Tuesday, November 29, 2005


And when a child is born
Into this world It has no concept Of the tone of skin it's living in And there’s a million voices And there’s a million voices Neneh Cherry
Post your words, poetry, quotes or thoughts for Blog against Racism Day today, in the comments section of this post. Critisisms of other people's work will be deleted. For discussion and yes, if you must, arguments on the issue please go to Blog against Racism
With luck, the discussion engendered will endure past midnight on December 2. Via Creek Running North

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Everywhere I go in my city I see people. Everywhere. Hundreds and hundreds of people. All of them unknown to me. I travel on overcrowded buses and trains. I shop in busy supermarkets. I go to cafes, to bars, to offices. Everywhere I go I see more people. Most of my life outside my house is spent mingling  with strangers. I see multitudes of faces. Young and old and the in-betweens. I see expressions of sadness and worry and bitterness etched on some; Joy and laughter written on others. I hear hundreds of voices meeting and mixing in foreign languages and native tongues. I see colours of skin that challenge any simple categories of black and white and yellow. I see clothes that reflect multitudes of personalities, religious beliefs and musical tastes. I smell food being prepared with herbs and spices that make my mouth water. Coriander, oregano, frying onions and garlic mixed with the scent of jasmine that grows everywhere. What I don't see is invading hordes of mud people, savages and rats. I do not see villains and murderers and terrorists on every street corner. I do not feel sick when I smell curry or wonton soup. I do not see chinks and pakis and niggers and fags and greedy jews. I do not see uppity women and lesbos out to get me. I do not see marauding arabs and dirty muslims. I do not see spics and gypos  and darkies and abos and half castes. I do not see threats and violations in the eyes of every stranger. My world is vastly different to many. I live in a world where my heritage and upbringing has given me an insight into difference. I can look into someone else's eyes and see myself because I know who I am. I am free to make friendships with people different to me because I trust that people have good intentions. I am able to speak about my own experiences without insulting entire races/religions because I see people and not categories. I am able to live in a way most people would want to because I do not judge on the basis of arbitrary details  like height or weight or colour. I can try and walk a mile in someone else's shoes because I feel safe in my own. I write this for Blog against Racism Day (December 1st) and to counter  some of the hateful words that have been written about me and  others who don't happen to fit into the white male mould. We "others" cannot stop racism alone. We can shout about it, scream about it, fight it, kick it, ignore it or lie down and let it run us down. Stamping out racism is going to take  a commitment from each and everyone of us, and that means everyone; especially those who DON"T have to think about it everyday. This blog day is brought to you by Creek Running North

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Friday, November 25, 2005


Apologies for the absence and lack of new posts this week. I was attacked by some horrible virus. Anyway, I'm back and here is some more food for thought from Athens News. An article by John Psaropoulos on the different perspectives of first and second generation immigrants and their host societies. "It is the second generation, which attends Greek schools, has Greek friends and grows up with Greek television, music and books, that will seek - and become aware of its success or failure in seeking - sameness." As always, comments and insights are  welcome.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005


"For today’s teenagers here in Greece, the word “Albanian” is tantamount to a four-letter word. Both Greeks and Albanians agree on this, as was confirmed by a recent poll of students in the Grava schools in Galatsi and in other areas, such as Kypseli and Metaxourgeio" Kathimerini focuses on young peoples views on racism today in the features section. "When a foreign car driver caused the death of a Greek motorcyclist two years ago, young Greeks took to the roads at night and attacked any person of color whom they chanced upon. Journalists reported the incident with a discreet sympathy and understanding for the insurgent Greeks." See also the article on the exaggerated press focus on crimes committed by foreigners.

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Monday, November 21, 2005


It appears that the two men were shot, with a hunting rifle, by someone inside the Golden Dawn offices . The rest of the article from Kathimerini here

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A  place for people to post their various questions about blogger and blogging in general. Also for html hints and whatever other techie questions people might have. I will try and help if I can or anyone who knows the answers can post. I will make a permanent link to this page in the sidebar.

