Monday, July 4

The world of comics rises up against fascism: “We have to stand up and try to stop this madness”


The components of the world of comics in Spain, among whom there are cartoonists, scriptwriters, colorists, sign-makers or editors they have signed a manifesto against “impunity” of fascism. “This statement is important, because it gives me the feeling that fascism is continually being whitewashed in many mass media and by parties such as those of the extreme right. I believe that we must stand up and try to stop this madness.” This is Bernardo Vergara, cartoonist for elDiario.es, who has added his name to ‘Vignettes against fascism’.

Vox points to the editor of El Jueves and asks that “responsibilities” be demanded from him on the street

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“A few users began to express a little concern about the latest events that have occurred throughout this week, especially as a result of the murder of Samuel and later the point to the magazine ‘El Jueves'”, they point out from the group that has organized this protest action. “In the end we coordinated through Twitter a group of five or six volunteers and began to make a manifesto,” they add to indicate that, although the initiative comes from the world of comics, anyone who feels the same can sign it. In fact, they insist that it is important for “there to be a powerful and public positioning against this type of attitudes and people. A ‘non-positioning’ is also a positioning,” they underline.

The idea that the speech of the extreme right is contributing to the escalation of violence and hate crimes has been shared these days by politicians from progressive parties, such as Pablo Echenique, Mónica García or Ione Belarra, or members of other organizations in favor of equality, in addition to the thousands of people who this week demonstrated to demand justice for Samuel.

The signers of the manifesto declare that Vox, through its words and actions, “signals and constantly encourages hatred towards vulnerable groups.” The last of these accusations occurred this Tuesday, when the far-right formation targeted Ricardo Rodrigo Amar, president of the group that publishes the magazine ‘El Jueves’. They did it through a Twitter message in which they spread their photograph encouraging people to demand “responsibilities” from their work.

The formation wrote this message in response to the thread ‘La gang Voxura’, in which the satirical magazine attached caricatures of different party members such as Javier Ortega Smith, whom they drew as ‘Ortega Rambo de past’, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros – ‘Espinosa la vennosa’– or Rocío Monasterio –’Rocío Escalofrío’–.

“What would we not say in another context than when journalists were pointed out in this country both by the extreme right or by the ETA environment? What were we not saying then?” Asks Vergara. “This is practically the same as saying ‘this man lives here and this is his photo, go face him.”

In reference to this statement, Vergara recalls the aggression suffered in May 2016 by the former director of that same publication Mayte Quílez, who was punched in the face by a hooded man when he was returning home. The cause, a cover that read “plague of Nazis.” The cartoonist, while commenting on the facts, remarks that it is something “very serious”: “I think that the press associations should say something, because Vox’s targeting of journalists who are not of their kind is continuous … in this country we have precedents very serious about this. ” He refers, for example, to the bomb against the satirical magazine ‘El Papus’, in 1977. “It may still seem exaggerated,” says Vergara, to add that the germ in the case of the attacks these days is “the same” .

The group insists, however, that “it is not only the pointing out of the magazine ‘El Jueves'” that they are protesting against, but that they also draw attention to “the homophobic, gender and macho discourse” that exists in these far-right groups. “We support ‘El Jueves’, but we also speak out for the most vulnerable groups, this is very important. That is one of the things that also prompted us to make the manifesto. That it be something that protects and encompasses many more things”, indicate.

They thus denounce that the country is “facing a growing threat to freedom of gender, expression, thought, sexuality and fear of difference, which produces violence against the most vulnerable groups.” Proof of this are the increase in homophobic aggressions or the crime of young Samuel. “The targeting of the LGTBI group, immigrants, menas, women and abused women is continuous”, denounces Vergara: “A climate is being created in which the field has been fertilized with speech and now the fruits are being collected in the form of aggressions and harassment. ”

Among those responsible for the thought of this sector of society to reach the institutions, several of those who have spoken against, are also PP and Citizens, who have agreed with them in the governments of different communities: “These people do not they should be in public institutions, because they have a discourse that always appeals to violence against vulnerable groups and those who do not think like them, “they point out to elDiario.es.

“It does not fit in my head how the institutions do not protect or protect these groups. They only protect those who have power,” says Vergara, referring to the Justice’s endorsement of the Vox electoral poster on foreign minors. “It seems unusual to me and it seems important to me that a face be raised in the institutions and in politics. If we don’t stop this together, it will get out of hand.”

Along these lines, cartoonists and other members of the world of comics argue that it is dangerous for this “neofascist ideology”, in addition to a presence in the institutions, to have a voice in the media, “which defend their ideology with total impunity and without any ethics or professionalism “. In fact, for them, the solution, among other things, happens because neither one nor the other give them a voice: “That this discourse is isolated and silenced,” they indicate. “The absence of responsibilities and the search for ‘beast headlines’ and repercussions, the only thing that is producing is very serious social problems. The networks, in addition, should have responsibility and control – not censorship – over the content they publish.”

In the statement, they end up underlining their “most absolute rejection of fascism” and claim that creative freedom “is unquestionable”: “All those who seek to intimidate us through repression, denunciations and threats are wasting time. We will continue creating regardless of whoever it may.” . Also, they remember that in the comic “there is no room for fascist, sexist, racist or homophobic speeches”: “Our rights have already cost lives, beatings and bombs. We will not take a step back.”





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