By Christof Lehmann – Aarhus – nsnbc. Yesterday the Danish City of Aarhus became the focus and meeting point of the European Right, including the English Defense League, the Danish Defense League, and right-wing to fascist organizations from Finland, Poland, Russia, Germany and other European nations. It is likely that the right wing meeting can be considered as a seminal event for gathering the European Right under a common program. The meeting was outnumbered by the biggest demonstration in Aarhus since 2006, with approximately 5.000 people marching through the city, shouting slogans like “No fascism in our streets – Make Place for Everybody who makes Place for Everybody“, and most prominently “Aarhus for Diversity“.
On a positive note one could say that it was surprising to see that many people oppose fascism, islamophobia, racism, and similar marvels of humanity which the European Right is known to propagate; and that was about everything positive that can be said about the broad popular gathering with vague to empty paroles, messages and demands.
Of course, when one arranges a demonstration for diversity it is somewhat opportune to restrain oneself as not to disgruntle ones “pro-diversity” allies and everybody seemed to be understanding of that sticking to that what unites rather than that what divides was the agenda of the day; and thus I found myself amidst the most unlikely of alliances and allies – all smiling and rosy red.
Palestinian youth from Aarhus shouted “Long live International Solidarity” without disgruntling elderly Jewish citizens by demanding that Zionism, known for having been closely aligned with National Socialism, should not have a place in the streets of Aarhus either. The Autonomous, Anarchists and Syndicalists marched peacefully, side by side with Communists, Social Democrats and the the youth organization of Denmark`s Socialist Peoples Party which is presently one of Denmark´s two parties that are forming the Danish government.
The Danish Pedagogues Organization marched in the first line, The Danish Islamic Association marching peacefully beside everybody else without anyone being scared of “terrorism“, side by side with grandmothers and grandfathers with children, a Hippy from Christiania, a dog wearing a rainbow collar and everything seemed rosy red. Or was it ?
Somebody – the writer of this article – said jokingly, “And the heroic Danish Police is marching in the front line of the popular demonstration in solidarity with the diverse people of Denmark“.
One could have felt content with the mere fact that it was possible to get that many people out into the streets to demonstrate against fascism if it was not for the fact that some of the most well intended speakers and protesters seemed to support the very evil that they thought to deplore.
The speaker of the Danish Islamic Association thus held a wonderfully neutral speech that everybody could digest without becoming constipated – or almost. As for me I found it rather in-digestible that he embraced “THE ARAB SPRING” and all the wonderful popular uprisings in Arabistan. Did he mean that one in Bahrain ? Or did he talk about the tens of thousands of Libyans who were liberated to death by NATO´s Operation Unified Protector and Al-Qaeda mercenaries under NATO, MI6, and CIA supervision and command ? The racist genocide on the Tawergha and tens of thousands of Black African Libyans and Black African migrant workers in Libya ? Did he mean the small protests in Saudi Arabia or did he talk about the massive unconventional and illegal war that is being waged on Syria by NATO and Gulf Cooperation Council member states, that so far has resulted in thousands of dead and maimed Syrians ? Or maybe he meant the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt who obviously believes that Islamic Banking and inviting the IMF to Egypt is compatible ? And what diversity are we talking about in Denmark, which has one of the most restrictive immigration laws among European countries – where a spouse has to deposit what amounts to 20.000 USD for seven years to get permission to live together with the husband or wife ?
One is tempted to ask the question “where in deed is the heart of darkness today ? ” Is there a realistic fascist and racist threat coming from the extreme political right in Europe, who managed to gather less than three-hundred activists in Aarhus ? Or is the real threat of fascism and racism so systemic, so entrenched that we are walking in the very center of it without smelling the boot of fascism right under our noses ? Is it Aarhus, yesterday ? Or is it NATO Head Quarters, the Pentagon, the European Parliament with it´s anti terror laws that have utterly undermined civil liberties, FEMA camps, US-Administrations with Patriot Acts and National Defense Authorization Act`s – every day ?
A happy crowd protesting for diversity and against less than three-hundred right wingers won`t cut it in the battle against the real, the deeply entrenched, systemic fascism that threatens civil liberties and peace world wide; Regardless how fun, rosy red and fluffy it feels to march on a sunny day in Aarhus.
Christof Lehmann – nsnbc