Jul 12 2012

Lincoln Underground Collective skill share

Lincoln Underground Collective are holding a skill share on Sat 28th July. As part of the day, there will be a discussion of anti-racism and anti-fascism. Here’s some information from their website:

Lincoln Underground Collective is pleased to announce its second Skill Share on Saturday 28th July 2012.

We hope to build on the success of last year’s event which featured workshops from Industrial Workers of the World, Anarchist Federation & Transition Lincoln, a report of which can be found here: https://lincolnundergroundcollective.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/luc-skill-share-report/

The event will take place at Croft Street Community Centre, a very well-equipped, accessible & spacious venue roughly 1/2 mile from the city centre. Venue website: http://www.croftstreetcentre.co.uk/

We are looking for local & regional groups who’d like to run discussions & workshops, so if you’d be interested in helping please contact us at lincolnundergroundcollective – at – riseup.net with details.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Jul 11 2012

The BNP’s god delusion

The Church of England voted this week to ban clergy from joining racist or discrimatory organisations.  This ban, targetted mostly at the BNP, has predictably been condemned by the fascist party, whose persecution complex has been further reinforced.  The BNP would dearly like to believe that God is on their side; in common with most strains of European (and US) fascism, identification with some variety of Christian belief is very important to them, especially as a perceived counterpoint to Islam.

Although the UK’s established church may have pushed the BNP away, the party have their  own pretend church to comfort them – the “Christian Council of Britain”.  This BNP front group, named as a conscious counterpoint to the Muslim Council of Britain, is headed by the “Reverend” Robert West.

 

Bigoted bible-bashing bell-end : Robert West

West, from Holbeach in Lincolnshire, is an interesting character. He has not been ordained into any recognised church, and has been unable to explain how he earns the title “Reverend”.  Presumably it helps him get a better deal on his car insurance?  West was expelled by Lincolnshire Tories for addressing the BNP and agreeing to front the Christian Council of Britain in 2006, and ever since has played the strange role of the “BNP’s vicar”, saying grace at party events, blessing the pudding at fundraising dinners, and popping up at events all over the East Midlands.

His mission with the Christian Council appears to be aiming to establish a god-given racism, as the organisation’s constitution blathers about “the godly importance of race and nation” and the establishment of “national homelands – by the will of God”, and similar racist wet-dreams.  It’s no surprise to find that the Council also expresses very “traditional” views on issues such as homosexuality and the role of women.  Religion and fascism have often shared socially conservative agendas, and the Council is the BNP’s laughable attempt to make a link between god and Griffin.

Unfortunately for Robert and his tiny pseudo-church, his views are rejected even by the mainstream church in the UK, let alone with the overwhelmingly secular population at large.  The BNP’s desperate attempt to co-opt religion for their own ends isn’t doing so well; Robert’s racist prayers don’t seem likely to be answered anytime soon.


Jul 9 2012

EDL rush to “defend” Derby Pride

Derbyshire Pride was due to be held in Derby city centre on Saturday. Unfortunately, due to the torrential rain the organisers had to call it off. This year, Derbyshire’s rain sodden LGBT community were joined by some unlikely punters – members of the various East Midlands divisions of the English Defence League.

The EDL were there, they said, to valiantly defend the Pride marchers against a threatened protest by a sad little group of homophobic Muslims, rather pompously named the Derby Muslim Action Force. A previous protest at Pride in 2010 managed to draw a grand total of 14 homophobes compared with the hundreds of participants in the event itself. It is not clear whether any of those involved in Pride were asked whether they wanted the EDL to attend or why the EDL thought they would be unable to protect themselves.

Now excuse me for being a little cynical but I suspect that the EDL, an organisation not known for its deep understanding of and sympathy towards LGBT issues, might have an ulterior motive here. Perhaps an opportunity to fight some Muslims and not look bad for a change? Perhaps an opportunity to fake some pro-LGBT credentials in the run up to their Bristol march (on the same day as Bristol Pride) next Saturday?

