Hatred and bigotry on several fronts in Europe

August 27, 2012 at 7:23 pm (anti-fascism, Anti-Racism, anti-semitism, capitalist crisis, Europe, Guest post, Human rights, immigration, Pink Prosecco, thuggery, travellers)

Guest post by Pink Prosecco

Economic instability is feeding extremism, leading to persecution of society’s scapegoats. 

The rise of Greece’s fascist Golden Dawn party has gone hand in hand with violent attacks against immigrants.  The police have been rounding up immigrants on a regular basis, and complaints have been made about both brutality and racial profiling. Also disturbing are the responses of various officials to attempts to house undocumented migrants in unused army camps.  The mayor of Corinth threatened to cut off a camp’s water supply and rubbish collection if the migrants weren’t taken away.

In Sweden, a leading member of a party with representation in parliament, Sweden Democrats, has called for Islam to be banned and Muslims to be deported.

Pär Norling’s outrageous suggestion has been greeted with squeals of delight from the blogosphere’s bigots.

The Roma have long been subjected to discrimination in Europe.  Hungary, which saw huge numbers of Roma murdered in the Holocaust, is undergoing a marked revival of anti-Roma feeling.  The far right Jobbik party is particularly vocal on this issue:

“”We need to roll back these hundreds of thousands of Roma outlaws. We must show zero tolerance towards Roma crime and parasitism,” Jobbik chairman Gabor Vona told a rally of several hundred people in Heroes’ Square in central Budapest.”

For him too, the backup solution is deportation – even though the Roma have lived in Europe for centuries.

Antisemitism is another perennial problem.  It’s one thing putting on a racist play as a curiosity, recognizing that times have moved on.  But even though István Csurka’s play ‘The Sixth Coffin’, recently staged in Hungary, indulges in antisemitic conspiracy-mongering its director seems unconcerned;  Eve Balogh writes about it here:

“What is truly frightening is the reaction of the play’s director, Zsolt Pozsgay. To him “Csurka only used a historical event in its historical reality.” As for its antisemitism, to Pozsgay “there are no antisemitic thoughts in the play. There are only historical facts.””

In Britain, such views are much less mainstream.  However here too there are problems.  To take just one example, disability hate crime is on the rise, with over 65,000 incidents reported last year.  This crime, like racism, is aggravated by economic uncertainty and fuelled by irresponsible media reporting of benefit fraud.  As Nicky Clarke points out in the Independent:

“These many articles fail to appreciate the fact that fraudulent benefit claims make up for less than 1% of the welfare bill. More is lost by the DWP annually in administrative error, yet hundreds of articles lay the blame for the welfare bill at the feet of disabled “scroungers” People don’t appreciate nuance as Peter Greener discovered. His neighbour saw genuine disability and automatically thought “scrounger”.  The message is getting distorted and it’s disabled people who are paying the price.”

The government is not of course actively provoking such crimes, but it needs to reflect on the way its rhetoric may be helping to fan the flames of hatred and intolerance.

4 Comments

  1. Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    But this is precisely why the recession is not a problem but an unimaginably vast opportunity for the global elite.

    They will not reflect on anything as they actually know exactly what they are doing and that what to us are bugs are to them features – their only real problem is the public relations one that they cannot openly boast of what they have already achieved and of what they really have planned for us all next.

    While we are now left with almost literally nothing with which we can fight back – even our dissent is like this article and this comment a commodity that shows up in multifarious global balance sheets – can we not at least see our enemies as they truly are and not as they represent and imagine themselves?

    • Babz Badasbab Rahman said,

      Can’t say I 100% agree with you. Capitalism like any other ideology has numerous dimensions to it and in this case I believe the majority of capitalists would love to turn back the hands of time and undo the mess the Politicians, Financial Industry and the Housing Market caused. They need a tame, apathetic population, not an angry one simmering on the verge of revolution.

      True those that ‘only’ benefit from ‘disaster capitalism’ have indeed benefited and we are seeing some right wing ideological politicians using this crisis to roll back hard fought for worker rights and benefits with some degree of success but have been thwarted from carrying out their plans completely. Osbourne for example is under immense pressure to focus more on growth and roll back the austerity cuts. And though Obama has been quite a shite President, the Republicans are still failing to rout him in opinion polls because they seem like the party of the ‘1%’.

  2. Nazis in Europe today – the longing for national “purity” | Against antisemitism – Ενάντια στον αντισημιτισμό said,

    [...] Shiraz Socialist: on hatred and bigotry on several fronts in Europe. It’s not just incitement against the Roma in Hungary, but also: the Nazi Golden Dawn party [...]

  3. Just saying said,

    Is this not a every day occurence within capitalisms cancerous profit rule.Slash and burn when the profits do not excede the lasts.Lay off!s of its indigenous workers replaced by cheaper imigrant ones for profits, book ballance.Setting worker against worker who!s wage slavery and its profit rule sets them against one another.

    Like a war like all wars, workers pointing guns at other workers.Capitalisms profit grounds is workers fighting workers.
    .

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