Posts Tagged ‘Racism’
Shilan Ozcelik Trial Begins at the Old Bailey – First PKK Trial in Over a Decade.
Kurdish woman Shilan Ozcelik, who was arrested in January for allegedly attempting to join the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), will appear in court on Monday 7 September, 10am, for the first day of her trial.
The 18 year old was charged with ‘engaging in conduct in preparation to for giving an effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism’ under section 5 (10) (a) of the Terrorism Act 2006 and has been held on remand in Holloway prison since early March.
Her arrest and charge was met with outrage by the Kurdish community in the UK and supporters of the Kurdish struggle, who condemned it as a blatant example of selective and political criminalisation of the Kurdish community, which has continued since the PKK was listed as a ‘terrorist organisation’ in 2000.
We reject this labelling of the PKK, which we believe confuses the Kurdish people’s legitimate struggle for self-determination with terrorism and has the effect of criminalising anyone in the Kurdish community who is part of peaceful political activity. We know that Shilan has never committed any act of violence and poses no threat to the people of this country. As such, we reiterate our call for the charges against her to be dropped.
Her arrest also came at the height of the ISIS siege on Kobane, Rojava, when the YPG and YPG, the Kurdish self-defence forces, resisted a fierce onslaught which garnered them international recognition. These forces, along with the PKK, have been coordinating with the US authorities to fight ISIS in northern Syria, despite the terrorism designation that looks increasingly nonsensical.
The PKK was, until the end of July, holding to a two-year long ceasefire while early stage negotiations between PKK leadership and the Turkish government were taking place. The party has made numerous statements declaring their commitment to a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish question in Turkey, and currently plays a key role in the stabilisation of northern Syria and Iraq. Given this context, the arrest of a young Kurdish woman for allegedly attempting to join the fight against ISIS seems more than a little contradictory.
Peace in Kurdistan Campaign has begun a postcard campaign calling for the government to drop the charges against Shilan. We aim to send hundred of postcards to land on the Home Office doorstep and we need as many people as possible to send them.
A WOMAN accused of terrorism-related activity is set to appear at the Old Bailey today in the first trial involving the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in more than a decade.
Shilan Ozcelik was arrested in January for allegedly attempting to join the PKK, designated a terrorist group by Britain in 2001.
The 18-year-old from Highbury, north London, is charged with “engaging in conduct in preparation to and for giving an effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism” under the Terrorism Act 2006.
Ms Ozcelik has been held on remand since March in Holloway Prison after she was arrested at Stansted Airport while returning from Syria on suspicion of travelling to fight against the so-called Islamic State (Isis).
She is also accused of attempting to join the Women’s Protection Units of the PKK.
Ms Ozcelik and her family claimed that she had gone to Syria to be an aid worker.
The Kurdish community in Britain criticised the charge as a “blatant example of selective and political criminalisation.”
“We know that Shilan has never committed any act of violence and poses no threat to the people of this country.
“As such, we reiterate our call for the charges against her to be dropped,” the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign said in a statement.
“We reject this labelling of the PKK (as terrorist), which we believe confuses the Kurdish people’s legitimate struggle for self-determination with terrorism and has the effect of criminalising anyone in the Kurdish community who is part of peaceful political activity.”
Turkey broke a ceasefire with the PKK last month after a strong showing by Kurdish political party HDP in recent elections.
More information on the campaign:
Meanwhile in Turkey:
Racist attacks on HDP offices and Kurds across Turkish cities.
September the 8th.
Large numbers of racist groups have started a Kurd-hunt in a number of Turkish cities, in which some 126 offices of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) were attacked across the country since yesterday.
Large numbers of racist groups have started a Kurd-hunt in a number of Turkish cities, in which some 126 offices of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) were attacked across the country since yesterday.
Police took no action against the aggressive assailants who blamed HDP for the current situation in Turkey, without ever mentioning the role of the AKP despite it clearly stating that “None of these would have happened if we had won 400 seats in the parliament”.
