First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me – and by then there was no one left to speak out for me.
Pastor Martin Niemöller
Yes, I know I have posted this poem before and yes, I do realise that repeating it is not a realistic way of upping my waning viewing stats but I felt it was worth remembering considering the conversation I have just had with a very friendly Indian chap I met through Hemley Gonzalez of ‘Stop the Missionaries of Charity’. He was very nice to request that he use the video I did a while ago for an official site (big floaty feather in my cap). After puffing up my ego no end, we got into a more personal discussion of introduction as previous conversation related purely to the video. This conversation included a question about my political affiliation. ‘Fair enough‘ I thought. I will paste the relevant part of the conversation but I will omit the name and then I will explain my concerns and thus the reason for the above poem.
- so u too are atheist
- Me : fiercely so
- Me : http://www.youtube.com/AnnaJuk that’s my channel. feel free to have a gander
- lol. i’m a pantheist and animist. but i do have respect towards atheists
- Me :each to their own, babe
- atleast atheists are honest
- Me : for the most part but there are arseholes everywhere
- I consider the whole world to be one family of humanity but many ideologies have come into this world to divide the society; at least atheists don’t do that
- Me : Nationality is bollocks. Just an excuse to divide people.
- but i am a rabid Islam hater. i cant stand it (so one big family excluding Muslims?)
- Me : ditto that (I was referring to the ‘one family bit).
- i hate it from my gut (Really, you think with your gut?)
- Me : thing is it’s based almost word for word on the old testament.
- but then how come you support Labor Party? they are always sucking up to them. You mean it’s based on Tanakh ? (This worried me. He didn’t even know this much about what it was he claimed to hate.)
- Me : because it’s a case of picking battles. (I try to ignore it.)
- well then how come jews don’t act like them?
- Me : can’t fight them all let alone win them all.
- also jews dont proselytize, muslims do. true (another generalisation? I will finish my answer to why I support labour and I’m a party member.)
- Me : the labour party has policies I agree with such as Ed Milliband’s living wage campaign. (I wasn’t prepared to qualify the ‘sucking up bit with an argument at this point.)
- ok (Finally, he’s listening!)
- Me : The NHS was on its knees and about to have the rest of the life sucked out of it but Labour brought it back and they brought in the national minimum wage.
- Me : They poured money back into schools. Okay, they lost their way but they did a lot of good for this country and I think they can do alot more. I actually joined the party in May so I got to vote in the leadership campaign.
- TOny Blair was good
- Me : I’m not surprised he went grey though. I wouldn’t want that job
- it is tough for anyone to become good PM in UK. one will never be able to satisfy all (Going to tell me that bears defecate in wooded areas next?)
- Me : but at least it’s not like the states where personal religious beliefs are brought into every tiny thing
- Me : it’s largely irrelevant here at least in politics.
- Sometimes i feel uk society is more open than US but the media shows different picture; that US is more open than UK.
- Me : it might get a passing mention in the hack-rags. The media run by Murdoch who owns faux news along with however many other news corps?
- not just fox news. I’m saying in general (Didn’t think it was worth repeating the question as he clearly missed my point)
- Me : if you read the Guardian and the Telegraph online you’ll get a better idea.
- Me : the BBC is fairly reliable too
- yes. what do you think about Geert Wilders? (Not much.)
- Me : If you are desperate go for the Independent but the rest are a bunch of nasty fascist hack-rags. The daily mail has links with Nazism.
- lol. I didn’t know that. As long as it doesn’t have a communist or Xian or pro-islamic stink, I’m fine with it. (don’t think this guy would know left-wing if it jumped up and head butted him)
- Me : Yup supported Hitler & Oswald Mosley’s Brownshirts
- but then there is no such neutral media (Just mentioned three didn’t I?)
- Me : I used to be a member of the Socialist worker party but I grew up.
- I see. I am following the English Defence League very keenly (Alarm bells, sirens the lot go off! so like the true Englishwoman I am, I snap i.e. I sigh and shake my head.)
