…and no better… [For Dion]

For Dion & the Melbourne Dumb Punx…

    “No offence but honestly who gives a shit about some skinhead in Russia.” Nowave, Melbourne Punx Forum, October 2008
    “If Russians are so interesting to you, move to Russia.” ~ Fruitsalad, Melbourne Punx Forum, October 2008
    “As I stated on the Bombshell forum Andy, you are a liar, a hypocrite and no better than the trash that you fight against.” ~ Dion, December, 2007
    Anarchy is a fag. Thanx to the people who have supported us… and to the random people letting us know about this anarchist knobjockey Mr Moran.” ~ Chunga (The Worst), September 2007

Moscow’s mean streets
Ed Bentley
Moscow News (No.35, 2009)
September 14, 2009

The country’s Africans know that the capital is no place to let your guard down.

“I knew folks who lost their lives,” said Nigerian-born JK Samson. “Attacks, fights, even in the lecture room and with lecturers, just name it.”

A survey last month by the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy (MPC) found that 58.5 per cent of the African community had been physically attacked in the capital, while human rights group Sova reported no fewer than 23 victims, including three fatalities, of racist and neo-Nazi attacks in August in the Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kirov and Ufa regions.

The majority of incidents “took place on the day of the VDV (Airborne Troops) celebration, which is traditionally marked by mass disorders and fights of drunken VDV veterans, including racially motivated incidents,” Sova said in their August monthly bulletin published on their web site.

People of non-Slavic appearance are advised by the MPC to lay low on these days and avoid travelling on the metro four hours before and after football or hockey matches, particularly on the red or green lines.

All people of non-Slavic appearance are also advised to remain extra vigilant on April 21, when [bone]heads mark Hitler’s birthday.

A Moscow-based Western DJ, who asked not to be named, said he “made the mistake of taking the same train they [(bone)heads] were taking to a soccer match and that was a nightmare. The escalator was full of [bone]heads in black jackets.” Now, he says, he doesn’t have a particular problem with racism.

Meanwhile Buster, an African-American who worked on his dissertation in the capital until June 2008, created “Moscow Through Brown Eyes”, a [great!] blog which dispenses advice to people of colour planning to visit Russia. Despite not being attacked, Buster warned that visitors should take the recommendations of other residents “very seriously”.

Back in the 1990s, the DJ was rescued from his encounter with [bone]heads by a policeman who put him in a secure room till the crowd dispersed. Others, however, have found the opposite to be the case and been persecuted by the police themselves.

Less than 15 per cent of the respondents on the MPC survey said they had a good or very good relationship with the police while some 25 per cent said items had been stolen by the police. Communication is often the key and Robert K. Bronkema from the MPC said in a telephone interview that “if you speak Russian there is a very high possibility of being helped [by the police].”

The MPC’s task force can also assist those that don’t speak good Russian file a police report and help them get medical attention as well as contact the relevant embassy.

One consular officer from an African embassy was reluctant to speak, feeling the problems weren’t unique to Moscow, but did offer some advice.

“When people come to Moscow they should conduct themselves well, not go to dangerous zones where they are likely to be attacked, such as train stations,” he said.

Much of the advice is common sense: avoid underground passages late at night; don’t travel alone; and avoid groups of teenage boys with shaved heads. Attitude and appearance are another important factor, according to both the DJ and Buster.

“I tried to maintain a serious appearance – I wore a collared shirt and always carried a briefcase (even when there was nothing inside of it) to look professional,” Buster wrote.

Despite the problems, racism has fallen since its boom in the 1990s and early 2000s, according to the survey.

“Race relations between the African and Russian communities have generally improved [but] the situation remains bad” the report said…

    Elsewhere in Eastern Europe…

Belgrade prepared for Pride
Lyndon Barnett
Sydney Star Observer
September 15, 2009

The first and last time gay activists staged a Pride parade in Belgrade, [bone]heads and Serbian nationalists attacked the demonstrators. The thugs shouted, “We do not want gays in Serbia,” and “Long live the Serbian kingdom.” The authorities failed to protect the protesters from injury.

Eight years on, gay activists are determined to hold a second Pride parade in the Serbian capital, scheduled for this Saturday. Pride organiser Majda Puaca, 29, believes there have been considerable developments since 2001…

    Also in Serbia…

Human rights activists under threat in Serbia
Amnesty International
September 14, 2009

Human rights defenders are under attack in Serbia and the authorities are failing to protect them, Amnesty International said on Monday.

Over the past year women human rights activists have faced repeated attacks in the Serbian media including being threatened with lynching.

Such attacks are made by parliamentarians, members of ultra-right organizations and members of the security services indicted for war crimes. Other defenders have had their property destroyed, their offices attacked or been beaten by members of neo-Nazi groups.

“Physical attacks and threats to the lives and property of human rights activists are seldom promptly and impartially investigated by the authorities and few perpetrators are brought to justice,” said Sian Jones, Amnesty International’s Balkans expert…

See : Serbia: Human Rights Defenders At Risk, Amnesty International, September 2009 [PDF].

    In the Czech Republic…

Respekt: Police fail to protect victims of neo-Nazi threats
ČTK
September 15, 2009

Prague, Sept 14 (CTK) – The Czech police have in the past two decades learnt ways to dissolve neo-Nazi concerts and demonstrations, but they are still incapable of protecting victims of neo-Nazi threats, the weekly Respekt writes Monday.

A door doused with petrol, an SMS threatening with slitting the addressee’s throat, a few kicks in his abdomen and similar messages that Czech right-wing extremists send to local Romanies and to their critics from among the majority population are alarming, but no one is capable of protecting the threats’ victims though the perpetrators’ identity is often known or close to evident, Katerina Copjakova and Bara Prochazkova write in the magazine…

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2018 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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