Monday, October 09, 2006
Spot The Similarities
Alec McFadden was dozing in his armchair when a loud bang on his front door brought him to his senses with a jolt. Looking out of the window of his Wallasey home, he saw a young man half slumped in the driveway. "I couldn't see his face but he looked like he was in some sort of trouble, like he needed help," says McFadden. "I opened the door just a bit to ask if he was OK and he threw himself at me and started hitting me around the head." What McFadden did not realise at the time was that he was not being punched but stabbed. "I think it went on for a couple of minutes before I managed to get the door closed. I turned round and my daughter was screaming. It was only then, as I put my hand to my face and felt the blood, that I realised what had happened." The attack, which left the long-time union activist with serious injuries, was the latest and most violent incident in a campaign of intimidation that has been waged against opponents of the far right in the UK over the past five years. Like hundreds of people who have spoken out against the rise of the British National Party and other extremist groups, McFadden's picture and home address have been collected by far right activists and posted on a website called Redwatch. The site, which has links with the neo-Nazi organisation Combat 18 and a host of European fascist organisations, is hosted in the US but registered and run from the UK. It lists the personal details and shows the photographs of anti-racists - many taken during protests against the British National Party - alongside the slogan: "Remember places, traitors' faces, they'll all pay for their crimes."Example #2:
...The Nuremberg Files Web site does not explicitly threaten violence to any one person, but it does provide potentially life-threatening information to any radical anti-abortionists looking for a target. This became important evidence for the jury, because the judge granted the jury permission to evaluate the site in the context of the growing trend of violence against abortion providers.... On the Web site, the names of abortion providers who have died are struck out and the names of those who have been injured are grayed out. Dr. Barnett Slepian is one of the doctors listed. Last fall, just hours after Slepian was shot to death by a sniper in his home, his name was struck out on the page.Example #3:
A former male House page from Louisiana has received threats since reports surfaced Friday that former Rep. Mark Foley sent him inappropriate e-mails, another congressman said Monday night. “This teenager and his family have gone through hell,” GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander of Louisiana said.More on Example #3:
An obscure right-wing blogger, Wild Bill, has outed one of Mark Foley’s victims, a former Congressional page. It is a despicable act. Wild Bill however, gets almost no traffic, so the damage done to the victim’s life could have been minimal. All that ended, however, when some of the most highly-trafficked right-wing bloggers decided to direct their readers to Wild Bill’s site. First, Roger L. Simon, co-founder and CEO of Pajamas Media — a portal and advertising broker for nearly every major right-wing blog — posted a link to Wild Bill on his personal site. (The Pajamas Media portal also linked to Wild Bill.) Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit — probably the most highly-trafficked right-wing blog — followed suit by linking to Simon’s post and the Pajamas Media post.If you said "These are all the acts of violence-inciting right-wing nutjobs who want to get others to do their dirty work for them", give yourself a pat on the back. And I didn't even reference the infamous FreeRepublic.com posting of the credit card information for the manager of Chuy's Bar in Austin, part of the Freepers' revenge against the place where the Bush twins were turned in to the cops by the staff for underage drinking and generally being drunk and obnoxious.
There is nothing, not death itself, that is more frightening than the prospect of thugs like those, gaining legitimacy.
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