- Me : Their paper has the whole ‘property is theft’ angle to it. I decided that was bollocks too. (I was referring to the Socialist Worker newspaper)
- Me : http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/oct/10/leicester-english-defence-league-protests. (An example of their true attitude)
- patriots will always face hardships/ (Does he really know the meaning of the word?)
- Me : The EDL ARE fascists, worse than the BNP and they are in Dagenham and Rainham which is no more than 40 mins from us!
- that is the politician in you talking now (UP YOURS, PAL! YOU BROUGHT THE SUBJECT UP!)
- Me : follow them but be aware that there is nothing patriotic about them.
- see fascist approach is the only way to deal with muzzies (I can’t believe he used that derogative! It’s as bad as the ‘N’ word!!!. But I was not going to get into a row. There was no way he’d listen to me in through a slagging match.)
- Me : all they see is the colour of your skin
- Me : they don’t care about religion.
- i have many friends from EDL in my list, and they don’t mind Indians. At least that’s what they say.
- Me : That’s big of them (sarcasm): ‘not minding’. How about forgetting the nationality label and just seeing you as a person?
- Me : (POSTED ABOVE POEM)
- although I noticed that EDL attracts jobless british youths
- Me : Yes; and the rest. I’m all for helping the hard up but some people are beyond help and the garbage they come out with is based on ignorance and hate. What would happen if you did get your way and muslims, many of whom were born here, were shipped out or destroyed? What would stop them from then coming after you or my husband? He’s a UK National but he was born in Zimbabwe.
- ohh. Yea that wud be a mess. (Give that man a coconut!)
- Me : These people are NOT messing about and they mean to do a great deal of harm
- Now it seems there are a lot of constraints involved and it’s not as easy as EDL makes it look. Some of my Irish friends said the same to me, but i didn’t take their word, as I thought it was the Irish in them which was speaking against the British but now it means they were right. (I thought we were making progress here)
- Me : There are never any easy answers. Look at what the French and Italians are doing to the Roma people too. It’s the same thing and it is wrong; very, very wrong
- Yes. Romas are suffering; Even gypsies
- Me : It’s the same people; the word gypsy only means itinerant. Some of those people are settled in houses but are being expelled on the basis of their heritage. It’s racism straight and simple.
- yes outrageous!
- Me : The EDL and the BNP mean to do the same to everyone they don’t see as English that means having white skin and being born here.
- yea I know abt BNP, they are run by neo-nazis
- Me : I hate the term ‘neo’ too. It’s a softener; they are just Nazis.
- Me : Neo only means new. The EDL are much more extreme than the BNP.
- i will dig more into this.
- Me : Really do!
- thanks for the info
- Me : Including news on their actions. Any group that condones violence against another is not worth following. I will NEVER condone the use of force on any issue.
- yes but i assumed use of force is a means of defence reaction to islamic onslaught on Europe. (And now take it away! )
Community and individuality are not opposites. People cannot survive on their own. When the odds are stacked against you, you must rally with the oppressed and hated.
When a growing oppressive regime is taking hold, you must act, otherwise you will soon face your enemy alone and hopeless.
Strength of community is a strength as much as individualism, as long you are willing to face weaknesses in your own community. Ignoring slacking values will mean that you will be rallied against by those you oppress.
Niemöller affirms we must rally against unhealthy organized regimes. We must also stay vigilant with those that appear to be good-natured, as all organisation attracts corruption. Niemöller also warns us that if it is you who are corrupt, then you will face a stronger combined force of foe!
But what is the English Defence League?
On the night of 10 May 1933, a crowd of some 40,000 people gathered in the Opernplatz – now the Bebelplatz – in the Mitte district of Berlin. Amid much joyous singing, band-playing and chanting of oaths and incantations, they watched soldiers and police from the SS, brown-shirted members of the paramilitary SA, and impassioned youths from the German Student Association and Hitler Youth Movement burn, at the behest of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, upwards of 25,000 books decreed to be “un-German”. The English defence league, deliberately or not, is emulating the attitudes and actions of the Nazi Party.
