Who We Are

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

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

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Internet bigot Stephen Birrell facing prison term (UK)

A man is facing a jail term for posting sectarian comments about Catholics and Celtic fans on a Facebook page called "Neil Lennon Should be Banned".

Stephen Birrell, 28, from Gallowgate, Glasgow, admitted posting the religiously prejudiced abuse between 28 February and 8 March this year.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how he was caught after a police crackdown on sectarian internet campaigns.

Sentence on Birrell was deferred and he was told to expect a prison term.

The court heard how Birrell committed the offences just days after being released earlier from a 12-month jail sentence.

Celtic abuse
Prosecutor Mark Allan told the court that a special team of officers began investigating hate comments on the internet after the so-called Old Firm "shame game" on 3 March this year.

Mr Allan said: "They came across a site called 'Neil Lennon Should Be Banned' and noted that the accused had made various comments on the Facebook page."

On 1 March, two days before the Old Firm match, Birrell posted: "Hope they (Celtic fans) all die. Simple. Catholic scumbags ha ha."

On 4 March, the day after the game, he wrote: "Proud to hate Fenian tattie farmers. Simple ha ha."

Four days later Birrell posted: "They're all ploughing the fields the dirty scumbags."

He also posted abuse directed at the Pope.

The court was told that the police traced Birrell to his then home in Dalmarnock on 23 April.

Deferring sentence for background reports, Sheriff Bill Totten told Birrell: "What you wrote was vile and hateful there is no place for these kind of remarks in our city or in our country."

Sheriff Totten told Birrell that his comments could encourage impressionable people to behave in this way and were unacceptable.

He added: "You should be under no doubt very real harm does result from this. A substantial custodial sentence will probably have to be imposed in this case."

The sheriff will also consider whether to ban Birrell from attending football matches.

BBC News

A.J. man indicted in case of bombs meant for border (Neo-Nazi, USA)

Jeffrey Harbin
An Apache Junction man who was a former member of a group with neo-Nazi ties is facing up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for bomb-related offenses.

Jeffrey Harbin, 28, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to possession of unregistered destructive devices and the unlawful transportation of explosive material.

Harbin will be sentenced Dec. 13 before Judge Neil Wake. He was charged with the crimes in January when he was pulled over in Apache Junction and officers discovered one of the grenade-like devices in his truck. After a search warrant was executed in his home, authorities discovered about a dozen of the devices.

Authorities say Harbin created them using polyvinyl chloride in a container filled with gunpowder, ball bearings and an improvised fusing system, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Harbin, who was a member of the neo-Nazi-linked National Alliance and formerly in the National Socialist Movement, had planned to take the bombs to the Mexico border, according to court documents. Authorities say used ball bearings to make them more dangerous.

According to authorities, Harbin was recruited into the National Socialist Movement by J.T. Ready, a former Mesa City Council candidate who leads patrols throughout Pinal County and other parts of Arizona in an effort to apprehend illegal immigrants. Ready says he no longer is a member.

The investigation leading up to Harbin’s indictment was led by the FBI and members of the Phoenix Joint Terrorism Task Force.

East Valley Tribune

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Wellington English Defence League demo cost police £342,500 (UK)

The cost of policing rallies by the English Defence League (EDL) and their opponents in a Shropshire town last month was £342,500.

The home secretary had banned a planned EDL march in Wellington amid fears of disorder but about 400 people from opposing groups still went to the town.

More than 40 people were arrested as rival groups clashed on 13 August.

A report to West Mercia Police Authority said £300,000 was spent on bringing in officers from other forces.

The match between AFC Telford United and Luton Town, due to be held on the same day in Telford, was also postponed because of fears of trouble.

The report by Chief Constable David Shaw said three police officers were assaulted during the clashes but none were seriously hurt.

BBC News

Swiss MPs vote for burqa ban

Swiss MPs have approved a far-right move to impose a ban on the burqa or other face coverings in some public places, including on public transport.

With 101 votes against 77, the lower chamber of the house approved the motion, which was titled "masks off!", on Wednsday.

The draft bill will still have to be examined by the upper chamber.

Put forward by Oskar Freysinger, a politician of the Swiss far-right SVP party, the motion requires "anyone addressing a federal, cantonal or communal authority exercising his or her functions, to present themselves with their faces uncovered."

Burqas would also be banned on public transport, while "authorities can ban or restrict access to public buildings to such individuals in order to guarantee the security of other users."

Explaining the motion, Freysinger noted that "at a time when insecurity is growing in our streets, more and more people are hiding their faces behind a balaclava, a mask or a burqa.

"This makes it impossible to identify these people, a fact that is particularly troublesome in case of violence or identity checks," he noted.

France was the first European Union country to impose a ban on the burqa in public places, while Belgium joined it some months later.

On September 16, the Dutch government also agreed to a ban on the full Islamic veil under a deal with the far-right party of the anti-immigration MP Geert Wilders.

Sydney Morning Herald

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Leading Jobbik figure assaulted by right-wing radical at rally (Hungary)

Zsolt Tyirityán, head of the radical right-wing Betyársereg group, struck Jobbik MP Előd Novák at a rally in Gyula on Saturday, sending his glasses flying and cutting his lip. After Tyirityán (left) demanded that Novák tell him why he had called him a jailbird, Novák said he condemns efforts by some in the Betyársereg to “make imprisonment a virtue”. Tyirityán then struck Novák. A brief scuffle developed between those at hand and members of Betyársereg.

Novák said he will not file a report, as the matter was resolved “within the house,” but the executive committee of Jobbik discussed it and decided to take action.

Novák said Jobbik and Betyársereg had not been allies, as there was “only peaceful coexistence” between them, adding “this will not be so from now on”.


Padiham mayor admits making racist remark (UK)

The mayor of Padiham has been ordered to undergo ethnicity training after admitting making a racist comment to a call centre worker.

Coun Bob Clark referred to a member of staff at Calico Housing as a 'bloody P...' during a conversation about a resident of the town who had been locked out of his home after losing his keys.

A standards committee hearing at Burnley Town Hall yesterday found that Coun Clark had breached the councillors Code of Conduct for failing to treat others with respect and had brought Padiham Town Council into disrepute.

Coun Clark could have faced a six-month suspension but the committee decided his previous good character and work for the town did not merit that punishment.

If he had been suspended it could have opened the door for deputy mayor BNP councillor John Cave taking over the role.

The committee, made up of independent chair Andrew Neville, parish representative Gill Smith and borough councillor Julie Cooper, ordered Coun Clark to write a letter of apology, which he had already done, and to undertake ethnicity and diversity training.

The complaint against Coun Clark followed a telephone conversation with Calico worker Hazif Rehman on March 10 this year.

This item continues at Burnley Citizen

BNP leader to seek support in Hastings (UK)

Controversial right-wing figure Nick Griffin is set to return to Hastings to rally support for the British National Party.

The much-maligned politician made a clandestine visit to 1066 Country back in 2008 amid much posturing from the party’s local branch which, at the time, was predicting electoral success at the then approaching local elections.

