Posts Tagged ‘Racism’
The Anti-Racism and Anti-Imperialism of Fools: the Indigènes de la République against class-struggle.
Ni patrie ni frontières !
This is an important left-wing contribution to the critique of the ‘anti-imperialism of fools’.
Although the context is French and Dutch there are many implications for Britain and the wider anglophone world.
Antiracism and class struggle in France : dialogue around the PIR (Parti des Indigènes de la République).
Late 2014, early 2015, a debate took place in the Netherlands between various leftist organizations and Sandew Hira, a historian who has taken the initiative, together with others, to build the Decolonise The Mind (DTM) movement in the Netherlands. The debate began after rapper Insayno was rejected to speak at an anti-racist demonstration. In one of his raps he had asserted : “The treatment of the concentration camps is only a joke compared to our slave trade”. After some discussion about the scientific nonsense, the political destructiveness and the heartlessness of comparing the various massacres in this way, the debate quickly turned to how to organise against racism, the role of white people in the anti-racism struggle, and how the Left and the DTM movement could struggle side by side.
During the debate we asked Hira about the ideas and principles of DTM. He explained them quite clearly, but we did not really get to know much about the practice of the new movement. At the moment it seems mainly engaged in the training of activists, most of whom seem to have been active in the anti-racism and pro-Palestine movements. DTM is still a relatively small, mainly academic movement that does not organize actions or campaigns by itself.
In the debate and also in various meetings Hira often mentioned that he has two important international friends with whom he cooperates very closely : Ramon Grosfoguel of the Berkeley University of California and Houria Bouteldja of the movement “Les Indigènes de la République” in France. That organisation celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2015 and already had quite some time to build a movement, even outside the universities.
We asked two French comrades what they knew about those Indigènes. How does this movement operates, and how are their ties with the extra-parliamentary Left ? In this way we might be able to take a little look at the future of a part of the anti-racism movement in the Netherlands. That’s important, because as those who followed the debate may have noticed, we at Doorbraak are not too keen on how Hira and DTM try to insert some not so liberating ideas into the growing movement against racism.
Of course, the French situation is very different from the Dutch one. In both countries there is indeed a lot of racism, a legacy of the shared colonial past, but the Left and the anti-racism movement in France are really much bigger. Progressive intellectuals also play a much more important role, and there are constantly great nation wide debates, also on racism. However, the practical organizational activism seems to be relatively modest.
We asked our questions to Nad, with whom we organized two meetings in 2012 on the jobless movement RTO in which she is active, and Yves Coleman of the magazine “Ni patrie ni frontières” (“No country, no borders”) and our regular translator. Both live in Paris and are very involved in the anti-racism struggle. Nad answered the first three questions, and Coleman the rest. And because both, of course, did not always agree with each other, we offered them the opportunity afterwards to respond on each others answers with critiques and additions. So we started with Nad.
The present document is a record of questions put to Nad and Yves Colman.
It should not be necessary to say this but both are, by PIR terms, indigènes.
The initial section of the debate takes up the origins of the Parti des Indigènes de la République (PIR) and their 2005 Manifesto L’appel des « Indigènes de la République . Many people, including this writer, were struck by the serious tone of the latter document. It was set out by a variety of individuals, mostly involved in minority immigrant associations. Its wider support included political activists of the mainstream left, various ‘other globalisation’ movements (Attac) active in those days, and some on the Trotskyist left.
The group was soon criticised by people for whom who I have respect. Claude Liauzu (1940 – 2007), author of the indispensable Histoire de l’anticolonialisme en France, du XVIe siècle à nos jours (2007) accused them of ” reducing colonialisation to a crime, and reducing present-day problems to the reproduction of colonial racialism, and reducing the study of the past to a search for repentance. (Manipulations de l’histoire. Claude Liauzu. Le Monde Diplomatique April 2007).
As a ‘party’, created in 2008, the group continues to influence debate on race in France.
But it has been challenged on the left.
Last year this was translated: Toward a materialist approach to the racial question: A response to the Indigènes de la République. Malika Amaouche, Yasmine Kateb, & Léa Nicolas-Teboul Vacarme (June 25, 2015).
The PIR’s spokesperson, Houria Bouteldja, has, over the years, made many ‘controversial’ comments, including the claim that homosexuality does not exist in low income “popular” French areas,
Germans and refugees protest against sexism and racism in wake of Cologne attacks
Germans, Syrians and others have protested in Cologne against the sexual assaults of New Year’s Eve. As the backlash against refugees grows, some people with migrant backgrounds feel they’re becoming public enemies.
Reports Deutsche Welle.
