At #AIWA! NO! News, we focus on people and events that affect people's lives. We bring topics to light that often go under-reported, listening to all sides of the story and giving a 'voice to the voiceless'.
Remain protesters clashed with members of a march launched by Nigel Farage today aimed protesting against a perceived Brexit“betrayal”.
The March to Leave set off from Sunderland on Saturday morning, and will make its way down to London over a 14-day period, arriving in the capital on March 29, where a mass rally will take place on Parliament Square.
Leading a contingent of protesters, Nigel Farage said: “The will of the people is very clear.
“If you see what has been happening in Parliament this week, we may well not be leaving the EU.
“If politicians think they can walk all over us, then we’re going to march back and tell them they can’t. Simple as that.”
The event has been arranged by the Leave Means Leave campaign, and will proceed towards Hartlepool on Saturday, a trip of around 20 miles, before proceeding on to Middlesbrough on Sunday.
The campaign’s website says tickets to be “core marchers”, who pay £50 to get fully-paid accommodation, breakfast and dinner for the duration of the 14-day event, have sold out.
Angry rows broke out as the march started, with several counter-protesters assembling in order to get their views across. Anti-Brexit campaigners have dubbed Mr Farage’s march the “Gammonball run”.
They were carrying love hearts bearing messages like “we love workers’ rights” and “we love to have a say”, but some marchers responded by calling them “EU money grabbers”.
The counter-protesters were also told to respect the 2016 referendum result, with one man waving a fake blue passport in their direction.
As Mr Farage arrived, a flare was set off with the EU colours, with shouts of “exit Brexit” emanating form the counter-protesters.
It is understood that two two advertising vans, made by the anti-Brexit grassroots campaign Led By Donkeys, will also be following the march.
Barry Lockey, who arrived in Sunderland carrying a flag with the message “Get Britain out: Time to leave the EU”, said that the event is about supporting democracy.
He said: “The democracy in the Parliament building has been spot on. They’ve got their no-deal taken off the table by four votes.”
Mr Lockey pointed out that this margin was much smaller than the 4% margin of victory during the EU referendum, which he said is now being discredited.
He added: “I’m sorry, but that really riles me. And they’re not going to get away with it.
“They’re going to get kicked out, them people, and they’re an absolute damned disgrace.”
In contrast, one counter-protester told the Press Association “it’s going to be a disaster if we leave.”
Frank Hindle, 66, said: “We’re here to point out that not everybody agrees with this crowd, who think it’s going to be wonderful if we leave.”
Discussing the no-deal Brexit that many of the marchers are calling for, he said: “The impact that will have on businesses and on prices, and on the availability of things like medicines and so forth, it doesn’t bear thinking about.”
The terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday hit too close to home for me.
Every day I drop my child off at an Islamic school that invites its students on Fridays to attend the beautiful communal prayer services held in the mosque that adjoins it — the same Friday prayer services that worshippers have been attacked at by a white supremacist gunman in Quebec City, and now in Christchurch, New Zealand.
In the weeks and months after the Quebec City shooting, I would sit in my car for a few moments after dropping my daughter off at school, in a cloud of jumbled thoughts. What if a deranged shooter entered the school or mosque? Were the administrators prepared to respond to a terror attack? Why was I even choosing to send her to an Islamic school if I knew the risks that came along with it? But if I pulled her out, wouldn’t I be caving into the fear that white supremacists wanted me to feel?
The mosque adjoining the school has been the target of hateful vandalism once before. As upsetting as that incident was, I never felt the community was under threat. But if it happened in Quebec City, why couldn’t it happen in Toronto?
I have no doubt that people across New Zealand and Australia are wondering the same thing. Police in Christchurch called for all mosques in the city to shut down after 49 people were killed and at least 48 were seriously injured, including children, in the shootings at two mosques. Reports indicate that one gunman is an Australian who is believed to have written a manifesto outlining his intentions. In it, he espouses far-right and anti-immigrant ideology.
WATCH: World leaders react to Christchurch mosque attacks
As with coverage of all terror attacks, the narrative — the way a story is shaped and told by the politicians, police and the news media — is crucial to how the public understands it. Importantly, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the shootings as a terrorist attack. Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the suspected attacker as an “extremist right-wing violent terrorist”.
Why does this matter? Because attacks committed by Muslims are often immediately reported as a terrorist attack, whereas attacks by non-Muslims are pretty much never perceived to be.
Take the example of a shooting at a Las Vegas music festival in 2017 that killed 58 people and left 869 injured. The gunman was a 64-year-old white man. According to the Las Vegas Sheriff, this was clearly a case of mass murder, and although he personally called it a terrorist attack, it didn’t meet the federal definition of one.
