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Xenophobe Swiss SV Party propaganda. The white sheep kicking the black sheep out of the country

This is the propaganda used by the SV party, member of the Swiss government, against immigration. It´s very allusive the roles of the white sheep and the black sheep. The black is the murderer, that is being kicked out of the country by the white ones. This, per se, incites prejudice, violence, xenophobism.

Commenting the case of the pregnant Brazilian girl that was attacked by men that carved "SVP" over her body, leading her to miscarriage, a forensic medicine said that she was lying about the pregnancy and that she self-inflicted the injuries. I know this girl for 8 years. She´s not crazy, she is a normal happy person that would have no reason to cause self-inflicted harm.

The legist said that she was a gambler and that she had mental disorders. How could a forensic medicine say that? He´s no psychologist, he did not have time to "mentally diagnose" the victim. This is, at least, unprofessional.

One thing is to believe in Paula. Anyone is free to have his/her own convictions. Another thing is to tolerate and to stay silent in the face of xenophobia, racism and hate speech. I hope that this and similar propaganda causes a very firm reaction against it, coming from all over the world

I am sorry again for the off-topic message, but it closes my posts on this topic.

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Comment by Marília Maciel on February 18, 2009 at 5:01pm
Jovan, thanks for sharing your personal view. I am really glad to hear about your optimism and to hear the actions put in place by movements against racism and xenophobia in Switzerland. I will continue spreading the word about them.

I have been following the debate closely in the blogs in Brazil and I don´t feel that there was a generalization in the minds of people. On the contrary. Some doubted that something like that was even possible in a country of what they call “first world” like Switzerland. People here comment they trust in the Swiss police. But it´s true that now everybody knows of SVP and its propaganda, so people (not in general, but academia and the press) will follow more closely to know what is the real level of tolerance with this kind of political platform. This, in my opinion, can be a positive side effect, because our agenda becomes more open to the matters of the world. It also can raise a positive debate about problems in Brazil.


Comment by Jovan on February 18, 2009 at 4:25pm
Thanks Marilia, it is an interesting example of "internationalisation" of the global policy space with numerous interplays by, in this case, Brazil and Switzerland. With regard to Switzerland there are a few aspects. I am foreigner in Switzerland coming from the region that does not have particularly good image in Switzerland and the rest of the Western Europe. Sometimes, people in Western Europe are harsher towards people from the Balkans because "people from the Balkans are once of us who failed". Moreover there are no usual racial/religious barriers in the negative relations towards people from the Balkans (most of the people form the Balkans cannot be easily distinguished physically from Western Europeans). Generally speaking, it makes me particularly alert to any form of xenofobia and disscrimination.

What is the reality in Switzerland? SVP won less than 30% votes. It is still a lot. However, they do n ot have majority of seats in parliament. Moreover, through smart political manovuer, political elite managed to contain power of SVP (some argued that SVP was undemocratically put in weaker position). Moreover, Switzerland has extremely vibrant civil society. It really works. There are NGOs, media, movements that raise the questions of xenofobia and racism. In my view, it is unfair to judge Switzerland in general through this terrible incident. I saw already a few articles and I am sure that justice will work.

Another example..... In august Gadafi's son mal-treated some people who worked for him. It went too far and he was arrested by the Geneva police. He was realised from the jail, but Libya started broad political action requested apology from Swiss government. Libya withdrawn money from Switzerland, stopped Swiss flying to Libya and cancelled investment agreements with Switzerland. Switzerland reviewed decision and it was clear that there was criminal case involving Gadafi's son. Switzerland has not apologized. They are loosing money and investment. In this case Justicia was blind.
Comment by Marília Maciel on February 18, 2009 at 3:29pm
Hello Jovan!

I totally agree and I am really glad to hear about the outcomes in Switzerland. I have dug deep in this subject and I am aware that the ideological view of the SVP is one among several that exist in the country, and it has endured severe criticism. I have helped to bring attention to the Swiss opposition movements here in Brazil. Although SVP controls a large number of seats in the Parliament (the majority, if I am not mistaken), the opposition has achieved important victories, such as the one in the referendum you mentioned.

From what I have researched, since 2006 UN observers have been denouncing the racist and xenophobe platform of the SVP. The number of xenophobe attacks has risen 30% in 2007, in comparison with 2006. The Swiss League of Human Rights has denounced SVP for making available 5 electronic games to “seduce the young”. One is called “enough of criminal foreigners” (link below).

The case of the Brazilian girl has raised an urgent debate in Brazil, which served not only to call the attention of our society to what happens in the world and to the rise of extreme right movements, but also to call attention to our own problems. The debates about the girl have brought to light xenophobe feelings, towards people inside our borders and towards our neighbors in Latin American. This is an important opportunity to raise the debate within the Brazilian society. Some sectors in Brazil look down on other Latin Americans, and are totally against the integration carried out by the present government. They are minority now. Who knows if they will be in the future?

Inside our borders, some Brazilians have prejudice against people from the North. It´s possible to notice this in several blogs that are discussing the issue of the Brazilian girl. People protected by anonymity express what they don´t have the guts to say face to face. “The girl is not Brazilian. She´s from the Northeast”. This kind of prejudice is never displayed in propaganda in Brazil, it does not generate physical violence (“only” psychological one). But in the future, who knows?

The real debate is that the world is evolving in a complicated way. The environmental crisis, the shortage of water, of food, of jobs, of hope, incites migration inside and among countries. Are we ready to deal with that in a humanly way?

I give support to the movements that oppose to any kind of prejudice in Switzerland and I offer my voice do the same inside my region.

Regarding Paula, everybody in Brazil who knows the girl, like me, have stick to their testimonies about her. She is intelligent, responsible, hard worker, happy. This is the description of the person we know. We hope the police will conclude the investigations soon and make everything clear, we have mobilized national human rights movements to follow the case and provide assistance to her family and we hope for her full recovery.

Thanks for your message!

Comment by Jovan on February 18, 2009 at 10:58am
This poster raised a lot of controversy in Switzerland. It was criticised by the wide spectrum of parties and "political spectrum". There were two major developments that speak about maturity of the Swiss political system:
- political elite managed to outmaneuver SVP's leader out of the government (through smart use of procedures and fraction within SVP).
- there was open discussion; the issue was not put "under the carpet"; there have been a few results; last week there was vote that should allow Romanian/Bulgarian citizens to work in Switzerland; SVP was against this motion; many people expected negative vote because of financial crisis, increasing xenophobia, etc. The result of referendum was 60% of approval vote.

What is the "lesson learned"? The cases of xenophobia should be addressed not only on rhetorical level (accusation) but also on substantive discussion level (policy debate) and action (oppose such cases). The more xenophobia is put "under the carpet" the more it gains momentum.
Comment by Joseph Mokaya Gichana on February 16, 2009 at 1:35pm
I share your sentiments, as much as we are engrossed to our political and religious believes, we should know that other people also have a right to exist freely as long as they dont break the law!



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