On Saturday 1st April, Londoners came together in response to a call out from UAF and others to oppose far-right groups parading their hate in Westminster.
Around 250 people from trade unions and faith and community groups joined a UAF counter-demonstration against 140 or so fascists from Britain First (BF) and just 54 from the English Defence League (EDL).
The fascists had cynically called the marches in an effort to inflame racism and Islamophobia, following the appalling, attack in Westminster, last month. Both groups are notorious Islamophobes whose concern is not with the victims or their relatives, but in spreading racial hatred and division. The fact that these were national mobilisations shows the current weakness of UK fascism. The evening before had seen just 22 fascists from the National Front/South East make drunken fools of themselves at Trafalgar Square.
Ex EDL leader Tommy Robinson’s arrival on Saturday saw him swiftly heckled by anti fascists and had to be escorted away by police. He later was seen on a megaphone between the 2 fascist ‘rallies’. (The fascists held separate gatherings due to ongoing tensions between BF and the EDL) Even both sets of fascists were not interested in Robinson, so his audience was zero. Where once he led thousands, now he leads next to no one.
Protesters at the anti-fascist rally chanted: “We are black, white, Asian and we’re Jews, and there are many, many more of us than you!” The fascists were only able to march due to a huge police operation, which over zealously handled anti fascists.
UAF joint secretary Sabby Dhalu said: “The respectful and compassionate nature towards those killed and their loved ones that is reflected in the majority of British people is in stark contrast to the far right. Fascists such as BF and the EDL have no concern for the victims of this attack. While the turnout by fascists today was pathetic, we must remember the threat they currently pose in Britain is not in numbers, but in their attempt to whip up fear, hatred, division and violence.”
UAF Joint Secretary Weyman Bennett said: “The murder of Jo Cox, the shocking rise in hate crime, and the rise of the far right in Europe show that it is critical we unite against fascism, racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism at this time. Neither BF nor the EDL have significant forces, but their efforts to inflame Islamophobia need opposing. The vast majority of society opposes fascism, and we stand firm in our resolve not