When Terrorism Isn’t Newsworthy


At the Scottish Islamic Foundation website Osama Saeed lambasts the media’s almost total failure to report the conviction of Neil MacGregor, the self-proclaimed “proud racist and National Front member” who threatened to blow up Glasgow Central Mosque and behead one Muslim a week until every mosque in Scotland was shut down:

“Imagine if a Scottish Muslim had pled guilty to threatening to blow up Glasgow Cathedral and behead one Christian a week until all British troops were pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“There would be outrage, right? It would be splashed over the front page of every newspaper in the land. It would be the top of all news bulletins. There would be volumes written on what motivated him, his family background and his beliefs. There would be a rich stream of analysis from a variety of positions. Government would be asked what it was doing to avoid such a thing from happening.

“So when news came into the Scottish-Islamic Foundation office this week of one Neil MacGregor pleading guilty to threatening to blow up Glasgow Central Mosque and behead one Muslim a week until all Scottish mosques were shut down, we thought it couldn’t possibly be true. There had been no build up to such a trial, no coverage during it and none on the verdict. We Googled it, and nothing came up. Not a sausage, nada, zilch.

“Immediately, we fired out a press release. If this hadn’t been brought to the attention of our media, surely they’d cover it once they heard of it? Seems not. Well, apart from Scotland Today (brief mention 10 minutes in).

“So I phoned up the newsdesks of some of our major newspapers and asked how this could have happened. Some said they’d get back to me, but haven’t. Others put their hands up and said it was a big mistake. Helpfully, it was pointed out that some news outlets rely entirely on output from the Glasgow Courts Press Agency, and it seems that they might not have put anything out on this. It’s something we’ll be following up. At the Atif Siddique trial in 2007, there were even unidentified figures there on hand to brief the press on a plot to behead the Canadian prime minister which wasn’t even brought up during the trial, but led the news the next day as a result.

“There is a chance for redemption. MacGregor will be sentenced on March 6. This should provide a sufficient hook for media outlets to give coverage.”

But these double standards are par for the course, quite frankly. The media initially ignored the Robert Cottage case. And coverage of the Brian Donegan trial was non-existent. Violent extremism is deemed worthy of serious attention only when the violent extremists aren’t white.


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Bob Doyle, Spanish Civil War Veteran, Dies Aged 92

THE DEATH has taken place of the last surviving Irish

combatant on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.

Dublin-born Bob Doyle (92) passed away in London on January

22 following a short illness.


Born in February 1916, Doyle grew up in the slums

of North King Street and became politically active in the

1930s. He joined the IRA after being beaten up in street

fights with the Blueshirts which left him with permanent

damage to one eye.


He quickly became more interested in social issues and in

1937 decided to volunteer for the International Brigade,

motivated in part by the fact that his friend and IRA

veteran Kit Conway had been killed in action in the Battle

of Jarama on Doyle’s 21st birthday.


His initial attempts to get to Spain ended in failure when,

after stowing away on a boat, he was arrested and expelled

from Valencia. He made it back to Spain later that year,

crossing the Pyrenees and reporting to a battalion.


Assigned to train new volunteers because of his IRA

training, Doyle disobeyed orders and joined a group heading

for the front.


After fighting at Belchite, he was captured by

Italian fascist troops in 1938, along with Irish

International Brigade leader Frank Ryan.


He was imprisoned for 11 months in a concentration camp. There he was once brought out to be shot and he

was regularly tortured by Spanish fascist guards and

interrogated by the Gestapo before being released in a

prisoner exchange.


He enlisted in the British merchant navy during the second

World War before settling in London with his Spanish wife,

Lola. He became active in the Fleet Street print trade



A regular visitor to Spain and Ireland for International

Brigade commemorations, he published an account of his

experiences in Spain in Brigadista: An Irishman’s Fight

Against Fascism.


In an interview with The Irish Times, he said: 


“I thought there was a danger that Ireland would go fascist and

that was one of the motivating factors in making up my mind

to go to Spain.”

He is survived by his sons Bob and Julian, his

grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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The biggest anti-fascist campaign ever?


The BNP is looking to exploit the recession to win Euro seats; but thousands of people will thwart its message of hate

Over the next few months Searchlight and its Hope Not Hate campaign will be gearing up to prevent the BNP from winning seats in the European elections. We anticipate mobilising thousands of activists and delivering over 2 million leaflets and newspapers in what will be the biggest and most intense anti-fascist campaign in history.

