Anti-fascists outnumbered Nazis in central London last Saturday. Britain First and the English Defence League had each called national demonstrations.
But they mustered fewer than 200 between them, while around 300 people joined a counter-demonstration called by Unite Against Fascism (UAF).
Weyman Bennett, joint national secretary of UAF, told Socialist Worker that after last month’s attack in Westminster, “The Nazis expected their protests to be on the same scale as fascist protests held after the killing of Lee Rigby.
“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. Some 14 anti-fascist protesters were arrested, but later released.
Despite an enormous police presence it took around half an hour for the cops to force anti-fascists down Whitehall.
Protester Sophia told Socialist Worker, “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.
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.
EDL plan actions in Birmingham and Lanarkshire—but anti-fascists are organising
The EDL plans to protest in Birmingham this Saturday.
It is once again trying to ramp up racism in the wake of the Westminster attacks last month.
Anti-fascists are also organising in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, after the Scottish Defence League (SDL) has said it will march on 15 April.
The SDL wants to march to stir up racism and anti-refugee sentiment.