Mr Griffin spoke to BNP supporters at a meeting of Hastings-based members – with organisers taking the unusual step of meeting activists on a corner in Hollington and then leading them to a secret venue.

He spoke to the Observer and trumpeted his party’s plans to return Hastings to its former glories.

Speaking to the Observer, he said: “Tourists come visit the town expecting to see somewhere connected to 1066 and the Battle of Hastings. They are expecting an English seaside town - not what it has become now.”

His visit attracted a string of criticism – from the town’s then MP Michael Foster and a band of anti-fascists called Hastings United Against Fascism (HUAF), which organised a protest movement locally.

And, according to local sources, this particular political hot potato is set to kick-off again, with rumours suggesting Mr Griffin is pencilled in to speak at a meeting of the BNP on October 23 here in Hastings.

Nobody from the BNP was available to confirm the details, but a spokesman for HUAF said that if its members found out where the event was taking place, they would almost certainly mark the occasion with a protest.

Hastings Observer

Friday, 23 September 2011

Norwegian Far Right MP Quits After Being Filmed With Latvian Prostitute

Bård Hoksrud, a representative for Norway's Progress Party, has stepped down from political duties after he was filmed soliciting sex from a Latvian prostitute, reports The Foreigner.

Hoksrud was in Latvia's capital, Riga last week with the Party's Youth Movement when he was filmed entering a brothel and leaving with a prostitute half an hour later.

The next day, cameramen from Norway's TV2 station entered the establishment where one prostitute confirmed that Hoksrud was her client, later stating that the two had sex.

Hoksrud denied this latter claim, but did confirm that he had paid the prostitute for services. And apparently at an above average rate.

The footage of Hoksrud leaving the brothel was aired on Norway's national television last night. It is the third major sex scandal to hit the far-right party after one prominent member was arrested last year for filming several young boys in his shower. Additionally, in 2001, Terje Søvikness, then the Mayor of Os, had sex with a 16-year-old girl at the Progress Party conference.

The Progress Party was also linked to the terror attacks carried out by Anders Breivik this summer, when it emerged that he had been a member of the far-right party from 1999 to 2004. Its leader, Siv Jensen was quick to distance her party from the attacks.

Business insider

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Holocaust survivors protest far-right official (Czech Rep)

Czech Holocaust survivors are calling for the dismissal of a controversial senior education official who led a far-right party.

The Terezin Initiative, an organization of former Jewish prisoners of Nazi concentration camps, says Ladislav Batora should be fired because of his links to the far right scene "infamous for its anti-Semitic and xenophobic" views.

Batora denies he's an extremist. But he led a far-right party and praised an anti-Semitic book. He recently criticized U.S. ambassador Norman Eisen for his support of a gay pride parade in Prague.

Batora, the former director of the ministry's human resources department is a deputy head of Education Minister Josef Dobes' office.

The survivors also criticized President Vaclav Klaus on Tuesday for backing Batora.

Taiwan News


The issue of Nazi symbols has come to the fore over the last decade as Swiss National Day celebrations on the Rütli on August 1st have increasingly been disrupted by right-wing extremists, newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reports. The Rütli is a meadow above the slopes of Lake Lucerne in the Swiss canton of Uri where the oath of the Old Swiss Confederacy is remembered every year. There skinheads have openly displayed Nazi flags and symbols such as “SS”, a Nazi army emblem, and English sports brand Lonsdale, the middle letters of which stand for the first letters in the acronym for the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), the Nazi party in Germany from 1919 to 1945. After former government minister Kaspar Villiger was booed by a neo-Nazi mob during his speech on the Rütli on August 1st 2000, politicians called for action to close a legal loophole. The public use and dissemination of racist symbols has actually been forbidden in Switzerland since a new anti-racism law came into effect in 1995. However, a clause states that the display of offensive symbols is only banned when they are used to promote a corresponding ideology, a correlation that is often difficult to prove. For example, Nazi war flags cannot be confiscated at the Swiss border if the owner claims not to be spreading propaganda.

After the neo-Nazi provocation on the Rütli both the Federal Council and National Council, the lower house of parliament, voted for the proposed ban, while the majority of cantons and associations also voted in favour. The Swiss police officers' association at the time said they would welcome “the introduction of a tool to fight this phenomenon, which is poisoning our society and democracy”. The police association called for a clear identification of the symbols that should be banned and several cantons and parties agreed. However, the far-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and the FDP (Liberals) rejected the new legal provision on the grounds that it was not sufficiently clear. Then in 2010, the Federal Council also decided to renounce the new legal provision. The government said it was too difficult to exactly define which symbols should be banned because right-wing extremists not only use unambiguous symbols like the swastika or Nazi salute, but also other symbols and codes such as the number 88, a numeric repesentation of of the phrase “Heil Hitler”. “Such a new legal provision would lead to boundary issues between legal and illegal behaviour,” the government noted. These arguments and the reference to the existing anti-racism law won the politicians over and in June the National Council also rejected the proposed legal change. On Tuesday the Council of States, the upper house of parliament, followed suit.

Marcel Niggli, a professor of criminal law at the University of Freiburg, told the Tages-Anzeiger he believed the hands-off approach was “a scandal”. “With their resistance, the parliament has cemented the unsatisfactory legal situation and delegated responsibility to the police.” After the scenes on the Rütli, police in Canton Uri asked what action they could take against Nazi symbols. “A police officer must decide if someone is campaigning with a Nazi symbol or not,” Niggli said. That leads to a dilemma. If the police do nothing, they are accused of inaction, he said, whereas if they react they are seen to be suppressing freedom of expression. According to Niggli, it is possible to clearly define a law banning Nazi symbols such as the swastika, as Germany has done.

The Local Switzerland

Germany Bans Largest Neo-Nazi Group

Germany has banned its largest neo-Nazi association, the HNG, which supports prisoners with far-right views and their families, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday, the government's latest step to curb the influence of radical groups. The Help Organization for National Political Prisoners and their Families (HNG) is, say German authorities, a threat to society and works against the constitution. With the slogan "A front inside and outside," the HNG seeks to reinforce prisoners' right-wing views and motivate them to continue their struggle against the system, said the ministry. "It is no longer acceptable that imprisoned right-wing extremists are being strengthened by the HNG in their aggressive stance against the free, democratic order," Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said in a statement. "By rejecting the democratic constitutional state and glorifying National Socialism, the HNG tried to keep right wing radical criminals in their own milieu," the ministry said.

The group, founded in 1979, has some 600 members. The ban follows raids in which police seized material from leading HNG members across Germany. Although far-right groups attract most support in the eastern states, where unemployment is high and prospects few, the raids took place in western states including Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia. Germany's domestic intelligence agency has said that far-right groups have in the last few years sought to use the financial crisis and euro zone debt crisis to prove that the capitalist system has failed. The ban comes two weeks after the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), which espouses the end of parliamentary democracy, regained seats in the state assembly of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It is also represented in Saxony. Right wing groups in Germany, including the NPD, are more radical than populist, anti-immigration parties in the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Sweden which have enjoyed greater success at the ballot box.

