The graffiti stares back at you as soon as you leave John Paul II International Airport and set off on the drive into Krakow. It follows you into the city, on the sides ofNike air max 2011
the roads and the little clusters of apartment blocks. White supremacy symbols mostly, though it does not take a great deal to find the larger, more sinister pieces of work.
At least the authorities here are trying to do something about it. Maybe not enough, but more than you might realise given the way England's host city has commonly been portrayed as shrugging its shoulders and wondering, bemusedly, why the rest of us are getting so worked up.
They spend around zloty 150,000 (£30,000) every year trying to remove the spray paint from Krakow's walls. Interkulturalni, one of the organisations tackling racism, has a "Streets Discount air max
of Shame" section on its website, where the public can post photographs and report offenders. The city council has its own hotline and the Krakow Post isroutinely filled with stories promoting multiculturalism. One recent front-page headline read simply: "Stamp Out Racism."
The problem, according to Interkulturalni, is "institutional racism", passively accepted by the public. Already we have had the monkey chants that polluted a Holland training session at the Wisla Krakow stadium and, just as shockingly, something that strayed suspiciously close to an attempted cover-up. Listen to the footage and it is not merely a handful of people involved, as Uefa tried to purport, but hundreds. It is the ghastly "ooh ooh" noises that symbolise women air max
only one thing, and it was pitiful in the extreme that Uefa, as well as a number of Dutch journalists, tried to pass it off as something it very obviously wasn't.