Introducing “Fear of a Brown Planet”

2 06 2011

I was just going to post an excerpt and then link to this article by a queer person of cover Lian Low at Peril Magazine it is too good and says something too important to simply cut out half.  It needs to be read in full.

Fear of a Brown Planet: fight the power with laughter

The first time I met Fear of a Brown Planet comic duo Aamer Rahman and Nazeem Hussain, it was not at a post-show groupie hangout; it was at the very edge of the performance stage of an overcrowded Espy where we were all moshed in together to watch one of the legends of hip-hop – Public Enemy.

Fear of a Brown Planet’s moniker is a play on the critically acclaimed third album of Public Enemy called ‘Fear of a Black Planet’ released twenty years ago.  Like Public Enemy, Melbourne-based Fear of a Brown Planet use art as a means of resisting prejudice and oppression. In an article first published in The Advertiser, and now published on their blog, Nazeem writes:

“Stand-up comedy is one medium which is, fundamentally, an art of protest. Historically, it has been used as a tool by communities and people with ideas that challenge and provoke the status quo with a spirit of counterculture.”

As a queer of colour, I know how difficult it is to talk about racism with white friends, let alone raise it in public. Watching their shows helps heal a raw nerve and reflect my anger and frustration with an Australia that fails its culturally diverse population.  And when I look around to see enraptured audiences’ faces, I revel in not being alone in this shared political consciousness.  One of my favourite jokes is when Aamer inverses the stereotypes about alcoholism and throws it back on the shoulders of its progenitors:

“The whole time I’ve grown up in Australia I’ve only heard white people complain about other people’s cultures; Muslims beat their wives, Africans are in violent gangs, Aborigines have a drinking problem… that’s my favourite number one complaint from white people… you saw the Cronulla riots..  I’m sure we can all comfortably agree that no one in this country has a scarier drinking problem than white people.  That’s why there’s no alcohol allowed in the room.  Not for religious reasons.  We just don’t trust white people with alcohol anymore.   You saw the Cronulla riots on TV – when white people have a party, one minute it’s a party and the next minute it’s the Nazi party.  When you and your friends have a BBQ, and within a half hour of that it manages to mutate into a 5000 strong Hitler youth rally, maybe there’s something wrong with your culture… just putting it out there.”

I stole a half hour from Fear of a Brown Planet’s busy schedule earlier this year just after the final show of their sold-out season at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April. “Why do you always do political comedy, Aamer?”, asked one of his friends,  “watching you is like watching the news”.  Despite the gibes about being “too political”, Aamer believes that it’s “possible to be angry and funny at the same time”.  “For us it’s always gone hand in hand.  [This has] always been the type of comedy that we really enjoy.  We’ve grown up on a lot of comedians like Chris Rock or Richard Pryor or Bill Hicks. Those artists have always used comedy as a political vehicle not as a gimmick or anything like that”.

Aamer and Nazeem are in a rare breed of comedians who are fiercely proactive when it comes to social justice and community.  They are often at rallies and support community gigs that are engaged with social justice. “We have an idea of what the world should be like or what society should be like.  You know like racism shouldn’t exist, or racist violence shouldn’t exist,” states Aamer matter-of-factly.  “A lot of what we talk about is just a lot of what other communities are talking about.  These are issues that aren’t joked about, but I guess to see from our perspective it’s really about phrasing it and unpacking it in a way that is easy to understand,” Nazeem explains.

Both university law graduates, Aamer and Nazeem didn’t aspire to be comedians but somehow found themselves in comedy. According to Nazeem, they met whilst working on a youth project together.  In fact, it was working with young people which got their comedy juices flowing. “To engage young people you have to be always interesting and funny, otherwise they switch off,” reflects Nazeem.  A significant turning point in their initiation to stand-up was meeting a trio of US based Muslim comics called Allah Made Me Funny, one of the first Muslim stand-up troupe to tour about being Muslim in a non-Muslim society. Nazeem’s response was akin to love at first sight.  “I actually memorised all the lines.  I memorised word for word the entire show before they came here.  I was that obsessed with them,” he gushes.  Allah Made Me Funny took the duo under their wings and from there they decided to enter Triple J’s Raw Comedy competition, where both reached the Victorian finals.  Aamer trumped the finals and scored the runner-up position Australia-wide.  Now with mass critical acclaim, sold-out seasons and awards under their belts (including Melbourne International Comedy Festival Best Newcomer Award 2008), the duo shared the spotlight with Allah Made Me Funny in October 2010.

