The rump English Defence League was surrounded and humiliated by anti-fascists, reports Paul Jenkins
Anti-fascist protesters blocked the fascist English Defence League (EDL) from marching in Liverpool last Saturday. It was a great result from the people of Liverpool.
A counter-protest involving Merseyside Unite Against Fascism (UAF), trade unionists and other anti-fascist groups completely outnumbered the Nazis.
Around 2,000 people opposed the EDL demo, which could only muster at most a pathetic gang of 60 fascists from across the country. This was supposed to be a national demonstration for the EDL.
The fascists said that they were going to march to Derby Square but we stopped them. Anti-fascist protesters challenged the EDL outside the Lord Warden pub.
A massive police presence escorted the fascists from there—but the EDL march was cut short near Lime Street Station as protesters stood in its way.
Police then escorted EDL members back to Lime Street where they were eventually put on trains while protesters continued to oppose them.
Seven regional trade unions—the CWU, FBU, GMB, NUT, PCS, Unison and Unite—supported the counter-protest.
Over 25 local councillors backed the demo too, along with Show Racism the Red Card, many trade union branches and others.
Anti-racists have pushed the Nazis back but we shouldn’t be complacent. We need to keep taking on the fascists wherever they try to organise.USF joint national secretary Weyman Bennett
While the EDL bussed people in from outside of Liverpool, Merseyside UAF’s rally heard speeches from representatives of the local trade union and labour movement.
They included deputy mayor of Liverpool Ann O’Byrne, Julie Ward MEP, regional secretary of the North West TUC Lynn Collins, writer Alan Gibbons and Weyman Bennett, joint national secretary of UAF.
Weyman told Socialist Worker, “The EDL was humiliated in Liverpool last Saturday.
“They hoped to come to the city to spread their message of hate and division. But a mass protest stopped them from doing that.
“Anti-racists have pushed the Nazis back but we shouldn’t be complacent.
“We need to keep taking on the fascists wherever they try to organise.”
This is the fourth time in the last two years that fascist groups have been met by mobilisations against them in Liverpool.
Saturday’s protest was the result of years of local united front activity opposing the British National Party, EDL and other fascist groups on Merseyside.
The EDL once mobilised a movement of thousands on the streets. But anti-fascists such as the people of Liverpool have pushed them and other fascists back.
UAF will continue to work with trade unionists and others to continue to build a mass movement against the fascists.