Wednesday 15 February 2017

Rotherham and Telford unite against fascist Britain First & the EDL

The detritus of fascism in Britain in the shape of Britain First (BF)  and the English Defence League aim to incite race hate and Islamophobia, in two UK towns, this month. On February, 25th, in Telford, BF are rallying, supposedly out of concern for victims of sexual abuse in the area. The reality is that such fascists have a long history of looking to ‘racialise’ the appalling incidences of such abuse and ferment hatred on Muslims, particularly.
                Both fascist groups, like others, targeted Rotherham following the shocking revelations of child sex abuse in 2015, in the town. Local anti fascists and Rotherham Trades Council sensitively undermined a number of fascist mobilisations, following the uncovering of the abuse. Shropshire TUC and UAF are circulating  a unity statement (see below) based upon the Rotherham ‘model’. It calls for justice for the victims, and argues that fascists are callously trying to target Muslims, on the back of abuse cases.
Rotherham MP, Sarah Champion has criticised police after she says the force cancelled an LGBT to ‘facilitate’ the  EDL rally. She tweeted: “Furious! Our inaugural #LGBT event has been cancelled as @syptweet didn’t realise townhall booked when they agreed EDL rally at same place!”
Anti fascists in both towns report that there is a widespread feeling that neither outfit are wanted by locals. A Rotherham UAF member reports that, ‘People are fed up with violent fascists, coming here, wanting to assault Muslims and who have nothing to offer us.’
 Rotherham also saw of course, recently, the successful stand taken by the Rotherham 12 who were acquitted of charges, following a BF demonstration in 2015. The EDL, a mere shadow of it’s past, are going to Rotherham to complain about fascists recently convicted for their actions on that Britain First rally. Britain First’s ex leader, Golding has only recently come out of jail, after breaching a court order telling him not to enter a mosque or encourage other fascists to do so.
    The weakness of the EDL and BF is due to unrelenting work done by UAF and local trades unionists, Muslims and others. Like Rotherham, the West Midlands has been plagued by a number of visits by fascists, all of which have been successfully opposed by anti fascists. The broad based nature of such opposition to the right has been critical in reducing fascists in the UK to a hardcore. Such work will remain essential in not letting fascists get a toehold in the UK. Details of the mobilisations are here. –  Called by Shropshire TUC/UAF –  Called by Rotherham UAF. supported by Rotherham TUC

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