Report of the Austrian Section of the RCIT, 21.03.2017, www.rkob.net
As part of the international day of action in solidarity with refugees, a demonstration was held on 18 March in Vienna despite rain and strong wind. The Austrian section of the RCIT participated in the demonstration together with Syrian, Egyptian, Iraqi, Aswazi and Palestinian migrants and refugees. Our joint contingent was not only well-spirited and militant but also by far the most multi-national at the demonstration.
Unfortunately, the stewardship of the demonstration was dominated by Austrian Stalinists and centrists. The chief steward, Selma Schacht (who is also the deputy chairperson of the ultra-Stalinist "Party of Labor" – a sister group of the Greek KKE), mobilized her stewards in order to prevent our contingent from joining the demonstration. Some stewards from the Austrian section of the Cliffite IST also participated in this attempt. When this failed, Selma Schacht attacked us and tried to take away our front banner which proclaimed the slogans "Open Borders and "Let them Stay!".
Through the disciplined handling of the situation by our own stewards and our entire contingent, we succeeded in joining the demonstration despite this aggression. However, only minutes later our contingent faced an attack by the police who tried to grab a young Syrian refugee marching with us. When we challenged the cops, their commander replied that they had been called by the organizers of the demonstration! While we succeeded in preventing the police from grabbing our young Syrian brother, this incident demonstrates how Stalinists are not ashamed to call the police against refugees when they don’t like their political views. (See pictures and videos on these incidents by visiting the link cited below.)
This physical attack is only the most recent example of the increasing political differences between us and the Stalinists, differences which have accelerated since the beginning of the Arab Revolution and, in particular, with the escalation of the civil war in Syria. The ultra-Stalinist "Party of Labor" takes the side of the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad while the RCIT – as well as most Syrian and Arab people – support the popular uprising.
However, this reactionary provocation by the Stalinists will certainly not stop our work in solidarity with the Arab Revolution and for the right of refugees to come to Europe!
To view pictures and videos of the demonstration and the joint contingent of the RCIT’s Austrian branch and migrant organizations, click the following link: https://www.rkob.net/wer-wir-sind-1/rkob-aktiv-bei/int-aktionstag-18-maerz/ (Scroll down to the end of the article)
Another video report about the demonstration as well as about our contingent has been published by the Egyptian journalist Camira Hamdi Marouf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ9CJi2B19Y&feature=youtu.be (a view of our contingent can be seen from minute 9.40-10:20)
The daily Austrian newspaper "Kronen Zeitung" has published a short video on the demonstration which briefly shows our contingent (go to minute 1:02-1:11): http://www.krone.at/videos/links-demo-fuer-proletarische-revolution-in-wien-stau-inklusive-video-559958