Nasty, ubiquitous and unloved (4)

1 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2018-04-15 16:58 ID:og/N+d0F This thread was merged from the former /debate/ board. You can view the archive here.

Skinheads have been frightening a lot of people in post-communists Central Europe, but several governments are trying to control them
Among the countless plaques and memorials in the ancient bit of Hungary's capital overlooking the Danube is one that mourns German and Hungarian soldiers who died trying to break out of Buda Castle at the end of the second world war. This was where, on February 13th, 500-odd neo-Nazi skinheads from around Europe gathered to lament the passing on the « SS heroes», after which they headed off to a nightclub called the Viking. When police appeared at the club and started asking for pass¬ports, the skinheads rioted. Several policemen ended up in hospital, 30 foreign skinheads were arrested, six of whom were quickly tried and found guilty of assault. So it goes for skinheads: thuggery at home pil¬grimages to Nazi memorials and scrapes with the law abroad.
Do not expect an eloquent exchange of opinions with Central Europe's shaven heads. When interviewed, they say little, standing arms crossed, fists clenched, eyes burning. Nor are their dogs, often pit bulls with sharpened incisors, much more friendly. The skinheads' preferred method of communication is a boot swiftly and repeatedly administered in the face of a prone victim, though in one recent attack Slovak skin¬heads did use baseball bats to beat a gypsy boy almost to death. Their fa¬vourite targets are indeed gypsies, followed by African students, sundry other ethnic minorities, drug addicts and the homeless.
There are differences between an average West European skinhead and his counterpart farther east. Not all western ones are neo-Nazis; not all are violent; some even call themselves «anti-racists», and enjoy Ja¬maican reggae music. There are anarchist skinheads in the West, even glad-to-be-gay skinheads. But in Central Europe to be a skinhead is, on the whole, to be violent. Post-communist skinheads tend to swallow a mix of white supremacy, neo-Nazi dogma, and nationalism tailored to the country in question.

2 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2018-04-15 16:58 ID:og/N+d0F

Their numbers vary from country to country, but have been going up. Government and police tend to deflate figures; human-rights groups and the skinheads themselves usually bump them up. One serious study, by the Anti-Defamation League in New York, reckons that, of some 70,000 hardcore neo-Nazi skinheads worldwide, Central Europe now accounts for a good quarter.
Last month, working together with the Czech secret service, police ar¬rested 12 leading skinheads said to belong to the Czech chapter of a Brit¬ish-based «Blood and Honour» gang. They also confiscated neo-Nazi propaganda due to be sold at a skinhead concert, and declared that neo-Nazis across the country had suffered a crippling blow.

3 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2018-04-15 16:59 ID:og/N+d0F

Human-rights watchers are less sure. Skinhead groups are well run. They distribute propaganda printed by American neo-Nazis in various languages and send out «skinzines» illegally through the post. The Czechs alone have 15 of them. They are nasty, but it may be hard to pin charges of inciting hatred on the arrested skinheads.
Still, many Central Europeans are trying to stem the skinhead tide. A few days after the riot in the Viking club, several thousand Hungarians gathered to protest against racism. Judges are being sent on courses to make them more aware of racially motivated crimes. The police are hiring gypsy advisers. It is only a start. But the alarm bells have rung: more and more decent Central Europeans reckon that something must be done.

4 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2018-04-15 17:09 ID:og/N+d0F


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