Resurgent far-Right white supremacist (Nazi) groups, are increasing their political activity across the Western World. From the; anti-Muslim, anti-immigration, pro-white alt-right, in the US, to their European equivalents marching the streets & blocking refugees from reaching European shores. These groups share two things in common; racism & violence.
Research suggests, in the United States that 74% of murders, in the last 15-years by domestic extremists, are committed by violent Right-wing extremists. Those figures are likely to increase with the resurgent right, ‘alt-Right’, toying with Nazism once more.
The most recent violent protests in the US, by an empowered Nazi movement, resulted in multiple fatalities, and a state of emergency in Charlottesville – Virginia. Unite the Right protestors marched onto Virginia University, the night before a larger rally, to chant hate speech, surrounding a statue of Thomas Jefferson. Hundreds of Nazi alt-right protestors, descended on the University campus, wielded torches, and brandishing KKK imagery.
The primary focus of the chanting was to promote Nazi ideology, “Blood and soil”. The phrase Blood and Soil has historical precedence back to Nazi Germany, where the phrase was used to invoke a nationalist mind-set. By promoting those with ‘pure’ blood, and landownership, above the Jewish people, Hitler could mobilise the rural poor.
“You will not replace us”, “One people, one nation, end immigration”, “Fuck Faggots”, and “Nigger”, are a sample of the disgusting mix of other slogans, used by the Nazi ‘alt-Right’ protestors. With immigration a focal point in the recent US election, and the promotion of BME, LGBT+ rights becoming more prominent, these pro-white protestors have been incited to violence.
Over 6,000 people attended the far-right rally, Unite the Right, the following day, after the attack on the University campus. Brandishing protective gear, shields, pepper spray, and heavy weaponry, they were prepared for violence. Counter-protestors were subject to constant physical and verbal harassment by Unite the Right activists, who formed shield-wall charges, and pepper-sprayed anti-protestors at random. Several injuries were reported on both sides, through general scuffles.
One of the pro-Nazi protestors took matters much further, performing an act of terrorism, by driving his vehicle at high speeds, into a crowd of anti-hate protestors. One person has been confirmed dead, 19 others injured, by the driver who then reversed through the crowd, after hitting a car. The drivers’ identity has been revealed as, James Fields, who told his mother he was attending a pro-Trump rally. Two police officers were also killed in a helicopter crash, assisting public safety, it is not thought to be directly linked to far-right protestors as of now.
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The US is not the only Western country to face a steep increase in alt-Right activism. In the UK, hate crimes have been increasing dramatically. Fuelled by a backlash to multiple terrorist attacks, and the Brexit vote, far-Right activists have felt empowered to attack non-white, Muslim, and LGBT+ individuals. Overall hate crime in the UK could have increased by 100%, if reports are true, however anti-Muslim hate crime has increased five-fold since the London Bridge terrorist attack. The violence of the alt-Right in the UK peaked, when the self-declared Neo-Nazi Thomas Mair, stabbed progressive Labour MP Jo Cox 15 times, and shot her in the head with a sawn-off .22 hunting rifle. The build-up of rage and hatred towards progressive activists, and those who are non-white, non-British, is reaching dangerous levels.
Within wider Europe, anti-immigration, anti-refugee parties are on the rise. Mopping up votes over fears of insurgency from the Middle East, and being swamped out by refugees fleeing Africa. UKIP, the AfD, Movement for a Better Hungary, Front National, have all seen an increase in voter share over the last few years, on an anti-migration ticket. In Greece, they proudly fly Nazi-like symbolism, and openly praise Hitler, and now claim they’re making a move for real power. In Eastern Europe, far-right groups promote anti-Semitism, anti-LGBT, and anti-Roma rhetoric, with multiple armed militia groups in existence.
Far-right activists have even taken to the Mediterranean in their own vessel, to prevent and disrupt NGOs from aiding refugees crossing the waters, into Europe. Many of which are at a high risk of drowning, in shoddy boats, and rough weather. Termed ‘rapefugees’ by the alt-Right, and deemed vermin by prominent media spokespeople, such as Katie Hopkins, they don’t care for the lives being lost by those fleeing war-torn zones. Katie Hopkins advocates using gunships to force migrants back, proudly boasts to not care for images of drowned children washing up on our shores.
White supremacy has no place in the modern World. Yet it is on the rise again. In 2017, we were supposed to be going forwards in establishing equal rights for everyone; white, BME, LGBT+, yet we are seeing a strong resistance forming, against equality. The election of Donald Trump, the wake of the Brexit vote has empowered those holding anti-immigration views. Economic downturn, the effect of neoliberal economics in response to the financial crash, has led to the mainstream media blaming the ‘other’, instead of the politicians they support. The Left now have a responsibility to win the political argument, to reduce inequality, and promote social equality in the West. Failure to do, will result in an ever-growing threat to civil liberties from the far-right.