International Day of fight against fascism, antisemitism and xenophobia

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) emphasizes that the celebration of the International Day of Fight against Fascism, Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia represents an opportunity to remind ourselves of horrific consequences of the Holocaust and lethality of fascist ideology. At the same time, it is also an opportunity to reflect upon the threat of a growing trend of fascization of Montenegrin society that threatens human rights of a large number of citizens as well as the democratic development. A reminder of the horrors produced by nazism and fascism should warn us and contribute to a higher degree of sensitivity to injustice, violence and human rights violations with which Montenegro is still confronted.

Intolerance, hatred, violence, discrimination, stigmatization and prejudice against various minority groups (such as LGBT persons, Roma, persons with disabilities and ethnic groups), misogyny, religious fanaticism and the retraditionalization of society which are manipulated by governing structures, more prevalent hate speech in the media, tendency to present the critics of the government as “enemies of the state” against whom all means are “legitimate”, and disciplining them through brutal media campaign and attempts to mount process in order to protect the interest-economic based monopoly under a veil of an ostensibly fight for national interests – represent a modern form of fascist discourse in Montenegrin society which is of concern.

The long-term political, economic and identity crisis have contributed to reduction in resistance to fascist ideas through the collapse of institutions and value system, as well as to development of endemic corruption. This opened a space for different types of manipulation and blackmail that prevent free political participation and decision-making of citizens as the essential feature of a functioning democracy. The process of dealing with the past is being conducted slowly thus creating a dangerous illusion that Montenegro has no connection to the wartime past in the former Yugoslavia that was based on the notions of blood and soil, which does not contribute to prevention of similar or more destructive mistakes in the future and preservation of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious coexistence.

Building a society ready to resist the dangers of fascization is feasible only through consistent application of law, efficient and timely response of state bodies in defense of fundamental human rights and freedoms. It requires also the involvement of all social actors in shaping the value framework based on equal opportunities, respect for diversity and tolerance, solidarity and responsibility.

The International Day of Fight against Fascism, Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia is celebrated throughout the Europe on 9 November in remambrance of the “Crystal Night” (Ger. Kristalnacht), an event from November 1938 in Nazi Germany, which took place in the context of systemic persecution of Jews and other “non-Aryans “, later named the Holocaust.

Petar Đukanović, Programme Coordinator