“They actually dislike and campaign against everything we hold dear to our hearts, we as a nation have taken such things for granted for far too long, and now because of this incessant provocation a giant awakens from its slumber. The British Lion roars again in a clear act of defiance because we will not submit, we will never surrender or compromise to their ideology! Islamists will never be made to feel welcome or wanted in our cities and towns up and down the country.”
It was founded on the 27th June 2009. It is nothing short of a racist rabble of thugs and bigots. Their thinly disguised nationalism is aimed to entice and convince the working classes of the UK that they have something to gain by ousting an entire settled demographic; exactly how Nazism began to persecute the Jews. Their view of a better England is simplistic and naive to say the least but they are prepared to go to any lengths to achieve their ends. This includes destructive ‘protest marches’ and thuggish behaviour designed to evoke a violent reaction (as if it would ever justify their own disgusting behaviour), hurling abusive language at strangers and those who oppose them, and threats of violence. What would they stop at?
“Whilst British citizens are being arrested and charged for burning the Quran these Muslims are allowed to walk free, no action is taken against them, does this not show duplicity in the application of law we ask?”
What they seek is Muslims to arrested and charged with being Muslims. As far as I knew myself, we do not live in a fascist-police-dictatorship and long may it stay that way. The application of the law they seek never existed. Along with this Nationalist clap-trap, the group has developed strong links with the American Tea Party movement. Complete with hateful finger-pointing, unfounded statements of ‘they’re getting your share‘, the ‘they’re taking over‘ and ‘they’re all evil‘, come the generalisations and groundless claims. Most offensive is the one claiming they speak for all Britons. They are not. It is very important that all rational Britons speak out against them; make it clear that they are not in the majority and that their bullying an intimidation will not work on us.
“We, the English Defence League, are a grass-roots social movement who represent every walk of life, every race, every creed and every colour; from the working class to middle England. Our unity and diversity is our strength.”
What they fail to mention is that they are extremists themselves. They believe that the means will justify the end. The actions of their members do not echo their claims of knowing the difference between peaceful and integrated Muslims and those they claim to target.
“We have had enough, why should anyone tolerate intolerance? Again we must re-iterate that we do not have any problem with law-abiding, respectful, peaceful Muslims who integrate and contribute positively to society. Muslims who love and respect our country are welcome. The EDL was never set up to discriminate against all Muslims. “
Why, indeed? Just many of them? The ones they see as not integrated? It seems that the definition of ‘integrated’ has been twisted into an unrecognised knot of ignorance and suspicion. This is couched racism and, as they parade their token Sikh spokesman before us in a gesture of false magnanimous ‘tolerance’, they betray all of their prejudice. They clearly have no idea bout the history of India if they do not realise why India was partitioned in the first place. It was a last act of destruction by the British, to ‘placate’ the Indian people, and arbitrarily separate the different religions, before we were thrown out more than 60 years ago. The religious turmoil and sectarian violence in India has caused unending problems for her people but it takes more than one side to have a battle. Islam is by no means the only religion that has caused harm and destruction. It has merely elbowed its way to the forefront and what with the US and the UK being at war with Islamic countries, the religion is ever more in the public eye
“We exist simply to pursue and extinguish an Islamist scourge, a scourge that has been left to fester and multiply like a malignant social cancer, with little intervention from our government who are at best apathetic, and are, at worst, willingly blind to the threat of militant Islam. When Anjem Choudary and his jihadist cohorts shouted abuse at our soldiers returning home from Iraq the united people of Luton took a stand against them. It was from that point onwards that the British people united for one cause: to highlight the danger of appeasing those who wish us harm, those who happily take from our welfare system, yet hate our country, our people and way of life. You may follow these events from this link here……“
It is garbage like this that causes social division and discord. The selection of sources below is but a fraction of the information available in the news archives to show that the EDL is just another fascist harbinger of hate and destruction. They may think that the government was being inactive but since when do the Police publish details of every case they investigate? Since when are the papers obliged to publish only the stories which flatter the lowest common denominators, fuel fear, confirm ignorance or condone violent acts? However much we have a problem with a lack of education within the Mosques of the UK, we have no right to curtail their right to practice their religion, persecute them or incite violence against Muslims. This includes abusive language and mob behaviour that causes valuable police resources to be used on crowd control and riot prevention due to THEIR antisocial behaviour. So, no. I have no sympathy for the fears of the EDL or its supporters because they are based on ignorance, intolerance and selfishness.
