fascism

JK Rowling and the Order of the British Empire

In this capitalist world where celebrity is everything, endorsements from the rich and famous can win or lose an election. Part of the reason Brexit was such a shambles was the utterly confusing mix of ‘idealist’ lefties and unapologetic bigots all on the same side. This is not to say I believe Galloway is an idealist or even a leftie for that matter but he says he is (even though I had some trouble reconciling this idea with the images of him sharing a platform with Nigel Farage). Whatever the leftie Brexiters thought they were doing, they weren’t prepared for the violent backlash against anyone deemed not English enough and in the weeks that followed there were some heartfelt retractions and apologies. Turns out if you ally with right wing fascists you only lend credence to their cause.

Perhaps this is why people like JK Rowling believe hard left and hard right are one in the same; they saw some of them mingling together for good ol’ Blighty and imagined the need for independence was unifying, they can work together so long as they kick back at the uber state. Personally I couldn’t understand how anyone could claim to be left yet relish the idea of having a national identity, separate from the rest of Europe because we are Englanders and we should be proud of such greatness. Nothing leftie about that if you ask me. Nationalism is not socialism but I can see why it could be so confusing for so many, this theory that the far left and the far right come together like a horse shoe. I can see why people would think in this way but I have to add, it is a bit of a reach and sounds like the opinion of people who repeat truisms parrot fashion. It sounds like the brain fart of someone who has never attended a counter demo against a far right rally for if they had they would know that the far right are always the first to attack and it is on the far left to defend. The far left resort to violence because it has been proven through history fascists only respond to this kind of protest; you can ask them nicely to leave and see where that gets you.

Far right knuckle-heads repeatedly threaten communities where the population is majority non white. Far left comrades; black, white, brown, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Atheists, LGBTQ, disabled and many others defend these communities because we know an attack on one group is an attack on us all. Do not tar these very distinct groups with the same brush, JK and friends, it only magnifies your political ignorance and detachment from reality.

Neoliberals, Blairites, Red Tories etc would like for us to accept this idea they know what’s best for us, even though they haven’t the slightest interest in what makes us who we are. I want to talk about JK Rowling specifically because she was presented as their ace card – surely no one would dare question the almighty creator of Hogwarts, they assumed. With such a huge following I guess they thought we’d listen to her. Well, actually, a bunch of us were going to notice JK making false equivalencies between antifascists and fascists especially when she has a track record of ignoring minority voices pleading with her to honour their cultural practices and not misappropriate native ideas. This white lady with immense privilege routinely blocks brown people for saying she is stealing their culture and not compensating them for it. Heck, she isn’t even acknowledging it. It does feel suspicious doesn’t it, when we say it out loud and join the dots? A white lady picking and choosing how she would like to represent ethnic minorities, ignoring their protests at being misrepresented, hinting at the fact they and their supporters are just as bad as the white supremacists who would have us all wiped out.. It’s not just me, is it?

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Couple this with the fact that Blairites seem to glaze over whenever you bring up the Iraq war and the devastatingly harrowing legacy we left behind, choosing instead to vote for more bombs then gushing sycophantically about how much richer they got under Blair.. We cannot lay claim to greatness as an island until the war criminal has been held to account. We cannot claim to be a democracy when up to 2 million people were silenced when they marched to Stop the War. We cannot turn our backs when generations of Iraqi children are condemned.

When racists mock non whites for having a chip on their shoulder, for rinsing their oppression dry with the excuse “it was all a very long time ago and I wasn’t there, don’t blame me” they are choosing to ignore the ways in which non white cultures are still being carved up for mass consumption, rewarding the Columbusing white purveyor whilst various ethnic majorities struggle to ensure our basic survival. All she had to do was listen and come to an agreement with the people she is using to propel her successes; to give back what she took from them, in a manner befitting the native tradition. She actively chooses to ignore them. It’s why I had to interject when I saw JK conversing with an old time hero of mine, Sanjeev Bhaskar, in response to a Twitter user asking how he felt about JK supporting racist Blairites. His response was in earnest but coupled with the subsequent tweet from JK it presented Sanjeev in the light of a token brown person, his testament erasing the many voices who feel JK has profited from our ideas and stifled debate from the very people it concerns. Kudos to Sanjeev, I appreciated his frank replies to me, and the exchange prompted me to write this post, something I have been avoiding this past week, partly due to the inevitable white knighting from scary dudebros if they chance upon it but also because it would be ignorant of me to leave out the bit where I admonish the usual suspects for their erasure of the important points being made here. Of course Helen Lewis and Laurie Penny were going to circle jerk their support for this beloved children’s author of whom we’re all just jealous, for being so smart and original. The same faces who’ve systematically erased and silenced poc protesting erasure and silencing have propped each other up to the exclusion of everyone who is not rich, white and not famous.

