MINELRES: UNITED: The Shadow of the Past and the Hope for a better Future

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Feb 19 19:04:53 2009

Original sender: UNITED <noreply@unitedagainstracism.org>

UNITED ENEWS 19/02/09: The Shadow of the Past and the Hope for a better

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

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

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 hate.

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

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.


UNITED is the pan-European network against nationalism, racism, fascism
and in support of migrants and refugees, supported by over 560
organisations in 46 European countries.
How to join the network: see www.unitedagainstracism.org 'joining the

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support, anti-fascism, against antisemitism, migration, minority issues,
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Regular postal mailings, containing publications such as Addressbook
Against Racism, Calendar of Internationalism, Campaign reports, Posters
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UNITED for Intercultural Action
European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of
migrants and refugees
Postbus 413 - NL 1000 AK Amsterdam - phone +31-20-6834778 - fax
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