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Re: A New Europe: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Nation-State

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:33 am
by American Dream

by Dave Lamb

"Our experience accustoms us to seeing how at a word of command a mass of soldiers will enter into an organised fury of carnage and into the lottery of life and death, and how at another command they will again become peaceful. The same thing is required of a people that has armed itself. Here the word of command is liberty, the enemy tyranny. . . But there is a great difference between the passivity of ordinary military obedience and the ardour of an insurrection: between obedience to the order of a general and the flame of enthusiasm which liberty pours into the vein of every creature. . These efforts are the enjoyment of liberty, and you wish it to be renounced; these occupations, this activity is for the public cause, this interest is the driving force, and you want the people to sink into inertia and boredom once more."

G.W.F. Hegel (1)

These words were written a hundred years before the 1914-1918 war, yet they capture the sentiments of the forgotten men and women of that period who decided to take a hand in their own destiny. Hegel drew attention to the timeless urge to self-determination and to the joy which accompanies a victory of mutineers or insurrectionists over tyrants, bureaucrats, manipulators, and sanguinary generals. In the following pages I have tried to uncover some of the conveniently forgotten moments of freedom which flowered in the shadow of total war.

Between 1917 and 1919 a series of mutinies took place amongst the world's most disciplined armies. The Russian, German, Italian and French forces as well as the British all 'suffered' major outbreaks. Yet many of these events have virtually been ignored by historians of both right and left-wing persuasions. Mutinies, like heath fires, burst our here and there and as such are inexplicable to those whose criterion for revolutionary activity is that it should be bound up with a clearly defined goal and with a strategy, usually embodied in a revolutionary leadership. Accordingly an outbreak of autonomous activity is seen by the leadership fetishists to be purposeless and mindless. Marx was speaking for future Fabians and Leninists when he said:

'A motley crew of mutineering soldiers who have murdered their officers, torn asunder the ties of discipline, and not succeeded in discovering a man on whom to bestow supreme command are certainly the body least likely to organise a serious and protracted resistance.' (2) There is here a conception of social change as an orderly, disciplined activity. This conception is reflected in the tendency of both Leninists and Fabians to see themselves as the elite officer corps, imparting their will on the direction of social change. It is difficult to see from this standpoint how people might have aims and aspirations of their own, which are not always comprehensible to their self-appointed leaders.

One of the reasons why mutinies are largely ignored is because most historians tend to see the aims and objectives of the masses through the eyes of leaders or institutions that claim to represent popular interests. In this way the problems of the leaders become the problems of the class. Lenin's problems in 1917 become those of Russian workers. The problems facing the TUC become those of the British working class. In this perspective the mutinies in the Russian Army of 1917 are important insofar as they furthered Lenin's objectives. Mutinies in the British armies are deemed relatively insignificant because they were not subordinated to some external movement.

That ordinary men and women might have their own goals is conveniently ignored by historians whose vision is restricted to the ambitions and strategies of those in power or seeking to achieve it. This, to a certain extent, is understandable since the historian is very much at the mercy of his sources (press reports, autobiographies, and institutional minutes are usually the expression of the point of view of those who have made them). It is easy to deal with the memoirs of a Haig, a Petain or a Ludendorff. Conversely, it is 'uninteresting' and difficult to record the aspirations of those millions of Russians who collectively destroyed centuries of Tsardom because of their decision to return home, and their willingness to disobey and even kill their officers in the process.

We are living in an age where the aspirations of the collective are unable to find expression; the medium for such expression is limited to the individualistic categories of the bourgeois epoch. A sometimes all-too-willing victim of his medium, the historian tends to look at mass autonomous movements through the eyes of those who seek to direct the process, the spokespersons, the revolutionary generals, the political programmes and revolutionary textbooks. The historian looks to those who have staked their claim to impose their will upon human history. And in so doing those countless millions struggling for some control over their destiny are largely ignored. We can perceive why governments and military authorities have concealed information about mutinies. We can equally understand why those countless hacks who write history in order to justify the status quo do not demand the release of information. But why has this area been neglected by allegedly left-wing historians? Could it be that what happened ran counter to the presuppositions of both Fabians and Leninists that meaningful activity could only be envisaged in relation to some structure of authority? The mutinies in the United Kingdom did not throw up any such permanent structures and, for this reason, have been ignored by those who see social change as dominated by permanent institutions led by experts whose interests are antagonistic to autonomous mass activity.

