The scandal of stop and search

Respect's Lee Jasper argues that the Tory-led coalition has purged all traces of anti-racism and multiculturalism while following the French model

May I apologise in advance dear reader this is rather long article. It seeks to deal with issues that a rarely covered elsewhere in any depth and so by its very nature has become a complex read. I hope nevertheless you will take the time to read it as I have laboured long in writing this for you. Get a cup of tea, relax and put your feet up.

You will no doubt not completely agree with all I have written here, but in prompting debate its important that there is compelling argument. 

I didn’t submit a consultation response to the Governments snap 8 week summer consultation on the police power of stop and search. After 30 years of an almost relentless rise in rates of stop and search under Tory, Labour and now a Tory led Coalition Government and countless consultations I really didn't see much point. 
There are number of other reasons why I chose not to formally submit a view, but primary among them was that I, along with many of Britain’s black communities, have zero confidence in the Government’s commitment to tackle racism either more broadly or within the criminal justice system in particular. 

Is she serious about reform? 
This Tory led Coalition government has engaged in an ideologically driven purge that has seen the gradual elimination and eradication of all traces of anti-racism or multiculturalism in Government policy. As far as race is concerned the Prime Minister has adopted the French model in dealing with racism  and determined no special provision, no focus on difference, no special interest group’s agenda’s and has given the issue zero political priority

This has seen the dismissal of all national Black and ethnic minority consultation forums, the proscription of single ethnic funding for disadvantaged groups and promoted the most disgraceful demonization of immigrant communities. In addition, they have enfeebled the Equalities Human Rights Commission removing Black and Asian Commissioner’s, slashed budgets and sacked workers. They have made a bonfire of legal aid cuts and left black people with no ability to easily or affordably access or enforce our rights to be protected from racism and unlawful discrimination.

Suffering under the Israeli-Egyptian siege of Gaza

Waiting to pass the Rafah crossing

From Shahd Abusalama, courtesy of the Electronic Intifada. Shahd blogs as Palestine From My Eyes
As I write, I am supposed to be somewhere in the sky, among the clouds, flying to Istanbul to begin my graduate studies. But I could not catch my flight, as I am still trapped in the besieged Gaza Strip, sitting in darkness during the power cuts caused by fuel crisis, trying to squeeze out my thoughts during what is left of my laptop’s charge.

As much as I am attached to Gaza City, where I was born and spent all 22 years of my life, each day I spend trapped in it makes me despise living here. Each day that passes makes me more desperate to set myself free outside this big, open-air prison. Each day makes me unable to stand the mounting injustice, torment, brutality and humiliation.

I have never experienced as many extreme ups and downs as I did this month. Despite the hardships throughout September, I also had some immensely happy moments. I think I will remember them the rest of my life. 

This is life in Gaza: highs amid lows, everything in the balance, nothing secure from day to day, no plans, no guarantees.

The silent military coup which took over Washington

This time it's Syria, last time it was Iraq. 

Vietnam dioxin
Children, many of whose deformities are believed to be the results of the chemical dioxin that the US used in the Vietnam war, play outside a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Photograph: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

On my wall is the Daily Express front page of September 5 1945 and the words: "I write this as a warning to the world." So began Wilfred Burchett's report from Hiroshima. It was the scoop of the century. For his lone, perilous journey that defied the US occupation authorities, Burchett was pilloried, not least by his embedded colleagues. He warned that an act of premeditated mass murder on an epic scale had launched a new era of terror.
Almost every day now, he is vindicated. The intrinsic criminality of the atomic bombing is borne out in the US National Archives and by the subsequent decades of militarism camouflaged as democracy. The Syria psychodrama exemplifies this. Yet again we are held hostage by the prospect of a terrorism whose nature and history even the most liberal critics still deny. The great unmentionable is that humanity's most dangerous enemy resides across the Atlantic.

The Killing of Tony Blair becomes reality

"Some people make a living, others make a killing''

George Galloway's documentary on Tony Blair green lit

Less than a week after announcing he was planning to make a documentary on the 'crimes' of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, George Galloway's project has raised almost all of the initial funding.

As of today almost £39,000 of the £50,000 asked for - around 80% of requested budget - has been pledged on the Kickstarter site. It is anticipated that the target may be reached as early as the end of this week, with more than 30 days still to go on the appeal.

'It's a fantastic response,' said the Bradford West MP. 'It just shows that the general public want to see Blair exposed. I hope that with the evidence we produce in this film it will end up with him being tried for war crimes in the Hague.'

The documentary, presented by Galloway, will describe how Tony Blair, in Galloway's words, killed the Labour party, was guilty of killing a million people in Iraq and Afghanistan, and came out of it all to make his own financial killing.

George Galloway's barnstorming speech on Syria

George Galloway made a crucial intervention in the debate in the British parliament opposing the attack on Syria. The government, which was confident on winning the debate, lost the vote.

