Socialist Worker

Stopping racists is not a crime—drop the charges against Weyman Bennett

Issue No. 2195

Activists are mobilising to defend Unite Against Fascism (UAF) joint secretary Weyman Bennett and other demonstrators arrested during the anti-racist protest in Bolton last month.

Nearly all of those seized by police were later released without charge or on payment of spot fines.

But Weyman has been bailed to answer a charge of conspiracy to incite violent disorder.

“I have been campaigning against racism and fascism for over 25 years and I have never been arrested or convicted of any crime,” Weyman told Socialist Worker.

“The large number of arrests and the targeting of the leadership of UAF is a deliberate attempt by the police to criminalise the anti-fascist movement.

“They want to scare people away from protests.”

Rhetta Moran, joint secretary of Greater Manchester UAF, was also arrested.


Police held her for 11 hours, during which time they took her keys and searched her house, copying her computer and removing documents.

Rhetta was bailed without charge.

And, while the police target ­anti-fascist protesters, it seems that EDL supporters are free to run a campaign of initimidation.

The UAF national office has been inundated with threats and abusive messages, targeting Weyman and Love Music Hate Racism organiser Martin Smith.

The thugs making the calls often say they know Weyman and Martin’s addresses and in the latest message they threaten to cut their throats.

The police should spend more time investigating the racist thugs of the EDL and should drop the charges against anti-fascists.

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