A concentration on leadership strategies can blind one to some of the most powerful forces in history. For example, did the American government's decision to pull out of Vietnam arise out of the wily schemes of Richard Nixon? Were the Americans out-manoeuvred at the negotiating table? Perhaps it was the brilliant strategy of the North Vietnamese generals? Historians will grow fat on their published ponderings over these issues. But what about the fact that hundreds of thousands of GI's could no longer be relied upon? No one organised them. They left no permanent structures behind, yet their resistance had a profound effect on world history. It might be said that they were acting in the interests of 'world communism' but hardly one of them would accept this as an explicit motive. They just wanted to go home.

The following pages are an account of mutinies which occurred among UK and Commonwealth troops. There will be no attempt to impute any motives other than those put forward at the time by the participants themselves.

Perhaps the most significant factor in this sadly neglected chapter in working class history is the emergence of equalitarian tendencies, unstinting self-sacrifice and loyalty to one's comrades under conditions capable of bringing out the worst in men. A mutiny against arbitrary authority provokes situations where class loyalties are put to the severest test. If properly understood the mutinies within the armed forces during the First World War will stand as one of the great landmarks of working class history.

...There is little doubt that during the years 1918-1920 Britain was near to a social revolution, much nearer in fact than in the well publicised days of 1926. The collapse of the General Strike ended the era during which the ruling classes trembled. The mutinies we have described cannot be separated from the revolutionary events that were sweeping across the industrialised world. There is no doubt that they represent a significant chapter in working class history.

The evidence presented shows that for a while the power of the armed forces had slipped out of the control of the ruling classes. This raises fundamental questions concerning the role of the 'working class leaders' of this period. Apart from their resignation from the National Industrial Conference (in full glare and publicity) the TUC leaders were very careful to avoid any course of action that could have led to a common front between workers and members of the armed forces. Leaders of the Triple Alliance were aware of the mood of the country and of the state of the armed forces. Smillies' account of Lloyd George's remarks to the leaders of the Triple Alliance is very revealing: 'The Army is disaffected and cannot be relied upon. Trouble has already occurred in a number of camps. If you ... strike, then you will defeat us'. (68)

The trade union leaders were conscious of their role in this critical period. This was clearly shown by T. E. Naylor, leader of the London Society of Compositors and later a Labour MP. In 1922 he pleaded for the government to help the unemployed, reminding them that in 1919 it was the 'responsible' trade unionists who had prevented 'the revolution which would undoubtedly have broken out'.

The trade union leaders never had any intention to defeat the government or the employers. The major task of the organisers of labour was the same then as it is today: to deliver a docile labour force, pacified by insignificant pay increases, and to replace struggle centred on genuine grievances with rhetoric about nationalisation and other red herrings. To grasp this point is to understand why the Labour leaders of 1919 did not take advantage of the support which radical policies could have had from the army.

The possibility of successful revolution in Britain is only one of the many questions raised by our account of the collapse of the British Army. Another question is : 'to what extent did mutinies in both the Army and the Navy limit the war of intervention against Russia?' A critique of the Russian Revolution lies beyond the scope of this work. (69) Certain questions, however, have at least to be asked. 'Just how serious was the threat to the Russian Revolution from the hostile capitalist world?'. America was only marginally Involved. Britain, as we have seen, was In no position to maintain any substantial force in Russia. Neither were France or Germany. If the threat from the capitalist world was relatively minor, how much credence can we give to the Leninist excuses for repression, usually 'justified' by the existence of hostile foreign forces, poised to intervene against the revolution? Or was it that the repressive policies had their origins in the theory and practice of Bolshevism, as initiated by Lenin and Trotsky? (70)

If the Russian Revolution was 'allowed' to happen by virtue of the fact that soldiers in the West were unwilling to suppress it - often for no stronger motive than a sensible wish to go home - then questions are raised concerning the real location of the Russian Revolution. For instance, were the victories of the Red Army determined on the Russian battlefields or In the dockyards of Southampton, Hamburg and Marseilles? How significant were the demands for instant demobilisation by the Western Soldiers' and Sailors' Councils in determining the initial victories of the Russian Revolution?

Conversely to what extent was the containment of the European revolutionary movements by the Social Democratic parties and by the trade unions the result of the same social force responsible for the bureaucratic degeneration of the Russian Revolution? Revolutions are not isolated events. They reflect social pressures capable of transcending continents. So do mutinies - which are essential ingredients of revolutionary change. For these reasons it is nonsense to speak of the first working class revolution having taken place in Russia. Conversely, when we speak of the bureaucratisation of the Russian Revolution it is even more nonsensical to speak as if this were simply due to the special circumstances of Russia.

