21. Januar 2009

Mobilize against the WKR ball! – englischer Aufruf

Posted in 2009 um 8:45 pm von nowkr

Mobilize against the WKR ball!

WKR ball 2009? No reason to party!
Against right-wing extremism in the Parliament, the minds and on the streets

On the 30th of January 2009 for the 56th time the traditional ball of
the Wiener Korporations Ring (Vienna Fraternity Alliance) will take
place in the Hofburg, Austria’s former imperial palace. For over 40
years now the Korporations Ring has been provided with one of the most
prestigious locations in Austria. But the ball staged to happen there is
more than peculiar.

The WKR is the umbrella organization of more than twenty
?national-liberal? fraternities of the german nationalist political
camp. Admittedly extreme right-wing fraternities, such as the Olympia,
Teutonia, or Cimbria, to name just a few, are part of the WKR.

The past has repeatedly shown how fluent the passage between right-wing
fraternies and Neonazi organizations is.
The WKR’s ball is reputed to be a highlight in the calender of
right-wing and extreme right-wing fraternies in the whole
german-speaking area of Europe. Just looking at the participants of last
year’s ball reads like a who is who of austrian and european right-wing
extremists. Besides lots of fraternity members there are, not
unexpectedly, a multitude of known FPÖ (Austrian Liberal Party)
politicians who have participated in this nationalist gathering. Among
them are Heinz Christian Strache, Martin Graf, Barbara Rosenkranz, and
Johann and John Gudenus. It is also important to say that all these FPÖ
exponents are of course members of the sexist right-wing fraternities.
But also older generations are joining in the fun: Former Nazi Party
(NSDAP) members Otto Scrinzi and Friedrich Hausmann are listed as
supporters of the ball.
Not to be forgotten, leading members of various european extremist
right-wing parties complete the reactionary image. From France, Jean
Marie Le Pen (Front National), from Belgium Frank Varnhecke (Vlaams
Belang), and other ideological comrades from Bulgaria were present.

But extreme right-wing politicians don’t just meet once a year at the
WKR’s ball and reactionary ideology is not just active on stage once a
year in Austria’s Hofburg palace.

Right-wing extremism in Parliament..

The national election results of September were unequivocabe. 17,5%
voted for the FPÖ, 10,7% for the BZÖ (Alliance for Austria’s Future,
another party of the extreme right).
With this result, the ?third camp? resultes the clear winners of the
election, while other parties all lost votes in it. The concept of the
?swing to the right? made its rounds.
And in fact, much has swung to the right: Not only did the ÖVP (Austrian
People’s Party, the Conservative Party) try a decisively more aggressive
style of campaining on the issue of immigration and integration, the
Liberal Party also got 13 additional seats in parliament, and the BZÖ
did triplicate its seats to 21.
Martin Graf, a member of the extreme right-wing fraternity Olympia, was
designated as third president of the Parliament. The number of members
of Parliament that are also members of nationalist fraternities has
risen to the highest level in the last four decades, mainly due to the FPÖ.
Together with the increase in votes for FPÖ and BZÖ there is also an
increase in financial backing and mediatic attention for their
reactionary convictions. The racist rhetoric common at the moment makes
it clear how mediatic publicity is exploited by these political forces.
At the one side, there is the BZÖ’s Haider, who proclaimed his state of
Carinthia to be free of minarets, then decided to ?deport? chechen
refugees to another region in Austria, and then instituted a ?special
goverment agency? to deal with asylum seekers.
The FPÖ’s positions in this racist discourse are not less explicit.
Their election posters featuring racist slogans are hard to forget.
There is hardly an opportunity which they don’t use to agitate people
against the same old bogeymen and to ethnically charge social problems.
With these racist policies in mind it does not surprise, that Neonazis
feel quite welcome in the ?third camp?, as Austria’s right is often called.
The best example for this are the protest against the EU reform
contract. Not very far from party leaders Haider and Strache, Neonazis
marched along indisturbed, sporting a banner demanding the release of
Holocaust revisionist Gerd Honsik from prison. Needless to say that none
of the two parties thought it necessary to distance themselves during or
after the protest.

