.
Detroit News