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.

Concentration Camps ARE Popular

This also makes it hard to argue there is not deep rooted racist animus against Tamils amongst the population that is being stirred by demagogues under the guise of the War on Terror,

(Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition won the latest in a string of provincial elections this weekend, a strong result which analysts said is likely to spur its leader to call early national and presidential polls. With a popularity boost from his defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels after a 25-year war, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s coalition won 38 seats in the 55-member council of his native Southern Province in Saturday’s election.

The United Peoples Freedom Alliance won 68 percent of the vote, less than the 70-80 percent it had forecast in the province where Rajapaksa has started massive development projects including work on the country’s largest port. The margin was still strong enough that Rajapaksa is now likely to call early national elections, analysts and supporters said.

While those in the camps are massively at risk-

Pointing out that “[d]eteriorating conditions, including a shortage of water since October 5, 2009, combined with the prospect of flooding during the imminent monsoon season, have led to rising tensions among camp residents and clashes with the military,” New York based rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch (HRW), called on international donors Japan, the United States and European Union member states “to send a clear message to the Government of Sri Lanka that continued detention of the displaced will have serious consequences for Sri Lanka’s relationship with the international community.”

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Apartheid Much

During the attack on Gaza the West Bank also saw an increase in attacks on Palestinians, with rules that changed depending on who was present-

Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
16. Treatment of Palestinians by Israeli security forces in the West Bank, including use of excessive or lethal force during demonstrations

83. Various witnesses and experts informed the Mission of a sharp increase in the use of force by the Israeli security forces against Palestinians in the West Bank from the commencement of the Israeli operations in Gaza (Chapter XIX). A number of protestors were killed by Israeli forces during Palestinian demonstrations, including in support of the Gaza population under attack, following the beginning of the operations, and scores were injured. The level of violence employed in the West Bank during the time of the operation in Gaza, was sustained also after the end of the operation.

84. Of particular concern to the Mission were allegations of the use of unnecessary, lethal force by Israeli security forces, the use of live ammunitions, and the provision in the Israeli armed forces “open fire regulations” of different rules to deal with disturbances where only Palestinians are present, as compared to disturbances where Israelis are present. This raises serious concern with regard to discriminatory policies vis-à-vis Palestinians. Eye-witnesses also reported to the Mission the use of sniper fire in the context of crowd control. Witnesses spoke of the markedly different atmosphere they encountered in the confrontation with the soldiers and border police during demonstrations in which all checks and balances had been removed. Several witnesses told the Mission that during the operation in Gaza, the sense in the West Bank was one of a “free for all”, where anything was permitted.

85. Little if any action is taken by Israeli authorities to investigate, prosecute and punish violence against Palestinians by settlers and members of security forces, including killings, resulting in a situation of impunity. The Mission concludes that Israel has failed to fulfil its obligations to protect the Palestinians from violence by private individuals under both international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

Is it just me…

Or does this police warning -due to their failure to protect minorities from their loyalist chums- sound more like a threat?

Northern’s Ireland only assembly member from an ethnic minority said she has been notified of a threat to her life. In the assembly on Monday Alliance MLA Anna Lo said police warned her at the weekend that her home may be attacked. Ms Lo, originally from Hong Kong, has lived in Belfast for over 30 years and represents a constituency in the south of the city. Earlier this month attacks on the Romanian community in the area forced more than 100 people from their homes. Ms Lo said she had received some hate mail in recent weeks and will step up her security following an anonymous call to the PSNI on Saturday. “I’m not going to be deterred by these people,” she said. “If they think that they can stop me from speaking out against them or speaking for the vulnerable people, new ethnic minority communities or migrant workers they are mistaken.”

Hey here’s an idea, pledge to protect her and hunt down the racist terrorists making the threats and do so very publicly and very vigorously, send a message you dig, because the message sent so far is- racists do the terrorising, the police will do the removal services.

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Bad YouTube

First The Huffington Post now Youtube has censored Max Blumenthal’s ‘Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem’-

Youtube has removed my video, “Feeling The Hate In Jerusalem,” on the baseless grounds that it contains “inappropriate content.” They have offered me no further explanation and have stonewalled my inquiries and attempts to rectify the situation. Thus they have censored a video that contains far less inflammatory content than thousands of video they are already hosting. Why? I won’t ascribe motives to Youtube I am unable to confirm, but it is clear there is an active campaign by right-wing Jewish elements to suppress the video by filing a flood of complaints with Youtube. At the same time these elements have attempted to paint me as a self-hating Jew determined to foment anti-Semitism. I answered this last charge to Ha’aretz (read the barely coherent article here) last week: “I have received death threats from people, mainly ones calling me a self-hating Jew. I am self-hating, but my self-hatred has nothing to do with me being Jewish.”

