Up to 400 people joined together in a grand display of unity and solidarity against the fascist English Defence League (EDL) in Rotherham last Saturday.
The South Yorkshire town has been subject to far right protests repeatedly since 2012. Mushin Ahmed, an 81 year old man, was killed in a racist murder in 2015 following the whipping up of racism in Rotherham.
An estimated 80 EDL members took part in what had been called a “national march”.
Trade unions and local councillors stood with Rotherham Unite Against Fascism for the counter-protest at Minister Gardens. The Rotherham 12 and their supporters marched as a group in numbers to join the protest.
The Rotherham 12 are a group of men who were charged with violent disorder following a previous anti-racist demonstration.
Speakers included Bob Jeffrey, president of Sheffield Trades Council, and a young person who helped organise a hundreds-strong Black Lives Matter Sheffield protest last year.
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion also spoke, pointing out that survivors of abuse do not want the EDL to protest against Muslims in their name. And the brilliant Zaiban Alam, barrister for the Rotherham 12, said recent events have taken her back to being a young girl in the 1970s, being scared by fascists.
The EDL never did march past the counter-protest – a telling display of their cowardice. The message from anti-racists was clear – we will not be passive. We will resist the bigotry of the EDL and that of the ruling class.
Telford says no to Nazi Britain First
Around 150 people joined the Shropshire and Telford Trades Council and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) rally in Telford last Saturday. It was opposing a Nazi Britain First march in the town.
Unite Against Fascism in Alloa also plans to protest against the Scottish Defence on 11 March Details on Edinburgh Against the Racist SDL
Protest at far right gallery in Hackney
Over 200 people protested against the far right LD50 gallery in Hackney, east London, last Saturday.
Protesters made clear that this was the start of a campaign to shut down LD50.