The foregoing account is not intended to provide a list of martyrs for this or that cause. For us libertarians it matters little whether. In the long run, the mutinies we have described benefited Russia, Dublin, Germany or what. There is a limit to the consequences of an action beyond which the attribution of causality becomes philosophical speculation. It would be a falsification of history to say that most of these men had any clear picture of the society to which their efforts were geared. No! What is significant in these mutinies is the way men come together, in adverse and dangerous circumstances, in a spirit of solidarity and self-sacrifice that has seldom been equalled. This is of real significance to libertarians, seeking the spirit of freedom in history's darkest hours.

None of the struggles here described were inspired or directed by any vanguard party. At the same time it is clear that there was a widespread sense of sympathy with the Russian Revolution, bound up with the belief (however expressed) that fundamental change could only be brought about by collective working class action.

Moreover, while there was no directing Central Committee or Revolutionary General Staff (soldiers had had enough of these, already) conflicts in the armed forces were not limited to sporadic, isolated outbursts. What comes across loud and clear is that in spite of a legal situation in which it did not pay to advertise them, the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen's Councils forged many links both within the armed forces and with workers in struggle. What happened in the armed forces was simply part of a broad social movement, the full extent of which has yet to be adequately assessed. This movement contained elements from the various socialist groups. But they did not dominate it. While they were part of this historic process few of the groups were really aware of the full extent and consequences of the threat to authority in which they were involved.

Many have seen (and still see) the relative absence of centralised and permanent structures in the struggles here described as signifying a lack of revolutionary consciousness amongst the people involved. In this the traditional left has totally misread the situation. They fail to recognise the libertarian, revolutionary face of the movement, seeing only its bureaucratic, institutionalised posterior. They in fact contribute to its dimensions, spending most of their time seeking to build various 'revolutionary vanguard' parties. For us, this page is turned. We can now begin to assess the mass autonomous movements of this century as an expression of the fundamental drive by ordinary men and women to dominate their own lives, to influence events, and to alter the course of history by themselves and for themselves.

Read more:

Re: A New Europe: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Nation-State

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:59 am
by American Dream
Without History We Are Dust


Across Europe, a rising far right is on the offensive against LGBT people.

Portrait of Czech painter Jana Zrzavého, 1912, by Bohumil Kubista. Mahulena Nešlehová: Bohumil Kubišta, nakladatelství Odeon, Praha 1984

You say that queer history is about clashing with norms recognized by the majority of society. Who or what do you think is the source of these hierarchies and norms? State policies, controlling reproduction, or something else?

Biopower, which is a connection of both. According to Michel Foucault, biopower is a means of managing entire populations as a group, by knowing key, often intimate information about their biological functions. The state makes use of the information it can collect about the biological functioning of its inhabitants. As a feminist, I would also add patriarchy as a key source.

Neoliberal capitalism. We always get to the question of what access a lesbian, gay, or transgender person had to economic or cultural capital and why.

Foucault says that power is not one-directional, not top-down, from the state to the people. It also goes in the other direction. I view it as a cycle: the public power always reflects, to a point, the wishes of the majority. The state/public power then transforms this wish in some way and applies it back to society.

You mention patriarchy and neoliberal capitalism. How does capitalism complicate LGBT lives?

It’s mostly about starting conditions for members of the queer community. There is a difference between gays and lesbians that can already be seen during the interwar years. The gay man (like the lesbian woman — in Czechoslovakia, paragraph 129 of the criminal code criminalized both male and female homosexuality) was perhaps more threatened by persecution, as statistically more men than women were arrested, but they had much better chances for professional careers and advancement. A lesbian, on the other hand, had far more limited professional possibilities and often could barely afford her rent. One of the very few women who could afford their own place was the Czech painter Toyen. She got a tiny apartment where she slept but did not live, she basically used it as a hotel room. In comparison, gay men built villas, owned art collections, and staged their own queer domesticity.

Why do you think that LGBT memory remained marginalized in the Czech Republic, even decades after the Velvet Revolution in 1989?

It’s not that no one worked on this topic. There were several LGBT journals throughout the 1990s that were interested in this history. But it remained in this bubble, with a limited amount of readers. I would say that only around 2000, when more academics like Věra Sokolová, Martin C. Putna, and Franz Schindler started working on this topic, did queer history and memory receive the status of a legitimate topic — marginal, but still legitimate.

