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December 21, 2012 2

Upcoming Maryland Event Sign Of Increased Anti-Immigrant Activity

A con­fer­ence spon­sored by the Mary­land Con­ser­v­a­tive Action Net­work is due to take place in Annapo­lis on Jan­u­ary 12, 2013. The con­fer­ence, titled “Turn­ing the Tides 2013” brings together many of the main anti-immigrant voices in the state as well as some speak­ers known for their anti-Muslim state­ments and associations.

The con­fer­ence is the lat­est exam­ple of anti-immigrant activ­ity in Mary­land. Anti-immigrant activists were instru­men­tal in gath­er­ing enough sig­na­tures to put a mea­sure on the bal­lot in the Novem­ber 2012 elec­tion seek­ing to undo a law that granted in-state tuition to undoc­u­mented immi­grants at pub­lic col­leges in the state.  The in-state tuition bill was orig­i­nally signed into law in 2011. Despite the efforts of anti-immigrant activists, a major­ity of Mary­land vot­ers voted in favor of grant­ing in-state tuition. Many of the anti-immigrant activists involved in get­ting the issue on the bal­lot are due to speak at the Jan­u­ary 12 conference.

Sched­uled speak­ers at the event include:

Brad Botwin

Brad Botwin – founder of the anti-immigrant group Help Save Mary­land (HSM). Botwin’s group is listed on the web­site of the largest anti-immigrant group in the coun­try, the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR), as a state con­tact. Botwin’s group has co-sponsored events with FAIR and other national groups, such as the Virginia-based Num­ber­sUSA. HSM also worked with FAIR’s legal arm, the Immi­gra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute (IRLI).

Neil Par­rott – Repub­li­can House of Del­e­gates mem­ber rep­re­sent­ing Dis­trict 2B. Par­rott is a mem­ber of State Leg­is­la­tors for Legal Immi­gra­tion (SLLI), a coali­tion of state law­mak­ers who work with IRLI to draft and intro­duce anti-immigrant leg­is­la­tion in their states. Par­rott was chair­man of the peti­tion group that suc­cess­fully put the in-state tuition law on the bal­lot in November.

Pamela Geller – co-founder of Stop the Islamiza­tion of Amer­ica (SOIA), a group seek­ing to rouse pub­lic fears about a “vast Islamic con­spir­acy” to destroy Amer­i­can val­ues.   Geller also works closely with far-right groups and fig­ures in Europe, such as the Eng­lish Defense League (EDL) and anti-Muslim Dutch politi­cian Geert Wilders.

Diana West – author and jour­nal­ist who writes about the “dan­gers” of Islam. In a Sep­tem­ber 15, 2012 post on her web­site, West wrote “Indeed, it is this basic Islamic cen­sor­ship that is at the crux of why Islam itself — not ‘Islamism,’ not ‘rad­i­cal Islam,’ not ‘Islamists’” but Islam — is an exis­ten­tial threat to the sur­vival of any free soci­ety.” In 2007, West met with mem­bers of the racist and xeno­pho­bic Bel­gian polit­i­cal party Vlaams Belang.

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March 28, 2012 0

Radical English Defence League To Form Political Party

The Eng­lish Defence League (EDL), a UK-based right-wing, anti-Islamic and self-described “Counter Jihad move­ment,” announced plans to form a new polit­i­cal party in the com­ing months. EDL’s foray into pol­i­tics is influ­enced by the suc­cess of other sim­i­lar polit­i­cal par­ties in Europe, most notably the Dutch Free­dom Party, the polit­i­cal party led by rad­i­cal Dutch par­lia­men­tar­ian Geert Wilders.

An EDL spokesman stated that the organization’s party will be named the Free­dom Party, and its offi­cial launch will take place in May at the EDL Luton demon­stra­tion, an annual protest that began with the organization’s found­ing in 2009. In the past, EDL demon­stra­tions have been marked by vio­lence, with some bor­der­ing on full riots result­ing in numer­ous arrests, prop­erty dam­age and injuries to law enforcement.

Mem­bers of the Welsh Defense League rais­ing their hands in a Nazi salute
The group has also been accused of being a haven for right-wing racists, a charge the group denies. How­ever, EDL has been linked to var­i­ous racist Eng­lish groups, such as the Welsh Defence League, an EDL divi­sion that has many local white suprema­cists in its ranks.

Accord­ing to the organization’s mis­sion state­ment, EDL’s mis­sion is “to oppose what it con­sid­ers to be the spread of Islamism, Sharia law and Islamic extrem­ism in Eng­land.” Stephen Lennon, head of the EDL, said that the Free­dom Party will be an anti-Islamist polit­i­cal party “that gives every­one an option in a non-racist way.”

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February 21, 2012 1

Geert Wilders Launches Anti-Immigrant Website

Rad­i­cal anti-Muslim Dutch law­maker Geert Wilders has started a new web­site pro­mot­ing his party’s anti-immigrant plat­form. The web­site, called “Hot­line for Report­ing Cen­tral and East­ern Euro­peans,” allows vis­i­tors to sub­mit a com­plaint if they have “lost [their] job to a Pole, Bul­gar­ian, Roman­ian or other Cen­tral or East­ern Euro­pean.” Wilders claims the web­site, which has been widely con­demned by sev­eral EU nations, has already received 40,000 submissions.
In the last sev­eral years, Wilders has been embraced by U.S.-based anti-Muslim big­ots like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, and has served as the keynote speaker at demon­stra­tions orga­nized by Stop Islamiza­tion of Amer­ica (SIOA), an orga­ni­za­tion led by Geller and Spencer that pro­motes a con­spir­a­to­r­ial anti-Muslim agenda under the guise of fight­ing rad­i­cal Islam. In 2009, Geller claimed to have per­son­ally financed Wilders’s trip to the U.S., dur­ing which he attended the Con­ser­v­a­tive Polit­i­cal Action Con­fer­ence in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Soon after, Geller accom­pa­nied Wilders on a speak­ing tour, vis­it­ing syn­a­gogues and uni­ver­sity cam­puses in sev­eral U.S. cities.

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