During the biggest open-air free music festival in Europe, Pol’and’Rock (4-6 August), also known as Polish Woodstock, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association organized a football tournament promoting the message of ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of the Stadiums’, involving teenage players who are refugees from Ukraine. Together with the other participants, they manifested their protest against the war.

On another festival day a meeting was held with the rock band Strachy na Lachy (Empty Threats) at the information stand of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association. For many years, this group has been involved in the activities of the ‘Music Against Racism’ campaign run by ‘NEVER AGAIN’. Krzysztof ‘Grabaz’ Grabowski, the leader of Strachy Na Lachy, explained his band’s involvement in support of the refugees from Ukraine after the outbreak of the war. Some of the musician’s family came from Volhynia (a previously Polish territory, now a region in Ukraine). In press interviews, ‘Grabaz’ emphasised the importance of having neighbours of different nationalities and how it can lead to outbursts of creativity: ‘If in some place different cultures coexist peacefully with each other, then they will undoubtedly develop that place and its culture’.

– ‘During our meeting with Strachy Na Lachy, we talked primarily about war and peace, about respect and prejudice in everyday life, about hate speech and how it can lead to violence. We asked the band to explain how music can create a better world,’ said Joanna Naranowicz, a representative of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association and the lead singer of the punk band Qulturka.

Strachy na Lachy was established in 2001 by Krzysztof ‘Grabaż’ Grabowski and Andrzej ‘Kozak’ Kozakiewicz who also play in a punk-rock group Pidzama Porno. It is one of the most famous rock bands in Poland. In 2014 the band’s leader, ‘Grabaz’, was awarded with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta – one of the highest honours in Poland, for his ‘outstanding merits in creative work and artistic activity’.

During the Pol’and’Rock Festival, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association had the honour of hosting many other bands of different music styles involved in the ‘Music Against Racism’ campaign.

The ‘Lets’ Kick Racism out of the Stadiums’ tournament has been organised for over twenty years by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association at the Polish Woodstock/Pol’and’Rock Festival. In 2022 it was co-organized with the grass-roots football team FC GAN Pila and supported by FARE network and the Adidas Football Collective through its grassroots support programme. Tournament’s male and female participants jointly express their support for the ideas that guide the entire festival: peace, friendship and respect for diversity. This year, the message resonated particularly strongly with young players from Ukraine who had had to flee the cruelty of war.

During the Pol’and’Rock Festival, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association also organised educational workshops on volunteering and supporting refugees. At NEVER AGAIN’s information stand, there were also practical worskhops on designing anti-racist DIY sew-on patches and t-shirts with the use of stencils and paints. The resulting items of clothing with the message ‘Music Against Racism’ were presented to the participants!

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, and for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally. ‘NEVER AGAIN’ has conducted the first anti-racism campaign in Eastern European football, ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of the Stadiums’ and is a founding member of the FARE network.

The campaign ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of Stadiums’ was a brainchild of the late Marcin Kornak (1968-2014), who chaired ‘NEVER AGAIN’ for many years. ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of Stadiums’ has run since the mid-1990s with the aim to combat racism and discrimination at stadiums. One of its main components is monitoring and reporting of hate crimes and hate speech cases.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association also encourages musicians, record labels and promoters who are interested in releasing music tracks or videos as well as organising concerts (including online) with the promotional support of the ‘Music Against Racism’ campaign to get in touch via email: info@neveragainassociation.org .

More information:

www.NeverAgainAssociation.org

www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity
www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

MUSIC AGAINST RACISM: MUSIC FOR PEACE

The new album entitled ‘Zaraza’ (Plague) by the band Human Rights was released in partnership with the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association’s campaign Music Against Racism. The record was launched during the ‘Peace for the World’ concert on April 29 in Warsaw. Human Rights were joined on stage by M-kwa, one of the most renowned bands of the Polish punk rock scene.

According to the members of Human Rights, ‘The album <Plague> was recorded as a protest against political depravity and the epidemic of intolerance.’ The songs include reflections on ‘what attitudes people adopt in the face of a pandemic, war, dictatorship, lack of mutual respect and tolerance, aggression. It is not without reason that the word <plague> appears in the lyrics of every track.’

