Anti-fascism beyond borders

whyz1t6It is clear that the US is now one of many other countries that has succumbed to the domino effect of reverting to xenophobic, racist, and even fascist tendencies, under the rhetoric of trade protectionism, stopping religious extremism, as well as protecting national self-interests and national identity. As the previous article, a translation from NYC antifa, has already pointed out, Trump’s “cabinet of horrors” has already incited some to act out their previously latent racist tendencies, as well as given space for the normalization of white supremacist groups like the KKK and NPI (National Policy Institute). In Finland, the first public demonstration of the Nazist NRM/PVL demo to go ahead on 6.12 Independence Day is yet another indication of the potential normalization of the far-right to counter.

We see the anti-fascist struggle beyond our mere national borders and aim at building a culture and struggle that is not single-issue. What we mean here is that, in the end, fighting fascism includes the dismantling of all hierarchies and forms of exploatation. It means thinking about other overlapping connections, such as race, gender, sexuality (i.e. intersectionality) and fighting oppressions such as racism, sexism, and homo/transphobia. We bring this up as something we as anti-fascists consciously work and should work for, here and everywhere.

There is a tendency in Europe as well as in the US at the moment towards fascism. Analysis of the capitalist system as the root of the rise of fascism means that we should also oppose the exploitative violence of state capitalism in its destruction of earth, human and animal life. The positive and life-embracing cultures that we work for is up against big forces and it is important to fight these tendencies wherever we see them in a clever way. Increasing nationalism and further normalisation of fascism as “regular” nationalism in Finland are examples that should be opposed on all fronts. Nationalism, simply described as the idea of the nation state as a culturally homogenous territory, is an outdated and inaccurate idea of organizing society that has violent outcomes when put to practice. New ways of organizing society are urgently needed.

We have written before about the links between anti-fascism and the Rojava Revolution, which is one source for inspiration for anti-fascists, feminists and anti-capitalists around the world. The most recent article that we published brought up what is going on in Rojava, Western Kurdistan. It shows why it is important to support other struggles, such as women’s cooperatives. The Rojava Revolution, the Kurdish struggle, and the Kurdish women’s movement show that there is a positive way out of the bleakness of what demagogues like Trump have promised, not to say Daesh, or fascist groups like the PVL or the unified fascists, racists and nationalists of the Independence day torch parades in Finland. The Kurds of Rojava and elsewhere work against fascism through educating women and men in avoiding to build a society that builds on hierarchies and in creating a society that is truly based in the community, bottom up. To use the words of Havin Guneser, “We have the potential to give a new direction, and build upon a new one.”

Guneser, a member of the Kurdish Women’s Movement, spoke in Stockholm on November 19th at a Jineoloji Conference. Jineologi means roughly “the teachings of women”. With a more queer analysis of gender, providing a wider understanding of what gender is beyond men/women, this might sound essentialist. But we can learn, critizise and discuss our understandings of a society without hierarchies together. We need to create an alternative to fascism that is specific for our context.

Guneser’s speech was about rising fascism, the crisis of capitalism, and the women’s movement: “Capitalist civilisation is in a crisis. Because of the structural crises, capitalism shows that it is actually very weak (although it uses media, etc to show it is strong). With Trump and Brexit, we are seeing that fascism is gaining momentum. And that at this breaking time in history, that not a better civilisation is born, but a worse one is created… We had nation states, where the majority (whatever ethnic or language) were the determining factor. Now it is not nation-wide but within the nation, that people are becoming polarized. People are becoming more open to re-colonization and re-enslavement.”

However, Guneser’s point is not to remain hopeless and defeated in such times: “We also have the chance to determine what our future will be like. What is the common denominator in all of these groups, parties, and organisations? It is that they are out for singularities, to make sure that there is no diversity. This is especially regarding women.” In order to fight, we should fight together – the “singularities” such as that one people or one state, are the only right ones, for example, should be countered with varied tactics and aims.

We build and aim for an anti-facism that includes and supports women’s, working class, migrant, POC, trans, LGBTQI, ecological and animal issues. We support other struggles that work more closely with these issues. We have to be strong, and we have to be ready to not only support each other, but be integral in getting through each other’s struggles. We have to make these steps, or else one-by-one we can easily fall.

Join the demo on 6.12, Helsinki without Nazis:

On the Independence day the 6th of December there is going to be a record amount of far right events in Helsinki. At 15:30 a march will be held by the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM), whose Finnish branch FRM assaulted Jimi Karttunen this September with fatal consequences. The same organisation has earlier been involved with several other assaults, for example in the pepper spray attack on the Pride march in 2010.

Join us on the 6th of December to show that neither NRM nor any other far right organisation or project is welcome to Helsinki. We will meet at Asema-aukio at 14:30 and move from there to the direction of Senate Square to make it clear to Nazis what we think about racism and fascism.

Helsinki without Nazis – now and forever!

Havin Guneser @ Stockholm, Sweden 19.11.2016.

See also:

An Antifascist Response to the Trumpist Future

Helsinki without Nazis

Finnish nazi group killed bypasser during their street event