Successful Protests against the Ulrichsberg Festivities 2006
The Anti-fascist Action Days in Klagenfurt/Celovec ended on Sunday, 9/17/06 with a clamorous Protest. About 120 anti-fascists descended upon Ulrichsberg to voice their protest against the revisionist meeting of veterans of the Wehrmacht (the pan-German army in WW2) and the Waffen-SS (armed SS unit), young neo-nazis, and local politicians at the "homecoming memorial site" Ulrichsberg. Although the Carinthian authorities cancelled a large portion of the permitted parade route in advance and instead forced the protesters to hike through the forest, the protest continued without any major incidents. The action group will start legal proceedings against this infringement of the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of assembly.
Also, the police mostly concentrated on hindering the planned legal protests instead of paying attention to what old and new right-extremists traveled to Ulrichsberg. At the same time the participants of the anti-fascist protest were pointed to adherence to the law forbidding the wearing of masks in public! The action group against the â€úCarinthian Consensus" expected just as much exactingness from the executives in the observations of the participants of the festivities at Ulrichsberg, who wear the scores Army and Waffen-SS medals and awards on the mountain. The protest was filmed by several cameras, and even a helicopter was sent in for surveillance.
Because of the Protest, many participants were delayed and did not arrive on time for the beginning of the celebration on the mountain. The participants were also delayed at their departure by the presence of anti-fascists on the only exit road.
The action group against the "Carinthian Consensus" considers the action days a complete success. It showed that the Ulrichsberg confraternity cannot depend on unified consent to their revisionist "practice of traditions" which plays down Nazi crimes, even in Carinthia/Koroška. Not only did the number of attendees of the Ulrichsberg celebration shrink from the previous year, but they also failed to get a single state of federal politician as a speaker. No politician wanted to risk their election campaign by speaking at a celebration attended by neo-nazis from in and outside of the country. Therefore this year Fritz Schretter, the head of the Kärntner Abwerkämpferbundes (KAB), or Carinthian Defense league, had to step in, and his speech made clear yet again the ideological position of the KAB: Schretter in all seriousness gives credit to the national-socialist army for delaying the liberation of Carinthia at the hands of the Partisans.
In the space of the protests, actions took place also on Friday and Saturday in Klagenfurt/Celovec, which gave a counterpoint in content to the rightist mainstream: alongside testimony from eyewitnesses at the time, places of national-socialist crimes were visited during an anti-fascist walk through the town. The anti-fascists left visible signs to show that another type of remembrance culture is possible. Thus symbolic street names were changed or memorials were dedicated to the liberation fight of the partisans, such as the golden shit which was left at the site of the Kärntner Einheit or "Carinthian Unity" at Landhaushof. The walk ended at the Kreuzbergl, a crosswalk imbued with a national-socialist significance, whose demolition without substitution or replacement was urgently demanded.
During the day starting Friday, citizens of Klagenfurt and tourists could inform themselves at an infopoint directly in the city center and about the background of the protests and the planned program of counter-activities to the Ulrichsberg meeting - an opportunity, which was surprisingly actively used.
Josephine Broz, Action Group against the "Carinthian Consensus"
Translated from German into English
Background information about the Ulrichsberg meeting and the action days at: http://www.u-berg.at
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