Still unable to accept the results of the June 7 elections and pointing at HDP as the responsible side for the ongoing conflict, government officials, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in the first place, keep making statements provoking attacks of avenge against the party, as well as the Kurdish population in the country and the Kurdish armed movement, PKK, which voiced numerous calls for peace and negotiations even after the ending of the solution process due to the AKP’s failure to win what it desired.
Local racist groups are also promoted and reportedly supported by the AKP that faced a big disappointment in the elections in which HDP received 13 percent of the votes across the country and thus didn’t allow AKP to come to the power alone.
Many extreme nationalists attacked in large groups on the HDP, DBP buildings and the mainly Kurdish inhabited neighbourhoods in many districts of Ankara last night.
A large group of racists attacked the DBP headquarters in Balgat district of Ankara by throwing stones and chanting racist slogans against the Kurds at around 20:00 yesterday evening. While police forces did not intervene the attack, the signboard of the party was broken down by the group. The action of the racists in front of the DBP building lasted until 02:00.
In Beypazarı district of Ankara, another large group marched from the district centre to Zafer neighbourhood where mainly Kurdish people live and attacked the houses and shops of the Kurdish citizens, setting fire to some of the houses and vehicles. While the Kurdish people in the neighbourhood responded to attacks with self-defence, the racist group reportedly used guns against the Kurds, leaving 7 persons wounded.
While police intervened the scene only in the early morning hours, tension remains high in the district. HDP Beypazarı branch co-chair Abdu Öner said although the situation is relatively calm in the district as of the morning hours, some Kurdish families are leaving the district as the threat continues.
A large group of racists gathered also in the city centre of Ankara last night and marched to Tuzluçayır district of the city known as a leftist settlement. The group attempted to enter the neighbourhoods where Kurdish, Alevi and leftist people live, intensifying their attacks mainly on Aktaş neighbourhood where many Kurdish people live, but faced a strong resistance by the people waging self-defence. The racist attacks were repulsed and the racist group had to leave the district as the youth held vigil in the district during the night against further attacks. In the meantime, police did not intervene the incidents, but rather accompanied the racist group from the city centre to Tuzluçayır.
In another development, a group of racists attacked on the HDP Keçiören office breaking the windows and taking the signboard of the party down. The group attempted to enter into the building until late hours, and left the scene after hanging a Turkish flag on the building.
Getting organised through social media, a group of racist assailants first attacked HDP building in Erdemli district of Mersin and then attacked the houses and shops of the Kurdish people in the district. Two vehicles owned by Kurdish citizens were set on fire in front of the police forces, while the group also attempted to burn three houses of Kurds. While the fire department and police did not intervene the scene, the racists further threatened the Kurdish people with killing them.
In the meantime, another racist group closed the highway between Mersin and Antalya and stopped the buses belonging to companies from Amed, Van and Mardin and held ID checks in the buses in an attempt to figure out the Kurdish people.
The attackers damaged the buses and also attacked the drivers. Some drivers who had to drive on the group to flee the scene were stopped by police, paving the way for further attacks on the buses.
HDP headquarters in the southern city of Antalya also became the target of Turkish racist groups. While five persons remained stuck in the building during the attack, the party members arriving at the scene were also attacked by the fascist mob and police forces. 10 people were wounded in the incidents, while one person, O. Çakmak was seriously injured by a knife from the back. Çakmak still remains in a life-threatening condition in the hospital where he was operated.
Racist groups in Konya also attacked the buildings of HDP and Ronahi –Der, a gathering point of Kurdish students in the city, while another group targeted the Kurdish workers in Ilgın district.
A group gathered in Konya bus station in the evening hours and marched to HDP building in an attempt to set the building on fire. The group broke the door to enter the building while HDP executives were inside. The group had to leave the scene after an intervention by police teams.
Another group directed at Ronahi-Der in Karatay district and set the building on fire before continuing to march in the neighbourhoods where mainly Kurdish people live.