Human Rights is a hardcore punk band from Warsaw. For years, it has been supporting the Music Against Racism campaign of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association. The band describes its work as ‘energetic music and positive and direct lyrics coming out of irritation at intrusive attempts to manipulate our lives only because of differences in sex, views, religion or nationality. So there is fire and fury, there is also some melody and catchy choruses about freedom, respect, compassion, tolerance.’

M-kwa (previously known as Moskwa) is one of the most original and charismatic bands of the Polish punk rock scene. The band was established in 1983 in Lodz and famously played at the festival in Jarocin (the largest festival of alternative music in Eastern Europe in the 1980s). The band’s performance at Jarocin was immortalized in the BBC documentary ‘My Blood, Your Blood’. For years, the band has been supporting the Music Against Racism campaign of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association.

From the first days of Russian military aggression against Ukraine, numerous bands have played concerts with an anti-war message supported by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association. During these events, actions to provide aid for Ukrainian refugees have also been organized. For instance, on 2 April, the ‘Art Will Help – Benefit for Krzemieniec in Ukraine’ concert took place in Warsaw, with the participation of the bands Human Rights, HairyCane and Dlonie. The legendary Polish punk rock band Dezerter, which has been cooperating with the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association for many years, has also played anti-war concerts in Mogilno, Ciechanow, Poznan, Olsztyn, Bialystok and other locations.

In turn, on 7 May in Poznan, under the motto of Music Against Racism, the concert ‘Punks are Playing for Ukraine’ will take place. The following bands will be spreading a message of peace: Uliczny Opryszek, NoG, Amunicja, and Izerbejdzan.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association encourages musicians, record labels and promoters from all over the world who are interested in releasing music tracks or videos as well as organizing concerts with the promotional support of the Music Against Racism campaign to get in touch via email: info@neveragainassociation.org .

In 2021 the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association released the historic record ‘One Race – Human Race. Music Against Racism: Part 2’ on vinyl. This album was dedicated to the memory of Marcin Kornak (1968-2014), a human rights activist, poet and the founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association. The full album ‘One Race – Human Race. Music Against Racism’ is also available on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5m2-fFk2zk

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against fascism, racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

Human Rights ‘Plague’ (from the album ‘Plague’ in partnership with the Music Against Racism campaign):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wurLlNR6A4

More information:

www.nigdywiecej.org

www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

 

TECH COMPANIES MUST PUT HUMANITY BEFORE PROFIT AND POWER

Statement from the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association and Global Project Against Hate and Extremism

28 February 2022

As the world watches Putin’s brutal and deadly invasion of Ukraine in horror, tech companies must decide immediately which side of history they are on. They can fulfill their responsibilities as global corporations, on which billions depend, and do all they can to avoid more death and destruction, or they can remain complicit in an illegal act of war that has already led to many deaths, hundreds of thousands of refugees, and massive destruction of cities and towns.

The choice should be an easy one. Tech companies must deplatform Russian propaganda outlets including RT and Sputnik News and key political figures who are spreading hate and disinformation, helping to fuel this war. And search engines need to derank unauthoritative content and disinformation in favor of legitimate sources.

The Putin war propaganda channels are still very prominent on the major social media platforms. Some obvious examples include the Kremlin’s Twitter account, RT and Sputnik’s YouTube channels, and RT and others’ Facebook accounts, among many, many others. This disinformation leads to harms and contributes to the threats against democracies everywhere. These channels and accounts must be removed immediately.

So far, the tech companies have failed to act in any meaningful way. Even as the European Union has banned some Russian propaganda outlets, people across the U.S. and other parts of the globe are being subjected to lies. And dangerous international fascist and white supremacist groups continue to find inspiration in Putin’s propaganda.

Some platforms, including YouTube and Facebook, have announced they will demonetize the Kremlin-funded propaganda machine, RT, but that doesn’t go nearly far enough. We know from experience, and indeed minimum research today, that YouTube is incapable of adequately demonetizing accounts and that Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube are incapable of appropriately labeling accounts with violative content and disinformation. A piecemeal approach by YouTube, Facebook, Google, TikTok, and Twitter is unacceptable. Any channel or account spewing disinformation must be deplatformed altogether, especially those of the politically powerful who would use the loopholes afforded them by companies with a misguided sense of ‘newsworthiness.’