They can’t have Sanjeev Bhaskar, not when already they have Panju.

sanjeev

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Further reading:

National Geographic – Native Americans to JK “We’re not magical”

Magic in North America Part 1 – Ugh

Natives in America – Dear JK Rowling: We’re still here

You are exactly like all the others, whatever they say

If you were one of those people who insisted it is not Islamophobic to scrutinise Islam and Muslim people when you are neither of those things yourself then you personally contributed to the actions which led to a Sikh man being identified as a Muslim terrorist (by Gamergate trolls who exist only to torment vulnerable people cos ethics) and reported to the rest of the world before the information was even verified. This happened beacause the western world is largely ignorant of the rest of us and experiences it as a sort of quaint skewed little fairy tale which best fits their centuries old prejudices. The media were fooled because they are perhaps the most ignorant of the bunch and a brown face to them is always a terrorist. When a poc is probably responsible, as it is whenever there’s a disaster then due process becomes a privilege only afforded to white people. It’s consistent with the experience I have of the western world, where it doesn’t matter what you do to distinguish yourself from all the others, you’ll always be a paki, regardless of whether or not you are actually from Pakistan.

I’ve been asked where I’m from more times than whether I’ve had a good day, I know this much without doing the maths. Once upon a time I humoured it and asked people to guess and they did; Maltese, Greek, Arab, Iranian, Afghani, Latina, the list goes on and on. White people literally see colour before they see anything else and depending on your answer to this question draw conclusions before you need say anything further. I was always wary of saying Pakistani because I’d grown up feeling like the proverbial shit on one’s shoe for no apparent reason, it was just a feeling that was ever present. I used to say I was Kashmiri and this was partly true, my mum hails from there but I always had a sense it was preferable to identify as Indian, as all the Muslim Indians I knew liked to rub it in, for why, I had no idea, but it was there, this unspoken rule. I imagine now it was the residual tenets of divide rule and conquer which had passed down the generations, infecting us before we were even born. It’s apparent in the token few who deny our existence and experiences of the world so that white people can write us off as bullies and attention seekers, this idea that we must only object because we are jealous and not genuinely critical for the greater good. They will attach themselves to each other as allies and ambassadors for one another just to keep you out and struggling.

The ignorant world we find ourselves in is a direct consequence of white supremacists and their token allies. Every time a white person says to you you are not like all the others and you’re actually some kind of special snowflake, it is a lie. You are maybe a toy to the person who says that to you, someone they can wind up and watch make a fool of themselves but you are most definitely just like the others to all the white people you haven’t yet met, and probably most definitely the person who would say such a racist thing in the first place. If you’re a poc and you’re still struggling with observing and identifying divide rule and conquer, if Veerender Jubbal’s case has not made your blood run cold in horror, that the people in control of narratives can get it so very wrong, then you alone will be responsible for the ways in which you are abused.

A Sikh man (wearing a Sikh turban which is completely different to other brown people’s head coverings) can be thrust onto the world stage without his consent, without any viable reason for this attack on his identity (not that racist targeting is a viable reason even when the subject is Muslim), have a Quran photoshopped into his hands (replacing the ipad) and the media will probably get away with it, but we mustn’t let them. Remember that time little old me made a mistake that barely a few thousand people will have seen (though they will have most definitely witnessed my unprompted apology) yet the media acted as though I had killed someone with my false allegation of racism, the way they used it to whip me with because it was just such a terrible thing to accuse someone of being a racist shitheel. Well it’s actually worse to be a victim of racism, even more than being falsely accused in a system where actually, racism is inherent, it being a proud nation built on the looting and erasure of other people and cultures, and unrepentant in its ways.

The media is massively racist, whatever they might say. They just proved it.

Not All Muslims

Holocaust is so last century 

holocaust-childrenCAMP

“Could you all form a queue? Women and children first. No, you won’t be needing that, not where you’re going..” This is how it goes down doesn’t it? That’s what I remember from the films rated PG, obviously the grown up ones were a little less polite and more blatantly murderous.

I was 12 or thereabouts when I first learned of the Holocaust. I remember thinking “oh my God, they mean people like me” and banishing the thoughts from my head because it was too painful. It’s fine to visit places glorifying the war dead such as the Imperial War Museum when you’re a child growing up in your coloniser’s world and you’ve been brainwashed into thinking you need protection from the state (instead of constantly fending off attacks from the state) but to think of those people, young Anne Frank for example, as people who were helpless against their attackers in the same way you’d probably be.. It was easier to distance the self from those horrific events so far in the past they could never hurt us again. I had the same sharp attack of existentialism when I found I was a carrier for a genetic disease. Playing Holocaust Bingo has been a lifelong habit of mine but I had hoped we were past such barbarism.

