Wednesday, August 1, 2012


A reminder to all allies to light candles tomorrow for the Romani victims of the murderous night at Auschwitz/Birkenau.

That is the night that all the inhabitants of the Gypsy camp, 4,000 in all, were murdered by the Nazis.

We are also asking each of you to have a moment of silence tomorrow at noon in honor and remembrance of the victims.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At the time, Amnesty International wrote of the “continued deterioration” in the treatment of human rights advocates, journalists and lawyers in the run-up to the Games, Human Rights Watch called the Beijing Olympics a “catalyst for human rights abuses”, and there were a few indignant grumbles when some foreigners were arrested for carrying signs about Tibet. But most of the politicians, celebrities and journalists in attendance said nothing about any of that. Foreign newspapers were as full of praise for “China’s Show of Power” and Beijing’s “Exceptional Games” as the Chinese press, and it is still generally accepted that the Beijing’s Olympics inaugurated, somehow, China’s entry onto the world stage.

In London, there are going to be plenty of attempts to emulate Chinese methods. There will be pushy policemen, overzealous anti-terrorist squads and ludicrous attempts to protect the rights of the corporations that sponsor the Games. There have already been clampdowns on cafĂ© owners who decorate shop windows with five bagels, and butchers who do the same thing with sausages. Apparently – can it really be true? – you aren’t meant to link an article to the official Olympics website unless you have nice things to say about the Games. Meanwhile, known graffiti artists have not only been ordered to stay away from the Olympic Park, they have been forbidden to possess spray paint and markers between now and November.

But at least in London, one is still allowed to complain about these things, to talk about them and to write about them. I know about all of these incidents, in fact, because I read about them in the Spectator (whose cover showed an athlete being strangled by the Olympic rings), in the Guardian (which investigated the graffiti story) and on a blog published by Index on Censorship (as well as on another site where someone gleefully wrote obscene things about the Olympics and linked them to the official website, just to see what would happen).

There may or may not be consequences: court cases, lawsuits, public outrage sufficient to persuade politicians at least to apologise to the people told to remove the bagels from their windows. If nothing else, people who were unreasonably treated can say so in public. Which is also how it should be cheap iphone 4s cases.

Just because you have a democracy doesn’t mean you automatically have reasonable policemen, sensible legislators or wise bureaucrats. But at least if your culture encourages you to complain, often and loudly, about the misbehaviour of unreasonable policemen, thoughtless legislators and thuggish bureaucrats then there is a chance you can do something to stop them. Please, Britain, don’t stop complaining about the Olympics: this is London, not Beijing.