Monday 31 July 2017

Rochdale unites against fascist EDL!

Image result for Unite against Fascism rochdale

For the second time in a week, anti fascists protested at a fascist
incursion into the town of Rochdale, last Saturday.

Following a far from successful Britain First gathering, last
Saturday, the English Defence League (EDL) held a march and rally,
over this weekend  The fascists tried to exploit the issue of sexual
abuse in the town and inflame Islamophobia. Both Britain First and the
EDL failed in this, as locals refused to be part of their
scapegoating.

Unite Against Fascism’s protest was mainly composed of people from
Rochdale and Greater Manchester. (It came off the back of  a well
supported local statement saying that sexual exploitation is an
appalling crime but it is not linked to ethnicity or religion). The EDL
were bussed in and out of Rochdale by a huge, protective presence of
police. Their national demonstration attracted barely 100 (see below). They
included thugs from a Nazi splinter group.

Their hate largely fell on deaf ears. Several stayed in a pub,
unenthusiastic at their own gathering. Speeches or more accurately, Islamophobic rants at the EDL rally, were
drunken and reminiscent of National Front bile eg ‘ Immigration? Send
them back’. Calls for fascist unity were also screeched, desperation
was in the air. They left with as little support, as they arrived
with.
In contrast, the UAF demonstration connected with
people locally. Many said ‘we don’t want the far right coming here’.
Once again, there was local and regional representation from trade
unions. Unison members, Public and Commercial Services Union and the
CWU did a sterling job. Speakers at the UAF rally included Sam
O’Brien, member of Rochdale UNISON, Dave Wilson, Lancs Assoc TUC, as
well as UAF and Stand Up to Racism.
Police again facilitated the fascists while at times ketteling
anti fascists and Asian youth. Despite this, all opposing the EDL were
able eventually to unite and marched/rallied, to jeer at the departing
EDL. The fragmentation of the far right continues.

 

rochdale


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