The New Gezi Park Protesters: Istanbul’s Gentrification Wars

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This weekend’s presidential election in Turkey is as good as decided. The mass protests surrounding Gezi Park, the corruption scandals, the Soma mining accident — none of these incidents will stop the majority of Turks from electing Recep Tayyip Erdogan as president. Among other things, this means that ambitious development projects will likely multiply — and with them, the controversies Erdogan’s AKP party aggressive policies routinely provoke.
 
The Gezi uprising that rocked Turkey in June 2013 was sparked by a government project to transform the park in central Istanbul into a gigantic mall. And while a relentless police crackdown has led many of last year’s protesters to abandon hope, the problems at the heart of Erdogan’s vision for Turkey’s urban development have not gone away. Those directly affected by the aggressive development of their neighborhoods are often left with only one of two options: to despair, or to fight.
 
One group that has decided to take the fight to the government is the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front, or DKHP/C. This extreme-left party, labeled a terrorist organization by the EU, is entrenched in many of the disenfranchised neighborhoods that have become targets for ruthless urban development. To stave off the forced relocation of inhabitants, the DKHP/C militants are prepared to combat not only the police, but also violent drug gangs that terrorize their neighborhoods, which they believe are collaborating with the state.
 
VICE News travelled to Istanbul to meet the DKHP/C on its home turf, document its fierce clashes with the police on May Day, and understand what motivates these violent, self-proclaimed champions of the poor.

Watch all of our dispatches from Turkey here: http://bit.ly/1u7ePRS

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The Struggle for Survival of the Roma People: Europe’s Most Hated

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In January, European Union restrictions on Romania and Bulgaria were lifted, meaning citizens of those countries were free to travel and work throughout the EU. This inspired anger in wealthier countries like the UK, where people anticipated a flood of migrants looking to take advantage of relatively generous welfare systems. This anger was directed most fiercely at the Roma.

Europe’s largest ethnic minority — also known as gypsies — has long endured bigotry and abuse. This year, they’ve been a boon to rightwing politicians who’ve used them to garner support for anti-immigration policies and achieve significant electoral victories.

VICE News examines the so-called “Roma influx” by visiting a Roma community in northern England, then traveling to Romania to meet a group of Roma who have just been evicted from their homes and don’t have the money to leave the country to seek out better lives.

More on VICE News: An Audience With the ‘King of the Gypsies’ – http://bit.ly/1nlQ2py

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Nazi Hipsters? ‘Nipster’ Movement Spreading Across Germany

Source: http://rt.com/news/168680-nazi-hipsters-in-germany/

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The neo-Nazi movement has collided with the hipster subculture in Germany to form a group of youths wearing beards, trendy tote bags, and bandanas stitched with Nazi slogans. Media has dubbed the fiery mix of Nazi-hipsters “nipsters.”

The new recruits of the far-right movement have taken to YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, and other social media, as the ‘hipsterfication’ of the neo-Nazi movement has gained more support among youths in Germany. However, they don’t own the term “nipster” on the web — there they have to share the name with Asian hipsters, fans of masculine breasts, and less prominent groups that identify with it.

However, the term in its revised meaning was offered in a fresh report by Rolling Stone magazine, which interviewed Patrick Schroeder from northeastern Bavaria, one of the faces of the Nazi hipster movement who hopes to give it a friendlier social and political face.

Schroeder conducts seminars showing neo-Nazis how they can dress less threateningly, saying that people from other subcultures, including hip-hop, should be able to join the Nazi movement.

“If the definition of the nipster is someone who can live in the mainstream,” Schroeder explained to Rolling Stone, “then I see it as the future of the movement.”

The ‘Nazi fashionistas’ want to be in style by wearing trendy Converses, skinny jeans, tote bags, and brightly colored glasses together with beards.

“There were a lot of jokes about the Nazi hipsters. They had a bag saying ‘Please don’t shove, I’ve got a yogurt in my bag” journalist John Riceburg told RT.

They also filmed a Harlem shake video with people in black balaclavas and Anonymous masks dancing on junked cars with signs reading “Have more sex with Nazis, unprotected.”

There is even a vegan Nazi cooking show where two chatty men wearing balaclavas show how to make various vegan dishes.

