What remains of part of the fascist street crews in the UK, displayed their current weaknesses, at the weekend, in two demonstrations. The English Defence League (EDL) which once was able to hold marches of 3-4000, was reduced to a pathetic rump, again. No more than 90 people joined their short ‘march’, in Telford, allegedly to protest over child sex abuse, in reality to engineer racial and religious hatred against Muslims and refugees. This follows of course from themselves and other fascists trying to whip up Islamophobia, over child sex abuse in towns like Rotherham.
Fortunately, the local TUC and UAF, with others, put a coalition together, based on the Rotherham UAF model of dealing with fascist attempts to ‘racialise’ the serious issue. Prior to Saturday, a well supported statement was issued by Telford TUC/UAF. https://www.facebook.com/event
s/1709214102734730/ On the day, up to 200 locals joined the UAF/TUC event on Saturday, to say both that fascists won’t divide the community over the issue and to call for justice for the victims. It was significant that Muslims from the local Mosque spoke and helped organise, as did local Greens.
In contrast, the EDL held a racist gathering, which put the blame on Muslims, per se. The EDL were also joined by hardcore fascists, from a violent, fascist splinter group. The fascists, came from as far as Sunderland and attracted few locals.
Telford TUC/UAF helped ensure that the EDL were not able to cynically capitalise around the issue and remain marginal. This poor turnout on a national callout, is even less than their appearance in Nottingham in August. They end the year in a pitiful state and reflect the sorry nature currently, of the extreme right, here. It signifies that broad based, anti fascism, has seen the far right consigned to the margins, for now.
The North East, which has been plagued by various fascist groups, in recent times, saw a well attended North East UAF/TUC demo, isolate fascist thugs from the openly Nazi, National Action. Again, local, broad based mobilising was key. Trades unionists with UAF, ensured a lively response to this Hitler loving sect, see here, https://www.facebook.com/UAFnortheast/?fref=ts
The fascists got no support from people from Darlington, whereas, anti fascists did and were overwhelmingly from the area. Some Pubs refused the fascists entry on being tipped off by anti fascists. The fascists march was short and squalid. National Action and friends were no more than 50 strong and from across the North East and North West. Their time in Darlington saw them jeered by passers by and they were out of Darlington, soon after their demo ended.
UAF Joint Secretary, Weyman Bennett, commented, “Wherever the range of small Nazi groups puts their head up they are challenged by almost always, larger groups of anti-fascists. The fascists here have not recovered from defeats anti fascists have inflicted on the BNP and EDL. The rise in racism post Referendum and the murder of Jo Cox, means we should not be complacent; UAF will continue to oppose the fascists”.