Guardia Rossa (SC Red Star Penzing)

It must have been around one year ago when a few politically interested footballcracks from Vienna who followed different First League Clubs decided to cancel their support for their former clubs because of their developments and to search for a club in the lower leagues that everybody of them could identify with. They searched for a club that has a long and still living on tradition as worker’s club, where entrance fees are still affordable, where you can build up a leftside terrace that is even wanted by the very club managers and players and where you can go for booze and party with the entire squad after the games.

We all know, that in modern football these yearnings are hard to be satisfied.

But then theses guys spotted „SC Red Star Penzing“. An eye-catching Clubname that appeared somewhere in the Fifth Austrian Division that forced the guys to do some research on this Club’s history. And the history was astonishing.

Founded in 1903 by some steelworkers living in Ottakring [ed.: 16th district of Vienna]  the club had many ups and downs in its long tradition as a worker’s club. First, the club with the english name – that always reflected the love to the football’s motherland as well as it underlined the internationalistic spirit of  the founders – was forced to rename itself by the Austrian emperor, when Britain joined the allies in WWI against the Central Powers including Austria-Hungary. This was instantly withdrawn after the war ended.

Then, with the uprising of the Austrofascists in the beginning of the 30ies, Red Star was expropriated by the fascists in charge cause of their tradition as a worker’s club and the whole VAFÖ (Freie Vereinigung der Amateur-Fußballvereine Österreichs; transl.: Free Union of the Amateur-Footballclubs of Austria) that Red Star joined from the very beginning as a protest against the foundation of the professional Austrian Football League ÖFB got forbidden. But Red Star kept playing – as a tenant on several grounds.

Under the Nazi-regime in Austria Red Star was forced to rename again cause an english name was not tolerated by the nationalsocialist dictatorship. Several players and officials had been departed to concentration camps but Red Star still resited the oppression and kept playing.

And again instantly after the war ended Red Star renamed itself like they were founded.

After several years without an own pitch Red Star finally found one in Fünfhaus [ed.: 15th district of Vienna] where they played until 1975. The still famous Karl-Volkert-Park (old stadium) then had to be  destroyed because a car park for the neighbouring shopping mall was errected. So Red Star moved to their actual pitch: The so called Auto-Platz next to the Kendlerstraße in Ottakring.

Regarding this history, everything was clear. It must be SC Red Star that the guys were searching for. And these guys are now the Guardia Rossa.

Free entrance at home for the members of the FC, bring-your-own-booze-policy, pyrotechnic that is accepted by the president, political statements that are tolerated and even appreciated by the management and the other participants and finally players, that party with the FC after the games – no matter if they loose, win or draw. That’s what every footballfan is longing for.

„After a few games we sat next to the Club’s legend zipping a beer or five with him and we were talking about our political ideology. He said: Of course the Club knows, that at some point you’ll get visit from right-wing bastards but guys, be sure on this: when these wankers come, the whole team will back our back! We are all antifascists!“ says Moe, so called ‚foreign minister’ of Guardia Rossa. „Right now we are about ten Guardisti with a pool of another 20 people that join the games from time to time. All together we are a good mix of workers, unemployed, students, migrants – just humans that reflect the Austrian society. Regarding our offensive political declarations from the very beginning and that we just founded ourselves a few months ago, that’s quite good.“

Friendship had already been obtained with two other FCs and even the biggest Austrian footballmagazine coverd their story on a double-page.

„Our aim is to have a choreo at least at every home and regular banners to several controversial social topics in Austria and the world. So far this worked out. Maybe even better as we thought at the beginning.“

But the main goal of Guardia Rossa right know is to get a scoreboard for the „Kendlerroad“, how the Guardisti call their playground. „We don’t have a scoreboard so far. After a few drinks on the terrance, it could be hard to some to remember the results. A stadium needs a scoreboard so we established the „Scoreboard Initiative“. We collect donations and sell memorabilia and if everything sticks to the plan, we’ll have it at the beginning oft he second leg. That’s what makes out Ultras, isn’t it? Supporting the Club in every kind of way. Fans know better what a Club desires than investors. Fans are loyal. Money isn’t. We are just keepin’ on keepin’ on!“

Guardia Rossa

We are a group, that established itself, to maintain the football tradition of the Ottakringer [ed.: Ottakring, district of Vienna] steelworkers even in the 21st century. This tradition is based on the foundation of „SC Red Star“ in 1903.

Regarding this history, Guardia Rossa wants to support the „SC Red Star“-squad in a loud, lively and creative manner – at our homeground and away. Therefore we will not tolerate racist, antisemitic, antiziganistic, nationalistic, homophobic or sexist chants and speaches in our block at all! We define ourselves as friends of the traditional Viennese football culture and all it’s rich historic facets. We will always stand up against discrimination, that refers to gender, origin, color or sexual orientation.

Besides that, it’s our concern to improve the infrastructure of „SC Red Star“ for our friends, fans and visitors of course without forcing the Club’s commercialization.

Further it is relevant to us to express our political opinions that not only correlate with the game itself – next to the pitch as well as abroad the field. We are an explicit antifascist terrace, that takes up position to controversial social topics. In this concrete context, „antifascist“ to us doesn’t just only mean to be „against nazis“. We are conscious that these opinions may not be appropriate to everybody, but despite this we contemplate the football field as a political field! Inherently we will not search for contact violence but we will always be prepared to protect our group, affiliated people and our moral values.

Love Red Star – Hate Fascism


Add new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Author columns

Антти Раутиайнен

On April 19, Dmitry Petrov, a Russian anarchist fighting on the side of Ukraine, died in battle near Bakhmut.  Listen in Spotify. For almost twenty years, Dima contributed immensely to the anarchist movement in Russia and Ukraine. Over the last ten years, we had only met once and our...

4 months ago
Video version
Антти Раутиайнен

Last September, some Italian anarchists published a collective letter criticising Ukrainian anarchists for defending themselves and their movement against Russian imperialist aggression. Listen to this blog in Spotify. The argument is based on both ethical and factual points. I will start by...

4 months ago