Socialist Worker

Welsh Defence League forced to retreat in Swansea and Cardiff

by Viv Smith
Published Sat 5 Jun 2010
Issue No. 2204

Anti-fascists on the march in Cardiff

Anti-fascists on the march in Cardiff


At 4pm on Saturday Unite Against Fascism (UAF) activists were dispersing having successfully seen the Welsh Defence League (WDL) bundled off the streets of Cardiff.

Amy, a student from Cardiff, said, “We held the front of the town hall and refused to move until the WDL had left. Everyone is really pleased, we had a fantastic turnout.”

Between 700 and 1,000 anti-racist and anti-fascist protesters joined the UAF march against the WDL. In comparison, the WDL only managed to muster fewer than 100 racist thugs.

UAF protesters marched through Cardiff before joining a rally outside the town hall.

The rally brought together different trade unions, political parties and anti-fascist campaigners.

Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru assembly Member for South Wales , told the rally, “We want to send a clear message to the EDL and WDL – we abhor your policies of hate and division and we say to you get off our streets. Welsh communities united will never be defeated.”

Wales TUC president Siân Wiblin told the rally, “I bring a messages from Wales TUC to the WDL and EDL – they do not speak for the people of Wales. The WDL are hostile to the views of the trade union movement. What we need is economic policies that deliver.”

Darren Williams, campaigns officer for Wales PCS, said “We want to send a clear message to the EDL – we will stand united and won’t let you divide us.”

Martin Smith from Unite Against Fascism said, “We have had a fantastic day today – we have shown the WDL and the EDL that their politics of racism and division have no place in our communities. Wherever they go we will oppose them and drive them off the streets.”

Activists cheered as the WDL left the town hall area.

“We have occupied the front of city hall where the WDL wanted to meet,” Max, one of the protesters, told Socialist Worker.

“We have outnumbered them overwhelmingly and driven them back. We refused to leave until they did.

“Their pathetic turnout shows that the WDL and their race hatred are a small minority in society – anti-racists are the majority. We said they are not welcome in Cardiff and now we have made that clear.”

Earlier activists marched through Cardiff chanting, “WDL go to hell, take your Nazi mates as well” and “black and white unite and fight”.

“People joined the demo as we marched past,” said Seb Cooke, UAF activist.

“There were hundreds of young people—black, white and Asian—trade unionists and activists, who don’t want racism to divide our community,” he said.

Banners from various trade unions including Nasuwt, Unison, RMT and Cardiff Trades Council were on the protest.

Many taxi cab drivers took strike action, refusing to work in unsafe conditions, some joining the protest.

Swansea

The WDL had also planned to march to Castle Square in Swansea today but UAF activists stopped them.

“We had around 200 protesters assemble in Castle Square,” Tim Evans, a UAF activist told Socialist Worker.

“We had activists from the Labour Party, the trade union movement and students turn up to see off the WDL.

“We also had a large contingent of Palestinians who joined the protest against racism and to show solidarity with the people of Gaza and those killed on the Freedom Flotilla.

“We held Castle Square from 10:30am until about 3pm – the police tried to move us so that the WDL could march into the square, but we refused. The WDL marched to the Square but could not enter it – eventually they were moved off by police and we held a victory rally.”

Speakers at the rally included David Phillips, Labour leader on Swansea council, Rob Williams, convenor at Linamar, and newly elected Labour MP for Swansea West Geraint Davies.

Cardiff City supporters against the Nazis (Pictures: Max Pettigrew)

Cardiff City supporters against the Nazis (Pictures: Max Pettigrew)


The march grew as it went along

The march grew as it went along



Article information

News
Sat 5 Jun 2010, 11:54 BST
Issue No. 2204
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