nettime's_digestive_system on Fri, 4 Feb 2000 18:54:10 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The Austrian Question

Hans-Christoph Steiner <>
     Re: FW: <nettime> Do not exhibit any longer in Austria!

NowkNowN <>
     fpoe/oevp and the resistance against

valery grancher <>
     (no subject)
     No Subject

"Frank Hartmann" <>
     Come ski in Austria 

"Mihajlo Acimovic" <>
     Austria, isolation and other ideas

"<<bernhard>>" <>
     Re: <nettime> Do not exhibit any longer in Austria!

"M Grootveld" <>
     Re: <nettime> Do not exhibit any longer in Austria!

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From: Hans-Christoph Steiner <>
Date: Thu,  3 Feb 2000 11:25:57 -0500
Subject: Re: FW: <nettime> Do not exhibit any longer in Austria!

This is exactly the opposite of what should be done.  Nazis want all  
dissenting opinions to be suppressed, so why should we do it for them?

What we should do is INCREASE activity as much as possible.  Make your voice  
heard, especially if you are Austrian.  Take it beyond the galleries and  
museums, take it to the streets.  If there are groups harrasing Jews, we need  
to go out in public and harrass those groups.  When we see Nazi graffiti, we  
need to write over it.  And then boycott the organizations which support  
racism and anti-semitism.

No such problem can be solved by running away.  If you look at the people who  
brought about major change in their societies, they did it by standing up to  
the powers-that-be.   Look at Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther  
King; they did not back down or leave the country.  They made their voices  
heard against violent opposition.

To answer the question you posed: "would you have exhibited in Nazi-Germany?"  
 I would say yes, I would have exhibited works that offended the Nazis.  As  
an Austrian citizen in the U.S., I plan to move to Austria so that I can  
openly challenge racism and anti-semitism.


>-----Original Message-----
>[<]On Behalf Of Robert Fleck
>Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2000 12:46 AM
>Subject: <nettime> Do not exhibit any longer in Austria!
>Nantes, 2.2.2000
>Dear friends,
>As you know, Austria got today the first federal government since the end
>of World War Second with a big participation of nazis.

     [95 lines of orig deleted for digest--mod]

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Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2000 18:53:05 +0100
From: NowkNowN <>
Subject: fpoe/oevp and the resistance against

rosa antifa wien - fpoe/oevp and the resistance against

Last evening the conservative OEVP and far right FPOE have come to an final
agreement about building together a new government in Austria. Now a government
with participation of the FPOE is only a few days away anymore. The only step
now missing is the formal confirmation of the federal president of Austria.
Joerg Haider probably won't be part of the government (to reduce the protests
of other countries) but he will still be the man in the background, telling the
others where to go. And: Even a government without Haider will incorporate
right-extremists, because his followers are nothing better than their leader.

While the press-conference in which the agreement was presented to the
public was still going on, some 500 persons gathered in front of the
parliament (where the talks had taken place) to protest against the
planned government. After then some 200 Persons marched through the city
and blocked the traffic (which was not too succesfull as it allready was
1 a.m. when these protests took place).

Meanwhile the occupation of the OEVP-Headquarter still goes on. At the
moment (3 a.m.) there are still some 50 supporters in front of the
building. The atmosphere is good although until now the occupation is
being neglected totally by the austrian media.

Even (and then still more) a government with a participation of the FPOE
is in charge the inner and outher pressure must not be lowered!
Against the normalization of right-extremists!

Rosa Antifa Wien (RAW)



20 000 protest against far right FPOe in Vienna/Austria 

Only two days after the announcment of the manifestation, yesterday at 5 p.m
some 20 000 persons gathered in front of the Headquarter of the conservative
OEVP, to protest against the planned FPOE and OEVP-government. One day ago this
building was occupied by 40 activists, which yesterday ended their occupation
to join the demo.  Although the OEVP announced to sue them afterwards, they
weren't even controlled by the police. In spite of the 20 000 protestors
outside a wise decision.

