A coalition of progressive organizations called for an anti-racist demonstration in Vienna on 18 September. The reason was the original plan of the right-wing populist party FPÖ to send an extreme right-wing representative as a deputy minister for the department for schools in the Viennese government. However, meanwhile this attempt has been aborted. Nevertheless, the demonstration took place to protest against racism in schools.
The demonstration was rather small with about 200 people amongst which the red contingent of RKO BEFREIUNG (Austrian section of the RCIT) and the youth organization RED*REVOLUTION was clearly the biggest.
The initiators of the demonstration – the Cliffite IST section in Austria and the school student group of the social democratic party – did everything to control the coalition in a highly bureaucratic way. Contrary to their promises they failed to print the names of the organizations that were part of the alliance on the joint flyers and posters. Likewise they failed to convene a single meeting of the coalition in order to jointly plan and decide on the procedure of the demonstration.
Worse, 18 hours before the demonstration took place, they announced that they had decided to integrate the war-mongering Zionist group Hashomer Hatzair into the coalition. While organizations like RKO BEFREIUNG and RED*REVOLUTION (as well as others) were not given the right to have a speaker at the demonstration, these Zionists got a speaker. In addition, Hashomer Hatzair was allowed to march at the front of the demonstration (see the third photo at http://www.liv3.at/article/wien-diskriminierung-am-marsch-gegen-diskriminierung)
Hashomer Hatzair is an international Laborite Zionist organization. On its website it proudly states that its members were part of the Zionist terror militias Hagana and Palmach who expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinian people from their homelands in 1948/49. (See http://www.hashy.org.au/info) During the Gaza war two years ago they called – as part of the pro-Zionist coalition „Free Gaza from Hamas“ – for a rally on 21.11.2012 which praised Israel’s murderous war against the Gaza people. (See http://freegazafromhamas.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/kundgebung-solidaritat-mit-israel-befreit-gaza-von-der-hamas/)
The reactionary coalition „Free Gaza from Hamas“ includes – in addition to Hashomer Hatzair – Christian fundamentalists (like “Christians on the Side of Israel [Austria]”), war-mongering Zionists like the „Zionist Federation in Austria“ as well as notorious ex-leftist “Anti-Germans” like Simone Dinah Hartmann und Stephan Grigat. It should be mentioned that also pseudo-progressive forces like the youth group of the Green Party as well as the university student group of the Communist Party are also took part in this war-mongering pro-Zionist alliance.
It is a scandal that the Cliffites did not invite progressive Jewish organizations like the “Jewish Voices for a Just Peace in the Middle East” or the “Women in Black” instead of these war-mongers!
Together with our comrades from the ISL in Palestine/Israel we fight against Anti-Semitism as well as against the Zionist oppression of the Palestinian people. We strongly reject any exploitation of the just struggle against Anti-Semitism and in defense of the Jewish people against discrimination by the supporters of Israel’s wars and occupation!
Obviously we were not prepared to accept such war-mongering Zionists at an anti-racist demonstration without protest. Hence the spokesperson of RED*REVOLUTION, Marc Hangler, explained our protest in a speech with our megaphone at the beginning of the demonstration. (For the video of the speech, see the link below.) During the speech of the Hashomer Hatzair representative, we chanted “Viva, Viva Palestina!”. One of the organizers of the demonstration, Nathan Y., called the police to intervene and to expel us. (He openly confesses this in an interview at https://cba.fro.at/269352 which starts at minute 3:45) Equally, David Albrich, a leader of the Austrian Cliffites, hysterically tried to create a scandal in front of our contingent and in front of the police. However in the end, our pro-Zionist opponents failed to expel us from the demonstration.
This whole incident is a vivid confirmation of the Cliffites opportunism and hypocrisies. In their paper they proclaim their solidarity with the Palestinian people. However during the 51 days of the last Gaza war they didn’t join a single pro-Palestine demonstration or rally which were organized by the migrant communities! Since a number of years they conduct a thoroughly opportunist adaption to the social democratic youth organization which again is strongly pro-Zionist. (The leadership of the social democratic youth organization has adopted a resolution stating that they won’t take part in any united front in which the Austrian RCIT section participates because we fight for the replacement of Israel by a single state for Palestinians and Jews.) As a result the Austrian Cliffites end up defending war-mongering Zionists against the anti-imperialists of the RCIT! It is not without irony that the same opportunist method led their sister organization in Britain, the SWP, to an opportunist adaption to bourgeois Muslim leaders in their joint party RESPECT.
All in all we see how a shrinking and strongly middle-class orientated reformist an centrist left which degenerates and adapts more and more opportunistically to the pressure of the ruling classes and the labor bureaucracy. The Austrian RCIT section and the youth organization RED*REVOLUTION will continue to fight against all forms of racism and to combine it with a principled anti-imperialist policy.
Pictures and videos of some speeches at the rally can be found at on the RKO BEFREIUNG website: