.on Antifascism(2)

It is difficult, if not impossible, to provide a full picture on extreme right and fascist developments as well as the struggles against them. This newsletter will not attempt to cover everything that has been happening around Europe, but focuses on a few examples of continuing struggles against fascism as well as fascist tendencies on the rise. If you have some relevant information or resources that could be added on or used in a future newsletter please get in touch eyfa AT eyfa DOT org

1. Bulgaria – A Bulgarian-Roma Apartheid?
2. Hungary – Roma “community services”
3. Serbia – Belgrade Pride 2011 Banned by Serbian Authorities
4. UK – Dale Farm Eviction
5. Russia – Update on the Khimki hostages
6. Russia – Denis Solopov: cross the border before it’s not too late
7. Ukraine & Poland Football against Racism – Preparing for the European Championships 2012
8. Further Resources

1. Bulgaria – A Bulgarian-Roma Apartheid?

On the 23rd of September a child died in the Bulgarian village of Katunitza. He was killed by people working for an important mafia boss, Kiril Rashkov. The murder happened after a scandal over property in the village, as this mafia boss had been appropriating municipality lands for quite some time.

After the murder the people in Katunitza went out on the streets to protest against the mafia boss and the injustice served to them. However, soon after right-wing parties in Bulgaria, and the neo-Nazis reacted and framed the conflict as “ethnic.”

This was followed by an active anti-Roma mobilization throughout Bulgaria and the organizing of various anti-Roma protests.

Further information on the situation in Bulgaria can be found via: https://stopnazi-bg.org/

An insightful interview on the recent anti-Roma riots, with Bulgarian anthropologist Stefan Krastev can be found here: https://www.bulgaria.indymedia.org/article/38074

In the interview Stefan Krastev explores the “sense of something broken in Bulgaria, of great social inequality and of institutions failing to provide any kind of justice, or rather, functioning to provide injustice as a norm” and connects that to what happened in Katunitsa and the emotional reactions it sparked in Bulgarians.

Further information is also availble at: https://www.stopnazi-bg.org/english

2. Hungary – Roma “community services”

The last year has seen an explicit, official, move even further right in Hungary.

“A plan approved by the Hungarian Parliament in July [now] requires anyone who receives a social allowance to work on construction sites, to clean the streets or maintain parks and forests. In the case of refusal, the allowances would be stopped. Some flexibility is envisaged with respect to elderly and sick people, as well as to single parents with children. Some 300,000 people are expected to be working in “community services”. Officially targeted toward the jobless, according to critics, the plan is ethnically motivated and directed toward the Roma population.“

However, no reaction has come at an international level.

As it currently stands, the Hungarian parliament is constituted of Fidesz– Hungarian Civic Union, a right populist party with 227 seats, the Hungarian Socialist Party with 59 seats and the Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik party), a radical nationalist party with 47 of the seats, **the Politics Can Be Different party (Hungarian green party) with 15 seats.

** This information was added after the initial publication courtesy of information from one of our network members.

3. Belgrade Pride 2011 Banned by Serbian Authorities

Two days before Belgrade Pride 2011 was to take place, Serbian authorities banned the event. Once again, this is showing the strong fascist structures LGBTIQ*s and alternative people have to face every day in Serbia.

Statement from Queer Beograd and further resources availabe at: https://www.queerbeograd.org

4. UK – Dale Farm Eviction

In October 2012 Dale Farm (UK’s largest Travellers’ community) in Crays Hill, Essex was evicted.

Dale Farm consisted of nearly a hundred separate properties, lying well outside the village and made up of extended family plots or yards. Most were owned by Travellers of Irish heritage, although some Romani families also owned yards.

The estate was divided in two sections, the front part (about 45 plots) had planning permission; while the back part (52 plots) despite numerous applications and appeals, had been refused planning consent, even though the site was previously a disused scrap yard! According to the Commission on Racial Equality, 90% of traveller planning applications are initially rejected compared to 20% overall.

On Wednesday, the 19th of October the evictions took place after a high court ruling allowing Basildon council to clear the site.

A time-line of the eviction: https://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/blog/2011/oct/19/dale-farm-evictions-live

Dale Farm Solidarity: https://dalefarm.wordpress.com/

A longer article providing a wider context to the Dale Farm evictions: https://crisisofcivilization.com/2011/10/13/dale-farm-the-wider-context/

5. Update on the Khimki hostages

Almost a year after the actions at the Khimki city all, on the 24th of June 2011, the judge of the Khimki city court of Moscow region in Russia, Neonila Zepalova, sentenced the “Khimki hostages”, anti-fascist activists Alexei Gaskarov and Maxim Solopov. They had both been accused of organizing the radical demonstration against the construction of the Moscow-St. Petersburg toll highway, which took place in the Moscow Suburb of Khimki on the 28th of July 2010.

As a result of the sentencing Alexei Gaskarov was acquitted and cleared of all charges and Maxim Solopov was sentenced under the article on “hooliganism” (statute 213, paragraph 2 of the Russian criminal codex) and given a two year suspended sentence, and a probation period of two years.

Full article is available here: https://khimkibattle.org/?p=2528&lang=en

It is important to remember that the Khimki forest struggle is far from over and the logging has spread to other parts of the Moscow region as well. Further information on the Save the Khimki forest campaign is available here: https://www.khimkiforest.org/

6. Denis Solopov: cross the border before it’s not too late

A year after the action in Khimki took place, Denis Solopov one of the anti-fascist activists that took part in the action tells the full story of his escape from Moscow and experiences in getting refugee status.

“I am often faced with one basic question: whether, if knowing the consequences I would still take the same actions I did last year. Of course I would. Yes, we all suffered the consequences, but we also proved that average people, when united, are able to scare insolent bureaucrats. Nowadays, in Russia this is worth the effort. Who are the police investigators and field operatives? They are subordinates who are generally too frightened to admit that they are the slaves of their bosses, deceiving themselves that things are otherwise. Many of them have clearly understood that they have to create some work for themselves and invent some kind of “extremism.” Maybe there are also sincere stupid people who believe in their work. These fools do not see the extremists in officials and instead search for them in housing projects…”

The full interview where Denis Solopov recounts his escape is available in English here:

7. Ukraine & Poland Football against Racism – Preparing for the European Championships 2012

In preparation for the European Championships 2012 taking place in Ukraine and Poland. The FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) Network has published a 65-page report documenting the “number of racist and discriminatory incidents in the host countries.”

The report is available here: https://www.farenet.org/resources/Hateful_monitoring_report.pdf

8. Further Resources

A starting point on the definition of antifascism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifascism

To start off a research at how the extreme right is represented at a European Parliamentary level: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_European_Parliament_2009%E2%80%932014

November 11 – Warsaw, Poland: https://11listopada.org/