Today is the international day of action against fascism, an initiative called from Athens where the thugs of Golden Dawn have been trying to capitalise on their electoral breakthrough in the country feeling the sharpest edge of Eurozone austerity. Left Flank extends its best wishes to the ordinary Greek people fighting the twin horrors of economic catastrophe and the rise of Golden Dawn.
As we noted in a recent post, there have been and will be solidarity actions across the world. Sydney was first with a small but lively protest outside the Greek consulate in stifling 45°C heat. It is worth having a look at the protest’s Facebook page, especially to watch the video of NSW Greens MP John Kaye’s passionate speech condemning the Greek state’s collusion with the fascists, and linking the rise of the neo-Nazis to the crisis of capitalism.
There will also be a solidarity protest in Canberra tomorrow, outside the Greek embassy from 1pm. More details can be found here.
A reminder, also, that Liz and I were involved in producing an e-book on Anders Breivik and the growth of the far Right. It includes a chapter by Richard Seymour — whose latest, Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens, is about to hit bookstores — that examines the linkages between Breivik’s manifesto and historic fascist tendencies.
You can buy On Utøya: Anders Breivik, Right Terror, Racism and Europe as a Kindle book via Amazon (follow the links here).
We leave you with this illustration and message from Samuel Bak, which he sent to organisers of the 19 January mass protest. Bak is a survivor of the Holocaust and an artist living in the US.
My name is Samuel Bak. I am an artist.
I am Jewish and I live in the United States. But I was born in Vilnius, when it was in Poland.
At the time of my birth Hitler was seizing power over Germany. In 1933 he was carried by waves of grave discontent and maddening nationalism. Huge crowds cheered him, as if he were God.
They preferred to ignore the dear price that came with such a terrible choice.
In the late 1930s I was a boy of five or six. And all these ominous events were happening beyond the border of my land.
In my lovely and warm home, life went on as usual. Often I sat at a well furnished table, surrounded by a loving family, and heard these words: “This could never, never happen here…”
Two years later the Nazis burst into our flat. They dragged my mother and me into the ghetto. They murdered my father, my grandparents. They murdered many loving members of my family. They murdered about 95 percent of the Lithuanian Jews, the highest rate of the extermination of six million European Jews.
They did not spare innumerable Russian prisoners of war, gypsies, homosexuals, communists, and civil populations at large — in short, all the ones who obstructed their march to universal power.
Today I am one of the few lucky survivors who can bear witness. I do it in my art, in my lectures, and in my writing.
Today, whenever the old, ominous, and familiar tunes of any fascist or neo-Nazi nostalgia return — whether proclaimed in English, French, Hebrew, or Greek — a shiver runs down my spine.
When will people get informed? When will they look at the mirror of history?
When will they learn from the mistakes of the past?
Because the worst might happen here, and sooner than we think!
— Samuel Bak, Weston, Massachusetts, January 5, 2013