Interspersed in Fear of a Brown Planet’s nascent life were their feature appearances in a television series called Salam Café – the first and only Muslim TV panel series to be aired on national television in a Western country. Salam Café started off with Melbourne-based community network Channel 31 before moving on to SBS.  According to Nazeem, Salam Café’s agenda was an exercise in diplomacy, “we were there to humanise the Muslim community.  It allowed people to see us firstly as human beings which …people still don’t seem to be able to appreciate.  It’s a completely different show.  We didn’t want to push too many buttons. With Fear of a Brown Planet we can be a bit more us.”

Arguably the most radical element of Salam Café was Nazeem’s character called Uncle Sam (aka Uncle Sameer Iqbal Muhammad Salahhudeen) who plays on media-driven fears about Muslims “taking over”. As Uncle Sam, Nazeem tackled issues such as the dispute surrounding the building of a private Islamic school in Camden, in Sydney’s West. Uncle Sam also managed to gain airtime with Andrew Denton on Enough Rope in which he outwits an unusually stymied Denton in banter about Australian identity and racism.  Perhaps the most outrageous skit for Uncle Sam was a visit to Frankston, where during the filming of the scene, Nazeem and his camera man, a Lebanese man named Jihad, were surrounded by forty screaming and swearing people who threw bottles whilst attempting to grab the camera and rip Nazeem’s beard.  “It got to the point where I had to say, “Listen, everyone, just shut up – we’re here to make fun of Muslims too!”  And everyone went “Yeah!!!”  And then we ran.  Seriously, we would have been killed.  It was ridiculous.”  For the Salam Café episode of this series (which you can see on Youtube), the more confronting incidences were left on the editing room floor.

Not surprisingly, Aamer and Nazeem’s experiences on Salam Café help fuel their critique about the absence of people of colour on Australian television.  “Australian TV is very white,”says Nazeem exasperatedly.  “To the point where it’s been criticised overseas.  In the UK there was a poll; Home and Away and Neighbours were criticised for being too offensively white,” Aamer recounts.  “It’s just ridiculous!  In the UK, they understand Australia more than we seem to.  How could a suburb be that white?  They don’t even have the token brown cleaners!” exclaims Nazeem.

When they are not working on their comedy, Aamer and Nazeem can be found at Footscray Community Arts Centre producing events as part of their three year artists-in-residency contract.  The duo were headhunted to produce a joint VicHealth and Footscray Community Arts Centre funded program about discrimination in the western suburbs.  One of the events of the program was a series of free hip-hop workshops called Hip-Hop Academy.  Young people in the Academy can take on breakdancing, mixing, rapping and grafitti.  I swung by a couple of workshops and tried out the breakdancing with B-boy Lamaroc and rhyme-writing with musican and producer Pataphysics.  The kids at the Saturday workshops ranged from aged five upwards.  It was touching to see so many young people of colour in one space giving everything a go. I remember seeing two 14 year-old Polynesian girls hovering outside the rhyme-writing workshop.  When I left, through a little coaxing, Pataphysics had them sitting down penning their first raps about culture and identity.

The other part of Fear of a Brown Planet’s residency included a series of online vox-pops and critical montages of current political events.  One of their videos was about the controversy surrounding the black-face skit on Hey, Hey It’s Saturday.  Unlike mainstream commentators, Fear of a Brown Planet interviewed people of colour on the street to hear their opinions about the issue.

“Because The Chaser did it [black-face] and because no one said anything, it just went on air and it just wasn’t an issue,” says a disgusted Nazeem. “It was equally as offensive as the Hey, Hey sketch.  Just because The Chaser are political and they appeal to white liberals no-one took them up on it,” adds Aamer.  “It doesn’t discount the fact that it’s highly offensive just because it’s five privileged white guys doing black-face.  And just because the song was political – it was about the ALP and the Liberal party – somehow it gave them a pass; but it was just as offensive.  Even when it was an issue on Hey, Hey, the only people that seemed to discuss the issue were panels of white people discussing whether or not this was offensive to other people.  Some of them would say ‘yes, it was absolutely offensive’.  You just never get to see from black or brown people about the issue,” Aamer says disgruntled.

