Enschede’s city council facilitates neo-Nazis and bans antifascist demonstration

This Sunday various right-wing extremist and neo-Nazi groups want to march through Enschede. Multiple antifascist actions to oppose the Nazi march have been made public. Today the organization of the antifascist demonstration received a notice that their demonstration has been banned, only a static manifestation in Volkspark will be permitted. Meanwhile the city council has given the green light for neo-Nazi’s to march through the city and for the neo-Nazi band Kategorie C to play a concert at the demonstration.

Groups such as HoGeSa (neo-Nazi football hooligans) will have all the room to spread hate in Enschede due to this decision. This group gathered 5000 people in Koln in 2014 and attacked locals, journalists, migrants and antifascists. Pegida en HoGeSa’s previous attempt to march failed due to a general ban on demonstrations in Enschede, the main reason for the ban being the presence of HoGeSa and Kategorie C. This time the city council seems to be determined to facilitate this neo-Nazi march, including a concert by a Nazi band who’s shows are usually banned. On the other side the antifascist demonstration has had restrictions placed on it wherever possible.

This week Pegida announced to have yet another speaker; Lutz Urbanczyk of the AfD. Last weekend Urbanczyk attracted attention by shouting “Deutschland Erwache”, a slogan used by the SA in Nazi Germany, from a stage at a Nazi demonstration in Berlin. A Jewish organisation caught the moment on camera:

At this moment the organizers of the antifascist demonstration together with their lawyers are looking at possible legal procedures to make sure that the antifascist demonstration can go ahead as planned. We cannot rely on the city council and the police to keep Nazi’s off our streets!

One thing is certain; protests against the Nazi march will take place. Laat Ze Niet Lopen (Don’t Let Them March), an antiracist initiative, calls upon people to take action against the German and Dutch Nazi’s. “Organise yourself and your friends, heckle them, shout them out, block them, show them they are not welcome!” is the Laat Ze Niet Lopen motto. “Previous Nazi demonstrations have been restricted and kept to a minimum thanks to counter actions. It’s up to us to make sure that the space for racism is as small as possible”, states the Laat Ze Niet Lopen call-out.

In the U.S.A. antifascist demonstrations have also been structurally banned. The antifascist counter demonstrations and actions by locals are banned or have to deal with a large amount of repression so as to clear the road for neo-Nazis and the extreme right. The continuing persistence of local authorities to facilitate the extreme right despite the resistance against them has recently led to tragic consequences amongst which the death of Heather Heyer, therefor we callout to take action against Nazi demonstrations in the Netherlands as well. Of course we hope the Enschede city council will reverse its poor decision, but if it doesn’t resistance to the extreme right becomes even more important. The callout to stop the international Nazi demonstration remains in place! There will be more updates in the coming days.

Together we can stop the Nazi’s!