For decades the violent far left has been able to operate with near impunity in Denmark because of its excellent political connections and influence in the established media. The men and women of violence call themselves antiracists, antifascists or environmentalists. In reality they are revolutionary communists bent on the eradication of capitalism, says Kim Møller, Denmarks leading authority on extreme left organizations and activities.
The lefts attitude to violence and free speech is one of the great taboos in Denmark, said Kim Møller in his presentation at a meeting in Copenhagen on The left, violence and free speech organized by the Free Press Society on 19 October.
Historian Kim Møller is the editor of one of Denmarks most popular political sites, Uriasposten.net, and has been following the far left scene for years. In 2010, six-eight masked antifascists attacked him with broken bottles in his hometown of Aarhus. He describes it as pure luck that he got away from the incident alive and without permanent injury. Both before and after the attack he has been threatened and harassed for his attempts to unveil violent far-left activities and their perpetrators.
Kim Møller was keen to stress that like everybody else, left radicals should have the right to preach their political ideology. It is not illegal to be a communist or a national socialist, nor should it be, said Kim Møller. But there is a clear distinction between legal left radicalism and illegal left radicalism. This is not a small detail. It is absolutely essential.
He went on to explain that there is a fundamental difference between the diminutive Danish far right and the much more muscular and well-connected far left. True Nazis and racists enjoy no sympathy anywhere in any political party and nowhere in the media. Not so with the radical and violent left.
The Danish Peoples Party, often described as far-right and beyond the pale especially in the Swedish press systematically excludes radicals, whereas the Unity List, parliamentary supporter of the current Social Democratic government, integrates them in the party leadership.
If one wants to understand how militant left radicals are allowed to hide behind pluswords and how the most fanatical among them can be absorbed in the Unity List, one has to look to the media, said Kim Møller and continued:
The media are an integrated part of the game. If the media had not adhered to double standards, organizations like AFA and Redox would not have enjoyed free play for decades. The media have taught the far left radicals that they may physically attack the police and then be quoted as trustworthy witnesses to police violence.
They have learned that masked mobs may attack their political opponents with bottles and subsequently read press reports on clashes between a named right-wing radical (me) and unnamed activists that may or may not belong to the left.
This special relationship with the established media has allowed organizations and networks on the far left to ride high for decades.
The most important of these organizations are the two intertwined outfits AFA (Anti-Fascist Action) and the research collective Redox, which is in essence the lefts private intelligence-gathering organization. Behind the two arms of the far left one finds a media syndicate by the name of Monsun, which runs the website Modkraft.dk. A further important organization is Socialistisk Ungdomsfront (Socialist Youth Front) a militant outfit often identified as the unofficial youth branch of the Unity List.
AFA, which was founded in 1992, is inspired by the Roter Frontkämpfer-Bund (The Organization of Red Front-Line Fighters), the paramilitary wing of the German Communist Party founded in the 1920s. Among its most well-known members was Erich Honecker, later Prime Minister of the Communist German Democratic Republic.
As Kim Møller points out, AFA, the strong-arm enforcers of the ultra-left, is anonymous. Its leadership is a close-knit network of people from a number of so-called autonomous collectives, primarily Bumzen and the collective at Sankt Hans Torv, both in Copenhagen.
It is from there that anything from violent attacks and terror against meetings to popular demonstrations under cover names is organized, says Kim Møller. Some of these demonstrations with thousands of participants end in street violence quite as planned.
When Danish AFA started out in 1992, it was suggested that the name should be Anticapitalist Action but following the fall of the Berlin Wall it was determined that antifacsist was a more auspicious term.
The members of AFA and their far left allies call themselves climate activists, human rights advocates, antiracists and the like but in reality, says Kim Møller, they are revolutionary left radicals attempting to kick-start the revolution through staged confrontations and deliberate violations of the law. Central the AFAs ideology is the idea that racism is an act, not a point of view. This implies that AFA feels justified to physically attack political opponents who it labels racists.
The Research collective Redox was established in 2005 and has its roots in the autonomous Bumzen collective in Copenhagen. Previously the police had raided Bumzen several times and found a bomb-making factory.
Redox operates as an unofficial intelligence-gathering organization. During an on-going court case against the organization in the Copenhagen City Court it has been revealed that Redox has been hacking e-mails and conducting surveillance of up to 4000 individuals. According to Kim Møllers information, Redox has been spying against members of the youth organizations of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Alliance.
On Redoxs server the police found the membership list of the Conservative youth organization and 130,000 pictures of political opponents.
Several individuals connected to AFA and associated organizations have found employment in the apparatus of the Unity List. Former AFA-leader Pelle Dragsted is now a close aide to the Unity Lists parliamentary spokesperson Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen.
Redox the far lefts spy outfit maintains close connections to the established press. Its leader is a journalism student, another of the indicted in the current trial is a university lecturer and several others have had been employed by national dailies.
In the Danish pres it appears to be a career booster to have participated in illegal left wing activities. Several militant leftists are regular guests on national radio and TV where they are presented as idealists. Many others have gone straight from rock-throwing to influential positions the established media or to jobs with the socialist parties in parliament.
MP Rosa Lund as militant extremist in 2008.
The distance from legal and illegal left radicalism to the left establishment is very short, says Kim Møller. Part of the problem is the Unity List, which supports AFA and Redox at the same time as is part of the current governments parliamentary majority.
Kim Møller mentions an example: In the last election, Rosa Lund, a member of the Socialist Youth Front, was voted into parliament. She lives at the same address as one the defendants in the current AFA/Redox case.
Can you imagine, asks Kim Møller, if a member of the Danish Peoples Partys parliamentary group cohabited with a person indicted for illegal intelligence gathering on behalf of a right-wing organization? The press would be all over it. But not if it is one of their friends on the far left.