Germany's Office for the Protection of the Constitution describes the NPD as racist, anti-Semitic and revisionist and says its statements prove its inspiration comes from the Nazis. The party says the German constitution is a "diktat" imposed by victorious Western powers after World War Two. Germany has banned several right-wing groups in the last few years but critics say the government needs to do more to weed out extreme views which permeate society. "It is a sensible, if overdue, step to ban a criminal Organization like the HNG," said Anetta Kahane, head of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation which supports projects to boost civil society. "But we need to do more to educate people so that they can resist right-wing ideas. For example, judges and the police need to be educated to deal with extremists," she told Reuters. "The problem of neo-Nazis has not gone away." The police and judicial systems in several eastern German states have been condemned for failing to recognize and tackle the problem of neo-Nazi crime.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Security chief warns of 'radicalised' Australians

Australia's security chief has warned of the risk of "radicalised" home-grown extremists committing terror acts, adding that "lone wolf" attacks such as occurred in Norway could not be ruled out.

David Irvine, Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), said that a decade after the September 11 attacks on the United States, "radicalised" youth posed a realistic threat.

"In terms of current threats, the fact that Al-Qaeda and its associated anti-Western transnational terrorist partners have declared Australia to be a legitimate target of attack continues to be a major concern," he said.

"Of equal concern is that small numbers of Australians have absorbed the ideology of violent religious extremism and have planned or are contemplating and planning acts of terrorism in Australia or overseas.

"This home-grown brand of terrorism, involving mostly young Australians who have been 'radicalised' either by Australian extremists or by overseas inspiration, requires constant vigilance."

In an address late Monday to Adelaide University, Irvine said an event similar to the July bomb and gun attacks which killed 77 people in Norway could not be ruled out in Australia. Far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has confessed to the attacks.

"Particular worries are the so-called 'lone wolf' or 'stand-alone' groups who act independently and throw off few clues as to malicious intent," Irvine said.

He praised the work of Australian authorities, particularly ASIO, in preventing a terror attack on home soil for many years.

"Nevertheless, planning for terrorist attacks on Australian soil has occurred and has been thwarted by ASIO and its law enforcement partners since 9/11," he said.

"Our job is to predict and alert, thereby to prevent the bomb going off."

Irvine, who has headed ASIO since March 2009 and previously led Australia's overseas secret intelligence collection agency (ASIS), said balancing the need to protect the country against personal privacy was a constant concern.

Australia has disrupted four major terror plots since the 9/11 attacks on the United States which killed close to 3,000 people, with 37 of the 38 people prosecuted for those plots being Australian citizens.

 Google hosted news 

Euro lawmakers gather in Kiev to condemn anti-Semitism

Dozens of lawmakers gathered in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Monday for an international conference condemning anti-Semitism.

Participants at the event, organized by Ukrainian lawmaker and businessman Oleksandr Feldman, issued a joint declaration commemorating the 70th anniversary of the massacre of Jews by the Nazis at Babi Yar, which takes place next week.

“Babi Yar should be viewed as a symbol of man’s inhumanity to man and an example of the horrific cost which can be imposed in the name of hatred and intolerance,” the declaration stated.

Educational efforts must be reinforced all over the globe to establish the Babi Yar massacre as not simply another event within the horrific scope of the Holocaust, but as a telling indicator of the breadth of Nazi evil.”

During the two-day gathering delegates from over a dozen countries debated the significance of the Holocaust at the Ukrainian parliament with local lawmakers.

Vice President of the Bundetstag Petra Pau spoke on behalf of the German government saying events which took place in her country over 70 years ago were examples of why supporters of democracy must stay united against totalitarianism.

“Germany’s history teaches us that the reasons fascism gained power was not that the Nazis were so strong but because democrats were hopelessly divided on crucial issues,” the social democrat said. “This must be remembered when commemorating the millions of victims of the Holocaust.”

Israel’s representative to the conference, MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu) used the opportunity to call on delegates to oppose the expected unilateral Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations.

“Nowadays we often see that anti-Semitism is being converted into anti-Israeli sentiment,” he said. “Recognizing a country which does not recognize us could potentially take us back to the dark times of the mid- 20th century.”

Other lawmakers in attendance included MPs John Mann and Denis MacShance of the UK; Raffi Hovannisian of Armenia; Yusuf Ziya Irbec of Turkey; and Rufat Guliyev of Azerbaijan.

“I first arrived in Kiev in 1975 to study and I know the city very well,” Guliyev said. “But before I visited Babi Yar I had never realized the size and significance of the Holocaust.”

At the end of the gathering participants issued a second declaration calling for the establishment of a museum in Kiev depicting the history of the Jews in Ukraine.

“So as to transform this important vision into reality, we call for broad international support – both moral and financial,” it said.

Feldman, who is also the head of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, said he hoped to turn the conference into an annual event.


Romanian Foreign Minister Claims Dutch Govt 'Held Captive' by Far-Right Party

The Dutch government is "held captive" by a far-right party with anti-European attitudes, according to Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi.

Commenting Monday on Dutch opposition to Romania and Bulgaria's accession to Europe's visa-free Schengen zone, he stressed that "France and Germany have become more flexible, they have proposed us a two-step entry scenario".

The two countries, however, have "failed to convince the Dutch government which is in a certain way held captive by the anti-European and anti-immigration political agenda of an extremist party," Baconschi added, as cited by Romanian news agency Mediafax.

The Dutch center-right government, which vowed last week to block Romania and Bulgaria's bids to join the Schengen zone, rules with the backing of Geert Wilders' far-right Freedom Party (PVV).

According to diplomatic sources close to the matter, the two countries, which firmly opposed the the two countries' Schengen accession in spring, advising them to step up the fight against corruption, "left the door open for compromise", which was suggested by the Polish EU presidency.

Poland came up with a two-step solution that would see air and sea borders open by the end of October.

A decision on giving the two countries dates on the land borders, "which are more controversial," would only be taken "in the next year," the source said.

The Dutch government, however, remained adamant that it would "not even approve the partial entry."

Several days ahead of Thursday's meeting of foreign ministers of EU member states on the issue, where all decisions are taken by a unanimous vote, Baconschi expressed hopes that the Netherlands' blockage would be surmounted.


Monday, 19 September 2011

Racist slogans found on Muslim graves in French military cemetery

About 30 Muslim graves have been desecrated in Carcassone, south-west France. A legal inquiry has been launched to find the perpetrators and punish them.

The caretaker of the military cemetery of Saint-Michel de la ville discovered racist and Nazi slogans daubed on the gravestones when he closed up on Saturday.

The graves belonged to Muslims killed fighting for France during World War I and were immediately repainted and restored.

The graffiti were “really racist” and “particularly disgusting”, according to Carcassonne prosecutor Antoine Leroy, who has opened an inquiry into the incident.



