Police swarmed into Birmingham city centre last Saturday to facilitate a rally by the racist English Defence League (EDL).
Some 300 Nazis from around the country joined the national demonstration.
Local trade unionists from the PCS, Unite, Unison, NUT and UCU unions joined a counter demonstration called by Unite Against Fascism (UAF).
Birmingham Strong Justice for All also backed the protest, which attracted 300 throughout the day.
Police set up barriers to kettle the UAF protest but were forced to remove them after pressure from protesters.
Birmingham student Ian Yunus told Socialist Worker, “They kettled the UAF protest last year for hours. Muslim friends of mine were stopped from entering the city centre.
“My granddad is from the Caribbean and I converted to Islam four years ago. Ever since I’ve known about the EDL I’ve come to protest.
“I’m here to show my support for UAF.”
Shaz Islam, a student at the University of Wolverhampton, joined the UAF protest. He told Socialist Worker, “I’m a third generation immigrant.
“My grandparents tell me stories about being chased by National Front skinheads in the seventies. We have come a long way since then. But we have to come out on the streets whenever the EDL come.”
Some 100 anti-fascists confronted 30 EDL members in Portsmouth last Sunday.
The racists were forced out of the town centre by a vibrant anti-fascist march.