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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Cornish nationalists protest against World Cup England flags (UK)

Cornish nationalists have launched a bid to stop England flags being sold in the county’s shops in the run-up to the World Cup.

The Kernow branch of the Celtic League has even vowed to take on Tesco, with some activists calling for a boycott.

In its bid to stop ‘Englishness being forced on Cornwall by sup­ermarkets’ it has set up a campaign on Facebook – but has so far attracted only 55 members.

Even Mebyon Kernow, the Party for Cornwall which has three seats on the county’s council, refused to back the headline-grabbing campaign.
MK councillor Andrew Long said he was not offended by St George flags. He stopped short of criticising the campaign but said there were ‘more imp­ortant things to be dealing with’. He added: ‘We are a multi-cultural party who believe in respecting other peoples’ culture and tradition while encouraging Cornish culture.’
But Michael Chappell of the Celtic League said he had received ‘many complaints about the oncoming flood of St George flags’.

He added: ‘This is a foreign flag here and can be quite insulting to some.

‘If Cornwall had its own sports teams I am sure we would see more of our own flags [pictured] rather than foreign English ones,’ said Mr Chappell, adding he hoped England would ‘fall by the wayside early in the competition’.

Metro UK


Hundreds of gay and lesbian activists, some dressed in drag and others sporting multicolored flags representing sexual diversity, marched and danced through the streets of Havana on Saturday along with the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro as part of a celebration aimed at eliminating homophobia around the world. Some of the marchers played drums and others walked on stilts as they made their way down a wide avenue in the capital's hip Vedado neighborhood, where they have held a series of debates and workshops ahead of the May 17 celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, which participants say marks the day in 1990 when the World Health Organization stopped listing homosexuality as a mental illness. "We have made progress, but we need to make more progress," said Mariela Castro, a campaigner for gay rights on the island and the leader of Cuba's National Sexual Education Center. She is also the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro. Cuba has come a long way in accepting homosexuality. In the 1960s, shortly after the revolution, homosexuals were fired from state jobs and many were imprisoned or sent to work camps. Others fled into exile. But that began to change in the 1980s, in large part to the work of Mariela Castro's center. Recently, the government has even agreed to include sex change operations for transsexuals under its free national health system, another project championed by the center. The workshops and debates held Saturday dealt with issues such as adoption by gay and lesbian couples and whether to legalize gay marriages, a step Mariela Castro has been pushing for years, so far without success. The week of celebrations culminates Monday.


Apartheid fighter Frederik van Zyl Slabbert dies (South Africa)

South Africa's governing African National Congress has paid tribute to the apartheid-era politician Frederik van Zyl Slabbert who has died aged 70.

Mr Slabbert was best known for his efforts in the late 1980s to open up dialogue between Afrikaners and the then-exiled ANC.
He was one of the few members of South Africa's white-dominated parliament to oppose apartheid.

The ANC said he had made an "indelible mark" in fighting white minority rule.

Mr Slabbert was apparently only persuaded to stand for office after a hard night's drinking.

But having been elected in 1974, he became leader of the Progressive Federal Party.

In 1985, he travelled to Zambia for talks with the still-banned ANC in an unsuccessful bid to get the government to negotiate with all political groups.

The following year, much to his colleagues' surprise, he quit politics saying he refused to be "in the slipstream of the government's repression and incompetence".

Mr Slabbert then formed the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa - which aimed to bring resistance groups and influential white figures together.

Much to the government's fury in 1987, he lead a group of 60 influential white South Africans to Senegal where they held talks with an ANC delegation.

BBC News


Organizations representing Hungary's gypsies, or Roma, have expressed concerns about a new wave of violence against the minority in the country and the entry of a far right party in parliament. Activists held a rare rally to express concern about these developments. Hundreds of people braved heavy rain to attend a picnic at Budapest's City Park on Saturday for gypsies, also known as Roma, and non-Roma. The gathering, which also included music from mainly Roma performers, was aimed at easing tensions between the two communities. Organizers say they are very concerned about the recent rise of the far right elements in Hungary and violence against Roma. They referred to the Movement for a Better Hungary, or Jobbik, which officially entered parliament this week as the country's third political force, after recent elections. Jobbik has been criticized for verbal attacks against Roma. The party also supports the banned paramilitary group Magyar Garda, or Hungarian Guard, which marched through Roma villages.

The Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre says these and other groups are contributing to an atmosphere of hatred towards Hungary's up to 800,000 Roma. The organization's Programmes Director Tara Bedard told VOA there have been fire bombings against Roma families in recent weeks. Nobody was injured but she said the violence resembled earlier deadly attacks. "In the last two years nine people, nine Roma, have been murdered in Hungary," said Bedard. "The persons believed to be responsible for those attacks have been taken into police custody. And the trial of those individuals have not yet started. But since those individuals were taken into police custody, numerous attacks have taken place in the meanwhile. Most recently in March and April there were a number of attacks targeting Roma in two different locations in the country." Activists say Roma, who often lack adequate housing and basic facilities, are suffering from attacks and discrimination across Europe. Roma and non-Roma standing in line for traditional Hungarian Goulash soup, and bread, during Saturday's picnic in Budapest, told VOA they want to help end tensions.

The event's chief organizer Eszter Eva Nagy agrees. "There is a lot of hidden tension, she said. "And if we can speak about those things, or if we can just spend one nice afternoon together with another, different person, I think it's something we want to reach." Nagy says she was inspired to organize Saturday's rare picnic by her previous experiences in the United States, where she worked as a volunteer for the election campaign of President Barack Obama. Just as Mr. Obama became the first U.S. African-American president, she hopes qualified Roma will one day be able to take a more prominent role in Hungary's political life and help create a more peaceful future for the country.

VoA news