In Ilgın district of Konya, racist groups targeted around 400-500 Kurdish citizens, who came to district from the Kurdish cities to work in the construction of buildings. The workers did not respond in order not to flame the incidents, but had to defend themselves as the attacks increased. Two Kurdish workers were reportedly injured in the attacks that lasted until late hours.
The workers demanded to be evacuated from the district following the incidents, but the district governor told that they could only be evacuated in 3-4 days. The workers said they did not have any life security as there were no measures taken by security forces and concerned authorities.
A group of around two thousand racists attacked the HDP building in Isparta, leaving big material damage inside. The group threw down the chairs inside from the windows and then set the office on fire. The group then escaped from the scene by chanting the slogan “Martyrs are immortal, our land is indivisible”.
In the western province of Muğla, a university student was attacked by a racist group with knieves, leaving him injured in many parts of his body. The student was taken to Fethiye Public Hospital after the attack.
A group of around 100-150 racist assailants attempted to burn down the HDP building in Malatya, entering the passage where the office of the party is located, and breaking down the iron doors before police forces standing there, who also accompanied the group in hanging Turkish flags on the building.
In another western city of Balıkesir, a group of racists entered the HDP building and first damaged the furniture inside, then threw down the chairs from the balcony and then set the office on fire. The group then dispersed from the scene, while the police did not intervene.
HDP offices in İzmir city center as well as ddistricts of Bergama, Dikili, Kemalpaşa and Buca were also targeted by attacks of racist mobs on the excuse of the Dağlıca incident which left 31 soldiers dead, including one staff lieutenant colonel, and 6 others wounded.
While the assailants were not intervened or stopped by police here either, groups raided HDP offices and burned flags of the party, while also rallying in Selçuk and Atatürk neighborhoods from which they were later repelled by the self-defense of Kurdish citizens.
Emmanuel Todd: Loathes Charlie Hebdo, Now Warns of European ‘Suicide’.
The Guardian loves France.
The France of a Year in Provence, and now, the film of Posy Simmond’s Gemma Bovray.
The Guardian hates France.
The France of secularism, of a left that is for ever rubbing the liberal warm feelings of the majority of its eceumentical readership.
The Guardian has an ignoble history of printing violent attacks on the secularist satirists of Charlie Hebdo.
After the murders at the Weekly, and at the Hyper Cacher Seamus Milne, former Comments Editor at the paper, stated of its cartoons, “This wasn’t just “depictions” of the prophet, but repeated pornographic humiliation.” Milne put the blame for the attacks down to Western policy in the Middle East and the ‘war on terror’ – no doubt a serious warning to Bangladesh to cease its imperialist ambitions there if it wants to end the slaughter of secularist bloggers.
Now they have found Emmanuel Todd to stand as proxies for their campaign against the militant leftist secularist Charlie.
The printed article below contains a reference to Todd’s La Chute finale (1976), a study which predicted that the Soviet Union would decompose. He has been living off the reputation it gave him as a seer since 1989. Indeed (this is unlikely to be a coincidence) le Monde gave the book a favourable mention a few weeks ago (Emmanuel Todd, la fin de l’étoile rouge).
He is a ‘demographer’. Todd’s central theme is that changes in family structures (nuclear, extended) are related to economic and political change. His most famous claim is that “nuclear” families are the oldest form. We not competent in this field, but one be assured that his ideas are not ‘universally’ accepted.
Todd is the kind of French essayist, or polemicist, who churns out a yearly book on a “controversial” subject every year. Less repetitive than Régis Debray, but always, always, contrarian.
InL’Illusion économique : Essai sur la stagnation des sociétés développées, 1998. Todd advocated “Intelligent protectionism”.
Après l’empire : Essai sur la décomposition du système américain, (2002) is an extended essay on the title.