And it is needed. The BNP poses a threat in six Euro regions, with as little as 7.5% required in the North West, where the party leader, Nick Griffin, is standing. With Ukip faltering, few local elections and the economy hurtling into recession, we will need everyone who opposes the BNP’s message of hate to play a part. A BNP victory will change the political landscape in Britain.

The last few years have seen the British National Party make significant electoral gains across the length and breadth of the political landscape – often off the radar of the political and media class at Westminster, which has remained preoccupied with a very small part of the electoral map that decides Westminster elections: so-called middle Britain.

Quietly but steadily the BNP has been building its support. While many commentators have focused on its traditional heartlands in the Lancashire and Yorkshire mill towns, the BNP has been widening its base across the country. In 2007 the BNP stood 742 council candidates, averaging 14.7% of the vote. Last year they averaged 13.9% in 642 wards. The regional average vote is fairly consistent across the country.

The critical element to this palpable support for the BNP is that it has occurred against the backdrop of extraordinarily benign macroeconomic conditions. Well over a decade of continuous quarter-on-quarter growth, low interest rates, falling unemployment and general prosperity have obscured the economic and cultural issues the BNP has focused on. It has tapped into a deep sense of alienation among many who have not prospered in the good times, a corresponding fracture of working class identity, and indeed demonisation in popular culture – all refracted through the prism of race.

On 15 September last year, when Lehman Brothers went for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US, the world changed. More specifically the world changed in terms of the climate within which the BNP is seeking to gain political traction. Any cursory reading of history suggests that recession and depression breed extremism; everything else being equal, the BNP will expect to benefit from the suffering and the insecurities that will intensify over the coming months and years.

Jon Cruddas and Nick Lowles

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Former Ohio trooper says boss allowed racist jokes


Former Ohio trooper says boss allowed racist jokes

The Ohio Highway Patrol faces new allegations of racist behavior, a year after it was embarrassed by troopers taking part in prank involving what looked like a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

Former trooper Matt Johnson accuses his old boss and another trooper of making or allowing racist jokes, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Ohio’s Court of Claims in Columbus.

Johnson, who is white, accuses trooper Eric Wlodarsky of making racist comments about him because his ex-wife was married to a black man and because he has biracial relatives.

Johnson alleges his former supervisor ignored his complaints about the comments and then set out to fire him. He’s seeking damages of more than $25,000.

All three worked at the Highway Patrol Post in Mansfield. Wlodarsky later transferred to the Sandusky post where he got fired for taking part in a KKK-type costume prank.

A patrol investigation found that he took a photo of another trooper who was wearing a white cone, mask and cloth, on the day before Martin Luther King Day last January. He was reinstated in November when an arbitrator ruled that the firing violated a union contract.

Johnson’s lawsuit isn’t related to the costume prank, but it does dredge up new allegations of racist behavior within the patrol.

The Department of Public Safety, which oversees the patrol and is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, had not been aware of the filing, said Tom Hunter, a spokesman for the department. It is their policy not to comment on pending lawsuits, he said.

The lawsuit said the racist comments began in 2006 and occurred over several months. Johnson said that his boss, Lt. Michael Vinson, once encouraged Wlodarsky to repeat a racist joke so that several others at work could hear it.

Vinson later set out to fire Johnson after he complained, the lawsuit said.

Johnson was fired in 2007 after he was accused of a couple of minor infractions, said his attorney, Michael Crevling.

Crevling said Johnson’s punishment was much more severe than Wlodarsky faced.

Vinson said Wednesday he was not aware of the lawsuit and would not comment.

There was no telephone listing for Wlodarsky.

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Anti-Racist Action Member Passed Away


Monday, December 22 2008 @ 12:21 AM CST

Contributed by: Anonymous

As many of you may have already heard, a friend and comrade passed away this weekend. Many of you know Andrea, formerly of Muncie ARA. She died from carbon monoxide poisoning in her apartment in Chile, the day before she was scheduled tor return to the United States.

The US Embassy has told Andrea’s family that it will cost $4000 to bring her home to Indiana. Andrea’s family family does not have the money to do that, let alone the money for a proper funeral. They are struggling to raise the necessary money to bring Andrea home and give her the funeral that she deserves.

We want to help Andrea’s family raise the money they need. Her friends in Muncie have helped Andrea’s mother setup a Paypal account to accept donations towards these very necessary expenses.