Some 500 members of majority population came to an anti-Romany demonstration in the north Bohemian town of Varnsdorf this afternoon, local police spokeswoman Jarmila Hrubesova told CTK Saturday. However, the police blocked the road of the marchers to the hostel mostly inhabited by Romanies and then the anti-Romany protest was dissolved. There were no incident during the march, but the police detained two persons, Hrubesova said. One of them shouted racist slogans. He had with him two cobblestones and was drunk. The other man, an extremist from Prague, had racist signs tattooed on his arm, she added. If convicted, both of them can be sentenced up to three years in prison. The demonstrators were joined by members of extremist groupings, but they only constituted a minority of the crowd, Hrubesova said. The march stopped about 50 metres before the hostel where the police had formed a barrier. At 15:15, a town hall representative called on the demonstrators to disperse, but they did not obey. Instead, the crowd went past the hostel and was heading to the town centre.

"The other march was not announced and since it is illegal, we will ask its participants to go away. Those who will disobey will be taken to the police station," Hrubesova said. The rally started with the Czech national anthem, followed by other songs. Some protesters demanded that the mayor of Varnsdorf resign. By staging the demonstrations, the locals want to attract attention to their plight. They seek changes in the legislation and criticise the government for being indifferent to the problems in north Bohemia. They unfolded a big banner saying "Necas has no time for us." Prime Minister Petr Necas has not been to north Bohemia since the situation came to a head in the area, but unofficial sources say he will go there next week. Tension between the majority society and Romanies has been escalating for some time in a northern Bohemian border area, including the towns of Novy Bor, Rumburk, Sluknov and Varnsdorf. Locals say the crime rate is rising because of Romanies who have recently been moving to the area.

In August, two violent incidents occurred and the police are prosecuting several Romanies. Locals protested against the violence but the situation is being used by extremist groups that started organising protests in the area. The police are checking cars on the roads leading to the town and patrolling outside the local railway station. Some 30 minutes before the beginning of the rally, the police detained 14 men with suspicious tattooing, Hrubesova said. "We arrested nine of them at the railway station and the rest throughout the town over the suspicion of various delicts. Some of them did not have identity cards and we found knives by some of them," Hrubesova said, adding that the police did not find any weapons during the car checks. The demonstration was preceded by a public meeting called by the town hall. The local cinema building was filled by hundreds of dissatisfied and angry local people. They criticised the town hall over a lukewarm approach to the problem as well as the police. Here, too, the mayor and the whole town hall were asked to step down. The protesters demanded more rigorous payment of welfare benefits, a reduction of the places in hostels and more support to public works.

Prague Monitor

SP: Geert Wilders breaks promises (Netherlands)

Geert Wilders’ PVV has broken over 200 promises in the first year after the elections, says the SP in a report out today.

‘We noticed that the PVV never engages in public debate. Wilders and other PVV MPs refuse to take responsibility for their opinions and so we decided to have a closer look at the way they vote.’, says Arjan Vliegenthart, director of the SP’s research bureau.

According to the report, the PVV has consistently refused to oppose the so-called ‘grab what you can’ remuneration culture in Dutch public service and supported free market forces in healthcare. It also came back on its promise not to change the system of student grants.

PVV promises on immigration – ‘the party’s litmus test’- have largely floundered because they contravene European guidelines, the SP concludes.

Dutch News

IKEA founder pledges £1bn to charity following Nazi past revelations

IKEA’s billionaire founder Ingvar Kamprad has pledged £1bn to charity in a move which follows revelations about his Nazi past.

The 85-year-old businessman has instructed the IKEA foundation, which has owned the company since 1982, to more than double its charitable spending to close to £100m a year.

Around £40m will go to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, split over three years, with the rest shared between UN agencies such as UNICEF, UNHCR and UNDP, and Save the Children, to which the foundation is already the largest corporate donor.

“We will donate 1bn Kr per year (£95.7m),” Per Heggenes, Mr Kamprad’s press spokesman, told Sweden’s Expressen newspaper. “There’s been a strong will from Ingvar to do more things for more people by setting a more ambitious goal for the foundation.”

The move follows last month’s revelations that Mr Kamprad at the age of 17 had been an active recruiter and a registered member of the Svensk Socialistisk Samling (SSS), the successor to the Swedish Nazi party.

Mr Kamprad’s youthful Far Right sympathies first came to light in 1994, with the posthumous publication of the letters of Per Engdhal, the leader of the Far Right New Swedish movement of the 1950s, which detailed the friendship and financial support he had enjoyed from Mr Kamprad.

But they were revived last month by Swedish journalist Elisabeth Åsbrink, who unearthed a 1944 file opened by the Swedish Secret Police.

The increase in the IKEA Foundation’s spending will also help counter accusations that foundation is designed more for efficient tax management than international aid.

The Economist concluded its 2006 investigation into IKEA’s finances, by stating: “The overall set-up of IKEA minimises tax and disclosure, handsomely rewards the founding Kamprad family and makes IKEA immune to a takeover.”

The foundation, it said, was,“not only the world’s richest foundation, but is at the moment also one of its least generous.”

It estimated that the Stichting Ingka Foundation which owns IKEA was in 2006 worth about $36bn, making it the richest charitable foundation in the world, far ahead of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which was worth $26.9bn in that year.

But at the time, its outgoing grants were both tiny and dedicated to the underwhelming goal, of “innovation in the field of architectural and interior design”.

Mr Kamprad has already reacted to the bad publicity. After the Economist article, he fought a court battle in The Netherlands to change the goal of the Foundation, allowing it to spend money on poor children in the developing world.

The Telegraph

Netherlands to Ban Islamic face covering veil

Prime Minister Mark Rutte also announced tougher rules for immigrants and asylum-seekers wanting Dutch nationality who, in future, must show they have earned income and have not received financial assistance or benefits for at least three years. The country's reputation as relatively easy on immigration has changed over the past decade, reflecting voter concerns over the large number of Muslim immigrants. "The government believes the wearing of clothing that completely or almost entirely covers the face is fundamentally at odds with public life, where people are recognised by their faces," the government said in a statement yesterday.

"Face-covering clothing prevents this and goes against the principles of equality between men and women, especially women." The new measures reflect the influence wielded by populist politician Geert Wilders, whose anti-Islam, anti-immigration Freedom Party is the third-largest in parliament.

Wilders has a pact with the minority coalition government to provide crucial support in parliament in exchange for tougher policies on Islam and immigration from non-Western countries. The Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition government has already faced tough opposition from Wilders' Freedom Party over its support for euro zone bailouts, and needs to keep it on side in order to push ahead with crucial budget cuts. The government said it did not consider the ban on face-covering veils a restriction of religious freedom, but that even if it was, it was "necessary and justified in the interest of protecting the character and way of life in the Netherlands". The proposals will first be presented to the council of state, the administrative court, and then to parliament. No time frame was given, but Wilders has said he hopes to introduce the ban on face-covering veils this year or next.

Arabic-style niqabs which leave the eyes uncovered and Afghan-style burqas that cover the face with a cloth grid are far less commonly seen on the streets of the Netherlands than Muslim headscarves which leave the face exposed. France imposed a ban on burqas last year and on Friday banned street prayers.

Debate invite to BNP chief prompts major row at TCD society

A planned debate at Trinity College’s Philosophical Society has divided its committee and been thrown into disarray following a decision to invite British National Party MEP Nick Griffin to take part.

