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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.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Cyprus problem is fuelling racism

In Nicosia last week, marchers from the ultra-nationalist youth group ELAM (Greek popular front) attacked  two Asian bystanders. A Nigerian man was beaten and forced into the path of a moving car.

This incident takes its place in the recent litany of violence against foreign workers, students or, in the most notorious case, a 15-year-old Afro-Cypriot assaulted by 40 of her classmates while their teachers stood by. Earlier this year, the Palestinian community centre in Larnaca was vandalised, while the headquarters of the anti-racist organisation KISA are regularly graffitied with swastikas.

It is typical for another reason – the general absence of public sympathy. The teachers' union obstructed punishment of the schoolgirl's attackers, and the Cypriot police are so unwilling to even record racially aggravated assaults that many non-white migrants no longer bother. Listening to opinions on TV phone-ins and talk radio, it becomes clear that the attitude of wider society is that "i xeni" (foreigners) should not be here in the first place, and so deserve whatever they get.

There is an irony here, given the number of Cypriots who emigrated in the 60s and 70s to seek a better life abroad. Indeed, some estimates put the number of diaspora Cypriots as being greater than the remaining population of the island. As Denis MacShane remarked last week, Cypriots have become a formidable enough voting block in London that they may prove a significant obstacle to David Cameron's desire for closer ties with Turkey.

Of course, Cyprus is not alone in struggling to cope with rising immigration. Indeed, due to geographical proximity to both Africa and Asia, and to the porous Green Line, Cyprus has one of the highest rates of migration – both legal and illegal – in Europe.

Nonetheless, there is something uniquely callous in the Cypriot attitude to asylum seekers, economic migrants and, to put it most simply, non-whites of all kinds. It is more striking given the low crime and unemployment rates, the high GDP per capita compared with all neighbouring nations, and the island's long history of welcoming outsiders (such as refugees from the Armenian genocide in 1915).

The major source of such disregard for people outside one's own ethnic group is the Cyprus problem, and no solution currently on the table would address this. Whether one chooses to date the situation to the invasion by Turkey in 1974, the coup by junta-supported Greek Cypriots the same year, the bombings by Turkey in 1964, the attempt by Greek Cypriots to tear up the constitution in 1963, or simply to the British colonial strategy of divide and rule, the fact is that Cypriots have been split along ethnic lines far beyond living memory. The sandbags and barbed wire of the Green Line that runs through the middle of Nicosia are only the most potent reminder of this.

Since 1974, the international conversation about Cyprus has been of "bi-communal solutions". Both sides have formally committed to separate administrations for Greek and Turkish Cypriots plus a central assembly where representatives of the two sides will meet in equal numbers. Another possible solution, talked of with increasing frequency, is of a permanent partition into two states. External parties – the UN, EU, UK, Greece and Turkey – allow no other possibilities to be discussed.

Allowing only two ethnicities into the national conversation encourages zero-sum thinking, where "we" can only win if "they" lose. Both sides try hard to portray themselves as the only victims of the conflict, often in toe-curlingly exaggerated language.

Like all victim complexes, the Cypriot version leaves little room for nuanced understanding of a newly multicultural country. Faced in the 1950s with the need to formally assign minorities to one of the two permitted groups, Cypriot authorities decided the question along religious lines, with the mostly Muslim Roma becoming "Turkish" and the Catholic Maronites "Greek". How might they deal with today's growing Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish populations? Why should their descendants be forced to become "Greek" or "Turkish"?

Without external pressure to admit that the biggest injustices on the island these days are practiced against non-indigenous populations, Cypriots will continue to assume a pose of self-righteous victimhood.

The Guardian

BNP vote collapses (UK)

The British National Party percentage vote nearly halved in the space of two months in a ward in  Wolverhampton, thanks to 23 trade union volunteers who campaigned against the fascist party.

In a five-way fight the BNP candidate, Stewart Gardner, took just 131 votes, amounting to 6.6% in a by-election on 29 July. Anti-fascists delivered a glossy local leaflet to the ward’s 4,800 homes giving the trade union alternative to the BNP.

The result was that 78% of the 589 people who voted BNP in May did not do so last month.

The local Trade Union Council has run a campaign against the BNP, leafleting every home, in every election since the party started fielding candidates five years ago. The BNP has never won a seat and has not even improved on the result it obtained the first time it stood.

Hope Not Hate


Arononon Touray was looking at his friend cycling on the Hal Far road leading towards Birzebbuga when, without warning, a pick-up truck pulled up next to the cyclist. A group of young men got out of the pick-up, approached his friend, shoved him to the ground, laughing heartily as they did so, then sped away moments later as if they had done nothing out of the ordinary. It was this and other similar incidents of discrimination that prompted Mr Touray and other migrants in Malta to join forces and form a ‘network’ to fight for their rights. Migrant communities, which include Somalis, Eritreans, Sudanese and Ivorians, have been meeting for the past four months to discuss their most pressing issues before yesterday’s launch of the network for equality, Mr Touray explained. Besides sending a letter to Justice and Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici calling him to address some of the most pertinent issues in their quest for equality, the migrants’ network also said that they are in the process of writing to Cecilia Malmstrom, the EU’s Commissioner for Home Affairs, to highlight the plight of migrants in Malta.