This recent statement (11.7.2015) should give pause for thought to those on the left, or to liberals, rushing to adopt Todd’s views on Charlie Hebdo,
Europe is “contrôlée par l’Allemagne et par ses satellites baltes, polonais, etc” et qu’elle est “devenue un système hiérarchique, autoritaire”. “On est en train sans doute d’assister à la troisième autodestruction de l’Europe”, estime-t-il, rappelant les précédentes : “Il y a d’abord eu la guerre de 14, puis la deuxième guerre mondiale.” Il en conclut que “l’Europe est un continent qui, au XXe siècle, de façon cyclique, se suicide sous direction allemande.”
Europe is controlled by Germany and its Baltic and Polish (etc) satellites” and it has “become an authoritarian and hierarchical system. ” “we are without doubt witnessing the third self-destruction of Europe, “he asserted, referring to the historical precedents, “First there was the 1914 war, then the second world war.” He concluded, “Europe is a continent which, in the 20th century committed suicide under German leadership.”
This year Todd published a book, and articles, attacking the massive wave of solidarity, mass demonstrations and commemorations for Charlie and the victims of the Hyper Cacher.
Now we have this in English.
The article’s main theme is this: “The street demonstrations were the self-glorification of the French middle class. That made me explode.”
With customary modesty he begins with,
…what he called his own “magnificently crafted Exocet missile” at the nation, with a book arguing that the street rallies were a giant lie.
This is the missile:
The rallies, he argued, were not what they claimed to be – an admirable coming-together of people from different ethnic, religious and social backgrounds standing up for tolerance – but an odious display of middle-class domination, prejudice and Islamophobia. To Todd, they represented “a sudden glimpse of totalitarianism”. These “sham” demonstrations, he claimed, were made up of a one-sided elite who wanted to spit on Islam, the religion of a weak minority in France. The working class and the children of immigrants had been notably absent, he said. The most enthusiastic demonstrations, he decided, had occurred in the country’s most historically Catholic and reactionary regions, an affirmation of the middle class’s moral superiority and domination, and their Islamophobic quest for a scapegoat.
Todd’s central argument is that there are fundamentally two Frances. There is a “central” France, including Paris and Marseille and the Mediterranean, where there is equality on the family level and a deep-rooted attachment to secular values of the French revolution and the republic. Then there is a France of the periphery, for example, the west or cities such as Lyon, which has stayed true to the old Catholic bedrock, where people may no longer be practising Catholics, but they’re still infused with all the social conservatism of that Catholicism, its hierarchies and inequality. He calls this “zombie Catholicism”. Infuriating his critics, Todd maintains that the post-attack rallies represented zombie Catholicism on the march.
The pro-Charlie Bloc (bloc MAZ, Middle class, Aged and Zombies) is given a fuller analysis in French (oddly….discussion of two parts of it are missing in the Guardian article – although written by a respected French journalist).
Its ideology is:
- « européiste », par son soutien à Maastricht en 1992 et à la Constitution européenne de 2005 ; Pro-European, backing the Maastricht Treaty and the European constitution,
- islamophobe, au vu de la diffusion d’une « obsession de l’Islam » dans la presse papier, du succès des livres d’Éric Zemmour et de la relégation des attentats de l’hypercacher au second plan du mouvement des « Je suis Charlie » Islamophobic, related to the racist rantings of Zemmour who wants to expel all Muslims from Europe.
- germanophile, par sa défense du « modèle allemand » que la France devrait imiter à tout prix. Germanophile, defending the German model, which they want France to defend at any cost.
It would be interesting to know how he found statistical evidence for the Je Suis Charlie marchers’ support – or even readership – of Zemmour.
Readers of the introduction above will note that Todd is, by pure coincidence, anti-European and something of a Germanophobe.
The statistics he used to bolster this analysis have been rigorously unpicked.
