Last Wednesday (January 30th) was 75 years since Hitler came to power. To mark the occasion and remember those who died UL Socialist Youth organized a series of anti-racist activities during the week, as part of a national campaign.
The events were very important to ensure the day didn’t just pass by un-remarked. It was important to mark this date to keep in our minds the brutal fact that during the reign of the Nazis 11 million people were killed. As well as this millions of activists, protestors and ordinary people were abducted and imprisoned. In the weeks after coming to power the Nazis crushed the trade unions and left-wing parties, ultimately becoming the only party in the country.
On Tuesday, the day before the anniversary, a public meeting was held in the UL Students Union building. At it we discussed the untold story of big business collusion with the Nazis. Conor Payne, the speaker at the meeting, said ‘Famously IBM supplied and serviced machines for the concentration camps. There are conracts, receipts and the machines themselves to prove this. Shell, Coca-Cola, Ford, Kodak, Siemens, Folens, General Motors, Krupps, DuPoint and General Electric all helped the Nazis too.’
On Wednesday morning of Week 1, members of UL Socialist Youth could be seen around campus giving people anti-racist, anti-fascist stickers to wear. Cian Prendiville, chairperson of UL-SY said ‘Over 500 stickers were distributed, and we could have got rid of more, if only we had them. This demonstrates the reality that most people are anti-racist, hopefully it also helped to get people thinking and talking about the anniversary.’
At 1pm on the same day a rally/vigil was held in the Stables courtyard, with speakers from UL Socialist Youth, the Students Union, the staff and lecturers trade union (Unite) and Out in UL, the university’s LGBT society. A speaker from the Jewish community was unable to speak due to a sore throat.
Many speakers at the rally connected remembering the crimes of the Nazis, with opposing racism today. Cian Prendiville (UL-SY) commented that “Increasingly migrants being scapegoated for low wages, the health crisis etc. In reality it is big business and the government who are responsible for the ‘race to the bottom’ and the health crisis. Socialist Youth believe that the best way to cut across racist and bigoted ideas is to build a strong movement to fight big business and fight for a decent life for all.”
Socialist Youth hold regular meetings and activities on campuses, schools and in cities around the country. If you would like to help us campaign against racism, or find out more about Socialist Youth then contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org