Jewish Voices for Peace (the parent organization of the excellent website Muzzlewatch) is preparing an action for tomorrow to pressure Youtube into restoring the video. They are asking their members to email press@youtube.com to demand an explanation for the censorship. For now, I have reposted the video on Vimeo and urge everyone to distribute it widely.

And worst of all it means I have to go back to my post with the vid and put in a new url for the video! Which is frankly just not on, so please write to press@youtube.com 

Some clue as to what may have helped the Zionist lobby pull off the Youtube censorship is provided by Jews Sans Frontieres YouTube has reached out to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). I don’t know what Huffington Posts’s excuse is and for that matter I don’t think Crooks & Liars posted it (yet happily posted his exposes of conservative & Christianist bigotry, hmm). Meanwhile here it is on another YT account yet to be shut down-

PS. CodePink Rule the Beach!

Peruvian Police Disappearing Bodies

See Otto@ Inca Kola News, excerpt-

“Today I spoke to many eyewitnesses in Bagua reporting that they saw police throw the bodies of the dead into the Marañon River from a helicopter in an apparent attempt by the Government to underreport the number of indigenous people killed by police,” said Gregor MacLennan, spokesperson for Amazon Watch.

“Hospital workers in Bagua Chica and Bagua Grande corroborated that the police took bodies of the dead from their premises to an undisclosed location. I spoke to several people who reported that there are bodies lying at the bottom of a deep crevasse up in the hills, about 2 kilometers from the incident site. When the Church and local leaders went to investigate, the police stopped them from approaching the area,” reported MacLennan.

Also, this IPS report is a useful summary.

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Getting Away With It

So…you blow up UN compounds, shoot civilians, commit blatant war crimes, then the UN writes a report, it won’t publish the full report

Although the full, 184-page findings of the UN board of inquiry will not be made public, the 27-page summary emphasised that UN premises are inviolable, and that inviolability cannot be set aside by the demands of military expediency.

…just the summary then within hours of the report which you reject out of hand, then you make some calls and the head of the UN stops the investigations going any further.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday said a damning UN report on Israel’s conduct in its recent offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip was not legally binding.

Ban made the comments in a letter he agreed to attach to the report at the request of Foreign Ministry director-general Yossi Gal, who traveled to New York on Monday for meetings with Ban’s aides on the matter.

Hence disincentive to commit more war crimes and more exterminations of the population of the land you are colonising – none.

At the same time you are very carefully neglecting to mention a state for the dispossessed.

[nb.I think the two state solution is hardly ideal but its absence without talk of a one state solution is suspicious. AIPAC realising this are now talking about it more even though from inside the conference there is little talk and the main Israeli politicians did not mention it.]

And they must acknowledge the state that is enveloping them is a theocracy for the ‘chosen people’ and them?

“Palestinians must recognize Israel as the Jewish state.  They must recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.”-Bibi Netanyahu, by video feed from Israel to the AIPAC policy conference.

Well being not chosen and being denied any state of their own that means- apartheid. So let’s lay this out, Netanyahu’s vision (?):- Israel will eventually be all the land of ‘Greater Israel’ non Jews within the Israeli theocracy will have fewer rights and greater limits on their freedom. An anti apartheid struggle will form in greater Israel, it will take decades, there will be deaths and torture by the state to force submission on the ‘others’ but as South Africa showed, apartheid does not last even as its fuel of brutality grows.

A Jewish state by force is doomed, Zionism is a dead end ideology, the journey to a genuine democratic one state solution is decades away and paved with horror. What could alter this path? America (the Israeli right -which is er,  all of the political parties, hey no wonder America is such an ally…- seems like a school bully who knows he has impunity because his similarly thuggish father is school governor). But as the quashing of prosecutions on lobbyist/spies and the Jane Harman scandal demonstrates (as opposed to persecution of Palestinian’s or academics challenging the official version on the Middle East in America) America’s special relationship with Israel is something between ally and sister statelet (also illustrated by some progressives who will decry an American theocracy but say nothing about Israel’s).

At best America will end up agreeing to Palestinian lands that are in effect really only townships under the sufferance of the IDF and 200 nuclear warheads. I suspect this would be sold as a real national solution as so many were able to dismiss from their mind that Gaza remained under siege as apologists crowed about Israel withdrawing. In other words the discourse and mediated simulacrum of Israel and Palestine is so fictional and biased against truthful representation that any ‘solution’ will be unlikely to be what it appears to be, so part of any process, for it be succesful, will have to be a change in the media’s cowardice when confronted by Zionist lobbyists (although as this is a longstanding phenomenon the institutional bias without outside pressure is also powerfully entrenched).

After Escaping Burma, Migrants Face Brutal Exploitation

(IPS) – The mistreatment of Burmese migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Malaysia is the focus of a report released Thursday by the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

After receiving disturbing reports of trafficking in 2007, committee staff conducted a year-long review of the allegations. The report, “Trafficking and Extortion of Burmese Migrants in Malaysia and Southern Thailand,” is based on first person accounts of extortion and trafficking in Malaysia and along the Malaysia-Thailand border. Committee information comes from experiences of Burmese refugees resettled in the United States and other countries.