Afterwards the protesters went on to the office of the federal president (who,
at least in theory, would have the possibilitie to not allow the planned
government). This was the, from the organizing human rights organizations,
planned finishing-point of the manifestation. But this wasn't enough for some
of the protestors, and so one group of them went on to the Headquarter of the
FPOE, while another headed for the parliament. Later this two groups met again
in the city and formed a group of 3000 protestors. The police had a lot of
troubles to maintain traffic, which led to a lot of traffic jam. The protestors
went on the FPOE-HQ again.  This time the police tried to stop them, which led
to a little fight.  After protesting near to the FPOE for a while the march
went on through the city.  At 10 p.m. the group of still 1000-1500 protestors
again arrived at the OEVP-HQ.  The atmosphere was great, if not euphoric. And
so they went on again and at 24:00 some 300 protestors arrived in front of the
parliament, where the OEVP was meanwhile discussing the planned coalition.

Through the evening a lot of car drivers showed their support for the
manifestation, by joining the sound of protest with their cars horn.  Also the
general response of the pass-byers was quite good, many even joined the march.

The police reacted rather passive, but they know for sure that massive
arrestings could lead to international protests. Only the notorious special
squad WEGA, which is known for its high (80%) percentage of FPOE devotees,
started to get rather aggressive in the end.

Sumed up a great evening, especially because the human rights
organization didn't manage to keep the protests just as quiet and
"friendly" as they wanted to. Further actions are planned for the next
days (and weeks).

Protest against Austrian departments and authorities, show them that a
partcipation of the fascist FPOE will not be tolerated - NOWHERE!

Rosa Antifa Wien (RAW)




We do not feel obliged to claim Austria's "innocence". The to-be 
government is in support of the majority of Austria's population.
We have no reason to claim Haider is "just another" populist. He is 
not. He is a populist that operates with xenophobia, racism and the 
denial of the Holocaust.

The major threat is not the increase of direct violence against 
minorities. The major threat is the signal that far right agitation 
and action is not only ok but earns you a place in government.
As opportunism is one of the most prominent features of the "Austrian 
mentality", this is a severe political danger.

We have reason to be afraid of
* the final end of refugee or integration policies
* increasing xenophobia, racism and even antisemitism, because Austia 
has never faced its past and now people have governmental 
legitimation for such attitudes
* law and order policies instead of co-operative strategies to deal 
with crime and conflict
* abolition of progressive women's policies (e.g. the post of the 
minister for women's affairs will be cancelled and replaced by an 
extended family ministery)
* severe restrictions to freedom of art, especially where it puts a 
finger on the state of the Austrian society (already, in Carinthia, 
artists are faced with political limitations to their work)
* restrictions to the freedom of press, because subsidies for 
critical media products will most certainly be cut down

we don't know yet what to do about it.
we need both your solidarity and your ongoing critisism.
don't stop looking at our country.

To the international community

Declaration of the Austrian antiracist movement

In this moment of Austrian history we are deeply concerned with the 
political developments in our country. For more than 10 years, many 
NGOs, initiatives and smaller parties have tried to change the 
austrian racist reality without success.

In the new millenium, Austria still is not a democracy but a national 
democracy. More than 10 % of our population is systematically denied 
all political rights and participation, often even for decades, they 
are kept in the status of "foreigners". Even in the trade-unions, 
there are no equal voting rights for all workers and employees. This 
system, guaranteeing equality not to human beeings but to citizens 
only, is unique in Europe. Since a democratic system has been imposed 
on Austria after World War II, not only the conservatives and the 
right wing, but also the governing social democrats fortified this 
system of nationalistic and racist segregation and exclusion. This 
lack of balance in the political system led to the uprising of a 
party that is openly promoting a revision of Nazi history, using 
racism as an effective political tool due to the lack of a 
counterveilling power.

