Thursday, 23 March 2017

"Vile opportunist" Tommy Robinson

Tommy Robinson condemned for ranting about Islamic extremism at scene of London terror attack

From the Independent by Maya Oppenheim

Far-right figures like Tommy Robinson are vile opportunists: using victims of today's attack to spread their anti-Muslim message.

A video of the far-right leader, who led the EDL from 2009 until October 2013, 
appeared on Rebel Media, a fringe right-wing Canadian media company LNP

Tommy Robinson has been widely condemned for launching into a tirade about Islamic extremism at the scene of a suspected terrorist attack in Westminster.

The former English Defence League leader rushed to the Houses of Parliament in London after news of the attacks emerged. Although details about the alleged assailant and their motive remains unclear, Mr Robinson claimed Britain was at “war” with Islamic fundamentalists.

While ambulances and other emergency vehicles dominated scenes, Mr Robinson shouted aggressively at those who challenged him and launched into a scathing analysis of the incident for his personal camera crew.

After a reporter suggested Mr Robinson has been quick to label the incident a foreign terrorist attack, the far-right leader said: "This is the reality. The reality is these people are waging war on us.

"This has been going on for 1,400 years and while it's going on the police leaders and the political leaders want to invite more."

But Mr Robinson has been denounced for his intervention, with people accusing him of simply inflaming the situation and exploiting the tragedy for his own gain.

Maya Goodfellow, a journalist, said on Twitter:
Far-right figures like Tommy Robinson are vile opportunists: using victims of today's attack to spread their anti-Muslim message.

David Rivers
Tommy Robinson has turned up at the scene and, as you could imagine, is making everything worse.

Desolation Radio
Tommy Robinson actually went down to the scene to start yelling. Unbelievable

“Far-right hate preacher Tommy Robinson is in London exploiting today's terror attack. The man lower than vermin,” said Scott Nelson.

"Tommy Robinson thinking about himself and his agenda rather than the victims in the immediate aftermath. Tells you all you need to know," added another.

“Tommy Robinson really jumped on the 16:09 Southeastern service to come and milk this tragedy,” quipped another critic.

A video of the far-right leader, who led the EDL from 2009 until October 2013, outside the Houses of Parliament appeared on Rebel Media, a fringe right-wing Canadian media company after he went down to the scene.

Mr Robinson announced he was leaving the EDL in 2013 in a joint conference with think tank Quilliam. His departure was widely covered, with the former leader later telling police he would help with their investigations into alleged racists within the extremist group.

Proceedings at Parliament were suspended on Wednesday afternoon after a police officer was stabbed and an alleged assailant shot by armed police outside the Houses of Parliament, shortly after a vehicle is reported to have mowed into members of the public on Westminster Bridge.

Police are treating the Westminster shooting which took place on Wednesday afternoon as a terrorist incident until further notice.

Yasmin Rehman named Secularist of the Year 2017

From the National Secular Society:

The Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year 2017 has been awarded to Yasmin Rehman, the secular campaigner for women's rights.

Yasmin has spent much of the past two years working to get the Government to recognise the dangers faced by ex-Muslims and Ahmadi Muslims from Islamic extremists. She has used her own home as a shelter for women at risk of domestic abuse.

Accepting the prize, Yasmin Rehman thanked the Society for recognising her work and said she was "incredibly humbled" to be nominated among other figures who were "personal heroines."

She said there were two women, Maryam Namazie and Gita Sahgal, whom she couldn't have campaigned without, and that she was "honoured" to stand beside them.

Secularism was not opposed to faith, she said, before describing how she had been shut down as 'Islamophobic' and "racist" despite being a Muslim herself. There is anti-Muslim sentiment in society, she said, but charges of 'Islamophobia' were being used to silence and curtail speech.

Yasmin said she didn't know if she could ever go back to Pakistan because of her work, while in the UK it was "impossible" to get funding for secularist work. She asked where women could possibly turn if they faced religiously-justified abuse. Muslim women were left with nothing but religious, sharia arbitration, while faith healing was spreading with ill women being controlled by male relatives and religious leaders and told to pray instead of seeking medical treatment.

FGM and honour-based violence were being dismissed as "cultural", while in fact polygamist and temporary marriages were Islamic practises, she said. There is a slippery road from this to child marriage, and there should be "no space" in the UK for these practises, she argued.

