Austria: Vienna: Successful demonstration against racism and fascism

November 9th saw hundreds join a demonstration against racism and fascism in Vienna initiated by the Socialist Left Party, SLP.

We organised a joint left committee for this demo as the issue is becoming increasingly important.

The date of November 9th was chosen consciously – it is the anniversary of the so called “Reichskristallnacht” (“night of broken glass”), which is the Nazi-name for their organised pogroms against Jews that took place on November 9th 1938.

In Austria today we see an increased number of racist attacks, partly a result of the extremely racist election campaigns of the FPÖ and its split off, the BZÖ. At the same time a number of fascist and far right organisations are trying to build themselves up. These include the extremely brutal Blood and Honour organisation that is attempting to take its first steps in Vienna. After the backlash against fascist organisations in the 1990s, there is now a new generation of Nazis that are gaining some self confidence and want to work more openly.

This demonstration on November 9th was a clear sign against this development. More then 700 participants made clear: “No foothold for fascists”. There were young and old, Austrians and migrants, people from different organisations but also a lot of unorganised antifascists on the demo.

The demonstration started at the headquarters of the FPÖ to protest against the racism of this party. Just some days ago a FPÖ member of parliament said in an interview that “certainly” there where “good sides of National Socialism” – something which again made clear that this party has no problems with this type of thinking.

The protest’s next stop was at the building of Olympia, an extremely far right student body. In 2005 Olympia invited to Austria David Irving, the internationally “holocaust-denier”. The brave, “German men” of the Olympia were in their house, but they preferred to switch off the light and pretended that there was nobody there.

Then the demonstration marched to the "Fritz-Stüber-Heim", the headquarters of the AFP. Stüber was a Nazi writer who was expelled from the VdU, the FPÖ’s forerunner, because he was too much to the right. The AFP organises once a year a so called “academy” which serves as a link between different parts of the extreme right wing. The AFP is also the mother-organisation of the BFJ, the League of Free Youth, a dangerous and very conscious ultra-right group that the SLP has been campaigning against for some years now.

The feedback from the people in the area was good. The AFP’s building, which is close to two schools, is quite unpopular. In all this was a successful demonstration that showed the racists and fascists, that it is better for them to stay in their cellars.

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November 2006