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Fascism in the 1930's and the Alt-Right Today

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St. Augustine Church

Mull Room (Basement)

41 George IV Bridge

Edinburgh

EH1 1EL

United Kingdom

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The rise of Fascism in the 1920s and 1930s initially began with charismatic speakers pointing out to their audiences, all the ills that they suffered and instead of pointing at the political and socio-economic causes of these ills, providing easily identifiable scapegoats in the form of immigrants and in particular those of the Jewish faith, regardless of the number of generations who had lived in their communities. They were different, and tended to live separately in small close-knit communities for protection against ongoing persecution.

To begin with, the fascists would have not been treated as a serious threat, just thugs attacking outsiders. As time went on and support grew, linked to a continuing decline in general living standards, the media in particular began to side with them and their populist rhetoric and they became a serious threat to democracy.

Everyone knows the horrors that resulted from ignoring the rise of the various fascist parties in Germany, Italy, Spain and other countries in Europe, culminating in WWII and the Holocaust.

Can we see parallels in the rise of the alt-Right today? Are these outspoken, angry, cheerleaders for racism a passing trend merely reflecting the impact of austerity politics on a more mature audience than was the case in the 20th century, or are they the same substituting (to begin with) another easily identifiable group in Islam?

Are there darker forces at work funding, inspiring and ensuring their unpleasant views are more widely spread?

What impact does an openly racist President of the USA, fuelled by the same 'think tanks' as thugs like 'Tommy Robinson' have on their credibility amongst the general public?

Speakers - Gavin Brewis and Rab O'Donnell - from the ant-fascist organisation Hope Not Hate explore the potential for a modern rise in fascist groups and their tactics and rhetoric, and whether we can draw parallels with the 1930s or not.

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St. Augustine Church

Mull Room (Basement)

41 George IV Bridge

Edinburgh

EH1 1EL

United Kingdom

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