United we stand – In spite of everything, defend autonomous anti-fascism – call to action part II

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This text was published by tagXantifaost at 12/12/2022:

„Our first, already published call to action for the planned Day X protest in Leipzig towards the end of the current Antifa Ost proceedings had a fairly large gap in terms of content. This was made clear to us thanks to solidaric criticism.

Once again, the focus had been placed on an autonomous anti-fascism oriented towards praxis. We are angry that we, too, left out a moment that was important to us, although – or perhaps precisely because – it is more clearly visible than it has been for a long time. We have written more about this here. We have to highlight the anti-patriarchal gaps, sharpen positions and strengthen attitudes and establish an autonomous feminist anti-fascism. To stand united side by side, we must share, or at least be willing to develop, a common understanding of our cause.

This is why we expanded on our previous call to action:

Autonomous Fantifa into the offensive!

We believe it is necessary to respond with unity and force to repression from the state. We don’t want to be divided by repression, nor do we want to be discouraged from standing up for our political goals. However, here we must not solely take anti-fascist praxis as a yardstick.

This „we“, in the sense of an autonomous anti-fascist movement, of which we spoke in the first call to action, may never have existed in this way. The divide within autonomous anti-fascism always stemmed from different standpoints. Even among those who referred to a militant praxis, there were divisions, discussions, arguments and contradictions. Fantifa groups were founded so that the gaps in feminist, anti-patriarchal and anti-capitalist politics could be pointed out and so that these politics were not solely exhausted in the fight against fascists.

We know of companions from autonomous women’s groups who, decades ago, fought first with neo-Nazis and then with the blokes who were with them on the streets. Reason for this mostly was the male comrades’ lack of positioning themselves against sexualised violence. Not so long ago, for example, there was a split in the Berlin autonomous Antifa scene in the early 2000s, which resulted from the AAB refusing to recognize the affected persons’ power of definition. These conflicts showed that some among the autonomous anti-fascists took a revolutionary and anti-patriarchal stance, while others followed an almost bourgeois understanding which saw the problem solely in neo-Nazis and not also in sexism. Patriarchal society has long been dismissed as a negligible contradiction.

Our understanding of autonomous anti-fascism is always preceded by an anti-patriarchal conviction. This is not only evident in our analysis of fascism as anti-feminist and anti-queer. It is just as important to take action against sexism, sexualized violence and the protection of perpetrators everywhere, including within our own ranks.

The outcall against J.D. has exposed an „anti-fascist“ as a rapist and revealed that there are significant structural problems in dealing with sexualized violence within Antifa and especially in the environment of the accused of the 129 procedure and the solidarity alliance Antifa Ost. The reactions to the outcall a year ago often went little beyond expressions of sympathy. At the latest after it became known that J.D. works with the repressive authorities, his perpetrator ship and the protection of perpetrators in his environment seemed to have been forgotten and the focus on him as a traitor was on the statements he made, but not on the sexualised violence he committed against comrades.

In recent months, many groups have declared their solidarity with those affected by sexualized violence and the solidarity alliance Antifa Ost has at least partially admitted their misconduct in relation to the protection of perpetrators. Other reactions to the outcall in the form of comments or entire texts show that the issue of a lack of an anti-patriarchal stance is not limited to the contexts mentioned above. Speculations that criticized the outcall as the reason for his cooperation with the repressive authorities and the statements in court should be emphasized as particularly negative.

We think it’s important and right to show solidarity with the accused in the 129 trial. Under these circumstances, however, it is always necessary to reflect on how solidarity can look like without reproducing patriarchal dynamics. Instead, what is needed is solidarity that breaks with the dynamic that perpetrators and those who protect them remain unmolested simply because they experience repression or even appear to have a special status as a result.

We are aware that the accused will not necessarily be able to deal publicly with their perpetration or their protection against perpetrators during the ongoing process, but we expect this from those around them. For a long time we did not see the accused and those around them self-critically dealing with their perpetration or their protection against perpetrators. The last statement on dealing with sexualised violence and perpetration at SAO can only be the beginning of the process. The fight against sexualized violence must be a necessary part of an anti-patriarchal anti-fascism. Internal contradictions and criticism cannot simply be hushed up. We expect a self-critical stance regarding sexualized and patriarchal violence within an autonomous Antifa. This is needed not only from the cis men involved, but also from the FLINTA*s. Even if FLINTA*s are structurally potentially affected by patriarchal violence, they can also support it or even exercise it themselves.

A militant praxis that exhausts itself exclusively in boxing neo-Nazis does not create a movement but enables perpetrators like J.D. to live out their violence fetish in our ranks. We are convinced that the strength of an autonomous anti-fascism lies in the diversity of its militant praxis and its regular reflection and debate.

Even though the events have destroyed a lot of trust, let’s come together again, not avoid our conflicts and fight together!

Feminist Anti-fascism – Come to us!

Come to the autonomous Day X protest in Leipzig on the Saturday after the verdict in the Antifa Ost trial!“