Around 150 people joined a protest in Manchester last Friday in opposition to a book launch by fascist English Defence League founder Tommy Robinson.
The protest was called by Unite Against Fascism (UAF).
Robinson had tried to hold his event at The Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Trafford, Greater Manchester.
But following what they called “unprecedented opposition” to an event at their venue, The Bowlers cancelled.
This forced Robinson to relocate to Manchester city centre—and it visibly affected numbers.
Robinson had claimed to have sold 1,000 tickets at a prestigious venue. Instead around 400 turned up to be handed books by Robinson from the back of a van.
UAF protesters marched from St Peter’s Square to protest against Robinson’s event. Anti-fascist chanting and speeches could be heard loud and clear by his supporters and disrupted the ‘book launch’.
A number of trade unions—including the CWU, FBU, GMB, NEU, PCS, Unison and Unite—backed UAF’s protest. So did MPs, MEPs, councillors and others.
Dan Hett, brother of one of the 22 people killed in the attack in Manchester Arena in May, spoke at the protest. Dan had received abuse from Tommy Robinson’s supporters after criticising Robinson’s attempts to whip up racism following the attack.
Robinson’s followers heckled Dan during his speech at the protest.
In the run-up to the demonstration, Dan said, “I am wholly in support of standing up against Tommy Robinson’s ‘book launch’ in my home city of Manchester. There is only one reason he chose this city, and that is the attacks we suffered so recently.
“As this city is still healing, Tommy has cynically booked his event right at the epicentre.
“This is in order to maximise press and commentary around launching his book of anti-Islam propaganda—using the extremist attack to further his own fascist agenda, and line his own pockets.
“Manchester is a vibrant, creative, multicultural city that is still reeling from the attack on its people, and we stand together to tell Tommy and his followers that they are not welcome here.”
Britain First drowned out in Bromley
Up to 300 counter-protesters came out to oppose the vile Britain First in Bromley, south east London, on Saturday.
The fascist group mustered fewer than 50 people for what was meant to be a national call-out.
They were protesting at Bromley police station where their leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen must report every Saturday as part of their bail conditions. Anti-fascists drowned them out for hours.
Huge cheers went up as the police eventually had to escort the demoralised Nazis away to chants of “Bromley doesn’t want you”.