Headlines 30 September, 2011
SERB RIGHTISTS THREATEN GAYS WITH 'DAY OF FLAMES'
As far-right groups muster counter-rallies timed to coincide with Gay Pride, some police unions are threatening to boycott providing security for the controversial march planned for October 2.
29/9/2011- Several Serbian far-right organisations have announced rival rallies on the day of the gay parade on October 2, raising fears of street disturbances on the same scale as last year's parade - or worse. One group, "Obraz" ["Cheek"], whose leader Mladen Obradovic was sentenced to two years in prison for organising riots at the 2010 Belgrade Pride Parade, is planning a "prayer walk", starting with a service at the Serb Orthodox Church cathedral of St Sava. From there the group supposed to walk to the old Saborna church, in the heart of the old city. Obradovic, who has been released from custody until his final verdict, claims that several Serbian Orthodox priests are supporting Obraz but he insists that the "prayer walk" is not going to be violent. “This is a peaceful gathering, a gathering of Orthodox believers, so the possibility of incidents is excluded,” Obradovic told Balkan Insight.
Another far-right organisation, Nasi Srbija [Serbia is Ours], formerly called Nasi 1389, after the date of a famous battle, has decided to join the "prayer walk". Nasi Srbija will also organise gatherings at four locations around Belgrade. According to one leader of this group, Misa Vacic, his organisation will organise interactive workshops promoting traditional values on Terazije and in front of the buildings of the Serbian parliament, government and the President's office. Vacic says Serbian patriots must be allowed to express their views and that if the police allow them their constitutional rights of free assembly, there will be no violence. “We are appalled when our city suffers an injustice. Serbia must show it has tolerance also for those who are against gay pride,” Vacic said.
Another far-right group, Dveri Srpske (Serbian Doors) has already called on people who believe in family values to gather in Belgrade on October 1, a day ahead of the Gay Pride Parade. On the day of their parade, this organisation will launch a petition for a dismissal of Serbian President, Boris Tadic, in dozen Serbian towns but not the capital. “We won’t be collecting signatures in Belgrade, as we want to avoid any risk of violence,” Dveri Srpske spokesman told Balkan Insight. More worrying than these trailed "family value" rallies are reports that other unnamed groups are planning serious violence. The leader of Serbia's Independent Police Union, Momcilo Vidojevic, said police had obtained information that some rightists are preparing an operation under the alarming codename "Belgrade in flames" for October 2.
“According to our intelligence, hooligans are planning to hold destructive protests in all Belgrade municipalities and in some other Serbian towns,” Vidojevic said on Tuesday. It is still not clear how many police officers will be securing the parade. Vidojevic said he will decide whether to call on members of his union to boycott the parade by Saturday. He said the police was not adequately equipped for such potentially violent events. Other police unions say they will do their duty. “Every police officer decided to perform his tasks when he joined the police, so we will all go out and do our duty. But it’s ungracious of the authorities to assign tasks for which we are not equipped,” Velimir Barbulov, leader of another union, the Independent Union of Police, said.
The biggest police union, the Police Union of Serbia, previously called gay pride organisers to postpone the parade, but the Union president, Veljko Mijailovic, says his members will also obey their orders. Mijailovic said an event carrying such a big risk of violence, such as gay pride, demands large number of officers, which is difficult when at the same time police are being tasked with securing the area around the Kosovo border. Regardless of all the various threats, Gay Pride organisers are not considering cancellation. “That was never an option,” Goran Miletic, one of the organisers, told Balkan Insight. “The problem with violence is constant here. Cancellation of the parade will not solve it,” Miletic added.
© Balkan Insight
SLOVAKIA: DRIVER REPORTEDLY ATTACKS TWO SMALL ROMANI CHILDREN
30/9/2011- On Tuesday, 27 September, two Romani children, a four-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl, were playing in the village of Ďurkov near Košice on the street in front of their home. A car pulled up in front of them with two men and two women inside. The driver went up to the children and slapped them with such force that they both fell into the gutter. Malvína Hanková, who is the mother of the little girl and the aunt of the little boy, informed the Romani Press Agency (Romská tisková agentura - RPA) of the incident. "I didn't see what happened myself because I was inside at the time, but the children were crying loudly. My sister's boy wet himself out of fear at that moment and my daughter has a bruise on her cheek. I asked the children what happened and my daughter told me that some 'uncle' got out of his car and yelled 'What are you doing here?' at them," Hanková said. "I was in shock. When the driver saw that we had come out in front of the house and that we are Romani, he called the police. We called the police too. A police patrol from the Bohdanoviec district arrived. They had no interest in listening to us, they just gave me a piece of paper and said I should take it with me when I take the children to the doctor for treatment."
Hanková went on to say that the unidentified driver who beat the children claimed to have done nothing to them but yell at them because they allegedly threw a rock at his car. However, his claim was refuted in front of the police patrol by a witness to the entire incident, a non-Romani neighbor, who said the driver was lying. The neighbor saw him beat the children and had shouted at him to stop. Hanková said police interrogated the driver immediately twice, out of earshot, but apparently did not give him a breath alcohol test. Police officers did not photograph any alleged damage to his car or any other material facts. Hanková then took the children to the emergency medical service in Košice and from there to the police department in Bohdanovec to file criminal charges. While she was making her statement, she was shocked when police officers asked whether her daughter could write in order to sign her name to her statement. The girl is seven years old and has been attending the first grade of elementary school for one month only, but she was able to write her first name. The police officer then asked her if her four-year-old son knows how to write. He also told Hanková the entire matter would be addressed in civil court, which she disagrees with. In her view, the entire incident occurred because her children are Romani and was a criminal assault on minors. The RPA requested a statement on the incident from the police corps in Košice, but no statement has yet been provided.
EDL THUGS JAILED FOR ATTACKING MOSQUE (uk)
Four thugs were today jailed for smashing a mosque, racially abusing worshipers and throwing a brick at the Imam.
29/9/2011- Rocky Beale, 19, Eliot Jones, 19, Matthew Stephenson, 18, and Harry Deluca, 16, shattered the windows of Redbridge Islamic Center while repeatedly screaming “EDL” during the attack which took place earlier this year. Judge Timothy King sentenced Beale, Jones and Stephenson to three-and-a-half years each in a young offenders’ institution while Deluca was given a two-year detention and training order. DC Fiona Robinson, the investigating officer, said: “These sentences send out a clear message to those involved and anybody thinking of getting involved in this type of crime, that racial abuse and thuggish behavior will not be tolerated in Redbridge borough or within the Metropolitan Police district.”
© The Islam Times
RACIAL HATE CRIME RATE RISES (Austria)
28/9/2011- The number of xenophobic felonies is increasing. The federal interior ministry announced yesterday (Tues) that police and prosecutors registered 580 breaches of law with xenophobic, far-right, racist, islamophobic and anti-Semitic background last year, 28 per cent more than in the previous year. The ministry – which is headed by People’s Party (ÖVP) official Johanna Mikl-Leitner – explained that 48.6 per cent of these crimes were clarified, which is a four per cent improvement compared to 2009.
Only a few days ago, a Lower Austrian man was sentenced to six months behind bars by a court in Wiener Neustadt for celebrating the birthday of late Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. The defendant, 54, was also found guilty of glorifying banned symbols like the swastika. The report of the ministry of Mikl-Leitner – whose party cooperates with the Social Democrats (SPÖ) – also shows that the overall number of reported crimes was 535,745 in 2010, which is a 10-year low. Salzburg (minus 14 per cent) and Lower Austria (minus 12.9 per cent) registered the sharpest decreases of Austria’s nine provinces. Police in Vorarlberg managed to solve most of reported felonies (57.1 per cent) last year. Officers in Burgenland did second-best (53.8 per cent).
The annual crime report reveals that cases of corruption reported to the police and juridical officials rose by 12 per cent from 2009 to 2010. It also discloses that Austrians reported almost 4,000 possible child pornography and sex tourism crimes in 2010. The announcement of this figure comes just days after reports that a man from Braunau in Upper Austria could be prosecuted for shipping child porn movies from Thailand to Austria. Police found 36 underage pornography DVDs at the 54-year-old man’s home.
© The Austrian Times
A WALK WITH A RUSSIAN NATIONALIST
As inter-ethnic tensions continue to simmer ahead of Russia's parliamentary elections, RIA Novosti takes a journey into the country's nationalist underground.