A day before that, a police officer in Edmonton was thrown into the air after being hit by a U-Haul truck driven by a Somali Muslim man. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif allegedly stabbed the officer with a knife before running off and hitting four other people with a second car. Police in Edmonton, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Canadian news outlets quickly referred to this story as a terrorist attack, largely because police found what appeared to be an ISIS flag inside the driver’s car. But more than a year later, the suspect has still not been charged with terrorism-related offences.
In other words, if it had been a Muslim gunman, motivated by religious or political ideology, that had attacked a church in New Zealand, the words “terrorist” and “terror attack” would have been used a lot more liberally.
WATCH: Ardern condemns ‘extreme’ ideology of shooting suspects
Muslims have good reason to be wary of the first words that come out of a politician’s mouth (or Twitter feed) after a terrorist attack. After the New Zealand tragedy, Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer was the first Canadian party leader to respond. But his words felt far from empathetic.
“Freedom has come under attack in New Zealand as peaceful worshippers are targeted in a despicable act of evil,” he posted. “All people must be able to practice their faith freely and without fear.” Writer Andray Domise responded: “You haven’t even named the religion being practiced, or the type of house of worship wherein the people in Christchurch were attacked. Why is that?”
Paul Adams, a journalism professor at Carleton University, noted the aloofness of Scheer’s statement. “By framing this as an attack on freedom, Scheer tries to disassociate himself with the general disgust and condemnation of the incident but direct that feeling away from its obvious target – Islamophobia – to a value associate with his rhetorical line,” he said.
Freelance journalist Davide Mastracci also responded to Scheer by posting an image of him being interviewed by Rebel Media, an overtly racist Canadian far-right political and social commentary site. “Who you choose to spend time with says a lot more than this tweet, where you conveniently leave out that the attack happened at a mosque,” Mastracci wrote.
Words matter — including the ones that are not used.
It’s always worth remembering that horrific events motivated by hate often have a ripple effect, even if they are oceans away. It’s something I’ll be thinking about as I drop off my daughter again to school next week with a heavy heart. But I must also recall the words and acts of compassion our community received after the Quebec City mosque attacks — the protective ring of peace that people of all faiths and none formed around our mosque in freezing temperatures for example — and the subsequent one we formed around a local Toronto synagogue after the Pittsburgh attack.
Love can overcome hate. And if anyone can demonstrate that, it’s Canadians.
Shenaz Kermalli is a freelance journalist and journalism instructor at Ryerson University.
Excuse me Mr. President! British Prime Minister Theresa May ‘warned’ you against gov’t shutdown – a ‘made-up fight’ so you ‘can look like you were fighting and winning’, which you lost by the way and continue to lose to this day.
Theresa May also warned you against your cozy relationship with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Russia’s Putin. Instead in your grandiose and braggadocios language of flattery you said “gets along” with the North Korean dictator, despite Kim’s record of human rights offenses. And then comes the Vietnam Summit … which collapsed only to land with a thud on its back, and from the summit at that.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may break off denuclearisation talks with the US and resume missile and nuclear testing, a senior official says.
North Korea says the US is “gangster-like”, but Mr Trump and Mr Kim have “wonderful” chemistry.
‘I gave the Prime Minister my ideas of how to negotiate it, she didn’t listen’: Trump taunts Theresa May over Brexit just hours before crucial Commons vote – and says he’s ‘surprised to see how badly it’s all gone’
US President Donald Trump has delivered his verdict on the way Brexit is going.
He opposed a second Brexit referendum – saying it would “unfair”.
He said Brexit was a “complex” issue, but said he was “surprised” by how bad Brexit negotiations have gone.
“I’m surprised at how badly it has all gone from a standpoint of negotiations but I gave the Prime Minister (Theresa May) my ideas of how to negotiate it, she didn’t listen to that and that’s fine but it could have been negotiated in a different manner.
And the US President suggested that the UK might have been better off taking his advice, as he said Prime Minister Theresa May “did not listen” to his suggestions on how to negotiate Brexit.
Mr Trump was speaking in the Oval Office after greeting Irish premier Leo Varadkar.
He said: “It’s a very complex thing right now, it’s tearing a country apart, it’s actually tearing a lot of countries apart and it’s a shame it has to be that way but I think we will stay right in our lane.”
“The EU has been very tough to deal with and frankly it’s been very one-sided for many years so we are changing that around.”
Asked if he thinks the Brexit deadline should be extended, Mr Trump said: “I think they are probably going to have to do something because right now they are in the midst of a very short period of time, at the end of the month and they are not going to be able to do that.
“We can do a very big trade deal with the UK. we are also re-negotiating our trade deal with the European groups and literally individual nations.”