Events like the Pegida demonstration this Saturday in Amsterdam are key moments for antifascists to keep the fascist movement as small as possible. Pegida has been trying to seize momentum in the past months, but they haven’t succeeded very well. This is thanks to the antifascists who turned up time and time again to disturb their protests. Standing in the way simply made it very hard for people to join or even see Pegida demonstrations. The patriots from Germany have never been able to mobilise more than 200 people in the Netherlands, the majority of whom are notorious neonazi’s, Dutch and foreign.
Despite favourable media coverage of Pegida, disturbing the events always gave it an odour of uneasiness; it has made the whole Pegida thing a littly shady. There are a lot of people who are potential Pegida protestors, but so far they have stayed home because of these reasons.
The people Pegida is trying to mobilise are the angry white working class, who has been the victim of the capitalist crisis and the neoliberal cuts that followed. Working class people have seen social housing, health care, education and public transport become inaffordable. And they are pissed. And they should be. Only they direct their anger in totally the wrong way, at other victims of the same capitalist system: working class people of colour, refugees, Muslims. It is so easy for neo-fascists – from Geert Wilders to Pegida to ID Verzet and NVU – to scapegoat them, because of a total lack of a leftist, anti-capitalist, anti-racist narrative in the parliament as well as in societal institutions and the white supremacist bias of the bourgeois media.
As it’s getting to hard to keep track of how many demonstrations Pegida has had in the Netherlands, their presence has normalised a little. Even for antifascists it might become sort of a routine to repeat the whole thing again and again. It may seem an endless fight without results. But right now it’s vital to acknowledge that what we are doing is has yielded results: Pegida has remained quite small so far because of us. It’s also important to realise that the past and the coming few months are key moments for the growth of the Pegida movement. Now more than ever we have got to take to the streets to again disturb Pegida in any way we can. We literally have to stand in the way between the nazi’s and the working class in order to prevent the latter from becoming the first. From blocking the streets to putting fake bombs at the square: it has worked in the past and it will work again. Pegida started small, they are still small and they will remain small until they die a heroless death. We are going to make that happen.