#KillAllMuslims is trending worldwide. I’m sure that has a lot with America coming online but still. When I reported swathes of racist abuse to the police they cautioned me with legal action over my use of the political phrase ‘kill all men’. I could be committing a crime you see, with my intentions against 4 billion men. How are they supposed to know I’m only joking, or being sarcastic to highlight an important message or venting my frustration? I’m actually professing my feelings on the gendercide of 4 billion men right? Well, I might have had the potential to do that if there was already worldwide backing in my terrorist hate campaign against the menz but there wasn’t. Perhaps if I had a militia movement with its own uniform and everything I could understand their genuine concerns but no. I had none of the support there is for a Holocaust of Muslims which has been growing steadily for decades and it’s not that we haven’t tried to warn you; it’s that people just don’t care. Will the police be cautioning the thousands tweeting those words for terrorism? Course not.

It’s difficult to refrain from drawing comparisons to a violent past when the present mimics it so vividly. Most people won’t see it, because they’re too busy paying back over inflated mortgages and struggling to heat and eat so their empty stomachs will trump your right to life. If you look back at this time a century ago though, you’ll notice the worrying number of similarities. Perhaps you think we’re too evolved to go back to a time of such cruelty and lessons have been learnt, you can be a bigot without calls for gas chambers but I disagree. Human beings are just not that sophisticated or special. There are but a handful of stories with finite conclusions. We may live in a country that is traditionally a seat of power and therefore too precious to join in on a global war (Gorbachev called it) but I don’t think that’s true. We start wars, we don’t stand back and let the others have all the fun/claim glory and many of us have been battling this for a few years now whilst the majority of the mainly white middle classes have attacked us for pulling out race cards and serving self-interests.

Will I be able to look at my nephews faces now without being reminded of Sophie’s Choice? Shall I start writing a diary now so that future generations will know we objected at every opportunity? Which of my family members will I lose? Where can I access all of my money if I needed to? Cash machines only let you withdraw so much in a day. How many friends can I count on? Who’d be the best in a violent situation? How can I protect all my loved ones with this borked back? What if I had to run? Will the piece of paper calling me a threat to myself and others (for the purpose of sickness benefits) now serve as my own death warrant? Have I made myself an obvious target by calling you all out the last couple of years? Will there still be people calling me a lunatic for catastrophising actual violence against non-white people, that is fast coming to its natural conclusion? Where can I learn Krav Maga?  Who can I trust? If I wear a bikini all day every day, will that prove my non muslimness?

Am I going to die a horrible death? If it comes to that, is it better to go by one’s own hand?

If you know a Muslim, reach out your hands to them, today, tomorrow and every day from now on. They need you to make that connection. They need to know they are relatively safe in a sea of white faces. Be brave and challenge your own and remember not all of us who look Muslim are Muslim yet we are in danger of the same dehumanisation. Sikhs, Hindus, South Americans etc, we are all under attack. Don’t let the white supremacists divide conquer and rule. Let there be only racism and not racism. I hope we can avoid the millions who’ll die for the powerful few laughing at us all right now.

A person like me

What is the point of social media for someone like me? When I say ‘me’ what exactly do I mean? I’m not under any illusions about my existence; I don’t see myself leading you all to revolution or winning a Nobel peace prize or anything. I haven’t the knack for self-promotion for a start. In order to do this I’d need an internal editor capable of presenting an image that fits easily in a white patriarchy; the kind that asks questions but lets you come to your own conclusions, no doubt confirming your own biases, whatever the message. No, there isn’t a place for someone like me, not when I spell it out for you that people like me are suffering, if not fighting for their lives.

I may have been heard if I hadn’t turned the spotlight around on the people mendaciously constructing a world that doesn’t reflect the reality many thousands of ethnic minorities (and ‘others’) experience on this rainy fascism island. My primary malfunction was assuming that the world was ready to hear how the individual contributes to the unjust and unequal system we find ourselves trapped in. The beginning of the end for me was initiated by another woman. A feminist no less, one of the ‘race is not a feminist issue’ brigade, as I discovered when they felt buoyed enough by the support of other white people to say whatever they liked, without consequence.

The world of social media is a microcosm of the world I cannot be a part of irl. The same white gatekeepers exist in positions of power that mark someone like me out as a troublemaker, a loose cannon. Instead of saying this though, noting that we’re all human and fallible, apologising for our prejudices and making promises to do better, it has been standard practice to obliterate the dissenting voice instead, by subjecting the speaker to all of the things they have been protesting against.

I am a survivor of male perpetrated violence and sexual abuse. I was subjected to this violence whilst I was still curled up with my twin in our mother’s womb. I am a survivor of immigration and now realise that a lot of the violence I and the other women in my family were subjected to was exacerbated by the ways in which the men of my family were treated by the British Empire. I am learning about my heritage and I can finally understand the ghosts that haunted my grandfather, a child who witnessed partition and then never spoke of it again. He was in the army, we knew that much. He had his name crudely tattooed on his arm in biro ink, in case they needed to identify his corpse I presume. On leaving the army he came to settle in Birmingham and worked extremely hard for 5 years before he could bring over his wife and 3 small children, my father being the middle one. When he eventually did call for them, they were almost lost forever when the plane they had been ordered to leave – to make space for VIPs who were given priority – crashed over France killing all those on board. My family is a miracle. They survived the empire and they made it to this country in one piece.

