Fascist marches opposed

Searchlight - April 2009

The Dutch fascist organisation Voorpost took to the streets of Maastricht, near the Belgian border, on 1 March for an anti-drugs demonstration they had been publicising since December.

The focal point of Voorpost's anger is official drugs policy in the Netherlands, where cannabis is openly sold in "coffee shops". In Voorpost's eyes, the drug is a threat to a healthy white people's community, a line shared by their much bigger allies in Voorpost Flanders and the National Students Association (NSV).

Voorpost's announcement of the 1 March demonstration elicited an immediate response from anti-fascists who quickly mobilised a campaign against Voorpost and called for a counter demonstration.

A key element in the anti-fascist campaign was a successful speaking tour of fifteen cities in Belgium, Holland and Germany to give detailed presentations on the ideology of Voorpost and the people who stand behind it. And, just three weeks before the Maastricht demonstration, anti-fascists successfully stopped a Voorpost meeting in Delft, a city near The Hague.

On the day itself, though, the authorities kept the route of the Voorpost march a secret, even from Voorpost itself for a time, and when the fascists' buses from Belgium gathered at the Dutch border, anti-fascist supporters from the local football club, attacked them with stones, resulting in damaged buses and an injured fascist.

When the 200-strong demonstration finally set off to chants of "The national resistance is marching here," it met opposition from of anti-fascists, local youth and football supporters who were able to temporarily halt its progress by popping up with protest banners along the route, staging sit-downs on the march route and occupying the end location of the demonstration. For Voorpost, it was an awful day, made worse by the fact that when its coaches finally left Maastricht they were again attacked.

Although Voorpost tries to portray itself as a neat nationalist group, activists from Blood&Honour Flanders, the Dutch People's Union (NVU) and even supporters of National Socialist Action (NSA), have distanced themselves from it, calling the organisation "Friends of Jews".

In any case, the Maastricht demonstration was hardly a "unification" exercise. On the contrary, because of the bitter feuds raging on the fascist Stormfront internet forum, relations between the NVU (and NSA) and Voorpost and their cronies are colder than ever.

Significantly, just week before the Voorpost march, the NVU gathered in Amersfoort, a town near Utrecht, for a demonstration "against capitalism".

People from Amersfoort, a town with a sad history of hosting a forced labour camp during the German occupation, were incensed when they learned that the NVU would parade near a memorial to people executed by the Nazi invaders.

Before the march started, the nazis, carrying a huge banner with the logo of the self-confessed terrorist organisation Combat 18, were met with a blockade and much sound from whistles and klaxon horns. Later along the route, local youngsters again blocked the nazis' path, forcing the police to shorten and adjust the route.

Although the town's mayor had announced that she would intervene to stop racist, national socialist and insulting slogans, the nazis were allowed to chant "National Socialism now!", "Combat 18 terror machine", and "Death to Israel". They also commemorated a Waffen-SS member Van Eggen, who died a week before the march and collected for a wreath for his grave.

The main speaker was Blood&Honour Flanders leader Arnoud Kuipers who, surrounded by riot police, raved about "national socialism being the only solution to all problems".

Special guest, however, was Mark Atkinson, a member of the Racial Volunteer Force in Britain, who is former Combat 18 and British Ku Klux Klan activist. In 2005, Atkinson, who ran the RVF's website and wrote for its magazine Stormer, publishing manuals for making bombs among other things, was convicted and jailed for inciting racial hatred.

As a Combat 18 member, Atkinson told a Danish TV programme in 1997 that his organisation would carry out violent action on European soil but before he was tried and convicted, he fled to stay with Blood & Honour members in Spain, being later arrested and extradited to the UK.

The nazis were just about able to complete their march but had to wait almost an hour before they could leave the town, shouted down by dozens of people, among them local councillors, and it was the first time since 2003 that an NVU march had been stopped, shortened and blocked.

Jeroen Bosch for Alert! and Antifa-Net