miércoles, 27 de julio de 2011
Oslo´s massacre is a turning point in the fight against right wing extremism
Movement against Intolerance expresses maximum condemnation for the terrorist attack that took place on Friday 22 in Oslo and that has left at least 91 casualties. Also expresses its solidarity with the Norwegian people and condolence with victim’s families and the Labour Party for the damage that this killing has caused among its younger members. This attack is a direct result of hatred and extreme intolerance and confirms that Democracy needs to protect itself and its citizens from racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic speech, that promotes the right-wing fanaticism of terrorists as Behring Anders Breivik, which has perpetrated a brutal slaughter unprecedented in that country.
Europe can’t turn its head about the growing intolerance. Institutional indolence must finish and governments and institutions should review their action against hate crimes, which threaten to destroy intercultural coexistence. Penal Codes should be strengthened. Governments should gather a better intelligence on groups and individuals who promote hatred and establish an all out democratic struggle on all fronts against fanaticism, whose capacity for damage has been demonstrated in Oslo.
We are not in front of a madness individual, but against the action of a fanatical terrorist which makes the phobia about the different, in this case youth progressive people, reason for his killing. Inspired by modern neo-Nazi practice of "leaderless resistance", that encourage individual quasi-action, a kind of ultra fanatism with terrible precedents as the massacre of Oklahoma with 168 casualties, European governments have proved again that their prevention is still inefficient.
Movement against Intolerance asks Europe to prevent and legislate against hate crimes, and to be more proactive against its perpetrators. Education for tolerance and raise awareness on the problem must be promoted. In Spain we claim to reform the Penal Code, to create Prosecution Offices against Hate Crimes all around the country and to ban any organization that encourages and spread criminal racism and intolerance.
The international search for accomplices and supporters of the Oslo and Utøya attacks suspect Anders Behring Breivik has begun, as Norwegian police revealed that he had been on one of their lists as early as March. His links to British far right organizations and extremists have sparked an investigation in the country.
Breivik’s 1,500-page online manifesto, signed with the anglicized pseudonym “Andrew Berwick” and claiming to have been written in London, mentions a number of links to the far right in Britain. The suspected terrorist further claimed in his appearance in an Oslo court on Monday that there were two further “cells” in operation to which he was connected.
British links revealed
Breivik’s manifesto mentions a British mentor named “Richard,” who is yet to be identified but is believed to be named after the British king “Richard the Lionheart,” famed for his involvement in the Crusades. One British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, claims to have found a blog written by someone calling himself “Lionheart” and authorities are now investigating.
The “Lionheart” blogger’s real name is Paul Rey, who claims to be a “founding father” and active participant in the English Defence League (EDL). The EDL has held a number of violent anti-Islamic demonstrations in the UK in recent years. In his manifesto, Breivik said, “I used to have more than 600 EDL members as Facebook friends and have spoken with EDL members and leaders.” He claims to be “one of the individuals who supplied them with processed ideological material (including rhetorical strategies) in the very beginning.” In other comments attributed to Breivik online, he states that a key strategy for “Christian conservatives” in Norway is to establish their own version of the EDL.
Breivik ‘participated in British demonstrations‘
The EDL have released a statement that reads, “we can categorically state that there has never been any official contact between him and the EDL.” Nonetheless, a number of EDL members have informedThe Daily Telegraph that they have had contact with Breivik. He is believed to have been in London as part of a far-right solidarity demonstration when Dutch politician Geert Wilders visited Britain.
An EDL organizer, Daryl Hobson, told The Daily Telegraph that several members of the organization had met Breivik. A Facebook post from Hobson also claims that Breivik “did come over for one of our demo [sic] in 2010,” before going on to say that “what he did was wrong.” An anonymous member of the EDL also told the newspaper that they had met Breivik, suggesting that EDL members would be taken by an “extremely intelligent” man. “It’s like Hitler, people said he was hypnotic,” the source is quoted as saying. Another alleged EDL member, Katie Hedderick, posted on a message board about Breivik, stating “HIM?! He wrote some books and did talks didn’t he?”
The founder of the EDL, Stephen Lennon, told BBC news programme Newsnight on Monday night that “we’re against it [the Oslo attacks] but at the same time you cannot brush off millions of people who have concerns against Islam as lunatics.” Lennon has previous convictions for violence as part of scenes of football hooliganism. Another EDL leader, Tommy Robinson, is quoted by The New Yorkeras saying, “we don’t want English lads blowing themselves up on our soil, but that will happen if they don’t give us a platform.”