Fear of a Brown Planet are artists who have cleverly used comedy as a means of education and empowerment.  In the same blog that I mentioned earlier, Nazeem sums up the use of comedy as an educative tool:

“When someone laughs at a joke, a connection has been made. That person laughs because they appreciate the point whether or not they accept what was said as valid isn’t important. What matters is, they’ve understood.”

In a country where debates about racism have been watered down or silenced, it’s exciting to see two young brown men fighting for social change in a creative and powerful way.






Racism against African migrants in Libya

2 03 2011

Revolutions are notoriously fickle creatures.  All too often would-be revolutionaries turn out to be what they hate.  The introduction of violence on the scale seen in Libya only serves to prompt revolutionaries to push back.  Gaddafi’s practice of importing mercenaries has also inflamed the situation, with innocent African migrants being caught up in the mix.  Likewise, the overarching narrative that has been spun in the international media, and often, by the revolutionaries themselves, has taken a particularly nationalist bent and no doubt, this is fall out.

But then the character of the Libyan revolution has been wholly different to that of Egypt and Tunisia.  The institutions and regimes in these countries have been unique.  While Mubarak and Ben Ali had maintained ties with their international counterparts during their presidency and sought to maintain some kind of democratic responsibility through the pretence of elections, Gaddafi, is a different animal entirely.

Words to live by: do not become what you hate.





The how and why of “Sophia Thalatth”

19 02 2011

This post is an attempt to profile the following individual and collect information in one place for future reference by anyone who is forced to deal with them.

A strange personality has appeared on the ALL forums.  The current name used by the personality is “Sophia Thalatth” and she claims to be a “pan-human nationalist”, a strange and incomprehensible ideology that back flips time and time again as to what exactly it means or stands for.  As it turns out, this personality has earned themselves a page on Anti-Fascism.org.

List of aliases:

Al Jones (Serpent)
Brad Smith
Brandon Orr
Daedra Morrigham
Amelia Johnson
Branndon
Gydia
Johann Sebastian Bot (forged)
Johann Sebastian Bot V.2 (forged)
j-s-bot (forged)
Ken McVay (forged)
Kneisel-Weasel Buster
left_turn_9
Magistra
Merlin McGregor
Ministry of Propaganda
Morgan
Myrddin
Poopie Girl
reminderbot
Saint Jackoff
Selene
Sophia
Sophia Serpent
Sophia Thalatth
Sovereignist
Sovvie
Susan Cohen(forged)
tallpaul
White Patriot
Wonderbread Leotard
Xiphias Gladius (forged)

Blogs:

NationOfHumanity

Forums operated:

NationOfHumanity

List of forums where they are currently active:

Alliance of the Libertarian Left forums (banned for spam)
MootSF
FreethoughtForums (banned for copyright violation)
ThinkAtheist.com
forums.skadi.net

History

MrAngry, has written on the ALL forums about the person’s previous political beliefs:

A brief summary of this political movement would be that it is predicated on the notion that the friction between the sexes is caused by intellectually incurious women, aka bimbos. The solution to this problem is to make bimbos into sex slaves. Girls would be tested for intelligence and intellectual curiosity beginning as young as age 10, and those deemed incorrigible bimbos will be made into sex slaves, to be abused and raped as Sovereignist citizens please. Yes, that means that in this system, girls as young as 10 would be forced into sadistic sexual enslavement.

Unfortunately, the Sovereignist Symposium website is gone now, but fortunately I have a couple quotes from sovvie’s old website which will serve as an introduction to her (former) political thought:

