Anti-fascists in the US and Britain have condemned US president Donald Trump after he retweeted a leader of Nazi group Britain First.
Trump retweeted videos on Wednesday that has been posted by fascist Jayda Fransen. She is one of the leaders of Britain First, a small Nazi group known for its PR stunts.
Fransen posted the videos with captions such as “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” and “Muslim destroys a statue of virgin Mary!”
Anti-fascists have responded by warning that the retweets will encourage racists and fascists.
US group Great Lakes Antifascists told Socialist Worker, “President Trump is actively promoting the ultra-nationalist, fascist, racist agenda of Britain First party with these tweets.
“This is business as usual for the Trump administration, and will undoubtedly encourage more violence on marginalized communities”.
US activist Carmen Hulbert told Socialist Worker, “Trump doesn’t stop appalling the world with his insensitive actions against Muslims”.
And Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of British organisation Unite Against Fascism (UAF) said, “It beggars belief that the most powerful person in the world is re tweeting Fransen’s vile views.
“Britain First rubbed shoulders with fascists in the large, far right demonstration in Warsaw, just weeks ago. They are a poisonous organisation”.
He added, “We need to keep opposing the far right and their friends. Britain First were greatly outnumbered by anti-fascists in Bromley last month. We aim to keep it that way”.
Trump was also slammed for his retweets by politicians and activists.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted, “I hope our Government will condemn far-right retweets by Donald Trump. They are abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society”.
A spokesperson for Theresa May criticised Trump, but when asked if Trump’s state visit would be cancelled, said, “An invitation for a state visit has been extended and accepted. Further details will announced in due course."
A statement from the Muslim Council of Britain said, “This is the clearest endorsement yet from the US president of the far-right and their vile anti-Muslim propaganda. We cannot give such bigotry a free pass.”
Trump has made a habit of providing cover for fascists, but this is the first time he has appeared to openly endorse one.
In response to the retweets, Fransen said “THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DONALD TRUMP, HAS RETWEETED THREE OF DEPUTY LEADER JAYDA FRANSEN’S TWITTER VIDEOS! DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF HAS RETWEETED THESE VIDEOS AND HAS AROUND 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS! GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA!”
Mainstream endorsement gives confidence to the fascists and legitimises their disgusting politics.
In times of political crisis, like now, millions of people can be pulled to the left or the right quickly.
Trump’s endorsement will give confidence to fascists and racists in the US and Britain—and could help them to grow.