The Anti-Fascist Network deplores the murder of a young man in Woolwich yesterday and our condolences go out to his family and friends. We also deplore the use of this incident by the far right to stir up Islamophobia once again.
By calling a ‘terrorist alert’ the government has shamelessly sought political capital from what was clearly an isolated act of brutality by a couple of lone psychopaths claiming to be Muslims. There are maniacs in every community and grouping, not least the far right. The loss of a life in such horrific circumstances is always a tragedy for those involved, just as it was when fascists killed Altab Ali or when the police killed Blair Peach.
Meanwhile the Muslim community has conducted itself with dignity, and a huge number of individual Muslims have spontaneously taken to social media to disassociate themselves from any kind of sectarian violence.
Unlike the EDL, now virtually a spent force, who have chosen to use this man’s death to go on a recruiting drive and encourage attacks on minorities. The Internet is now buzzing with ‘patriots’, nationalists and fascists eager to exploit the situation – please don’t encourage them by carelessly repeating their drivel.
We will all need to be vigilant, and work with our communities against any rise in fascist activity.
We reproduce below a statement from the Muslim Council of Great Britain:
“This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly.
Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.We understand the victim is a serving member of the Armed Forces. Muslims have long served in this country’s Armed Forces, proudly and with honour.
This attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder. This action will no doubt heighten tensions on the streets of the United Kingdom.
We call on all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim, to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail.”
- Muslim Council of Great Britain
Is it only the destitute that have dignity? – By Triixcayy.
Reblogged from Diary of a Benefit Scrounger - Sue Marsh.
Welfare reform. Much needed shake up of a system out of control or cruel and ignorant attack of some of the most vulnerable people in society? Most have an opinion.
Many like me, were fighting the welfare reform bill way back in 2011. We know every last detail, every twist and turn, every sweeping change and every technical detail. Believe me, it’s cruel.
On the whole, I think the cruelty is in the details. Oh, not the headline grabbing Benefit Cap or Universal Credit. They’re largely PR stunts that won’t save any money at all. Universal Credit could have been rather clever if only ministers had understood the details. If only they’d really understood the people they were legislating for. Their lives, the difficulties they face, the traps in the system, the precarious fear of a life on the margins of society.
One of the most sickening details of all still grates with me almost daily. It was so cruel sounnecessary. It overturned decades of cross-party consensus and decency. It picked on a group so vulnerable it takes my breath away. And it stripped that group of basic rights despite ministers not actually understanding the policy at all. How cavalier can you be? How arrogant and out-of-touch?
It was called the “Youth Premium” It only related to children who were born so profoundly disabled that they would never work as adults. Forget your Work Capability Assessments and your Scroungers, these children would never take part in society like you or I. Many would never talk, self feed, walk, play, laugh, fall in love. But they could still lead independent lives. Because we were a society that believed they should have a right to if they chose to.
The Youth Premium treated these children as though they had paid National Insurance. For a cost of just 11 million pounds, on becoming adults, these children were treated as though they had “contributed” through work and because of that, they were entitled to contributory benefits, they did not have to be means tested.
Such a simple thing, but what did it mean in practise? What did it mean to the people behind the numbers? The lives being toyed with? It meant they were entitled to live independently if they chose to. They were entitled to benefits in their own name, not as a means tested part of their family. Often, such profoundly disabled children had considerable compensation to see them through lives damaged beyond recognition by accidents. This compensation was just that. Money for an expensive future of care, adaptations to homes, aids to independence. For a lifetime, this money would have to pay for support just to make their lives as manageable as society could achieve.
No more. Any money would be part of the means test. They would have to run down reserves of cash or savings before the state would step in. Compensation is not income. Nor should it be. From the passing of the welfare bill, any security or savings put aside by families terrified what life would hold once parents or siblings had passed, would have to slowly seep away, leaving insecurity and hunger a shadow away before these few profoundly disabled neighbours and daughters and brothers could rely on any help or support from the state.
Our elite cabinet talked of how “unfair” it would be if “these people” “inherited” money but were still entitled to support from our social security system. No, they would simply have a little security to underpin the often modest state income someone with profound disabilities might expect. And how many of us can rely on generous inheritances anyway? Is that real life? A likely scenario? Of course not.
