Socialist Worker

Mobilise against the racist far right in Manchester and London

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2600

opposing the Football Lads Alliance and the Democratic Football Lads Alliance in Birmingham last month

Opposing the Football Lads Alliance and the Democratic Football Lads Alliance in Birmingham last month (Pic: Geoff Dexter)


Fascists and racists are planning to march in London and Manchester next month as they attempt to regroup the forces of the far right in Britain.

It is crucial that anti-racists turn out to oppose them.

A motley crew of Nazi Tommy Robinson, the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) and Veterans Against Terrorism plan to gather at Speakers’ Corner in London on Sunday 6 May.

And the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) plans to march in Manchester on Saturday 19 May.

Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism have called mobilisations against both demonstrations.

The openly racist right is in flux. One sign of that came on Monday when FLA founder John Meighan stood down to “refocus energies into his personal and professional life”.

Meanwhile the DFLA is providing the glue to bring together Ukip, whose leading figures appear at nearly every DLFA event, and the fascist Tommy Robinson and his foul far-right allies. Ukip is set to be electorally annihilated in the 3 May local council elections in England.

Its response seems to be to merge with the Islamophobic street activism of the DFLA.

The groups have been teaming up to target towns where police and the authorities have failed victims of child sexual exploitation. They want to promote the false idea that sexism and child abuse is specific to Muslim men.

Around 80 people joined their latest event in Rochdale in Greater Manchester last Thursday lunchtime.

Multiculturalism

Gerard Batten, Ukip’s leader, increasingly tweets vile attacks on migrants and multiculturalism.

One example came last week—“This morning at Euston eight Police Officers armed with machine guns on ‘routine patrol’ on my train.

“Before the multicultural society was visited upon us, one police officer armed with a truncheon was enough for routine duties. But we do now have more choice of restaurants.”

On 6 May the DFLA says it will march to Speakers’ Corner where Robinson is holding a “free speech” gathering.

Together they will then go to the main offices of an “Abuser of Our Freedom Of Speech”—expected to be Twitter, which recently blocked Robinson.

In Manchester on 19 May the “original” FLA hopes to benefit from the anniversary of the bombing of the Manchester Arena.

But it is already facing strong resistance.

Amira, a Unison union member in Manchester, told Socialist Worker, “The FLA says it is against racism, but we know what it promotes.

“It is Islamophobic. It supports Tommy Robinson and Donald Trump.”

Speaker

The FLA’s main speaker at its last demonstration in Birmingham was Anne Marie Waters, leader of the far right For Britain party.

Manchester SUTR supporters have gathered an open letter against the FLA. Signatories include Kate Green MP, Andrew Gwynne MP, Barbara Keeley MP and MEPs Julie Ward and Wajid Khan.

Others signing include the Labour leader of Manchester City Council Richard Leese and Dan Hett, the brother of one of the people who died in the Manchester attack.

The fascists in Britain are down for now, but they sniff a chance to recruit out of the FLA and DFLA.

And the leaders of the FLA and DFLA want to build a racist movement on the streets to target Muslims.

Far right breakthroughs in Hungary, Poland Austria and Germany show the danger of the fascists and racism going unchallenged.

Amira said, “It doesn’t have to be a short guy with a moustache doing it, the mobilisation of the far right in Europe is frightening.”

SUTR has called protests when the FLA has marched in London and Birmingham, and opposed the DFLA in Telford. Now it’s time for all anti-racists, trade unions and Jeremy Corbyn supporters to organise against this threat.

As Amira said, “The more people on the streets for getting rid of racism and stopping the FLA, the better.”

For details of the 6 May anti-racist mobilisation in London go to bit.ly/6Maydemo For details of the 19 May anti-racist mobilisation in Manchester go to bit.ly/19Maydemo

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