Ljubljana. Slovenia. Statement by AKC Metelkova mesto after 40 cops in riot gear invaded the courtyards of Metelkova on Monday night.
Originally published by Komunal.
Statement of AKC Metelkova mesto
FOR A CITY OF FREEDOM – FOR ANTIFASCIST LJUBLJANA
A call to face the threats of fascist gangs together
For the past year the various fascist gangs in Ljubljana are acting in an increasingly daring way. They spread their violent rhetorics against migrants, against those who hold beliefs that differ from theirs, against artists, antifascists, against open and free society in general. Their logic of exclusion is not limited to online social networks. In efforts to raise their public profile they are becoming increasingly wanton, which was expressed also in their recent photo-shoot-and-run visit of the so called Yellow Wests to Metelkova, in their calls for destruction of Metelkova and in ongoing campaigns of intimidation. They no longer hide their neonazi ideology, their tatoos, symbols and salutes – surely becasue they are very well aware that the authorities provide security and legitimacy to their efforts and to their most disgusting political ideas.
Monday evening brought a typical example of this overlapping as the heavily armed special police force overflooded streets next to AKC Metelkova mesto – a short time after the end of a peaceful funeral procession in the city center, dedicated to the recent loss of Autonomous factory Rog – our sister space. More than 40 policemen in riot gear then invaded the courtyards of Metelkova, tried to enter the clubs and other places and intimidated the passers-by. They did not formally disclose the reasons for their intervention, apart from saying that they came because of the protest that just ended and even this explanation was later replaced with the story of a ‘usual control of restaurants and bars’. Due to the number of policemen on site and the manner of their deployment, we regard the intervention of the special police unit at the premises of the autonomous zone Metelkova mesto as an unacceptable intimidation and as a herald of future violence.
The responsibility for this rise in politics of hate and violence lies with those in positions of public authority. Both with those that share the ideas of intolerance as well as with those that would like to present themselves as the socially sensible political adversaries of the former even as they have just destroyed the Autonomous factory Rog. Street gangs are already on the lookout for opportunities to follow the example that the Municipality of Ljubljana gave. It is only a matter of time until the current symbolic violence of fascist gangs gives way to material attacks and pogroms against the structures of social movements and against other inhabitants of Ljubljana.
Merely to ignore, ridicule or relativize the threats that are directed against many places and individuals will not despatch them to the junkyard of history in what would constitute a symbolic repeat of what our ancestors managed to achieve in the middle of the last century and with broad social consensus too. Their actions will certainly not stop at the most obvious target – AKC Metelkova mesto. If we want to live freely, we need to do more as a society.
This is why AKC Metelkova mesto calls for solidarity, for general social resistance and action against the growing threat of fascist gangs. Their campaign and their violence can only be stopped together. This is why all of us need to think – both on individual and on the collective level – about what we can do to clearly show that Ljubljana remains antifascist. That fascist violence, symbols, ideas and discourse have no place on our streets. Let’s make all that we can, so that we will still be able to walk carelessly through our streets, so that we will be able to freely kiss each other, hold hands, laugh, create, speak and live in this town. And that we will be able to do so as diverse individuals and communities that we are.
Nobody will fight this struggle for us. The danger of fascist street violence is not a thing of the future, of abstract saviours or of hypothetic concepts.
It is happening right here and right now. Let’s find each other.
Ljubljana, 9th February 2021