The issue is that the society does not fully appreciate the potential of the queer perspective, which can help us grasp more general processes. That means queer history is perceived as very much a marginal topic. Personally, I have always perceived queer history as a history of a specific kind of sociability. Beyond its status as one of those “civilizational questions” mentioned above, I feel it has tremendous potential for a better understanding of human bonding, human life strategies, and of ways of ascribing meaning to oneself and the surrounding world.

What leads to the suppression of LGBT people’s collective memory?

The majority society writes history. History is always a social construct, and fulfills an immensely important function — it upkeeps all that is upheld in a society as normal, important, and right, and silences, and in extreme cases “others,” all that does not fit in. It’s sad, before World War II Czechoslovakia was a multinational state and to be a Czechoslovak meant something entirely different than today. These days, we have rising waves of populism, looking for its own useful history, to locate the “normal, important, and right.”

Let me show you a tragic example. One of the best-known prisoners of Theresienstadt was Fredy Hirsch, a German refugee, Zionist, a courageous young man who was gay. He worked in a sports club for Jewish youth in the city of Brno, where he met his partner, the medical student Jan Mautner. Hirsch was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944, Mautner survived the war but died a few years later of TB. This spring, I approached the editor of the newsletter of the Theresienstadt Initiative, the Czech Holocaust survivors’ association; I wanted to publish there a short text about Hirsch and Mautner to find survivors who may remember them. One survivor vetoed the text saying that writing about their homosexuality “besmirches their memory.” I was flabbergasted. The article came out heavily censored, you cannot tell that the two were a couple, that either of them were gay, or why am I looking for them. I then hoped to interview the survivor who vetoed the story, because I thought let’s at least document such an expression of radical homophobia. However, the entire board of the survivors’ association refused to talk to me and ended with the sentence “stop being so stubborn.” ... h-republic

Re: A New Europe: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Nation-State

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:14 pm
by American Dream
National Action neo-Nazi Terror Group: Connections to Neofolk Scene

On Monday, November 12th, 2018 the last of three trials against members of the neo-Nazi group National Action ended with convictions of three people, including Daniel Bogunovic and a couple, Claudia Patatas and Adam Thomas. They will be sentenced on December 14th.

National Action was a British openly neo-Nazi group founded in 2013. The group cultivated a militant image and notoriously carried a banner with the slogan “Refugees not welcome” and the hashtag #hitlerwasright at public demonstrations. Since December 2016 the group has been proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000. Since then, however, they have continued to organise under different covers. They are believed to have prepared for a “race war”, plotted an assassination, and advocated violence against and extermination of Jews and “non-whites”. They also celebrated the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox. Following investigations and arrests, several court cases have led to convictions for membership in a terrorist organisation and other offences.

...A tumblr blog called harsherreality has collected evidence that Patatas was a “close associate of Death In June’s Douglas Pearce, Sol Invictus’ Tony Wakeford, Allerseelen’s Gerhard Hallstatt, fascist publishers Michael Moynihan and Troy Southgate and a host of neo-folk musicians and activists – most of whom publicly deny their fascist involvement.”

The image is showing Patatas with her former partner – who was a tour driver with Death In June – and Douglas Pearce (who essentially is Death In June). Patatas who is said to have been a “part-time wedding photographer” in the BBC article, also took pictures for record covers of several Death In June releases. Also note Tony Wakeford (ex-DIJ, Sol Invictus) commenting on the picture. Other pictures on the blog show connections to some of the others mentioned by harsherreality.


Her partner Adam Thomas, a former Amazon security guard, is seen posing with a copy of Troy Southgate’s “National-Anarchism. A Reader” as pictured in the Daily Telegraph. Southgate somewhat bizarrely claims on his web site, “I was, and shall remain, an anti-fascist”, despite the fact that he was a member of the National Front, the International Third Position and other, well… fascist, organisations. Of course it can be argued that National Anarchism is a development of classical fascism, but serious research suggests it’s a form of re-branding of fascism itself and certainly not a form of anti-fascism.


While it is hard to say how close and deep the involvement of Patatas and perhaps other National Action activists is with the far right music scene, it stands without a doubt that there is a direct connection. As John Eden wrote on Twitter: ‘This raises a number of awkward questions for the dwindling number of Death In June fans who still insist that the group is not political, and is just fascist cosplay for people who want to wank off about the “darker side of humanity”‘.

More: ... olk-scene/

Re: A New Europe: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Nation-State

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:42 am
by American Dream
Revealed: the hidden global network behind Tommy Robinson


The Guardian looked into Robinson’s global support after he was jailed for filming outside a rape trial involving defendants of mainly Pakistani heritage at Leeds crown court. He was released on 1 August after the court of appeal ordered that he should be retried. The attorney general is deciding whether to proceed with a retrial.

