Activists from the racist Scottish Defence League (SDL) thought they would have a day of triumph last Saturday in Edinburgh.
They got that wrong. Over 800 people turned up for a rally and march organised by Unite Against Fascism (UAF). The loud and proud anti-fascists marched right through the city centre to within 80 metres of the SDL.
Despite being a national protest, only 80 SDL members turned out. And they were invisible to most people. UAF activists held them up by blocking their bus.
The lively UAF rally heard from speakers representing Edinburgh's diversity including the Spanish, Jewish, Muslim, and Turkish communities, MSPs and trade unionists.
Meanwhile in Redditch, near Birmingham, a counter demonstration against the racist English Defence League (EDL) quickly swelled to 600 people.
The EDL claims that “Muslim paedophile gangs” are grooming young white girls in Redditch. Even West Mercia police refute this.
Around 40 EDL supporters turned up and were kettled by police. The UAF counter-demonstration marched through the town centre along the route the EDL would have taken.
Simon Strange and Pete Beckwith-Wilson
Rochdale Unity rally against EDL, Saturday 9 June, 12 noon, Broadfield Park, Rochdale. Supported by Gerald Kaufman MP, Manchester Trades Council and others. For more information, www.bit.ly/RochUAF or 07903 586 191