Later today the Irish franchise of the German far-right neo-Nazi PEGIDA Party intend to hold a rally at the GPO in Dublin, the site of the 1916 Easter Rising, as part of what has been dubbed a Europe wide day of action against Islam. Thankfully it is more than likely going to be a washout for the Irish fascists because the reaction across the whole of the country has been one of solidarity with our Muslim friends and neighbours, and the organisation of an anti-racism demonstration at the same location. By the looks of the response to the Anti Racism Network Ireland’s event page on Facebook there won’t be much room left on O’Connell Street for a racist placard, never mind a thug.


Browsing over the various Twitter accounts associated with both PEGIDA in Ireland and in England one is struck by how much effort many of these characters put into defending themselves against the charge of racism. “Islam isn’t a race,” is one of the many distancing phrases one reads over and again, and yet the same people have little problem posting images and inspirational quotes from such well-known humanitarians as Hitler’s propaganda chief Josef Goebbels. All things porcine – pictures of pigs’ heads and their pork sausage and rasher dinners – is another recurring theme. This isn’t racism apparently, and of course this isn’t intended to insult the “moderate Muslims” they are so keen to say they are not “after.”

 
Online anonymity is of the utmost importance to the average racist, because – let’s face it – this isn’t the sort of hobby anyone wants their boss or colleagues to find out about. Many of them like to think this fear of public shame is a left-wing witch-hunt, but it is nothing of the sort. Their sense of shame and their need for anonymity betrays the fact that they know what they are doing is indeed deeply shameful. Given the probability that a good number of these White Knights still live at home in the basement and whittle away their time on video games, they fear that their own mothers will find out and so leave them out on their ears.

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It’s easy to make light of these wannabe thugs, and for many of them the caricature is true, but it would be foolish to underestimate the power of organised racism. Without mentioning the horrors of Europe’s past, we need only consider the reports from Germany, Hungary, and now Finland of self-styled vigilante groups who have taken it upon themselves to “hunt down” refugees. The number of racist incidents and racially motivated violent attacks is on the rise over the whole of Europe. If left unchecked these bully boys in Ireland will organise in a similar fashion. We cannot allow this to be part of the future of Ireland, or any country for that matter. When we think of the words; Never Again, we have a responsibility to ensure that never again is never again, and we can do this only by a firm demonstration of our rejection of and our opposition to groups like PEGIDA and Identity Ireland in our country.


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