Notes on the workshop about the struggle against fascism, within the With Catalonia international meeting
Saturday 16 December 2017, 5pm
This session has two parts. The first part deals with:
The current rise of fascism, racism and islamophobia
Kadijatu Dem (activist against islamophobia) explains that islamophobia is a very widespread racism, and the favourite weapon of current far-right movements.
Eva Pous (Absolució Encausades 12 Octubre – Alerta Solidària) explains the case of people who have been put under trial for hate crimes because of an alleged fight against fascists. She underlines the growing tendency to use the concept of “Hate crimes” to repress protests by social movements instead of what was supposed to be its objective: to protect oppressed groups against crimes based on discrimination.
Mireia Suero (anti-fascist activist) speaks about the present growth of fascism, taking advantage of the climate of repression promoted by the State against independentist movements. She also expresses the need for a unitary response. She stresses the importance of everyone being able to differentiate between pro-Spanish feelings and fascism. Pro-independence people must understand that not all pro-Spanish people are fascists, that fascism is a specific problem. People who are not pro-independence must still combat fascism.
Carme Salvador and Guillem Agulló the mother and father of Guillem Agulló, murdered by fascists in April 1993, speak about their son’s case and the current problem of the impunity of fascism in the Valencian country (País Valencià).
In the subsequent debate, the main subject is the relationship between fascism and capitalism. Some of the interventions more or less equate fascism to capitalism, which means that anti-fascist struggle is necessarily anti-capitalist struggle. Also, if we have in fact always lived under fascism-capitalism, we cannot say that fascism is now growing.
Others recognise the relationship between fascism and capitalism, but they insist that they are not identical, not all capitalism is fascism and therefore a specific fight is needed against fascism, not limited to anti-capitalists. This brings us to the second part.
The united struggle against fascism and racism
Núria Bosch (UCFR activist), Jorge Mancebo Navalón (Crida contra el Feixisme, País Valencià) and Héctor Puente Sierra (Stand up to Racism, England) explain the united struggle against racism in their respective territories. Broadly speaking, that not limiting the fight to the anti-capitalist sectors allows for wider and more representative mobilisations, which makes it more difficult to marginalise or criminalise them.
In the same line of thought, a Greek activist explains how KEERFA, the unitary movement against fascism in Greece, was able to mobilise hundreds of thousands of people in protests against the murder of Pavlos Fyssas in 2013. If they had limited themselves to the anticapitalist left, the protests would have been far smaller and would not have obtained the results that they have now got: that Golden Dawn is in court under accusations of being a criminal gang.
A companion from Galicia explains how they responded to a proposal made by fascists from the Neonazi centre, Hogar Social Madrid, to pay a “charitable” visit to a Galician village affected by forest fires. Some people wanted to form a squad to stop them physically, but others chose to talk to the people in the village; they were able to get the whole of the village to reject the fascists’ “help”.
It was emphasised that promoting a united struggle against fascism, without laying down other preconditions, does not mean that anti-capitalists have to cease to be that, only that in this struggle it is necessary to work with many more people… and thus also get to know more people.
- The broad struggle against fascism, racism and islamophobia must be spread to more territories.
- Coordination between territories must improve.