Archive for the ‘anti-fascism’ Category

As the world gets smaller and smaller with globalisation and the spread of ever-increasing forms of communication, we have never been more connected. We have more information at our fingertips and more opportunities for collaboration and common action than ever before. Campaigns such as “Black Lives Matter” show how rights activists now have more tools and spaces at their disposal for creating awareness around issues of discrimination and bringing dozens of organisations and millions of people together around a common cause. This provides fertile ground for building a real convergence of struggles across anti-discrimination movements, but that also requires us to align our priorities and question and change our way of doing things.
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I’m not going to waste your time or patronise you by preaching the benefits of immigration. Instead, I want to ask you this. Who has caused our country most problems: the bankers who plunged us into economic disaster, the expenses-milking politicians who have the cheek to lecture us on benefit fraud, the wealthy tax-dodgers keeping £25 billion a year from the Exchequer; the poverty wage-paying bosses and rip-off rent-charging landlords; or Indian nurses and Polish fruit pickers?

The Great Ukip Racism Debate – Debunking the Six Main Myths | Mehdi Hasan: The Great Ukip Racism Debate – Debunking the Six Main Myths

Blaming Immigrants…

Posted: April 29, 2014 in anti-fascism, UKIP
Well done Swansea. Some inspiration for Cornwall perhaps.
Regional language campaigners denounce France – Features – Al Jazeera English: Basque, Catalan, Alsatian and Corsican speakers deliver petition to UNESCO in Paris asking for “cultural asylum”.
It’s worth noting that Frances Jean-luc Mélenchon – the darling of the alternative left in the UK – is as hostile to these linguistic minorities as is Frances far-right Marine le Pen.
The attacks by Mélenchon on projects to protect minority languages and his misrepresentations of language campaigners, and even the languages themselves, leave nothing to be envied by the far-right. A very small selection of his nonsense can be found here on 7 Seizh (French).
To give you an example of the intolerance within the French state towards its regional languages I’ve included a map that was published in 2003 in a Geography manual destined for French colleges. The map marks the regions where there is a risk of ‘repli identitaire’, in other words xenophobia and cultural isolationism.
1) The English Defence League – Cornwall Division (Kernow), committed to protecting Cornish communities and not at all racist or English supremacist, is run in part by Dorsets Tim Ablitt who also happens to be a member of the extreme-right British Freedom party. The other EDL organisers for Cornwall being Kieron Hallet and Jennie Maynard. So not really very Cornish, English or British then – just racist.

2) Recently Brittany’s administrative capital Rennes a member of the extreme-right  Jeune Bretagne was seen keeping company – engaging in acts of vandalism and violence – with members of Jeunesse Nationaliste, a French neo-nazi organisation hostile to all forms of regionalism and ‘regional’ languages. Amazingly Jeune Bretagne claim to want to defend Breton culture and obtain regional autonomy.  So, Breton or French then? See above for the appropriate response.
Before the French presidential elections so much was promised to Brittany. Radical decentralisation to the regions and the ratification of the charter for minority languages were clearly stated as objectives by the to-be-victorious Socialist candidate. However, following ‘advice’ from an obscure constitutional committee, the president has decided not to ratify the charter and his radical decentralisation has turned to farce. 
Leaving aside the small circle of loons from the far-right, Brittany has many other organisations   campaigning for its democratic, cultural and social rights.

In an effort to address the governments broken promises, by mobilising Breton civic society, the Galv Pondi (facebook) – the Call from Pontivy in Breton – has been issued. Expressly excluding the far-right, Galv Pondi is open to all individuals and organisations to sign up to and support. So far the Union Démocratique Bretonne, Parti Breton, BreizhistanceMouvement Bretagne et progrès, Europe Ecologie les Verts, Bretagne Réunie, Ai’ta, 44=Breizh and Kevre Breizh have signed. What are the Celtic League, Celtic Congress and a whole list of others waiting for? Please visit the website of Galv Pondi, sign the manifesto, leave messages of support and then share with your friends.

The UDB has also created a petition on Avaaz.org to support the campaign. They write: Accordingly, the undersigned people urge the President François Hollande : – To ratify the European Charter for Minority Languages, as promised by the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, his campaign pledge No. 56. – To make, without delay, the necessary arrangements for the reunification of Brittany. What is possible in Alsace should also be so in Brittany – To enable and support the creation in Brittany of a bilingual public television station following the example of Stella Via Corsica, transmitting to the five Breton departments. – To give Brittany, in the context of the future decentralization law, a special status that – inspired by those of Scotland, Wales and Catalonia. If special statuses are available for major cities of Paris, Lyon and Marseille why not for Brittany? The signatories want to bring these claims to the State so that our basic democratic rights are finally met. For more information follow the link beside : http://www.breizh-united.net

The above Breizh United  / Galv Pondi is a continued effort at dialogue hoping to apply pressure on the government in Paris and politicians in Brittany. The campaign Yes Breizh (facebook) on the other hand is explicitly aimed at independence. Wishing to capitalise on developments in Scotland and Catalonia, Yes Breizh is a platform designed to promote public awareness and debate. They write: “Yes Breizh is an educational process that aims to unchain speech and thought on the issue of an independent Brittany. Because there are always several alternatives in the destiny of nations, it is urgent to keep the door open to other visions of the future for Brittany”. Not a bad idea for Cornwall perhaps. Again you can help by signing their petition and circulating their website.
 
Both the former manage to avoid contamination by the far-right by, in the case of Galv Pondi, simply banning them from taking part or, as does Yes Breizh, only allowing people in their individual capacity to sign the petition. Unfortunately Kelc’h An Dael, (facebook) an association to promote the establishment of a Breton parliament – in itself a great idea –  has chosen neither option. KAD clearly display the support they receive from the far-right nationalist party Adsav. The result being that the vast majority of other Breton groups want nothing to do with them going as far as to exclude members of their organisations that have joined KAD.

Leaving aside the ethical arguments of giving any publicity to the far-right just imagine Mebyon Kernow openly standing beside a Cornish equivalent of the National Front or BNP and I think you’ll understand the simple tactical error. Have various manifestations of the far-right brought Catalonia and Scotland to the brink of independence? Have the centre-left in Scotland or centre-right in Catalonia achieved so much by associating with racists, islamophobes, homophobes, eurosceptics and conspiracy theorists? A parliament for Brittany is such an important idea why tie a lead weight to its neck by association with fascists?