The investigation has established that:

A Philadelphia-based thinktank, the Middle East Forum (MEF), acknowledges it has spent about $60,000 (£47,000) on Robinson’s legal fees and demonstrations staged in London earlier this year. A senior MEF executive has been closely involved in preparations for this weekend’s march, though the thinktank said she was there in a personal capacity.

A US tech billionaire, Robert Shillman, financed a fellowship that helped pay for Robinson to be employed in 2017 by a rightwing Canadian media website, the Rebel Media, on a salary of about £5,000 a month.

A small Australian rightwing group, Australian Liberty Alliance, says it has helped fund Robinson, but did not disclose how much.

A New York City-based thinktank, the Gatestone Institute, has published a succession of articles supporting Robinson’s cause.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC), a California-based thinktank that describes itself as a “school for political warfare”, has published a series of pieces defending Robinson, and has lobbied for him to address US politicians.

Horowitz, the co-founder of the DHFC, told the Guardian in an email: “Tommy Robinson is a courageous Englishman who has risked his life to expose the rape epidemic of young girls conducted by Muslim gangs and covered up by your shameful government.”

MEF, Gatestone and the DHFC are well funded by influential rightwing donors, according to tax returns scrutinised by the Guardian. In 2014-16, the returns show they received a total of almost $5m from several millionaire donors.

MEF received $792,000 from a foundation led by Nina Rosenwald, the co-chair of American Securities Management, once dubbed “the sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate”.

The DHFC received $1,638,290 from five wealthy benefactors, one of whom is believed to be among the biggest-ever donors to the Republican party.

Gatestone has received more than $2m in donations, including $250,000 from the Mercer Family Foundation, which is funded by Donald Trump’s top donor, Robert Mercer, and run by the billionaire’s daughter Rebekah.

All three thinktanks have been repeatedly accused of stoking anti-Islam sentiment in the west and spreading false information about Muslim refugees in Europe. But all three have consistently denied being anti-Islam.

“Radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam is the solution,” the MEF president, Daniel Pipes, said in an email. “MEF fights for the right to discuss Islam and related issues in free, robust, open and public debate.”

Pipes added that he believed Robinson had been prosecuted for his views and not his actions outside the courthouse.

He said: “In May 2018, in the course of five hours, he was arrested, tried, convicted, sentenced to 13 months’ prison, and jailed; that sounds more like a banana republic than the home of the Magna Carta.”

Rosenwald and the Gatestone Institute have strongly denied they are anti-Islam. In a 5,000-word article in May, the institute said “far from being anti-Muslim” it was “pro-Muslim” and that it did not want to see “Muslims deprived of freedom of speech, flogged or stoned to death for supposed adultery”.

A spokesman said: “Gatestone is a free speech platform and publishes hundreds of online articles a year expressing a varied range of views, including articles by Muslims, and does not endorse the comment of all its contributors.”

Robinson, Shillman and the Mercers did not respond to detailed requests for comment.

The support from prominent and well-financed groups undermines Robinson’s self-styled image of a far-right populist underdog whose anti-Islam agenda is being silenced by the British establishment.

Robinson was recently appointed an official adviser to Ukip, which is backing his pro-Brexit rally on Sunday. Ukip’s embrace of him has caused a rupture in the party and prompted two former leaders, Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall, and hundreds of members to leave.

Announcing his resignation this week after 25 years with the party, Farage wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “The very idea of Tommy Robinson being at the centre of the Brexit debate is too awful to contemplate.”

Robinson founded the English Defence League, a far-right Islamophobic group, in 2009. It has since fractured and declined. He frequently complains of being smeared as a racist, insisting he does not care about skin colour and that his objection is to Islamist political ideology rather than people.

However, he has been filmed saying things like: “Somalis are backward barbarians”; British Muslims are “enemy combatants who want to kill you, maim you and destroy you”; and refugees are “raping their way through the country”.

The news of his imprisonment on 25 May generated a surge of pro-Robinson tweets. An analysis of 2.2m #freetommy tweets between May and October showed 42% came from the US, according to research by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue.

A second analysis, by the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) thinktank, discovered social media backing from a cluster of 600 accounts it identified as being aligned with the Kremlin. Pro-Robinson tweets accounted for three of their top five most-used hashtags on 27 May, and most pointed users to articles on the rightwing websites InfoWars, Breitbart and Voice of Europe, according to the researchers.

“The clustered focus on the Tommy Robinson case in late May suggests that Russian-linked accounts saw his arrest as a clear opportunity to amplify political divisions both in the UK and abroad,” said Bret Schafer, a social media analyst at the US-based ASD.

Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of Tell Mama, which records anti-Muslim hate crimes, described the US and Russian support for Robinson as foreign interventionism. He said: “It should alarm anyone in this country who values the democratic principles on which our country are founded.”

More: ... exit-march

Re: A New Europe: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Nation-State

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:45 am
by American Dream
Tommy Robinson is using Brexit chaos to advance his racist agenda. We can’t let him win.

Tommy Robinson, will lead a Brexit Betrayal march in Central London. Anti-fascists are marching to stop him, reports Luther Blisset

December 7, 2018

Demonstrators rally against the far right #FreeTommy march in July 2018.

On Sunday 9th, former EDL leader Tommy Robinson will head up a ‘Brexit Betrayal’ demonstration, attempting to exploit the disastrous Brexit negotiations as a springboard to boost his brand of nationalism, racism and violence.

He’s using the chaos of May’s botched deal to crown himself the champion of 52% of the population – another mega-wealthy man trying to pose as the authentic voice of a ‘sold out’ or ‘forgotten’ white working class. He decries elites on social media whilst costing up to them in person.

As Robinson has been banned from various platforms and has never really had the ability to push his case in the mainstream press, he has relied on his large following on his social media to talk directly to his supporters With almost a million likes on his Facebook page and hundreds of thousands of views on his videos, Robinson has honed an ability to build an affective bond with his fans. Because of his inability to speak to people outside those who actively seek out his content it’s often difficult to keep track of what he’s doing, and why he’s so successful.

Tommy Robinson likes to portray himself as a rebel, even, perhaps, a revolutionary. However, a close examination of his political project – as explicated over livestreams, videos, tweets and Facebook posts – reveals what amounts to an intensification of repressive state practices and structures that already exist in society today. A increased policing and repression of Muslim communities could be achieved by a ramping up of PREVENT and other counter terrorism initiatives. A halt to all non white immigration would inevitably mean an increasingly aggressive permeation of Immigration Enforcement into ever more arenas of civil society.

To back up his campaigning Robinson relies on a conspiracy theory common among white supremacists which casts Muslims as an invading force, seeking to destroy Western countries and the white race. In this theory, refugees fleeing war torn countries become barbaric foreign men intent on raping white women and committing acts of terrorism. Muslims who have always lived in this country become enemy combatants ready to fight. Even mainstream public figures like London mayor Sadiq Kahn can’t escape suspicion. Robinson has described Kahn in a livestream as part of an ‘invasion into ‘our country.’

Provocation is a deliberate tactic taken up by Robinson in his videos. This doesn’t just manifest in his racist conspiracy theories but also in stunts such as the invasion of newspaper offices and aggressive trolling of anti-racists, leftists and feminists. These stunts try to feed his ‘lad culture entertainment image’, but also have a radicalising effect on his fanbase – encouraging them into copy cat actions and culminating into acts of harassment and violence. An example of this in action can be seen in Robinson’s sinister attacks on a Syrian refugee who was the victim of violent bulling in a school in Huddersfield.

By allying himself with a now-mainstream political party like Ukip, Tommy Robinson seeks to recast himself as the figurehead of Brexit betrayal – centring himself in the most important political issue of the contemporary moment. In this move Robinson is looking to relieve himself of the baggage of the past, while still signalling to his base that he is still the same as he ever was. Whether he succeeds in this remains to be seen, he is just as likely to dirty Ukip with his association than clean himself, but he is certainly trying to push his career into new territory.

Continues: ... t-him-win/

Re: A New Europe: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Nation-State

PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:30 am
by American Dream
How it all began (for me): teenage anti-fascism in Luton 1979/80

Going on a recent march against the far right in central London got me thinking about my earliest forays into anti-fascism when I was at school...

In 1979 I was 16, in my last year at school in Luton and getting into radical politics off the back of a couple of years listening to punk. I was voraciously reading anything relevant I could get my hands on from local libraries and bookshops, which included that year Martin Walker's The National Front (dedicated to 'anti-fascists everywhere'), George Woodcock's The Anarchist Reader anthology and Gordon Carr's The Angry Brigade. The latter introduced me to the Situationists and I tried unsuccessfully to get Luton Central Library to find a copy of The Society of the Spectacle. The actual radicals on the ground in Luton were a bit more mundane than my fantasy 1968 utopians, basically the Communist Party, the Militant-dominated Labour Party Young Socialists and the Socialist Workers Party selling papers in the town centre.