By RIA Novosti correspondents Alexei Korolyov, Marc Bennetts
26/9/2011- "I don't want to talk about Anders Breivik," the leader of Russia's outlawed Slavyansky Soyuz nationalist movement says as we walk through the back-streets and courtyards of central Moscow. "Everyone asks me about him," Dmitry Dyomushkin, a veteran of Russia's ultra-right scene, complains. "Some German journalists came to see me recently and that was all they talked about." He spits out one of the Russian language's more expressive swearwords to show he has no interest in continuing the topic. Dyomushkin, who seeks a Slavic purity for Moscow and other Russian cities outside the volatile, mainly Muslim North Caucasus, may be reluctant to discuss Breivik's "wake-up call" to what he saw as the dangers of multiculturalism, but there were others in Russia who openly celebrated his actions. A number of social network fan pages were set up in the Norwegian gunman's honor, with one of them calling him a "hero of the white race."
Such sentiments came as no surprise to anyone who has observed the rise in racial tensions across Russia, whose sprawling territory is home to dozens of ethnic groups. The Interior Ministry says race-hate crimes have grown six-fold since 1995. Last year, 37 people of "non-Slavic appearance" were murdered by extremists across Russia. But Dyomushkin, the holder of degrees in economics and psychology from a prestigious Moscow university, is scornful of such violence. "I don't see any sense at all in young guys sticking knives into street-sweepers and ruining both their own lives and the lives of their victims...I've got nothing to do with that kind of nationalism," he says. While there were flare-ups of racial tensions in the Soviet Union, the authorities managed - on the whole - to keep the lid on inter-ethnic hostilities. But the chaos accompanying the collapse of the world's first socialist state saw a rapid deterioration in relations between Russia's many peoples - in particular between ethnic Russians and residents of North Caucasus republics. As federal forces engaged in the indiscriminate destruction of Chechnya, North Caucasus criminal gangs made their brutal mark on Moscow and other big cities. The consequences for inter-ethnic ties were predictable.
His speech an odd mixture of Russian street slang and erudite political discourse, Dyomushkin, 32, is clearly no common thug. Yet while his movement may justify its use of Nazi imagery (the group's swastika is "an ancient Russian symbol") and Dyomushkin condemn violence in no uncertain terms, Slavyansky Soyuz members have been jailed for race-hate murders. Two of them, teenagers Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, were jailed for the brutal killings of over 20 migrants in 2009. But to many ethnic Russians, nationalist groups such as Slavyansky Soyuz are a counterforce to mass internal labor migration from impoverished former Soviet republics such as Tajikistan and the perceived inability - or reluctance - of the authorities to guarantee the rule of law and order. Tensions between ethnic Russians and youths from North Caucasus republics like Chechnya and Dagestan are another major source of friction. Anger over the police's handling of the investigation into the killing of ethnic Russian football fan Yegor Sviridov by a group of youths from the North Caucasus saw some 5,000 nationalists and football hooligans riot outside the Kremlin walls last December. President Dmitry Medvedev called the disorder a threat to "the very stability of the state" and appealed for inter-ethnic calm.
Although Dyomushkin sees the December riots as a "boiling point" and "the first act" in a nationalist "uprising," he also suggests the disorder was an inevitable reaction to the police's failures in dealing with previous attacks on ethnic Russians. "It is regrettable that it took thousands of people clashing with riot police in the center of Moscow to encourage the authorities to start investigating an ordinary criminal case," he says. "It's very sad to live in such a country." While Russia's tiny pro-West, liberal opposition is marginalized and enjoys little grassroots backing, far-right movements can boast much wider support, some of which - according to analysts and nationalist sources - comes from within the security services. Russia's hawkish NATO envoy, Dmitry Rogozin, brought nationalist sentiments into mainstream politics earlier this month when he said at a political forum also attended by Medvedev that North Caucasus internal migrants were guilty of "a violation of Russian cultural norms." "Some peoples in Russia are more equal than others, and the Russian people are now in the position of a discriminated majority," he went on. "Immigration of huge numbers of unqualified workers has created immense pressures on our cities...Multiculturalism has not led to integration of minorities but to the creation of a fifth column."
Rogozin, who has been predicted to make a return to domestic politics ahead of December's parliamentary polls, made headlines across Russia in 2005 with an advert for his Rodina (Motherland) party that featured the slogan "Let's clean Moscow of rubbish" and depicted him scolding a group of Caucasus migrants for littering the streets. But he has always denied the clip was racist and dismisses suggestions that "rubbish" was code for migrants. "The only people who saw xenophobia in that were xenophobes," he tells RIA Novosti. He also denies that both the advertisement and his party - whose slogan was "Moscow for Muscovites" - gave a boost to the far-right movement in Russia and legitimized nationalist views. He is adamant though that the "Russian Question" is the most crucial issue in the country today. "The well-being of the entire nation depends on the well-being of ethnic Russians," he says. But Dyomushkin is, surprisingly, unimpressed by Rogozin, and says that his predicted return from NATO headquarters in Brussels is simply a ploy to placate the some 50% or so of Russians who regularly admit in opinion polls to harboring xenophobic feelings.
"Rogozin didn't make any amazing discovery," Dyomushkin said. "It was just that he was allowed to say it. But we've been saying all this for the last 15 years...Only right now we have to say it in the back-streets." "For nationalists, Rogozin is not a leader...he's just some official." Dyomushkin also has no love for the policies of Russia's ruling tandem of Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and accuses them of failing to maintain inter-ethnic peace and doing nothing to stop the demographic crisis among "his people." "My nation is dying," he says, and the figures would appear to back him up. Preliminary results from last year's census show Russia's population has fallen from just over 145 million to 142.9 million since 2002. Alcohol abuse, a health system largely unfit for purpose and low birth rates among ethnic Russians have all contributed to the crisis. There is, however, one figure in Russian politics whose politics Dyomushkin admires: Chechnya's Kremlin-backed leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Dyomushkin visited the mainly Muslim southern republic in July, along with Alexander Belov, the leader of the outlawed ultra-right Movement against Illegal Immigration (DPNI).
Kadyrov - a former militant fighter who switched sides to back Moscow between the two Chechen wars - is accused of presiding over widespread human rights abuses. Russia's biggest rights group, Memorial, has also accused him of being "responsible" for the 2009 killing of prominent rights campaigner Natalia Estemirova, who headed the organization's Grozny office. Dyomushkin waves these concerns aside, saying Kadyrov is "ideal" for the Chechens and "an awful lot more effective" than Putin or Medvedev. "No one else would have been able stop the violence in Chechnya," he says. "Yes, he uses authoritarian methods, yes, he abuses human rights - but it works, doesn't it?" Dyomushkin also praises Kadyrov's "ban on alcohol and prostitution," as well as his crackdown on corruption, something he suggests no other provincial leader has "had the guts to do." He likewise expresses his admiration for Kadyrov's succesful attempts to boost population numbers in Chechnya. But while he admits that there is much about Kadyrov's Chechnya that he "as a person with a European mentality" finds unattractive, Dyomushkin also suggests that mainstream Russia needs a similar figure to steer it out of its current turmoil.
Alexei, too, yearns for a "stronger hand" that will give ethnic Russians like himself precedence over immigrant populations. I meet him outside Russia's Supreme Court, where Belov's anti-immigration DPNI movement has just been denied legal status. "There are lots of illegal migrants in Moscow, right?" he says. "If you ask me, I think they should be put in reception centers and then sent packing. They have no roots here." Like Dyomushkin, Alexei also has little love for Russia's rulers. "Putin fought two wars against the Chechens and today he smiles at meetings with North Caucasus leaders," he says. Shortly after I spoke with Alexei, a Russian student was killed with a single blow during a scuffle outside a Moscow nightclub. His suspected killer, Dagestan-born martial arts champion Rasul Mirzayev, said he attacked Ivan Agafonov because the 19-year-old insulted his girlfriend. Mirzayev, who faces up to 15 years in jail for manslaughter, was bailed for 5 million rubles ($159,000) but was promptly returned to jail following an appeal from prosecutors. The case has enflamed - again - nationalist passions, and security sources quoted by Russian media said the sportsman had been denied bail due to fears of a repeat of last year's riots.
