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Far-right extremists plan Upper Austrian meeting

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Far-right extremists plan Upper Austrian meeting
Photo: APA/dpa/Thissen
15:20 CEST+02:00
A gathering of the far-right group Arbeitsgemeinschaft für demokratische Politik (AFP) is due to take place in the Wels-Land district of Upper Austria from Friday to Sunday - but several of the speakers may be stopped from making an appearance.

The organisers say that they want to "present a clear, alternative model to the EU capitalist corporations", with speakers from across Europe “standing up for freedom and sovereignty" and attendees gathering in the evenings to sing “folk and freedom songs".

The Austrian Press Agency reports that representatives from Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party are expected to attend, as well as from Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party, and the right wing publicists Pierre Krebs and Richard Melisch.

The planned gathering, entitled  ‘Europe - Rebirth or Demise’, is scheduled to take place at the Gasthof Lauber in Offenhausen.

Upper Austrian police said that the meeting was “on their radar” but that they would not be banning it. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is looking into the background of all the speakers and will not allow them to make an appearance if there are any criminal proceedings pending against them.  

Austria’s Mauthausen Committee (MKÖ) and the Upper Austrian Antifa anti-fascist network have called for the AFP to be banned.

Golden Dawn is "a neo-Nazi party, whose head has been formally charged with belonging to a criminal organization,” said MKÖ chairman Willi Mernyi.

"Given the known facts, it is incomprehensible that security agencies and the judiciary are happy to sit back and watch the machinations of the AFP," criticized Antifa spokesman Robert Eiter.

The AFP was founded in 1963, as the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Politik, and was connected to Manfred Roeder, a prominent German Holocaust denier and convicted extreme-right activist, who died in July.

Its publications often carry items about neo-Nazi and revisionist agitation and one of its main aims is to fight Austria’s National Socialist Prohibition Law.

Constitutional expert Heinz Mayer has stated that the AFP continues to "overtly and covertly glorify Nazi ideas and actions, cynically denies any Nazi violence, and uses hateful language with a clearly aggressive tone towards foreigners, Jews, and ‘strangers’”.

The AFP has few defenders but is connected to members of the far-right both in Austria and abroad. It supports the right-wing FPÖ party at elections. 

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