UNITED Press Release 08-11-2013

Stop hate speech Online

International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism – 9 November 2013

More than 200 coordinated actions are organised by grass-roots organisations and different local groups in 43 European countries. These local actions are united under the common slogan: “WIPE OUT HATE

We remember the past, monitor the present and act for the future by:
* Commemorating the Holocaust starting 75 years ago;
* Resisting today’s right-wing extremism, extreme nationalism and fascism;
* Raising awareness about the worrying political developments in Europe

An atmosphere of hate is growing in Europe and hate speech and online hate are already a fatal, daily constant. Europe is facing the growing success of populist and extremist right-wing movements. By using people’s prejudices, concerns and fears in a time of crisis, populist and extreme right groups are succeeding in most European countries with exclusionist slogans and simple “solutions”. Extreme right-wing parties are elected into parliaments and xenophobic propaganda is becoming legitimate in societies. Hate not only leads to violence, discrimination and exclusion, but is a dangerous threat to democracy and peace as well. Europe has been here before: it ended in the Holocaust.

This year’s planned actions range from commemorations, debates, demonstrations and symposiums over radio programmes and online-campaigns, up to concerts and film festivals.

Historical background – 75 years after the ‘Kristallnacht’ pogrom
The ‘Kristallnacht’ pogrom or ‘Night of Broken Glass’, was a series of attacks against Jews carried out by SA stormtroopers and civilians in nazi-Germany and Austria, 9-10 November 1938. It was the first step to the extermination of the Jewish Europeans by the nazis. Today 9 November is seen as the symbolic beginning of the Holocaust, the policy of the systematic murdering of millions of people. It reminds us that such terrible things did not start with deportations and concentration camps, but developed step by step.

Quotes from policy makers supporting this campaign:
Jean-Paul Makengo – President of the European Cities Against Racism, Deputy Mayor of Toulouse:
“European people must understand, this must be stopped from ever happening again.”

Erik Ullenhag – Swedish Minister for Integration:
“We all have a responsibility to fight intolerance but of course political leaders have a special responsibility. We need to stand up and take the debate on in order to protect and promote an open society. And the debate must be taken in all areas of society – in real life and on the internet.”

Anne-Mari Virolainen – Chair of Committee on Migration, Refugees & Displaced Persons – Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe
“Parliamentarians need to be brave in standing up for positions that may not be popular, especially when it comes to dealing with migrant issues in a time of economic crisis.”

László Földi – No Hate Speech Movement Council of Europe
“Extremism and racism is a logic that has never ended up with peace or happiness, it always resulted in disorder, destruction, war and death. It is easy to make people believe the world is black and white. It is not and it will never be. We must do our utmost to and refugees
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International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism
WIPE OUT HATE: Stop Hate Speech Online