Dyomushkin won't be drawn though on the consequences of a "not guilty" decision for Mirzayev or the suspects in the trial of the death of football fan Sviridov. "Hey, guys, let's have some cleverer questions," he says, clearly annoyed. "The answer is obvious, yeah?"
© RIA Novosti
ANTI-ROMA RIOTS ENGULF BULGARIA AFTER TEENAGE TRAGEDY
The death of 19-year-old Angel Petrov, who was hit by a van, has been blamed on associates of a Roma clan leader
28/9/2011- The hit-and-run killing of a teenager blamed on the criminal underworld has sparked violent protests across Bulgaria against the Roma community and the government for its failure to deal with organised crime. Police have arrested 200 people during protests since Friday when Angel Petrov, 19, was killed near the city of Plovdiv in central Bulgaria. Properties have been set on fire and cafes ransacked by rioters, while police have acted to prevent attacks on Roma districts and mosques in a number of cities. Bulgarian television has shown what appeared to be gangs of Roma vigilantes armed with swords, knives and air guns in anticipation of confrontation. The Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has come under criticism for not reacting to the unrest quickly enough, amid accusations from the opposition that he has failed in his pledge to tackle Bulgaria's criminal underbelly.
Mr Petrov's death, after being hit by a van, has been blamed on associates of a Roma clan leader. The arrest of the van's driver has not quietened uproar among ordinary Bulgarians, many of whom feel that the incident goes to the heart of the biggest issues facing their country: organised crime and corruption, and the status of the Roma minority. "We have not previously had such a series of racist, anti-Roma protests carried out in a number of cities," said Daniel Smilov, of the Centre for Liberal Strategies think-tank. "These were low-intensity violent and racist outbursts, but over the past 20 years we have not been accustomed to such events." Bulgaria is situated on major drugs transit routes into Europe from Asia and the authorities are also fighting human trafficking. Since joining the EU in 2007, Bulgaria has had substantial amounts of European funding temporarily suspended due to concerns about corruption. The nefarious "business" links of leading politicians regularly come under scrutiny, and the police have been criticised for failing to control the expansion of underworld networks.
The Roma community constitutes between 5 and 10 per cent of the country's population of 7.5 million. Many Roma are among Bulgaria's poorest and most marginalised people, in poor housing and living outside the regular economy and society. Many ethnic Bulgarians resent their alleged involvement in crime. "The Gypsies have too many rights and no responsibilities," said Angel Katushev, a 22-year-old student from Plovdiv, wearing a Bulgarian flag at a rally in Sofia. "We pay for them, and we want them to play an active part in social life, paying taxes, following the law and living in a civilised way." The protests have largely been orchestrated through social network websites and opposition media, including the SKAT television channel associated with the ultranationalist party Ataka ("Attack"). But many demonstrators disassociated themselves from the nationalist hardcore on whom the unrest has been blamed. "I don't want to be with the freaks, the football thugs," said Orlin Mitev, a 29-year-old tour guide at the Sofia rally.
© The Independent
FATAL ACCIDENT IN BULGARIA SPARKS ETHNIC UNREST AND ANOTHER FATALITY
25/9/2011- A tragic accident in the Bulgarian muncipality of Katunitsa during which a 19-year-old boy was run over by a car has sparked ethnic unrest there. The boy died on the scene and the driver tried to flee. The car's passengers included relatives of Kiril Rashkov, a wealthy member of the Romani community. The boy was not Romani. News server Dnes.bg reports that there are speculations the incident amounts to murder because the boy had been threatened with murder before the accident occurred.
A crowd of about 2 000 Bulgarians, including racist football fans, attacked Rashkov's home in the early morning hours of Saturday, breaking windows and setting the house on fire. Ethnic Bulgarians also set the homes of other wealthy Romani families on fire as well. The fires were put out quickly. Three police officers and two civilians were injured. Police arrested a total of 127 rioters.
During the attack on the controversial Romani family, a 17-year-old boy collapsed unconscious. He died on the way to the hospital.
Hundreds of local residents have signed a petition demanding the Rashkov family leave town. Speaking on radio and television, locals have complained about the "arrogant behavior of the so-called 'King Kiril' and his family", who in their view "behave like the rulers" there. Locals have demanded the authorities investigate the origins of Kiril Rashkov's wealth, claiming he "is worth millions and doesn't pay taxes." The local press also reports that "King Kiril" produces hard alcohol illegally.
The ethnic Bulgarian boy hit by the car will be buried today. Further unrest is expected.
© the Czech News Agency
Headlines 23 September, 2011
RACIST TAUNTS SPARK KNIFE CHASE IN GILLINGHAM (uk)
19/9/2011- Two English Defence League protesters "bit off more than they could chew" when they caused a racist scene in a kebab shop. Turkish staff armed themselves with long knives used to carve meat and chased brothers Wayne and Darren Edwards out into the street. Wayne Edwards came off the worst and needed five stitches in a wound to his head. The 36-year-old former soldier and his brother, 34, were each jailed for 14 months after a judge told them such racist aggression would not be tolerated. An Orange Order march in Gillingham on the of a match at Gillingham FC had passed peacefully when the brothers and other EDL supporters went into Town Kebab House in the High Street. Judge Philip Statman was shown CCTV film showing the drunk brothers banging on the counter and chanting "EDL". Trouble then erupted with some of the staff vaulting over the counter and others emerging with knives and steels used for preparing food. Prosecutor Anne Phillips told Maidstone Crown Court the troublemakers were chased out but they returned with others. Darren Edwards got hold of a steel and smashed a display fridge. He also smashed a window as he fled. Staff in the shop at the time included owner Ianer Timustekin, his brothers Orhan and Murat, father Abdulbaki and cousin Habib Taycur. Darren Edwards, of Alpha Road, Woking, Surrey, and Wayne Edwards, of Holly Gardens, West Drayton, west London, admitted affray. Darren Edwards also admitted destroying property.
© Kent Online
Headlines 16 September, 2011
GIANT SWASTIKA PART OF GROWING ANTI-SEMITISM TREND (Canada)
Anti-Semitic incidents in Canada at their highest in 30 years
15/9/2011- A giant swastika carved into the side of a hill in an Edmonton park seems to reflect a larger trend of anti-Semitic incidents and racism across Canada. The swastika was found by a worker at Castle Downs Park who said he witnessed a group of young males carving the image into the ground. The Edmonton police are investigating but so far no charges have been laid. John Reilly, a spokesperson for Racism Free Edmonton, says such incidents are “a disturbing consistent presence within our communities.” According to B’nai Brith Canada’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, there has been a five-fold increase in harassment and violence against Jews in Canada in the past 10 years. More than 1,300 incidents were recorded in 2010—the highest in almost 30 years, with the majority occurring in Ontario and Quebec. The incidents include harassment, stereotyping, discrimination, threats, violence, and vandalism involving “crimes of messaging”—offensive graffiti that contains racial slurs or swastikas.
The identity of the perpetrators is largely unknown due to the frequent anonymity of the crimes, but the audit reported 97 cases where the perpetrator self-identified as being of Arab origin, followed by seven Blacks, three Chinese, and one German. Reilly says there are known white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups that are often the perpetrators of anti-Semitic attacks, but in a survey of Jewish Canadians commissioned by B’nai Brith, the greatest single concern amongst Jewish communities was about extremist Islamic organizations and dictatorships, not neo-Nazis or other sources. Social media and the Internet were also reported in the audit as being used increasingly for spreading hate, or assembling groups to participate in anti-Jewish events. “The key interest of the hate-motivated groups is to recruit. Everything that we can do to infiltrate and stop that kind of recruitment is a benefit to the community,” says Reilly. Anti-Semitic incidents are less common in Alberta, but are increasing consistently across many Canadian provinces.
Last month, vandals in Toronto used stencils to spray-paint black and red swastikas in visible locations in Jewish communities. In one incident, a swastika and the words “Islam will rule” was spray-painted near a synagogue entrance in broad daylight. In July, a Calgary man who identified himself as a white supremacist was sentenced to 18 months probation and 150 hours of community service for defacing a Holocaust memorial and two Jewish synagogues in a 2009 crime spree that shocked Calgary’s Jewish community.