Joliveau questions, rightly, if you built a picture of the sociology mass demonstrations of public concern by aligning them to their geographical origin. Can one find evidence of this, “mystérieux indicateur de zombitude catholique” and transfer this to those who turned up on rallies? Nothing is less certain. The tie with Catholicism is even less clear. he notes, “Une légère sur-participation à la manifestation dans les villes de tradition catholique semble confirmée mais il est moins justifié par un traitement statistique que par une typologie du recul du christianisme que Todd sort un peu de son chapeau.” there is a slight over-representation of demos in Towns and Cities with a Catholic tradition appears confirmed, but is less justified by a statistical alignment with the retreat of Catholicism, which Todd has rather pulled out of his hat.
Joliveau also points out, by way of how you can shape statistics, in this lengthy and detailed examination, that you can equally draw a correlation between the areas where there were fewer demonstrations and zones where there are high numbers of low paid, unqualified and unemployed people, and supporters of the Front National.
What is clear is that there was a link between those with higher education and support for Charlie on the marches (les diplômés de l’enseignement supérieur court ou long).
There is a little doubt that there are a lot of (self-evident) indications this is true.
Is Todd saying that educated people – that is by definition those likely to read left-wing satirical magazines and are concerned about issues such as freedom of expression and (not the least!) defend a hard-line secularist weekly– are ‘Catholic zombies”.
That the scores of immigrant associations who backed the protests are all ‘Islamophobes’ is less certain.
The idea is so incoherent that it is barely worth considering.
His theory is that the rise in Islamophobia is in turn stoking anti semitism in run-down suburbs, and that anti semitism is growing in the middle class.
Presumably the same middle class that worshiped Charlie…..
We stood up, with millions across the world, for Charlie with every fibre of our being.
Todd can dislike the vulgar and 68er Charlie as much as he like.
He can engage in Anglo-American language about being careful not to offend religious sensitiveness.
As Joliveau says, the support was a “Symbole non d’un collectif, mais d’un rassemblement d’individus ayant chacun leur propre raison d’être là avec les autres.”
We all had our own reasons to show our sorrow, our internationalism, our solidarity and our love.
We are certainly not anti-Euro, protectionist nationalists like Todd.
We are not surprised that Polity Press is publishing a translation of this book.
Unlike pro-Charlie writings, (see the Tendance’s review of Charb’s pamphlet), it will not doubt be on university courses.
Note: this is another demolition of Todd’s statistics: Un esprit de système caricatural Les catégorisations opérées par Emmanuel Todd et son déterminisme sociologique sont discutables.
One can only praise the authors of this critique of “confusionnisme politique”, the translator’s excellent work, and the Charnel House for publishing this important work. There is a very disingenuous reply full of the tropes of cl assical Europen rhetoric, and little substance (‘essentially’ repeating, it’s an Indigenes thing, you wouldn’t understand), here: http://indigenes-republique.fr/vacarme-critique-les-indigenes-la-faillite-du-materialisme-abstrait-2/
Originally posted on The Charnel-House:
The Charnel-House introduction
A few months ago, I wrote up a critique of the “decolonial dead end” arrived at by groups like the Indigènes de la République. Despite being welcomed in some quarters of the Left, wearied by the controversy stirred up after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, it was not well received by others. Last month, however, a French comrade alerted me to the publication of a similar, but much more detailed and carefully argued, piece criticizing Bouteldja & co. in Vacarne. I even asked a friend to translate it for the new left communist publication Ritual. But before he could complete it, someone describing himself as “a long-time reader/appreciator of The Charnel-House” contacted me to let me know he’d just finished rendering it into English.
The authors of the original piece — Malika Amaouche, Yasmine Kateb, and Léa Nicolas-Teboul — all belong to the French…
View original 6,318 more words
Charlie Hebdo. Lettre aux escrocs de l’islamophobie qui font le jeu des racists. Charb. Review Article.
Posthumous Bolt of Light.
“This text was completed on the 5th of January 2015, two days before the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo, during which Charb lost his life.”
