Socialist Worker

Austria’s fascists have had their ‘democratic mask’ ripped off

by David Albrich
Issue No. 2593

An anti-racist march in Austria

An anti-racist march in Austria (Pic: Neue Linkswende)


The new Austrian government of the Tories and the Freedom Party suffers from “Trumpism”—every new move they make is met by resistance and opposition.

The anti-fascist movement has destroyed the democratic mask of the Euro-fascist Freedom Party. On 13 January 70,000 marched against Nazis in government.

Just before the International Holocaust Remembrance day a Nazi song book of the right wing student society “Germania” was revealed. Its texts glorified the Holocaust.

“Step on the gas, you ancient Germanic peoples, we’ll manage the seventh million,” goes the song.

The vice chairman of Germania was a leading candidate for the Freedom Party in a local election. He had to resign—now we want to bring down the whole government.

Since then the Freedom Party has been under constant attack. Last week it was revealed that another student society sang the same antisemitic song.

Its chair is a close associate of the former Freedom Party presidential candidate Norbert Hofer, who lost the election in 2016 and is now transport minister.

The 17 March mobilisation will be the biggest in Austria since we joined the international protests in 2016.

A broad coalition has been built for the demonstration.

It’s 80 years since the “Anschluss”—the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany.

David Albrich is a leading member of Linkswende jetzt (Left Turn Now). He is also a coordinator of Plattform für eine menschliche Asylpolitik (Platform for a humane asylum policy)


Strikes to stop racist policies in France

French president Emmanuel Macron, sometimes hailed as the answer to “extreme” right forces, is trying to push through racist legislation that would make it easier to deport refugees.

Macron’s proposed law would double the 45 days refugees without documents can be kept in detention, among other measures.

Former banker Macron is bowing to pressure to move to the right on immigration from Marine Le Pen’s fascist Front National. He beat Le Pen in the French presidential election last April.

Yet Macron faces some resistance to his latest racist attack.

Workers at the Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless People, known as Ofpra, struck against the move last Tuesday.

Ofpra is a public body set up after the 1951 Geneva Convention on refugees.

The CGT union federation members said Macron’s plan was “an unequivocal departure from France’s tradition of asylum”.

And French anti-racists are also planning to join the 17 March day of demonstrations.

The experience of Macron shows that propping up the liberal centre is no way to defeat the forces of racism and fascism.


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