Anti-Semitism on Campuses
In 2009, the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism was formed and brought together 22 parliamentarians of all political stripes for the purpose of confronting and combating anti-Semitism in Canada. The committee recently ended a two-year inquiry which concluded that anti-Semitism was on the rise on university campuses, and recommended the government do more to tackle hate crimes against Jews. According to a 2010 study by Tel Aviv University, anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise not only in Canada, but around the world. Researchers attributed the rising occurrences in 2009 to the Israeli government’s military operation against Hamas in Gaza in late 2008, which triggered global anti-Semitic sentiment. Reilly says virtually any clearly identifiable group can become a target or scapegoat for racism, noting the spike in discrimination against Muslim and Arab communities following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre.
In 2006 the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination was formed to monitor systemic and individual discrimination in Canada. The coalition now includes 47 municipalities from across the country. “Cities have come together in response to try and address racism where it manifests itself. However, we’re not just responding to those overt kinds of blatant incidents of hate. We’re also looking at the embedded systemic racism that takes place within our institutions that we want to begin to address,” says Reilly.
© The Epoch Tmes
ANOTHER JEWISH MEMORIAL DEFACED IN POLAND
Vandals rearrange bushes at Bialystock cemetery by rearranging bushes forming the Star of David into a Nazi swastika
13/9/2011- Vandals have defaced a Jewish memorial in eastern Poland by rearranging bushes forming the Star of David into a Nazi swastika, police said on Monday, in the latest of a string of anti-Semitic incidents in the area. "Unknown assailants, most likely overnight, vandalized a monument commemorating a former Jewish cemetery," a police spokesman in the city of Bialystok, Andrzej Baranowski, told TVN 24 news channel. Television pictures showed the swastika, made from bushes, sitting in the middle of the original Star of David. "The (Nazi) symbol has now been removed," Baranowski said. Poland was home to Europe's largest Jewish population until Nazi Germany's invasion and occupation of the country during World War Two. Most Polish Jews perished in the Holocaust. The Polish government and Jewish groups have sharply condemned the recent acts of vandalism against Jewish targets. Bialystok police have said they believe the attacks were performed by the same people. On Sept. 1, at a site near Bialystok, vandals covered a monument to victims of a World War Two pogrom against Polish Jews with swastikas and racist inscriptions.
ANTI-ROMA PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
For weeks there have been riots between Czech locals and newly settled Roma in northern Bohemia. What started as a series of brutal but isolated fights has grown into a popular movement in small towns along the eastern German border. Right-wing extremists have fanned the hatred.
16/9/2011- No, Jindich Nestler wouldn't call himself a racist. "The good gypsies can stay," he says. "But most of them are lazy or criminals or even terrorists. They have to disappear." Nestler is a 36-year-old official of the far-right "Workers' Party for Social Justice," or DSSS, by its Czech initials. DSSS is a successor party to the neo-Nazi group Dlnická Strana (DS), which was banned a year and a half ago by the highest Czech administrative court. One reason the court gave for the ban was that Dlnická Strana organized rallies that led to pogrom-like riots against the Roma. For the last several weeks, far-right extremists have been back on the offensive. They're worried -- again -- about the Roma minority in the Czech Republic. In a part of Bohemia called Šluknovský výbžek, near the border with the eastern German state of Saxony, a bitter feud is raging between ethnic Czech locals and several hundred Roma. Interior Minister Jan Kubice has sent a detachment of 250 police to the region to quell any more problems, but he's had to admit that the situation had lurched out of control. So far, the massive police presence has not calmed things down. One center of violence is Nový Bor. Some 300 neo-Nazis, most of them young men with bald heads and black jackets, marched alone last Saturday through the small town roughly 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the German border. The right-wing extremists chanted "Gypsies must go" and "Free, social and national" -- a phrase also used by members of the right-wing extremist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD). "We are the voice of the people," claimed Nestler, the DSSS official. And several hundred locals, in fact, stand by the road to applaud the neo-Nazis.
Machetes in a Bar
Around 600 police officers, many in riot gear, tried to keep the situation under control. Some German police also stood at roadblocks on the road to Nový Bor. "We're here to give administrative assistance," one female officer from Saxony said. By the end of the day, more serious outbursts of violence had been sparked a few kilometers away. Such strong anti-Roma sentiment has generally been associated with other parts of Europe, like Hungary , where for years bloody riots against them have taken place. But the current outbreak started several months ago, when more and more Roma families started moving to Šluknovský výbžek. Police noticed a sharp uptick in crime -- theft above all -- and at the start of August, several Roma boys armed with machetes attacked a bar in Nový Bor, where a fight had previously broken out between Roma and some other guests. "You white pigs," the young men reportedly hollered; three patrons were injured. The far-right DSSS likes doesn't mind fanning the fears of ordinary Czechs. Tomáš Vandas, who leads the party, likes to sharpen the tone. He's declared Nový Bor the site of a "battle for the future."
Roma representatives, on the other hand, complain of exposure to a constant discrimination which has never been taken seriously by Czech society. Neo-Nazis threw Molotov cocktails at the house of a Roma family in the eastern Czech town of Ostrava, for example. A two-year old girl suffered serious burns. The Roma in Nový Bor sit in front of a dilapidated barracks on the edge of town. No one wants to talk with journalists. "Please don't take our picture," a young woman says. A social worker, who doesn't want to be named, points at the house. The living conditions are catastrophic: Some families with two children live in single rooms. "Of course a lot of Roma are criminals," the social worker says. But she can't stand the DSSS. "You lock people in a place like this and you wonder why they have social problems."
Paying Roma to Move
Around 250,000 Roma live among 10 million Czechs, and it's no coincidence that more and more of the ethnic minority have come to this part of northern Bohemia. There are 300 similar slums around the country. Several can be found in big-city centers. Real-estate companies pay the Roma -- or offer to forgive their debts -- if they abandon potentially lucrative buildings in city centers and move to remote regions near the German border. The companies even bring them to specific abandoned houses, then charge high rents -- or even claim welfare subsidies directly from the state. Some homeowners "exploit" the Roma, says Martin Šimáek, director of a state agency for social integration. Real-estate speculators charge them unprecedented, sky-high rents and excessive rates for water and power, he says. "This leads to unrest and creates problems for coexistence throughout the entire town," Šimáek told a Czech radio station.
Jirí Moravec won't deny these root causes for the violence. He's the head of the DSSS in Varnsdorf, 20 kilometers north of Nový Bor, right on the German border. "A lazy government and clever real-estate firms have brought us the Roma problem," he admits. "Now we have to take the law into our own hands." Moravec won't elaborate on just what he means by this, but what he could be alluding to is on display the following Sunday. Dozens of neo-Nazis tried to storm the former Hotel Sport, where Varndorf's Roma live. The ground floor of the collapsed building had been walled shut; heavily armed police secured the surrounding streets. Officers in civilian clothing guarded the door. The extremists didn't seem to mind. They threw stones and firecrackers at the guards. Officials only managed to drive away the DSSS members with firehoses; police said 41 arrests were made.
To enter the Hotel Sport you have to climb into the rear courtyard. A man named Roman sits there. He's 27 and unemployed, like most of the hotel guests. When Roman receives money, he sends a friend to a nearby supermarket for food. "I'm a gypsy, no one would ever give me a job," he says. Even black-market construction work goes to Ukrainian workers before it would go to him, he says. He and his wife and their two kids need to get by on 2,000 koruna per month (about €80 or $112). He doesn't want to blame all his Czech neighbors wholesale. But he says about half the people in Varnsdorf are racist. "I'm a gypsy," Roman says again. "When it gets to be too much, I just move to another country."
© The Spiegel
POLICE CHARGE SEVEN PEOPLE OVER ANTI-ROMA MARCHES (Czech Republic)
12/9/2011- The Czech police Monday said they have accused five people in connection with Saturday's anti-Roma march in Varnsdorf, and another two over a similar march in Novy Bor, elsewhere in north Bohemia. During the march in Varnsdorf, led by the ultra-right Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS) and joined by a number of local residents, the police repeatedly clashed with the several-hundred-strong crowd to bar its way to Romani dormitories. Tree demonstrators have been accused of attacking a police officer and another two of promoting banned movements by wearing Nazi symbols, regional police spokeswoman Jarmila Hrubesova told CTK. Of the three aggressors, two face up to six years in prison for using weapons if found guilty. One of them, a 35-year-old man from Hradec Kralove, east Bohemia, twice shot from a gas pistol at the police during a road check. No one was injured. Another man, aged 25, threw stones at the police and their car during the demonstration in Varnsdorf. He has also been accused of damaging other people's property. A 47-year-old woman has been accused of attacking a public official.