However, the struggle for basic survival didn’t end with them, whatever the white knights of Twitter seem to think. It’s a bit rich for these white saviours to mock us with stories of how our dark men are mutilating our vaginas and killing us for talking to boys and how much worse off we’d be if we’d been born in any of the brown countries. The fact that my female cousins had a private education in Pakistan with one of them awarded a scholarship for a doctorate in engineering isn’t something I’ve ever felt the need to share to silence the hecklers, as if they would listen or believe me anyway. I don’t need to be reminded of patriarchal violence and control; my great grandmother was beaten to death by her man. It wasn’t the Asian or Muslim in him that made him do this or ensured she was victim to it. It was power and control. Patriarchal power and control; the kind that rears its ugly head when your country is under attack and ‘your women’ are being raped, being as they are merely vessels for the patrilineage. The kind that prompts my apparently relaxed Sufi like ancestors to suddenly turn inwards and toughen their cultural praxis so that others cannot accuse them of allowing the British to bastardise their values. Of course that’s going to be amplified when they arrive in said coloniser’s country. I see the anger and disapproval they pelted me with as I was growing up as a reaction to colonial power and control and their abuse of my person as a manifestation of their own post-traumatic stress disorders and Stockholm syndrome. My grandparents were promised a home away from home but when they arrived here they were faced with severe violence and abuse yet their reaction to it was to accept their dehumanised status and suffer the blows. That pent up rage and hurt had to make its exit somewhere and it was people like me who bore the brunt of it. I forgive them though, because I know it wasn’t their fault. It was yours ‘Great Britain’.

I shunned my brown Muslim family the first chance I got, running away from home aged 15, cutting my dark waist length hair into a bob, eating all the pork products I could ram into my mouth (denouncing the Muslim God as I masticated), just out of spite. I thought the drunker I got, the more they’d accept I was one of them. I had to find a white boyfriend cos that would give me the protection I needed from both racist whites and vengeful brownies. I was annoyed at my gran for not telling us a distant cousin had married a white man (who’d converted to Islam for her) and that she’d instructed the other women to keep it a secret too. She was afraid we were ripe for the poaching y’see. She was right. Maybe if I married a white man I could have a properly white sounding name too. I was already called Sam and had dropped my uber Arabic surname because of the lack of opportunities it had lumped me with. A mere 6 hrs after I’d begrudgingly westernised my name, I was given my first interview in 3 months. That’s how racist Britain was in 2005, regardless of what we were told.

I’m not proud of the ways I have ducked and dived the judgements racism has thrown my way. I am not ashamed of it either. I am able to reason that survival is cruel and I did whatever was necessary. White people make it impossible for you to exist in a way that honours your cultural background then mock you for leaving it behind. This is the exact reason why I give up, why I’m done trying to get people to think. The issue here is not one of co-existing in a tolerant society and resistance to this liberal way of life but the shifting of goalposts so that it never matters that we do our best or bow our heads, it’s just not good enough. White Britons want us to jump through hoops like the good little Asians do, they want us to change our beliefs/personalities depending on who is calling it at the time, even if it is some beer bloated ignorant pig of a chav (I’m working class, what of it?) who thinks they’re better than you cos their ruling classes stole from yours. On this matter of working class whites, I am done with trying to understand a section of society so downtrodden and put upon by the illuminated ones “It’s not their fault they’re poor and stupid, their racism isn’t really racism, they’re just ignorant”. Stop right there and hear me on this; I left school at 16, I don’t have a formal education or trust fund and I am not a racist either. When I look at white people I don’t see degrees of racism based on their level of education/class. I see people who recognise my humanity and those who want me silenced/dead because they believe I am not human enough. Call me a paki and I’ll call you white trash.

So y’see, I know why my peers and even those with a much smaller vocabulary than me are being published in the papers, their voices resonating with all who look like them. They are the ones who know how to play the system because it has been set up to benefit them. I know how this game goes but I’m not a very good liar and it’s never been about a high flying meeja career. I want to say what I need to say and for it to be heard and believed as my lived experiences. However if anyone actually did that then they would have to admit how they benefit from the status quo and nobody wants to relinquish their privilege or share it with someone as outspoken as me (they think I think like them and want the things they want and this scares them).