The nearly meaningless steps tech companies have taken since the Russian invasion of Ukraine aren’t good enough, and are a continuation of their failures to protect democracies, users, and the lives that have been lost while they profit. Issuing statements about minimum changes for press coverage is insulting to the world. We’ve seen how discrimination, hate, violence, and even genocide have occurred while big tech fiddles.

This time, these companies must finally step up and do the right thing, take a lesson from the people of Ukraine and all those supporting them, including the Russian peace movement, and put humanity before profit and power.

Launched in 2020, the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) was founded by Heidi Beirich and Wendy Via to address the gap in efforts to stop transnational hate and far-right extremism movements, particularly US-based activity that is exported to other countries and across borders.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. Since 2005, it has led the ‘Racism-Delete’ campaign, which has the objective of removing antisemitic and racist content from the internet. The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is a member of the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH). The Association also takes part in projects to counteract online hate speech such as ‘Get the Trolls Out’ and ‘Open Code for Hate-Free Communication’.

More information:

https://globalextremism.org

www.nigdywiecej.org

www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

WARSAW’S TRIBUTE TO A POLISH RESISTANCE HERO

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association took part in the ‘Rally of Decency’, an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of Wladyslaw Bartoszewski’s birth on 19 February 2022.

Wladyslaw Bartoszewski (born on 19 February 1922 – died on 24 April  2015) was a journalist, historian, writer and politician. From September 1940 to April 1941 he was a prisoner of KL Auschwitz. In the years 1942-1944 he co-organized the secret Council to Aid Jews (‘Zegota’) and participated in the Warsaw Uprising. After the war, he worked with the Main Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland. He became the chairman of the International Auschwitz Council. Among other awards, Bartoszewski received the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his work for reconciliation between Poles, Germans and Jews. He was also awarded the ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ medal. In the last years of his life he was an outspoken critic of the re-emergence of far-right nationalism.

During the rally, invited representatives of civil society commented on seven messages that Wladyslaw Bartoszewski espoused: ‘Be open’, ‘Do not get carried away by hatred’, ‘Remember’, ‘Be true to yourself and your own convictions’, ‘Get involved for the benefit of others’ and ‘Search for ways of understanding’. On behalf of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association Dr. Anna Tatar spoke about the value of ‘not being indifferent’: ‘Throughout his life, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski opposed hatred and built a dialogue between nations and people, even when it seemed impossible. May we be able to imitate him in this regard.’

The other speakers included former Ombudsman Adam Bodnar, a long-time supporter of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association. The jazz singer Aga Zaryan performed a song with lyrics by Krystyna Krahelska, a young poet who died during the Warsaw Uprising. Actor and writer Joanna Szczepkowska recited a Holocaust-themed poem by Czeslaw Milosz entitled ‘Campo di Fiori’.

The event took place on Bartoszewski Square by Biala Street in Warsaw. During the Nazi occupation, the street was adjacent to the Warsaw Ghetto. It led to the court building in Leszno (today Aleja Solidarnosci), where Jews could secretly exit to the ‘Aryan’ side with the help of organizations such as Zegota, in which Wladyslaw Bartoszewski was active.

In the square named after him, a monument is going to be erected of the young Bartoszewski on a bicycle. The following inscription will be placed next to the monument: ‘Young Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, after leaving the concentration camp, became involved in helping persecuted Jews, and working for Poland. He was also able to combat the hatred towards the German nation within himself. It shaped him for life.

By a resolution of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, 2022 was proclaimed the Year of Wladyslaw Bartoszewski. The celebrations, organized by the Wladyslaw Bartoszewski Square Association, began on 19th February.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally. It is a member of the Alliance Against Genocide made up of over 65 organizations from around the world.

More information:

www.NeverAgainAssociation.org

https://www.facebook.com/respect.diversity

twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

INDIA GENOCIDE WARNING

Fifty-four renowned intellectuals, musicians, scholars, and activists from 24 countries gathered in a 6-hours live online public event entitled ‘A Scream from Global Civil Society: India Genocide Warning!’

The event took place on 4 February 2022, it was organized by Forces of Renewal for Southeast Asia (FORSEA) in cooperation with Genocide Watch (US), Documentation Centre Cambodia, International State Crime Initiative (UK), Noor Cultural Centre (Canada), Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Hindus for Human Rights (US), and the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association (Poland).

