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Europe’s Football Fans are Innocent, Europe’s Governments Are Not 

Dublin.

Whenever Europe’s working class are up for a fight they are vilified in the media. Whereas when Europe’s ruling class are up for a war, even a world war, they are defended in the media.

This contradiction or class bias was in full view this week in Europe’s media.

Last Saturday (June 11) England played Russia in one of the opening games of UEFA Euro 2016. Before and after the football match in Marseille, France, the opposing fans threw punches, bottles and chairs at each other. And before you could say “World War Three” a media storm had developed around this violence.

As usual the British media were at the forefront of this hysteria. The BBC, The Guardian and SKY (Murdoch) led the charge into our living rooms and our minds. They were shocked, disturbed, angry and full of moral angst. They scrutinised the pictures of the fighting fans. And worried about the women and the children. The working class and the game they love were on media trial again.

The fans were “mindless”. Not just the minority but the majority as well. They were “criminal gangs”. And maybe their greatest crime (in the eyes of the BBC) was that they didn’t respect human rights: the fans didn’t attend to the injured. The answer for the media was of course more police – i.e. more state violence directed towards the working class.

Meanwhile on the other side of Europe – at the same time as the football fight in Marseille – Europe’s ruling class was actively preparing for World War Three. And Europe’s media didn’t blink. There was no questioning and no angst.

Between June 6 – 17 the forces of NATO and it’s “partners” were practicing for a war with Russia. The “war games” Anakonda-16 took place close to the border separating Poland and Russia. And for the first time since Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa 75 years ago, the German army crossed Poland – to take part in this “pretend” 2016 fight with Russia.

During this “military exercise” Europe’s ruling class placed 31,000 trained killers (14,000 Americans) on Russia’s border. And all of this violent behaviour happened just a month after NATO activated an aggressive missile system in Romania (Deveselu Airbase).

And how did Europe’s media react to this ruling class warmongering? It barely whispered. Indeed it was reported reverently. It was called a “display of strength”, “solidarity”, “defensive” and “reassuring”. It definitely was not reported as being “mindless” or “criminal”. And gang behaviour was completely out of the question. And the women and the children? Forget them. In Europe’s media the ruling class and their first love – war – is never on trial.

Without a doubt the football fight in Marseille and the East European “war games” were connected. Both stem from the West’s confrontation with  Russia. Both occurred, that is, in the context of an insane anti-Russian Western agenda. In what is an incredibly volatile situation Europe’s ruling class want to provoke Russia. Is it therefore a surprise that heads were broken when the English and Russian “working classes” met in Marseille?

Europe’s media (in particular the British media) avoid the big menacing picture because they’ve helped to create it. After demonising Russia and giving NATO’s governments cover they lash out at the working class football fans (both the English and the Russian) as if they are stupid. The current situation in Europe is stupid but it is not the fault of the European working class.

However if the working class (in Europe and everywhere else) don’t eventually direct their violence against the ruling class: that will be stupid. Enjoy the football. And the future fight.

More articles by:

Aidan O’Brien lives in Dublin, Ireland.

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