I am a British Asian woman who tried to be all that was required of me but soon realised that meant I had to be dishonest and dissociate for the privilege of success in a white capitalist patriarchy. I have grown to hate this country I so loved once upon a time. I don’t want to bomb it or teach anyone a lesson, terror is terror, whoever experiences it, even the knuckleheads but I will smash anyone upside the head if they ‘do a racism’ in my presence. I am shackled and gagged on social media, I am prevented from defending myself, I do not deserve solidarity and so I give up, take it, keep it for yourselves. We’ve come too far to backtrack the racism of the past year and now I fear we’re hurtling towards the inevitable. Sticking around without the backing I need from white ‘allies’ is waving myself like a red flag to a bunch of fascist bull shits.

It’s safer to behave as though you do not exist.

First they came for the *Others

“Sorry, I know it is really terrible and fucked up that so many people got arrested yesterday, but please don’t compare this police response to the rise of Nazism or make lazy claims of ‘creeping fascism’. It’s offensive, shows a complete misunderstanding of what ‘fascism’ is, and totally disorients any opposition to racism or police aggression.”

A person, presumably a white male (based on the information I was able to glean) said this about a piece I wrote regarding my fears that fascism was on the rise in Great Britain last year when the far right mobilised in response to the murder of Lee Rigby. My fears felt real, I wasn’t being sensationalist to bring in the readers; I had been at a demo (the last of many) where white supremacists were given the time and space to spout their hateful ideology, bringing terror to the people of the area they targeted; Tower Hamlets (whilst multicultural it is known for its large Bangladeshi community). The police responded violently to the people attempting to protect the area, not the fascists who were being abusive in their language and threats to kill. 286 comrades were arrested that day; among them innocent members of the public who were not permitted to protest their innocence, they were kettled and led onto waiting buses, their hands bound together with cable ties. To me, the horror of went down that day (bail conditions forbidding any contact between arrestees and any right wing fascist group within the M25) felt like the beginnings of a regime where powers could be made up on the spot and this was a frightening thought when remembering the past. It’s a slippery slope right?

There was also the time (almost a year ago in fact, 22nd June) this friendly fella took objection to my white best friend slapping a white man on a packed bus for calling me a Paki. This one slap was (apparently) the beginning of the end of all white male supremacists and my friend and I deserved to be harassed and slandered for daring to defend ourselves. Nobody seemed to care about the sexual harassment that led to us telling these two entitled menz to back off (politely at first), nor the toxic shaming racist abuse they subjected us to. No, WE had gone too far this time. I knew at the time this was in fact the beginning of unchallenged casual racism.

I tried to report someone to the police for openly gloating about a racist attack on a mosque but I was silenced when they assumed my motivation was my religion. Being an atheist I refused to engage with people who were already racially profiling me. If the case had ever gone to court one search on Google would reveal Helen Lewis’ lies about me. I felt exposed and manipulated but I wasn’t to complain cos that meant I was self-obsessed and only after a meeja deal. I even wrote this to explain how vulnerable I was feeling.

The Left has systematically shut down the voices that challenge their very problematic beliefs (for lefties they are incredibly bigoted). This means most women of colour, women like me (anyone who is not white and wealthy actually). When I challenged them I was silenced and ridiculed and then thrown to the White Knights of Twitter who have called me every dirty paki bitch under the sun. People like Graham Linehan made this ok. His response to racist abuse against me was to mock me, not once acknowledging the words “paki” or “cunt” but instead fighting for the honour of that other model of white supremacist feminism, Caitlin Moran. Academics like Becca Reilly Cooper accused us of doing it for the kudos and ruining The Left but didn’t see the irony in her very right wing threats to sue anyone who utters her name (come at me).

(Have you noticed how white everybody is yet?)

The line between The Left and the Stupid Right was blurred even more when Louise Mensch got involved. There was no difference in how I was targeted by either side. The same patterns emerged; often these people mention my name but block me before I can challenge them. Their intention is the same; to silence me with outright racist, sexist, ableist abuse from the white majority of this land. I said last year that all of their actions were structurally racist; that you don’t need to say the Paki word to be racist. The very least I expected from people on this side of the political fence was to be heard. They could have told me I was wrong and I might even have listened but they never had any intention of living by their socialist ideas, they really are just pretending to be something because it’s trendy. They’re like political hipsters.

(Reminder: Helen Lewis was on a Channel4 news piece suggesting that the abuse WOC receive is down to class and not race. Wish someone had thought to ask a WOC that question)

Of course I hope I am wrong here but when future generations ask how it was possible that so many non-white people were terrorised and murdered by the English (this century), the answer will be the same as it was for Nazi Germany. The liberals and lefties let it happen. They allowed for the kind of rhetoric that othered anyone who was not able, wealthy and white. They lied about why it was happening; it’s not class war, Helen, it’s white supremacy.

..It’s the kind of white supremacy that speaks to white women about issues that affect non-white women in hijabs, not considering that they may be the experts here on account of living it. You don’t need to be a *something* to have an opinion ok?

