Arxiu de la categoria: In English

One world against racism and fascism! #16M – #23M

Call for worldwide marches against racism and fascism on 16-23 March 2019 to mark UN anti-racism day

[català] · [castellano] · [English]

We make this call in the very worrying context of the current international growth of racism and the far right.

Far right parties are advancing electorally and are even entering governments. With Donald Trump in the USA and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, far-right hatred — against migrants, Muslims, women, LGBT+, black and indigenous people, ideological opponents— has reached the presidencies of the two biggest countries of north and south America.

There are violent fascist street movements in more and more places.

The growth of anti-migrant racism feeds other forms of racism. Antisemitism, which should have gone for ever after the Holocaust, is growing again, with terrible results like the attack on the synagogue in Pittsburgh. Continua llegint One world against racism and fascism! #16M – #23M

Stop Islamophobia!

[En català] · [Declaración en castellano] · [Form to sign the call]

Now more than ever, don’t let the racists and fascists divide us

Earlier this year, over a hundred organizations signed the statement against Islamophobia, promoted by UCFR following the terrible attacks in Paris in January 2015. Now, we find ourselves in an even more horrific situation.

On 13 November, 130 people died in a Paris in an attack claimed by ISIS/Daesh. This is the latest in a seemingly endless tragic list. On 12 November, some 40 people died in a bombing in Beirut; on 20 November, 21 people in another in Mali. Meanwhile, the massacre in Syria continues, caused by many different forces.

These attacks are terrible and totally unjustifiable; we condemn them unconditionally.

The events of Paris have unleashed a new wave of Islamophobic attacks. There is a completely unjustifiable attempt to blame Muslim people and their faith for the crimes of terrorists with whom they have no connection. Muslims and their organisations around the world have said it clearly; ISIS/Daesh does not represent them.

In France, Islamophobic attacks increased threefold after the attacks of January 2015. During the days following the attacks of 13 November, around thirty Islamophobic incidents were reported.

In Britain, Islamophobic hate crimes increased by 300% after the recent attacks; the attacks were mainly directed against women and girls wearing a hijab. The agency that collects the figures warns that they are incomplete because many victims are afraid to report assaults to the police.

In the Spanish State and Catalonia, there have been attacks on mosques —there was even an arson attack in Extremadura— but there is no systematic data.

The European far right is taking advantage of the situation to try to gain support. In Catalonia, though thankfully the fascist party Plataforma per Catalunya is very weak —last May it lost most of its councillors—, other formations promote racist and Islamophobic discourses, while even the fascist threat has not disappeared. We must be vigilant.

The rise of racism reflects the Islamophobic atmosphere fostered by official bodies. They stigmatise entire neighbourhoods and sectors of society, carrying out police operations in front of TV cameras. However, they don’t call together the media when —days, weeks or, in the case of the Raval 11, many years later— those detained are shown to be innocent.

The attacks are being used as an excuse to breach the international —and moral— law which obliges us to welcome refugees. There are accusations that refugees represent a threat, whereas the truth is that many people who are now desperately trying to reach Europe are fleeing situations of violence and terror even worse than what happened in Paris.

Another aspect of the current situation is a resurgence of anti-Semitism. This was an element in the attacks in January, and in Marseille on 18 November, a Jewish teacher was the victim of a serious anti-Semitic aggression. We must denounce this as we should every other type of racism.

Those who think that the situation does not affect them are mistaken. The shock of the attacks is being used to further reduce the civil rights of everyone; and to promote wars that will bring more hatred, more terror, and more threats for the future, also for everyone.

Given this serious situation, we must respond with a firm defence of coexistence and civil rights for everyone. We must not let our neighbours of Muslim origin be stigmatised.

Over the coming months, Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme, as a broad social movement with hundreds of member organisations, will promote a series of activities to combat Islamophobia and to promote peace and coexistence. We want these to receive broad and active support, especially the “Social Forum against Islamophobia and all kinds of racism,” of 20 February, and the demonstration on 19 March, which is part of the international day against fascism, racism and Islamophobia.

We will defend our solidarity and our unity, regardless of differences of religion, origin, gender, skin colour, language, sexual orientation… Human rights for everyone! #StopIslamophobia! #StopAntisemitism! Fascism never again!

Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme
Barcelona, 3 ​​December, 2015

List of organisations signing the call

Stop Islamophobia! Sign the declaration

Stop Islamophobia!

Don’t let the racists and fascists divide us

Version of the declaration by UCFR of 20 January 2015, updated and adapted to collect signatures in Catalunya and across Europe. [En català] · [En castellano]

Form to sign the call· Supporting organisations

The attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher supermarket in Paris are terrible and totally unjustifiable; we condemn them unconditionally. We specifically condemn the antisemitic nature of the attack on Jewish people in the kosher supermarket. The attacks were designed to spread terror and division. There is a danger that the far-right and fascism will benefit from this climate as they provoke hatred and exploit tensions against Muslim and Jewish people across Europe.

