European Anti-Fascist Manifesto

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Gabi Zimmer, president of the United Left Group (GUE/NGL) in the European Parliament, together with Greek Left MEP Nikos Chountis presented the European Antifascist manifesto, which you can see below, this month in the European Parliament.

Gabi Zimmer said: "We are clearly witnessing a rise of the extreme right in Europe with more and more groups acting in an openly fascist manner. After 2014 we could see more openly fascist politicians in the European Parliament. We must prepare for the emergence of these political groupings. We need a broad alliance so we can get through to people and fight this extremely dangerous trend."

Nikos Chountis said: "In Greece there has been an explosive increase in fascism in the form of Golden Dawn. This is a result of the crisis and austerity policies. People are looking for something to cling on to and this has helped the fascists gain support. We are witnessing a comeback of the worst nightmares of the 1930s, but this time history cannot be repeated."

Sixty eight years after the end of World War Two and the defeat of Fascism and Nazism we are witnessing almost everywhere in Europe the rise of extreme right. But, and this is an even more distressing phenomenon, we see the emergence and growth to the right of this extreme right, plainly neo-Nazi forces which, in some cases (Greece, Hungary,…) are putting down roots in society, building popular, radical, racist, ultra-violent, and pogromist mass movements. Their declared objective is to destroy all working class trade-union, political and cultural organizations, to crush any citizens’ resistance, to deny the right to difference and to exterminate –even physically- those who are “different” and those who are most vulnerable.

Like in the 20s and 30s, the ultimate cause of this extreme right and neo-fascist threat is the deep economic, social, political and even moral and ecological crisis of capitalism which, giving the debt crisis as a pretext, is leading to an unprecedented attack on the standard of living, the freedoms and rights of workers, of all those from below! By exploiting the fears of the well to do of the risks of a social explosion, the radicalization of middle classes destroyed by the crisis and sweeping austerity measures as well as the despair of marginalized and impoverished unemployed people, extreme right and most of all neo-Nazi and neo-fascist forces are growing everywhere in Europe. They are gaining mass influence in the poorer layers of society turning this influence systematically against traditional and newer scapegoats (immigrants, Muslims, Jews, LGBT, disabled people,…) as well as against left wing organizations and trade unions.

The influence and radicalism of this extreme right is not the same throughout Europe. However, the general implementation of sweeping austerity measures is already making the rise of the extreme right an almost general phenomenon.  The conclusion is clear: The fact that the spontaneous rise of the extreme right and the emergence of an ultra-violent mass neofascism are no longer an exception to the European rule now impels the antifascists of this continent to confront this problem in its real dimensions, that is as a problem of European dimensions.

However, saying all that is not enough if we do not add that the fight against extreme right and neo-Nazism is extremely urgent. In fact, the neo-fascist threat in many European countries is already so direct and immediate it has transformed the antifascist struggle into the first priority, a battle of life and death, in which the left and the workers’ organizations, freedom and democratic rights, solidarity and tolerance and the right to difference are all at stake. Saying that we are engaged in a race against racist barbarism and neo-fascism corresponds to a reality verified every day in the streets of our European cities.

Considering the depth of the crisis and the enormity of the social damage it produces, the intensity of political polarization, the determination and aggressiveness of dominant classes, the historic importance of what is at stake in the current confrontation and the extent of the rise of the extreme right it is clear that the antifascist struggle constitutes a strategic choice requiring an organizational plan and a long term political and militant investment.  Therefore, antifascist struggle has to be closely linked to everyday struggle against the austerity measures and the system which generate them.

In order to be efficient and meet the expectations of the population, antifascist struggle has to be unitary, democratic and be conducted by the popular masses themselves. To this end, citizens have to organize their antifascist struggle and their self-defence themselves. At the same time, and in order to be effective, this struggle must be global, confronting the extreme right and neofascism everywhere, the poison of racism and xenophobia, chauvinism and militarism, of the cult of blind violence and the denial of gas chambers and Auschwitz itself. In short, in order to be effective in the long run, the antifascist fight has to propose in actions an alternative vision of society, diametrically opposite to the one proposed by the extreme right. That is a society founded on solidarity, tolerance and fraternity, rejection of machismo, rejection of women’s oppression and respect for the right to difference, internationalism and scrupulous protection of nature, defence of democratic and humanistic values.

This European antifascist movement has to be the heir of the great antifascist traditions of our continent. To that end it should lay the foundations of a social movement with stable structures and everyday activities, penetrating the whole society, organizing antifascist citizens in networks according to their profession, residence and sensibility, carrying out the fight in all fields of human activities and  assuming completely the task of the –even physical- protection of the most vulnerable citizens, the immigrants, the Roma, the national, black and ethnic minorities, the Muslims, the Jews and LGBT people, of all those who are systematically victims of State racism and the fascist mob.

It is therefore because the need for antifascist mobilization on a European scale is becoming day after day more pressing that we who sign this manifesto, are calling for the establishment of a mass unitary, democratic European Antifascist Movement, able to confront and defeat the brown plague which is raising its head on our continent. We will do our utmost to have the founding congress of this European Antifascist Movement that we need so badly, to take place in Athens in the spring of 2013 and to combine it with a big European antifascist demonstration in the streets of the Greek capital.

This time, history must not be repeated!

NO PASARAN!

Those organizations and groups that want to join, please send an email to antifascism.europa@gmail.com. Thank you.