..It’s because they abandoned anti-fascist actions at a time when the fascist right was growing exponentially.

..Or the fact they were given a platform so we knew exactly why they were hating on other humans, as if we didn’t already know.

..It’s the air time given to actual outright Nazis by the allegedly Left biased UKIP channel (sorry, BBC).

..How about the way ‘race is not a feminist issue’ (a white leftie feminist slogan)? Even though white supremacists routinely target women in attacks, pulling their clothes from them, mocking them for being ugly, hairy, mannish.

..Why would any of The Left lend support to me on the back of a few intense weeks of horrific racial bullying and death threats? Where my bank account was hacked and attempts made on my social networking accounts. Where people responded in earnest to questions posed my someone imitating me “I’m a pakigirl and I smell. Should my boyfriend dump me?” (or something) Where was the outrage for people like me?

..What about the focus on Muslims/Jews cruelly murdering animals when of course being bashed in the head and then having your throat sliced open is like well humane? Of course this issue needs to be drummed home by the BBC who couldn’t give the NHS the same attention but y’know, leftie bias.

..There was the time white feminism focused on sex selective abortions (a non-white problem apparently) which deserved our attention more than the sex selective IVF favoured in the west. Not racist though right? Not about denying non-white women the rights to their own reproductive health. Pro-choice but only for white ladies.

..Rape, right, it’s an Indian problem. Maybe it happens in The Congo too. But it definitely doesn’t happen in the same way here. Our rapists just aren’t as rapey as the non-white ones. The Asians, they even prey on young girls, like their prophet. Jimmy Saville just wasn’t as dedicated as the grooming gangs of Bradford.

..There are good immigrants and there are bad immigrants, right? If you jump through enough hoops (a 70hr working week (for no pay), making personal contributions into the system without indefinite leave to remain or any of the rights that affords a citizen, eyes cast downwards at all times, especially when there is a white person passing) then someone might pick you as their token Asian pet. This privilege may be whisked from underneath your feet at a minutes notice though. Don’t start getting uppity; know your place in this structure.

We’re expected to take all of this without objection. We’re to accept the unspoken notion that no part of this land (or the lands stolen from us) belongs to us, that we are not entitled to the same level of basic respect and recognition of human rights because we’re not descended from Vikings. We are expected to live with the constant fear of displacement (because we’re not worthy)? Our allies and comrades said and did all of these things. Farage and the other Nazis are just bolstered by the general support of white English people regardless of their claimed political allegiances. Theresa May now has powers to strip British citizens of their citizenship if they so much as suspect terrorism. But.. They already suspect every non-white person of this. How on earth was this bill allowed to pass without so much of a fanfare from the leftie press? Could it be perhaps because the leftie press is focused on dehumanising and othering groups of people they do not like? Trans women for example?

Nazi Germany happened because the Germans were concerned only with themselves. Under the guise of socialism (alarm bells) they convinced an entire nation that the Jews were vermin. Just like our socialists have been doing this past year about us. It was as Pastor Niemoller said.

We would all do well to remember the past because if we forget, we are doomed to repeat it.

*This is how and why

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The rise of fascism in Great Britain (Tower Hamlets)

In the months since the murder in Woolwich, there is a familiar conversation being had by conscientious activists keen to avoid the predictable backlash against a marginalised group of peoples. I’ve heard the same questions being asked; the uncomfortable realisation that current day Britain is echoing the horrors of Nazi Germany. Of course, those on the right are quick to minimise and dismiss genuine concerns with Godwin’s Law but it has also been established this is not relevant when discussing actual fascism. BBC News has been reporting on the number of arrests at yesterday’s counter demo against the fascist EDL. Whilst I wish it were true, sadly their estimate of 2 anti-fascist arrests is grossly misleading when the numbers were in fact closer to 250+.

If you have a heart, you may have wondered how Nazi Germany came to be so organised and how, HOW ON EARTH so many were systematically murdered by the state. Why wasn’t there an outcry much sooner? How did people not notice this was happening right under their noses? It’s simple really. The media and government filled people with propaganda and the atrocities were downplayed. Exactly what the BBC appears to be doing now. 250+ of my comrades were arrested yesterday under sections 14 and 16 but here’s the thing; none of them were aware these orders were in place. People were arrested by deception.

Section 14 gives the police the right to confine protests to a particular space. Now, if this was the case yesterday, tell me why the police allowed us to march through the streets in our 100s whilst they stood idly at the sidelines? Surely a section 14 would have prevented us from leaving Altab Ali Park? How can people be arrested for a crime they did not know they were committing? What of the innocent passers-by who happened to be caught up in the brutally enforced kettle and were then arrested for simply occupying the same space as anti-fascist activists? Of the 15 people I helped support at Colindale police station, 3 of them were adamant they had nothing to do with the demo. It did not matter that they protested the unlawful arrest; they were not given the chance to explain their circumstances. The police acted with impunity, as though these facts were never going to be relevant. Doesn’t that scare you? It scares me. I can be plucked from a crowd of people in a public area and thrown into a cell for as long as they like, though 12 hours seems to be the standard.

