(English) Being Antifascist in Europe today

20. Dezember 2018

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December 14/15, 2018 ANPI invited to an international conference in Rome. The following declaration was accepted in this meeting:

Today as never before since the war, Europe sees a fierce and composite gathering of neo-fascist, racist, neo-Nazi- nationalist inspired political forces. Those forces, although often different among them (probably because of each specific national history), operate with similar goals, ideals, language, proposals and political practices.

The implementation of neoliberal economics on over Europe and the effects of the severe economic crisis that began after the 2007/2008, with the scandal of sub-prime mortgages, have been devastating under the socio-economic and cultural point of view, resulting in a decline of the great ideas of solidarity, equality, freedom and democracy, which were the flags of the international resistance movement and which prevailed in the post war Europe, after the defeat of Nazi-fascism.

Economic policy and liberal culture have led to an extraordinary rise in poverty and at the same time an increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.

The EU appeared therefore to millions of citizens, not as a higher form of solidarity among peoples and States, aimed at increasing democratic cohesion and well-being for its peoples, but as one of the main causes of the growing social exclusion, of the impoverishment, of the deterioration of personal rights. It appeared as a Europe of elites, of the major financial funds and economic lobbies, indifferent to the fate of countries and of a large part of the people.

Within this framework, have largely grown and/or have gradually prevailed in many countries, political forces either of nationalist, racist, fascist, neo-Nazi inspiration, or strongly influenced by these ideas. We therefore share the concerns expressed in the European Parliament resolution of 25 October 2018 on the increase of neo-fascist violence in Europe, with particular reference to the anti-democratic drift of various Eastern European countries, where current Governments are increasingly questioning political, civil, and social rights, denying antifascist memory, trivializing, minimising or even denying the crimes of the Nazis and their collaborators, obscure the value of the forces that fought and won against the Nazi-fascist occupation. These obscurantist, antidemocratic and repressive positions closely resemble to fascist and Nazi policies.

Those forces all share the pursuit of « scapegoat » of the unquestionable difficulties of such a large part of the people: the migrants.

The migrant, who is the preferred target of the right-wing radical forces, is not the only target. Discriminations against any real or alleged diversity, the Roma and Sinti, homosexuals, women, Jews, political opponents are also taking place more and more often. The everyday more explicit attack to the achievements of women also deserves a special attention. Ethnicity, gender, language, religion, political views, personal and social conditions have now become the new frontier of a creeping racism that poisons the social cohesion and identify « the Other » as « the enemy ».

In this serious situation, made even murkier by the possible further progression of those forces at the next European elections, we must react quickly and together. It is not the time for divisions and distinctions: to counteract this issue we need to be united against anyone who spread the contagion of nationalism, racism, fascism, neo-Nazism; against any person seeking to shift Europe into a climate obscurantist.

The EU needs an intense rethinking of the economic and social policies, which should focus on employment and a new welfare, to bring Europe back to its founding values – starting with antifascism – and relaunch in a modern way, its essential principles, to begin with human rights. We need a common policy to encourage employment and investment, to tackle unemployment and poverty, to redistribute income, to rebuild welfare. This is possible through the common work of the European Union and the individual States, so that the partial transfer of sovereignty of each State goes to the concrete advantage of its own people and of all the peoples of the Union.

Moreover, we need a common European and national policy to strongly tackle all forms of racial discrimination and xenophobia, fascism and neo-fascism, nationalism, obscurantism.

Furthermore, we need an uncompromising opposition to any form of Shoha and Porajmos and all extermination camps denial: Slavs, homosexuals, political prisoners, prisoners of war, Jehovah’s witnesses, Pentecostals, POWs, mulattoes, disabled, mentally ill.

The European Union has guaranteed more than seventy years of peace between countries, with some rare and unfortunate exception. Yet, EU countries were too often involved, frequently in the front row, in wars of aggression in the Middle East and Africa. The return of nationalisms frightens, because history shows how many times they have triggered a war as a solution for international disputes.

We are worried about the continued increase of military exercises on the Eastern front of the European Union and the increasing tension that opposes NATO to Russia. There is an urgent need for a gradual de-escalation of both sides, and that Europe finds back its role as an actor of peace. We are committed to a Europe of peace within its borders and around the world, because peace is the necessary scenario for any social and civil advancement

We send out a cry of alarm in front of the continuous erosion of democracy and the increasingly worrying successes of the right-wing radical forces in Europe; we work to build a broad democratic front, Republican and popular, we put forward and practice a relentless contrast to those forces.

Facing the danger of new fascisms, however masked or hidden, facing the reality of new racisms that affect many countries, facing the attempts to reduce the democratic freedoms, the freedom of the press, of denial of separation of powers, is time to create the unprecedented experience of unity between old and new antifascists, unity in the vast world of associations, unity among institutions, trade unions, peoples and citizens, to enhance the respect of human and civil rights, in a nutshell we shall give birth to the unity of antifascists.

For these reasons 1) We urge to support, in the forthcoming European elections, the forces that are unambiguously opposed to the sovranist, racist and fascist formations, 2) We are committed to creating a permanent European network of Antifascist associations and organisations, 3) We decide now on a next common appointment for the first months of 2019.

Roma,15 dicembre 2018

Carla Nespolo, Presidente nazionale ANPI;

Ulrich Schneider, Segretario generale FIR;

Tit Turncheck, Presidente ZZ NOB Slovenia;

Franjo Habulin, Presidente SABA Croazia;

Andrej Mohar, Segretario generale ZKP – Unione Partigiani Carinzia (Austria);

Casimiro Baptista Levy, Presidente URAP (Portogallo);

Nicolay Royanov, Vicepresidente Associazione Veterani Russi;

Manuela Gretkowska, fondatrice Partito delle Donne (Polonia);

Conny Kerth, Presidente VVN-BDA/RFA (Germania);

Dario Venegoni, Presidente ANED;