‘Knights Templar’ and ‘Norwegian Defence League’
The order of the Knights Templar that Breivik claims to have been a member of, described as the “Knights Templar Europe,” was also apparently established in London in 2002. Breivik states that its aim is “to seize political and military control of western European countries and implement a cultural conservative political agenda.” In his manifesto, Breivik claims to be the youngest in the group and had been put in contact with them through a “Serbian crusader commander.” He also claimed that the group later held larger meetings in “Balticum.”
A source in the Norwegian Defence League (NDL) has now also confirmed to newspaper Aftenpostenthat Breivik was a member, and that he used the pseudonym “Sigurd Jorsalfar.” Breivik was apparently active in the organization’s foundation but became increasingly less involved because “he believed we [the NDL] were too kind.” The NDL arranged its first demonstration on April 9, when just nine followers showed up and a large counter-demonstration was held by anti-fascists. The source said that the group “completely and utterly” distances itself from the attacks.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to investigate links between Breivik and the EDL, confirming to a number of news outlets that he takes them “extremely seriously.”
A British police expert has already been dispatched to Oslo to assist the police in identifying Breivik’s international connections. Europol are also assisting the Norwegian police, making use of their continental database of known far right extremists.
Breivik was on police list
Meanwhile, the Norwegian Police Security Service (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste, PST) confirmed on Monday that Breivik had come to their attention in March on a list of people who had bought products from a Polish firm selling chemicals. Breivik was reportedly checked but no further action was deemed necessary.
The PST’s director, Janne Kristiansen, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that his name was listed along with around 50 to 60 others “in connection with a currency check from an international customs project.” She added that the police “are not allowed without further grounds to put such names in our register, but we checked if we had anything else on the people on the list, if there was anyone that could be connected to other information we have, but we had absolutely nothing on Breivik.”
Kristiansen went on to say that following the attacks, the PST will not push for “methods or regulations where we will be able to keep surveillance over all people,” adding that “not even in the old East Germany, I believe, would one have been able to become aware of Breivik because he quite simply has not broken the law before.”
The PST has also said before that “lone wolves are something we cannot intercept in the kind of society we want to have.”
Views and News from Norway/Aled-Dilwyn Fisher
martes, 26 de julio de 2011
Many governments worldwide, including in Europe, have been ignoring the extreme right, ultra-nationalism and populism and their growth on and through the internet. Some have even stated that Neo-Nazism and right wing extremism had become 'insignificant’. The atrocities in Norway should at least teach that we need to focus on all forms of hate and bigotry.
Over the last 10 years, our network and other NGOs and experts have been trying to sensitize governments worldwide to pay attention and take action on the relationship between online incitement to hatred and the resulting hate crime in real life.
Philippe Schmidt, Chair of the INACH network and LICRA Vice-President for International Affairs: “We urge all governments and international institutions like the EU, Council of Europe and the OSCE to make haste with committing resources to counter cyber hate and extremism”.
lunes, 25 de julio de 2011
The horror of Norway has impact in all us. We are facing a crime of hate in its most barbaric terrorist expression. This extreme right fanatical man has found the reason for his mass murder in rejecting the progressive people, the democracy that welcomes immigration and the tolerance that includes religious diversity.
This is not the work of a madman. From his hatred and fanatic feelings he can act as a pshychpath, but he has executed his killing in a very calculated way. He has been fed by an intolerance speech that acts against diversity. This speech is also expressed by the new extreme right political parties and organizations that make the xenophobia, racism, islamophobia and the criminalization of democracy the “scapegoat” of their aryenized point of view. The murderer achieves satisfaction and prominence watching the fear and horror he has caused in the society he wants to destroy.
There are precedents, it is not the first time we face this kind of killing. The attack committed by the extreme right man Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma, who explode a truck with explosives that killed 168 people, left a horrifying message: We can act as "lone wolves".
Elevated to the shrine of Nazi Jihadism, McVeigh has been emulated by other mass murderers, as show the events carried out in schools in Germany, Finland and United States of America. It exists a virtual crime community of transnational scope, which is fed by Internet and social networks, that seeks its reason of being in the hate speech and finds an easy access to weapons and explosives in multiple settings, also in Internet.
The "lone wolf" is a genocidal candidate that works in this virtual community -visible on the Internet- which is fed by the ultra-Bible: The Turner Diaries, written by William Pierci Nazi, which has sold more than five million copies.
