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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 212.219.63.206
Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 03:18 pm:   

My wife, Jessica, arrived at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn late last week to watch one of the films being shown as part of The Jewish Film Festival. An anti-Israel demonstration was in progress outside the venue. Fair enough, it's a free country and protest is a legitimate part of British life.

Sadly, there were some thuggish elements among the demonstrators and when Jessica tried to engage some of the protestors in dialogue, she first had a megphone shoved right up to her ear and was almost deafened by a torrent of abuse. Then the megaphone wielder rammed the business end of the instrument into her face with enough violence to knock her to the ground and cause her some facial injury. She was taken to hospital in an ambulance and had to spend the night under observation.

My mind is filled with images of brown-shirted louts kicking the life out of innocent men and women on the pavements of Berlin, Munich and the rest...this is not the first time Jessica has been subjected to anti-Semitic abuse. A frightening trend.

Just had to share this with you all.

Regards
Terry

PS: The Jewish films covered a wide variety of subjects and were extremely balanced. They were in no way propganda for any particular cause, jsut good, entertaining films.
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.145.221.52
Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 04:36 pm:   

I really hope she's ok. It's scary what's going on in our country at the moment. The far right is gaining far too much momentum because the mainstream parties all appear to be exactly the same with no believable messages of change. I'm not saying that the far right are believable, just that they seem to the uneducated to be the only parties offering anything different.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 05:20 pm:   

Blame the greed of bankers and corporate fat cats over the last hundred years, backed by their conservative crony politicians, for the gradual undermining of societal human values and the escalating fear, suspicion and hatred we are witnessing gain control of the collective human consciousness in these days of global hangover and stark realisation of what is coming down the line. The divisions and taking of sides are only going to get all the more extreme. It's the way people react when they are in mortal terror.
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Simon Bestwick (Simon_b)
Username: Simon_b

Registered: 10-2008
Posted From: 213.106.77.123
Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 06:00 pm:   

That's fucking appalling. Terry, I'm so sorry to hear this. I hope Jessica's okay. There's no justification for disgusting behaviour like that. I hope the person who assaulted her can be identified and brought to book.

Marc - sadly it's more likely to be a far-left demo than far-right. Although the likes of the SWP have cosied up so thoroughly with some radical Muslim types whose politics are pretty much far-right by any other name. (And that's not an attempt to tar legitimate criticism of Israel's government and its police with the anti-semitic brush - just a statement of fact.)
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Weber (Weber_gregston)
Username: Weber_gregston

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 82.145.221.70
Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 07:31 pm:   

For far right, read extremist in that case. That point on the dark side of the political circle where left and right meet.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 178.116.59.171
Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 08:27 pm:   

Things haven't deteriorated that badly over here in Belgium. But we're getting there fast.
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Carolinec (Carolinec)
Username: Carolinec

Registered: 06-2009
Posted From: 92.237.187.186
Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 01:19 am:   

Oh no, Terry, that's awful! I hope your wife's recovering well. Disgusting - to be subjected to that.
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 212.219.63.206
Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 10:32 am:   

Thanks folks. I will pass on your concerns and support. Ther is a lot I have to say about this, but I need to think and let my blood cool a little before putting it in writing.

Cheers
Terry
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 212.219.63.206
Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 10:42 am:   

But the last film we saw at the Festial did restore our faith in human nature - it was the all-but untold story of how ordinary Albanians (mostly Muslims and Catholics) sheltered thousands of Jews during the Nazi occupation of their country. Very few Jews were discovered and deported from Albania. It was an astonishing story, made poignant by the presence of a Professor Epstein in the audience who was, herself (as an Austrian Jew), given refuge in Albania during the war.
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Mark West (Mark_west)
Username: Mark_west

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 62.253.243.90
Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 12:38 pm:   

Really sorry to hear that Terry, hope she's recovering well.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 04:00 pm:   

What draws individuals into bloodthirsty hate-filled mobs where they lose all sense of perspective and empathy?

Is it Fear, a perceived sense of Injustice, personal Inadequacy, where the need to belong negates all higher instincts, or is it a pure love of Confrontation and Violence when one's life appears devoid of meaning and Bitterness takes over? Or is it all of them together dancing to a Chaotic beat?

Reasonable thinking people, like your wife, Terry, who (perhaps ill-advisedly) attempt to engage in debate with such a mindless mob will always come off badly. It is the nature of the Beast.

How is she now?
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.148.134.215
Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 07:07 pm:   

Very sorry to hear that, Terry - hope Jessica can push past this. Awful thing to have happened; I really find myself unable to understand the small-mindedness of people who can find nothing better to do than bully those perceived as 'different' to them, for whatever reason.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 92.13.92.205
Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 11:06 pm:   

That's dreadful, Terry - give her my best.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 08:02 am:   

God, the world sucks, sometimes....
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Stu (Stu)
Username: Stu

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 90.244.39.140
Posted on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 12:22 pm:   

Really sorry to hear this, Terry. I hope Jessica's okay.
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Peterc (Peterc)
Username: Peterc

Registered: 12-2012
Posted From: 86.146.175.71
Posted on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 10:49 pm:   

The real culprits are probably not the the 'far right'. More likely Arab thugs and their UAF friends.
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Mbfg (Mbfg)
Username: Mbfg

Registered: 09-2010
Posted From: 86.27.114.151
Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 12:19 am:   

Jessica is basically okay. Badly bruised, battered and shaken, but already fighting back and drawing lessons and philosophical arguments from the experience and what it represents. She is a fearless campaigner and a skilled and lucid commentator on many issues

The police are going ahead with a prosecution, which is surprising but good news.

I really want to thank you all for your messages of support, no matter your own views on the subject at the root of this incident. Jessica does as well. I feel very touched by the way everyone has drawn together on this. Not bad for a bunch of eccentric horror writers and readers eh?
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 11:33 am:   

That's great to hear, Terry. Here's hoping they throw the book at this thug.
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Joel (Joel)
Username: Joel

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 217.37.199.45
Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013 - 01:31 pm:   

Very sorry to hear this, Terry, and I hope Jessica is recovering well.

The politics around disputes of this kind are murky for example, while the Socialist Party insists that the rights of Arabs and Jews alike should be defended within a broader platform of class solidarity, the Communist Party and the SWP insist that 'zionism' is the great evil that must be fought with every available weapon. The SWP has published blatantly and crudely anti-Semitic articles in recent years.

Unite Against Fascism is a complex united front with a layer of excellent anti-racist activists (many also involved in Amnesty International) and a dangerous anti-Semitic fellow traveller element... and a leadership that seems unable to tell the difference. UAF once refused to distribute a Searchlight pamphlet that criticised Islamic fundamentalism one of many departures from its core principles that have arisen from its opportunist SWP leadership.

But while I've seen blatant anti-Semitism masquerading as Palestine solidarity in recent years, I've also seen brutal anti-Muslim conservatism from right-wing Jewish activists including one guy who harangued a SP stall about how a group of unarmed aid workers slaughtered in cold blood by Israeli soldiers were "TURKS" and therefore obviously deserved to die. he also insisted that any talk of Israel violating human rights was a smokescreen created to distract attention from the evil of Iran.

The bottom line is that no faction that disregards human rights deserves support though a given political movement may be a complex mix of factions.

I hope the prosecution has some impact.

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