The two men accused of promoting a banned movement are 31 and 33 years old. They face up to three years in prison if found guilty. "They wore T-shirts with banned symbols," Hrubesova said. In Novy Bor, where a DSSS-organised demonstration took place earlier on Saturday afternoon, the police have levelled accusations against two men, A 26-year-old man from Sokolov, west Bohemia, has been accused of inciting to hatred towards a group of people. He wore a T-shirt with slogans supporting an April 2009 arson attack on a Roma family by extremists in north Moravia. He may face up to two years in prison. The other man, aged 21 and coming from Prerov, north Moravia, is prosecuted for suspected promotion of a movement aimed to suppress human rights and freedoms. He wore a T-shirt with pro-Nazi slogans. He may face up to five years in jail, the police told CTK. The Saturday demonstrations were convoked in Noy Bor, Varnsdorf and nearby Rumburk by the DSSS. In Varnsdorf, the rally developed into an illegal march towards Romani dormitories and the protesters clashed with the police who used a water cannon, firecrackers and tear gas to disperse them. Six people suffered light injuries, including three police, and 37 people were taken to the police station for questioning.
© The Prague Daily Monitor
DISABILITY HATE CRIME BEGINS WITH VERBAL ABUSE (uk, opinion)
The horrific death of Gemma Hayter shows why we must challenge the abuse that disabled people receive every day
14/9/2011- Gemma Hayter died naked and alone after being tortured and brutalised. Her killers were known to her. More than that, to Gemma, a 27-year-old learning disabled woman, these people were her friends. Most people reading the account of the trial will be sickened and wonder where the culture of disability abuse has sprung from. As the EHRC publishes its findings that disability hate crime is increasing and Scope reports that discrimination and abuse against disabled people in the streets has risen in the last year, the times are changing for the worse. For disabled people and those of us who love them this change is very worrying indeed. As with the recent allegations about the systemic abuse of disabled people in residential hospitals such as Winterbourne View, the problem seems beyond our ability to compute. We are appalled and recognise nothing in the actions of these sadistic people that dovetails with our frame of reference so we reject it as the actions of a few. Actions like these, however, don't begin with death or violence or torture. The genesis of this behaviour starts in the smallest and most preventable way.
It begins with verbal abuse.
The fact is that this behaviour, which should be abhorrent in a civilised society, is in fact on the increase. The catalogue of abuse meted out against disabled people is routine and forms a spectrum. The extreme end point is torture and death but the birth of dehumanising bigotry is always verbal abuse.We can't allow this to continue. We can't collectively challenge and legislate against racism, anti-semitism and homophobia but allow disablism to present itself unchallenged. Because it is in the language that we use everyday that seeds for disablism are sown and disabled people reap the harvest as targeted abuse. As we turn away we can no longer see the words written about sadistic killings of innocent people but we can hear the language of discrimination at every turn. A "retard" joke here or a "window licker" comment there feeds the bigots and more importantly, more worryingly, it sets a precedent. It tells us that disabled people are worthless.
Gemma wasn't worthless to me. Neither was David Askew, or Fiona Pilkington or her daughter Francecca
. I worry all the time what the future means for disabled people like my daughter who will remain a five-year-old for life. I know abuse will be a factor in her life. As a parent you worry about the slim possibility of harm coming to your child. As the parent of a disabled child the question isn't if but when
. Disability abuse, whether dressed up as satire by some comics and TV presenters making insulting and tenuous epithetsfor stupidity and ignorance or straightforward hatred screamed at you on the street, needs to be challenged every single day. The vogue use of "retard" by unthinking or uncaring celebrities ensures that their millions of fans have a new word to use with their friends. An excuse of free speech doesn't work here either. Hate speech isn't free speech when it locks others into a prison of stereotyping and perpetrates abuse.
We can't stamp out bigotry entirely but we can remove the oxygen that feeds it. We can challenge the support networks which promote it and we can demand that others do the same. It's something we can all do, and it's something that a civilised society should do, because irrespective of how often or how determinedly we turn our heads from the inconvenient truth, all hate crime
begins with verbal abuse.
• Nicky Clark is a disability rights campaigner, mother to two children with disabilities, carer and blogger at nickyclark.blogspot.com/
© The Guardian blog
TEEN GIRL STAMPS HEELS ON MAN'S CHEST IN RACIST ATTACK (uk)
13/9/2011- A teenage girl stamped on the chest of a Chinese man as he lay dazed on the pavement during a racist attack, it emerged today. The girl, said to be around 17 years old, aimed her heel at the centre of the man's chest after he had been attacked and knocked to the ground during an unprovoked assault and robbery in Clerk Street. The 34-year-old victim, who was born in Hong Kong and lives in the Capital, was said to be shaken but uninjured following the attack in which his designer watch worth hundreds of pounds was also stolen. The man had been walking home from a night out between 2am and 3.30am on Saturday when he was approached by two strangers at the traffic light junction near Nicolson Street asking for a cigarette lighter. On being told he didn't have one, the pair - the girl and a man aged 17 or 18 - hurled racist abuse at him before he was beaten about the head. While the man was on the ground the teenage girl trampled on his chest and his Tag Heuer watch was taken from his wrist. The victim managed to get to his feet momentarily before again being punched to the ground.
Detective Sergeant Mike Leask, who is spearheading the investigation, said it was a "totally unprovoked" attack that was "completely unacceptable for Edinburgh City Centre". "Without any provocation, a man has run up behind the victim and punched him in the back of the head," said DS Leask. "He's stumbled to the ground after taking a few more punches and the girl has stamped on his chest. "Before this they had been asking for a lighter and when he said he didn't have one they used racist language and he began to walk off." DS Leask said a 35-year-old man, who may have been in the company of the two teenagers, then ended the assault by pulling to duo away. The victim, who suffered minor grazes, didn't report the assault to police until the morning. DS Leask said the Chinese man was left shaken by his ordeal and was "distressed" a valuable watch had been stolen. He said: "He's devastated that he lost the watch and upset that he's been attacked while coming home from a night out and while walking through quite a populated area.
"He said the first attack lasted for about a minute and the second about 30 seconds." The male teenager is described as being white, 5ft 9ins tall with a medium build and medium-length blond hair. He was wearing a green top, grey tracksuit bottoms, white trainers and spoke with a Scottish accent. The 17-year-old girl is described as white, 5ft 6ins tall with a skinny build and medium-length brown hair. She was wearing a pink top and light-coloured jeans. Police also want to speak to the man who helped stop the attack, who is described as being 5ft 8ins tall with a stocky build and short dark hair. He was wearing a dark top and dark jeans. A police spokesman said: "Police will not tolerate criminal behaviour motivated by prejudice and are committed to tackling all forms of hate crime. Anyone found to be responsible will be robustly dealt with."
© The Scotsman
MUM BEATEN WITH A STICK IN TOXTETH STREET BY RACIST THUG (uk)
12/9/2011- A mum-of-four was attacked by a stick-wielding racist thug after her grandad’s funeral. Adele Samson was waiting for a taxi in Lodge Lane, Toxteth, when a passer-by asked her to come to his house for a drink. When she refused, he shot off a volley of foul racist abuse before beating her with a wooden stick so badly she was taken to hospital. The thug only stopped his attack, which left the 37-year-old covered in bumps and bruises and requiring stitches, when a taxi driver pulled up and frightened him off. Adele told the ECHO: “I thought he was going to kill me. I have never been so frightened. “I just want him caught so he cannot do this to anyone else or ends up murdering somebody.” On Friday, September 2, Adele, a carer, and her family, had attended the funeral of her grandad. After the service, they went to the Boundary pub, at the top of Smithdown Road. After leaving, Adele made her way into Lodge Lane to wait for a taxi, when the stranger started harassing her.She said: “He walked past me about three times and asked if I wanted to come back to his for a drink. “I said ‘no, I don’t go to stranger’s houses for drinks’ and that was when he started getting nasty and saying racist things. “Then he came at me with this stick – it looked like a chair leg – and just started whacking me. I thought I was going to die. “I shouted at him to stop but it made no difference.” At around 3am, a passing taxi driver saw the commotion and the attacker ran off. Adele was taken to the Royal Liverpool Hospital and her skull was X-rayed.