The Lettre addresses the reader, “If you think that criticism of religions is the expression of racism” “If you think that ‘Islam’ is the name of a people.” “If you think that punishing blasphemers will open the gates of heaven for you.” “If you think that left-wing atheists play into the hands of fascists and xenophobes” “If you think that it is essential to classify citizens according to their religion” “If you think that one can laugh at everything except whatever is sacred to you.” “If you think that popularising the concept of Islamophobia is the best way of defending Islam” ………..
“So, dear reader, this letter has been written for you”
Charb (Stephane Charbonnier) would not learn of the response of those he spoke to on the first pages of the Lettre. He was absent after those seeking paradise murdered him, eleven of his colleagues at Charlie Hebdo, a police officer and four customers of the Vincennes Hyper-Cacher.
In France, and across the world, millions expressed their solidarity and love for Charlie and all the victims of the atrocities. But there remained those who responded according to the 19 ready-made ideas about Islam Charb listed. Liberals and those claiming to stand on the left, marked by every single one of them, were prominent amongst those who contributed to a torrent of abuse whose echoes still resonate.
Mark Maguire, on the Stop the War Coalition’s site, stated that Charlie was “a rather unpleasant French magazine” that published “anti-Islamic cartoons”. Others pitched in. It was ‘Zionist’ and ‘neo-conservative’, with the imprint of former Editor Phillipe Val who is said to have promoted these views. It was – it would be an easy task to cite thousands of articles – ‘Islamophobic’. It was vulgar and racist. It specialised in the pornographic mocking of sacred beliefs, above all of Muslims.
The Weekly, as the Socialist Workers Party template set out, was known for its “provocative and racist attacks on Islam”. Norman Finkelstein tried to create an industry out of this holocaust. He declared that the paper was not satire but “sadism” and compared it to the anti-Semitic Nazi Der Stürmer. An apparently anti-racist alliance, Unite Against Fascism (UAF), held a special session at their AGM on why “je ne suis pas Charlie.”
This hostility has not died down. ‘Rules’ for satirists appeared – which Charlie had apparently broken. It should have targeted the “powerful.” Will Self judged that satire ought to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted”. Literary critics, enforcing these new Aristotlean unities of satirical style – breached no doubt by Rabelais, Hogath’s drawings, and the plebeian Viz comic, not to mention early Soviet anti-religious propaganda – have tried to establish their decree. (1) We could call it ‘satirical realism’. Even cartoonists joined the would-be Zhdanovs of correct caricature. As have authors. Read the rest of this entry »
There have been reports that the Parti des Indigènes de la République – much admired in the English speaking world by a fraction of the left, such as the US journal ironically titled Jacobin and Richard Seymour (often for their hatred of Charlie Hebdo) has been in the news recently.
In the May Issue of Le Monde Diplomatique Serge Halmi cited this statement by their spokesperson, Mme Houria Bouteldja.
« La perspective décoloniale, explique-t-elle, c’est d’abord de nous aimer nous-mêmes, de nous accepter, de nous marier avec une musulmane ou un musulman, un Noir ou une Noire. Je sais que cela semble une régression, mais je vous assure que non, c’est un pas de géant. »
The de(anti)colonial standpoint, she explained, is above all to love each other, to love our own, to marry with a Muslim man or woman, a black person with a black person. I realise this may seem a step backwards, but I can assure you it’s a giant step forward.
These are some of their tweets (hat-Tip K)
The Tweets read: the integration of whites into the marginalised is as impossible as the integration of the ‘indigenous’ into the republic.
For us races do not represent a theoretical concept, but a relation of struggle.
A white person converted to Islam can de-convert: but an Arab, even perfectly atheist, remains a Muslim.
For us there is a relation of force between the races, the aim of our organisation is to bring this relation in out favour .
When a White asks, How do you see the link between races and classes, one should not reply.
The struggle against domination, goes through the abandoning of privileges in favour of the privileges of others.
For more information see above.
The article largely refers to this: Racisme (s) et philosémitisme d’Etat ou comment politiser l’antiracisme en France ?