This article is not about burakburgers.  I couldn’t think of a snappy title.  But anyway, before a few brief points, I just want to say that I have come to the view that one hasn’t really lived in/been to Wrocław until one has had a burakburger.  I did think about coming up some ill-fitting metaphors about how this blog is the burakburger and you are the tomato sauce, but I didn’t even convince myself of that, so here’s a nice photo I nicked:

ImageNo really.  The ones at the Christmas market by Vega were well nice, and the ones made by Złe mięso are boss.

Anyway, a few points:

Firstly, you know the film “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” by Werner Herzog?  It is an excellent film, and the beginning is stunning.  “What does this have to do with Wrocław?” I hear you say.  Well I got a bit bored when I saw it, wanting the action to begin.  However, it’s worth seeing, and while the rest of the film carries the plot, the film without the beginning loses something.

It’s like that with my series about “multicultural Wrocław”.  The upcoming articles will be dead good (the next one will look at the issue of language), seeing as stuff will be said that I’ve never heard said, good stuff, but the series will be more complete by reading the introduction.


To crowbar – to forcefully include an irrelevant theme into a text/dialogue

I’m not saying that the articles will witness a slow grasp on reality culminating in murderous activities, like Klaus Klinksi brilliantly portrays in the film.  I’m not begging you to read it.  That’d annoy me if someone did that to me , or if I begged you to post the article on Facebook/tweet it/read them out in front of masses of people/hang upon my every word and the such.  Nah, I’m just saying that I reckon it’d be worthwhile to read it (which is me being very polite.  Basically I believe that you should read it, but I won’t come out and say that.  The article is boss, as is most things that I write).

Second thing.  Yeah, it was cool when the Facebook page of the “March of Independence” was deleted by the Facebook administration.  I mean, it’s ran by (what 161.infocafe rightfully call as) rebranded fascists and its parades in Warsaw and Wrocław have been linked to violent attacks.  Turns out that Facebook in Poland want to clamp down on hate speech.  Well I’m not so glad about this.  Firstly, the evening after the deleting saw a new “March of Independence” page set up, which got 10,000 “likes” within two hours.  The same day saw the “Big clean up of Facebook from hate speech” page deleted by Facebook as well, presumably due to complaints by fascists/racists/idiots about “left-wing hate speech”, something that I’ve seen elsewhere, whereby an antifa group page got taken down.  This belays a common mistaken belief that there is such a thing as a left-wing version of the likes of Neo-Nazis.  I’ll write more about this fallacy another time, but for the moment I’ll summarise by saying: It’s a load of rubbish.

More cutting analysis after the weather.

I mean, the thing is is that the old March page was “liked” by many people who don’t live in Poland, and that they gain a lot of financial help from immigrants in GB as well as US Poles/Pole-Americans (whatever they call themselves), where, and I say this with respect for the anti-fascist/left-wing tradition there, there is a strongly polarised view of matters of Islam, multiculturalism, sexuality and so on.  When I say strongly polarised I mean, as one says in the US, “bat shit crazy”.

But still.  A strong reaction against fascism and racism requires people to report hate speech on Facebook and Twitter and stand up against it online and in real life.  Dodgy views in a healthy civic society would be automatically challenged.  Even if that means trailing through comments on Gazeta Wyborcza.  This means being vigilant about, say, a protest planned in Wrocław by a group known for violent attacks on Roma premises by reporting this to the Facebook admin.  Yes, I know it won’t stop the protest, but still, the dissemination of hate speech must be countered, even if the Facebook admin are very flawed.

Which brings me to point three.  We need more than internet activism (yes, you know that. Yes, I know that you know that).  Protests by some residents of Tarnogoj about the setting up of places of residents for the Roma from Romany who have been living on a settlement on ul. Kamieńskiego had strongly antiziganistic undertones.  In a later article (me saying that must get annoying by now) I shall look at this more.  I won’t lecture you on concrete signs of solidarity that these Roma need, things like teaching them Polish, something Nomada have been asking for.  (Anyone of you speak fluent Polish and have some time?)

Right, that’s all for now.  Hope you’re having a good start to 2014.


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