The events of the day disturb me. I wasn’t personally arrested but I was treated with suspicion. When the police closed in from all around us, the natural reaction was for people to flee the scene. Who wants to be kettled? As experienced activists we know what a kettle means. Surrounded by officers built like brick shit houses, comrades are pulled out of the kettle, beaten and arrested for simply being there. How does one react in such a situation? Well, you’d want to avoid a beating obviously but if you so much as push back, there’s an assault charge with your name on it. I was trapped in a crowd of activists, all pushing and straining to avoid police brutality and I froze. I was being carried along, I couldn’t afford to push anyone myself, I have a historic spinal injury. Maybe this is why the female officer chose to bash her baton into me. It was frightening. I couldn’t feel anything, the adrenalin was pumping but I was aware I might have been injured. At the first opportunity, I and my buddy retreated to as safe a space as was possible but it was too late, we were in the kettle. It was another 20 minutes before the adrenalin subsided and I felt the pain and tingling creep in. I approached the officers at the end of the police line and expressed my wish to leave the kettle because of my medical condition. They jokingly suggested they’d put in a request with the big boss. An arrestee who was nearby would later tell me how those officers were mocking me for lying and of course, I only wanted to leave the kettle to join the UAF in Altab Ali Park. Anyone who knows me or anyone with any grip on reality would know that this was the last thing on my mind. Another 10 minutes passed and I pleaded with them again to let me leave the kettle, this time lifting my top so they could see the old surgery scars. This time the big boss was asked to have a look at my back. He advised that, unless I need immediate attention I should sit down on the floor to avoid exacerbating the condition. Again, anyone with an iota of intelligence would probably know that sitting down on a hard floor with this kind of complaint is probably not advisable. When my back is inflamed, my body stiffens up. If I’m sat down, it becomes difficult to stand. About half an hour after my initial complaint I asked to be seen by police medics. There were horses and dogs straining on their leashes and then the familiar red bus (Sullivan’s of Potters Barr – ‘a small friendly bus company’) designated for arrestees turned up. Experience has taught me that this is when things take a turn for the worst. When I asked officers why they were stood sideways, holding on to the backs of each other’s belts and why we were being kettled when we were peaceful, the response I got was astonishing. Apparently this was not a ‘kettle’ but ‘containment’. I didn’t fancy being sat on the floor unable to move quickly if things were about to become violent. The medics checked my pulse and it was higher than they would have liked. Suddenly these men in their padded suits and hard hats were being sensitive and attentive. They lifted me out of the kettle. They gently placed me down on the ground around the corner from the rest of my comrades. I watched with heavy heart as they pulled people onto the arrestee bus. Young people, gentle people. They didn’t stand a chance.

There are those that will tell me I deserved this predicament because I should know better than to attend a protest with a medical complaint such as mine. Well, in recent months I have been racially abused more than ever before. The threat has escalated and hateful people have become brazen as you like. I know that I prefer to confront things head on and defend my right to a non-threatening life. The alternative is a deep depression spurred by feelings of hopelessness and vulnerability. I have been agoraphobic once before, I am damned if society does that to me again. It’s why, after I was allowed to return home without further police interrogation and able to take my pain meds, I volunteered – with many of my close friends – to provide arrestee support. There is a growing solidarity between people from all walks of life who are prepared to sacrifice their own mental/physical health to ensure true equality for all. We are anti-fascists and we mean business.

We chose to attend Colindale copshop as it’s the arse end of nowhere for most and being in North London it was easier for us. When we arrived, one arrestee had been released. His eyes were bloodshot and he was shaking. He hadn’t been given any food and was extremely grateful for the supplies we’d brought. We read his bail conditions in disbelief.

“Not to engage in demonstration within the boundaries of the M25 where the English Defence League, English Volunteer Force or British National Party are present”

Are the police effectively enabling fascists by stifling dissent? Why were over 250 anti-fascists arrested in this manner? Who are the police trying to protect? Of the 15 we processed, most of them were given bail conditions to the 21-22nd of the month and a couple had 24th. I’d be interested to find out whether there is a planned fascist march before these dates. It would certainly explain why such a large number were arrested and then released without charge. I would also like to understand why one of our arrestees at Colindale had had his flat raided by the police. This all feels unlawful. I haven’t the legal knowledge to challenge any of this but there are many of you who do. It is our duty to halt the creeping fascism infecting this country of ours, lest young people of the future ask the same questions of the once Great Britain the way we do now of the Holocaust.

*Worth nothing, there were only 2 fascist arrests. Whose police?