Speaking on behalf of the group at yesterday’s launch in the Common Room of the university, Mr Touray said that “migrants are still heavily discriminated against in Malta, simply because we have a different skin colour. “In the time we have spent living here, we have met countless persons who were kind to us and treated us as equals. “However, others are treating us like second class citizens. On several occasions we have been subjected to verbal abuse, refused the right to board a bus, denied the right to rent an apartment and have had to work in appalling conditions, simply because of our skin colour. “To compound matters, we have to deal with attacks from those who cannot control their racial hatred towards us and several of us have been beaten up, the most tragic one being Suleiman Abubaker, who lost his life in Paceville after allegedly being beaten by a bouncer and passers-by,” said Mr Touray. A few months later another friend of Mr Touray’s committed suicide because he could no longer tolerate the constant hardship he endured throughout his difficult life.

In the letter to Dr Mifsud Bonnici, the migrants outlined some of the struggles they have had to face on a day-to-day basis, and put forward a set of proposals for the government to consider “if it really wants the migrant community in Malta to achieve total equality”. Supported by 12 NGOs, which include the General Workers Union, Moviment Graffiti, Friends of the Earth, and 26 university academics among whom are Alternattiva Demokratika leader Michael Brigulio, Head of Sociology Department Mark-Anthony Falzon and philosopher Joseph Friggieri, the letter highlights six main issues that the migrants’ network feels the government should tackle immediately. These include clamping down on discrimination, stepping up the asylum application process that would grant migrants the right to move to other EU countries, and more assistance to migrants to help them find adequate accommodation and employment. “We urge the Maltese government to reopen the debate in the European Parliament to discuss the granting of rights to travel, live and work in EU countries for people with protection, since Malta was the only country which opposed this proposal in December 2008. We believe that granting such rights could help tackle some of the negative effects of the Dublin Regulation as it would, at least, make it possible for some people to go and live in other EU countries,” added Mr Touray, quoting from the letter address to Dr Mifsud Bonnici.

Unemployment rights and ‘miserable open centre conditions’

For Alidu Osman, another spokesperson of the migrants’ network, a further pressing social issue that needs changing is the migrants’ right to unemployment benefits. “We think that people who have been working and who have paid at least 50 National Insurance contributions over a period of two years or less should be given the right, as the Maltese are, to receive unemployment benefits,” he said. Around this time last year, migrants protested, albeit peacefully, that they could no longer endure living conditions in the Marsa and Hal Far open centres. When asked whether last year’s protests had reaped rewards, Mr Osman replied: “Conditions did improve, albeit for a short while, but now the situation has returned to the way it was before the protests, and life is now again as miserable as it was before. “To add insult to injury, a fire in one of the hangars at Hal Far last May has further worsened living conditions. The government has to realise that putting scores of migrants in a desolate aircraft hangar is simply not a feasible long term option,” he said. It was also wrong and unjust to divide migrants into two groups, commented Mr Osman, when asked to give his views on the recent group of migrants who were sent back to Libya while some of those who had travelled with them on the same boat were allowed to stay in Malta.

“Most of us have done our utmost to escape from countries torn by civil war and unrest. For the majority, the only option was to make our way to Libya and escape from there. The group of migrants who are now back in Libya are probably doomed to a life of more struggle and hardship,” said Mr Osman. Taking into consideration such factors, it is no wonder that migrants do everything to escape from Malta, at times even illegally, Moviment Graffiti spokesperson André Callus said yesterday. “Many of those who are caught attempting to flee from Malta with invalid documentation are sent back and when charged and arraigned in court with the offence, are given a minimum six-month jail term. This, all the NGOs feel, is a gross injustice, since it is often the case that suspended sentences are handed down by magistrates to people who commit an illegal act for the first time,” stated Mr Callus.

Malta Independant


Prosecutors from Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein found 12 shell companies whose Liechtenstein bank accounts Haider had access to, Profil magazine reported. The accounts currently still have 5 million euros of deposits, it said. The money was found in an investigation by Austrian and German authorities into the near-collapse of Austrian bank Hypo Group Alpe Adria, once owned by the Austrian region of Carinthia, which Haider governed until he died in a car crash in 2008. Haider’s Carinthia and a group of mainly German and Austrian investors sold a majority stake in Hypo to Germany’s BayernLB in 2007 in a deal that ultimately proved disastrous. Hypo had to be nationalised last year to prevent a collapse. Prosecutors are investigating whether former managers, shareholders and business partners of Hypo lined their pockets at the expense of both Hypo and BayernLB. Claudia Haider, the far-right politician’s widow, denied any knowledge of the funds, adding “Nothing like that was described in the estate.”

