The far right in the UK is isolated, exemplified by the extraordinary support given to Saffiyah Khan, following the famous picture of her standing up to the fascist English Defence League (EDL ) leader, Crossland, last Saturday in Birmingham.
Anti fascists, from UAF, including Saffiyah, outnumbered the national EDL mobilisation by over 3 to 1. Moreover, the EDL were of course humiliated by Khan and other anti fascists. Bizarrely, given the long and proud history of anti fascism on Merseyside (especially recently) the EDL are going to Liverpool on June 3rd (see below). This move has alarmed many in what’s left of the EDL. UAF has called a mobilisation and launched a well supported Unity statement.
However, against a backdrop of Islamophobia and anti migrant rhetoric, internationally, eg Le Pen in France, UK fascists remain active. The prospect of the Front National, whose roots lie in fascist, Vichy France, going through to the second round of the Presidential elections, this month, is real and motivates fascists such as the EDL, Britain First and other splinters such as the South East Alliance.
The horrific attack on Reker Akmed in Croydon, is one of the worst examples of the rise in hate crimes. Stand Up to Racism, with the local TUC, held a hundreds strong march against racist attacks and in solidarity with asylum seekers such as Reker, last weekend. This confirms most people’s shock and anger at racist abuse and violence.
Whenever the range of small fascist groups mobilises they are challenged by almost always larger groups of anti fascists. Birmingham is just the latest example. Edinburgh and London recently, are others.
Fascists in the UK have not recovered from electoral and street defeats suffered by the BNP and the EDL, which led to the leader of the latter, Tommy Robinson, resigning. Indeed, Robinson now occupies a lowly position of being a supposed, media commentator, the reality is different.
There is no room for complacency however. The murder of Jo Cox MP made that clear. Anti fascists and anti racists must continue to organise and strengthen local anti fascist opposition.
UAF is organising a number of events in the near future. All are below, from Croydon to Merseyside. After the first round of the French elections, for instance, we are holding a demonstration at the French Embassy, in London. This will be followed on May 2 with a great international line up of speakers at a Conway Hall, London, rally, on May 2.
Demonstrations against the EDL, Britain First and the South East Alliance, are also listed.
Stop Le Pen! No to the return of fascism in Europe – London
the fascist South East Alliance – Croydon – May 6th
Don’t let the racists divide us – No To Fascist Britain First! – Birmingham
Merseyside UAF protest against fascist EDL