If anyone can contribute – in any amount – we will all be extremely grateful.

To send money, simply go to http://www.paypal. com and click on the “Send Money” tab and make a donation to debbeehaskell@ hotmail.com.

We are still in shock about all of this – we couldn’t possibly overstate how much she meant to everyone who knew her. In the activist circles we had both been involved in, she was a bit of a living legend, as she started doing anti-racist grassroots organizing in rural Indiana at a time when most people considered it to be an extremely dangerous place to stand up to white supremacist movements. She not only endured, but lead and was part of dozens of successful campaigns over the years. She had moved to Santiago about a year and a half or so ago and considered it her adopted home.

Here’s something something a mutual friend wrote earlier today – it expresses a lot of how we all felt about Andrea too:

“Andrea was one of the very best amongst us. We should all hope to be so brave and so dedicated and so full of life and so positive … She was an amazing amazing woman. The whole idea of loosing somebody so awesome, so powerful to such a stupid household accident has me beside myself.”

An event to help raise money has been set up here:


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Victim of police attack speaks out


A newspaper deliveryman who was allegedly beaten by three off-duty police officers spoke for the first time Friday, recalling an attack that he charges was racially motivated.

Phil Khan, standing with his wife and young daughters, recounted the attack, first by one officer and then by three. He says he was kicked, robbed and told it was because of the colour of his skin.

“They’re telling me, you know what, we don’t like brown people,” he said. “[I’m] very afraid; I had a lot of respect for the police.”

Mr. Khan was working along Burrard Street in Vancouver around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday – delivering newspapers filled with coverage of the inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama – when he says the racially charged attack occurred.

“[He said] ‘you come here fucking now,’ [and he] pulled my kangaroo jacket [over me]… and after that he started kicking,” said Mr. Khan, 47. He said two others soon joined in, and that the men stole $200 in gas money, a cell phone, and threatened to use a Taser on him.

“When I asked for help, they told me ‘we are the police, you don’t need help. If you don’t behave, we have a Taser,’” he said. “I told them that I’m half-dead anyways, after you guys beat me up so badly, so you might as well use the Taser and then kill me.

“They kept on saying, you know, like, we’re the Vancouver police. I tell them the police don’t beat the public, someone like me, right? And they said you’re going to get it, you’re going to get it.”

Passersby intervened and called 911. Vancouver police came and arrested Mr. Khan, according to witness accounts, before releasing him and arresting three men, all off-duty officers from nearby municipalities.

“Just amazing this didn’t happen on a back lane. I would have been, like, dead today. Buried,” Mr. Khan said.

Friday, Mr. Khan had bandages on his hands and one around his head, and said the attack left him with internal injuries. He said he lost a filling and chipped a tooth, and walked softly while gripping family members for support.

Vancouver police have said there were no serious injuries.

No decision has yet been made on whether to charge the three officers, but the outcry over the attack has so far led to a Police Act investigation overseen by B.C.’s police complaints commissioner.

Friday, the public profile of the case forced Vancouver’s police chief to issue a rare statement on an ongoing investigation.

Chief Constable Jim Chu said that for the sake of preserving the public’s respect, he wanted to reassure people about the integrity of the process.

“We normally reserve any comments out of respect for the process and a reluctance to say or do anything that might influence the outcome. But for the sake of preserving the public’s respect, and belief in the integrity of that process, I believe it is important to reassure them on this matter,” he said.

“We are in the process of interviewing witnesses and examining evidence, including any video that may have been recorded. We are asking publicly that any witnesses with information about the incident please call us,” he said, adding that the case was being pursued “aggressively.”

He did not specifically address witness accounts, or Mr. Khan’s version of events.

Two officers alleged to have been involved in the incident, from the Delta and West Vancouver police departments, have been reassigned to desk duties, while an officer from New Westminster Police has been suspended with pay.

The three men spent most of Wednesday in a Vancouver jail cell before being released that evening.

The Crown is considering charges against the officers, who are all junior constables with fewer than five years experience.

Mr. Khan said he has had trouble sleeping since the attack, and will miss several days of work. His boss, Dave Breen, said Mr. Khan has been with Dolphin Delivery for 12 years.

“I feel very traumatized, very afraid now. I’ve always liked my job,” Mr. Khan said. “Now I feel very different, very afraid.”

With reports from CTV and The Canadian Press

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