Beneath a grey January sky, a handful of men gathered in front of the towering Cologne Cathedral carrying placards and waving German and Syrian flags. Then, as curious bystanders began to trickle over, the men unfurled a banner with a message scrawled in black and green.
“We’re refugees from Syria,” it read in German. “We’re against racism, sexism and war.”
It marked the beginning of the first of two demonstrations on Saturday meant to counter the increasingly negative image of refugees in the wake of the events in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.
Since that night, in which more than 500 women reported being sexually harassed in front of the main train station by a mob of men, most of them from migrant backgrounds, male refugees from the Middle East feel they’re suddenly the enemy in a country that only a short while ago had celebrated their arrival.
Jabbar Abdullah, a 28-year-old Syrian who organized the first, smaller demonstration, said he wanted to convey to the public that there was a distinction between the men who committed those crimes and ordinary refugees.
Slavoj Žižek wrote some words of sense at the end of last year (In these Times. November).
Another taboo we must address concerns norms and rules. It is a fact that most of the refugees come from a culture that is incompatible with Western European notions of human rights. Tolerance as a solution (mutual respect of each other’s sensitivities) obviously doesn’t work: fundamentalist Muslims find it impossible to bear our blasphemous images and reckless humour, which we consider a part of our freedoms. Western liberals, likewise, find it impossible to bear many practices of Muslim culture.
These comments are easy to extend.
It is the case, as everybody knows, that vicious sexual harassment is a particular problem in many Muslim cultures, in the Middle East and North Africa.
In liberal and tolerant Tunisia the issue has become extremely important. In June last year this (amongst scores of articles) appeared: SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS MAKING LIFE HELL FOR WOMEN IN TUNISIA By Hana Rekik.
One would have wished for Žižek to show some awareness of this.
Unfortunately he has reverted to form and this week has written appalling drivel on the topic in the New Statesman.
I will not dignify him by directly citing it.
Those who want to read it it’s here: The Cologne attacks were an obscene version of carnival.
I would also like to state that in relation to the controversy about the Charlie Hebdo cartoon that those who have used this drawing for their own ends, to spread hatred of French leftist secularists are also beneath contempt.
This Cologne demonstration is dignified and moving.
There have been many other reactions to the sexual assaults.
It pains me to say this but amongst them the Riss cartoon in Charlie Hebdo is not worth the paper it’s written on.
The hysterical anti-Charlie people who jumped like fleas on the drawing – some claiming that it shows proof that ‘Israel’ was reaping a reward for donating to the Weekly – are beneath contempt.
Some have tried to explain the meaning of the picture:
The fact remains that Riss is neither funny -nor exactly cutting against the grain.
The Tendance backs Charlie Hebdo to the hilt – not every cartoon in it.
This gives some reasons why the Tendance does not defend Riss’s dessein, and yes, I do get the ‘culture’.
The drawing did not especially disturb me. Nor did it make me laugh. It only brought to mind the spirit of Hara-Kiri [CH’s anarchic 1960s forerunner], the spirit of its Choron-Cavanna-Reiser era, indiscriminately going after everything that moves — the cops AND the protestors, the generals AND the pacifists, the idiots, the government bureaucrats, the fascists, the academics. And so, why not, the migrants too, without giving all that much thought to whether we’re talking about the migrants themselves, or the migrants as les fachos depict them. Throw it all in, it’s all good for ink.
Birmingham Trojan Horse Inquiry: Headteacher Jahangir Akbar receives life ban for inflicting religious intolerance on pupils.
Shame of devout Islamic Headmaster who tried to enforce his religion on state school.
Trojan horse headteacher receives lifetime ban for professional misconduct.
Reports the Guardian.
Jahangir Akbar, formerly of Oldknow academy in Birmingham, removed sex education from curriculum and banned celebration of Christmas and Diwali.
A headteacher who was accused of misconduct in the so-called Trojan horse scandal in Birmingham has been banned indefinitely from teaching after being found guilty of professional misconduct.
Jahangir Akbar, who was the acting headteacher of Oldknow academy in Small Heath, Birmingham, was found by a disciplinary hearing to have “failed to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviours”. Investigators said he allowed an undue amount of religious influence on the education of pupils at his school.
The Birmingham Post reports however this,
The former headteacher of a Trojan Horse-linked school in Birmingham has been handed an “indefinite” teaching ban – but could be back in the classroom in five years time.
Jahangir Akbar , the former acting principal of Oldknow Academy in Small Heath, was last month found guilty of professional misconduct following a hearing by the government-run National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL).
Now the Department for Education has revealed the 38-year-old has become the first teacher in Britain to be sanctioned for allowing an “undue amount of religious influence” on pupils’ education.