I say fake them because the EDL has a long history of homophobia and transphobia within its ranks, something that is condoned by the leadership of the organisation, although they never fail to use it as a stick to beat Muslims with. For example whilst Tommy Robinson has said “We have preachers of hate flying into this country regularly – week in, week out – promoting homophobia, homophobic views, anti-democratic views, just promoting hatred”, he himself invited the virulently homophobic Christian preacher, Terry Jones to the UK to speak.  Jones has opposed the election of a homosexual mayor with the slogan “No Homo Mayor” and has joined in homophobic campaigns with other extremist churches. Robinson, along with far right bedfellow, Paul Weston, leader of the British Freedom Party, has teamed up with the US-based Christian Action Network, granting them interviews on a number of occasions. CAN campaigns against gays and abortion as well as being anti-Muslim. When Ellen Degeneres came out CAN founder Martin Mawyer said that she was “dumping her filthy lesbian lifestyle right in the center of your living room” and that “If we allow the tidal wave of gay and lesbian smut to continue to pour into our homes, it will utterly consume us in no time at all!” The truth is that the EDL will cosy up to any islamophobes, regardless of their stance on homosexuality.

It’s no surprise, given this opportunistic approach to LGBT rights, that the most virulent homophobia and transphobia by the EDL’s footsoldiers is tolerated. For example, when the EDL Angels had a demo in London, the overwhelmingly male attendees heckled female counter-demonstrators with chants of “lesbian scum” and “back to the kitchen”. This is just the tip of the iceberg though, and EDL News have collected an archive of just some of the many homophobic and transphobic views expressed by EDL members, including the fabled LGBT division itself! From calling people faggots to accusing all homosexuals of being paedophiles, saying that sodomy is perverted and that gays kissing in public are sick, openly homophobic views seem to be quite acceptable within the EDL.

All of which has, unsurprisingly, led many LGBT rights campaigners to see the EDL as an enemy. Alan Shore writes “it sickens me when the Far Right and the EDL in particular jump on this bandwagon when they are clearly as bad if not worse than the other scum that gay people have to deal with everyday”. Prominent gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has simultaneously campaigned against the racism of the EDL and the homophobia of Islamists and has an interesting account of his experiences. Members of the EDL have since said he should be killed.

The East Midlands Infidels’ sudden interest in LGBT issues isn’t part of any consistent promotion of human rights or freedom. More than anything, it appears to be a smokescreen for setting up a fight with some of Derby’s most reactionary Muslims. As anti-fascists we must oppose both groups but given their relative strength, the EDL are the more important homophobes to target.


Jul 6 2012

Boston anti-immigration march called off again

Dean Everitt’s anti-immigration Boston Protest Group has voted not to hold a march against immigration. This is the second time the Lincolnshire group has cancelled a protest and on both occasions fears that it would be “hijacked” by fascists have motivated the decision. Indeed, the far right used Facebook to encourage people from outside town to attend the meeting and vote for the march but their attempt to influence the meeting seems to have failed.

Everitt, who was clearly disappointed with the result, has said that the march has been “postponed not cancelled” and is using the march as a threat against Boston Borough Council. The Council are in the process of writing a report into the effects of immigration and if they do not come up with a conclusion that Everitt is happy with the march will be back on. Everitt is quoted as saying he wants to be “heavily involved” in the writing of the report, although it is not clear what his qualifications for doing so would be.

Everitt tried to organise a similar march in October last year saying that “We are not racist…  but we are saying this place is now full and we should not have any more” and “they need to shut the floodgates.” Unsurprisingly, the BNP and EDL soon picked up on the alarmist language and fears about immigration and Everitt cancelled claiming that his event was being hijacked.


Jul 5 2012

Stop and search – not a fair cop

A report by Nottinghamshire police reveals that their uses of stop-and-search powers in 2011/12 have fallen disproportionately on black people, who are nine times more likely to be stopped than white people.  This is of course nothing new; although the extent of disproportionality has varied in recent years, it’s been an ongoing reality for some years that you’re more likely to be stopped in Notts if you’re black.  A recent national report (for which Notts police did not provide data) showed that the same reality exists – with varying degrees of disproportionality – nationwide.

