Re: Austria

Has anyone on this list thought that maybe the Austrians and the Freedom
Party are correct, and the EU isn't, on this issue? It was my
understanding that postmodernity meant resistance to grand narratives, and
surely this one-world governmental ideology that opposes nationalist
Austrians qualifies as a concept to be deconstructed.

On Thu, 3 Feb 2000 a8805359@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

> 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
> Holocaust.
> 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
> ministery)
> * 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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