Many Burmese migrants, escaping extensive human rights abuses perpetrated by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the Burmese military junta, travel to Malaysia to register with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), for resettlement to a third country, according to the report.

Once in Malaysia, Burmese migrants are often arrested by Malaysian authorities, whether or not they have registered with the UNHCR and have identification papers. Burmese migrants are reportedly taken by Malaysian government personnel from detention facilities to the Malaysia-Thailand border for deportation.

Upon arrival at the Malaysia-Thailand border, human traffickers reportedly take possession of the migrants and issue ransom demands on an individual basis. Migrants state that freedom is possible only once money demands are met. Specific payment procedures are outlined, which reportedly include bank accounts in Kuala Lumpur to which money should be transferred.

It has become commonplace for the authorities to use the vigilante RELA force to periodically arrest and “deport” Rohingyas, a Muslim minority, but since Burma does not recognise them as citizens, the practise is to take them to the Bukit Kayu Hitam area on the Thai-Malaysia border and force them to cross over into Thailand.

Migrants state that those unable to pay are turned over to human peddlers in Thailand, representing a variety of business interests from fishing boats to brothels.

Human rights activists have long charged that immigration, police and other enforcement officials, have been “trading” Rohingyas to human traffickers in Thailand who then pass them on to deep sea fishing trawler operators in the South China Sea.

“People seeking refuge from oppression in Burma are being abused by Malaysian government officials and human traffickers,” said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

The committee has received numerous reports of sexual assaults against Burmese women by human traffickers along the border. One non-profit organisation official states that “Most young women deported to the Thai border are sexually abused, even in front of their husbands, by the syndicates, since no one dares to intervene as they would be shot or stabbed to death in the jungle.” Women are generally sold into the sex industry.

“(The Burmese refugees) are treated as a commodity and frequently bought and sold and we have been condemning this practise for a long time,” Irene Fernandez, executive director of Tenaganita, a non-profit group that protects migrant workers, told IPS in January. “Our demands have always fallen on deaf ears despite the accumulating evidence of the involvement of uniformed officials in the trade.”

The report, the first of three, states that Malaysia does not officially recognise refugees, due in part to concern by the government that official recognition of refugees would encourage more people to enter Malaysia, primarily for economic reasons. Also, Malaysian officials view migrants as a threat to Malaysia’s national security.

“Malaysia does not recognise key international agreements on the protection of refugees and foreign nationals. Nor does it apply to foreign migrants the same rights and legal protections given to Malaysian citizens,” Fernandez said.

Foreign labor is an integral building block of Malaysia’s upward economic mobility. While Malaysia’s total workforce is 11.3 million, there are approximately 2.1 million legal foreign workers and an additional one million illegal workers, though no accurate information is available.

While Malaysia accepts the presence of Burmese and others from outside of the country for the purpose of contributing to the work force, persons identified as refugees and asylum seekers on their way to a third country are viewed as threats to national security.

In an interview with The New York Times, RELA’s director-general, Zaidon Asmuni, said, “We have no more Communists at the moment, but we are now facing illegal immigrants. As you know, in Malaysia, illegal immigrants are enemy No. 2.”

[more]

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Gerald Kaufman is a bit Angry

“My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town…. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed, he said. My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza,” the MP said.

Gerald Kaufman, a governing Labour Party legislator, sharply criticized Israel in a House of Commons debate on Gaza, arguing that the Jewish state has exploited guilt that much of the world feels for having ignored the slaughter of six million of Jews during World War II.

“The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploit the continuing guilt from Gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians,” he said.

The offensive started in response to Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli cities. Medical officials in Gaza have said about 1,100 Palestinians have been killed since the offensive started. Thirteen Israelis have been killed in the fighting, including three civilians who were slain in rocket attacks on southern Israel.

Kaufman, a frequent critic of Israel who was raised as an Orthodox Jew, commented on the claim that large numbers of the Palestinian victims were militants. “I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants,” he said.

Kaufman urged the British government to impose an arms embargo on Israel.

[Update: Full text of speech here]

And a shocking quote from Jews Sans Frontieres that pertains to an academic boycott which I think Kaufman opposes but now the fruit of zionism is so brutally plain to see –

Arnon Sofer, a Jewish Israeli intellectual, teaches (!) at Haifa University:

When 2.5 million [Palestinians] live in a closed-off Gaza, those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day. If we don’t kill, we will cease to exist. The only thing that concerns me is how to ensure that the [Jewish] boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings. ( Jerusalem Post weekend supplement Up Front, May 21, 2004. quoted by Omar Barghouti)