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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.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Swastika art triggers outcry in Poland

A huge poster of a Nazi swastika behind a 1940s-style naked pin-up model clad only in a Mickey Mouse-mask and stretched across a building has stirred controversy in Poznan, western Poland.

A new art gallery is using the work titled "NaziSexyMouse" by Italian artist Max Papeschi to advertise an exhibition, but a city councillor has tried to take legal action, saying it violates a law banning the display of Nazi symbols.

Vandals have also ripped a gaping hole in the two-storey high poster, forcing the gallery to put up a new one.

"For Poles, the swastika symbolises the suffering and death of more than six million Poles," said councillor Norbert Napieraj.

"Exhibiting this symbol in the city centre is a particularly disgraceful and disgusting act."

Six million Polish citizens, half of them Jewish, died under Nazi Germany's occupation of their country during World War II.
But the public prosecutor's spokeswoman Malgorzata Mikos-Fita told AFP on Friday that no legal action would be taken against the gallery for publicly displaying the poster as "it did not break the law."

Gallery curator Maria Czarnecka said that "we don't have to remove it as it's a work of art. If it were just a swastika, it would be propagating Nazi symbols. The law allows such symbols to be used in academic and artistic contexts."

The Local Germany


Rastko Pocesta does not talk like a typical Serbian schoolboy. “The ideology of fascism has many forms,  and this is so in Serbia, where fascism is present at a worrying level. On the one hand we have the white nationalist Stormfront, and on the other there is the clerico-fascist militant sect Obraz. The majority in Serbia considers Ratko Mladic a national hero, instead of calling him a war criminal, and it is the majority that is to blame for the proliferation of fascist ideology in the country.” Views like these, aired in public, have earned Pocesta, who turned 12 this January, a degree of local and even international fame. But he has also been the target of online slurs and says there have even been physical threats. On his Facebook page, Pocesta describes himself as an independent human rights activist, a vocation he says came to him after watching other Serbian liberal activists on television. After his own TV appearance earlier this year where he talked of his book on U.S. presidents, and after participation in a public forum on the question of whether Serbia should join NATO, threats began to be posted on his Facebook page by sympathizers of Serbia’s numerous extreme right-wing groups, many of whom, like Pocesta, use the Internet as their prime vehicle of communication . He favors recognizing the independence of Kosovo and punishing the perpetrators of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, and supports Serbia’s membership in the EU and NATO – all positions that are fiercely opposed by various nationalist parties and groups. He says he’s also been verbally attacked at his school and on the streets. Most of his fellow pupils steer clear of him, something that makes him feel even more isolated at times, even as he’s become a minor celebrity on the strength of mentions by Serbia’s B92, the BBC, the Financial Times, and Die Welt. Pocesta’s mother, Suzana, has repeatedly informed the police of the threats but says she can’t “put a lock” on her child’s brain to shield him from the dangers. Despite worries for his safety, Suzana says she fully supports her son’s activism, while stressing that he is capable of making his own judgments. Pocesta attends the St. Sava secondary school in Belgrade’s Vracar district. Even though many of his teachers do not share their excellent pupil’s convictions, some say they are concerned about the boy’s security. At home, he spends most of his time reading or working at his computer, says he doesn’t sleep a lot, and isn’t much interested in playing with other kids. What a person does is a matter of personal choice, Pocesta says, adding he doesn’t understand why everyone in his age group should behave the same.

Fascism and Ageism
“The easiest way to expose youth to fascist ideas is through the Internet, and that is how new promoters of ‘blood and soil’ ideology are actually recruited,” Pocesta said. “However, we should not underestimate the positive effects social networks could have, especially when it comes to young people, who are still in the process of shaping their views, and who use the Internet as a source of information.” He’s worried that the proliferation of violent propaganda via the Internet is seen as a marginal phenomenon in Serbia, because the threat of extremism is far from limited to an inner circle of believers, the boy believes. He accuses “self-styled democrats” of covertly, or perhaps unconsciously, promoting neo-fascist and extreme views, not through “classical forms of fascism” but what he calls “cultural fascism and its various forms, and maybe social Darwinism – which is close to racism – especially in liberal circles.” Pocesta says he was interested in politics from an early age, but his initial inspiration to become an activist came from one of Serbia’s most prominent human rights defenders and former critics of the Slobodan Milosevic regime, Biljana Kovacevic Vuco, who died in April. Her appearance on a TV show more than a year ago “gave me a glimpse into an ugly image of the place I lived in. It was then that I realized that, no matter how small my contribution to society, I wished to do my bit,” he said. That new-found sense of mission only became stronger when he began to follow the TV appearances of prominent activists such as Boris Milicevic (a gay activist), Svetozar Ciplic, and Marko Karadzic of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights – as well as “those from the other side, like Mladen Obradovic from the Obraz movement. … After searching the Internet and reading a lot on the subject, I began to get more and more focused on human rights issues in my country. “I find it strange that the topic of human rights is pretty low on the scale of things that others my age talk about,” he said. What’s more, he claims that he and other youngsters are often the victims of discrimination themselves on grounds of age, citing the example of his appearance at the public discussion of Serbia’s NATO prospects. “After I finished my speech, in which I explained that Serbia and its political elites incline toward Russia and other totalitarian regimes, a gentleman, who was a respected citizen of Pancevo where the forum took place, said it was extremely inappropriate to bring ‘kids with no elementary school’ in for such a serious debate.” Pocesta says he reminded the man of the career of Hugo Grotius, a 17th-century Dutchman who became an expert in international law after entering university at age 11, and similar cases. Upon which, “the gentleman’s tone went from roughly provocative to quiet and gentle,” he said.

