(Crossposted from MTV Iggy, 8/13/2014)
Unlike what your history teachers may have taught you in high school, the political ideology that brought you Nazi Germany or Mussolini’s Italy did not end in the 1940s, nor is it solely the realm of foreign dictators in the Third World. With regards to national pride, what often starts with something as simple as love for one’s country can devolve into the widespread exclusion and control of those who don’t fit the “ideal” image of a citizen. In the UK, the far-right group English Defence League intimidates Muslim and immigrant communities through public marches, while others terrorize family-friendly music events. In the United States, police take over small-town Missouri with tear gas and M16s after an officer fatally shot a young man leaving a convenience store, and conservative talking head Ann Coulter suggests the US take the Israeli Defense Force’s tactics in Gaza to the Mexican border, where thousands of Mexican and Central American migrants are already dying or becoming incarcerated daily. In economically strained Greece, where the pitfalls of the European Union outweigh its benefits, ultranationalists Golden Dawn have swooped in to reap the rewards from rising levels of disillusionment. Nationalism is alive and well and it’s super scary.
But resistance against the burgeoning ranks of totalitarians and nationalists is growing too, and it isn’t limited to electoral politics and street actions. On the internet, journalists, activists and just plain regular folks take to Twitter to call attention to troubling political currents. In the the football fields, you can find punk favorites FC St. Pauli, the first football team in Germany to officially ban displays of right-wing, nationalist imagery in its stadium. Meanwhile, from the stages of outdoor festivals to the dimly lit basements of squats, musicians both old and new deliver moving speeches and performances in the name of unity and inclusion. Here are eight musicians who are using their music to help fortify the movement against fascism today.