Socialist Worker

Anti-fascists defy Nazis in Dover

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2498

Protesting in Dover

Protesting in Dover (Pic: Socialist Wroker)

Some 300 anti fascists outnumbered and defied a small band of Nazis in Dover today, Saturday, despite heavy handed policing.

Around 60 members of the Nazi South East Alliance came to Dover for a march against refugees.

They were far outnumbered by anti fascists on a counter protest organised by Kent Anti Racism Network (Karn) and supported by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and other anti fascist groups.

Ben, from Dover, helped to organise the Karn protest. He told Socialist Worker, "Groups like the South East Alliance have links to the fascists who are murdering people in places like Greece.

"We've got a proud tradition in Dover of standing up to these people".

The anti fascists from Dover and the surrounding area gathered in the town centre to decorate a convoy delivering aid to refugees in Calais.

They were joined by more anti fascists from London who arrived by coach after being delayed by police.

Helen Tucker was driving one of the convoy cars. She told Socialist Worker she was moved to help after "just seeing the camps and the inhuman way they treat refugees.

She added, "We want to show solidarity with the refugees, as well as to show the Nazis they're not welcome."


The anti fascists marched with the convoy along the road to the port, chanting "Refugees are here to stay, let's deport Theresa May".

But large numbers of police attacked the protesters once the convoy left, pushing them off the road and sending in snatch squads to arrest individuals.

Earlier in the day police held at least three coaches in a car park outside Dover to search people, confiscating scarves and placard sticks.

A minibus of Nazis was allowed into the car park, but was soon seen off by the anti fascists who were held there. Police let anti fascists leave shortly after.

In Dover the Nazis could only march after police had forced counter protesters off the road.

The small group of Nazis marched in near silence while counter protesters chanted "refugees are welcome here".

The anti fascists stayed until the Nazis had gone.

Speaking after the protest Weyman Bennett from UAF told Socialist Worker, "It was a tiny turnout by the Nazis today. It shows they still haven't recovered from the defeats that that UAF and the anti fascist movement gave to the EDL and the BNP".

He added, "The Nazis are in Dover because they think that they can build on the racism pushed by the Tories.

"It's important that we keep the Nazis small. But it's also important that we build a mass anti racist movement."

The Nazis are planning on returning to Dover for another march on 23 April. Now anti fascists are campaigning in the town to get a bigger turnout on the counter protest.

Weyman said, "What we have to do now is build in Dover to get more of the trade unions and the local community involved."

Ben agreed. He said, "It was good that we held the town centre to begin with to say that this is our town. They weren't even allowed in the town centre.

"We need to carry on building what we're doing here. We need to keep leafleting the streets and work with the local population."

Anti-racists will counter fascist protests in Rochdale and High Wycombe this Saturday. 
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Shadow chancellor John McDonnell spoke to anti-racist protesters in Birmingham last Saturday.

Around 50 people joined a protest called by Stand Up to Racism and supported by Unite Against Fascism.

They opposed the Nazi Pegida group, which was protesting at Birmingham International Airport.

Around 150 Nazis were on the Pegida demonstration.

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