Sadly, these attacks form part of a series of tragic events —in the West, in the Middle East and around the world— which in recent years have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. It will be difficult to solve this cycle of hatred and killings: we have to try to change things where we can.

For that reason we highlight the grave risk to our peaceful coexistence in our towns and neighbourhoods represented by the increase in Islamophobia following the tragedy in Paris. There are unjustified attempts to blame the entire Muslim population for the actions of a few murderers who do not represent them, just like the fascist murderer Breivik does not represent all Christians or Norwegians.

The extreme right in Europe —from the suited fascists of the Front National in France, to the openly Nazi Golden Dawn in Greece— is trying to capitalise on the tragedy, promoting Islamophobia. They try to argue that our Muslim neighbours represent a “threat to Western civilisation”. Some unscrupulous politicians in mainstream parties also promote such ideas. As we saw in the 30s, the real threat to civilisation are the fascists. Then their main scapegoat were Jewish people; now they promote Islamophobia —there have already been attacks on mosques— without abandoning antisemitism, Romaphobia, the rejection of different sexual orientations and all the rest. As in the past, they threaten anyone who does not think like them.

That means that social movements and the left can not be neutral in the face of Islamophobia, still less encourage it. We have to fight it like we do any other form of racism.

Don’t let the fascists and racists divide us. Let’s unite regardless of differences of religion, origin, gender, skin colour, language, sexual orientation… Defend peaceful coexistence in our neighbourhoods. No to the revival of antisemitism! Stop Islamophobia!

For all these reasons, we call for the maximum support for broad movements against fascism, racism and islamophobia across Europe, and for these to be created where they do not yet exist. We express our support for the demonstrations being organised around the International Day Against Fascism and Racism, on Saturday 21 March, 2015.

We sign the declaration and commit ourselves to working to eradicate Islamophobia, making public our position and promoting the activities of the unitary campaign of #StopIslamofobia.

Note:

Promoting the declaration: Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme (Catalunya) – https://unitatcontraelfeixisme.org

In collaboration with: Unite Against Fascism (GB) – http://uaf.org.uk

More information about the International Day Against Fascism and Racism, 21-M: KEERFA (Greece) – http://bit.ly/1BPSuYd · http://www.antiracismfascism.org

A year without Pavlos Fyssas – We will not forget: Fascism never again!

[Català] · [Ελληνικά ] · [Castellano] · [English]

This Thursday, 18 September 2014, marks one year since the murder of the Greek rapper, Pavlos Fyssas, at the hands of thugs from the Nazi party, Golden Dawn. The massive protests sparked by his murder forced the Greek government to take action against the Nazis, but today, a year later, we can see that the danger has not disappeared.

It is clear that the fascist threat exists in various forms throughout Europe. In France, the National Front is a leading political force. Even in Sweden, the disguised fascist party, the “Swedish Democrats”, won 12.9% in the recent parliamentary elections.

We know that the fascist organizations collaborate with each other; leaders of the Catalan fascist party, Plataforma per Catalunya, and the Nazi centre “Tramuntana” have notorious links with the Greeks Nazis.

We demand that the European Union, and the new European Commission, do everything in their power to prevent the advance of fascism. At least, they should not fuel the growth of the far right. Speeches and measures that criminalise immigrants —in effect, copying the fascists— don’t reduce their support, but rather give them credibility they do not deserve. In this regard, we are very concerned that Dimitris Avramopoulos —a member of a party that has applied extreme racist policies in Greece, provoking criticisms by Amnesty International— has been proposed as the new European Commissioner for Immigration. We call on the European Parliament to reject his appointment.

As for us, as a united movement which involves very significant sectors of Catalan society, we declare our commitment to continue the fight against the far right. We will do so within Catalunya and, increasingly, we will do so in collaboration with our sister movements across Europe.

So, on this sad anniversary, we send our solidarity to KEERFA, the united antifascist movement of Greece, and to all the people across Europe who mobilise around our shared call: “Fascism, never again!”

Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme
Barcelona, 18 ​​September 2014

Absolution of Nazis in Valencia – declaration in solidarity with the victims and with Acció Popular

[Original en català] · [Versión en castellano] · [In English]

We are shocked and disgusted by the absolution yesterday on technicalities of 18 members of a neo Nazi group in Valencia, on trial for illegal association, possession of prohibited weapons and possession of firearms.

Those on trial included two soldiers, a councillor for the fascist party España 2000 and the self-confessed murderer of the young Valencian antifascist, Guillem Agulló, in April 1993 (the murderer served only 4 years in prison).