"Great powers within the community" were holding women back, and low rates of Muslim female employment could not be attributed entirely to discrimination by employers.

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: 
I'm particularly pleased that this afternoon we have a secularist who is also a Muslim to present our prizes. She is living proof that secularism and Muslims can co-exist if given half a chance and co-founded British Muslims for Secular Democracy in 2006.
Mr Sanderson described how secularism protected the rights of all and said it and democracy were "interdependent".

Dr Michael Irwin kindly sponsored the £5,000 award. The award was presented by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. She said: 
The thing I find interesting and frightening at the moment is when I talk to young Muslims is how little they understand what secularism means.
She said the Society's most important work was in explaining what secularism meant for young people, particularly Muslims, and demonstrate that secularism was not atheism.

She warned of the growth of Muslim "exceptionalism" and that "universalism needs to be promoted."

The Society was joined at the central London lunch event by previous winners of the prize including Maryam Namazie, who was the inaugural Secularist of the Year back in 2005. Peter Tatchell, who won the prize on 2012 also attended.

Turkish parliamentarian and 2014 Secularist of the Year Safak Pavey was unable to join the Society, but sent a message to attendees: "I wish I could be with you but we have the critical referendum approaching and we are very busy with the campaign. Each and every one of your shortlisted nominees is a very distinguished members of the secular society without borders.

"I wholeheartedly thank all of them for their courageous and precious contributions in defence and support of secularism and congratulate this year's Secularist while looking forward to work together for our shared cause."

Mr Sanderson praised her for working in "increasingly dangerous" circumstances to resist the Islamisation of Turkey.

Other campaigners were thanked for their work and Terry singled out Dr Steven Kettell, who was shortlisted for the prize, for his "excellent response" to the Commission on Religion and Belief in Public which had advocated expanding many religious privileges. Mr Sanderson thanked Dr Kettell for pointing out the many injustices that CORAB's recommendations would have introduced, in his "excellent" report.

Scott Moore, the founder of Let Pupils Choose, was thanked for his campaign work. He said that, as an 18 year old, he had been campaigning for his entire adult life to separate religion and state, after religion was forced on him and taught as "absolute fact" during his childhood. He said the education system in Northern Ireland "robbed" pupils of their religious freedom. "All belief systems should be treated equally, but they are not."

He was applauded for his hard-fought campaign work and Mr Sanderson said Moore gave him "hope for the future."

Nominee Houzan Mahmoud spoke powerfully about the importance of universal rights and freedoms.

Barry Duke, editor of the Freethinker, was given a lifetime achievement award for his commitment to free speech, LGBT rights and equality and resistance to censorship in apartheid South Africa.

The Society's volunteer of the year was named, Sven Klinge, and thanked for the many occasions on which he has photographed NSS events.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Anti-Immigrant Immigrant

Former BNP leader Nick Griffin says he hopes to emigrate within 'the next six months'

From The Independent by Samuel Osborne  @SamuelOsborne93
I hope the Hungarian people will welcome people who are genuine refugees from western Europe but keep out the liberals who have brought western Europe to this state in the first place

Nick Griffin praised Hungary for building a wall to keep out refugees 
and providing state help for large Hungarian families Getty

The former leader of the British National Party has said he wants to emigrate to Hungary.

Nick Griffin said he intends to move to the eastern European country within the next six months, despite his previous attacks on immigration.

Mr Griffin told told Hungarian website 444 he would continue with his political activism even after he moved.  He said:
There's already a sort of nationalist emigre community building up here. There's French, there's Italians and Swedes, and Brits as well, so it's only a trickle at present.

I have no doubt at all that when the trouble really begins with al-Qaeda and Isis in western Europe, that trickle is going to become a flood.

And I hope that Hungary, the Hungarian government, the Hungarian people, will welcome people who are genuine refugees from western Europe but keep out the liberals who have brought western Europe to this state in the first place.
Mr Griffin also praised Hungary for “saying that the sovereign countries of Europe have a right not just to their freedom but also to long-term survival.” He said:
Hungary is actually doing something about it. There's the broad spectrum from building the wall to state help for young Hungarian families to have large families and addressing the Soros problem.

[It] indicates a government which doesn't want to commit national suicide. That's very refreshing from someone coming from the west.
When he was asked where he would move to, Mr Griffin said: 
That depends. I love Budapest, I think it's a fantastic city. But I'm a country boy really, so I'll probably live somewhere out in the sticks, as we would say in England.


