Socialist Worker

Anti-fascism round-up: English Defence League is shamed in Peterborough

Issue No. 2577

Part of the anti-Nazi protest

Part of the anti-Nazi protest (Pic: Richard Rose)


More than 100 anti-fascists and residents joined a unity protest against the EDL as they tried to march through Peterborough last Saturday.

It was organised by Peterborough Trades Union Council and supported by Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

The EDL mustered around 20 people.

Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya led chants as the EDL marched past. Councillors Ansar Ali and Amjad Iqbal also joined the protest.

Israr Khan and other young Muslims from local mosques cooked food and bought drinks for the demonstrators. Israr thanked trade unionists and anti-racists for their solidarity.

Ron Graves, president of Peterborough Trades Union Council, stressed the important role trade unions and workers play in opposing racism and fascism.

He stressed that it’s Tories not migrants who are responsible for austerity, low wages and bad housing.

As the small EDL protest passed, anti-racist demonstrators sang chants about the unity and diversity among the crowd and greater numbers of anti-fascist protesters.

The EDL then gathered outside Peterborough Magistrate’s Court. They were surrounded and heckled by residents, shoppers and anti-fascists before being led off by police to the cheers and waves of Peterborough locals.

Richard Rose from UAF, who also addressed the crowd, said, “Today shows that apparently unstoppable fascist forces can be halted. However there is no room for complacency—if the EDL falls apart, the right will regroup.

“There has been a worrying rise in racist attacks. However there is also a new vibrant anti-racist movement which we need to mobilise and ensure the EDL and their ilk are sent into the dustbin of history.”

Gareth Hill


Protests planned at Tommy Robinson’s ‘book launches’

Anti-Nazis are preparing to protest against English Defence League (EDL) founder Tommy Robinson.

Robinson plans to hold a “book launch” in Greater Manchester on Friday 3 November and in Gateshead on 4 November.

Before founding the EDL he was a member of the Nazi British National Party.

He claims his book explains “why Muslims kill for Islam”. In Manchester, Unite Against Fascism (UAF) has called a protest and launched a unity statement.

Activists in Gateshead also plan to protest against Robinson.

UAF is asking the venues to cancel Robinson’s booking.

Protest 3 November, The Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Trafford Park M17 1SN
Go to Newcastle Unites on Facebook for details of the Gateshead protest

FLA leader backs Nazi demo

A rump of Nazis marched against Muslims in Whitechapel, east London, last Saturday.

The march was made up of around 60 open Nazis from the National Front (NF) and hooligan firm Chelsea Headhunters.

It opposed “Islamic grooming”, playing to the Islamophobic stereotype that Muslims are to blame for child abuse.

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) supporters in Tower Hamlets showed solidarity with the East London Mosque and Islamic Centre on Whitechapel Road.

Football Lads Alliance (FLA) founder John Meighan has claimed to be against “all extremism”.

But he backed the Nazi march, posting in the FLA’s internal Facebook group, “Good luck to those marching tomorrow in London against terror.”

This was subsequently deleted.

Meighan tried to access the end of the SUTR national conference in central London last Saturday.

When questioned about supporting the Nazi march he retorted, “I’ll support anyone protesting against Islamic extremism”.

Anti-racists have to be vigilant of the threat of the right—and take on the wider racism that feeds it.


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