On January 5 we published part 1 of Antifa 2017: We need to talk! Today we continue with part 2.
Written by Riot Turtle for Enough is Enough.
John F. Nebel wrote a piece for German blog Metronaut in which he pleads for a united struggle against rightwing extremism and racism. Nebel wants us to fight for democracy. This is where his piece in Metronaut gets interesting, Nebel wants us to fight for the kind of democratic system that we as anarchists actually don’t consider as democratic. But as we wrote in Part 1, we do see the need to unite, so what are we going to do with Nebel’s plea to unite?
Liberals in Germany seem to understand more and more that the situation is alarming. Nebel writes in his piece that fear is spreading. Among his friends people are thinking about where they want to emigrate to when rightwing extremists take power in Germany. Nebel writes that this is a thought which would have been absurd only 3 years ago. This is how fast the times are changing. This is how fast certainty disappeared. Its dramatic.
Nebel didnt write an analysis. He thinks that analysis are important but they also batter and daunt us. The clock is ticking and Nebel writes that its about time “we” finally come into the offensive. I think the problem is that without an analysis it can easily happen people take wrong decisions when it comes to forming coaltions. We also need analyses to develope a good strategy and tactics.
Nebel is right when he writes that we all have to interfere when people spread racist views in a tram, or at Twitter or Facebook. We have to speak out and interfere at family celebrations and at work.
According to Nebel “we” are the majority of society and “we” have to act to make sure that “we” keep the majority. Nebel pleads for a big coalition and for big demonstrations against the far right.
Nebel pleads for a coalition with the conservative CDU, the radical left and all groups and parties between those two. In my view this is the point where Nebels plea gets problematic.
Apart from the fact that we, as anarchists don’t consider the current democratic system as democratic, Angela Merkel’s CDU and the German social democrats of the SPD are parties who are responsible for border policies that killed thousands of people in the Mediterranean sea. The parties in the German federal government also deport people to Warzones like Afghanistan and are responsible for the EU – Turkey deal, which shuts the door for refugees who want to come to Europe. SPD and CDU also introduced and implemented new asylum laws in Germany to restrict the rights of refugees. Under this government German police is carrying out more and more racial profiling operations.
We agree with Nebel that we need to unite to fight fascism, and we need to abolish sectarianism. We need to come out of our subcutural small world and liberals need to stop screaming when autonomous groups carry out direct actions against fascists. But we also need to look how a strong united coaltion against the fascists can be built.
It doesn’t make sense to build a broad coalition against the extreme right with political parties who have racist policies that kill thousands of people. Or with parties that support racial profiling by police forces. These parties are part of the problem and not the solution.
We can’t unite with forces in society that boost the export of arms and close the borders for the victims of these economic policies at the same time. Forces that blow away the livelihood of millions of people in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and other continents with their neo-liberal policies and treaties. Again: these political parties are part of the problem and not the solution.
When we want to win the struggle against fascism, we need some fundamental changes in society. That brings us to the following question: Can or should we work together with reformist parts of society? I think the answer is complicated but, in the end yes I think we must. The far right is growing fast and already changing debates in society, and uniting in ways that the left refuses to. Nebel is right when he says the clock is ticking. A first step could be to start debates about a united front against the fascists between different groups of the radical left. There are some significant ideological differences between us, but we should create a basis for a united front against fascism with the points we can agree upon.
A united radical left against fascism would be stronger in a broader coalition against racism and fascism which also could include reformist groups. Apart from political parties like for instance CDU, CSU and SPD there are other reformists in society that have a clear anti-racist position. I think we should negotiate a broad coalition against racism and fascism with reformists who have a clear anti-racist position.
For revolutionaries this won’t go far enough, so how can they combine their revolutionary struggle with their work in a broad coalition consisting of revolutionary and reformist groups? Two days ago we reblogged a piece written by the Federación de Anarquistas Gran Canaria (FAGC). The FAGC wrote: “Get into the neighbourhoods, don’t be afraid of hostility, suspicion, quarrels and base passions, that, I assure you, you will encounter.