by Natascha Strobl and Julian Bruns
On April 14th, activists of the Identitäre Bewegung Österreich (Identitarian Movement Austria) entered the stage during a performance of Elfriede Jelinek’s play “Die Schutzbefohlenen” (The Wards) in the main hall of the University of Vienna. Some of the 30 persons showed a banner soaked in artificial blood that said: “Ihr Heuchler!” (You hypocrites!). Actors – among them refugees and children – were shocked. It was the intervention of some antifascist audience members that ended the disruption. This media-attracting act ranks among several incidents caused by New Right actors which have received increasing attention in the German and Austrian public. From the early 2000s on, the New Right established new specialized forms of media and institutions – and increasingly took to the streets. The Identitarians are the spearhead of this new strategic development. At first glance, this might look like a contradiction since the very definition of New Right is the one of a movement which has shifted from action to intellectual debate. But this is only one side of the story.
by Angélique Kourounis
How can a racist party that was getting less than 0.2% of the vote for years, enter parliament with 18 MPs? How can a party that promotes violence, hate, sexism and murders amplify its reach after each pogrom? How can Golden Dawn remain the third political power in Greece for four years? And what’s in the mind of a Golden Dawner?
by Alex Carter
The threat that the far right poses to civil society changes across time and space. In Britain this threat has generally been in the form of hate-crimes and public disorder, yet in the past two decades there has been a shift towards solo-actor terrorism. By examining far right groups in the UK in the post-war period this paper explores the drivers of this change; namely, how membership in extremist groups combined with the proliferation of far right networks created by the internet can create a pathway to radicalisation which ends in acts of terror.
by Liz Fekete
Since 2011 signs have been multiplying in Europe of a far right grassroots insurgency in the making. And there were signals, too, of a racist insurrection: arson attacks, petrol bombs, paramilitary and vigilante activities, and the stockpiling of weapons. The first major indication of the far right’s capacity for mass murder came from Norway on 22 July 2011. Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, mainly teenagers, whom he shot dead at the Labour Party youth summer camp on Oslo’s Utøya Island. At his trial, Breivik described the youngsters he so cruelly murdered as ‚traitors‘ who had embraced immigration in order to promote an ‘Islamic colonization of Norway‘.
Breivik’s actions, set against the backcloth of his 1,500-page manifesto, 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, sent out to 1,003 people he considered fellow travellers ninety minutes before he embarked on his killing spree, should have alerted people to the dangerous ideological underpinnings of Europe’s defence leagues, pro-identity and anti-Islam movements that were mushrooming across Europe. These cheerleaders for more and more wars in the Muslim world, which can broadly be described as counter-jihadism, began to emerge during the Gulf War but became more visible and vocal after the events of 11 September 2001. For a variety of reasons, the threat posed by these ultra-patriot movements was not taken seriously enough nor was there any reflection on the wider political context that was nourishing the far right.
This is the twelfth article in our series on refugees. For more information on the series, please click here
by Joshua Kwesi Aikins and Daniel Bendix
The text reframes the current debate about refugees in Germany by contrasting Germany’s recent history of racist violence and limitations of asylum laws with the resistance and agency of refugee movements across Germany. Both provide an important lens to re-examine the simultaneous heralding of „welcome culture“, a sharp rise in arson attacks on asylum centres and the current legislative roll-back of refugee rights in Germany.
In bringing these perspectives together the text offers a corrective of both the current image of Germany as a welcoming champion of refugee rights and the problematic notion of refugees as objects of German policies and civil society „help“ rather than subjects with a long history of resistance in Germany.