You might be wondering why I bring all this up again today. The law passed (you can see me pointing out to Chris Grayling why he didn’t understand his own policy on Newsnight, here :
Well, it’s that 11 million pounds. £11 million. In Westminster terms it would barely pay for the DWP’s paperclips. It is a drop in the ocean of a welfare budget spanning 10s of billions. It only applied to a few thousand of the most disabled children in society (children just like Ivan Cameron, had he lived into adulthood.) But Lord Freud, failed investment banker and Minister for Welfare Reform, insisted that we could “no longer afford it” We could no longer afford to allow such profoundly disabled children lives of dignity and independence. No more security. No relief for worried families that they would be safe once they were gone. A cross-party consensus of decades, stripped away by ministers who didn’t even know what they were doing.
This week, William Hague assures us we can afford £10 million for a ceremonial funeral for Margaret Thatcher. Opinion polls show the public don’t want it, commentators from left and right are mystified, yet 2,200 people have been invited to a decadent funeral for a divisive PM who lies at the heart of many of the problems facing our society today. When I scanned the invitees yesterday, it felt surreal. A mish-mash of variety club has-beens, world leaders she shunned and elite aristocrats who shunned her when alive.
10 million for a dead PM, nothing for those living with some of the greatest barriers to society any of us will ever face. I actually feel a bit sick writing it down.
But perhaps, this is the most fitting legacy of all for a PM who assured us “there is no such thing as society”
Perhaps as she burns or rots (we will all do one or the other) every profoundly disabled life lived in chains of dependence because today’s government didn’t understand the details will haunt her. Perhaps she will see images of each and every one playing like a movie to her soul, wherever it ends up.
I hope so. Those children needed that £11 million. She doesn’t.
Bristol Radical History Group will be holding a series of talks at the Radical History Zone which will be based in the Hydra Bookshop.
|Sat 20th Apr||12:00 pm||British armed forces’ strikes and mutinies in 1918-19||British armed forces’ strikes and mutinies in 1918-19: a radical history project for the anniversary of World War I BRHG’s very own Roger Ball…||Roger Ball||More|
|Sat 20th Apr||1:00 pm||Three Minutes to Midnight: The Women’s Anti-Nuclear Protest at Greenham Common||Elaine Titcombe. History PhD Student, The University of the West of England, Bristol. In 1984 the doomsday clock reached three minutes to midnight….||Elaine Titcombe||More|
|Sat 20th Apr||2:00 pm||Poor Man’s Heaven: The Land of Cokaygne and Other Utopian Visions||“We’ll eat all we please from ham and egg trees that grow by a lake full of beer? The landlord well take and tie to a stake and we won?t have to…||Alex (Past Tense)||More|
|Sat 20th Apr||3:00 pm||Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power||Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Race, Class and Gender in the 60s U.S. This talk is based upon a series of books that…||Roger Ball||More|
|Sat 20th Apr||4:00 pm||Running down Whitehall with a black flag||Running down Whitehall with a black flag. Memories of anarchism in the 1960s Di Parkin was a revolutionary activist from the early 1960s to the…||Di Parkin||More|
|Sat 20th Apr||5:00 pm||Libres: Songs of the Spanish Revolution||Pilar Lopez’s performance about the Spanish Social Revolution of 1936 aims to draw inspiration from these amazing times, sharing the beauty and…||Pilar Lopez||More|
In spite of national call outs and attendances by the North West Infidels, Paul Pitt of the South East Alliance, Casuals United, the English National Resistance, Nottingham EDL and the EVF, barely a dozen people bothered turning up for Tony Curtis’ demo at Nottingham Uni yesterday. After plotting up at a nearby Toby carvery the pitiful crowd weren’t even allowed onto the campus and had to stand around in the road outside listening to Tone the Moan. Casuals United reckon they go where they want but as usual they meekly went exactly where the police wanted them. They didn’t get close to the event they were supposed to be protesting or speak to the general public so the whole thing was a waste of time.
This is further proof that without the EDL these hangers on are nothing. It looks impressive to have alliances of about 10 different groups until you realise that each group has about 3 people in it and most of them are keyboard warriors. These big mouths spend more time designing elaborate logos and posting on Facebook than actually doing anything in the real world.
This is the second humiliation this week for Curtis who foolishly thought he could hold his own against “the left” on Indymedia. When his badly thought through arguments were torn to shreds he quickly surrendered, pretending he’d been banned, even though as one commenter pointed out, you can’t be banned from Indymedia. As one poster noted “typical fascist, making loads of noise but unable to back it up when effectively challenged”.