The debate, on the motion that This House Believes Immigration Has Gone Too Far , is scheduled for October 20th next.

Mr Griffin has agreed to speak in favour of the motion. Another speaker who had agreed to oppose the motion withdrew at the weekend on discovering that Nick Griffin was to take part.

John Palmer, who is on the governing board of the European Policy Centre and deputy chairman of its Political Europe programme, told The Irish Times last night he found it “totally unacceptable” that Mr Griffin should take part in such a debate, and had told the organisers he would not take part if Mr Griffin’s invitation was not withdrawn.

Former European correspondent at the Guardian , Mr Palmer said: “The BNP’s roots are in Nazism, and it is very clear those roots remain strongly Nazi.” He had “no problem taking part in debates with people who had racist or reactionary views on immigration”, but he would not do so “with a party rooted in support for the Holocaust and all that represents”. The BNP also had “extreme anti-Muslim policies”, he said.

TCD’s Socialist Party Society has also opposed the invitation to Mr Griffin, as has the Union of Jewish Students in Britain. They called on the Philosophical Society to withdraw its invitation to Mr Griffin, pointing out that “as was witnessed at Durham and Oxford universities, publicity stunts such as these tear apart student communities and contribute to a hostile environment for Jewish students on campus”.

In a brief statement last night, the Philosophical Society said: “The Phil is a neutral forum for discussion. We do not endorse the views of any of our speakers. Nick Griffin has been invited to speak solely on immigration. He is a prominent speaker on this issue. The debate will be balanced, with two guest speakers on each side of the motion.”

When asked who those guest speakers would be, society president Eoin Ó Liatháin said he did not wish to comment further.

According to Trinity News, the story about Nick Griffin’s participation in the debate first leaked on the blog of the BNP’s press officer, Simon Darby.

Mr Palmer said last night he had been first contacted by the Trinity society about taking part in a debate “some months ago, and had agreed in principle”. He was presented with the motion “a couple of weeks ago, but no further information”.

He believes he was sent another message in the middle of last week indicating Mr Griffin would be taking part, but as he was abroad at the time he did not receive it until Saturday evening last. He then contacted the society to say that “unless the invitation to Nick Griffin was withdrawn I would not participate”.

He also believed the debate had divided the Phil committee, some of whom had told him they “strongly opposed” the Griffin invitation.

Irish Times

Essex: Reaction to English Defence League group in the town (UK)

A group that aims to challenge the “spread and threat” of Islamic extremism in the UK has set up a Colchester Garrison branch.

The English Defence League section says it supports serving soldiers in the town.

However, there is no suggestion the group is in any way linked to the garrison.

Its group on social networking site Facebook has 65 members and men have been seen in the town wearing T-shirts with the group’s logo.

Terry Sutton, president of the Royal British Legion in Colchester, said the group represented a minority of radicals.

He added: “With only 65 members online, they are not representing the views of the majority of people in Colchester.

“People are allowed to demonstrate their feelings however they wish. Whatever you may think about that, we live in a free country.

“Some people will be offended by it while others will just brush it aside and think it is just a radical few letting off some steam.”

Administrators of the Facebook group say it represents “the county of Essex and the people of Essex” and aims to challenge “the spread and threat of sharia law, sharia law courts and radical Islam, primarily at a local level within Essex”.

The new group is affiliated to the East Anglian division of the national league, which is the biggest in the country.

Most of the members from the newly-formed Colchester Garrison branch are believed to be from the Colchester and Clacton areas.

A Colchester shopkeeper who saw a man wearing the group’s T-shirt in the town recently said he was disgusted.

The man, who asked not to be named, said: “It is pretty unpleasant and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

“I don’t think people should be allowed to advertise their prejudiced views in that way and, considering this is a garrison town with lots of soldiers, I think it looks bad on them.

“I would hate to think there were soldiers in this town who agreed with their extremist views.

The Ministry of Defence said: “Soldiers are not precluded from joining the English Defence League, as long as they do not wear uniform, take part in demonstrations or do anything that would bring the Army into disrepute.”

Braintree and with Witham times

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Jewish rabbis take part in U.S. anti-Islamophobia event

Jewish rabbis took part in an anti-Islamaphobia in Washington on Thursday, days before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 Twin Towers attack in New York, JTA reported.

“Ten years after 9/11, it has somehow become respectable to verbally attack Muslims and Islam in America,” Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the president of the Union of Reform Judaism, reportedly said at an event organized by Shoulder to Shoulder, a group founded a year ago to combat anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“There are very real consequences when entire populations are represented in the public imagination by their worst elements, when the sins of the few are applied to the group as a whole. I have watched in astonishment as prominent politicians, including candidates for president of the United States, have found it politically opportune to peddle divisive anti-Muslim bigotry,” Yoffie added.

Rabbi Burton Visotzky from the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary said Muslims “have always been part of the fabric of America,” the JTA report said.
Steve Gutow, a Reconstructionist rabbi and the president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the public policy umbrella group reportedly spoke at the event as well, saying “a great people and a great nation do not let their brothers and sisters suffer from bigotry and persecution.”

He condemned those who discriminate against Muslims throughout the United States, saying “our Muslim brothers and sisters suffer exactly that in all corners of this great country of ours. Today is a day to stand up and say we have had enough,” the report said.

Rabbi Marc Schneier, co-founder of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Rabbi Jack Moline, representing the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, Rabbi Sidney Schwarz, representing the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and the Faith and the Common Good project, and Rabbi Dr. Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer, representing the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, were also in attendance, the JTA report said.


SDL and Unite Against Fascism stage Edinburgh rallies (UK)

Hundreds of police have staged a show of force in central Edinburgh at a rally by the Scottish Defence League.

Almost 200 supporters of the far right group were heavily outnumbered by officers drawn from forces across the central belt.

They were penned in after the city council refused them permission to march.

A counter demonstration of about 400 Unite Against Fascism protesters was allowed to hold a procession.

They marched along Princes Street before attending a rally.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police confirmed there was a "substantial police presence" and said both demonstrations passed off without incident and without any arrests.
'Minimum disruption'

The Lothian and Borders force was supported by officers from Strathclyde, Tayside, Fife, Central, and British Transport Police.

Assistant Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "We are satisfied with the conduct of the vast majority of those who visited Edinburgh for their respective demonstrations.

"The day passed without significant incident and allowed local residents and businesses to go about their day with minimum disruption."

He added: "I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the public in Edinburgh for their patience and support throughout the policing of this event.

"Edinburgh remains a hub for various demonstrations to take place and Lothian and Borders Police have a wealth of experience in facilitating both planned and spontaneous gatherings."
Disorder fears

The Scottish Defence League is an offshoot of the English Defence League, which has been associated with trouble at gatherings south of the border.

Last year there were minor skirmishes when about 50 SDL supporters staged a rally in the capital.

They were outnumbered by 2,000 counter-protesters marching under the banner of Scotland United.

This year the SDL had originally wanted to march from near the US Consulate to the east end of Princes Street.

This proposal was turned down by members of the council's licensing committee over fears of public disorder.

