Autonome Nationalisten

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Autonome Nationalisten with an anti-capitalist banner, wearing clothing typical of left-wing black blocs.

Autonome Nationalisten ("Autonomous Nationalists," abbreviated AN) are German, Dutch[1] and to a lesser degree Flemish[2] neo-Nazis who have adopted some of the far left's traditional dress (black clothing, Che Guevara T-shirts, keffiyehs), symbolism, and tactics (black bloc).[3][4][5] This adoption of codes and symbols coincided with the persistence of vibrant alternative subcultures of the radical left and a rejection of traditional skinhead and party-political forms of organisation on the extreme right. The AN thus see themselves as 'autonomous' from established neo-Nazi structures, developing their own music scenes and fashion codes. These are often meant to display anti-systemic rebellion and opposition to globalisation and 'American cultural imperialism'.[6] The AN first emerged in 2003–4 and are more violent than other members of the far right.[4][7] The AN are ideologically inspired by Strasserism.[8] Mareš writes that they are "a strategic concept, organization and subculture – all three terms are possible for the designation of this phenomenon."[8] In 2008 Germany's Autonomous Nationalists were estimated to number approximately 400 people, 10% of the country's neo-Nazis.[7][9]

Their emergence was controversial within the German far right, both because some older activists objected to their "leftist" image and because the National Democratic Party of Germany feared they would complicate its efforts to take part in mainstream politics.[8] Also controversial is that Autonome Nationalisten have occasionally expressed sympathy for Islamic extremism, as well as Hezbollah and Hamas for their opposition to Zionism and what is deemed "American imperialism".[10] Autonome Nationalists have also been seen wearing t-shirts depicting Osama bin Laden.[10]

Similar groups have also appeared in some Eastern European countries, beginning with the Czech Republic and Greece, but their impact in those areas has been limited.[8]

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  1. ^ http://www.doorbraak.eu/gebladerte/11479f95.htm (Dutch)
  2. ^ http://www.autonoom.net/ (Dutch)
  3. ^ Sunshine, Spencer (Winter 2008). "Rebranding Fascism: National-Anarchists". The Public Eye 23 (4): 14. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  4. ^ a b Glet, Alke (November 2009). "The German Hate Crime Concept: An Account of the Classification and Registration of Bias-Motivated Offences and the Implementation of the Hate Crime Model Into Germany's Law Enforcement System". The Internet Journal of Criminology: 16. 
  5. ^ Sundermeyer, Olaf (27 April 2009). "Autonome Nationalisten: Rechte Schläger im Kapuzenpulli". Der Spiegel (in German). Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  6. ^ http://www.academia.edu/1621636/Schlembach_R_2012_The_Autonomous_Nationalist_youth_movement_in_Germany_AFPP_conference_Manchester
  7. ^ a b Nicola, Stefan (20 May 2008). "Germany's new neo-Nazis". UPI. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c d Mareš, Miroslav (25 March 2010). "Transnational Activism of Extreme Right Youth in East Central Europe". Paper (first draft) for the International Conference "Far right networks in Northern and Eastern Europe”: 5–6. 
  9. ^ Berg, Stefan; Markus Deggerich and Sven Röbel (3 June 2008). "Extremist Violence the Norm in Parts of the Country". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  10. ^ a b http://www.doorbraak.eu/gebladerte/11479f95.htm