Antifa Bihać (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

First of all, it would be interesting to know, when you were founded and how big your supporting base is?

Our local group started somewhere in 2010. Before that there were individual efforts to organise a group of people with antifascist views in the Bihac area. Speaking about the size of our supporting base, we would like to point out that many people in our city stand by our ideas because they are universal, and so is our supporting base. We are not a closed group, every free thinking man and women from Bihac who support the fundamental priniples of antifascism is our supporter, and we are theirs as well.

What is currently your biggest issue/problem in your area and what was it in the past?

Just like in the majority of places in the Balkans, our main issues are nationalism and xenophobia in all their forms. People are still under the influence of the aggression that took place 1992 – 1995 and find it hard to open themselves to tolerant views and cohabitation with other ethnic groups. There is a lot of hate speech in the media, and a great lack of opposition in political terms. The hard economic situation contributes to the feeling of hopelessness specially amongst young people and therefore builds a great starting base for all these negative tendencies to develop further.

Do you have problems with the public or right-wing organisations/people in your City?

Until now there are no organised right-wing groups in our city, only some minor incoherent individuals trying to pose as a right-wing neonazi group. The public is in some way in favour of our actions, but a part sees our efforts as Yugo-nostalgic and communist related although we made it clear in our statement that we do not stand behind any ideology or political party.

How would you describe the situation and feelings towards antifascists or alternative people in your area?

People, and by that we mean mostly those rigid Bosniak/Serb/Croatian nationalists with their newly found ethnic identities, have a negative deflection against anything that relates with the old Yugoslavian regime, and being not able to comprehend the meaning of antifascism they take a negative stance against us because we evoke memories of antifascist fight that was characteristic to Tito’s WW2 partisans. The moment we speak up against neo-Chetnik or neo-Ustashe tendencies, our ideas become acceptable by those who oppose them, and vice versa. Those who are not infatued by ethnic differences and xenophobia are supporting our actions.

Is there anything you would like people to know about you/your City?

It is a beautful scenic city with the most beautiful river in the country. It is a city with a strong antifascist tradition and we intend to keep it that way. Everybody is welcome to visit us.

Thanks for the interview.