[DEBATE] : Anti/Fascism in Germany - from UNITED ENEWS 19/02/09:
genschel at uni-potsdam.de
genschel at uni-potsdam.de
Sun Feb 22 21:23:19 GMT 2009
some of you might be interested in this short report on the anti-fascist
mobilization in Dresden on the last weekend (Feb.14th) - where
European neo-nazi gathered and marched supposedly in
commemoration of the allied bombing of Dresden in February of 1945.
All the best from Berlin
UNITED ENEWS (pan-European network against nationalism, racism,
19/02/09: The Shadow of the Past and the Hope for a better Future
Last Saturday, 14 February 2009, thousands of people followed the
international call to take an active stand against Europe's biggest
neo-nazi gathering in Dresden (D). Several demo-tracks of the
regional platform 'Geh Denken' - a broad alliance of diverse national
and international NGOs, the UNITED Network, German trade unions,
politicians and local churches - and the (inter)national antifascist
alliance 'No Pasaran!' occupied the city center of Dresden with
colourful demonstrations against right-wing extremism and were able
to send out a meaningful anti-fascist message throughout Europe.
With local, nation-wide and international participation in the
demonstrations it was possible to block the city centre of Dresden
and prevent that the neo-nazi march takes it's apparently
'traditional route', passing by the city's Synagogue.
Nevertheless, this day in Dresden the European neo-nazi scene
mobilised its biggest gathering and obscured the city's commemoration
of the allied bombings in 1945 with a dark shadow of the past.
Although beforehand local and national politicians stated unmistakable
their resistance against right-wing extremism, the black crowd of
neo-nazis could march for hours under massive police protection
through Dresden. It became clear that the local authorities decided to
let the neo-nazi's march undisturbed and an enormous amount of
police forces from several German states prevented with all
possibilities the counter-demonstrators to interfere or come close to this
shameful and revisionist manifestation.
The neo-nazis tried to present themselves as 'moderate' and silently
carried their banners, with slogans like: 'Yesterday Dresden - Today
Gaza'; 'In remembrance of the victims of the bombing-holocaust -
Never forgiven! Never forgot!'; 'Honour to whom honour is due' etc.
Shocking was the growing participation of women in the neo-nazi
march and the picture of little children walking with 'mummy and daddy'
or being carried on 'daddy's shoulders' within a crowd of boneheads.
Anyway, violent attacks during arrival and departure to/from the
demonstration, against supposed 'left-wing people' and union busses,
as well as harassments of people who don't fit in the picture of the
far right groups showed the true face of the neo-nazis. These assaults
are not individual cases in Saxony, but daily practice of far right
groups that terrorise and claim entire districts and youth clubs. The
local statistic counts 401 assaults of right-wing extremists in 2008,
which is an increase of 30% compared with the last year - maybe this
explains why the neo-nazi march could walk protected and undisturbed
through the city and why many local citizens of Dresden decided to
stay at home or spend a 'normal' Saturday instead of taking an active
stand against the growing far right in their community. Independently
of the victims Dresden's citizens have to bemoan due to World War II,
it is necessary to prevent that history repeats. Dresden has become a
symbol for the extreme right and the occasion on 13-14 February is
misused in a massive scale. The annual gathering of neo-nazis to
supposedly mourn the victims of the allied bombings in the end of
World War II has nothing to do with dignified commemoration, nor with
freedom of speech - it openly celebrates revisionism and holocaust
denial, strengthen boundaries between fascist brotherhoods and
attempt to promote the anti-democratic movement.
Dresden won't be able to close its eyes towards right-wing extremism
and will have to deal also in upcoming years with the doubtful image
of being the host of Europe's biggest neo-nazi gathering.
Nevertheless, the this years counter actions showed that more and
more people are getting active against the far right tendencies in
Europe and Dresden won't have to struggle alone for a future without
The upcoming struggles...
...against right-wing extremism take place on all levels and the
European Parliament election, which will be held in the 27 member
states of the European Union, is one of it.
It is important to monitor the national far right parties, its
strategies and campaigns, as well as to raise awareness in public
about the threat of a general rightward-shift in politic and society.
The UNITED and Searchlight networks will monitor the European
Parliament election 2009 and gather information, which will be
published European-wide. We hope you will stand united with us in this
struggle against the political rise of the far right in Europe: - use
the information UNITED together with Searchlight will publish to set
up information campaigns on local level; - do own research about the
political parties in your country (especially in respect to the
upcoming European Parliament election); - raise awareness about the
danger of far right political parties and the possible aftermaths in
case far right politicians win seats in the European Parliament.
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