A tale of two festivals

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This summer Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) was invited to open one of the largest European music festivals, the Sziget festival in Budapest, and I was sent along to compere the event.

The day before I arrived in Hungary, reports were coming through that gangs of young skinheads had rampaged through the village of Veroce, attacked a pregnant Roma woman and beaten up a young Roma boy.

I talked about these attacks in interviews I gave to the press. I was surprised when I was told that it was best not to talk about this, as no attacks had taken place. I was even more taken aback when the police issued a statement saying that they had not received any reports of such attacks.

Anti-fascists keep BNP on the run

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The Nazi British National Party (BNP) had hoped to build on the election of their two MEPs in June. Instead they have found themselves hounded wherever they go. Their first post-election press conference ended in farce as leader Nick Griffin was covered in eggs and forced to flee.

But their biggest setback came with the protests outside their annual Red, White and Blue "festival" in Codnor, Derbyshire, last month. Unite Against Fascism (UAF), the Midlands TUC and local groups called a national protest that mobilised over 2,000 protesters.

Nothing democratic about Nazis

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How do we challenge the Nazi British National Party now that it has won two seats in the European parliament and is attempting to appear part of the mainstream? Anindya Bhattacharyya argues we have to start with an understanding of the nature of fascism.

The election of two members of the fascist British National Party (BNP) to the European Parliament in June has triggered a variety of reactions. Most people are rightly shocked and disgusted that Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons, a pair of hardened racists with a long history of involvement in Nazi politics, grabbed enough votes to become Euro MPs.

Letter from Austria

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Manfred Ecker reports from Vienna on what is behind the growth of support for the Austrian far right parties.

The recent general election was a warning. The extreme right could soon become the strongest force in the Austrian parliament. The Austrian Freedom Party (FPO) got 17.5 percent and Jörg Haider's Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZO) got 10 percent.

Ordinary people in Austria are angry and feel betrayed by the elites. The left must build an alternative to the Social Democrats (SPO) otherwise the extreme right is going to strengthen its influence.

F is for Fascism

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Fascism is so often used as an insult that any real analysis of its specific meaning is often obscured.

There are those who use it to describe any authoritarian action, or any extreme racism or anti-Semitism. There is the opportunistic labelling of Saddam Hussein as a fascist to justify the war on Iraq. There is also a more serious argument on the left put forward by John Pilger that George Bush and the US are in a pre-fascist situation.

Elections: A Left Response to Europe's Right Turn

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Four years ago it all looked so different. Social Democratic parties had swept to office in all but three European Union states, in some cases, as in Britain, putting an end to over a decade of right wing rule.

Now Le Pen's success in France has underlined the failure of those governments and the bitterness they have created. His breakthrough in the first round of the presidential election comes after a series of successes for fascist and far right forces in Europe.


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