Sovereignism is a movement to rally an emergent nation, create a new State and utilize the State to bring the national vision fully to fruition. This vision includes a Weltanschauung (worldview), matrix of ideas and set of goals. The Sovereignist State shall ultimately be the essence of this particular vision in form. The State shall hold genuine sovereignty as its highest value and be governed by a Sovereign, thus Sovereignism.The central organization of this movement is known as the Sovereignist Syndicate. The Syndicate is also the protostructure of the State.
Central to Sovereignism is the realization that those worthy of citizenship — those with the potential to serve the nation in a dignified manner — can be truly saved only if the incorrigible are damned. Reconciliation of real and alleged opposites is a theme likewise central to Sovereignism, as is redemption for the worthy. These “3 R’s” — Realization, Reconciliation, and Redemption — point to core themes crucial to Sovereignist education.Realization: Sovereignists realize that the worst stereotypes of the female sex — sources of friction between the sexes — in reality ring unalterably true only for a subset of females, a particular type of female. Bimbo is a popular word to describe this type of female — albeit often misapplied to females who pretend to be bimbos, under intense brainwashing by antisocial elements, although they have the potential to rise above it. Sovereignists realize that incorrigible bimbos — those who will be bimbos no matter what the circumstances — are the eternal enemy of intellectually curious and self-respecting women. The bimbo is a painful wedge between ladies and gentlemen which, before being properly addressed, renders impossible the degree of unity between the sexes advocated by Sovereignism. Sovereignists realize that 1) bimbos exist and have existed significantly and recurrently from society to society and era to era with dire repercussions and 2) non-Sovereignist measures are neither optimal nor even adequate for decisively dealing with the bimbo problem.Reconciliation: Therefore, in order to reconcile worthy women and men and otherwise serve the national good, the bimbo problem must be decisively solved. How? By instituting the sexual enslavement of bimbos, honestly and legally, and utilizing this institution as a sophisticated outlet for the good of society. This solution will not be feasible until after the Sovereignist State has attained full sovereignty and signed any necessary agreements with other sovereign powers.Redemption: By damning the bimbo to bondage — death would be too merciful a fate — the Sovereignist State will bring salvation to women and men of dignity. Citizen women will be liberated from pressure to spread their legs for sex, especially the casual and promiscuous intercourse which tends to be so dreadfully damaging to the female psyche. They will be optimally protected from rape and sexual harassment. They will be able to keep their bodies clean, sanctified and purified. They will be able to righteously abuse and degrade bimbos, further uplifting and glorifying their own figurative souls in the process. Their feminine pride shall be properly channeled so that it can best serve the nation. Bimbos will no longer be able to reduce men to drooling simpletons — himbos. The optimal sexual outlet will be available and readily accessible — bimbos kept in chains and cuffs and collars rather than allowed to wreak havoc upon society.

Sound good?  Not really.  Mr Angry also provides references where the person in question has acted as an advocate for this deranged political system (1, 2, 3).

(Note: This MrAngry should not be confused with the MrAngry who owns and runs the MootSF forums.  They are two separate people)

Characteristic behaviour

The person’s behaviour is characterised by overuse of science or scientific literature in a attempt to support their highly offensive and reactionary positions.  While claiming to be an “anti-racist” the person also insists upon using derogatory and imposed terms for ethnic minorities.  Anyone who disagrees or calls out these facts and contradictions is dismissed or abused with a string of invective in an attempt to dodge the issue.  Another identifying feature of their behaviour is a continued emphasis and reliance on supposed close friends or associates who are “highly intelligent” and agree with everything they has been arguing.  It is doubtful whether these persons exist and it is far more likely they are sock puppets used to justify and support a clearly racist position.  Often quote chat logs are quoted in order to prove existence of these persons, though it is impossible to verify whether these are real.  It is suggested that they might be fake.

The person makes numerous claims about their identity.  They claim to have formerly been a male prostitute, to be transgender, to have been raped and to have survived stage 4 brain cancer.  While knowledge of the person and their past leads me to question the authenticity, it is impossible to know either way.  The relevance to this profile comes as the person’s behaviour appears to indicate one of two possibilities; either they are a very committed troll and these facts are being used to illicit sympathy and create confusion, or they are being genuine about their past, and they are an individual who has suffered considerable amounts of pain and abuse.  However, in the event that the latter is true, it has no bearing on the credibility, gravity and acceptibility of what they are arguing as “truth”.

If indeed they are a troll, their use of these labels is insulting to all those who have experienced such things in life.

In the past the person has been known to disrupt discussions and communications by copying a critic’s account name and posting questionable material under that name (hence the “forged” accounts in the list).  Additionally, a confidential source has told of how web pages have been set up to publish personal details about an individual to the world.  These websites contain quotes out of context to defame the the target.

Their personality is illustrated in the following quote, with added emphasis:

On the other hand, voluntary eugenics is a very rational concept which has no necessary association with Nazism, or even the right wing at all. Yet I was ganged up upon[sic] for exploring the idea ‘out loud’. That is crazy. Fortunately I’ve got associates smarter and more logical than you guys who are convincing me not to give up so easily in that regard. Despite your pretensions of being anti-Establishment, to a good extent, you guys ARE the Establishment, or at least blindly submissive to taboos set by it and fanatically loyal to its most powerful ruling caste which is comprised of white Jews. That’s why I was ganged up upon for even mentioning Jewish power and the double standards around Jews.

