We are back this year with another campaign for the 9th of November – the Day against Fascism and Anti-semitism.
This has been a particularly difficult year for all of us, globally. We have all been thrown into entirely unknown circumstances; our lives have been disrupted, and the world has grappled with how to deal with this unprecedented crisis.
Not only were the fundamental freedoms of many curbed, but it was the minority communities – those already in the most vulnerable positions – who suffered the most. From discrimination in healthcare, to restricted mobility, to loss of employment, and increase in hate speech, it was the racial and ethnic minority communities who were hit hardest.
And, at a point when Europe could have united to counter it, we saw the opposite – we saw leaders using the crisis to their own gain. We saw instances of leaders imposing emergency measures not in the interest of public health, but in the interest of exerting control.
Now more than ever, we need to remember this day and all it stands for. The 9th of November is the International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism, a day mandated to remember the ‘Kristallnacht’ pogrom in Germany, 1938. On this night, 82 years ago, SA Storm Troopers and civilians destroyed more than 8,000 Jewish homes and shops, set synagogues on fire, imprisoned, injured and killed Jews all across the Nazi Germany. This night eventually led to the murder of 6 million Jewish people and 5,5 million ‘enemies of the German state’: homosexuals, criminals and ‘asocial’ people, members of diverse religious communities, people with mental disabilities, political ‘offenders’ such as communists and socialists, Spanish republican refugees and minorities like Roma and Sinti and others.
But this day did not occur from a vacuum. This day was a culmination of a steady, systematic development of what once began as prejudice, and developed into a genocide. It was the unchecked hate speech, the untrammelled propaganda, and imposition of discriminatory laws, and the steady deprivation of rights. It was the unbridled intolerance that resulted in one of the most horrific moments in our collective history – the Holocaust.
We may have moved past this terrible time, and may only talk about it in commemoration. However, this does not mean that the racism, facism, and antisemitism, homophobia, or Islamophobia is anywhere near being over. Today, racist, fascist and Neo-Nazi movements are on the rise all over Europe. Neo-Nazis hunt and assault migrants, Muslims, Jews, Roma, LGBTQ-activists, people living with disabilities and other minorities, using rallies as a cover-up for their hate-crimes. Neo-Nazis and fascists are not only taking action on the streets: in most countries of Europe, far-right movements also have a parliamentary arm, sometimes even as part of the government. While disguising themselves as democratic parties, they use public money and governmental power to create an authoritarian rollback, intensifying the divide between the majority and minority communities around Europe.
This has not changed in 2020. The pandemic has only intensified it. We must take note, and fight back with renewed energy.
That is why, UNITED is back with its year-long campaign.
What can YOU do?
– This year, if you organise an event, if you publish an article, a video, pictures or posters relating to this day, please send an email to us to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share it on our campaign Facebook and website.
– Don’t forget to post your event/article/video/pictures etc. on your page/profile tagging our Facebook page with the hasthag #UNITEDhistory and share the voice!
Our official logo for this year is as below:
Those who join this international campaign have taken part during the past in a variety of initiatives, ranging from involving their city government, hosting a picnic, organizing an antiracism walk, to movie screenings and art viewings, to simply liking a Facebook page. Each of these activities is an important reminder, at a time where we need it more than ever, that love is always stronger than hate.
We will feature your contributions on an interactive activity map (such as one from an earlier campaign), that will display not only on our campaign website, but also on our UNITED webpage. It will serve to showcase not only your work, but the scale and size of our network.
– Share your activities from previous years with us – pictures, videos, campaign materials, blog posts – and let’s show the world how united we stand!
Also, one more thing to do:
Every community in Europe has its own historical experience and understanding of fascism, and we would love to show the diversity present within this anti-fascism fight. To do so, we need your help!
Please help us create our Anti-Fascist Calendar, an overview of dates of anti-fascist celebration and commemoration throughout Europe.
– Fill in this form based on what you know about the traditions in your country and/or the activities in your organization.
We would love to hear from you – and are really looking forward to linking arms. Don’t forget to email us at email@example.com.
Stay strong, stay UNITED.