…in the minds…

But it would be wrong to just blame FPÖ and BZÖ for the right-wing
electoral success. Many have played it down as ?protesting voters?, who
aren’t even right-wing or just happen to have voted for the charismatic
leaders Haider and Strache. But the fact is that anyone who voted for
FPÖ or BZÖ did simply not care about these parties‘ racist, antisemitic,
sexist and homophobe policies. Let’s put it like this: Those who vote
for extreme right-wing parties know very well who and what they are
voting for.
The right-wing parties more or less openly take up prejudices already
present in the population, and by propagating them, present themselves
as ?defenders of the little man?- and ?man? is to be taken literally.
Like Karlheinz Klement put it: ?The FPÖ is a party for men.?
Because when the right loudly clamors for the ?rights for men?,
polemicizes against ?gender madness? and ?political correctness? and
goes as far as to compare abortions and the Holocaust, it is simply
appropriating sexist and chauvinist prejudices rooted in society.
The same thing happens with anything that doesn’t fit into the standards
of heterosexuality. The former FPÖ politician Klement called
homosexuality a ?culture of death? and compared same-sex marriages and
adoptions to child abuse. He also phantasized in an article about a
?homosexual lobby in the European Union? and the ?homosexualization? of
schools.
Also very peculiar are the antisemitic statements of leading members of
the FPÖ and BZÖ. Martin Graf was forced to concede that the National
Socialism caused pain and suffering for millions of people. But that
most of these were Jewish was something he wouldn’t admit.
During his election campaign, FPÖ politician Harald Stefan claimed that
the public financial backing for the Jewish Community in Vienna should
be stopped, only to proclaim later on that ?he will open a bottle of
champagne the moment Israel’s ambassador leaves Vienna.? Also not to be
forgotten is Haider’s speech in which he made antisemitic remarks about
the Jewish Community’s president Ariel Muzicant.
But in the majority of the population, statements like these only cause
indifference or lack of interest. Racist and antisemitic policies have
become politically acceptable and a part of mainstream politics.
Statements like the above only provoke weak responses and only rarely
have consequences.

… and on the streets…

If the political climate wasn’t already bad enough, the Neonazi scene is
starting to reorganize. This was most visible because of the attacks
that happened in the fall of 2008.
Masked right-wingers attacked a party of left-wing cultural association
W23 in Vienna. In Braunau, Neonazis disrupted an antifascist concert
with Hitler slogans and a svastika flag.
And a left-wing rally in front of the parliament was provoked by a group
of ?free nationalist activists? and fraternity members.

The conclusion comes to mind that the Neonazi scene feels backed by the
political climate in the country. When extreme right-wing parties are
reproducing and reinforcing existing prejudices, the violence in the
streets has to be regarded as a radicalized continuation of the verbal
attacks in the Parliament.
But right-wing and racist agitation can only be presented confidently as
long as there is no organized protest and no consequences may come of
it. This is why it is time to set a clear and notable example against
the right-wing alliance of FPÖ/BZÖ, fraternities and Neonazis.
The WKR ball is the right opportunity to do so. Because as already
mentioned, national and international right-wing extremists will gather
there to celebrate and to present themselves. We want to take our
protest right to the protagonists of right-wing ideology and show them
that their self-dramatization in the Hofburg will not go unopposed.
Such a massive gathering of right-wing extremists cannot go on without
resistance against it.

We ask everyone to come to the rally:

30th January 2009, 17:00 ours, Europaplatz / Westbahnhof Wien
March against the extreme right-wing WKR ball!
Against right-wing extremism in the Parliament, in the minds and on the
streets.
Abolish male societies!
For a strong antifascist movement!

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