Poland Full of Blood and Dishonor
On the night of April 1-2, a band of nazi thugs, including members of the nazi group Blood and Honor, went on a random spree of violence, attacking patrons of some local bars in Białystok. Shouting things about getting rid of gays and leftists, it is not clear why they chose to attack some people with knifes, or why they beat one person to death. Maybe these people had the audacity to tell them off, of maybe they were suspected of being from some non-Aryan race.
The incident was unfortunately not an isolated one. As one friend has described here: http://libcom.org/news/neonazis-kill-poland-11042012, there were other incidents. And typically, the nazis thugs have been let free, while those trying to defend themselves are arrested. The incident of man attacked with a machete is well-known. On the March 30 it was announced that the police released the band of neonazis responsible for the attack, which occurred on a Sunday night, in the same area as this attack. The only person who was charged in the attack was the main victim, a young man of Armenian origin, raised in that city. He was sentenced to two years. The prosecutor had demanded 8 years for attempted murder, although this was a crystal-clear incident of self-defense.
Besides the existance of growing neonazis and other nationalist, racist and fascist movements in Poland, there is no way to ignore the active assistance of the so-called law enforcement agencies in helping nazi terrorists.
We cannot stand by and witness these things without any reaction. That is why we will go and demonstrate in Bialystok tomorrow. But that's not all we have to do.
We can see clearly how antiracism as a ideology and movement is simply not enough. Of course, racist ideas have to be fought. But the ideology of groups like Blood and Honor of any of those other nationalist, extreme right groups in Poland, is also the ideology of elites and their main purpose is to position the group that they identify with into the position of elite. In the case of nazis like Blood and Honor, the elites should be the Aryan master race, which they have decided to identify with (despite the quite obvious historical irony). In the meanwhile, the real elites in the world are determined by capital and power, not by race.
What is lacking in much of Poland are groups which are deeply involved in promoting mutual aid and a class perspective while engaged in real grassroots movements on the local level, like the initiatives we in the Warsaw ZSP have been involved with. Because we can see clearly that the nationalist organizations thrive in areas with frustrated working class and poor youth, where the people see little perspective, are highly demoralized and are looking for somebody to blame. We also see that, through building the grassroots movements, people see their similar interests. In the poor neighbourhood where we have our offices, we see that, instead of being overrun by the right-wing, (which still has some popularity around us since the overwhelming majority of people are right-wing of some sort), people defend each other from attacks made by representatives of real power – against the actions of property speculators, politicians and the police.
While much of the so-called left is busy getting grants for itself, or trying to get elected, the far-right is gaining ground. A good part of those considering themselves anti-authoritarians of sorts practice the creation of alternative spaces and scenes, but in these places isolate themselves largely from other people and, instead of having an influence on the ground, they become types of ghettos. (For them of course TAZes or islands of resistance.) It is simply not enough to go out onto the streets after incidents like this in masks and think that the nazis will be scared off by the sight of hundreds of angry anti-fascists. The resistance to fascism has to start at the base and has to start by radically intervening in the consciousness of the socially marginalized working class which they recruit from. And the only way to start with that, is really by building movements which are based on egalitarian principles and direct action, that effectively work to promote solidarity and to fight with various aspects of social injustice, that help people to get a sense of self-enpowerment, so that they have something to fight for and don't just turn their frustration against their neighbours.