One has little doubt that the kind of person in the NUT who backed this creature will come up with an explanation….
As Islamists Intimidate Comrade Maryam Namazie, Totalitarian anti-Left Bullies Receive Liberal Backing.
The Independent reports,
Protesters from the Goldsmiths University’s Islamic Society (ISOC) are said to have “heckled and aggressively disrupted” a talk from ex-Muslim and feminist campaigner Maryam Namazie after a video, this week, surfaced on YouTube.
Organised by students’ union group the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH), activist Namazie’s presentation focused on blasphemy and apostasy when several young men from the ISOC arrived and are said to have started disrupting the event.
In a video which has since been posted online of the entire talk, at around eleven minutes in, disruption began when a student in the front row began to laugh after Namazie said: “Islamism, as a political movement, is a global killing machine. Islamists will hack beloved Bangladeshi bloggers to death in Bangladesh whilst placing Bangladeshi bloggers, who are based in the UK, on an international death list.”
Looking at the student, Namazie asked: “Is it really funny that people get hacked to death? I know it’s funny for you.”
When another student in the front row shortly began to interrupt, Namazie shouted “be quiet or get out” a total of 17 times to which he claimed: “You are intimidating me.” Namazie then replied: “Oh, you’re intimidated? Go to your safe space.”
The situation, however, worsened when, at around 34 minutes in, the activist displayed images of the Prophet Muhammad in a ‘Jesus and Mo’ cartoon. The student in the front who had laughed earlier left his seat and turned Namazie’s projector off before being forcibly removed from the room by security.
According to media reports, Namazie described: “After my talk began, ISOC ‘brothers’ started coming into the room, repeatedly banging the door, falling on the floor, heckling me, playing on their phones, shouting out, and creating a climate of intimidation in order to try and prevent me from speaking.”
The ISOC took to their Facebook page after the event to “categorically condemn the vile harassment of our members (both male and female) by the ASH.”
More reporting here: London Student.
I can wholly understand comrade Namazie’s emotional reaction to those sniggering at the horrific deaths of our friends in Bangladesh.
The National Secular Society gives some further details.
Ms Namazie said that “After my talk began, ISOC ‘brothers’ started coming into the room, repeatedly banging the door, falling on the floor, heckling me, playing on their phones, shouting out, and creating a climate of intimidation in order to try and prevent me from speaking.”
The hecklers were asked repeatedly to be quiet and told by organisers that there would be an opportunity to ask questions or make comments at the end. The Muslim hecklers repeatedly interrupted the early part of the talk, shouting “safe space” and laughing.
When one female student tried to intervene the men shouted at her to “sit down”.
University security were called and when Namazie displayed a ‘Jesus and Mo’ cartoon on a slide, one of the Muslim protesters turned the projector off to prevent the depiction of Mohammed from being shown.
At one point some of the hecklers appeared to laugh at the murder of secular Bangladeshi bloggers. Namazie challenged them: “Is it really funny that people get hacked to death? … I know it’s funny for you.”
Reza Moradi, a lecturer present at the talk, said that one Muslim protester “looked right into my eyes and with his finger, shaping hand like a handgun, touched his forehead” in what Moradi described as a “death threat”.
After the event the Goldsmiths ISOC released a statement condemning the “vile harassment of our ISOC members (both male and female) by the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH).”
They said that “Muslim students who attended the event were shocked and horrified by statements made by Namazie”.
So merely being at the University and opening her mouth meant that Namazie violated their “safe space”.
Apparently this kind of racist totalitarian raving against an Iranian secular left-wing woman has got the sympathy of some liberals.
It seems that he promotes events like the following.
Harry Matz Comments:
I know of half of the speakers at the event above. They’ve made statements advocating the execution of ex-Muslims and blasphemers, advised Muslims to boycott women who marry outside of Islam, said that non-Muslim women will be taken as slaves in the future (of course it is permissible to have sex with these women), creepily remarked that six and seven year old girls are ‘pretty’ and ‘desired’, warned of the dangers when leaving Muslim children with non-Muslims, insisted that women should remain in the house and not venture outside unless it’s a necessity, advocated punishments for Muslims who do not pray, and said that homosexuals are worse than animals.
Here is some of the ‘charm’ of these totalitarians in action.
Dieudonné Sentenced to 2 Months in Gaol in Belgium for Anti-Semitism: Will his ‘Peace’ Concert go ahead?
Brussels (AFP) – A Belgian court sentenced controversial French comedian Dieudonne Wednesday to two months in jail for incitement to hatred over alleged racist and anti-Semitic comments he made during a show in Belgium, a lawyer said.
Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, who has faced similar court cases in France, was also fined 9,000 euros ($9,500) by the court in the eastern city of Liege, said Eric Lemmens, a lawyer for Belgium’s Jewish organisations.
He was not in court for the verdict.
The judgement “says that all the accusations against Dieudonne were established — both incitement to hatred and hate speech but also Holocaust denial” relating to a show in Liege in 2012, Lemmens told AFP.
“For me this is more than satisfying, this is a major victory,” he said.
Earlier this month the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Dieudonne in a separate case, deciding that freedom of speech did not protect “racist and anti-Semitic performances”.
Dieudonne was protesting a fine he received from a French court in 2009 for inviting a Holocaust-denier on stage. He was fined 10,000 euros ($11,000) for what that court referred to as “racist insults”.
In March, a French court also handed Dieudonne a two months suspended sentence and fined him heavily for anti-Semitic remarks after he caused uproar by suggesting he sympathised with the attacks against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris.
“I feel like Charlie Coulibaly,” he wrote on Facebook, a play on the slogan “Je suis Charlie” that became a global rallying cry against extremism and Amedy Coulibaly, one of the attackers.
The performer, who made his name in a double act with Jewish comedian Elie Semoun, is infamous for his trademark “quenelle” hand gesture that looks like an inverted Nazi salute but which he insists is merely anti-establishment.
French courts have hauled him up over a string of comments which opponents say are bluntly racist while supporters champion his right to free speech.
Dieudonne, who can appeal the decision, was not immediately reachable for comment.
Le Monde gives recent background, including other convictions for anti-semitism and his expulsion from his theatrical base at Saint-Denis.
L’humoriste français Dieudonné a été condamné en Belgique, mercredi 25 novembre, à deux mois de prison ferme et 9 000 euros d’amende pour antisémitisme. Le jugement « considère que toutes les infractions reprochées à Dieudonné sont établies : à la fois l’incitation à la haine et diffusion de propos haineux, mais aussi l’infraction de négationnisme », a expliqué Me Eric Lemmens, qui représentait les organisations juives de Belgique.
Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala était poursuivi pour différentes préventions liées à de l’incitation à la haine et à la diffusion de propos discriminatoires, antisémites, négationnistes et révisionnistes lors d’un spectacle qu’il avait donné à Herstal, dans la province de Liège, le 14 mars 2012, selon Le Soir.
Expulsé de la Main-d’Or et privé de théâtre à Saint-Denis
Au début d’octobre, l’humoriste avait déjà été privé de théâtre à Saint-Denis, le tribunal de Bobigny ayant donné raison au groupe Madar, spécialisé dans l’immobilier de bureaux et d’entreprises, qui avait refusé de lui louer un espace de 1 500 mètres carrés au sein des anciens ateliers Christofle, situés en Seine-Saint-Denis.
L’humoriste avait par ailleurs été expulsé de la Main-d’Or après que le tribunal de grande instance de Paris a validé, à la fin de septembre, la demande d’expulsion de l’humoriste du Théâtre de la Main-d’Or.
Dieudonné a également été condamné en mars 2015 à 22 500 euros d’amende pour des déclarations antisémites proférées lors de son spectacle Le Mur.
“In July 2008, Jean-Marie Le Pen became godfather to Dieudonné’s third child. Philippe Laguérie, a traditionalist Catholic priest, officiated at the baptism, which was held in the Saint-Éloi congregation in Bordeaux.
On 26 December 2008, at an event at the Parc de la Villette in Paris, Dieudonné awarded the Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson an “insolent outcast” prize [prix de l’infréquentabilité et de l’insolence]. The award was presented by one of Dieudonné’s assistants, Jacky, dressed in a concentration camp uniform with a yellow badge. This caused a scandal and earned him his sixth court conviction to date. On 29 January 2009, he celebrated the 80th birthday of Faurisson in his theater, in the midst of a representative gathering of Holocaust deniers, right-wing radicals, and radical Shiites. Dieudonné and Faurisson further appeared together in a video making fun of the Holocaust and its commemoration.”
Dieudonné remains popular amongst a wide range of people.
Some, including the writer of this Blog, do not think that the law is the best way to deal with him or his admirers’ racism.
Whether his participation in this Concert for Peace will go ahead is unclear.
France’s Answer to Bernard Manning.
#Dieudonné Six mois de prison requis pour antisémitisme contre Dieudonné, jugé en Belgique pour des propos tenus dans un spectacle.
Le procureur du tribunal correctionnel de Liège (Belgique), a requis mercredi une peine de six mois de prison ferme à l’encontre du polémiste controversé Dieudonné, accusé d’avoir tenu des propos discriminatoires et antisémites lors d’un spectacle donné en mars 2012 en région liégeoise.
