Dear Foucauldians,

Enclosed the Declaration of the Austrian antiracist movement concerning
the situation in Austria.

You can also check the following links:

Anton Tantner


(Plattform fuer eine Welt ohne Rassismus, Schottengasse 3A/1/59 1010 Wien)

We do not feel obliged to claim Austria's "innocence". The to-be
government is in support of the majority of Austria's population. We have
no reason to claim Haider is "just another" populist. He is not. He is a
populist that operates with xenophobia, racism and the denial of the

The major threat is not the increase of direct violence against
minorities. The major threat is the signal that far right agitation and
action is not only ok but earns you a place in government. As opportunism
is one of the most prominent features of the "Austrian mentality", this is
a severe political danger.

We have reason to be afraid of
* the final end of refugee or integration policies
* increasing xenophobia, racism and even antisemitism, because Austia has
never faced its past and now people have governmental legitimation for
such attitudes
* law and order policies instead of co-operative strategies to deal with
crime and conflict
* abolition of progressive women's policies (e.g. the post of the minister
for women's affairs will be cancelled and replaced by an extended family
* severe restrictions to freedom of art, especially where it puts a finger
on the state of the Austrian society (already, in Carinthia, artists are
faced with political limitations to their work)
* restrictions to the freedom of press, because subsidies for critical
media products will most certainly be cut down

we don't know yet what to do about it.
we need both your solidarity and your ongoing critisism.
don't stop looking at our country.

To the international community

Declaration of the Austrian antiracist movement

In this moment of Austrian history we are deeply concerned with the
political developments in our country. For more than 10 years, many NGOs,
initiatives and smaller parties have tried to change the austrian racist
reality without success.

In the new millenium, Austria still is not a democracy but a national
democracy. More than 10 % of our population is systematically denied all
political rights and participation, often even for decades, they are kept
in the status of "foreigners".
Even in the trade-unions, there are no equal voting rights for all workers
and employees. This system, guaranteeing equality not to human beeings but
to citizens only, is unique in Europe. Since a democratic system has been
imposed on Austria after World War II, not only the conservatives and the
right wing, but also the governing social democrats fortified this system
of nationalistic and racist segregation and exclusion. This lack of
balance in the political system led to the uprising of a party that is
openly promoting a revision of Nazi history, using racism as an effective
political tool due to the lack of a counterveilling power.

Even the killing of Marcus Omofuma during his deportation on May 1st 1999
did not lead to any antiracist measures. On the contrary, police action,
especially against people with African background, increased drastically.
Charles O., major activist, writer and poet from Nigeria, was even accused
of being a drug-boss and imprisoned for 3 months, before he had to be
released due to complete lack of evidence and major charges were dropped.
Nevertheless these practices led to significant intimidation of the Black
communities in their political campaigning.

Under such unfair conditions of criminalisation and the lack of democratic
rights, we welcome initiatives from the side of the international
community that put pressure on Austrian representatives. Austria is facing
a drastic swing to the right. With a right-conservative government things
will even get worse for people discriminated on grounds of racism,
including the Jewish minority, as well as for people discriminated on the
grounds of sexual orientation, sexual identity or on the grounds of being
physically handicaped.

For some years now, Austria is known in the European Union for ist
attempts to radically alter the politics towards a demontage of the Geneva
Convention and the denial of asylum for refugees. Austria has become the
home-base for right-wing policies, threatening emancipatory movements all
over Europe. Therefore it is in the self-interest of all democratic powers
in Europe to try to reverse the political currents in Austria. We want to
encourage all international steps in this direction, hoping that the
European Union at least has learned from history, while the official
Austria has not.

Under any government to come, Austria should finally change towards a fair
democratic system which includes the right to vote for all permanent
inhabitants, in which there is an anti-discrimination-law with respective
enforcement, in which immigrants are not treated as enemies and in which
human rights are really respected.

Platform for a world without racism

Vienna, 1.2.2000

(Please distribute this declaration to your regional and national media as
well as to politicians).

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