Solidarity in action against right-wing extremism: activist and philanthropic innovations from Croatia

On Thursday 16 February, the SOLIDARNA Foundation in cooperation with the European Civic Forum and SOLIDAR held a round table discussion in Brussels.  From a unique insiders’ perspective, they talked about innovative activist and philanthropic practices by citizens in resistance to the hostile attacks on human rights in Croatia over the past year, against a background of acute democratic regression.  Those initiatives include  the transnational artists' initiative Kulturnjaci2016, the humanitarian-advocacy coalition Refugees Welcome, the grassroots association Are You Syrious?, the trade-union-civil alliance for education reform Croatia Can Do Better and the SOLIDARNA – Foundation for human rights and solidarity set up by the human rights community. Among the speakers who contributed to the discussion were Sandra Benčić from the Center for Peace Studies, a member of the Foundation SOLIDARNA Board, Vilim Matula, Croatian actor and activist involved in the Kulturnjaci2016 initiative, Marina Škrabalo, Director of SOLIDARNA Foundation and member of the EESC and  Conny Reuter, SOLIDAR Secretary General. The aim of the discussion was to come up with creative approaches to resource mobilisation, advocacy and citizens' engagement that can foster autonomy, resilience and the sustainability of human rights activism across Europe, in light of ever more oppressive political agendas, excessively rigid funding regimes and the systematic degradation of independent, investigative journalism.

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