© The Liverpool Echo
HATE CRIMES ON THE INCREASE IN CUMBRIA (uk)
The number of hate crimes across Cumbria increased last year, with more people being targeted over their sexuality.
12/9/2011- The latest official figures show that last year the number of crimes in the county motivated by hostility over race, religion, disability, and sexual orientation reached 275 – compared to 247 during the previous 12 months. One local expert has suggested that racist abuse in the county has become more violent in recent months. The latest figures, from the Association of Chief Police Officers, show that 180 of the incidents in Cumbria were over race, 49 for sexuality, 19 for faith, 18 for disability and nine for transgender issues. Yet nationally hate crimes fell over the same period, down from 51,920 in 2009 to 48,127 last year. Aftab Khan, a development officer for the social enterprise group AWAZ Cumbria, which represents black and minority groups, said: “What is most worrying is that the nature of race hate in Cumbria seems to be changing. “It used to be mainly just verbal, but it is becoming more violent. In one incident, three young people were attacked as they played football in Rickerby Park in Carlisle. In another, in Workington, people chased a Bangladeshi worker down the street and attacked him.”
Mr Khan said the police were trying to tackle the issues but not enough was being done by other public agencies, including councils. He called for Cumbria Probation Service to focus more to rehabilitate offenders who are racially motivated. A spokesperson for Cumbria Police said: “Hate crime is not acceptable in any form, and we would continue to encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim to report this to the police. “Cumbria Constabulary is committed to reducing the under-reporting of hate crime and the increase can be taken as a positive indicator that more people have the confidence to report incidents of hate crime. We should not become complacent in our efforts to encourage those who can be victims of hate crime to come forward. “Cumbria Constabulary will strive to lead the way in promoting a diverse community for all who those who wish to live, work and visit.” ACPO lead on equality, diversity and human rights, Chief Constable Stephen Otter, said the increase in hate crimes figures may relate to an increased in reporting rather than more crimes.
“We have committed to building victims’ confidence and improving our recording practices so that more victims can access the service they deserve. We continue to build on this improvement and I would encourage anyone who is a victim of hate crime to report it to their local police or to use True Vision, our online reporting facility at www.report-it.org.uk,” he said. Separate figures released from the Home Office show the number of racist incidents in Cumbria was 219 in 2010/11 compared with 213 in 2009/10. The discrepancy in figures relate to the fact that not all racist incidents can be classed as race hate crimes, including domestics.
© News and Star
Headlines 9 September, 2011
FRENCH POLICE STOP FACEBOOK CALL TO CUT MUSLIMS' THROATS
9/9/2011- French police are trying to track down the instigator of a Facebook page that called on people to cut the throats of Muslims on the Eid Al-Adha holiday. The page has been closed down but its author is being sought for breaking anti-racist laws. Spotted by the Collective against Islamophobia, the page, reproduced on the collective's website, was headlined “Cut Muslims’ throats, not sheep’s”. It called on people all over the world to turn to Islamophobic murder on 6 November, the date of Eid Al-Adha which marks the end of the Haj, the piligrimage to Mecca which is one of the obligations of a good Muslim. During the festivities Muslims sacrifice sheep in honour of Abraham, regarded as a prophet by Islam, Judaism and Christianity, to mark the biblical story of his willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and the Angel Gabriel’s offer of a sheep as a substitute. “At last we will be able to celebrate for a good reason,” the page declared. The police have declared the page’s message “despicable words which are actionable under law”.
8/9/2011- A drunken teenager who carried out an assault before racially abusing a man during the Tall Ships celebrations was left almost £1,000 out of pocket at Lerwick Sheriff Court today. Danne Scott, 17, of the town’s Russell Crescent, placed a man in a headlock during a live music event to mark the celebrations on 22nd July. He also grabbed a coloured man’s clothing and pulled him to the ground before calling him a “black b******”. The court heard Scott’s victims were known to him, although there was no history of bad blood between them. Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Scott had challenged the two after he thought they were looking at him. He assaulted them “almost immediately”. Referring to his second victim, he shouted: “I’m going to kill that black b******”. There was a strong police presence at the event and officers approached and restrained Scott. “It is fortunate that neither complainer sustained any injury,” said Mr MacKenzie. Defence agent Tommy Allan said the apprentice plumber, who is due to start a study block at college in Elgin, was later taken to hospital by police because he was so drunk he was unfit to be detained. He said Scott was aware vodka had a particularly bad affect on him. Sheriff Graeme Napier was not best pleased to know Scott had been drinking at all, given his age. He was intrigued to know why vodka should have any worse affect on him than any other drink. He told Scott: “I hope you are ashamed of your behaviour. There are far too many young men in Shetland who think abusing alcohol is just a way of life. It’s depressing and it continues to depress me.” He fined Scott £480 and ordered him to pay £550 in compensation. “Whatever you spent on drink that night it’s now cost you almost £1,000 more,” he said.
© The Shetland Times
CASES OF HATE CRIME 'SHOW FALL' (uk)
8/9/2011- The number of hate crimes recorded by police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has fallen. Last year there were 48,127 offences motivated by prejudice against race, religion, sexuality or because the victim was disabled or transgender. This is down from 51,920 in 2009, according to figures collected for the Association of Chief Police Officers. Crimes against disabled or transgender victims did rise. Police say these areas were under-reported in the past. Chief Constable Stephen Otter, Acpo lead on equality, diversity and human rights, said: "Hate crimes cause a great deal of fear among victims and communities. "We are determined to reduce the harm caused by hate crime and as a service we have listened to victims' groups who have told us that by publishing this data, confidence in the police and the wider criminal justice system would be improved." He urged anyone who was a victim of hate crime to report it to local police or online at Acpo's True Vision website. "One of the greatest challenges is to reduce the under-reporting of hate crime," said Iqbal Bhana, deputy chair of the government's Hate Crime Advisory Group. "It is good to see progress but there is still a long way to go before we can be satisfied that hate crime victims are properly protected."
© BBC News
BNP ORGANISER CONVICTED FOR RACIST TIRADE (uk)
7/9/2011- A BNP organiser and council candidate was yesterday found guilty of using racially aggravated threatening or insulting words and behaviour after he called a petrol station worker “a black bastard”. Darren Lumb, the BNP organiser for Wakefield, was convicted at Pontefract Magistrates’ Court following an altercation with garage staff regarding the price of diesel. Lumb had already been banned from the petrol station in March 2011 following a similar argument with staff; however he returned on St George’s day in May and following his racist outburst staff demanded he left and called the police who later arrested him for the offence. Lumb who was flanked by a dozen BNP members and supporters at court pleaded not guilty, claiming that he had never visited the garage and that he was at a BNP St George’s Day event in Rotherham. This was the same event at which a number of BNP officers, including Rachel Firth and Danny Cooke, were photographed drunkenly handling firearms.
Cooke and Firth both gave evidence on his behalf but failed to mention that they hold senior positions in the party. Unemployed Lumb who has previous convictions for assault and disorder was found guilty. He was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £250 in costs. Griffinite Lumb, who once declared on Facebook that he was a “Hard line, anti establishment Aryan”, has a “Tree of life” tattoo on his forearm. This symbol, also known as the life rune, is a favourite among nazi groups worldwide, several of which have adopted it as their logo. Under Hitler it was the symbol of the SS Lebensborn project, which encouraged SS troopers to have children out of wedlock with “Aryan” mothers and kidnapped children of Aryan appearance from the countries of occupied Europe to raise as Germans. Outside the court some of Lumb’s BNP supporters attempted to intimidate local journalists by taking their photographs and threatening to post their details on the nazi Redwatch website.
© HOPE not Hate
7/9/2011- 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.
© The Scotsman
NOTTINGHAM PIG'S HEAD MOSQUE RACE ABUSE MEN SENTENCED (uk)
5/9/2011- Three men have been fined for placing a pig's head near the site of a proposed mosque in Nottinghamshire. Wayne Havercroft, 41, of Bestwood Village, was fined £585 by Nottingham magistrates for racially aggravated public order offences. Nicholas Long, 22, of Arnold, and Robert Parnham, 20, of Clifton were fined £300 over the incident in West Bridgford in June. The court heard "No mosque here, EDL Notts" was sprayed on the ground. In July, Christopher Payne, 25 of Hucknall was given a six-week suspended sentence and fined £335 and given 100 hours of community service for the same offence. Crown Prosecution Service spokesman Brian Gunn said: "This kind of targeted abuse based on the grounds of religion or race has no place in our community." Mr Gunn added: "The actions of this group were highly offensive and would obviously have caused significant distress to the community in West Bridgford had it not been discovered at an early stage." The court was told the men had been drunk at the time and had since said they were ashamed of their behaviour.