“For those taking to the streets of Leicester, the EDL is providing a new white nationalist identity through which they can understand an increasingly complex and alienating world. In a similar way to how football hooligans once coalesced around support for Ulster loyalism and hatred of the IRA, the followers of the EDL genuinely believe they are “defending” their Britain against the threat of Islam.”
The right has become organised; those of us who believe in a decent progressive society must make a vocal response against them. This is not a call to arms, it is a call to speak out against the far-right who would stamp and trample over the rights of any group they see as inferior. The National Front was a movement that should serve as a loud and clear warning as to what CAN happen when people abstain from their public duty to speak up for those in danger. It might be a different group and a different name but its the same fear and the same hate that drives them. As much as we atheists must step out, be counted and refuse to be cowed by religious institutions who seek to control our lives, we must speak out about these people. If Islam4UK has been banned for inciting terror and hate, then so must the EDL.
“The group has regional organisers and units emerging in most towns and cities. They bring together a dangerous cocktail of football hooligans, far-right activists and pub racists. Yet there is no national strategy to deal with this group and little understanding of what the EDL is about, its appeal and how it is just one component, albeit a violent one, of a growing cultural, religious and political battle that is emerging across western Europe and is supported by right-wing religious groups in the US.”
The league has also developed links with Pamela Geller, who was influential in the protests against plans to build an Islamic cultural centre near Ground Zero. Geller, darling of the Tea Party’s growing anti-Islamic wing, is advocating an alliance with the EDL. The executive director of the Stop Islamisation of America organisation, she recently met EDL leaders in New York and has defended the group’s actions, despite a recent violent march in Bradford. Home secretary Theresa May banned marches in the city last week but the EDL said its protest would proceed, raising fears of violence. Parts of Leicester were cordoned off to separate a counter-protest from Unite Against Fascism. Officers from 13 forces were on hand to maintain order.
“Shifren, a Californian senate candidate, said Britain’s Jewish community should rally behind the EDL: “The Jewish community is paralysed with fear, exactly what most radical Muslim agitators want. The people of England are in the forefront of this war – and it is a war. One of the purposes of this visit is to put the kibosh on the notion in the Jewish community that they cannot co-operate with the EDL, which is rubbish.””
If this is true (it probably isn’t considering who said it), then the reason the Jewish community are refusing to involve themselves with the EDL is because they see them for what they are; a rabble of ignorant thugs. The BBC has learned that four specialist national police units are investigating the EDL, including detectives with a background in watching hooliganism – but also extreme violence and terrorism. Those units are building up a picture of what the organisation is doing with the help of the British Transport Police and constabularies who have policed the demonstrations to date. I would recommend that if you live in the UK, you download that list of events so you can avoid those places. There are more effective ways of raising awareness than to face-off on the streets.
“Last week, 40 EDL followers protested for three days outside a KFC restaurant in Blackburn which was trialling halal meat. A fortnight before, 30 EDL followers in Gateshead held an impromptu demonstration outside a police station after six of their friends were arrested for burning the Qur’an; a similar number attacked a leftwing meeting in Newcastle. On the anniversary of 9/11, there were EDL actions in London, Nuneaton, Leeds and Oldham.”
There really is no need to go looking for a fist fight but they have proven that the belive themselves above the laws they say they hold so dear. As far as defeating them goes, we should adopt the tactic of merely spreading accurate information about them. We need to show people what they really are and destroy their support base by slamming doors in their faces rather by throwing bricks and trading insults. We ARE better than them and they DON’T represent us.
“The threat of the EDL and the wider cultural war must be taken seriously. That is why we will soon be establishing a broad-based group to formulate a response.”
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/oct/10/john-cruddas-english-defence-league (Jon Cruddas is the Labour MP for Dagenham and Rainham)