Saturday, 27 November 2010

And so they came.

"We are not racist" say the EDL members to cover their ass. No, of course they aren't I guess the video footage of EDL members chanting "burn a mosque" or doing the hitlerian salute are fakes. They are not racist.

So, if I get it right and from what we gathered today from tha various interviews and from what we witnessed, the EDL stands against muslim extremists and the shariah law, they protect the british values because they love their country and they are proud of it. They are in no case racist well, some of the members are but they are a minority (that's what the team leader told us), they are multi racial, and they have members of many faiths.
Yet, I have a hard time believing this.

Standing against extremism is one thing, saying it because you are racist and you just don't want to bring this image on you is another. Yeah, don't deny it, many protesters today wore facemasks and scarves over their faces to hide. There is some footage of today's demo of the EDL chanting racist slogans, you'll find them on youtube, I didn't invent them.

Ok, the EDL wants to protect british values. But did they think of that when they threw (or should I write through so they will understand my writing) their firecrackers, fireworks and smokebombs at the public? There were families shopping in the streets. Families with children. Before protecting the values, shouldn't they be protecting their country's citizen first?

And if the EDL loves their country so much, why is it they allow this:

If you love a country so much, don't just trash it.

So there we were in the morning, us university journalists, preparing for our story (which our lecturers strongly recommended not to), on this cold saturday morning. We did a couple of interviews, the EDL protesters arrived. If you didn't know what was happening, you'd think there were a bunch of drunken hooligans because drinking they were, and not just one pint, several.

And if you saw their banners, you'd say they're a bunch of illiterate drunken hooligans. They marched for ten minutes and stopped in the town center in front of the museum. They shouted a bit (they shout E, E, EDL because that's easy to remember and there is no chance they'll misspell it), threw explosives (fireworks, firecrackers and such but explosives nonetheless) at the people in the street which resulted of the police pushing people off the streets.

This happened on the main street. Shopkeepers told us they lost up to 95% of their profits today because of the EDL. Again, if you're gonna protect your country, you might consider the fact doing a protest on a saturday before christmas is gonna make some of your own people angry (yeah, muslims don't celebrate christmas in case you didn't know).

And some protesters must have got lost because we saw the peace flag, the american flag and the Israeli flag waven as well.

And when they finally left, they left the place completely trashed and frankly, the whole town stank of alcohol. Nice one. No really, I must say, I admire the EDL. I can people take themselves so seriously when most of their members are drunken illiterate hooligans?


Let's just hope I don't end on redwatch now.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The EDL is coming to my town!

The Evil Destructive Lads?
The Evil Demolition Lovers?

No, the English Defence League.

Let me quickly tell you about them and if you know already what they stand for you can skip this paragraph. The EDL was formed one year ago, in 2009. They are a far right group and their main ideology is no-muslim. Okay this is my caricature. They claim to be angainst extreme-muslims and such but people have heard them chanting "we hate muslims" so really, it's to cover their asses, pardon my french. And they march throughout England to protest against Islam.

The EDL is supposed to be very ecclesiastical, they have a jewish EDL, a gay EDL,... It seems to me that many social minorities are joining them to unite against one. Hasn't the world learnt from its mistakes?
I find it revolting. No seriously, I know not many muslims would stand against an anti-homo march if one was to be organised, but I, being somehow part of a minority and knowing how the rejection feels, will not stand on the hate side, because then it is doing exactly what our enemies are doing, I'm sorry but an eye for an eye will not solve this world's problems, and it'd certainly not be my motto, would I have one.

So the EDL is coming to Preston next Saturday to march peacefully against Islam. FYI Preston has a very big muslim population.
Our lecturers warned us not to go and told us the BBC reporter covering the event will have 5 personal body guards.

I will not stay home while right outside the door, people are marching for hate.
I will put on my FCKH8 tshirt and go march on the otherside.

People, we should not let this happen.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Let's work for free.

In the UK, the Equal Pay Act was introduced in 1970. Forty years later, survey shows full-time working women are still paid 16.4% less than men. That means, in term of proportions and comparison, women stop being paid from November 2nd while men are paid all year 'round.
This is only for the UK but I am sure it is pretty much the same everywhere in the world.

Surely you would think, people think it is outrageous, yet I don't think many people will sign the petition to try and change things (I suggest you sign it - here - not to be part of the latter category) because they just can't be bothered eventhough it took me like 27 seconds and a click. People cannot spend 27 seconds and a click to try and change their situation, that is way too much! But tonight they'll be watching Friends on tv, yeah that is no waste of time.

But apathetic people are not the only ones who won't sign the petition. All over the world, there are still many people defending their "family values" in which a woman stays home to look after the children and prepare dinner while the husband works and then goes down the street to the pub to down some beers. These people are the scariest. There is that website called "les Intransigeants" (and I won't have their link on my blog), that website is made by Christian students and if you read even the first few articles you realise they're anti-women, anti-Semitic, homophobic, negativist, and they don't even try to hide it. For the record, they used to have a blog this summer but a group of activist (me included) got it to shut down, then their second one as well but now they bought a ".com" which makes things more complicated.