Speakers at a UAF rally were due to include Malcolm Chisholm MSP, Colin Keir MSP and union representatives.

BBC News

Neo-Nazi Authour released for being old. (Austria)

A fascist writer who has denied the Holocaust has been released from jail early for being advanced in years. Viennese newspapers reported yesterday (Thurs) that Gerd Honsik was allowed to travel to Spain where he has lived with his family for years. The High Court of Vienna (OGH) argued the 69-year-old integrated well into society there. It cited his age as another reason for the early release on probation. The Austrian was sentenced to five years behind bars in 2009 for extreme-right statements he had made in articles in a magazine he published. His prison term was reduced by one year in an appeal hearing a few months later before he was ordered to spend an extra two years in jail in another trial last September.

Honsik was convicted of breaking Austria’s law against spreading Nazi propaganda and ideology in his book "Freispruch für Hitler?" (Acquittal for Hitler?) and sentenced to one and a half years in prison in 1992. He fled to Spain, a country criticised as a safe haven for neo-Nazis and alleged World War Two (WWII) criminals by many anti-fascism groups. Honsik was arrested in Malaga and eventually extradited to his homeland in 2007. Honsik has been in court over various disputed statements many times over the years. He doubted the existence of gas chambers at Nazi death camps in WWII in his books "Der Juden Drittes Reich" (The Jews’s Third Reich) and "Schelm und Scheusal" (Prankster and Monster). The infamous fascist claimed the Nazis’ mass murder could be doubted and called for a "forensic examination" of the "alleged Holocaust."

Austrian Times

Thursday, 8 September 2011

John Galliano found guilty of racist and antisemitic abuse

Fashion designer given suspended fine of €6,000 by Paris court

The British designer John Galliano has been given a suspended fine of €6,000 (£5,200) by a Paris court for racist and antisemitic rants at people in a Paris bar.

The former couturier was found guilty of "public insults" based on origin, religion, race or ethnicity after two incidents in February 2011 and last year.

In the February incident, a French couple having a beer outside La Perle bar in Paris's Marais district said he repeatedly insulted them with lines including "fucking ugly Jewish bitch" and "fucking Asian bastard". Geraldine Bloch, 35, said he first asked her to shut up, then criticised her clothes, hair, thighs, eyebrows and makeup. He made 30 anti-Jewish insults in the space of 45 minutes, she said. Another woman said he made similar insults to her in the same bar in October.

At Galliano's trial in June, the state prosecutor had requested judges fine Galliano saying that although he was not a "theoretician" of race hatred or antisemitism, this was "everyday antisemitism and racism" which she said was "pitiful and dreadful".

It is doubtful whether Galliano – who told his trial he couldn't remember the incident because of a "triple addiction" to alcohol, sleeping tablets and Valium – will ever be able to redeem himself at the top of the fashion world.

He has undergone treatment for his addiction. He appeared frail and weak at his trial in June but was not present on Thursday for the verdict.

Read more at The Guardian


A soldier who attacked a woman awaiting a sex change operation became the first person in Scotland to be convicted of transgender prejudice yesterday. Perth Sheriff Court heard that Terry Porter burst into the house where Chloe, formerly Calum, Dow was sleeping and hurled abuse at her. Porter, who pled guilty to breaching the peace by behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, admitted that his offence was aggravated by prejudice relating to Miss Dow's transgender identity. The 19-year-old will be disciplined by chiefs in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Sheriff Michael Fletcher described the incident as "a nasty offence" and fined Porter £350 - £150 more than a breach of the peace fine, to mark the transgender prejudice. The court heard that Porter targeted Miss Dow - who is awaiting gender reassignment surgery - during a drunken night out to celebrate joining the army. After rushing into the home where she was sleeping, Porter - who was unknown to the transexual - elbowed her and subjected her to a tirade of foul-mouthed abuse. Fiscal depute Rebecca Kynaston told the court: "The complainer is transgender. She lives as a female, but was born a male. She goes by the name Chloe, having previously been Calum. She is awaiting gender reassignment surgery."

Miss Dow and a third party were staying at her friend Oliver Bond's home in Milnathort, Kinross, when Porter arrived in the early hours and began knocking loudly on the door. "Miss Dow was sleeping in the bedroom. The others were sleeping on the sofas in the living room. At 3:50am all were woken by loud banging at the back door." Mrs Kynaston said that Porter was asking if Miss Dow was a boy or a girl. He threatened to drag Miss Dow out of bed and punch her while shouting abusive comments. Mrs Kynaston said that the police were called and when they arrived at the house they found Miss Dow in an "extremely distressed" state. Porter was arrested at home a few hours later and when he was questioned by the police. When he was asked about his view of transgender people, Porter replied: "It's their choice." Solicitor Peter O'Neill, defending, said that his client was "immature" and wanted to apologise to everyone involved in the case for the way he had behaved. "I am sure it comes as no surprise that he had had a lot to drink," Mr O'Neill said. "He had been training with the military and is now a serving soldier. He was with friends and was joining the regiment on the Monday following this incident. This was a bit of a send-off that evening and he had been drinking heavily. "He did not know Chloe Dow. She came out and a conversation was had. He has never met anyone who is transgender before. The conversation got to territory he was uncomfortable with and he behaved in a manner he describes as completely out of order.

Pink News

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Berlin court rules far-right posters can remain (Germany)

A Berlin court has ruled state election campaign posters for the far-right National Democratic Party may remain on display.

One shows caricatures of Muslim immigrants on a flying carpet with the slogan "have a nice flight home." Another with the slogan "step on the gas" pictures the party's leader on a motorcycle apparently revving the engine.

Berlin's Kreuzberg neighborhood had ordered the posters taken down, saying they violated German incitement laws.

But the Berlin state court ruled Wednesday that the posters were protected under freedom of speech laws. It noted that even though the "step on the gas" poster "could well be intended to arouse associations with Nazi atrocities" it could also have other meanings.

The party isn't expect to win any seats in the Sept. 18 vote.

Taiwan News

EDL to hold prison protest (UK)

English Defence League supporters say they are going to hold a protest this afternoon (Wednesday August 7) outside Bedford Prison, where the organisation’s leader Stephen Lennon is being held.

He was arrested on Sunday for breaking bail conditions by attending a demo in London.

The EDL yesterday released a statement calling Mr Lennon, who also calls himself Tommy Robinson, ‘a patriot and a martyr’.

A message posted on their Facebook page today encourages members to demonstrate outside the prison to show their “disgust as what could be the final nail in the coffin for free speech”.

The protest is due to start at 4pm.

The Facebook message continues: “If you cant make it to the prison then flash demo your nearest town halls, police stations or wherever you see fit.

“We will not be stopping prisoners getting their visits. All non EDL welcome to attend as well as this affects us all.”

Bedford Today

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Two Mexicans face up to 30 years in prison for 'terrorist' tweets

Two Mexicans face up to 30 years in prison for what are being called some "terrorist" tweets in one of the most serious incidents to face the micro-blogging network Twitter since its launch.