Even the killing of Marcus Omofuma during his deportation on May 1st 
1999 did not lead to any antiracist measures. On the contrary, police 
action, especially against people with African background, increased 
drastically. Charles O., major activist, writer and poet from 
Nigeria, was even accused of being a drug-boss and imprisoned for 3 
months, before he had to be released due to complete lack of evidence 
and major charges were dropped. Nevertheless these practices led to 
significant intimidation of the Black communities in their political 

Under such unfair conditions of criminalisation and the lack of 
democratic rights, we welcome initiatives from the side of the 
international community that put pressure on Austrian 
representatives. Austria is facing a drastic swing to the right. With 
a right-conservative government things will even get worse for people 
discriminated on grounds of racism, including the Jewish minority, as 
well as for people discriminated on the grounds of sexual 
orientation, sexual identity or on the grounds of being physically 

For some years now, Austria is known in the European Union for its 
attempts to radically alter the politics towards a demontage of the 
Geneva Convention and the denial of asylum for refugees. Austria has 
become the home-base for right-wing policies, threatening 
emancipatory movements all over Europe. Therefore it is in the 
self-interest of all democratic powers in Europe to try to reverse 
the political currents in Austria. We want to encourage all 
international steps in this direction, hoping that the European Union 
at least has learned from history, while the official Austria has not.

Under any government to come, Austria should finally change towards a 
fair democratic system which includes the right to vote for all 
permanent inhabitants, in which there is an anti-discrimination-law 
with respective enforcement, in which immigrants are not treated as 
enemies and in which human rights are really respected.

Platform for a world without racism

Vienna, 1.2.2000

more informations on:

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Date: Thu, 03 Feb 2000 21:50:16 +0100
From: valery grancher <>
Subject: (no subject)

Hi everybody,

    I try to reach the Ars Electronica Center in Linz Austria website
and I cannot !!!

I have right now my website hosted on :

I ask to Ars Electronica center to delete right now this website from
their server and to delete my name on their website.
I don't want to see anymore my name on a site hosted in Austria where
nazi are emerging with the austrian population support where Joerg
Haider is winning election !!!!


Valery Grancher

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Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2000 16:50:12 EST
Subject: No Subject

<<The SWP is a group of socialists who think that the various issues we all
care about ---  >>>

And the SWP has a party line that they expect total adherence to --  one 
issue they DON'T get is free speech.

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From: "Frank Hartmann" <>
Subject: Come ski in Austria 
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2000 22:57:21 +0100


Welcome to the politically incorrect pasttime?
(ref. todays quote by Belgian minister of
foreign affairs)

As a theorist, and known for not being patriotic
at all, I find it hard to raise my voice
concerning politics in Austria at this very
moment. But the following incompetent statement
by Robert Fleck yesterday gave me the kick:

>As you know, Austria got today the first
federal government since the end
>of World War Second with a big participation of

Nazis! Nazis as you know! There is a very cheap
reply to this, by simply stating the fact that
Fleck is just simply wrong to judge the

Our all beloved socialist chancellor Kreisky was
the only one who in the 70s - knowingly -
involved formerly active Nazis in the
government. Haider sure is the right-wing
populist, as any country has one. No
"Nazi"-Haider in government now. The government
which will be sworn in tomorrow by conservative
president Klestil - who already kicked two
hardliners out of the list today - is
interesting at first glance, bringing in a new
apporach including a lot of young and female
people (Women as vice-chancellor, as secretary
of state for the chancellor, as minister for
social affairs, as minister for education and
science, of tourism). I simply state but not
judge this fact, because we all do not know
these people well but might have cheered them if
they came out of a socialist background, not
knowing them well either. If the outcome of a
vote is not socialist, do you now question the
vote, socialism, or democracy?