Riceburg explained that the Nazis have always tried to copy youth subcultures, giving the examples of skinheads who were originally “a kind of proletarian youth subculture” and eco-Nazis, or hippy-Nazis.

“They are trying to mainstream the Nazi and fascist ideas as being something which is acceptable,” Weyman Bennett, secretary of Unite Against Fascism, told RT. “We saw this in the 70s — the part of early punks wearing swastikas.”

From the early 70s to the 90s, the fascism movement has tried to “plug into the youth culture,” he added.

The Nazi movement has been gaining political support in Europe, Bennett said, pointing to the alarming trend and adding that for the first time since WWII, a Nazi organization has been elected to the EU parliament — referring to the French far-right party Front National headed by Marine Le Pen.

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Europe’s Anti-Fascists Clash with Police in Vienna

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Right-wing nationalists of the Identitarian Movement held a rally in Vienna on May 17. Organizing themselves across social media, members of factions across Europe flooded in from France, Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland to join the Austrian faction to demonstrate against the EU.

To combat the protest, an anti-fascist group known as Offense Against the Right also gathered in the Austrian capital. As crowds became increasingly angry, police moved in to arrest protesters and separate the two opposing factions. VICE News was there to witness the clash of Europe’s new generation of extreme political movements.

Meet the EU’s New Breed of Bigoted Parliament Members: https://news.vice.com/article/meet-the-eus-new-breed-of-bigoted-parliament-members

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The Fight for Ukraine: Last Days of the Revolution

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February 2014, Ukraine’s Euromaidan revolution against the government of Viktor Yanukovych had reached another stalemate after the violence in late January. But on the 18th, massive and fatal clashes broke out between police and protesters outside the Ukrainian parliament building, the Rada.

After hours of fierce fighting, the protesters were pushed back onto their last lines of defense in Independence square and just about forced the police back after an attempt to clear the square. Once the dust had settled almost 30 police and protesters had been killed, on a day where firearms were used openly by both sides for the first time.

Vice News arrived a day later to a city on lockdown and Independence square resembling a dystopian protest nightmare, fires burning, everything covered in black ash and the protesters themselves looked tired and desperate as a fragile truce held throughout the night.

The next day however set of a chain of events that would leave dozens of protesters dead, Yanukovych fleeing the country and the protesters firmly in control of parliament. This film tracks the last days of the Euromaidan revolution, from the mass killings of protesters by the police on 20th February, to the day Yanukovych fled his private estate, leaving behind a wealth of incriminating documents linking him to fraud, corruption and possibly even attempted murder.

Within days an interim government, made up of protest figures and opposition MPs was in power and presidential elections were set for the 25th May. However, since the end of the revolution the new government has had to face a nosediving economy, the Russian annexation of Crimea and now a violent bid for independence by pro-Russian separatists in the east. After a violent and chaotic 6 months, the election gives the country a chance to look towards a future of closer links to the EU and a chance to end the corruption that dominates Ukrainian society.

Watch all of VICE News’ dispatches from Ukraine: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw613M86o5o5zqF6WJR8zuC7Uwyv76h7R

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UK Police State? ‘New law would ban protests, even imply thought crime’

In this episode of Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi talks to blogger Scriptonite on the new ASBO bill which could restrict protests around the country. The new law grants local authorities, police and even private security firms sweeping powers to bar citizens from assembling lawfully in public spaces. Afshin also looks at Britain’s plans to train Myanmar’s army on human rights and fact that not all UK citizens know Britain’s already in the the EU

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Source: http://rt.com/shows/going-underground/uk-police-state-protests-199/

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Greeks Mark 40th Anniversary of Student Uprising, Protest Against Austerity

More than 16,000 Greeks marched through the streets of Athens on Sunday to protest against austerity and mark the 40th anniversary of the student uprising against the former ruling military junta.

The annual march comes as Greece reels from its sixth year of recession. European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) lenders are set to begin a new round of talks to decide whether to throw more money at the southern European nation.

The crowd gathered in front of parliament in Syntagma Square, waving banners which read, “IMF, EU out!,” in reference to the bailouts that Greece has received from both bodies in return for harsh austerity measures.

The crowd shouted, “Don’t bow your heads” and “Never again fascism,” in reference to the military rule which took place between 1967 and 1974.

Source: http://rt.com/news/greece-rally-austerity-protest-872/

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