By New Worker correspondent
THE CAMPAIGNING group Queers Against the Cuts last Friday was host to a packed meeting at Clapham Library in south London on the Rise of Fascism in Europe and its impact on the LGBT community.
The meeting focussed on the effects of the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s and its impact on Berlin’s vibrant gay community and the current rise of fascism in Europe – and especially Greece – and the impact this is having on gay rights.
Speeches were interspersed with readings from Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Diaries by David Sharkey.
Speakers included Rachel Newton and Colin Wilson, who gave an account of events at the end of the Weimar Republic in Germany.
A speaker from the Greek social democrat group Syriza, Demetrius, spoke at length on the impact of the draconian austerity cuts in Greece and how this has led to an upsurge of the extreme right wing in the shape of the Golden Dawn movement.
Since the European Union, the IMF and the World Bank are at the root of Greece’s economic woes there has been a retreat into narrow nationalism and propaganda praising the traditional Greek culture, the Greek family, and at its centre the traditional macho Greek male.
Homosexuality is rarely discussed and as educational and health institutions are crumbling the impact on the LGBT community is massive.
What now passes for a national health system has stopped supplying retroviral drugs to people with HIV – effectively abandoning them to die.
But the increasing violent attacks on immigrant communities from Albania and Bulgaria along with attacks on the lesbian and gay communities are drawing them together in mutual self-defence.
The overall message from the meeting was that it is dangerous for LGBTQ groups to do nothing or to bury their heads in cultural events.
They need to engage with all other communities under attack and to become actively involved in combatting the cuts and the fascists.