Gilberto Martinez Vera, a maths tutor, and Maria de Jesus Bravo Pagola, a former teacher turned radio commentator, tweeted that armed men were attacking schools, causing widespread panic amongst parents in the violence stricken Mexican city of Veracruz.

Martinez Vera tweeted, "My sister-in-law just called me all upset, they just kidnapped five children from the school." This was untrue, and yet he subsequently tweeted, "I don't know what time it happened, but it's true."

In addition, he reported that a few days earlier, "They mowed down six kids between 13 and 15 in the Hidalgo neighborhood." An incident did occur in Hidalgo, but did not involve children.

The tweets caused such panic as parents rushed to save their children, who were in no danger, that there were 26 car accidents, cars were left abandoned in the middle of streets, and the emergency numbers collapsed due to the panic about the false warnings, which put genuine emergencies in danger.

According to the Associated Press, the interior secretary for Veracruz state, Gerardo Buganza said the incident was worse than the panic cause by Orson Welle's radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" in 1938, when many listeners believed that there really was an alien invasion.

It's understandable why the people of Veracruz believed the Twitter reports, however, as the city has already been the victim of extensive violence at the hands of drug traffickers.

Both defendants claim that they were only relaying what others had told them. Martinez Vera expressed incredulity at being branded a 'terrorist' over a 140 character message.

This is the biggest issue to face Twitter since the "bomb joke" incident, where Paul Chambers tweeted that he would blow a UK airport sky high if it was not reopened soon after extensive snowfall. Chambers did not intend to act on his threat, but it was immediately picked up by anti-terrorism forces scouring the internet. He was fined £2,000, but gained the support of many celebrities, who subsequently retweeted his comments in defiance of the ruling.

A relatively small fine is nothing compared to 30 years in prison, however, and there are already calls for the charges against these two people to be dropped. Amnesty International said the real problem is the atmosphere of fear and mistrust in the region, where people are likely to believe any reports on Twitter without validating them with genuine news outlets.

The Inquirer

Neo-Nazi Village Features 'Happy Holocaust' BBQ (Germany)

Jamel, a tiny German village, is well-known for its connections to right-wing radicals. On the eve of elections in the state where the community is located, a journalist ran across a BBQ brandishing the phrase "Happy Holocaust." Was it a tasteless joke or a further symbol of a town that has lost its way?

Much has been written about the village of Jamel near Wismar in the far northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Hitler salutes in the streets, firing practice in local forests and outsiders chased away. The small run-down settlement has become a dark symbol of the growing reach of neo-Nazi ideology.

In the run-up to Sunday's local ballot in the state, a journalist from the website VBS TV arrived in Jamel. Although she was familiar with the village's larger-than-life reputation, she was shocked to see a large rusty barbeque inscribed with the phrase "happy holocaust."

The grill was in the barbed-wire encircled garden of the office of the far-right extremist National Democratic Party (NPD). The backyard was overlooked by a watchtower and a red, black and white old German Reich flag of the type used by the far-right scene.

'Stupid or Provocative?'

"I was shocked and I just couldn't believe what I saw. It felt really surreal," VBS TV journalist Barbara Dabrowska told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "It was like in a bad American movie that tries to come up with the most ridiculous idea for how to make Nazis look really terrible. ... They probably meant it as a joke, but I was annoyed by their either stupid or incredibly provocative approach."

In her news report, Dabrowska interviewed Stefan Köster a politician for the NPD, a party dubbed "racist, anti-Semitic, revisionist" by Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

Köster stressed his party's social outreach, explaining how his party distributes CDs in school yards and promotes German folk dancing. Asked about the happy holocaust barbeque in the garden behind his office, he said he hadn't noticed it before.

"Maybe someone is making fun of the political class because of how they repress open discussion," he said. "After all, if someone has an opinion about the holocaust, they should be able to express it," he stated, adding that he didn't find it to be funny.

"It must belong to someone in the building, but to me that matter is unimportant," he said.

The NPD party won seats in the state parliament for the second time in Sunday's state election.


Silent march in Poland protests anti-Semitic incidents

A silent "March of Unity" was held in the Polish city of Bialystok to protest recent anti-Semitic and racist incidents in eastern Poland.

Bialystok's mayor and several members of parliament were among the participants in Sunday's march, which was organized by officials of the governing Civic Platform party.

The Polish news agency PAP said that about 130 people took part in the march, which was staged to protest recent incidents that included the defacement last week of the monument in nearby Jedwabne to the hundreds of Jews killed there in 1941 when their Polish neighbors herded them into a barn and set it alight.

Carrying orange roses and ribbons, the marchers walked in silence to the downtown monument to Ludwig Zamenhof, a Jew from Bialystok who invented the Esperanto language, and gathered signatures for a "manifesto of unity and tolerance" against a wave of "mindless hatred."

PAP reported that about 30 far-right protesters shouted racist and nationalistic slogans in an attempt to disrupt the march.

Also Sunday, several dozen people gathered at the monument in Jedwabne for a ceremony organized by the Polish Jewish community. Polish media said no local officials took part in the ceremony.


Forced repatriation staff 'racist and unprofessional' (UK)

Private security guards removing detainees from UK used force and restraint unnecessarily, says prisons chief

Private security officers employed to remove detainees from the UK showed "a shamefully unprofessional and derogatory attitude", using unnecessary force and racist language, according to the chief inspector of prisons.

In two reports Nick Hardwick said most guards worked sensitively but added that some had an "unacceptably unprofessional attitude", raising concerns about how they would react if a more serious incident occurred.

The reports are based on the findings of inspectors who accompanied 104 staff escorting 35 detainees to Jamaica, and 131 escorts who were removing 53 detainees to Lagos, Nigeria, in March and April this year. The flights were chartered by the UK Border Agency and private security firm G4S provided the guards.

Hardwick said some security guards on the flights raised tensions by using force and restraint unnecessarily, while others used "highly offensive and sometime racist language" when talking to each other.

"Inspectors were very concerned at the highly offensive and sometimes racist language they heard staff use between themselves," said Hardwick.

"Quite apart from the offence this language may have caused to those who overheard it, it suggested a shamefully unprofessional and derogatory attitude that did not give confidence that had a more serious incident occurred, it would always have been effectively dealt with."

The flights took place six months after Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan deportee, died on a British Airways plane preparing to depart from Heathrow for Angola. Passengers on BA flight 77 in October later said guards forcibly restrained Mubenga, who had been complaining that he could not breathe. Three guards employed by G4S, which was contracted to escort deportees until May, were arrested over the case, and have been bailed to appear later this month.

Hardwick said some detainees were spoken to in patronising terms while in other cases guards used "extremely offensive racist language". One senior officer used "wholly unacceptable terms", including "gyppos", "pikeys" and "typical Asians", to describe minority groups, while others used crude national stereotypes.

Hardwick said: "This was not in the hearing of detainees, but it could be heard by other officers and communicated a disrespectful and racist attitude."

Handcuffs were used on detainees who appeared upset, or who were moving too slowly, despite there being no signs of any violent behaviour which might have justified the use of such restraints, the report found. The reports also questioned the decision to screen a violent film during one of the coach transfers.

