My Life as an Anti-Nazi
Some people who have been actively fighting fascism explain their reasons for being involved.
"I'm Alison Thorne, a feminist, a unionist, and a member of the Freedom Socialist Party who helped found Campaign Against the Nazis. Ridding the world of nazism means mobilizing all victims of fascist violence. Building a movement to stop National Action requires a democratic united front representing the diversity of the working class - immigrants, queers, Kooris, Jews, people with disabilities, unionists, students, unemployed and unorganized workers. But nazi violence and bigotry are born in the misery of uncertainty that capitalism brings us all. Stopping fascism permanently requires replacing a society based on inequality and stolen wealth with a socialist democracy."
"I live in North Coburg, not far from the National Action bunker in Fawkner. Every time I think of their little hate shop, I get angry.
My reasons for wanting to get rid of the nazis, whether in my neighbourhood, or elsewhere, are many. My father was left in a gutter with his genitals mutilated during the nazi invasion of Vienna. Luckily, he recovered, and was able to emigrate to Australia.
As an anarchist I have a responsibility to continue the work of thousands of anarchists who died fighting Franco during the Spanish revolution and in other countries of Europe at the time. Anarchists were opposing the rise of fascism, whether by attempts on the lives of Hitler and Mussolini or by organizing with their neighbours and fellow workers. In Cologne, Germany only months before Hitler took power, Dr Geobbels was chased out of town by a large demonstration, which led to many more.
In recent times, Anti Fascist Action in the UK has used direct action to stop the nazis from having meetings and chased them off the streets on many occasions. Nottingham, during the 80s is a good example. In contrast to the left, which prefers to being "seen to oppose" nazis (in this case by leafletting the centre of town), Anti Fascist Action found out where the nazis were rallying and occupied the hall and surrounds, so that when the fascists turned up a fight developed and the nazis had to get out of the area fast.
Defeats such as these can lead to a loss of confidence among the nazis as we saw in 1994 in Brunswick. After National Action attempted a rally and were pelted with eggs, horse shit and abuse by the large crowd on Sydney Road, they were noticeably absent from the area.
Now we are faced with a longer term fight. We have to make their bunker unworkable. As long as they are there we have to leaflet, rally and make life a misery for the few nazis who haven't fallen out with each other yet, and who wait in nasty isolation for a visit from their leader. We can do it!"
"Neo-nazis and Pauline Hanson must be stopped.
We can't ignore them.
They spread vile propaganda aimed at dividing the community.
They are the racist tools of pastoralists and large corporations.
They proliferate in times of economic uncertainty
attacking the working class and the unemployed.
We must build support for a permanent campaign to force the
Government to ...
Educate the nation by a massive media campaign. Introduce "Human Rights" as a core subject in all schools.
Nazis, like cancer cells, do not magically disappear.
We must remove their destructive ideology from our society.
Close down the nazi bookshop."
Jedda from Militant
"Having lived in three different countries and experienced racism first hand, I know how it feels to be an outsider. Thus, my internationalist beliefs are not just a political stance but feelings that are part of me.
I regard everyone as equal, regardless of the colour of the flag we were born under, as we are all human beings.
Hence, I oppose, by all means necessary, any group that seeks to divide us and throw us back to an era of ignorance and hate that will bring misery to the great majority of working people."
Member of Australia Asia Worker Links.
"I am an anti-fascist activist 'cos I see National Action as both a physical and a political danger. Queer people know a lot about harassment - homophobic thugs regularly hang around the fringes of gay venues and events looking for someone to bash.
All prejudice comes from the same source - racist gays, homophobic Asians, sexist male unionists - have huge contradictions to confront. We need to unite all the oppressed and the organized working class to fight discrimination and capitalist exploitation.
Stopping National Action is at the cutting edge of this. They want to be stormtroopers in Pauline Hanson's "broad church" of the hard right. Stopping National Action recruiting and exposing them as nazis is crucial to undermining Hanson and her ilk and to building a society free of bigotry and hatred."
"I have two motives for wanting to fight National Action, the political and the personal. Whenever National Action and other racist groups call for a white Australia they are attacking MY FRIENDS. I won't wear that from anybody. What groups like National Action and One Nation are saying is that MY FRIENDS are unacceptable, not for their personalities but simply because of their skin colour. That is obnoxious.
The other reason is political. National Action and similar groups interfere with people's democratic rights by using intimidation and violence against minorities. The only way we can defend people's democratic rights is by consistently showing National Action, migrant groups and the general public that we will not be intimidated into allowing them to take our rights away. Of course such a stance is not just in relation to National Action, it is relevant to so many areas of struggle."
"I'm Stephanie Saunders, a Jewish lesbian and member of Radical Women. One of my earliest memories is of bombs dropping close enough to blow the windows in and the doors out.
I was taught then that fascism meant anti-Semitism. But nazis don't only attack Jews. They terrorise anybody who doesn't fit their twisted stereotypes.
As a tool of big business, they resort to genocidal racism, sexism and anti-gay bigotry to keep the working class divided. They must be stopped! Radical Women and Campaign Against the Nazis are here to do just that."