Over the course of a year we have witnessed serious attacks against turkish-Cypriots in the South, as well as the vandalism and the arson of the muslim mosque in Denia. The last incident actually, happened right after a few TC joined forces with other volunteers in order to help with the attempts to put off the destructive fire which was blazing last week. It’s ironic to say the least, though unsurprising in a state which has invested so much in nationalism and intolerance- that such an act of solidarity, which deconstructs the legend of an “eternal enemy”, was followed by acts of hate crime and racist violence.
Though since the opening of the checkpoints in 2003, such acts have not been that many, despite the “expectations” all of those who were dreaming of a permanent partition. Nevertheless, such acts are expected to now rise, both due to a prolongation in reaching an agreement for a solution for the Cyprus problem, but also due to the shift of a significant number of the population towards right and far-right political parties, as the recent pariamentary elections have shown. Additionally, the tolerance shown by the political leadership as well as from the society more broadly, towards such chauvinistic elements. The entry of ELAM into Parliament will now encourage all those racists and fascists who were until now hiding, to turn violent threatening not only TC but any of the ‘Other’ who does not fit into their dark and narrow world.
It is not enough for the government and other political leaders to verbally condemn such attacks, neither are anniversary events for the condemnation of the coup for example, or for the celebration of the defeat of fascism and the end of World War II. For us, an antifascist struggle it’s not a mere call for democratic values. It is not about the equalisation of the “opposite extremes”, nor about the victory of neoliberal democracy and nor about the propriety of a society which simply watched without becoming involved in order to stop the violence which is taking place right beside it. For us, antifascism is a daily struggle at work, at school, in our neighbourhood, against the defenders of a neonazi horror.
We do not limit ourselves to extinguish the “fires” put by those who serve hatred and destruction, though we will do it whenever is necessary. Our response to such challenges can not and will not be apathy and tolerance, something which in turn leads to the legalisation of the thoughts and actions of fascists and which slowly and quickly makes us accustomed to the “face of the monster”. Our response to such challenges is to support the struggles of our comrades in the north, who are taking to the streets once again demanding political, social and cultural freedom. We are intensifying our common struggles against patriarchy, nationalism and militarism; to isolate the racists and fascists on either side of the divide; to live together in a reunited country, where a new society, based on solidarity and companionship would have persevered.