“Le spectacle qu’il donne est rempli de propos diffamants et insultants qui donnent envie de vomir”, a déclaré dans son réquisitoire le procureur Damien Leboutte, cité par l’agence de presse belge. Selon le quotidien “Le Soir, le Français avait entre autres qualifié Adolf Hitler de “joyeux fanfaron”.
Dieudonné devait également comparaître mercredi à Paris en correctionnelle pour “provocation à la haine raciale” et “injure raciale” pour des passages de son avant-dernier spectacle “La Bête immonde”, mais le procès a été renvoyé au 24 février 2016 à la demande de son avocat.
The prosecutor of the Liège Tribunal (Belgium) demanded on Wednesday six months in gaol against the controversial polemicist Dieudonné, accused of having made discriminatory and anti-semitic remarks during a show in the region in March 2012.
“The show was so full of defamatory and insulting remarks that it made one want to vomit.” said the prosecutor Damien Leboutte summing up his case – as cited by the Belgian press agency. The daily, le Soir, noted that amongst other comments he had described Adolf Hitler as a good-hearted braggart.
Dieudonné was also due to appear in Paris today to face charges of inciting race hatred, and racial insults. for parts of his last but one show, “La Bête immonde”, but. at the request of his lawyer, the trial has been postponed until the 24th of February 2016.
The ‘humourist’ did not attend the Liège hearing.
More: Belgique: Dieudonné risque six mois de prison ferme. Le Figaro.
Dieudonné is distinguished by his friendship with Jean-Marie Le Pen, and more durably, by his close link to Alain Soral, a far-right conspiracy theorist who claims – don’t they all? – to be “beyond left and right”. Needless to say, his warnings of a ‘global empire’ involves free-masons, and, you-know-who. He has, unsurprisingly for a self-proclaimed, ” judéophobe” a particular interest in the Shoah.
After the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper-Casher massacres, Dieudonné and Soral, were keen to announce that “Je ne suis pas Charlie”.
Note this well anglophones who also said, Je ne suis pas Charlie.
Here (on his own site) is a list of legal cases against Soral.
These are Dieudonné’s past tussles with the law.
- On 14 June 2006, Dieudonné was sentenced to a penalty of €4,500 for defamation after having called a prominent Jewish television presenter a “secret donor of the child-murdering Israeli army”.
- On 15 November 2007, an appellate court sentenced him to a €5,000 fine because he had characterized “the Jews” as “slave traders” after being attacked in le Théâtre de la Main d’Or.
- On 26 June 2008, he was sentenced in the highest judicial instance to a €7,000 fine for his characterization of Holocaust commemorations as “memorial pornography”.
- On 27 February 2009, he was ordered to pay 75,000 Canadian dollars in Montreal to singer and actor Patrick Bruel for defamatory statements. He had called Bruel a “liar” and an “Israeli soldier”.
- On 26 March 2009, Dieudonné was fined €1,000 and ordered to pay €2,000 in damages for having defamed Elisabeth Schemla, a Jewish journalist who ran the now-defunct Proche-Orient.info website. He declared on 31 May 2005 that the website wanted to “eradicate Dieudonné from the audiovisual landscape” and had said of him that “he’s an anti-Semite, he’s the son of Hitler, he will exterminate everyone”.
- On 27 October 2009, he was sentenced to a fine of €10,000 for “public insult of people of Jewish faith or origin” related to his show with Robert Faurisson.
- On 8 June 2010, he was sentenced to a fine of €10,000 for defamation towards the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism, which he had called “a mafia-like association that organizes censorship”.
- On 10 October 2012, he was fined €887,135 for tax evasion. According to the French revenue service, Dieudonné failed to pay part of his taxes from 1997 to 2009..
- On 12 February 2014, he was ordered by a court to withdraw two clips from a video posted on YouTube on 31 December 2013 on the grounds of incitement to ethnic or racial hatred, and crimes against humanity denial.
This Blog is not in favour of prosecuting the racist anti-Semitic Dieudonné, for his “shows”, which you can watch on YouTube as often as you want.
He is about as funny as Bernard Manning.
That is not itself a criminal offence.
But we cannot say that we are greatly motivated to do much about protesting for his freedom from a Belgian gaol.
We will leave that to Dieudonné’s apologists, like Richard Seymour:
I have been given permission to publish this excellent paper from the Penser l’émancipation, closing plenary, Nanterre, on February 22, 2014. It was written and delivered by the excellent Houria Bouteldja, a member of Le Parti des indigènes de la République.
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.