The story of the horror told in this novel can turn into an expanded reality. This people only need to assume with determination the reward they shall achieve: they will be known for terrorizing the world. Inspired by this manual of horror and other neo-Nazi manuals, as Leaderless Resistance, solitary criminals can cause tragedies of thousands of victims and by extension of the whole society. And as they know it, they do it.
However, the nule detection of this problem by security forces is suprising. Anchored in the old cliches of the terrorist organizations and the old fascism, they just do not understand the keys of the new extreme right and its criminal intolerance, which works in a globalized world without limits due to Internet. Widely warned by those who know the effects of this tragedy, there are some clues that can lead them to understand why this people kill in this way. Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy helps us to understand how this kind of saviors can raise in advanced societies.
Meanwhile, at least, Internet shoulb be cleaned up that criminal waste integrated by manuals and websites that appeal to hatred. Those organizations and racist political parties that spread this ahtred should be banned and the easy access to weapons in any country. Shoudn´t be so easy. Europe cannot look the other way while racism and intolerance are rising, in fact, it must stop trivializing this problem. Europe must strengthen criminal codes, should gather better intelligence on these groups and individuals, fight democratically from all fronts against fanatism, whose capacity for terror has been demonstrated in Oslo. In Spain we must reform our Criminal Code, create Prosecutor's Offices against hate crimes and train and specialize the police. We urgently need to aware, prevent and legislate against these crimes, improving their persecution. Tomorrow may be too late.
As it appears that the main perpetrator of those horrible acts is linked to and influenced by the extreme-right ideology, ENAR urges the European mainstream political leadership to consider this as an urgent wakeup call! Indeed, most of the people from the European majority community have remained relatively insensitive to the numerous victims of extreme-right movements that often stemmed from minority communities: Jews, Blacks, Muslims, Roma, gays and lesbians, among others.
However, the Oslo killings dreadfully demonstrate that extreme-right ideologies are a danger for the whole society and not only for minorities. Anyone can become victim to the violence of extremeright fanatics, intent on wiping out diversity from our societies.
Political leaders who shamelessly borrow from the extreme-right narratives with a view to winning some of the extreme-right electorate not only trivialize the heritage of democracy but also share responsibilities for extreme-right violence in Europe.
Instead of confronting contemporary challenges (ageing populations, migration, redistribution of power and wealth, financial crisis, work shortages, unemployment, and the decline of the middle class, to name a few…) with innovative ideas and political courage, many prefer embracing far right themes under the guise that “the extreme-right asks the good questions but brings the wrong answers”.
“The cheap legitimization of the extreme-right discourse that has occurred over the last 10 years is now bearing its poisonous fruits,” says Dr. Chibo Onyeji, Chairman of ENAR. Any citizen is now a potential target for furious extreme-right fanatics looking forward to making some sort of political statement by violently seeking to destroy peace, order, cohesion and mutual trust in our societies. It is high time we realized that hatred is not the solution to the daily problems of citizens who are more concerned with securing their future and the future of their children than with hating their neighbours. European societies need ambitions and the dream of a brighter future, not the frustration that leads to the terrible events of Oslo.
ENAR - 25/07/2011
lunes, 4 de julio de 2011
viernes, 1 de julio de 2011
President Obama has said that New York’s move to legalise gay marriage is a “good thing” but still won’t endorse the right of gay couples to wed.
2010 marked the first year the European Union (EU) operated on the basis of a legally binding bill of rights - the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. This year's annual report of the European Agency for Fundamental Rights puts the spotlight on the achievements and challenges of the EU and its Member States as they strive to inject robust life into their fundamental rights commitments.
Steps forward in 2010 included, among many, the reinforcement of a fundamental rights check of EU legislative proposals and the adoption of the regulation on the Citizen's initiative - an important new EU participatory democracy tool. Moves by several Member States to strengthen or create National Human Rights Institutions or the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights or Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by the EU complemented this picture.
Still, there is no room for complacency. The EU continues to face various issues of concern in the fundamental rights field, such as persisiting and extreme poverty as well as social exclusion among Roma communities and deteriorating conditions of asylum seekers in certain Member States. In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights delivered over 600 judgments for violations of human rights against almost all 27 EU Member States.
This report examines progress on EU and Member States rights obligations under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, covering the following topics: situation of Roma in the EU; asylum immigration and integration; border control and visa policy; information society and data protection; the rights of the child and protection of children; equality and non-discrimination; racism and ethnic discrimination; participation of EU citizens in the Unions democratic functioning; access to efficient and independent justice; and victims' protection.