With voluntary eugenics we can pay many people with low IQs to receive humane vasectomies, tubal ligations, etc. This is not cruel; irresponsible overpopulation is what is cruel and the Blacks suffer most of all. We can create dating and relationship networks for high IQ people. We can encourage high IQ Nigerians in diaspora to return home and help renew their country. Importantly, we can come to terms with the fact that large numbers of black Africans simply lack the cognitive profile to effectively adapt to high-tech urban civilization. We need to establish large nature preserves where they can move and revert to the unashamedly primitive way of life that comes far more naturally to them. We can also set up means for liberal-minded white couples to adopt as minors blacks who simply do not fit into either the perpetually-failing attempts at black urban civilization or a traditional way of life. (source)

Distribution of sexually suggestive images of young girls

Information has been provided by Mr Angry who has wrote that the person seems to have had possession of and distributed sexually suggestive pictures of young girls.  This claim cannot be substantiated.  The forum on which they appeared no longer exists, however Mr Angry points out the current forums run by the person contains a subforum “for the appreciation of young models”, which is only accessible to registered members.

The person claims their brain tumour caused their past promotion pedophilia.

Distribution of these images combined with the person’s history of advocating the sexual slavery of young girls constitutes a political act which I oppose.

Added to this is the recent post by the personality which argues for policy changes within the state in the name of combating age discrimination, essentially appropriating rhetoric for their own ends.  The post itself amounts to a desire and stated political goal to create and institutionalise pedophile rings.  They write:

Roll back and peel away government red tape around adoption. In order to lessen the appeal of child pornography and prostitution to the extent that they reduce sexual activity into a brief commercial transaction, which in turn proves less fulfilling than sexuality in the context of a strong relationship, allow people to freely associate to form healthy sexual relationships – untrammeled by ageist restrictions – such as through adoption networks, swingers’ groups, and sex clubs. For example, a couple should be able to adopt a child partly for sexual reasons. Although this idea has been criticized even by some CL activists, the case has never been made that this form of adoption would have to be any more harmful to a child than entirely non-sexual adoption. To the contrary, there is no scientific or empirical basis to believe that this must be so. Even under the status quo, it is legal to raise a child to abstain from sex, but not to enjoy sex. This indicates a pervasive anti-sex bias under the status quo, which has no rational or scientific basis.

Quotes

These quotes are provided to illustrate the types of arguments presented and to record their existence into the future.

It’s not without reason that black and brown people are sneaking into white countries, not white people into black and brown countries. We are better at building and maintaining advanced industrial civilizations which are relatively free and in which people are treated with relative fairness. In a sense, our race is indeed superior, and that is exactly why real racism is not an option! (source)

The following list of statements taken from this thread.

1.

One problem is that to believe Australian Abos are the same as us, you’ve got to make yourself retarded, no matter how smart you are to begin with. They have smaller brains with fewer fissures and less developed frontal lobes. They’ve evolved differently. To say otherwise, you’ve got to lie, big time. What’s good about that? It’s bullshit.

Now the racism here is pretty obvious.  Not only is “Abos” a derogatory term, but the use of scientific and evolutionary language attempts to validate, legitimise and justify outright racism.

2.

For all the evolutionary distance between us, black people are human beings.

Pretty much an argument reminiscent of the “Great chain of being” pseudo-scientific bs of early last century which lead to massacres of Indigenous populations around the world, particularly in Australia.

3.

I’m not racist ’cause I don’t hate anyone. I actually love black people. But…

“I’m not racist, but…” arguments are racist. Especially when followed by the phrase, “they are much more likely to commit violent crime” which perpetuates more racist myths.

4.

Someone with that IQ wouldn’t be able to hang in a university unless the university lowered standards big time.

Continued perpetuation of debunked race IQ theories, plus assertion that “blacks” shouldn’t even bother with university education, plus promoting connection between being “black” and violent crime.

5.

[NAME REDACTED] February 17 at 8:10am Report
Aww ur worried about me! Yea, I kinda figured it had something to do with science and why they’re so violent. Ilk be careful, hopefully all I have to do is stay to my self. I’m more worried Bout my car than anything. And hopefully I can see u soon. I’m thinking around spring or summer….Awww, I miss u!
Sent via Facebook Mobile

Use of messages attributed to anonymous sources to try and reinforce their racism. Pity, if they do in fact exist, one representative of a minority or a community does not speak for all.

