One year from the murder of Pavlos Fyssas – a call for gathering
On Thursday, September 18, we are gathering on Blågårds Plads at 18.00 because on the same date one year ago antifascist artist Pavlos Fyssas was murdered in Athens by a gang of neonazis. We want to honour his memory and also express our concern about the rise of the far-right in Europe.
Few months before Pavlos Fyssas fell dead under the knife of a Golden Dawn storm trooper, Clément Meric was murdered by skinheads in Paris. In March 2014, Swedish activist Showan Shattak barely survived a lethal attack by the neonazis of Svenskarnas Parti. Still, most victims of fascist violence remain anonymous.
The European elections of May 2014 revealed how much the far-right has been advancing on the parliamentary front. Both Front National in France and Dansk Folkeparti in Denmark obtained about every fourth vote in their countries, Hungary’s Jobbik getting around 15% and Golden Dawn nearly 10%. The list goes on with the Austrian Freedom Party getting close to 20%, its Dutch equivalent Party for Freedom and the Finns Party both more than 10%.
Of course, these parties are not all the same. Some of them, like Golden Dawn and Jobbik, attack immigrants, homosexuals and politically active people in the streets, and often don’t mind expressing public admiration for Hitler. Others, like Front National and Dansk Folkeparti, meticulously dress their racist opinions in ‘politically correct’ language. They seek legitimization and power through legal means and their shady language gradually shifts the political debate to the right and normalizes racism.
Governments and state mechanisms appear completely numb, unable or unwilling to face the real threat posed by the far-right. On the street police violently suppresses antifascist demonstrations in order to protect neonazi gatherings, parliamentary coalitions include openly xenophobic parties, and the EU hardly seems to care that Eastern European countries are banning left-wing symbols and parties, while allowing monuments that praise the SS. Even more cynically, neonazi groups were utilized in favour of imperialist interests in Ukraine, the latter now sinking in the doom of civil war and neonazi crimes.
At the same time the European establishment takes advantage of the threatening image of right-wing extremism and uses it against leftist popular movements in the guise of the ‘theory of three extremes’. By equalizing left with right-wing extremism and militant Islamism ruling elites attempt to scare people back to the political “center” that has been increasingly losing legitimacy as neoliberal policies choke the vast majority of the continent’s population.
We must resist these efforts, just as we are resisting the racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and homophobia propagated by the far-right from the streets to the cabinets of power.