© BBC News
WINDOWS BROKEN ON MOSQUE IN BELGRADE SUBURB (Serbia)
mosque under construction was targeted in the early hours of Monday in the Belgrade suburb of Borča, said reports.
5/9/2011- Unknown perpetrators broke several windows and set fire to tires in front of the building. There were no injuries in the incident, but significant material damage was done, the Islamic Community of Serbia said in a statement. The perpetrators also attempted but failed to break in through the front door, according to this. Muslim worshipers attend services at the mosque daily even though its construction has not been finalized yet. Beside the Bajrakli mosque in downtown Belgrade, this is the only other mosque in the capital city. Although there were attempts of breaking into the structure last year, the Islamic Community say that they have good relations with the locals, many of whom are worshipers themselves. The Islamic Community of Serbia condemned the incident in strongest terms, and said it expected the authorities to react urgently in order to find and punish the perpetrators, noting that "religious structures represent the whole people and attacks on them are equivalent to attacks against the whole people". The police investigated the scene this morning and are expected to reveal the details about the case at a later date.
Headlines 2 September, 2011
JEDWABNE MONUMENT VANDALISED (Poland)
As Poland began its commemorations marking the 72nd anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, unidentified assailants vandalised a monument that pays tribute to Jews who died at the hands of their Polish neighbours in eastern Poland in 1941.
1/9/2011- The vandalism was discovered this morning in Jedwabne, north west Poland, where in July 1941, over 300 Jews were herded into a barn and burnt by local Polish Catholics. Police investigating the incident in the nearby city of Bialystok are presently looking into a rash of recent, although as of yet unclarified acts of nationalistic vandalism in the area. These include the defacing of 28 signs in Lithuanian (there is a significant Lithuanian minority in the region), an arson attack on the Muslim Cultural Centre in Bialystok, and fascist graffiti on the walls of the 18th century synagogue in the village of Orla. Police have not commented on whether they believe the crimes to be related. In the case of today's discovery at the Jedwabne monument, the obelisk has been daubed with provocative slogans. “Do not apologise for Jedwabne,” one reads. “They burnt easily,” reads another. Inscriptions in Polish and Hebrew have been painted over, and swastikas now mark the monument. The obelisk was originally installed to mark the 60th anniversary of the Jedwabne pogrom. At that time, the then president of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, formally apologised to the Jewish nation for the massacre.
© The News - Poland
POLICE INVESTIGATE RACIST ABUSE AT POLISH FOOTBALL MATCH
Police in Lower Silesia are investigating outbreaks of racist abuse at a match between Polish premier division teams Slask Wroclaw and Widzew Lodz on Sunday.
31/8/2011- Chants from Wroclaw supporters, who were playing at home, denounced the Widzew team as “Zydzew” (Jews), shouting: “Jews, Jews, Jews, all of Lodz are Jews." The central city of Lodz was the site of an infamous Nazi death camp during WW II. Many of the chants shocked some who attended the game., including: “Auschwitz is your home,” and “and you're going to the oven.” But the offensive chants were not just limited to vulgar anti-Semitism. Some members of the Wroclaw fanbase also erupted into monkey noises whenever the ball was passed to Lodz's black players, Ugokuchwu Ukah and Princewell Okachi. Incitement to hatred in the context of faith or ethnicity can warrant a prison sentence of up to two years in Poland. Police have already detained one 20 year old Wroclaw supporter, and the matter will also be examined by the premier league Ekstraklasa Commission. A Uefa-sponsored report by the East European Monitoring Centre revealed scores of similar hate crimes in Polish football, when the study was released this spring. UEFA., the European football governing body, has expressed concern about racist chanting AT Polish matches ahead of the Euro 2012 championships, to be co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine. “Polish football is often quite multi-cultural, which is emblematic of broader demographic changes across Europe, but the situation in many stadiums still gives reasons for concern,” said Dr Rafal Pankowski, the coordinator of the East Europe Monitoring Centre set up by UEFA, after submitting evidence to the Polish parliament’s National and Ethnic Minorities Committee this August.
© The News - Poland
SWEDISH COP: GAYS A 'CANCER ON SOCIETY'
A police officer in Malmö in southern Sweden is under investigation after having called homosexuals a “cancer on society” in reference to a lesbian colleague who also serves as the department's hate crimes educator.
2/9/2011- “My whole body just froze. I felt like a rat that had been pissed on,” Jeanette Larsson, the hate crimes educator with the Skåne County Police, told Sveriges Television (SVT). Larsson, who has worked on the police force for twenty years, explained that she was on her way out of the lunchroom back in early July when she overheard a conversation between a male colleague and a female police recruit. The officer told the recruit he didn't approve of Larsson's lifestyle. “He said that homosexuals are a cancer on society and made a reference to the Bible,” she said. “I felt degraded, dirty and violated and I quickly realised that, ironically enough, I'd been subject to a hate crime.” Larsson said she is one of 15 openly gay women on the Skåne police force and has been educating her colleagues on how to best handle hate crime cases for the past year.
In February 2009, the Skåne police came under fire following reports of racist comments by officers on duty and revelations that racist stereotypes had been used in police training manuals. "You little ape son of a bitch. Should I make him sterile when I catch him?" one police officer was recorded as saying when responding to disturbances in Malmö's Rosengård district in December 2008. "Yeah, he’s going to get beat so well that he won’t be able to stand on his own legs," answered a colleague. The officers also referred to young people in the predominantly immigrant district as “blattajävlar”, an ethnic slur which translates roughly into “damn coloured people” or “damn immigrants”. On its own, “blatte” is a derogatory Swedish term often used in reference to an immigrant. These statements had been captured on the police's own video and resulted in the officers being reassigned and fined.
Days later, it emerged that police training manuals used in 2008 included the names "Neger Niggersson" and "Oskar Neger" (Negro) for fictional characters in an exercise. The revelations prompted demonstrations against racism on the Skåne police force as well as an internal investigation to find ways to restore confidence in the police. Larsson has so far trained about a quarter of her colleagues, and while the July incident has dampened her motivation to continue, she nevertheless vowed to press ahead with her work on what she called “essential issues”. While Larsson filed a police report following the comments, prosecutors dropped their investigation, although an internal police investigation continues. However, the officer who made the comments hasn't been disciplined. Instead he has been allowed to continue working at the police station reception desk, much to Larsson's disappointment. “Is it right to have a police officer with those kinds of values as the first person you meet?” she told SVT. According to Larsson, police leadership needs to “put its foot down” and show that they are serious when discussing diversity and values.
© The Local - Sweden
Sweden has added to more cases of attempted murder to the suspicions against a man believed to have carried out a year-long shooting spree targeting immigrants, court officials said Tuesday.
31/8/2011- The 39-year-old man identified by Swedish media as Peter Mangs was arrested last November following a series of race-related shootings in the southern city of Malmö. He is already suspected for three murders and 12 counts of attempted murder in Sweden's third largest city, but prosecutors added two more counts of attempted murder related to shootings on the night of June 26, 2010. Media have reported that the accused suffers from a form of autism called Asperges Syndrome. Mangs didn't appear surprised by the court's decision, according to the TT news agency. Through his lawyer, Christina Brink, Mangs denied committing any of the crimes of which he is suspected. While an official indictment is scheduled to be filed on September 13th, few expect the investigation to be complete by then. Detective Börje Sjöholm told reporters that the police investigation of Mangs is time consuming and lengthy, as each crime is being investigated individually. “New questions come up all the time forcing us to go back through the investigation material and look for answers,” he said, according to TT. In total, Mangs is suspected of 19 serious crimes, but investigators aren't ruling out the possibility that more shootings may be tied to the 39-year-old.
© The Local - Sweden
RUMBURK: "GYPSIES TO THE GAS CHAMBERS! BLACK SWINE! WE'LL BURN YOU ALIVE" (Czech Rep.)