The meeting was chaired by Tapan Kumar Bose, an Indian filmmaker, human rights and peace activist, author and co-founder of, among others, the Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy. It was hosted by Maung Zarni, an exiled Burmese activist and intellectual, fellow of the Documentation Centre Cambodia and coordinator of the Free Rohingya Coalition.

The programme featured activists and scholars from across the world, including Noam Chomsky (a renowned linguist and social critic), Irwin Cotler (international chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights), Dina Siddiqi (anthropologist and advisory council member of the South Asian feminist network, Sangat), and Gregory Stanton (founding president and chairman of Genocide Watch).

Co-founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association Rafal Pankowski invoked the symbolic message of peace from Mahatma Gandhi for the readers of a Polish cultural weekly, published in Warsaw on the brink of the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. Pankowski also said in his speech: – ‘Today the motto Never Again relates to commemoration of the victims of genocide and totalitarianism, the fight against genocide denial and distortion as well as active solidarity with oppressed minorities everywhere, solidarity with the struggles for dignity, equality and respect.’

Numerous speakers noted with alarm the reports of the recent escalation of anti-Muslim and anti-minority rhetoric and violence as well as calls for genocide in India. Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation’s Article-14.com reported: ‘Hindu extremists have organised 12 events over 24 months in four states calling for genocide of Muslims, attacks on Christians and insurrection against the government. As more events are planned, we track how their events are unimpeded, main organisers are free and police see no conspiracy or incitement, in contrast to the quick arrests and action against dissidents, peace activists and journalists.’

Harsh Mander, Director of Centre for Equality Studies in New Delhi and founder of Karwan-e-Mohabbat (‘Caravan of Love’) said: – ‘India is hurtling into a frighteningly dark place of hate, fear and violence for its minorities. It has badly lost its way from the inclusive and egalitarian country that was promised in its freedom struggle and constitution. The present climate of hate for minorities is engineered by the ruling leadership, that normalises, legitimises and valorises hatred and bigotry. There are many warning signs that echo the 1930s in Germany. If we don’t learn from history, we will be complicit in an immense crime against humanity.’

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally. It is a member of the Alliance Against Genocide made up of over 65 organizations from around the world.

More information:

https://forsea.co/a-scream-from-global-civil-society-india-genocide-warning

www.NeverAgainAssociation.org

https://www.facebook.com/respect.diversity/

https://twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

Video links:

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-f133_iFjQ
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO68Nx_IJkU

A SYMPOSIUM ON COMBATTING HOLOCAUST DENIAL IN ASIA DRAWS MORE THAN 1,200 PARTICIPANTS

 

More than 1,200 people from across the world registered for participation in the symposium ‘Identifying and Countering Holocaust Distortion: Lessons for and from Southeast Asia’ on 23-26 November 2021.

The online event was organized by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in cooperation with the Balac Program of the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok (Thailand) and the American University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia), with the support of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and Heinrich Boell Stiftung Cambodia. The participants came from all the world’s continents with a majority coming from the region of Southeast Asia.

Over thirty presenters, panelists and moderators from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Germany, Israel, Myanmar, Poland, Russia, Spain, Thailand, UK and US contributed to the debates during the symposium’s four days. Keynote speakers included Professors Yehuda Bauer (Honorary Chairman of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance), Teun Van Dijk (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona) and Ben Kiernan (Founder of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University).

Presentations linking the memory of the Holocaust with the history (and the present) of Southeast Asia were delivered by, among others, Dr Verita Sriratana (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Lund University) and Dr Maung Zarni (Documentation Center Cambodia and Free Rohingya Coalition). Sammy Samuels, the leader of the Jewish community in Myanmar (Burma) shared the story of Myanmar’s Jews and his work to commemorate the Holocaust and promote the country’s diversity.

A session on counteracting genocide denial in the frame of interfaith dialogue was conducted by the Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich and Venerable Lablu Barua (Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Ayutthaya, Thailand).

– ‘Thank you to the NEVER AGAIN Association for really making these cross-cultural dialogues possible’ – said Dr Theresa Delangis, the Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and Professor in Global Affairs and Humanities at the American University of Phnom Penh.

The symposium was preceded by a series of workshops and meetings for civil society groups, museums and memorial sites’ staff, academics, and faith leaders. – ‘We have a broad network of colleagues and friends, experts and civil society activists in Southeast Asia and beyond’ – said Professor Rafal Pankowski of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in his final remarks during the symposium. – ‘We are going to continue our communication and cooperation.’

