Last weekend’s events in Cologne demonstrate what European conservatives are up against. A conference protesting the building of a mega mosque run by Turkish radicals was violently disrupted by thugs who gained the approval of the local German authorities and the German media. The international media, including the so-called “conservative” media, have either not written about the Cologne incidents or done so by branding the conservatives as “Neo-Nazis” and the thugs as ordinary citizens bravely fighting back “Nazism.” An example of the latter can be found in The Times of London.
A reader of the Gates of Vienna blog remarks: “I have the feeling I am living through a moment of great historical import, a pivot in time that will be looked back on by historians as a crucial seminal event at the beginning of World War 3.”
Olav Torheim, a reader from Norway, sent us the below analysis of the media situation in his country. It is indicative of the situation elsewhere in Europe.
This evening, key persons from a number of Islam critical parties and groups were gathered for a conference in Cologne in Germany organized by the local Pro Köln (Pro Cologne) group. The conference had been announced several months in advance and leftist groups all over Europe had mobilized against it. However, the group opposing Islamization managed to hold the conference as planned on a secret location. The only occasions where counterdemonstrators were able to engage them were at two announced public arrangements; a press conference on Friday evening and a public meeting on Saturday.
The only Norwegian newspaper to cover the Cologne events was Dagbladet, the third largest newspaper in Norway, which had sent Marte Michelet to Cologne to report the events. Dagbladet tries to present the Islam critical groups as right wing extremist groups, but in reality it was the leftist counterdemonstrators that were behind all the riots and confrontations this weekend. Local observator Olav Torheim can document these facts with lots of written sources and photographies. Torheim is strongly critical of Marte Michelet's coverage in Dagbladet and accuses Michelet of misleading her readers and spreading propaganda for her radical left-wing friends in Europe. Michelet is the former leader of Red Youth (Röd Ungdom, the youth organization of the former Norwegian marxist-leninist party AKP), she is former editor of the radio station of the autonomous Blitz movement of Oslo – and now she is… a journalist at Dagbladet.
The leftists were strongly determined to stop a public meeting which was to be arranged at Heumarkt in the center of Cologne, but in reality, this meeting was only one part of a larger anti-Islamization conference arranged by the local Pro Köln group. Before the meeting had started, the leftists had sabotaged the railroad and by threats, violence and sabotage they had prevented most of the attendees to come to the meeting, including several hundred conference attendees which were stuck at the airport of Cologne.
Pro Köln had scheduled a press conference and a public demonstration in the center of the town. The leftist counterdemonstrators responded by planning concerts and counterarrangements that should mobilize the local inhabitants of Cologne for counterdemonstrations.
But instead of gathering people for these non-violent activities, the counterdemonstrators resorted to rampage and violence already at Friday evening. A Jewish representative of Pro Köln was severely beaten and had to be sent to hospital and more violent actions were done to persons that were considered “Nazis” by the counterdemonstrators. They also damaged a boat full of journalists and politicians by throwing stones from a bridge, and the Police had to order the boat back to harbor.
Even inside the town it became hard for the leftist. The Police had blocked the entrance to the demonstration square, and the counterdemonstrators were standing in an outer ring outside the Police barricades, while a number of Pro Köln people were gathered inside. Some counterdemonstrators tried to gather beside the Cologne Cathedral, which in many ways represents the core of the struggle. The Muslims of Cologne want to build a giant mosque with a dome and two minarets. Most of the Cologne citizens oppose this, but the project is supported by most of the politicians and it is embraced in the name of multiculturalism. But although Dagbladet reporter Marte Michelet writes that “tens of thousands of people were gathered in a giant counterdemonstration in front of the Cologne Cathedral on Saturday,” photos show that no more than maximum 1,000 persons were gathered here. Flags and clothes of the demonstrators also clearly show that most of them are members of typical left-wing subcultures. Not even here there were many people defending Islam in Europe.
When it became hard to make a strong enough manifestation in front of the police barricades, the leftist extremists started setting fire to garbage containers and initiating other kinds of rampage. In confrontations with the Police, six policemen were wounded and 500 leftists were taken in Police custody. However, Dagbladet's Marte Michelet once again presents a distorted version of these events and claims that the garbage cans were set in fire “to keep right wing extremists outside the barricades.”
According to German news sources, the leftist counterdemonstrators had expected to mobilize a counterdemonstration with 40,000 to 60,000 activists but instead they ended with being backed up with 5,000 to 10,000 demonstrators coming from all over Europe. People from Cologne were generally not interested in taking part of the counterdemonstrations – despite free concerts with well-known bands and other cultural activities that were supposed to mobilize ordinary people out on the streets.
Yesterday, the Norwegian national news bureau, Norsk Telegrambyraa (NTB) published the following report news based on the Dagbladet coverage.
Tens of thousands of Germans against racist conference
Köln (NTB-AFP): Tens of thousands of Germans rallied Saturday in a giant demonstration against an anti-Islamic conference in Cologne where several European right wing extremists were to participate.
Students, families and businessmen went "man out of the house" (untranslatable Norwegian phrase) to protest the conference where a number of right wing extremist top leader from countries like Belgium, Austria and Italy took part.
The demonstrators carried banners with the text "We are Cologne – get rid of the nazis" and "Cologne is rebelling" when they gathered outside the famous cathedral to protest the conference of the local right wing extremist group Pro Köln.
In his speech, the city mayor Fritz Schramma called the Pro Köln a group of arsonists and racists who are hiding behind the mask of being a civil rights movement.
150 pubs stopped selling beer to the conference attendees, while some taxi and bus drivers refused to drive them and cancelled their hotel bookings.
Pro Köln initiated Friday a two days long conference where the speakers condemned muslim immigration and the construction of a mosque in the town. (©NTB)
As one can see from the NTB report, the most important part – that violent counterdemonstrators blocked, sabotaged and threatened people from coming to the meeting – and that the Police finally banned the meeting due to "security reasons" – is not mentioned at all.
Shame on Germany: Cologne Was Ready to Beat Up Jews, 22 September 2008
An International Disgrace: Cologne Kicks Out “Undesirables”, 21 September 2008
Cologne Gives In to Violence after Mayor Calls for Intolerance, 20 September 2008
Cologne: A Tale of Two Mayors, 20 September 2008