This rhetorical question  implies my presumption
that most of the political functions, be it a
national or international level, nowadays simply
are not legitimized in a democratic way or form.
These political persons are "nominated". The
coice of voting a PERSON is an illusion. But I
still do put trust in the democratic
INSTITUTIONS. Haider and some hardliners are
lurking in the background for sure, but they are
not in the government (yet?) which for now will
have the main task to fulfill the Maastricht
criteria, in which the socialists, due to
stubborn unionists plea, simply failed.

They say we have a political "media-debate"
going on at the moment. When I read the
newspapers, I only recognize a severe moralistic
contrition. There is a CAMARILLA of
pseudo-socialist cultural workers out there,
functionaries, curatators, and what-have-you,
who know nothing else than suckling on the tits
of mother state for the past twenty years,
whilst being "socialist" promised to have access
to the biggest boob. Now the lesson of all this
is: the end of the "red pack alliance" (local
slang). I recognize it these days, all around
me. They are not political, they just are
addicted to the biggest boob. Now they fear to
be rejected by it. Anyway, there also is a lot
of "klammheimliche Freude" (sorry,
German-illiterates, this is tricky) included
these days. There are just too many
low-qualified, yet fat-assed functionaries of
the working class around - since it is not
allowed to any more behead them (as a practice
with formerly ruling classes) the folks go out
to vote for Haider. It is a simple symbolic
sans-culottes action what we can wittness here.

I talked to some hip-hop youngsters these days,
who pack their stuff to go snowboarding for
winter vacation. They find it very exiting to
experience this time of political change.
Change, and just for the sake of it. Their
parents lived in an illusion bubble for the past
twenty years, cherishing a view of politics with
a "nothing should happen/nothing can happen"-
attitude. If you would have seen any of the
formerly ruling politicians on TV, you would
sympathize. Sophisticated as we are (are we
not?), we know that it is not that simple.


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Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000 02:53:03 +0100
From: "Mihajlo Acimovic" <>
Subject: Austria, isolation and other ideas

I`ll throw these ideas into your face, so you can try and make some sense out
of them. I`m too tired to do so.

Since the nazis and conservatives declared they have achieved an agreement to
make a government, EU reactions have been very harsh, as well as the reactions
of many Austrians. There are thousands of Austrians supporting the idea of
isolating Austria internationally, because they say this would take money away
from Austria and that would make Austrians learn something. I know this
situation from the example of Yugoslavia. The only possible results of an
isolationist policy are nazification of new Austrian generations, a further
self-closing of Austria, mass poverty for the people, an excellent excuse for
the powermongers to steal all the money which people have because "we are under
unjustified and unprovoked sanctions. We call upon all our citizens to
endure...", etc.

There has never been a positive result out of an isolationist or sanctionist
policy, nor will there be. A boycott of Austrian products will have only an
effect that Austrians will boycott foreign products, everything will be more
expensive and the multinationals will still be operating without problems. Why
should I buy something that costs more money and is of lower quality, to make
people in Austria poor? Did Milosevic become poor because of sanctions? Did
Sadam? Did the sanctions overthrow their governments? Would Haider become poor,
because I don`t buy Austrian products?

Besides, I don`t believe that Haider and the conservatives have made a
government without consent from their bosses. If you look at it historically,
the neoliberal media (including state television) and political parties
(especially socialdemocrats) have been doing everything possible to strenghten
the nazis, give them more money, more power, more popular support. Greens
weren`t any better. They say FPOe is a neofascist party. Ok, so why are the
Greens in local coalitions with the FPOe annd Conservatives, in some places? Do
the Greens think it`s ok to be in coalition with a neofascist party? Most
Socialdemocrats voters are heavily against Haider and only voted for SPOe, to
made Haider loose. So, SPOe couldn`t go into coalition with the nazis, albeight
they strongly wanted to. Otherwise, we`d be looking at a coalition of nazis and
socialdemocrats (which is methodologically much closer)