30/8/2011- Last Friday's demonstration "against violent crime" in Rumburk deteriorated into a racist hunt for local Romani residents. The mob circulated repeatedly through the town looking for Romani people. Ethnic Czechs gathered several times in front of buildings where Romani people were thought to be living. They threw pieces of wood and rocks at two homes and destroyed the fence around another one. Police did not intervene until the mob attempted to break into the second home and started throwing apples at police officers. During the entire march, as well as on the town square, the mob shouted racist abuse and calls to violence against Romani people such as: "Black swine", "Gypsies to the gas chambers", "I'd set them all on fire, bury them alive, stab them in the back", etc. Police did not intervene against these racists.
Video footage of these events
LIFE SENTENCE FOR ABERDEEN RACE ATTACK MAN KEITH PORTER (uk)
1/9/2011- A man convicted of a racist attack in an Aberdeen prison has been given a life sentence. Keith Porter, 23, was in jail after an attack on Jaroslaw Janeczek in Aberdeen, with a wooden mop handle. Porter was then convicted of a racially-aggravated assault while in Aberdeen's Craiginches Prison. He must serve a minimum of five years for the second attack and the judge warned he would be supervised for the rest of his life. Judge Lord Woolman, in his sentencing statement, said the jail term for the prison attack would not start until Porter had served the nine years and four months sentence for the attack on Mr Janeczek. The judge said Porter would only be released if the parole board thought he posed no further danger - and he would be the subject of an order for lifelong restriction after his release. The judge told him: "Your record makes disturbing reading. Although only 23, you have 30 convictions, many involving violence. "In 2005 you were convicted of four charges with a racial element. Various attempts have been made both in prison and in the community to address your problems, but without success. "On 11 July 2009 you attempted to murder another Polish male, although the charge did not include a racial aggravation."
Porter could not be sentenced until Lord Woolman had called for detailed background reports, assessing the risks he posed. Cleaner Mr Janeczek, 39, suffered serious internal injuries in the original attack in Alexander Drive in 2009. His life was saved by the efforts of surgeons. Porter admitted attempted murder. He had carried out the second attack while awaiting sentence. Porter was found guilty of hitting 28-year-old Daniel Kaizer over the head with a 10kg weightlifting bar in the gym of Craiginches, in a racially-aggravated attack.
© BBC News
CROYDON POLICE OFFICER JAILED FOR 18 MONTHS AFTER ASSAULTING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT (uk)
1/9/2011- A police officer who kicked an illegal immigrant in the head as though he was "kicking a football" has been jailed for 18 months. PC Edward Prince, 31, booted Trinidadian victim Nyrone Games, 27, in an act of "thoughtless naked aggression" as colleagues pinned him face down on the pavement in Brighton Road, South Croydon. The plainclothes officer told Mr Games he would have suffered much worse treatment if the event had not been captured on CCTV, saying '"ou would have got a good kicking. You well deserved what you got". Eyewitnesses described seeing blood splattered across the victim's face and on the ground beneath his head after the assault. Prince denied deliberately kicking Mr Games in the head during an arrest and said he was only following orders to restrain the man. But a jury at Southwark Crown Court today convicted Prince of assault occasioning actual bodily harm after rejecting his claims. Jailing the shamed officer, Judge Jeffrey Pegden said this afternoon (Thursday): "Witnesses described your actions as like kicking a football with some force. "In my judgement you also hit the prone man with your radio, which was in your hand. "You caused him cuts and grazes to his face and a swollen and blackened left eye. "Your actions amounted to an extremely grave breach of you public duty and a gross breach of the public's trust. "The public are entitled to expect their police force to behave lawfully and not use gratuitous and serious violence on someone who is already restrained and prone."
© This is Croydon
FIGURES SHOW SEVEN HATE CRIMES A DAY BEING COMMITTED ACROSS WALES (uk)
30/8/2011- An average of seven hate crimes are committed across Wales every day, new figures have revealed. Since 2005, Welsh police forces have recorded nearly 13,000 incidents which were perceived by the victim to be motivated by prejudice or hate. More than 80% of the alleged offences took place in South Wales with Wales’ largest police force recording 8,177 racially-related incidents and 1,545 offences thought to be triggered by homophobic prejudices. The data, which was released under the Freedom of Information Act, reveals a marked variation between the locations where hate crimes have been committed, with just 98 incidents recorded in the Dyfed-Powys force area compared to 2,165 in North Wales and 10,723 in South Wales. Figures from Gwent Police were yesterday unavailable.
Campaigners and anti-hate crime groups last night hailed the rise in reports in the south of the country – some categories of which have risen by as much as 300% – saying they showed an increased awareness of hate crimes. Yet they also called for better training to be given to police who are said to “often ignore” the context behind an offence. The latest figures come a week after the Safer Wales charity raised fears the situation could be significantly worse than it is with just one in 10 disability hate crimes and 25% of homophobic and racist hate crimes thought to be actually reported. Simon Green, a wheelchair user and chairman of the Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People, said: “I definitely think hate crime is a real issue.
“I speak to people on a daily basis who are afraid to even go out of their homes because they’re scared their neighbours might verbally abuse them, or they are scared to use public transport because of the looks they will get from the driver and other passengers. There are even a lot of people who certainly wouldn’t even consider going out for a drink in the night time economy because they’re afraid of the reception they will get from people.” He added: “Hate crime, especially disability hate crime is still vastly underreported. The police, particularly in South Wales, are doing a lot better job than they used to but there are still some officers who just don’t have the right training. “I’ve heard of officers concerned that they will offend someone if they ask whether the crime could be related to a disability and so it doesn’t get properly reported. That’s not good enough and that’s why disability equality training is needed.”
Chief Superintendent Alun Thomas of South Wales Police said the force was working hard to tackle the issue of hate crime and that the rise in recorded incidents was reflective of that work. “I see these figures as a positive,” he said. “It may sound perverse, but it shows that the public are increasingly confident in reporting hate crimes whereas in the past they have gone unreported. “We constantly try to encourage an increase in reporting and confidence among our victims that any hate crime, be it from any strand of diversity, will be properly investigated. “Thankfully that work seems to be paying off because we now have a well-informed picture of the situation and this enables us to give a better service.” He added: “There’s no trend in relation to victims that we are aware of and thanks to our forums and the work we do with our partners we have a good idea of what is going on either if it doesn’t get reported. “This work allows us to react to anything even if it is not recognised.”
© Wales Online
MAN INJURED IN RACIST ATTACK (uk)
29/8/2011- Police are hunting a gang of youths who left an Algerian man with serious facial injuries moments after they had asked him for the time. The 40-year-old victim had been walking past a bus stop in Moredun Park Road where around 15 youths in their mid-teens were gathered. He checked his watch to give them the time, but was then pounced on by a number of the teenagers, who hurled racist abuse during the brutal assault. The man, who lives in the area, managed to flee with injuries including a broken nose and damaged shoulder after being repeatedly punched. He alerted police and was later treated in hospital. Detectives said they were following a "positive line of enquiry" into the attack, but appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.
The man, who has lived in Edinburgh for around 12 years and is married to a Scottish woman, was left badly shaken by his ordeal, which took place at around 9.25pm last Monday. Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray had met regularly with the victim in recent months in a bid to help him with visa difficulties. Mr Murray said: "This is a disgraceful act that was racially motivated. The local community in the south of Edinburgh is very multi-cultural and we need to stamp out any behaviour of this kind. "We also need to get the people involved and find out why they have taken part in this attack. There was a large number of youths around at the time and we must make sure that any kind of gang culture is not allowed to take root in south Edinburgh. "The man who was attacked is a pillar of the community and this kind of incident has no place here. With the attack on Simon San in our minds, we're reminded that the consequences for such an attack can be fatal."
Mr Murray said that the area had suffered from antisocial behaviour issues involving youths on the streets, but the police's safer neighbourhood team was working to combat the problem. A police spokesman said: "Police are investigating a racial assault that happened in Moredun Park Road last Monday evening, where a 40-year-old man suffered serious facial injuries. Officers are following a positive line of inquiry in relation to the incident, however, anyone with any information should contact us." The attack comes amid ongoing controversy over the Simon San killing in August last year. Mr San was assaulted by four youths near his family's Chinese takeaway in Lochend Road. John Reid, 16, was later jailed for culpable homicide. Police chiefs publicly apologised to Mr San's family last week after an inquiry found that officers had failed to record the killing as a racially motivated crime.
© The Scotsman