The recordings of all of the sessions will be available on the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association’s website and social media profiles. Future activities in the frame of the project ‘Identifying and Countering Holocaust Distortion: Lessons for and from Southeast Asia’ include publications as well as a digital exhibition on the subject.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

More information:

www.NeverAgainAssociation.org

www.HolocaustEducation-Asia.org

www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

POLISH INDEPENDENCE DAY MARCH LIKELY TO LEAD TO FAR-RIGHT VIOLENCE

Facebook and Twitter Must Act Responsibly, Protect Their Users and Democracy by Removing Organizing Pages for the March

5 November 2021

In recent years, the Polish Independence Day March has attracted tens of thousands of participants led by far-right extremists and hate groups from Poland and many other countries, making a name for itself as one of the largest far-right gatherings in the world. The annual march, which often descends into violent clashes, is similar to what the USA witnessed at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., but on a much larger scale, with up to 250,000 participants taking to the streets in recent years.

The march has turned into a magnet for the global far right.

– ‘It’s hard to escape the antisemitic, white nationalist, and anti-LGBTQ hate spewed among the red clouds of smoke billowing from rockets and flares shot off by marchers,’ said Wendy Via, co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism.

In 2020, as in previous years, there were multiple injuries during the march, including among police officers. Along the route of the march, a flat was set on fire because of a rainbow flag displayed in a window at the building.

This year again, Facebook and Twitter are both playing a role in promoting and fundraising for the march, by allowing the pages operated by its organizers. A few years ago, the ‘Independence March’ fan page was removed, but quickly restored to Facebook.

Global Project Against Hate and Extremism and the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, based in Poland, want to see the promotion and fundraising for this event on Facebook and Twitter stopped immediately.

This year, there is even a greater threat of violence, especially against women. The march, slated for November 11, has been banned by the Polish courts and a women’s demonstration is scheduled to take place along the same route instead. Although Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowski has said ‘if the nationalists congregate on November 11, it will be unlawful assembly,’ the organizers said they are planning on marching and will not change their route despite the court’s ban.

– ‘The fact this event has drawn so many far-right groups with a tacit support of the ruling party, and that extremists from around the world travel to participate illustrates the crisis of democratic values in Poland and elsewhere,’ said Rafal Pankowski, co-founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association.

Even with this year’s march banned by the courts, Facebook is maintaining the page promoting a potentially violent event already deemed illegal by the Polish courts. The page has more than 257,000 followers. Among many other posts, their pinned post advertises and fund raises for the event, calling for supporters to ‘HELP US organize the biggest patriotic manifestation in Europe.’

Twitter has a much smaller presence in Poland, but the tech company is also allowing for the promotion of and fundraising for this event, on a page that has more than 25,000 followers. The main organizer, Roman Bakiewicz, with more than 26,000 followers himself also posts about the upcoming march.

In light of the recent Facebook document leaks, there is no question that hateful non-English content has a much greater chance of remaining on the platform. A recent ‘Washington Post’ study showed that Facebook’s algorithm drives polarizing and negative political content in Poland. And from GPAHE’s earlier reporting, it is known that Twitter has allowed antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ content to remain.

Facebook and Twitter have allowed the march’s organizers to promote and fundraise for this hateful event for years.

– ‘Facebook and Twitter claim they have systems in place to get hate off their platforms and moderate content in potentially violent situations – they need to walk their talk,’ said Via. ‘These companies must act and stop their platforms from promoting a far-right, unlawful event that is definitely going to spread hate and will likely once again turn violent.’

Both ‘NEVER AGAIN’ and Global Project Against Hate and Extremism have contacted Facebook and Twitter to ask that they do not allow for promotion of or fundraising for this march on their platforms.

Launched in 2020, the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) was founded by Heidi Beirich and Wendy Via to address the gap in efforts to stop transnational hate and far-right extremism movements, particularly US-based activity that is exported to other countries and across borders.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. Since 2005, it has led the ‘Racism-Delete’ campaign, which has the objective of removing antisemitic and racist content from the internet. The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is a member of the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH). The Association also takes part in projects to counteract online hate speech such as ‘Get the Trolls Out’ and ‘Open Code for Hate-Free Communication’.