The reports criticised the security team's uniform of "quasi combat-style clothing" and said not letting detainees close the door when using the toilet "was undignified and embarrassing".

Hardwick said: "Escorted removals are a difficult and distressing process. On these inspections, most escorts, most of the time, performed their duties well and dealt sensitively with the needs of individual detainees. However, tensions were sometimes raised when force or restraint was used unnecessarily and some staff demonstrated an unacceptably unprofessional attitude."

David Wood, the border agency's head of criminality and detention, said: "Those with no right to remain in the UK are expected to return home voluntarily. Where they do not we will seek to enforce their removal. Removals contractors operate within a clear legal framework and to exacting standards set by the UK Border Agency. We expect the highest levels of integrity from our staff and contractors and racist and unprofessional behaviour will not be tolerated."

The Guardian

EDL leader ‘on hunger strike’ in custody (UK)

The leader of the English Defence League, Stephen Lennon, is on hunger strike and is claiming to be a “political prisoner of the state”, following his arrest after a protest in London on Saturday.

Mr Lennon, who also calls himself Tommy Robinson, was remanded in custody at Luton Magistrates Court this morning (Monday, September 5) after appearing charged with breaching bail conditions imposed on him by Blackburn Magistrates Court, where he is due to go on trial on September 29.

The trial relates to an EDL protest in the Lancashire town on April 2, during which it is alleged he assaulted a man, a charge he denies.

In response to an enquiry from Luton Today, EDL spokesperson Helen Gower said: “Tommy is on a hunger strike and will only be accepting water.”

She added: “He is now a ‘political prisoner’ of the state and isn’t prison food halal, something which Tommy feels very strongly about and campaigns against.”

Mr Lennon addressed EDL members in London on Saturday after travelling to the event disguised in a beard and hat, which the Jewish Chronicle website said was intended to make him look like a rabbi.

A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said he was arrested yesterday afternoon after going to Luton police station by appointment.

The EDL had been banned from marching through Tower Hamlets by Home Secretary Theresa May, and instead held a protest near Aldgate Tube station.

A counter-protest took place in Whitechapel Road, and the Metropolitan Police said a total of 60 people were arrested during the day. There were 16 people initially arrested for a variety of offences including affray, drunk and disorderly and assault on a police officer, and 44 people on a coach were later arrested on suspicion of violent disorder. The vehicle first stopped in Whitechapel Road and it is alleged passengers were involved in an altercation with local youths. Shortly after, the coach broke down outside Stepney Green Underground Station, and a further disturbance took place, a Met Police spokesman said.

Luton Today

Monday, 5 September 2011

England players endorse anti-racism campaign after Bulgaria abuse

Three Lions squad wear sweatbands bearing the message ‘Kick Racism Out of Football’ after black players were targeted by some home fans in Friday’s 3-0 win in Sofia

 The England players wore sweatbands bearing the message 'Kick Racism Out of Football', the slogan of English football’s own anti-racism campaign, on Monday as they participated in a training session in preparation for Tuesday evening’s clash with Wales at Wembley.

Chair of Kick it Out, Lord Herman Ouseley, said: "This sends out a positive and powerful message that we need to remind ourselves that the game is open to all people from all backgrounds and nationalities, and to keep our behaviour in check even in the white heat international football can generate."

Racist chants were directed at the Three Lions’ black players in Sofia on Friday evening, with Manchester United winger Ashley Young and Arsenal winger Theo Walcott the targets of monkey noises. Several Bulgarian fans also made Nazi salutes.

After the match, the English FA immediately announced their intention to report the incident to Uefa, and European football’s governing body is believed to be waiting to study the report from the match delegate on Monday before deciding whether to take action.

Wayne Rooney said after the game: "As players we can hear it on the pitch. It has been going on for years and it is not right. It needs to stop and hopefully something will be done about it."

There is, however, also the possibility that the English FA could face action after Three Lions fans reportedly responded to the Bulgarians’ racist abuse with anti-Romany chants.



Police using water cannons and batons intervened Saturday after a neo-Nazi march in the German city of Dortmund descended into rioting between the far-right and anti-fascist counter-demonstrators. Around 400 neo-Nazis had gathered in the western city for a planned march, but were met by around 4,000 left-wing activists, according to police estimates.

Although many of the anti-Nazi demonstrators protested peacefully, a group attacked the neo-Nazis, prompting a massive police intervention after they failed to separate the two groups. Even before the march got underway, police had used pepper spray and reported several injuries after around 100 counter-demonstrators had evaded a roadblock. Guntram Schneider, the minister for integration in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia who is participating the counter-demonstration, said it was intolerable that the neo-Nazis were allowed to march through Dortmund each year.



There are 500 to 600 neo-Nazis and some 5000 people who openly sympathise with far-right extremism, and most of them are based in the Ostrava region, Prague and North Bohemia, Robert Slachta, head of the police squad fighting organised crime (UOOZ) told Czech Television (CT) yesterday.

Far-right extremists had nothing to do with the beginning of the problems in the Sluknov area in northern Bohemia but they are now trying to take advantage of the tension between Romanies and majority population, Slachta said. In reaction to two brutal attacks by Romanies in a border area in August, the public started protesting against the violence. The far-right Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS) and other groups have recently been organising demonstrations against Romany crime in northern Bohemian towns. On Friday, a demonstration aimed against Romanies was held in Varnsdorf.

On Saturday, a hundred of extremists joined a march through this town. The police have succeeded in preventing clashes between extremists and Romanies so far. A riot police squad was sent to the area to help maintain order and security. Deputy Police President Vladislav Husak said the police fear that conflicts might arise in other potentially risky regions than northern Bohemia, too, and they monitor the situation. Husak said locals prevailed in the protest held this weekend but the marches scheduled for next weekend will probably be a prevailingly extremist event.

Prague Daily Monitor

Rabbi disguise for EDL leader (UK)

Stephen Lennon in Rabbi outfit
The leader of the English Defence League disguised himself as a rabbi to address supporters during a demonstration in east London on Saturday.

Stephen Lennon – known as Tommy Robinson – donned the outfit, which included a black hat and fake beard, in an apparent attempt to evade the police.

Introduced as "Rabbi Benjamin Kidderman", he climbed onto a platform and announced: "Do you know how long I've been waiting to take this s*** off?"

Mr Lennon then removed the outfit and addressed the crowd. By attending the protest the 28-year-old breached his bail conditions imposed following a football-related offence, but was not arrested.

EDL supporters clashed with police and were involved in scuffles during the demo.

Around 3,000 officers had been drafted in to maintain control in the Whitechapel, Aldgate and Tower Hamlets areas of the East End. They made 60 arrests, mainly for affray and public order offences, but said the day had passed "without major incident".

Hundreds of residents and anti-fascist group supporters took part in a counter-demo.

Of Mr Lennon's disguise, a CST spokesman said: "The EDL only uses Jews and Israel in order to try and provoke Muslims. It is racist politics and anyone who sincerely cares about Jews, or Israel, should condemn it."

Home Secretary Theresa May had banned the EDL from marching through the borough of Tower Hamlets and the City of London.

The Jewish Chronicle