While in Ulm autonomous Antifa were subjected to excessive police violence, they were yet again betrayed by the “German Confederation of Trade Unions” (DGB) but received solidarity only from Kurdish as well as communist demonstrators. The DGB has yet again placed itself in the tradition of May Day 1933. Even then the Nazi’s attempted to transfigure the international workers day into the “day of national work”. On the 2nd of May 1933 they devoured the trade union movement while on the day before part of the trade Union movement went on the streets together with the Nazi Party. Every year the Nazis try to claim May Day for themselves so that its roots will be forgotten: The anarchist assembly in 1886 at the Haymarket in Chicago to promote a general strike for an 8 hour working day.
May Day 2008 became a signal for a new form of right-wing radicalism in Germany. For the first time the “Autonomous Nationalists” (AN) received attention from the media. It was then that 1,100 Nazis from a militant youth subculture marched through the Barmbeck district of the city Hamburg. Over 9,000 leftists gave resistance, the Nazis concentrated their attacks against members of the press as well as political opponents. The police were surprised and dumbfounded by the new quality of right wing militancy. Within the scene the attention resulted in a greater momentum in the attractiveness of the AN. The AN present themselves as a superficial right-wing rip-off of Autonomous Antifa’s and are attempting to develop a violent and modern image in order to attract young people. Although they are turning away from traditional repugnant Nazi images such as the narrow minded hair parting (aka Hitler) or the thuggish Nazi-skin, in order to appeal to a new generation, they have however failed to achieve the support of a broad spectrum necessary for a mass movement.
On the 12th of April 2008, 800 AN’s had already marched through the town of Stolberg (North Rhine-Westphalia). The reason for this is that on the 4th of April a youth had been killed in a street fight after attending an NPD meeting. The largest rally so far by the Autonomous Nationalists occurred on the 6th of September 2008 when 1,200 Nazis, despite counter-protests from 1,800 left-wing demonstrators, were able to march undisturbed through the streets of Dortmund (North Rhine-Westphalia). The march was to commemorate the German invasion of Poland on the 1st of September 1939. The Nazis have been commemorating the start of the second world war for the past four years, cynically running under the motto of “national anti-war day”. On the 1st of May 2009 the AN marched once again through their stronghold Dortmund, this time 300 of them attacked a Trade union demonstration.
On the 13th of September 2008 1,100 Nazis took part in the 4th “Festival of the nations” (Fest der Völker/Fdv) in Altenburg (Thuringia), they were met by 2,000 left-wing counter-demonstrators. At the annual Rechtsrock (Rock against communism) festival, organised by the NPD, the bands which play mainly belong to the music network “Blood and Honour”. Hardcore Nazis from all over Europe travel to this festival which serves as an opportunity to improve right-wing networks. Many of the Nazis are independent of political parties organised into the so-called “Freien Kameradschaften” (independent camaraderie organisations). The aim of such large meetings, such as the “Festival of Nations”, is to construct so-called “nationally liberated zones” within larger cities, which in contrast to some rural areas will only exist for a limited time.
The largest Nazi demonstration in Germany, since the end of the second world war, took place on the 14th of February in Dresden (Saxony). On the anniversary of the allied bombing 6,500 Nazis, from all over Europe, marched through the city. Although for the first time this year, several thousand left-wing counter-demonstrators also attended, the revisionist event has managed to inscribe itself in the agenda of European Nazis. Just as the marches in Wunsiedel (Bavaria) to the grave of Rudolf Hess or the annual party of the NPD newspaper “Deutschen Stimme” (“German voice”) mostly in towns in East-Germany before, Dresden has become the main annual meeting of European Nazis.
The three main characteristics of the larger Nazi meetings is networking and organising, promoting self confidence in the internal ranks and demonstrating a potency to the outside world. The reason why the Nazis are meeting is unimportant, as long as they serve as an identification function for the whole Nazi spectrum. This is especially the case for historical revisionist themes, where mainly Nazi political strongholds are selected. It is not enough to just stop the larger Nazi meetings, the Nazis have shown that they are able to react flexibly to legal restrictions. Besides fighting against the Nazi ideology present within the society and reporting about Nazi activities it is completely necessary to smash the Nazi structures: every single Nazi has to be attacked by any means necessary.
Never again fascism!
Autonome Antifa Freiburg
Communiqué from 07.05.2009
Antifascist Ticker of May 1st 2009 from Hanover, Mainz, Siegen und Ulm
In German: http://linksunten.indymedia.org/de/ticker/1mai09
In English: http://linksunten.indymedia.org/en/ticker/1mai09