The Clash were my favourite band, and I'd read all about the great Rock Against Racism carnivals. In the lead up to the May 1979 General election, conflict between the far right National Front and its opponents increased in intensity. There were riotous clashes in Leicester and on the 23rd April 1979 socialist teacher Blair Peach was killed by the police in Southall while taking part in protests against an NF meeting in that predominately Asian area of West London.

The election, infamously won by Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives, nudged me towards participating in politics rather than just reading about it. I went to see Tony Benn speak in Luton town centre (29/4/1979), but I still hadn't been on an actual demo. All that changed in June 1979 - on the day I left school I wrote in my diary 'bought a School Kids Against the Nazis badge, fillied in a form to join the Labour Party Young Socialists, left school' (OK last day in school was a bit late to buy a schoo kids badge, but I did go on to Sixth Form College!).

'SKAN' - School Kids Against the Nazis

Continues: http://history-is-made-at-night.blogspo ... -anti.html

Re: A New Europe: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Nation-State

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:12 am
by American Dream
E29-30: Asian youth movements in Bradford


Double podcast episode about anti-racist Asian youth movements in Bradford, England in the 1970s and 80s. We speak to Tariq Mehmood about the Asian Youth Movement, the United Black Youth League, and his seminal trial as one of the so-called Bradford 12.

Listen: ... -bradford/

Re: A New Europe: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Nation-State

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:31 am
by American Dream
British far-right leader Dick Braine resigns


Richard Braine has only been leader of Britain's far-right UK Independence Party for three months, and he's already calling it quits.

Mr Braine's resignation comes a week after he was suspended by UKIP over allegations of data theft, which he denies. In a letter, Mr Braine said he had been been "prevented from building a successful leadership team by blocked appointments".

"I did not join UKIP in order to waste time on internal conflict, but I have found myself powerless to prevent a purge of good members from the party.

Things went badly for him from the outset, after snubbing his own party's conference and failing to resolve internal splits and weak polling.

Potential candidates to replace Braine include Penis Cerebellum and Beefspear Graymatter. ... -dick.html

Re: A New Europe: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Nation-State

PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:07 am
by American Dream
Hostile Environment

How the xenophobic assumptions of the New Right have come to pervade mainstream discourse.


Rejecting that people of different races were biologically different or inferior to white people, the problem with immigration and a multicultural society, the New Right said, was cultural difference. An interconnected society was less about social and economic equality and more about the values and traditions people held.7 On these grounds, people of colour and certain groups of migrants were considered a threat to national cohesion; the nation was weak and in decline because of them. Academics who dissected this thinking called it ‘the new racism’.8

The crux of the New Right argument was, as one of their critics put it, that ‘it is in our biology, our instincts, to defend our way of life, traditions and customs against outsiders – not because they are inferior, but because they are part of different cultures.’9 People’s supposedly insurmountable and natural thresholds for difference, they implied, should be respected, otherwise immigration and increasing racial diversity would inevitably lead to racism. So, by the New Right’s rationale, the only way to avoid racism was to believe this racist logic and act on it.

By the mid-1990s, the New Right had been sidelined; anti-racist activists had forced positive reforms in the UK, in doing so, changing some of the contours of the debate about immigration. But these ideas about ‘difference’ and otherness, nurtured and disseminated by the New Right, still thrive in contemporary Britain, as people coming from different political traditions advocate for similar ideas. Journalist and commentator David Goodhart is one of those people.

A self-described former liberal, he presents himself as a ‘straight-talker’ who is willing to challenge the left when, as he claims, it ignores peoples’ concerns about ‘mass immigration’ and the assumed threat it poses to social democracy and the welfare state. On TV, and in the pages of magazines, newspapers and two books, he’s argued that when there are too many new immigrants coming in the UK, the country’s bonds of solidarity are weakened because more diversity erodes common culture and undermines what’s needed for a cohesive society and welfare state. Even though, immigrants have made and continue to make possible that very welfare state. What exactly ‘culture’ is and which ‘cultures’ are similar is never really defined; referencing American academic Robert Putnam, Goodhart argues that ‘absorbing 100,000 Australians is very different to 100,000 Afghans’. The distinctions between the more and the less compatible don’t always neatly map onto racial categories, and yet, in a move reminiscent of the New Right, Goodhart has been known to blur the lines between immigration and race by putting statistics about people of colour and people born abroad ‘side by side’.10