The Nazis were absolved when the Court ruled out all the evidence obtained as a result of a telephone tap carried out by the paramilitary police force, the Guardia Civil. Incredibly, the other key pieces of evidence, the arms seized from the Nazis, were destroyed by the very same Guardia Civil before the start of the trial.

We echo the words of Toni Gisbert, of People’s Action Against Impunity, the social movement which worked hard for a conviction:

“The elimination of the phone taps might mean the exclusion of evidence but it can’t exclude the truth. And the truth is that it has been shown that there was an organized Nazi group with a violent ideology and attitude, and that they possessed banned weapons… And we ask ourselves: doesn’t the Court consider to be an offence the possession of prohibited weapons, nor the organisation of a Nazi group nor the existence of a group with a violent ideology and attitude? What message is the Court giving to society?”

As, Gisbert says, this comes in a European context “in which there is a growing social concern regarding the emergence of fascism and populism… But the possession of arms and the creation of fascist groups are not crimes in the Spanish state.”

It is worrying that the same Court acquitted the Nazi group Armagedon in 2005.

We send our solidarity to all the family and friends of the many victims of fascism in Valencia, as well as to People’s Action Against Impunity.

Unidad Contra el Fascismo y el Racismo,
Barcelona 31 July 2014

List of other signatures

Press statement by UCFR on the crisis in Plataforma per Catalunya

Press statement by Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme on the crisis in Plataforma per Catalunya

[En català] [En castellano]

Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme (UCFR, Unity Against Fascism and Racism), the network of 400 social, cultural, trade union and political organisations in Catalunya, celebrates the removal of Josep Anglada as president of the fascist party Plataforma per Catalunya (PxC).

In 2010, when UCFR was established, some people saw the electoral growth of PxC as something inevitable, and believed that the best strategy was not to speak of the party nor of its leader, Josep Anglada, arguing that to do so was to give it publicity. UCFR, however, did not share this approach and has always acted according to the principle that to deal with the problem it was essential to face up to it openly, making clear the danger it represents. For that reason, UCFR has denounced —with a quarter of a million leaflets; thousands of posters and stickers; dozens of public events; and numerous street protests— the fascist nature of this party.

This constant work by the activists of UCFR, as well as by the entities that make it up, in the different neighbourhoods, towns and counties of Catalunya, has weakened and divided PxC. Over recent years, this fascist party has experienced one defeat after another. In November 2011, PxC failed in its attempt to enter the Spanish Congress. In November 2012, they remained outside the Parliament of Catalonia, with a significant loss of votes compared to the previous Catalan elections. And all this happened in a European context where the extreme right increased their representation in several neighbouring countries.

These losses have contributed to the loss of sympathisers, members and councillors. Since the last elections, PxC has lost fifteen of the 67 council seats obtained in May 2011. Last summer, Josep Anglada suffered a humiliating defeat in his home town when the City Council of Vic passed a resolution, promoted by the local UCFR group, which denied PxC the use of municipal facilities. And just a week ago, the then international secretary, Enric Ravello, left the party.

The removal of the fascist from Vic as President of the party that he founded is also a consequence of this ongoing and permanent situation of decline. A decline that has been caused in large part by the growing contradictions between the public message and the reality of the party, something that UCFR has continued to highlight; as well as by the public and media perceptions of the fascist nature of this party and of its president and best known leader. A perception to which the joint work carried out by UCFR, as well as other organisations, has contributed greatly.

However, the removal of Anglada is only one step, and not even the most important one, towards the eradication of fascism from our country. The leaders of PxC who brought down Anglada are potentially as or more dangerous than the fascist from Vic. In UCFR we believe it is too early to know whether the new leadership of PxC will manage to stop the haemorrhage of members and councillors, and achieve real control over the party, or whether PxC will tear itself apart as a result of the infighting that has already been going on for a long time.

In UCFR we are fully aware that the fascist threat has not disappeared, and for that reason it will be necessary to strengthen the work of our local groups and create new ones where PxC continues to be active. But we will also be ready to respond quickly and effectively in areas where the fascists take to the streets with graffiti, demonstrations or attacks.

Next May, different populist, xenophobic and extreme right candidatures will stand in the European elections. For this reason, in coordination with other European organizations, we are calling for demonstrations across the continent on 22 March. In Barcelona, we will demonstrate with the slogan “Let’s unite against fascism and racism”, and various local events will be held around that date.

We have shown that with united mobilisation we can break fascism. For that reason we commit ourselves to carry on. Fascism must be fought!

They shall not pass! No passaran!

Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme
Barcelona, 9 February 2014

Condemnation of the attack on the Catalan Government offices in Madrid

Original en català · Versión en castellano

Unitat Contra el Feixisme i el Racisme (Unity against fascism and racism in Catalonia, UCFR) strongly condemns the Nazi aggression committed yesterday during the celebration of the Catalan national day at the Catalan Government offices in Madrid. We send our support to the victims of the attack, and our wishes for their speedy recovery.