Is the Internet to Blame for Hate Speech?
Pocesta is not alone in being the target of abuses and threats, as the recent experiences of others – including gays and lesbians, talk-show hosts, and Karadzic of the Human Rights Ministry – show. Goran Miletic, a human rights lawyer for the Civil Rights Defenders organization, says the real boom in hard-line nationalist views and hate speech directed against national or other minorities coincided with the rapid growth in Internet use. “The Internet is a good place to find literally anything one could want and, what is even more important, meet like-minded people with whom one can easily exchange ideas, at the same time feeling secure and reaffirming that your attitude is the right one,” Miletic said. “It is there that one makes that unhappy step from reading literature to preparing for ‘action’ against those considered unacceptable for a so-called ‘healthy Serbian society.’ “ Like Pocesta, Miletic believes that declared democrats and liberals can also hold dangerous beliefs, although less openly than people given to extreme or even moderate nationalism. A good example, he said, is the notorious statement by Belgrade Mayor Dragan Djilas, a member of President Boris Tadic’s Democratic Party, against a planned gay-rights march in the city: “Why should the gays march downtown, when they can love each other between four walls?” “That symbolizes a complete negation of human rights for a part of the society,” Miletic said. “The same goes for the idea that the Roma population should be fenced off with wire, or statements that they should go back to where they came from, which irresistibly recall the events of World War II.” The first step in taking hate speech from words to deeds is usually a threat made on a social network or online forum, Miletic said. “Then, in the absence of an official reaction, and when they realize the judicial system is indifferent to punishing threats and hate speech, these people are emboldened to repeat their conduct, this time in real life. Unfortunately, due to poor work by prosecutors and police, we are unable to see how closely these ‘real life’ attacks against minority groups, journalists, and human rights defenders are related to such activities on the Internet. In my opinion, this connection is much bigger than is assumed.”

Serbian society may be unprepared for the unfettered competition of ideas the Internet offers, says Miljenko Dereta, executive director of Civic Initiatives, one of the biggest NGOs in Serbia. “Deciding which views you are going to represent is a matter of a personal choice, but what we have to worry about more is that today’s ‘ideology offer’ is poor, uninspiring, and politically ineffective, and that there is a huge, wide open space for ideas and ideologies rooted in fascism,” Dereta said. “The only reason such ideas thrive in the virtual world, if at all, is a belief that such a space provides anonymity,” Dereta said. Online anonymity offers “a tantalizing ease of showing yourself to be courageous in advocating ideas from the extreme right. On the other hand, I’ve never found myself on such a web page except when I searched for it, which again proves that it is a matter of one’s personal choice.” He too argues that covert support from political elites, lack of judicial action, as well as the attitude of the Serbian Orthodox Church help to prop up extreme groups. Yet, so far, he believes that their online presence is restricted to relatively small circles of like-minded people, significantly limiting such groups’ influence. Pocesta says he is unfazed by the threats against him and will continue his activism and the writing career he began at the age of 9. In addition to political commentary and miscellany such as a message of condolence to the U.S. Senate after the death of veteran Senator Robert Byrd last month, his blog contains several poems in English touching on subjects from the earthquake in Haiti to his sadness over Yulia Tymoshenko’s loss in Ukraine’s presidential election. Hall of Presidents, his book of biographical sketches of American presidents, appeared last winter with financial support from his family. He says he’s now planning a book about “all forms of fascism, chauvinism, and discrimination.” Asked for more details of his early career, Pocesta instead urges the interviewer to wait, saying, “My memoirs will be published this autumn. There you will see everything about how I began as an activist.”



The organization of Bulgarian immigrants in Turkey, “Bulturk” has been conducting allegedly unauthorized polls in a few Bulgarian towns, the leader of the Bulgarian nationalist party “Ataka” has announced. The poll were conducted among citizens of towns with predominantly Muslim population. One of the questions have been whether they would like the names of their towns to be changed with Turkish ones. On Thursday, the leader of “Ataka”, Volen Siderov, said that he has informed the National State Security Agency about the case and is planning to discuss it with the PM Boyko Borisov as well. “This is a provocation to the Bulgarian identity,” Siderov said and added that the goal of “Bulturk” is to declare that Bulgaria has been a part of the Ottoman Empire and that it will be again joint to Turkey, not through military methods, but through economics. Siderov also said that the Bulgarian Muslims have been asked whether there was a discrimination against people who declare themselves Turkish. He said it was not clear what the poll could be used for. The nationalist leader called upon the Bulgarian party “Movement for Rights and Freedoms” (DPS) to comment on the matter and say their opinion whether the Bulgarian towns of Krumovgrad, Ardino and Momchilgrad should be renamed with Turkish names instead. Siderov also expressed concern whether “Bulturk” has been invited to Bulgaria to make their polls. “Obviously this organizations is acting with Turkey's assistance,” he said. In his words, the goal of the organization is to show that Bulgarian Muslims want to live in towns that have Turkish names. “This is a manifestation of separatism,” Siderov said. According to him, the poll has been conducted in 8 Bulgarian towns with predominantly Turkish population. The questions included whether Bulgaria has given up its assimilation policies and whether Turkish should be an official language in Bulgaria. The “Ataka” leader said that according to information he has, the polls have been conducted for a few days and last night “Bulturk” representatives have come to Bulgaria. He added that his party is ready for civil protests against the organization.