Academic Matthew Goodwin seems to have given intellectual gloss to similar arguments, namely that ‘people have strong and entrenched fears about the perceived destruction of national cultures, ways of life and values, amid unprecedented and rapid rates of immigration and ethnic change’. By not situating them in a broader political, social and historical context, this kind of analysis gives the impression that all such fears are natural and inevitable. This thinking has subtly nestled into the mainstream in different but often complementary ways.11

Littered across newspapers and TV documentaries is the belief that immigration brings with it too much cultural change. Parts of the left have too readily accepted this vision of the world. One national columnist trying to make sense of anti-immigration views expressed by people up and down the country declared that ‘millions of people will always be uneasy about large-scale change. Not because they are racist, or anymore prejudiced than anyone else – but because human beings like a measure of certainty and stability.’12 This doesn’t amount to suggesting that diversity is inherently problematic – the columnist pinpointed a variety of sources for public anxiety and argued immigration is not bad for the economy – but the article didn’t engage with how race might be a factor in the debate. Stopped dead in its tracks is the potential for broader discussion about why people might dislike immigration.

In January 2017, Labour MP Caroline Flint gave us a glimpse of another meaning the loaded term ‘culture’ can carry with it when it’s used in the context of the immigration debate. Is it fair to say that New Labour ignoring concerns about immigration in the 2000s was not only a mistake ‘economically but culturally too?’ BBC Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark asked Flint. ‘I think it’s not just about economics,’ Flint replied, ‘it’s about the social atmosphere as well. In Doncaster, for example, Don Valley, in my own constituency, back in ’97, it was 99.5 per cent white. In the last few years, “non- British” has gone up to 5 per cent. That may not seem much to places like Leicester, but that’s a big change in small-town village communities.’

In this statement, ‘race’ and ‘culture’ collapsed into one another as ‘white’ and ‘British’ seemed to become synonymous. Barely anyone registered the slip, but maybe that’s because we’re so used to hearing it.

BBC Panorama’s 2017 ‘Life in Immigration Town’ was a thirty-minute documentary, following up from a piece made ten years earlier, which looked at changing demographics in Slough. It was billed as seeking to answer the question, ‘What happens when a community is changed by immigration?’ They zeroed in on one particular statistic: white Brits comprised 34.5 per cent of the population, meaning that ‘for the first time in Slough’ they were ‘a minority’. Similarly, producers of Channel 4’s Immigration Street claimed they chose to film on Derby Road because ‘at the last census 17 per cent of residents described themselves as “White British” against a national average of 86 per cent.’ Is it ‘that only white people are British and everyone else is an immigrant?’ TV reviewer Ellen E. Jones asked.13

Programmes like these are spun as if earnest presenters are embarking on a neutral sociological exploration of immigration to hear ‘ordinary’ people’s ‘concerns’ about immigration. But their very premise sets the tone from the beginning: immigration has diluted the number of white Britons in a given area, which in itself is an issue that deserves special attention.

Documentaries about historically black areas being gentrified by ‘white Brits’ must surely be in the pipeline.

This particular comparator conjures up the image of white British society being changed by people of colour and immigrants who don’t naturally belong in these areas – in the same way the New Right claimed. Here we can also see the messiness of what people might mean when they talk about immigration; referring to people from within the EU as well as outside it, including people of colour, no matter if they were born in the UK.

What can lie behind complaints about immigration was neatly captured by Charles Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator in a column called ‘Time for a more liberal and “racist” immigration policy’: ‘Britain is basically English-speaking, Christian and white, and if one starts to think it might become basically Urdu-speaking [sic] and Muslim and brown, one gets frightened and angry.’14

Beyond the fringes of the New Right, the distinction between race and immigration has long been blurred by politicians who have argued that, to preserve British identity and reduce racism, immigration needs to be ‘controlled’. In 1967 Conservative Duncan Sandys declared, ‘We are determined to preserve the British character of Britain, we welcome other races in reasonable numbers, but we have already admitted more than we can absorb.’ And Margaret Thatcher said, ‘If you want good race relations, you have got to allay peoples’ fears on numbers.’ Nearly fifty years later, Labour MP Stephen Kinnock made a strikingly similar argument: ‘Nobody is born racist, but immigration that reaches levels beyond a society’s capacity to cope can lead, in extremes, to racism.’15

Reminiscent of some of the response to racist violence in London’s Notting Hill in 1958 and the murder of Kelso Cochrane a year later, at its most basic expression, the rationale of today’s politics remains that the numbers of certain migrants coming into a country determines whether there will be a xenophobic or racist response. Once again, a negative reaction to ‘too much’ change is assumed to be a natural one, and the solution prescribed is to have fewer of ‘those’ migrants.

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