As Notts police say on their own website, “Racist harassment is a crime…..Racist harassment is any offensive conduct or behaviour motivated by prejudice against a person because of their skin colour, nationality, ethnic origin or cultural background. ”  Unfortunately, it seems like the best way to get away with this particular crime is to wear a police uniform whilst doing it.

 


Jul 3 2012

It’s not all black and white

After Saturday’s disappointing turnout for the EDL in Dewsbury, the EDL tweeted a picture of Leicester member, Glen Warren, along with the caption “#BlackandWhiteUnite”.

It’s not the first time the EDL have pushed forward one of their non-white tokens in an attempt to show that they’re not racist. Nottingham’s Guramit Singh was given “leadership” status and a platform at demos until the fact that he had his own ideas led to him being sidelined by the real leadership of Tommy & Kev. And who can forget poor Abdul, the rather simple anti-Catholic sectarian from Glasgow, who was pushed forward at Bradford. But this tiny handful of figures can’t detract from the fact that the EDL is an overwhelmingly white movement and the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments of its followers are often founded on racist ideas. The eagerly exploited Glen Warrens are the exceptions that prove the rule.

But let’s look a bit more closely at this new poster boy for racial unity that the EDL are pushing forward. Glen is clear about his own background: “I may be 1/2 nigga but atleast I aint Afiscum”. Although he has been made to feel ashamed of his background he still tries to assert his superiority over what he thinks of as inferior races. Indeed, Glen comes in for quite a bit of stick for his racial identity from other nationalists who post stereotypical pictures of black people on his Facebook page and when Glen jokingly posted “wish i was a packi”, replied “You are lol” and “lucky you get away with what ya are” (along with jokes about “taigs” and racist murder).

 

Warren is an unapologetic racist himself making jokes about “Niggers”, threatening to “send the filthy muzzrats home” and writing the song “IF YOU ALL HATE IMMIGRANTS CLAP YOUR HANDS”.

 

Warren is not afraid to use violence to get his way even going as far as to proudly post about having knocked someone out on his Facebook profile. The violent approach extends into misogyny as well. He reposted “Take your ex out tonight (One bullet oughta do it)” with a smiley.

Glen Warren is a typical EDL member: virulently anti-Muslim, seeing the world through crude racial stereotypes, getting his way through violence and treating women as sexual objects. It is very fitting that the EDL are using him as a poster boy. But “Black and White Unite”? I don’t think so.


Jul 1 2012

What’s a racist Forest fan to do?

The recent news that Nottingham Forest is in advanced talks concerning take over by the wealthy Kuwaiti Al-Hasawi family has been met with a bit of a mixed reaction from xenophobic and anti-Muslim fans. They are happy to take the Kuwaitis’ money, of course, but less keen on the Islamic association with their club.

For Leicester City fans the situation is much easier. They’re pissing themselves laughing.

You may remember that back in January we reported on racist chanting by Forest fans at the Forest v Leicester match. Racist Forest fans have long taunted their local rivals with the claim that Leicester is a “town full of Pakis”, in reference to Leicester’s large Asian population. Now Leicester fans are getting their revenge.

Craig “Leicester” Elliott, organiser of Leicester EDL, wrote a post taking the piss out of racist Forest fans hoping that Al-Hasawi “makes all the pies halal, bans beer from the ground, turns the club shop into a mosque, replaces your matchday program with the quran and erects a model of the 5 pillars of islam at the trent end.” He specifically targeted Nottingham EDLer Jack Stevens for abuse.

Stevens was unapolagetic: “At least our muzzie putting money into us what r all the muzzies in lesta doin 4 ya … Still a town full of pakis !!!”. Nottingham EDL organiser, Richard Carroll agreed:

Craig they don’t chant “town full of pakis” cos of your ownership… Or cos your stadiums called prawn kung pow… It’s cos “your a town full of pakis..”

Good to see that there’s no relationship between racist Forest fans and Nottingham EDL then!

These idiots are fortunately a small minority. The majority just want to see our teams do well and good football being played. Only muppets like the EDL care about the race and religion of the people involved.