Racism Will Turn Arizona Into A Police State

Update: Brewer signed the bill into law.

The slow creeping fascism of a declining empire will have its most explicit success if Arizona’s Republican governor Jan Brewer signs into law SB 1070. In the video below by Nezua he makes the very good point, where are the libertarians when the government is making it a crime not to have your papers with you at all times and present upon request (principled libertarians who are not racist must surely oppose this, hmmm  crickets…). A law whose real intention is to criminalise migrants, both legal and ‘illegal’, it is to make all brown people a suspect.

And below Zack de la Rocha on the law that-

orders immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant laborers or knowingly transport them.

Look at all the wriggle room, it’s a bigot with a badge’s charter.

Amnesty International on the law-

The Arizona House and Senate have passed a bill (SB1070) that would empower police officers to stop and interrogate every individual in the state regarding citizenship status and make it a crime to be an undocumented person in Arizona. If a person does not immediately present documents proving that she is legally in the US, she may be criminally prosecuted, jailed and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation. The bill contains no safeguards against racial profiling and increases the likelihood of arbitrary arrest and detention. These are all human rights violations. Because SB1070 has already passed in the Arizona house, it’s next stop is the governor’s office. Tell Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill. Join activists across the US as they visit the Governor on April 20th to express opposition to this bill.

Ha, Ha, BNP’s Still Racist Rules Cost Them 60 Grand

The British National Party has been forced to rewrite its rules again after a court said they were discriminatory The BNP voted to scrap its whites-only membership policy last month after a legal threat from equality watchdogs. Instead, it said members had to sign up to maintaining the “integrity of the indigenous British” and be interviewed for up to two hours by BNP officials. A judge at Central London County Court ruled that the new constitution was still likely to be discriminatory. Judge Paul Collins ordered the party to pay £60,000 in costs and said its membership list must remain “closed” until it complied with race relations laws.

The constitution rejected by the court asked members to sign up to the BNP’s principles, including a duty to oppose the promotion of any form of “integration or assimilation” that impacted on the “indigenous British”, and a requirement to support the “maintenance and existence of the unity and integrity of the indigenous British”. It also stated that members have to agree to two party officials – one male and one female – visiting their home for up to two hours.

A lawyer acting for the Equality and Human Rights Commission said this could be used to enable potential members to be intimidated, although there was no evidence it had been used in that way.

Mr Griffin said this was an “entirely normal” procedure to prevent the infiltration of people who wanted to sabotage the party and “find out what sort of people wanted to join the BNP”.

But he said it would now be scrapped to comply with the ruling, adding: “You don’t have to agree to a home visit in order to be a member of the BNP.”

He claimed there were 7,000 people on its membership waiting list, including a “handful” of people “from each of the main ethnic groups in Britain” including Sikhs, West Indians and “two Chinese ladies”.

Seems quite bigoted to suppose people of different ethnic & religious extractions can’t be racist & fascist too…FAIL

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Leave Them Kids Alone

Teachers in England should not be banned from membership of the British National Party or any group which may promote racism, a review has concluded. The government commissioned the report after a leaked list identified 15 BNP members as teachers.

Yeah because institutions full of young impressionable minds at the mercy of authority is just where you want fucking Nazis. How the hell is the parent of any child who is not white and straight (and let’s face it, male, don’t recall a lot of positive feminism from the BNP unless it is- outbreed the immigrants you chattel bints) trust a teacher who not only supports the BNP but loves fascism and racism so much they join the frickin’ party. And- any group which may promote racism- together with folding on faith schools is government education, education and education policy to just keep replicating the same idiocies and prejudices of their generation? (while denying future generations the funding for university they had in abundance… sorry kids we fucked your planet and your education but here’s the good news you are now so unhealthy from pollution and dumb from neglect you don’t give a shit, here have another prozac chew, to think you used not to able to buy these in sweet shops, progress!).

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BNP Continue To Be Not At All Racist

A new piece of tat is added to their awful online souvenir shop-

(from Lancaster Unity) Queen Elizabeth I’s Blackamoore Expulsion Order It is not widely known that between 1596 and 1601, Queen Elizabeth I ordered the expulsion of all non-indigenous Third World people, whom she called “blackamoores” from Britain. Now, for the first time ever, Excalibur is proud to exclusively offer reproductions of the original expulsion orders…Both original handwritten orders have been reproduced in full on fine quality thick paper, suitable for framing or display.

Hmm, now why would a totally not-at-all-racist party be selling that so proudly?????