** Update – 14 EDL arrests

Disunited Against Fascism

Demoralising is the word I’d use to sum up yesterday’s events. Fascists converged on my hometown en masse. I wasn’t quite expecting so many; I had been hoping they’d broken a few noses with all the infighting but they were here. If I had not been with my small group of white people, I would have been terrified. I think all anti fascists figured out very quickly we were going to be outnumbered and our plans to prevent them from passing were looking like suicide.

Even if we had managed to stand our ground, the police weren’t having any of it. They followed us around, stopped and searched us, mocked us for being stopped and searched, refused to provide a receipt cos apparently they didn’t need to and when the fun stuff was over, they physically pushed us for not immediately responding to command. They didn’t want to talk about whether what they were doing was lawful or how many human rights they were breaching, at one point I felt almost lifted off my feet as they pushed us out of the way and into the UAF kettle. Or hell as I’ve come to term it.

I don’t know if you’ve ever visited Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square, it looks like an amphitheatre with a fountain in the middle. Sitting on the stairs you can see everyone in the square. As we begrudgingly joined UAF and the like at the designated point for protest, I recognised the various groups assembled. UAF had a megaphone, English Disco Lovers were DANCING and SWP were handing out placards to people who have no idea who they are.  Among the sea of white faces were local Asian lads, older black men and the odd member of an anti-fascist network. It was these people that helped keep us safe. Or at least made us feel safe-ish. They were going to defend our town, they were ready. They had to be; EDL had broken through two police lines and were injuring police officers and even each other in an attempt to attack us. When I heard this news, I felt chilled to the core. There were so many more of them than us. I felt we could come to serious harm. I felt conflicted. I’m not a fan of a Muslim Defence League any more than I am the EDL but given the choice, in that situation, they were my comrades, we had a common enemy and an appreciation for the seriousness of the situation. Unlike the others.

English Disco Lovers made me want to rage in fury. Here we were, under imminent threat of attack and they were boogying? I was on the other side of the square and watching in disbelief as they pranced. Was this a spoof? Is my whole life a parody? Unfortunately not. The group of white people in their retro disco clothes, having fun whilst the rest of us struggled to suppress the 10th panic attack of the day were able to do so because racism, let’s face it, doesn’t really affect them or at least won’t ever in the same way. It’s ok to be so blasé when you’re not the one under threat of attack at any given time. UAF just did not BLOODY SHUT UP once as they reminded us of this racist threat we were under. No shit Sherlock, that’s why we’re at this demo. I was already seething from a comment I’d read on their page where they said they would be dealing with ‘racists, fascists and trolls’. I found it irksome because UAF are known for shopping Antifa comrades to the police. They stifle dissent by criminalising people. I was worried. Worried for the Asian lads and black men and my friends. To be quite honest there weren’t even many UAF there.

I searched the news today, again incredulous, at the media’s portrayal of events. Pictures of EDL interspersed with the counter demo, all white front pages as they say. There were some pictures of people of colour but all of those were masked and threatening. They referred to an ‘anarchist element’ and ‘troublemakers’. The EDL looked like they were at a festival in a country they run. Tell me, if I, as a person with a foot in both worlds, looked at those pictures and identified PoC as the antagonists then what is your average Daily Mail reader thinking? Considering the white mainstream news sources, it is clear to see where their prejudices lie. Everything you heard/saw on the news was untrue. I did however; find a link to content that looked like the demo I had attended. It was a YouTube clip filmed off a telly, a Bangladeshi channel and it spoke to actual people of colour. I wished I knew what he was saying but I didn’t need to, he’d seen what I’d seen and that was good enough for me.

See, that’s what the anti-racist movement needs more of; more people of colour speaking up and defending themselves, more white people shutting the fuck up and listening. But they don’t y’see; they know what’s best after all.

A friend of mine got into a discussion on a UAF page where she echoed many of the sentiments I have expressed above. UAF were praising Disco Leaguers for their impressive shapes. She was told that the term ‘person of colour’ is offensive and that she, as a white woman was being patronising. Well, I had to correct them and sent them this, “Hey, so I’m a person of colour and think it highly patronising when white people undermine threats to our lives with happy clapping and stupid dance moves. You are quick to dismiss dissent and you can manipulate it to look like some white people appropriate the struggle as though it’s all about them, but what exactly are you doing? Thoroughly disappointed with UAF, SWP, English disco league. You make a mockery of our pain” which was then promptly deleted by them. Unite against Fascism, the anti-racist organisation don’t care for my opinion. Is it because I am brown? Or is it because I am a woman? Is it because these people don’t actually have a clue what they’re doing and are seen to be doers with very little respect for people of colour’s lived experiences? I think all three. The Disco Leaguers didn’t even know what PoC means! They had to Google it.

The face of anti-racism, ladies, gents and non-binary peeps.

I’m absolutely brimming with confidence and hope.

fuck all racism no one is illegal