Grannies Against the Right

Since 2017 the organization of Grannies Against the Right is fighting right-wing extremism and xenophobia in Austria. Following their motto: “Those who fall asleep in a democracy will wake in a dictatorship”, the elderly (but not only) women and men initiated actions and protests against populist right-wing parties like Freedom Party in Austria or Alternative for Germany (AfD). In the latter country they have been operating for two years. There are thousands of members active in 70 towns and cities. They organize information stands and work towards the commemoration of victims of the Nazi regime.

A Nigerian who was a victim of human trafficking opened a shelter in Sicily to help those who have a similar experience. Osass Egbon operates in the Sicilian countryside, where she offers other women Italian language classes and job-related training. She also supports them in getting emotionally and psychologically free from their oppressors. Data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) suggests that in 2016 80% of 11 000 women registered as landing in Sicily were trafficked. Most were forced into prostitution.

From school teachers, through lawyers to artists and land rights activists – the people of Myanmar are working hard to educate their fellow citizens on their rights, justice, peace, and solidarity. The current ruling party, NLD, has been vastly criticized for many shortcomings in the treatment of minority groups, lack of reforms, and poor management of the peace process. Still it remains in power, allegedly due to lack of a better alternative. Grassroots movements are working for a change despite the lack of government leadership. European universities engaged the local artists to tell one of those stories via Youtube.