More information:

www.nigdywiecej.org
www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity
www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

DEBATE ON ANTISEMITISM IN AND AROUND FOOTBALL STADIUMS

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, which runs the campaign ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of Stadiums’, held an online debate on fighting antisemitism and bigotry at stadiums in Poland and Europe.

Antisemitism continues to be a serious issue, both inside and outside football stadiums, in Poland and worldwide. However, more often than not it is also glossed over by football associations and the media. Participants in the debate presented the results of the international educational project ‘Changing the Chants’, conducted in cooperation with Anne Frank House (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and two football clubs: Borussia Dortmund and Feyenoord Rotterdam.

The debate was opened by Dr Rafal Pankowski, professor at Collegium Civitas and co-founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association and Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network.

Hate crimes at Polish stadiums were discussed by Dr Anna Tatar, co-author of the ‘Brown Book’ and a member of ‘NEVER AGAIN’. – ‘Antisemitic flags, symbols and chants have been used by football hooligans for many years with little or no punishment. What is striking is the failure to react from football authorities, club boards and city governments, which provide financial support and facilities to football clubs’ – she said.

Dr Wojciech Wozniak of the University of Lodz presented the results of the ‘Changing the Chants’ project. Its objective is to understand the role of non-formal education provided by sports clubs in combating antisemitism. Good practice developed on the basis of experiences and collaborations with clubs from various countries will allow the creation of friendly and open football fan communities in Europe and beyond. The project received support from the EU programme ‘Rights, Equality and Citizenship’.

Later in the debate, the floor was taken by Dr Maciej Kozlowski, former Polish Ambassador to Israel and author of the book ‘Chosen People – Cracovia Cracow: The Multi-Cultural History of Polish Sport’ (published by ‘NEVER AGAIN’ in 2015). He discussed the role of Jews in Polish football, their contribution to the development of the sport, and involvement in establishing the first Polish clubs and competitions. He also provided examples of Polish players with Jewish origins: Jozef Lustgarten, Ludwik Gintel and Leon Sperling, all of whom were successful members of the Polish national team.

The discussion was summed up with observations on the rise of antisemitism and xenophobia by Dr Sebastian Rejak of the American Jewish Committee – Central Europe Office.

The discussion was organized by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in partnership with the  Fare Network and AJC – Central Europe.

This year, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association celebrates 25 years of activity. ‘NEVER AGAIN’ is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996, which has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, and for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

The campaign ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of Stadiums’ was a brainchild of the late Marcin Kornak (1968-2014), who chaired ‘NEVER AGAIN’ for many years. ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of Stadiums’ has run since the mid-1990s with the aim to combat racism and discrimination at stadiums. One of its main components is monitoring and reporting of hate crimes and hate speech cases.

More information:

www.nigdywiecej.org

www.changingthechants.eu
www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity
www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

#wykopmyrasizm #changingthechants

ONE RACE – HUMAN RACE. MUSIC AGAINST RACISM ON VINYL

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has announced the release of the historic album ‘One Race – Human Race. Music Against Racism: Part 2’, for the first time on vinyl.

The compilation record was initiated by the late Marcin Kornak, a human rights activist, poet and the founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association. Marcin’s friends emphasize that ‘the new release of the album is dedicated to his memory’.

The record was previously released in 1998 on CD and cassette by the independent label QQRYQ Productions as the second part of the ‘Music Against Racism’ series. It has gone down in history as a statement of resistance against intolerance and violence.

The double album contains tracks from artists representing a diverse range of musical styles and worldviews. Some of the contributions come from British bands known for their anti-racism activism, Chumbawamba and Zion Train, with others from renowned Polish musicians such as Robert Brylewski (with Falarek), Tymon Tymanski (with Kury), the bands Alians and Sweet Noise, and even Polish hip-hop star Liroy (rapping anti-fascist lyrics from Bertolt Brecht). Trebunie-Tutki, a multi-generational family band, combined Polish Highlander folk with Jamaican reggae in a track inspired by Bob Marley.

The album includes a special song: ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Stadiums’, which was recorded by members of punk rock groups Robotnik and Uliczny Opryszek, under the name WRS Band. The lyrics were written by Marcin Kornak and have become a manifesto of the ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of the Stadiums’ campaign, initiated in 1996: ‘The place for fascism is in the trash, let’s kick racism out of the stadiums, let’s reclaim football from the thugs’.

