Filed under: Anti-fascist, International Coverage
On Thursday August 17th the United Anti-Fascist Action of the Netherlands showed strong support for and solidarity with for all those fighting against White Supremacy in the United States, Heather Heyer, and her loved ones. She will not be forgotten. The demo united over 500 antifascists and people from a broad range of other movements and many who are not affiliated.
Speech from an Anti-Fascist activist whose family has been fighting since the Spanish civil war and world war II:
Thank you all for coming here tonight.
Because the antifascist movement has always been an internationalist movement I will do my speech in English in the hope that everyone will understand.
We are here tonight because six nights ago a mob of hundreds of torch wielding fascists descended on Charlottesville Virginia USA.
We are here because these fascists, while throwing their nazi salutes and screaming “white power”, “blood and soil”, “hail trump” and “the Jews will not replace us” they encircled a small group of brave students and spat on them, maced them, beat them.
We are here tonight because one day later the fascists where out in force again, so heavily armed and ready for bloodshed that the even the militarised US police thats always ready to murder black folk retreated and left the people of Charlottesville to fend for themselves.
We are here tonight because in the end one fascist terrorist plowed his car intentionally in a group of antifascist protesters hurting dozens and murdering a brave 32 year old woman named Heather Heyer, may she rest in power.
We are here in deep sorrow and pain for those that got hurt and those we lost.
We are here in seething anger because of what happened and how people like Donald Trump dare to say that the people resisting fascists are as bad or even worse than the fascists out there killing us.
But we are also here in resolute defiance.
Because the fascist terror attack that murdered Heather happened only after the people of Charlottesville resoundingly defeated the fascists that day.
Thousands came out to resist their hate with solidarity, with prayer, with their words, with their bodies and when needed with their fists.
From the moment the first colonialists landed in what would become the United States of America there where indigenous people to resist them,
From the moment the first slaver ships docked in the South black people resisted against all odds with defiance and bloody rebellions.
And during Jim Crow and segregation and the terror of the KKK black people and their allies fought back, with non-violent marches, with boycotts and when needed often with guns.
And make no mistake, the statue of the slavery defending, traitorous confederate general the protests of last weekend where nominally about was NOT build during the civil war.
It was put on that prestigious university campus much much later. It was put there in the same time that Hitler in Germany climbed to power as a big sign unmistakably reading “no black people allowed”, saying “do not get any ideas”, screaming “white power”, stating “you will not replace us”.
Yet today there are many black students on that campus, and today they are not afraid to demand that symbol of hate to come down. And if it will not be removed they will eventually pull it down themselves. No matter how many street brawlers or cops they send to protect it, no matter what kind of fascists sit in the white house.
Because wherever there is hate there is resistance and solidarity.
The images from last weekend hit us because we know where mobs of torch wielding, hate spewing nazis, cynically enabled by those in power can lead too.
But we also know we can defeat them with unified resistance and absolute solidarity even through the worst of horrors they can inflict on us.
Because I for one was not supposed to stand here tonight if not for antifascist resistance and solidarity.
Exactly 75 years ago today, the 17th of august 1942, a dutch jewish communist, worker for an illegal newspaper from Haarlem was herded in to a gas-chamber in Auschwitz Birkenau.
4 years before that moment he lost his 22 year old son who went to Spain to defend the democratically elected government against a fascist coup. His other son, went too and lived through the horrors of a Franquist concentration camp yet when he came home, starved nearly to death, he would, like his father join the anti-nazi resistance.
That brave man, gassed to death for being a communist, a antifascist, a publisher of free-speech, murdered for being all that and being just a jew exactly 75 years ago today was my great grandfather.
But his youngest son, my grandfather, lived, because people who didn’t even know him risked their lives to hide a young Jewish man from the nazi’s, because people shared their precious food during the famine winter, because the resistance shot traitors and jew-hunters and nazis.
Because hundreds of thousands of young men and women from the United States, Russia and many other countries from all over the world came here, to Europe, and to Asia, who gave their lives and defeated the nazis before they could establish their “thousand year reich” of “white, aryan power” and cleanse their so called “blood and soil” from the jews and other undesirables they said that could not wait to replace them.
Yet today, while Donald Trump defends the new KKK and smears us antifascists while he dares to sit in a office with a bust of Martin Luther King there are popularly elected racists and fascists in the dutch parliament walking everyday past the big book honoring those dutch who fell in the fight against the nazis, the book which remembers that jewish, communist, brave man from Haarlem and so many others. And these fascists have the audacity to claim they are the real new resistance because they want to close our borders for refugees, when they scapegoat people for their religion and the colour of their skin. Who say that “those muslims are coming to replace you”.
And today there are again a rising amount of people, people in our own families and people in power, people who say that those who resist are exactly as bad or even worse as those that want to murder, people that say that they do not approve of the fascist methods but that do to a degree share their frenzy whipped up fears, their anger, their prejudice, their wish for a resolute hand to set it all right for them.
Those people were here before as well, those people eventually made the best nazi’s my grandfather always said.
We defeated them then, we will defeat them now.
But we will need to fight them everywhere, anytime, with every tool and every weapon we have.
And like then we clearly wont be able to trust those who say they lead us to do the right thing and that they will not fan the flames of hate for their own gains.
We will have to do it ourselves and all together.
For ourselves, for our loved ones and for complete strangers.
On our streets, in the media, in the halls of power and in far away places like the USA and on the Mediterranean sea.
And we have to do it for people like Heather Heyer, so that their deaths will not be in vain.
An injury to one, is an injury to all.
¡No pasarán! Never again!