From the television images it is clear that the attackers were carrying symbols of known fascist groups. These are the same groups that have organised three Nazi demonstrations in Madrid over the last two years; the same groups that have announced their intention to demonstrate in Barcelona next 12 October (12-O, a symbolic day for Spanish fascists). We also note that one of the attackers’ slogans, “Catalanness is Spanishness”, comes from the Nazi centre in Clot, Barcelona — set up by a “Plataforma per Catalunya” councillor — whose closure we have been demanding for over a year and a half. Furthermore, according to press reports, one of the aggressors gave a talk last July at the Europa bookshop in Gràcia, Barcelona, run by the convicted neo-Nazi Pedro Varela.

UCFR recalls that we have long been warning of the dangers of allowing fascism to grow, and insisting on the need to stop the far right through united action. We encourage the social movements and progressive forces of Madrid to establish the unitary movement needed to stop fascism in their city.

We call on the Madrid authorities urgently to identify, prosecute and punish those responsible for yesterday’s attack. We also demand that the respective authorities do not allow the groups responsible for this attack to bring their violence to the streets of Barcelona.

We call on all the people who want to demonstrate their rejection of Nazi aggression to be prepared for possible protests. Furthermore, UCFR is in contact with other social movements in Catalonia, with a view to organising an act against fascism and racism on 12-O.

Unitat contra el feixisme i el racisme
Barcelona, 12 September, 2013

We are all Unity against fascism and racism

[Original en català] · [Versión en castellano]
It is clear that the crisis is bringing a growth of the extreme right in Europe, especially with the National Front in France and, even worse, with Golden Dawn in Greece.

In Catalonia, this danger is also present. But here we can celebrate the success of Unity Against Fascism and Racism (UCFR). This broad movement contributed to the fact that the far right party, Plataforma per Catalunya (PxC) —which supports Golden Dawn— did not get any seats in the parliamentary elections last November. This was admitted by Josep Anglada himself, a historic Francoist and currently leader of PxC, with his insults and threats against UCFR.

The appearance of a Nazi centre in the Barcelona neighbourhood of Clot has worsened the situation. It disguises itself as a leisure centre for young people, but we know that it was set up by members of PxC, together with other more open Nazis and fascists. We know that since it appeared, there has been an increase of Nazi stickers and graffiti in the neighbourhood. Following the successful thousand strong neighbours’ demonstration against the Nazi centre, called by the local UCFR group, there have been attacks against left and progressive groups’ premises in the area.

The fascists accuse UCFR of being a “violent organisation”. In fact, as can be seen from its website, UCFR is made up of hundreds of diverse bodies, ranging from an association of relatives of victims of the Nazi camps to the entire trade union movement. It may seem strange that the fascists attack in this way the Scouting organisations or the federations of esplais (leisure youth movements); the federations of NGOs involved in solidarity or charity work; the Jewish Film Festival of Barcelona and the Roma (“Gypsy”) associations… all of whom form part of UCFR. But the explanation is obvious if one recalls that the Nazis banned all independent youth leisure activities, imposing the Hitler Youth; and that they dissolved all NGOs into a single Nazi organization. And as we know, the Jewish and Roma populations, among others, ended in the death camps.

With their attacks, the fascists show what they really represent.

They don’t only attack UCFR in general; they also personally attack some of their activists. It is very significant to see against whom they direct their hatred.

One is known as a gay activist. The fascists have used horrible homophobic insults against him.

The other special target of the fascists’ hatred is a person of Amazigh (Berber) origin.

By attacking these individuals, maybe they think they can isolate their victims. They may think that everyone else will say “well I don’t agree with these individuals on this or that point”, or “it’s their own fault”. That won’t happen. UCFR is a plural movement, with people of different views. But where we agree is in opposing fascism and racism, and when they attack these individuals, and UCFR in general, because they have worked for a united social movement against the extreme right, they attack each and every one of us.

The bailout of Spain makes it more urgent than ever to stop the far right. The country that has seen most cuts is Greece, and is no coincidence that this country has seen the fastest increase in a Nazi party.

Many years ago, Pastor Niemöller, victim of the Nazis, said:

First they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

We do not want to return to the horrors of the past. We have to say enough is enough. Enough of the spread of fascism and the normalisation of racism. And enough of the far right’s attacks on Unity Against Fascism and Racism and its activists. We will not accept an attack on a person for being LGBT or North African, nor for being a woman, a Muslim, Jewish, Roma, a trade unionist, a socialist, an independentist… Anyone could be their next target. We publicly declare our support for UCFR and for its people, who are also our people. We too are against fascism and racism.

List of signatures