Anti-fascists outnumbered two so-called national mobilisations of Nazis in central London today, Saturday. Britain First and the English Defence League had both called national protests in the capital. But they mustered fewer than 200 between them.
Meanwhile around 300 people joined a demonstration called by Unite Against Fascism (UAF). Weyman Bennett is joint national secretary of UAF. "The Nazis expected their protests to be on the same scale as fascist protests held after the killing of Lee Rigby," he told Socialist Worker.
"But they have yet to benefit from the racism that the Tories and Ukip are pushing."
Labour Party member Jenny Kidman said she was there because "you have to show your opposition". Student Kathryn added, "There's lots of racism around but there is also resistance—and we're the resistance."
Police viciously attacked anti-fascist protesters, dragging several out and pinning them on the ground before arresting them. There was an enormous police presence—but it still took around half an hour for the cops to force anti-fascists down Whitehall.
Protester Sophia told Socialist Worker, "The police went for a man with a megaphone and one of their arms ended up across my throat.
"I had about ten police officers in my face. I was making eye contact with them saying I can't breathe. But they just kept pushing forward."
Louise from the RMT union said the cops were "really aggressive". "I watched a girl get slammed up against a wall and arrested," she told Socialist Worker. "It's quite shocking."
Meanwhile cops facilitated a short Britain First march. But anti-fascists remained defiant as chants of "Follow your leader—shoot yourself like Adolf Hitler" rang out across Whitehall.