Marcin Kornak (1968-2014) was the founder and leader of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, the editor-in-chief of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ journal and the initiator of the groundbreaking register of hate crimes in Poland, known as the ‘Brown Book’. He was also a poet and songwriter, working with several independent rock bands. From the age of fifteen, due to an accident, Marcin Kornak lived with a physical disability. In 2011, he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta – one of the highest honours in Poland.

In an appeal placed on the cover of the ‘One Race – Human Race’ record, he warned: ‘Racism is fostered through ignorance. It is the type of ideology which always leads to atrocity, because its main component is hatred against diversity. Humans, on the other hand, although the same in their nature, differ in their culture, religion, convictions, the colour of their hair, eyes, skin… and that is wonderful, because it makes this world and this life so fascinating. This is also why racial categorization is so dangerous – it threatens the most fundamental human right, the right to exist’.

Inspired by Rafal Drzycimski’s original 1998 design, the new album cover was designed by Witold Popiel, an alumnus of Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.

The record was released in collaboration with Jimmy Jazz Records from Szczecin, who specialize in promoting alternative music. The album’s release is as a commemorative product, and is not intended for commercial distribution.

For the first time, the ‘One Race – Human Race. Music Against Racism: Part 2’ record is also available in full on YouTube (full album) and Daily Motion: side A and Bside C and D.

This year, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association celebrates 25 years of activity. ‘NEVER AGAIN’ is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996, which has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, and for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

To support ‘NEVER AGAIN’ and receive the double vinyl record, please contact info@neveragainassociation.org .

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association also encourages musicians, record labels and promoters who are interested in releasing music tracks or videos as well as organising concerts (including online) with the promotional support of the ‘Music Against Racism’ campaign to get in touch via email: info@neveragainassociation.org .

Additional information:

www.nigdywiecej.org

www.facebook.com/respect.diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

‘NEVER AGAIN’: SOLIDARITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS IN MYANMAR

Members of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association have shared their experiences of building solidarity with the people of Myanmar during an international conference ‘Myanmar’s Transition – from Where to Where?’ hosted virtually by the Myanmar Institute (Berlin) and the Institute of Middle and Far East of the Jagiellonian University (Krakow).

The conference took place on 25-27 May and it brought together academics and civil society activists from across the world.

Natalia Sineaeva provided a presentation on the topic ‘The Jewish Community in the Context of Pluralist Society in Burma (Myanmar)’. She stressed the history of the Jews in Myanmar (the small community currently consists of about 20 people) is an illustration of the social and cultural diversity of Myanmar which can be a positive resource in a future democratic society. She also presented the experiences of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in the field of cooperation and support for the Jews in Myanmar.

Rafal Pankowski spoke on the subject of ‘The Meaning of «Never Again» in Myanmar and Poland – Reflections on an Unexpected Relationship’. Among others, he presented the initiative ‘Identifying and Countering Holocaust Distortion: Lessons for and from Southeast Asia’, conducted by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in cooperation with partners in Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia with the support of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the Heinrich Boell Stiftung Cambodia.

The project deals with various forms of genocide distortion and denial, including the denial of the crimes of the Khmer Rouge or anti-Rohingya violence. The initiative draws on the legacy of the Holocaust and instances of genocide in Southeast Asia to inspire critical memory discourses. It promotes solidarity with those who are discriminated against and oppressed. Pankowski highlighted the cooperation between ‘NEVER AGAIN’ and civil society groups and human rights activists from Myanmar, which is especially important since the military coup which took place on 1 February 2021, and the subsequent crackdown on dissidents.

In another example of the ongoing ‘NEVER AGAIN’ activity, Rafal Pankowski presented its trans-national educational initiatives during a global conference of the Alliance Against Genocide which took place on 26 May. The Alliance Against Genocide is an international coalition dedicated to creating the international institutions and the political will to prevent genocide. It is composed of 96 member organizations in 31 countries, including the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association.

On 20 May (Cambodia’s Day of Remembrance for Genocide Victims), a member of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, Natalia Sineaeva, presented the issue of genocide commemoration in Cambodia and Bangladesh at the invitation of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre, Moscow.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

Additional information:

www.NeverAgainAssociation.org

www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