European Court of Human Rights Protects UK Citizens From Their Own Police

Thank you Euro chums & Kevin Gillan and Pennie Quinton & Liberty who have persevered and achieved this victory-

Police stop and search powers under UK terrorism laws have been declared illegal by human rights judges after two Londoners questioned their legality. The right to question people without grounds for suspicion – granted by the Terrorism Act of 2000 – violates the Human Rights Convention, said the European Court of Human Rights.

The ruling came in a case brought by two Londoners who were stopped and questioned by police near an arms fair in the city in 2003. Kevin Gillan and Pennie Quinton were both searched on the same day in the area of the Defence Systems and Equipment International Exhibition at the Excel Centre in Docklands, where there had already been protests and demonstrations. Nothing incriminating was found on either of them and they went to court questioning the legality of stop and search powers. The High Court and the Court of Appeal said the powers were legitimate given the risk of terrorism in London. But the human rights court disagreed.

The Home Office called it ‘disappointing‘ and I would guess the fuzz will keep stopping and searching as most people have neither the time, money or determination to challenge each stop and the plod will come up with some arcane justification for their illegal activity, y’know, as usual.

Section 44 is supposed to give the police the powers to search for “articles of a kind which could be used in connection with terrorism” in a designated area renewable every 28 days. But since it came into force in 2001 it has been widely used against anti-war and anti-globalisation protesters, photographers and even Japanese tourists. More than 117,000 searches took place under the powers in 2008 and the European judges drew special attention to the statistics showing black and Asian people were at least four times more likely to be stopped.

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BNP’s Sleazy Expense Scam

Admittedly not unexpected, they are using their funding from the European parliament to enrich their party machinery, Searchlight reports

The British National Party is using money it receives from Europe to support its two MEPs to bankroll the leadership of its organisation. Of the 14 people employed by the two MEPs only five actually live in the two regions they represent and most fulfil national posts for the party. In the latest abuse of the parliamen-tary expenses system, the British and European people are funding the BNP.

As MEPs, Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons, are entitled to claim a combined £382,000 a year to pay for their colleagues’ salaries. The two share five members of staff, who all happen to be national party officers and only one lives in either the North West or Yorkshire. They are Simon Darby, the party’s deputy leader, Eddy Butler, the national organiser, Emma Colgate, the national administration officer, John Walker, the deputy press officer, and Martin Wingfield, who lives in the North West and until recently was the editor of the party newspaper, Voice of Freedom.

Each MEP also has some staff of his own. One of Nick Griffin’s is Martin Reynolds, a bodybuilder from Leeds who acts as his personal minder. When asked about what “specifically” he does for his EU salary, Reynolds said: “I honestly don’t know”. Andrew Brons employs three people. One happens to be the new BNP Yorkshire organiser while the other two, Adam and Mark Walker, both live in County Durham, which is in a different region. Searchlight has long argued that if elected the BNP would use public money to fund the party rather than helping the people they are supposed to represent. This is proving to be the case.

More.
This is a challenge for those who claim that they voted for the BNP not because they were racist (good luck with that Egyptian river) but that they were not like the debauched mainstream parties. Hmmmm.

Kweshtuning Times

Last month James Macintyre, a former producer on Question Time, revealed in the New Statesman that the programme’s makers wanted Griffin on the panel two years ago, long before the BNP’s limited breakthrough in the summer. To its credit the BBC resisted at first the naïve showbiz instincts of some who run the independent production company that is responsible for Question Time. According to Macintyre the company, Mentorn, persisted for two years and finally got the go ahead from the BBC. This suggests that Mentorn wanted what Peter Hain calls a “beanfest” for reasons well removed from the BBC’s charter obligations.

Excerpt from Macintyre’s piece-

Yet such was the controversy into which the BBC had plunged itself that the corporation’s bosses found themselves spinning lines on behalf of the BNP. After Hain wrote to the BBC’s director general, Mark Thompson, to point out that the BNP was an “unlawful” entity with a whites-only membership policy, Thompson seemed to leap to Griffin’s defence. Following legal advice sought by the BBC, he said, “the [BNP] is not prevented from continuing to operate on a day-to-day basis”. Ric Bailey, the BBC’s omnipresent chief political adviser, went further in claiming, without evidence, that the corporation could have been challenged in the courts had it not hosted Griffin on Question Time, since it had, in Thompson’s words, an “obligation to scrutinise and hold to account all elected representatives”. Bailey also resorted to the electoral argument: the BNP had to be represented on Question Time, he said, because it “won more than 6 per cent of the vote across Britain – approaching a million people”.