So not really anything to do with the Knights Templar International , Jim Dowson and the village of Asotthalom then?

Asotthalom Welcomes White Far Right

Anti-Islam Hungarian village says white nationalists from across Europe are welcome.

The village of Asotthalom has banned Muslim clothing, the call to prayer and 'gay propaganda'.

From the International Business Times by Tom Porter

Hungarian soldiers control the metal fence-saved border line at 
Asotthalom border station of the Hungarian-Serbian border 2016.
Getty Images

A village in Hungary that has banned Muslim dress and "homosexual propaganda" aims attract white nationalists from throughout Europe.

The town of Asotthalom is located in a remote part of southern Hungary near the Serbian border, and in November announced it was banning mosque construction, the use of a muezzin at prayer times and the wearing of clothes such as the niqab.

Echoing the language of Russian president and far-right icon Vladimir Putin, the community also announced a ban on "homosexual propaganda."

Now town mayor Laszlo Toroczkai has said the town hopes to attract other Christian Europeans opposed to multiculturalism. 
Toroczkai, who is also a deputy leader of the far right Jobbik party, told the BBC: 

We primarily welcome people from western Europe - people who wouldn't like to live in a multicultural society. We wouldn't like to attract Muslims to the village.

It's very important for the village to preserve its traditions. If large numbers of Muslims arrived here, they would not be able to integrate into the Christian community.

We can see large Muslim communities in western Europe that haven't been able to integrate – and we don't want to have the same experience here," he says. "I'd like Europe to belong to Europeans, Asia to belong to Asians and Africa to belong to Africans. Simple as that.
Knights Templar International, a white nationalist organisation which counts as members former BNP boss Nick Griffin and former treasurer Jim Dowson, reportedly has close ties to Toroczkai, and has exhorted sympathisers to settle in Hungary.

Europe has seen a surge of support for far right parties since the 2015 refugee crisis, in which millions of Middle Eastern and African refugees entered Europe, many passing through Hungary on their way to Germany and northern European countries with open asylum policies.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has adopted a staunchly anti-immigrant stance, building a fence along the border with Serbia to keep refugees out and refusing to take the country's EU quota of those granted asylum. On Tuesday (7 February), Orban announced plans to hold refugees in camps until their asylum applications are processed.

Toroczkai previously released a video where, surrounded by burly men dressed in camouflage, he warned refugees not to attempt to enter Hungary. The town has reportedly set up its own paramilitary style border patrols to complement to government patrols along the border fence.

The Hungarian Islamic Community said in November that that a letter appealing to Orban to take action against Asotthalom and uphold the rights of Hungarian Muslims went unanswered. Lawyers claim the controversial by-laws contravene the Hungarian constitution, and the government is due to rule on them in mid-February.

But for now, Mr Toroczkai said the town would remain "white, European, Christian."

Saturday, 18 March 2017


By Jessica Brown in people:  

This author exposed whitewashing in publishing with one tweet:

Fantasy/sci-fi writer Nnedi Okorafor has outed her former publisher in a series of tweets and hightailed the issue of whitewashing in the publishing industry.

Okorafor’s book’s main character is a black woman, but her publishers proposed this cover on the left:

Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
As a black woman writing a black female main character in a scifi novel, seeing my character whitewashed on the cover felt-like-erasure
It allegedly took a "sh*t fit" to get them to agree in the cover on the right:

Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
Cover on left was the proposed cover. Cover on the right was the finished cover after I threw a sh*t fit (tapered by my agent).
Okorafor, who was the first black person to win the World Fantasy Award for best novel since its inception in 1975, said she described the main character very clearly:

Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
I described Ejii as "black skinned" and subsaharan African, story set in NIGER and that left cover was proposed to me. WTF.
And the designer's excuse? "There were too few stock images of black girls".

Since the book was published ten years ago, she says she has made sure it's never happened again:

Nnedi Okorafor, PhD
No worries. Nothing like that cover issue will happen again. Better publishers, better times. Now it's up to readers to do their parts.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Soup kitchen volunteers attacked in Great Yarmouth

From Great Yarmouth Mercury by George Ryan:

Soup kitchen volunteers have described their ordeal after they were attacked while they tried to help the homeless.

Around 50 youths on bicycles circled around the Tribal Trust’s minibus kitchen in Great Yarmouth’s Market Place yesterday evening (March 3) at about 7.30pm.

