Saturday 9 September 2017

Rump fascist EDL greatly outnumbered in Newcastle

Image may contain: 27 people, people smiling, crowd and outdoorOver 500 anti fascists opposing the fascist English Defence League (EDL) on Saturday, in Newcastle, again confirmed the area’s reputation as a city that firmly rejects the far right.


Like in Keighley, last weekend, the excuse for the EDL was their alleged compassion for the victims of child abuse. The reality is of course, that the EDL care not for the victims, but use such appalling crimes to engender anti Muslim hate.


This week saw 16 members of a grooming gang in Newcastle given long sentences for offences such as drugging, trafficking and sexually exploiting young victims.


On Friday, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Leader, sent this message to anti fascists,

“All cases of sexual abuse are horrific. We must not allow the far right to exploit these vile crimes for their own vile ends, which seek to spread hate and divide our communities, As Labour leader, I stand in solidarity with your campaign and with all those who are working to bring our communities together and to foster hope instead of fear and division.”


The EDL keep repeating their ‘march and grow’ idea, the good news is they are not growing and anti fascist opposition to them outnumbers them.


Last Saturday, just seventy EDL supporters attended a drunken charade in Keighley, Yorkshire, report here,


Around the same number, with large police protection, were in Newcastle today, two turnouts, two examples of the state of the long term decline of the EDL. Below is a picture of a Seig Heiling EDL member. EDL leader, Crossland also received seig heil salutes.


Below, some of the hundreds of anti fascists today,





Anti-racism group Newcastle Unites stood against the EDL







Anti-racism group Newcastle Unites stood against the EDL



AS with all recent EDL demos, from their humiliation in Liverpool, in the summer, to Newcastle, the EDL rely on huge numbers of police to enable their race hate. Ex BNP minder to Nick Griffin, Alan Spence, joint leader, issued various threats at the march, nothing unusual in that, but he and others were glum at the end. He and Crossland have few on the ground to match their racist rhetoric.


In contrast, Newcastle Unites/UAF had a spring in their step, Weeks of hard work resulted in people from across communities in the city join together in a vibrant display of standing up to the EDL


School students mixed with anti fascist veterans, football fans were alongside those of faith and those of no faith.  Muslims marched alongside Christians and Jews. As the saying goes, ‘Black and White, Geordies are united’, and they were!


Backing for the anti fascists came from across the labour movement. All major trade unions backed the anti EDL mobilisation and several had good delegations along. Show Racism The Red Card were highly visible as befits such a campaigning body.

Alongside Jeremy Corbyn’s message of support, the Labour MP’s Chi Onwurah, Laura Pidcock and Ian Mearns attended and spoke, alongside UAF’s Weyman Bennett. Their message rang out, ‘ We totally condemn the abuse featured in Operation Shelter. Our hearts go out to all affected by this horror.


Those like the EDL prey on such abuse for their own, racist ends. The EDL are not welcome here, and never will be.’


Chi Onwurah paid tribute  ‘to the survivors of sexual abuse – the survivors of the horrific crimes perpetrated in Newcastle in the West End’.


Weyman Bennett echoed such speakers and said, ‘Only this week, we have seen a possible Nazi cell, aligned to National Action, in the British Army. Such people and those like the EDL have no place in a decent society. We must strive to ensure the fascists are beaten, today shows how to do so’.


Other speakers include Daniel Kebede from Newcastle Unites, and several, key, local trades unionists.


Anti fascists were applauded through the streets unlike the EDL, who like in Keighley, were booed and told to ‘clear off’ by locals. They left as they arrived, to the jeers of shoppers and anti fascists.


Once again, this time in Newcastle, fascists such as the EDL who try to racialise such horrific acts as child abuse, have been rejected by the vast majority. Newcastle, in 2015 saw nearly three thousand anti fascists humble an attempt to form a UK style, Pegida movement. Today again, saw the city show it’s residual, anti fascist strength.


Broad based anti fascism has reduced the EDL to a fascist shell. However anti fascists cannot rest on our laurels, given the actions of open Nazis in places like Charlottesville, and Le Pen in France, for instance. This weekend sees anti fascist oppose the Scottish Defence League in Perth, details here,


Help keep the fascists down here, by joining UAF, here.

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