6.

I’m sure you notice that whites and asians are nerdier and more quiet and usually not as good of dancers. But at the same time, they’re usually better at math.

Continued perpetuation of racial stereotypes and racial IQ theories, combined with an insistence that in order to demonstrate intellect and intelligence, a person must conform to standard “white” tests of intelligence and success (Nobel prizes, admission to CalTech, ability to do math).

7.

No. I really do love black people. It’s not that “some of my friends are black,” but rather most of my friends are either black or otherwise of non-European extraction.

I’m not racist! I have black friends!

8.

It means that in general, majority black schools will have more violence but (excepting some areas of athletics and music).

Continued perpetuation of racial stereotypes.

9.

I mentioned in the conversation how she was complaining about lighter-skinned black women on a bus. Jada is rather dark-skinned for an African-American (who average about 20% Europid admixture iirc).

Apparent use of and perpetuation of racial mixture categories from previous centuries where “blackness” and “whiteness” was measured, weighed down the last drop of black blood.

10.

I think blacks are human beings, but likely more primitive humans: closer to our common ancestors, with a higher index of attributes classified by evo biologists as primitive…

11.

OTOH, some of the more primitive population groups of today and recent history bear striking similarities to the bonobo. One example would be the genitalia of Hottentot women.

Once again compares entire African ethnic groups to primates in order to further justify their racism. Secondly, use of the word “Hottentot” is considered derogatory. The ethnic group prefer to be called the Khoikhoi. Even more so when you consider that 10,000 people of a Khoikhoi group, the Namaqua, were massacred in a struggle against German colonists and the East India Company, the sort of racial theories promoted by the person probably played an important role in justifying the actions of the perpetrators.

It should also be noted that photos were posed of a Bonobo and a sketch of an African Khoikhoi woman in order to draw a comparison between their genitals to suggest a genetic link, while a photo of an African woman with a “receding hairline” was compared to a photo of a Orangutan for the same purpose.  This is extremely racist and extremely offensive.

12.

Except it’s empirically TRUE that they are much more likely to commit violent crime. It’s your racist myth that black people are just like white people, rather than their own unique race, which harms black people more than anyone. Over 90% of the victims of black violence are other blacks. This is confirmed by numerous angles. By denying the reality of black violence you help to perpetuate needless suffering and death.

————————————————————————————————————————————

Note: I will be updating this list with more information on “Sophia Thalatth” as an entity or with more quotes as the information becomes available.

Last Updated: 22 May 2011





Solidarity with the Roma

5 09 2010

Massive protests have taken place across Europe against the French government’s deportation of Roma.

Al Jazeera:

Thousands of people have attended demonstrations in Paris and other French cities to protest against tough new security measures introduced by the government which they say are being used to target the country’s Roma community.

France began clearing large numbers of illegal Roma camps in July, after Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, announced a series of measures to fight crime.

Police said about 12,000 people had demonstrated in the French capital but organisers put the total nearer to 50,000.

Human rights, labour unions and leftist political parties accuse Sarkozy of stigmatising minorities and seeking political gain with the security crackdown.

They also say he is violating French traditions of welcoming the oppressed, in a country that is one of the world’s leading providers of political asylum.


BBC:

Thousands of people have attended rallies in Paris and 130 other French towns to protest at the government’s policy of deporting Roma people.

Police say turnout across France was slightly more than 77,000 while organisers put the figure nearer 100,000.

With polls suggesting at least 65% of French people back the policy, the government played down the protests.

The EU parliament is to debate the Roma situation in Europe next week.

About 1,000 Roma (Gypsies) returned to Romania and Bulgaria from France last month, while official figures record that 11,000 Roma were expelled from France last year.

The League of Human Rights, which called for the demonstrations, said it wanted to counteract government “xenophobia” and what it described as the systematic abuse of Roma in France.

The rallies were backed by the opposition Socialist Party and the General Confederation of Labour (CGT), France’s second largest trade union confederation.

‘Pushed away’

Trade unionists, students, anarchists, illegal immigrants and others turned out in Paris to the sound of whistles and drums.

The actions of the French government are nothing short of racism, targeting a under-represented impoverished minority because it is easy.  And what happens when the Roma are gone?  Who will the French government turn their attention on next as part of their nationalist agenda?

Even though I cannot physically attend the rallies, this is a declaration of solidarity with the Roma people.








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