09.11.2011 · International news
On 9 November, more than 130 organisations in 49 European countries organise over 250 activities in the frame of the “International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism”. To “BE LOUD AGAINST FASCISM!”, commemorations, demonstrations, movies screenings, discussions, flashmobs, concerts are taking place Europe-wide – from Malaga to St. Petersburg, from Istanbul to Reykjavik. Each year, the UNITED Network coordinates the biggest campaign of this nature and mobilises many groups and more than 100.000 individuals to show Europe a common front against hate ideologies and violence. The campaign aims to commemorate victims of fascist regimes, and to warn about the danger of nationalism, racism, antisemitism, right-wing extremism and neo-fascism today. “‘Never Again’ is both a driving force and a watchword that must warn us that we must collectively ensure that fascism, propelled by a racialist view of the world must never, ever, be allowed to wield power again in any way, shape or form”. [Graeme Atkinson, Hope not Hate (UK)] TODAY’S SITUATION We have to be aware that the existence and threat of fascism, antisemitism, racism and homophobia have not been defeated and have never gone away. As an example, this year on 4 November, the “Day of National Unity”, 10 000 people marched in Moscow, shouting “Sieg Heil” and “Russia for Russians”. The financial crisis is used all over Europe to fuel divisions in society. Statements such as “we have to look after our own people first” are reinforcing a culture of blame and creating a toxic environment against minority communities. Attacks against the Roma population are becoming a fatal trend. In Hungary, the village of Gyöngyöspata hit the headlines for being home to violence from right-wing groups against the Roma population. Dozens of extremists marched into the village attacking the Roma population, imposing an environment of fear. Former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany said “there is no Roma problem, rather there is a Nazi problem.” Why this campaign on 9 November? 9 November 1938 marked the beginning of the “Kristallnacht” pogrom and is seen today as the symbolic beginning of the Holocaust, the policy of systematically murdering millions of people. It reminds us that the Holocaust did not start with deportations and concentration camps, but developed step by step. Nazi propaganda, hate speech against Jews and laws depriving Jewish citizens of their rights were the first steps which eventually led to the murder of millions of Jewish people and “enemies of the German state”: homosexuals, criminals and “asocial” people, members of diverse religious communities, people with mental disabilities, political “offenders” such as communists and socialists and minorities like Roma and Sinti among others. UNITED for Intercultural Action The campaign is coordinated by ‘UNITED for Intercultural Action’ – the European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees. Within the UNITED network more than 550 organisations from a wide variety of backgrounds, from 48 European countries, work together in common activities and projects.