Women used to fight for their rights. We all remember her:

But now women shake their barely hidden asses on MTV and society today thinks it's okay. NO, IT IS NOT! Women in the past have done so much and worked their asses off for their status. I don't understand, as I said here, my generation has become apathetic and it is quite pathetic to see all these young women who think it's okay to dress as prostitutes from an early age, this just makes it okay for guys to call them "sluts" because they behave like that. I have the impression the status of women is going backwards because of this generation. And why the Hell their parents let them do that when they are only 12. We are not supposed to go in the streets semi-naked when we're twelve nor when we're older either!

I am slowly but surely losing my faith in society if I haven't already.

Here is a guide to gender pay gap and how to fight it.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

It gets better.

This is a story I never told anyone. Or at least not the entire version. Now as I am writing this, I know I will have a hard time whether or not to post this and know that if you are reading this, it is a very big deal for me and probably means more than you can imagine.

When I was about 12, I changed schools to go to this very big factory-like school, called the European school of Brussels. I was really excited to go there as for about ten years before that, each time my mom would drive by it I would go "one day this will be my school". And there I was fulfilling one of my dreams.
I come from a very cool family, very chilled out, my parents always encouraged me to be myself and do what I wanted (they let me go as Robinhood to school everyday when I was in preschool, my mom made me two suits to make sure there was always a clean one for me to wear, now if this is not like the best mother on Earth, well, go away), I had a lot of autonomy and independence from a very young age and I learnt a lot from it. Until I joined this new school, in the two different schools I attended, I was a bit mocked but I suppose as much as every kid is once in a while mocked by its fellow classmates. And it was because I was a little bit different, I was not a girly girl like everyone else but I had friends, they lived with it, I was fine with it. I was also a bit of a nerd, being in the top 3 people of the class all the time.

Anyway, I arrived there in that big private industrial school renown for its quality courses and all. As it was private, the children there came from an upper socio-economical group and for them, having clothes bought from a second-hand shop or even home-made clothes was so uncool. In fact, anything a tiny bit alternative to what they knew was not okay in their lines.
So my first day arrived and I was so thrilled! As it was my first day and I joined after half-term break, a student was assigned to show me around. Her and her friend tried to fool me but I was over it, I still wanted to go on with it. I was sort of the new kid, the weirdo. I arrived there with my baggy clothes when every girl there was wearing tight jeans and make-up. It was like a whole new world before my eyes.
I made like two friends in the first few weeks (the two already proclaimed weirdos of course but we didn't care). I was still a big nerd getting top grades in every subject, the year ended, I had survived my entering in the world of rich kids. Year two started, it was all cool. Until year 3 or 4, that new guy arrived in our class. He was like the "rebel", he sat at the back like me except he had the worst grades, I remember during maths tests I would finish my quiz in 15-20 minutes, then take his copy and fill it in for him. I was always too nice to everybody. And that guy, despite my kindness to him, picked on me, he used to push me around but never anything serious. He got expelled at some point.

But then the picking on started in the school bus. Everyday as I got in, it started. The names, the statements that were made about me, out loud, a whole bus full of kids laughing everyday at me on my way to and back from school, sometimes I'd even get beaten up for no reason (actually no, there was a good reason; "move I want to sit there, on my own"). Everyday I went back home desperate, every night I would cry myself to sleep and every morning I dreaded that bus ride. And everyday I wished I had the guts to end it.
I stopped being a nerd, I lost every interest I had and I got depressed. I was not the good kid I used to be and I still remember my mother telling me I was becoming stupid, my teachers thought I was stupid because they knew I had the potential. And you know, it's so hard because they don't mean to be hard on you, they just don't know what is going on but somehow you can't tell them. So every day you have to put up with it. It is so hard. You hate yourself because people are not happy with you and all these hate words from bullies get to you and it starts to crawl under your skin, they help the self-hating by confirming it. And you're there thinking you're such a hateful person, such a disappointment to everyone around you because they want you to succeed and they watch you fail. And they tell you you're a failure, you're reminded every day, but they have no idea what is happening and what is causing this. And you want to run away from all this.

I chose to stay.

I graduated, got my Baccalaureate eventhough my parents highly doubted I would.
I had a really shit summer after that, everyone expected me to go to Kent, to study Osteopathy and everyone expected me to know what I wanted to do with my life. And I was rushed to find something when I decided not to go through with Kent. When I just wanted to enjoy the fact I would never see the horrible people that ruined a part of my life. I went to study Photography in Brussels in the end. It got better eventhough there was still that one guy pushing me around.
The following year (last year) I decided to drop out and take a gap year. I went to therapy to sort my head out. And I chilled. Or I tried.

I now am here at University. I don't know if I'm proud but I am quite happy to be here.

I have waited and now things are way better. So I guess what I'm really trying to say is that, IT GETS BETTER.

Check the itgetsbetterproject on youtube!