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Sunday, November 20, 2005


Two people were shot last night during an attack on the extreme nationalist Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) offices in Athens. It is not clear who did the shooting. Brief details here from ERT

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I don't often do links to issues outside Greece but this film caught my attention. Searching for Angela Shelton

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Thursday, November 17, 2005


From STOPNOW Trafficking of people against their will is slavery. In Greece today, there are approximately 20,000 women forced into the sex industry. For more visit the website from the link above.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Today is the International Day for Tolerance. Please spend some time today thinking about what tolerance means for you and for everyone. Then send me your thoughts. I would like to do a follow up post of your messages (if there are any!) From UNESCO Declaration of Principles on Tolerance signed by the member states in 1995. Article 1 - Meaning of tolerance 1.1 Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. It is fostered by knowledge, openness, communication, and freedom of thought, conscience and belief. Tolerance is harmony in difference. It is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement. Tolerance, the virtue that makes peace possible, contributes to the replacement of the culture of war by a culture of peace. 1.2 Tolerance is not concession, condescension or indulgence. Tolerance is, above all, an active attitude prompted by recognition of the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. In no circumstance can it be used to justify infringements of these fundamental values. Tolerance is to be exercised by individuals, groups and States. 1.3 Tolerance is the responsibility that upholds human rights, pluralism (including cultural pluralism), democracy and the rule of law. It involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism and affirms the standards set out in international human rights instruments. 1.4 Consistent with respect for human rights, the practice of tolerance does not mean toleration of social injustice or the abandonment or weakening of one's convictions. It means that one is free to adhere to one's own convictions and accepts that others adhere to theirs. It means accepting the fact that human beings, naturally diverse in their appearance, situation, speech, behaviour and values, have the right to live in peace and to be as they are. It also means that one's views are not to be imposed on others. For more go here

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Friday, November 11, 2005


This is my 100th post. Happy blogging celebration to me. According to the new European Social Survey, Greece is the least welcoming country in Europe as far as foreigners are concerned. We already knew that though, didn't we? When asked if foreigners make the country worse, 64% said they did. Double the average. When asked whether migrants should be allowed to settle here, 27% said none. Double the average. When asked whether foreigners from poor countries should be allowed to come and live here, eight out of ten said no. Double the average. 60% of europeans said that immigrants were good for the economy. Almost 60% (57%) of Greeks said they were not. This is not a recent change of heart. The last European Social survey in 2002 was pretty much the same. So, not much of that famous greek φιλοξενία (hospitality) if you are foreign and actually want to live here. Yes, I know; "if you don't like it go home", "you know where the airport is" etc. (just thought I would save you the trouble of writing it) Greece is relatively new to multiculturalism and has not had decades of discussion and education on the issues. Many people are starting to have these debates which is positive to see. Unfortunately, for the foreigners here now, the majority opinion seems to be against them. I just hope our efforts will make things better for our children. By the way, November 16th is International Day for Tolerance

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Today is the International Day Against Fascism and Anti-Semitism.

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Blogger has just introduced comment moderation, whereby comments can be seen by the blog owner first. I have mixed feelings about this facility. On the one hand, I was really pleased that I have that possibility if I felt people were abusing my blog. However, this could be seen as censorship. I could angle the debate towards my own views if I was so inclined. Now there's a thought... I think for now I will stick with the old way and just delete abusive comments. It looks quite dramatic at least. What do you all think?

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Monday, November 07, 2005


For those interested in facts about asylum seekers and refugees in Britain and the truth behind those screaming tabloid headlines. Go to Don't Believe the Type

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Sunday, November 06, 2005


I came across this appalling story today. Abuse of children, calls for segregation. Just when you thought it couldn't get much worse for Roma communities. The international Helsinki Federation for Human Rights is urging for action in the case of two schools in Aspropyrgos after parents pressure authorities to exclude Roma children from school. These children are having to be escorted to school by the police "to protect them from angry mobs shouting racist slogans, threatening, insulting and pushing Roma children and their escorts so as to hinder them from going to their schools" They are also campaigning against segregated schooling that the anti-Roma local authorities and parents are seeking. Read the full open letter here

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Thursday, November 03, 2005


As in the rest of Europe, divorced Greek fathers are fighting for greater rights in bringing up their children. At the moment, more than 90% of custody cases are awarded to the mother. An article from the Athens News

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