If EU introduces santions, that would further close it`s borders to migrants
from the east and increase the walls of Fortress Europe. We`ll see today if
pres. Klestil will allow the new government, but I think he will. Legally, they
aren`t the government yet. If he refuses to inaugurate them, there will for
sure be new elections. Simply, Socialdemocrats and Conseratives, who have been
in coalition together for 13 years, are pretending they don`t want to be in
coalition anymore. If they aren`t in the coalition, the only possible coalition
in the present parliament, is somebody together with the nazis.  EU said they
wouldn`t give jobs to Austrians if they have a choice. Will that weaken Haider?
No. The Austrians which would normally get EU jobs and be against Haider, will
now have no other option but to ask Haider`s people for jobs. Then, these
Austrians will have to be loyal to Haider, or they loose their jobs. EU is
doing everything it can to strenghten Haider. It is making a big rethoric
against him, so anti-foreigner Austrians will support him. At the same time, EU
is not making any moves which can really endanger Haider (and it can). Most
supermarkets in Austria and 90% newspapers are owned by a german company. That
includes the nazi newspaper called Kronen Zeitung, which is read by over 2 000
000 people in a country of 8 000 000. If the German company was simply to
denazify the editorial policy of the Kronen Zeitung and other newspapers,
Haider could be half-crushed already. They won`t, because it was them who
brought Haider to power. There is no morals in EU sanctions against Austria.
The EU is responsible for Haider`s comming to power. Thei entire game of
"isolating fascists" will only empoverish Austrians. It will strenghten the
nazis. There is no conflict between EU and the nazis. EU are the nazis.

Angelfire for your free web-based e-mail.

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Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000 11:43:12 +0000
From: "<<bernhard>>" <>
Organization: <<ALL.QUIET>>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Do not exhibit any longer in Austria!

How could one oppose this without being misunderstood? This is wrong as far
as facts are concerned as well as it is completely wrong as an approach to
deal with the new right wing populist malaise in Austria and all over europe.

Someone who wants to see himself as as intellectual should be able to develop a
slightly more differentiated point of view. It is just untrue that there is
repression against artists in Austria.

Instead of making pointless comparisons with the past and calling for
cultural boycotts Mr. Fleck should support the austrian art scene and
help to
develop a strategy how to stand up against the right wing malaise. If there
is hope at the moment it is the fact that Austria is a part of Europe and
can't be seen as a separate entity anymore. And there are 73% austrians who
have not voted for Mr. Haider.


Robert Fleck wrote:

> Nantes, 2.2.2000
> Dear friends,
> As you know, Austria got today the first federal government since the end

     [91 lines of oriig message deleted for digest--mod]

 Bernhard Loibner

 "Komponieren ist ein Synonym für komputieren."
 Villem Flusser

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Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2000 14:18:05 +0100
Subject: Re: <nettime> Do not exhibit any longer in Austria!
From: "M Grootveld" <>
To: Robert Fleck <>,

Dear Robert,

I think it is very dangerous to call people like Joerg Haider outright
fascists and nazis. Although I acknowledge your expertise in Austrian
politics and although I share your concern for what is happening there, I do
not think that we should resort to the kind of radical steps you propose.
Usually these measures prove to be very counterproductive and only give
these bastards an excuse to do what you are trying to prevent them from
doing. They will also isolate these forces in Austrian society which are
against extreme nationalism, xenophobia and racial hate.
In general I tend to believe that the real danger lies in the fact that
apparently so many Austrians do not have any problem with voting for such a
despicable character as Mr Haider. Even if the man would be removed from the
scene, these peope would still be willing to vote for whatever other idiot
that would take over his place. This is to a large extent the responsibility
of the two parties that have ruled Austria basically since World War 2, the
socialists and the christian democrats. Probably the Austrian writer Robert
Menasse is right is saying that the present situation is to be preferred
compared with the old one: in both cases there is a conservative government,
but previously it was faced by a rightwing opposition and that has changed
now into a leftwing oposition.
And finally: at least Joerg Haider hasn't got a moustache!

Menno Grootveld

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