The Telegraph

Mongolian neo-Nazis: Anti-Chinese sentiment fuels rise of ultra-nationalism

Alarm sounds over rise of extreme groups such as Tsagaan Khass who respect Hitler and reject foreign influence.
Their right hands rise to black-clad chests and flash out in salute to their nation: "Sieg heil!" They praise Hitler's devotion to ethnic purity.

But with their high cheekbones, dark eyes and brown skin, they are hardly the Third Reich's Aryan ideal. A new strain of Nazism has found an unlikely home: Mongolia.

Once again, ultra-nationalists have emerged from an impoverished economy and turned upon outsiders. This time the main targets come from China, the rising power to the south.

Groups such as Tsagaan Khass, or White Swastika, portray themselves as patriots standing up for ordinary citizens in the face of foreign crime, rampant inequality, political indifference and corruption.

But critics say they scapegoat and attack the innocent. The US state department has warned travellers of increased assaults on inter-racial couples in recent years – including organised violence by ultra-nationalist groups.

Dayar Mongol threatened to shave the heads of women who sleep with Chinese men. Three years ago, the leader of Blue Mongol was convicted of murdering his daughter's boyfriend, reportedly because the young man had studied in China.

Though Tsagaan Khass leaders say they do not support violence, they are self-proclaimed Nazis. "Adolf Hitler was someone we respect. He taught us how to preserve national identity," said the 41-year-old co-founder, who calls himself Big Brother.

"We don't agree with his extremism and starting the second world war. We are against all those killings, but we support his ideology. We support nationalism rather than fascism."

It is, by any standards, an extraordinary choice. Under Hitler, Soviet prisoners of war who appeared Mongolian were singled out for execution. More recently, far-right groups in Europe have attacked Mongolian migrants.

Not all ultra-nationalists use this iconography; and widespread ignorance about the Holocaust and other atrocities may help to explain why some do.

Tsagaan Khass points out that the swastika is an ancient Asian symbol – which is true, but does not explain the group's use of Nazi colours, the Nazi eagle and the Nazi salute; or the large picture of the Führer on Big Brother's cigarette case.

Nor does it seem greatly relevant, given their unabashed admiration for Hitler's racial beliefs.

"We have to make sure that as a nation our blood is pure. That's about our independence," said 23-year-old Battur, pointing out that the population is under three million.

"If we start mixing with Chinese, they will slowly swallow us up. Mongolian society is not very rich. Foreigners come with a lot of money and might start taking our women."

Big Brother acknowledges he discovered such ideas through the nationalist groups that emerged in Russia after the Soviet Union's fall; Mongolia had been a satellite state. But the anti-Chinese tinge is distinct and increasingly popular.

"While most people feel far-right discourse is too extreme, there seems to be a consensus that China is imperialistic, 'evil' and intent on taking Mongolia," said Franck Billé of Cambridge University, who is researching representations of Chinese people in Mongolia.

Hip hop tracks such as Don't Go Too Far, You Chinks by 4 Züg – chorus: "shoot them all, all, all" – have been widely played in bars and clubs. Urban myths abound; some believe Beijing has a secret policy of encouraging men to have sex with Mongolian women.

Yet Tsagaan Khass claims it welcomes law-abiding visitors of all races, and Big Brother can certainly be hospitable.
Enthusiastically shaking hands, he says: "Even though you are a British citizen, you are still Asian, and that makes you very cool."

He says the younger members have taught him to be less extreme and the group appears to be reshaping itself – expelling "criminal elements" and insisting on a good education as a prerequisite for membership. One of the leaders is an interior designer.

But critics fear ultra-nationalists are simply becoming more sophisticated and, quietly, more powerful. Tsagaan Khass say it "works closely" with other organisations and is now discussing a merger.

"Some people are in complete denial … [but] we can no longer deny this is a problem," said Anaraa Nyamdorj, of Mongolia's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Centre.

The US state department has noted increased reports of xenophobic attacks since the spring. The UN country review cites a recent vicious assault on three young transgender women. When one of the victims publicly blamed an ultra-nationalist group – not Tsagaan Khass – death threats quickly followed.

"They are getting more support from the public," added Enkhjargal Davaasuren, director of the National Centre Against Violence, who fears that ultra-nationalists are growing more confident and victims too scared to come forward. She pointed to a YouTube video posted last year, showing a man roughly shaving a woman's long hair. The victim's face is buried in her hands, but her hunched body reeks of fear.