The volunteers were serving food at their weekly soup kitchen when there was an altercation when one of their cars was kicked and punched by a youth.

Diane Haworth, 43, from Tribal Trust said they asked them what they were doing and then the group of about 20 young people started shouting at them and the homeless people, before more turned up on bikes.

The Hopton mum said she was punched in the face and received bruises to her face and her glasses were broken in the attack. A homeless man who intervened was then attacked by three young people.

She said she was still shaken by the incident, and they went straight to the police station to report the assaults.

One of the homeless ladies was shaking, it makes them very anxious.

We had some new faces there too which was nice before this happened.
She added it was not the first time they have been targeted, as a couple of weeks ago young people came with laser pointers which they deliberately shone in theirs and the homeless people’s eyes.

Norfolk Police have been contacted for a comment.

The Tribal Trust is a group of volunteers who are on hand to help rough sleepers in Great Yarmouth town centre.

The group operate out of a converted mini bus helping the homeless.

Their aim is to get out and about every two to three days once they have more volunteers who are qualified to help, but Diane said they may have to reconsider if the violence continues.

Diane a trained key worker and support worker knows better than most some the difficulties faced by those she helps, suffering from PTSD and anxiety and having been homeless herself. 

Speaking in January when the project launched in Great Yarmouth, the Hopton mum said: 
I have been there. I understand where they are coming from, I’m not just a worker,

This is part therapy for me, I’m still buzzing now after going out and helping them.
Now the Tribal Trust writes on their site "It's been a bit of a nightmare."

Take extra care all the lovely volunteers feeding the Homeless of Norfolk, especially The People's Picnic and Norwich Soup Movement.

The People's Picnic and Norwich Soup Movement  

Tribal Trust version of events:

Let's get one thing straight this was caught on cctv... Mob Culture at its worst...
Soup Kitchen pt2, approx 7.40pm. One lout kicks and punches our car, instead of apologising he wants to fight..He wants to ' smash our faces in ' , then he goes for Diane and punches her in the face and smashing her glasses.. then all hell breaks loose.. All the yobs want to ' have a go ' punching - kicking - slapping ' at all of us..Dave got repeatedly punched then attacked by a young girl, hitting Dave with a bottle.. Vicky grabbed one of the yobs off of Daves back. One of the homeless gentlemen ( Wesley ) came in to help, and ended up on the floor with 4/5 youths kicking and punching him. Gary also got hit while trying to rescue Wesley. Our 80 YEAR OLD volunteer also grabbed a yob who was attacking Dave. Our friend Tom also helped to keep us from being seriously injured.
We managed to escape just as even more youths from McDonald's direction joined forces, the group of yobs all turned in pursuit of us just as the Police arrived.. If the Police did not arrive just at that moment then we would have had 30- 40 youths bored and full of hate attacking us..
This incident has left us all very shaken and emotional after enduring this unprovoked attack on 6 members and 5 of our regular visitors. This attack has left scars, and opened old mental scars resulting in prolonged anxiety and stress related problems .
We are so disgusted that we are arranging a peacefull protest in Yarmouth from 6- 7 pm on this Friday the 10th March . Please see our ' protest event ' and come along to show your support so this kind of thing doesn't happen again, and people can walk around the town area without being intimidated in there own town


We are shocked and saddened...and very disappointed
We have just heard that a youth has been attacked....
What the hell is people thinking?.. we suffered an attack, we certainly don't want anyone else being attacked in anyway what so ever... So shocking...
we are disgusted buy some of the violent threats, both at us and the youths.. This is NOT the way to help bring change.. And we do not and will never Condone or support violence or bullying of any kind. We are sorry and saddened by what has been going on?.. STOP NOW....PLEASE...
So enough now... we are a peaceful trust of non paid people who just trying to help the homeless ...

Tribal Trust

HEY FRIENDS .. Protest Cancelled..... SAFETY ISSUES... :(

OK, we have thought about this all day. As you all know we are all about safety, helping others and bringing people together. We have a potential 700/1000 supportive people coming to our Protest on Friday... After many hours of planning we have decided to cancel this Fridays Protest.
It's just to big for us to organise and control safely. We are concerned about the safety of so many people. Sadly we must be sensible about this. We are still holding our soup kitchen and you are welcome to come down, have a chat, meet the team, try and raise some funds and plan for the future. So please come along for a cuppa.
Much love the TT Team... x