THE VIRUS IS CORONA – THE DISEASE IS RACISM
NO SPACE FOR NAZIS! BEWARE OF ‘HYGIENE PROTESTS’
Protests against Coronavirus containment measures are being held in many cities on weekends and public holidays. In Berlin, neo-Nazis and racists have long since hijacked the weekly protest at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in order to exploit growing insecurity from the social, political and economic consequences of the lockdown. In recent weeks, the public square has increasingly become a playground for antidemocratic forces and extreme right-wingers.
And so you have leading representatives of the AfD showing up at the “hygiene protests,” including the far-right wing of the Berlin AfD chapter with Andreas Wild, Gunnar Lindemann and Jeannette Auricht.
Also in attendance are “Compact-Magazin,” classified as right-wing extremist by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and Nazi hooligans; as well as the NPD leadership including Udo Voigt and Andreas Käfer, and representatives of the “identitarian” movement, which is under observation by domestic intelligence; plus “Volk teacher” Nikolai Nerling, who was banned from the teaching profession for incitement to hatred. The list goes on to include many more Holocaust deniers, Nazi hooligans, etc.
Every week at these self-styled “hygiene protests” of Widerstand 2020 (Resistance 2020), they stoke hostility against people with a migration history, against Muslims, against people who think and love differently. Who they imagine to be part of a deliberate “New World Order” - supposedly to be brought about by conspiracy between Angela Merkel, George Soros and Bill Gates. It was these kinds of conspiracy theories of the “Great Replacement” that incited the murderer of Walter Lübcke and the assassins of Halle and Hanau to their cruel deeds.
To counter this right-wing specter, we at ‘Aufstehen gegen Rassismus’ (Stand Up to Racism, Germany) in alliance with others want to make clear: while it is legitimate to criticize coronavirus policies and to warn against a potential threat to democratic rights, it is not at all legitimate to do this in common cause with Nazis and to give fascists a stage and a pretext for their agitation.
Because fascism and racism are not opinions; they are crimes. No one who is concerned about democracy can allow themselves to be co-opted by the extreme right!
It is our conviction that a just society based on solidarity is possible. In many places, networks have emerged and are now emerging during the coronavirus pandemic in which people are acting together in solidarity – regardless of origin, religion, age or gender – in the midst of the virus-induced crisis.
Racism is no alternative – our alternative is solidarity!
Please push back and join us in protesting against the “hygiene demos!” Make posters and banners with slogans like “No space for Nazis” or “Hygiene demo = Nazi demo” and display them in your windows.
Please warn members of organizations you belong to, your friends, neighbors and people you know about the “hygiene protests.” You are also welcome to contact us via email at email@example.com.
This text is available in German in flyer format at the Aufstehen gegen Rassismus Website. Translation: Julie Niederhauser