The antifascist actions on 10 and 11 June, beginning with the pre-demostration on Friday attended by around 500 people, were a great victory for the antifascist forces in Austria. Many locals of Ottakring and Rudolfsheim greeted the protesters with applause and shouts of support – it was a successful mobilisation for the following day.
On Saturday 250 fascists of the “Identitäre Bewegung“ (“Identiarian Movement”), some of which travelled from France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia and Poland tried to march through the workers‘ and migrants‘ district of Rudolfsheim to the old imperial palace of Schönbrunn. But they were met with three blockades by antifascist forces. Despite a large police contingent (~1000 cops) every possible route was successfully blocked. The cops were completely overwhelmed by the situation and at one point had to dissolve a kettle in order to somehow protect the Identitarians.
An important success was the high fighting spirit of the antifascist camp, which were around 1000 people. Blockades were made, barricades built out of construction site material and rubbish bins and confrontations were sought with police and fascists! The most militant sections of the masses stormed forward into the confrontations and remained steadfast. Activists of Revolutionärer Aufbau (Revolutionary Construction) together with the masses went on the offensive and stood right at the front of the battle with the police, the guardians of the fascists.
Despite CS spray, police dogs and helicopters the Identitarians did not get more than 500 metres before being forced to abandon their demonstration and leave under police protection. It was a crushing defeat for them, the result of the antifascists going on the offensive and standing their ground! This brought vocal support from bystanders, some of which even spontaneously joined in the confrontations. The great solidarity among the protesters, such as the swift support for comrades affected by the CS spray, strengthened morale and the fighting spirit.
One conclusion we can draw is that to fight back and defeat fascism a resolute leadership, discipline and determination are absolutely necessary. The activists of Revolutionary Construction provided a good example for the development of these three key qualities!
The experiences of this weekend must serve as an important lesson for all honest antifascists. Victories are won through offensive struggle, trusting in one’s own strength, and not through empty phrases or symbolic protests. This victory against the fascist Identitarians must be used as a platform to initiate a new stage of the fight against fascism in Austria.