Part of Curtis’ whingeing was about being called a racist. Well here’s a tip – if you don’t want people to think you’re a racist it’s probably best not to give Nazis a hug. Curtis was recently pictured with his arm around Shane Calvert, leader of the NWI who are notorious for calling for the killing of “Pakis”, the gassing of Jews and murdering of immigrants. Calvert was recently in attendance at the neo-Nazi White Pride Worldwide event and regularly does demos alongside the National Front. Other NWI activists include Liam Pinkham, who likes to pose in jackboots giving a stiff-armed salute.
Paul Pitt, Shane Calvert and Tony Curtis yesterday
NWI activist Liam Pinkham
From East Midlands Antifascists
If you only go to one anti-fascist mobilisation this year, stopping the March for England in Brighton should be it. The fascists have been salivating about this one for months, whipping themselves up into a far right frenzy about their right to impose their homophobic and racist abuse on the people of Brighton. They are out for revenge against the ‘reds’ who comprehensively humiliated their hate-fest last year and are pulling out all the stops to do it, even inviting the most openly Nazi groups, like the Friends of Golden Dawn.
Anti-fascists from the East Midlands will be going down and we’d like to encourage you to join them.
Here’s the official callout from Stop MFE:
Last year thousands of people lined the streets of Brighton to drown out March for England’s message of hate. Let’s do it again. Racists and fascists have no place in our diverse city.
March for what?
March for England (MfE) is not an innocent celebration of traditional culture. March for England is a right wing, Islamophobic, racist and homophobic organisation that helped found the English Defence League (EDL) and is supported by EDL members. The fascist credentials of their annual outing to Brighton on Sunday 21st April has never been clearer. Neo-Nazis, Friends of Golden Dawn, supporters of the swastika waving Greek fascist party, have stated they will be attending March for England.
Islamophobia and English fascists
MfE and the EDL are just two of a growing number of English fascist groups that are violently lslamophobic. They state they are against so-called “Islamic extremists’ but this is the mantra of a growing anti-Muslim movement with European fascism that quickly turns into a wholesale assault on Muslim people, all migrants and any way of life that they think is not “English” enough.
Brighton: anti-fascism begins at home
The current economic crisis and the demonisation of migrants has created the political climate for fascist ideas and organisations to grow. Groups such as the MfE, EDL and BNP groups scapegoat those most affected by war and economic hardship, they discriminate according to their ideas of race and nation, they spread fear and hate of those people they believe are different to them, they attempt to intimidate community groups. When the people of Brighton made their collective stand against Mfe and EDL, they helped turn the tide against new fascism in Britain. Since we took to the streets to show our opposition to the rise of a new fascism, the EDL have been halted in Bristol, Walthamstow and Norwich.
We’ll do it again. Fascism grows if we let it.
See you there.
For updates contact:
Re-blogged from Left Unity February 4, 2013
Former Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, currently Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh in Hampshire, will be standing down after pleading guilty to perverting the cause of justice. Ian Bone looks at the possibilities for the right wing party UKIP in the forthcoming by-election.
The Eastleigh by-election will give UKIP the long awaited opportunity to win a parliamentary seat. The Tories and Lib Dems have been neck and neck for years with Labour nowhere. The Lib Dem vote will colllapse and give UKIP their opportunity – they have been working hard on the seat for months. Much will depend on whether Falange can resist the temptation to displace the UKIP candidate and stand himself.
Though parts of the constituency are villages like Hamble full of yachting types Eastleigh itself has had a solid working class base round its railway industries. My dad was for years chairman of the Labour Party in the adjoining Petersfield constituency and used to think a night drinking in one of Eastleigh’s working men’s clubs was Labour heaven compared to Petersfield.
I doubt those Old Labour stalwarts will vote Miliband this time. Indeed in the absence of any Left alternative I expect some…maybe many…will vote UKIP out of exasperation with everything else. Can we offer anything better?
Yes, yes, we know, it’s a couple of weeks late!
Where you’ll find a festive mix of -
* Gaza Palava!
* Healthcare Selloffs!
* Going Postal!
* Don’t Work Smart, Work Fare!
* Striking A Nerve!
and obviously much, much more!
Merry winterval, winter celebration, snow pagent, cold-weather commodity swapping event or whatever other PC words for Xmas will piss off Daily Mail readers! – WCM editorial collective
If you’d like hard copies to distribute or sell for noble causes, the merry mutineers can be contacted Here.