Others in Ulan Bator suggest the movement is waning and suspect the groups' menacing stance and claims of 3,000 members are bluster. Billé thinks there is "a lot of posturing".

"We have heard of instances [of violence]. They are not necessarily all right or all wrong," said Javkhlan, a Tsagaan Khass leader. But the group is simply a "law enforcement" body, he maintained: "We do checks; we go to hotels and restaurants to make sure Mongolian girls don't do prostitution and foreigners don't break the laws.

"We don't go through and beat the shit out of everyone. We check our information and make sure it's true."

They rely on police and media pressure to reform such businesses, he added. And if that failed? "We try to avoid using power," he said. "That would be our very last resort."

The Guardian

'Racist' powder attacks closed hospital A & E and police station (UK)

Police have made four arrests after attacks on three men with powder from a fire extinguisher sparked a  major chemical alert which closed a hospital A&E department and a police station.

Firefighters and police officers were called to North Manchester General in Crumpsall after one of the victims rushed there with burns to his face.

The A&E department was closed, and part of Collyhurst police station was also shut after a second victim went there. Both buildings were later reopened when it was discovered that the powder was harmless.

Four men have been arrested and police say that because black men were targeted in the attacks, they are treating them as racially aggravated incidents.

The scare began when taxi driver Kalu Amah was sprayed as he sat in his cab near Harpurhey market. The powder burned his face and he rushed to North Manchester General.

Bosses there were informed and they immediately closed the A&E department, shortly after 3pm yesterday.

Twenty patients and ten staff were quarantined in the ward while tests were carried out on Mr Amah and his clothing.
The incident came after reports that a man had also been covered in powder in Jersey Street, Ancoats, just after 2.30pm.

And in a third case a man reported being targeted in Blueberry Avenue, Moston at 5.40pm.

One of the men went to Collyhurst police station to report the incident and part of the station had to be closed while tests were carried out. Mr Amah, 42, from Moston, was treated at the hospital and later released. He told how he was sprayed by a group of youths in a car.

He said: "My windows were down, and a blue Ford pulled up beside me.

"I thought the driver was going to ask for directions, but before I knew it they sprayed me in the face with something.

"I saw two black pipes, but it all happened in a second. It was powdery and white, all over my face. My eyes and nose were burning.

"It not only wasted my time and money, they wasted the time of the ambulance, police and fire brigade.

"I’m really angry about it. People don’t realise what they are doing."

Sadie Kirkham, 45, from Harpurhey, was in North Manchester General’s A&E with her husband as he waited for a back X-ray. Mrs Kirkham said: "We were then told there was a major chemical incident and we all had to be locked in for our own safety.

"Some people who had nipped outside for a cigarette couldn’t get back in to see their children. We didn’t know what on earth it was. It could have been anthrax or anything. I think they did the right thing in keeping us in."

Watch commander Ian Hanley said that tests had revealed the chemical was from a fire extinguisher and not dangerous.

The four men arrested were detained on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and remain in police custody.

Detective Inspector Alex Nicholson said: "We believe there are other victims out there who have had powder thrown onto them. While it is important they seek medical advice it is equally important they call the police.

"The vast majority of victims were black men and we are treating this as a racially aggravated series of attacks."

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 3540 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Manchester Evening News

Anti-racism group furious after MAS Carnival snub (Wlaes, UK)

Members of a Welsh anti-racism group say they are furious after their invite to participate in the weekend’s MAS parade was withdrawn at the last minute.

Cardiff Communities Against Racism was formed earlier this year in response to a march by the far-right English Defence League in the city in June.

Creator of the group Ross Saunders was contacted by South Wales Intercultural Community Arts (SIWCA), which organises the annual MAS carnival and invited them to participate.

But Cardiff council said yesterday that the group were asked not to come because the carnival “is not a vehicle for political protest”.

Spokesman for Cardiff Communities Against Racism Joe Fathallah said the group’s ethos was to bring communities in Cardiff together, which, he said, was what the MAS carnival is about.

“SIWCA said they would like to have us along on the parade,” he said.

“We made a banner and printed leaflets so people knew what we were about. We put in a lot of time and effort, but on Friday morning we had a phone call telling us that the council wouldn’t allow us to come along to the parade.

“They claimed it would be against the ethos of the carnival and politicise the event.”

The MAS carnival, which was first created in 1990 by SIWCA, celebrates the cultural diversity of South Wales.

A Cardiff council spokesperson said: “While Cardiff council supports the sentiments behind Cardiff Communities Against Racism, the inclusion of any non-performance group or organisation would change the whole artistic ethos of the carnival

“The MAS carnival is a multicultural community arts project that celebrates the diversity and multiculturalism of Cardiff. It is not a vehicle for political protest.

“However, we would be pleased to listen to any ideas Cardiff Communities Against Racism may have regarding promoting racial tolerance in our capital city.”

Wales Online