Nazis get busy

Searchlight - July 2008

The Dutch far-right made the end of April and May a busy, if not totally successful, time for itself. On 27 April, the fascist group Voorpost planned to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary of activity in the Netherlands and booked a venue in Utrecht where a busload of thirty Flemish activists, led by veteran Voorpost founder and security boss Luc Vermeulen, joined seventy Dutch fascists.

Alerted by Voorpost's public announcement of the gathering, anti-fascists contacted the venue's owner and informed him about the real nature of his guests, prompting him to call the police and to evict the fascists from his premises. The Voorposters, who hurriedly sang their last songs and, will now, it seems, file a complaint against the police.

Two weeks later, a ragbag of around thirty Voorpost members together with other local fascist activists showed up to protest at a film screening organised by Anti-Fascist Action in The Hague. Waving a banner reading "Stop left-wing violence", the fascists were prevented by police from disrupting the evening.

Meanwhile, on 3 May, another fascist outfit, Blood& Honour Traditional, was hoping to kick-start a resumption of its activities with a "ballad night" in commemoration of its idol Adolf Hitler. B&H's move stemmed from the fact that the microscopic political party known as the National People's Movement with which it has have felt at home now seems moribund after the suicide of its secretary Gerard de Wit in February. For €15 members were invited to attend the event in Aalten and listen to 'Steve' from the UK, John Cartwright from the Scottish nazi band Nemesis, a surprise act, and a few speakers.

As it turned out, none of this happened because, despite tight security measures taken by the nazis, anti-fascists, determined to halt the first publicly advertised Hitler commemoration in the Netherlands, tracked down the venue and alerted the owner. When he learned that his guests would be a bunch of violence-prone nazis and not the jolly group of beer enthusiasts he thought they were, he contacted the police.

As a result, local mayor Bert Berghoef banned the concert and riot police were deployed to prevent both members of Blood&Honour (B&H) and anti-fascists from entering. Berghoef commented: "Because of the history of resistance during the German occupation, I wanted to make it clear that such a meeting is not done here". Of course, the supporters of B&H who were sent packing blamed 'ZOG' (the mythical "Zionist Occupation Government") for the cancellation of their "ballad night".

On 31 May, it was the turn of the nazi Dutch People's Union (NVU to hit the streets, this time in the town of Oss, just like the party did in April last year. In that attempt at a demonstration some of the nazi Black Block members were arrested and for this year they had prepared for retaliation.

Just a week before the planned march, the group met for have a workshop on police violence. The nazis' preparation availed them little because, at the beginning of the demonstration police confiscated their banner which carried the slogan "No Justice No Peace, Fuck the Police". Interestingly, the stated slogan and theme of the march was "Against Polish migrant workers in the Netherlands, against the European Union" but the main slogans were "National Socialism Now!", "The national resistance is marching here" and "Jews out…of Palestine".

Before the nazi parade, the police arrested 58 anti-fascists who held a legal rally in front of the station but were not allowed to leave by train. Instead, they were arrested but the police announced that none will be prosecuted. The night before, three nazis were arrested for putting up stickers along the route of the NVU march and, during the march, ten young Oss residents were arrested for protesting at having nazis in their town. NVU boss Constant Kusters claimed the day was a victory but by the following Monday the impact had evaporated.

Jeroen Bosch for Alert! and Antifa-Net