None of these positions bears scrutiny. First, as I revealed last month, Question Time wanted to host Griffin as early as 2007. At the time, I was working as a producer on the show, and this was long before the BNP’s electoral “breakthrough”. Much has been made of the BNP’s “million votes” in June’s European elections but, nationally, its vote share was a tiny 6.2 per cent – up 1.3 per cent on 2004. The BNP benefited from a collapse in the Labour vote. And, as Hain told me: “The BBC’s argument is threadbare. The logic of saying that a million votes gets you a place on Question Time is that if, say, [the Islamist cleric] Abu Hamza formed a party and attracted that support, he would go on.”

Second, there was never any “obligation”, legal or otherwise, to invite Griffin on to the BBC’s most popular current-affairs show, any more than there is an “obligation” for Griffin to appear on Ready Steady Cook. The BBC’s current-affairs output has to be impartial and balanced but, as I argued at internal meetings in 2007, the main problem is the format: it is difficult not to have a “good” Question Time. It was far better having the BNP on Newsnight and Radio 4’s Today programme. Labour’s Jon Cruddas, who confronts the BNP threat daily in his Dagenham constituency, has pointed out that the BBC could have given Griffin “45 minutes with John Humphrys or Andrew Neil”.

I think though Chicken Yoghurt makes an excellent point, please go and see it in full but basically all the things you can accuse the BNP of believing in Jack Straw puts into action. Yes it’s a retrograde step to have the BNP on but so is lying a country into war and torture and not holding the political class to account for 30 years of neoliberal attacks on British society that has created the opportunity for the BNP to rise. I think the protest outside the BBC is a stirring example of British people’s passion for an inclusive democracy.

However no platform was under threat once the bar to entry for media was lowered by the web, BNP idiots thrive on conspiracy theories and being barred from mainstream media feeds this. They should not be treated as any other party, a clever and considered lancing of the boil, a concerted exposure that would deflate the lies of the activists and the paranoid theories of supporters seems the least worst choice. But what chance of the corporate media doing this?

Question Time is not the best venue to expose Griffin’s fascism, they are not a political party like any other, they are a group that support right wing white male belligerent supremacy and will cheerfully lie to gain support from people who should -but apparently don’t- know better. I think the mainstream broadcasters should have taken the BNP to task, fact check them and expose the criminal activity and links to open Nazi groups worldwide, however corporate media rarely acts like that in respect of right wing parties. The BBC news on now has done some of this but it is not confronting Griffin with it. The Question Time format is too easy for Griffin to escape scrutiny, let Paxman or Humphrys do an in depth interview with a follow up fact check, because again the key aspect of fascists is they use ‘noble lies’ to further their objectives. I would also ask that white people particularly  white men (as I am) think about their entitlement and how that makes Griffins loathsome but perhaps, to some, not as viscerally abhorrent as it does to people of colour. It is telling all the senior people who would have made this decision in the BBC & Mentorn (incidentally from my time pottering around the industry in the 90’s they had a terrible reputation for how they treated their employees & free lancers at that time) are white males, affluent ones at that. It’s possible Question Time will surprise us and Griffin will be exposed for the scumbag he is and his party for the racist fascist rump of losers that they are, history warns us that might not be the case and media analysis also suggests how such media institutionally fail to treat the right wing with due objectivity and scepticism.

Simply from my observation of the media today it is hard not to see an element of this entitled bias in action, endless -mostly- male white journalist and presenters applying their usual tools to the issue as if fascism was an ideology as legitimate as any other and repeatedly mentioning how ‘1 million’ people voted BNP in the Euro election. How is it that media that are happy to ignore the beliefs of millions more when they are environmental groups, anti war or anti corporate or anti neoliberalism are suddenly are falling over themselves to care about what 1 million hateful chumps want? A gender and racial bias that remains unchallenged at a personal and institutional level is to me rather obvious here, there is also a class bias, the BNP target deprived areas, they are a scourge among people the political establishment already ignores and despite what the media keeps repeating it is not the white working class it is the working class! The BNP can exploit divide and rule because the entire working and lower middle class of all races do not get representation in the one ideology politics of consensus happy clappy neoliberal corporatocracy land UK plc. What the BNP spread is violent, community destroying lies among people already under attack from the establishment. So again I see a certain elite group of people who are really not that affected by the BNP whatever may happen making the decisions (there seems to some foregrounding of black presenters by the beeb tonight but they are not the decision makers).

I think no platform was -sadly- going to fail, the technology, the needs of churnalistic corporate media was seeing to that, but the BBC has failed to approach the challenge suitably and that was probably the best prospect there was for a responsible approach among broadcasters (props to CH4 News, but what is their reach?). So, yes this could be a moment we will look back on as the Mainstreaming of Fascism.

To be honest at the best of times I can barely stand to watch Question Time so I don’t know if I can bring myself to watch it, I will try and if so will be also online here -open thread!- & on Twitter along with many others expressing our feelings.