Members of Parliament had been recalled, at vast public expense, for the debate on Thursday.

The Hidden Genocide of Muslims

by Diane Weber Bederman

I've been reading about the war in Burma/Myanmar. It's a conflict between the Buddhist Burmese majority and approximately 800,000 Rohingya Muslims in the Arakan (Rakhine) State. They are among the world's least wanted and most persecuted people.

I'll try to explain what's happening. The Media have been remiss in reporting the story.

"Human Rights Watch accused authorities in Burma, including Buddhist monks, of fomenting an organized campaign of ethnic cleansing against the country's Rohingya Muslim minority that killed hundreds of people and forced 125,000 from their homes," This campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State has been going on since June 2012. October 2012, tens of thousands of Muslims were terrorized and forcibly relocated, denied access to humanitarian aid and have been unable to return home. It's a humanitarian crisis.

Most of us are familiar with Buddhist monks self-immolating in the name of freedom but I don't see any of that going on in Burma in the name of freedom for the Muslims.

Parliament recalled for war vote

Members of Parliament have been called back from their holidays to discuss and vote on Thursday whether Britain should take part in military action against Syria.

George Galloway has already expressed his typically forthright opinion.

“Wag the Dog” – The Sequel Set in Syria

Over the last couple of weeks a western-backed (and armed) military junta slaughtered many hundreds of Egyptians in broad daylight live on television. The death toll, still concealed, may have been thousands.

The west confined itself to disapproving words and calls for “restraint” on “both sides” – even though the victims were unarmed.

In Syria hundreds of people have just been slaughtered in circumstances which are entirely unclear, and the west is about to launch (in our case without parliamentary approval with the prime minister acting from a beach in Cornwall) a military attack with entirely unforeseen consequences on Damascus.

There is a “Wag the Dog” element about this, and indeed the war of President Clinton’s penis satirised in that masterful award-winning movie has already proved a handy diversion from Egypt before its even started.

It is entirely implausible that the Syrian regime chose the moment of the arrival of a UN chemical weapons inspection team to launch a chemical attack on an insurgency already suffering reverse after reverse on the battlefield and steadily losing international support with each new video showing them eating the hearts of slain soldiery and sawing of the heads of Christian priests with bread knives.

In the absence of conclusive evidence one would have to believe that the Assad regime was mad as well as bad to have launched such a chemical attack at a time when it is in less danger than it has been for almost a year. I do not believe that Bashar is mad.

Is Islamophobia a form of racism

Is Islamophobia a form of racism: from the History of Al-Andalus to Fanon’s Zone of Being and Zone of Non Being.
Professor Ramon Grosfoguel, one of the leading de-colonial thinkers and academics of the contemporary world, is an associate professor in the Ethics Study Department of the University of California, Berkeley. He has been instrumental in setting up de-colonial projects around the world.
In his lecture given on 12 December 2012 at the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Professor Grosfoguel discusses the historical development of racism and issues related to the concept of Islamophobia.
The rise of Islamic discourse and Islamophobia in Europe has become very prominent over the last ten years. This lecture is particularly relevant as Islamophobia is not widely accepted as a form of racism. For example, the French government opposes and actively blocks Islamophobia as racism on the grounds that racism is colour discrimination.
Grosfoguel provides a concise history of the emergence of racism in order to more clearly define the notion of racism, historically not semantically.

Greatness to Genocide - why is our Ummah suffering?

"The road to genocide", "Missing Muslim narrative" and "how Islam became colonised" are a few groundbreaking talks!

A manifesto we can embrace

The suggested manifesto below - cribbed from a letter to the Guardian and aimed at Labour (no chance there then!) - is surely the perfect one for Respect?

The Labour party seems to be in search of an identity and a policy agenda. About time too. Here are some suggestions for a manifesto, all of which look like common sense.

Repeal all the coalition's NHS legislation and start all over again. Impose effective regulation of privatised utilities, capping their profits and prices. Take the railways back into public ownership as the franchises end. Abandon PFI and find ways of terminating the existing contracts. Stop privatising. It is only "efficient" at maximising profit for private vested interests. Cap rents in the private sector and begin a substantial social housing programme. Make the living wage mandatory, thereby transferring costs from the public purse to the firms who are currently subsidised by the taxpayer. Stop persecuting the unemployed and disabled, and sack Atos.

Clean out the Augean stables of HMRC, start collecting taxes from the rich and shift taxation from basic income and everyday consumption towards property. Abandon Trident and new aircraft carriers, and convert shipyards and nuclear weapons facilities to producing green energy technologies. Stop fracking. Invest in home insulation, which will reduce demand for gas and electricity and create jobs. Mount a full investigation into the illicit activities of the police and special branch, especially as directed against innocent activists. Ban lobbying and remove private interests from direct influence on government. Implement Leveson.

These are modest proposals, and should win votes. But it would be good to see a political party proposing policies because they are the right thing to do.

John WaltonLancaster