Socialist Worker

Anti-racist mobilisations can push back the FLA and DFLA

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2602

Nazi Tommy Robinson on an FLA protest in October

Nazi Tommy Robinson on an FLA protest in October (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Anti-racists are preparing to take to the streets against racists and fascists in London this week.

The racist Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) plans to protest in Whitehall this Sunday.

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) have called a counter mobilisation.

The DFLA is a splinter group from the Football Lads Alliance (FLA), which plans to march in Manchester on 19 May.

Now Tommy Robinson, ex-English Defence League (EDL) leader, appears to be effectively in charge of the DFLA.

He has reached out to right wing groups to draw them into collaboration with the DFLA, and said he wants FLA members to join Sunday’s demonstration.

Last week he posted a video of him interviewing Gerard Batten, Ukip’s new leader.

Elections

This shows that Batten is happy to be seen with far right figures.

If, as expected, Ukip does poorly in this week’s local elections, some of its members may increasingly turn to the streets.

In preparation for the demonstration, Robinson launched a series of “day for freedom” promo videos that featured Nazis and racists.

One of these was right wing blogger “Count Dankula”. He was fined £8,000 for teaching his dog to make a Nazi salute when he made antisemitic comments.

Another was Lauren Southern, a Canadian far right blogger who was refused entry to Britain when she tried to meet Robinson in March.

There was also Anne Marie Waters, leader of the For Britain party, who was judged to be too racist for Ukip.

Robinson is keen to draw in as many right wing elements as possible to his side.

The demonstrations in May are an attempt to pull together elements of the far right.

They are not about defending “freedom of speech”, or commemorating the anniversary of the Manchester terrorist attack.

Pull

The protests are a concerted effort to increase Islamophobia and racism. And they will be an opportunity for the Nazis at the centre of these mobilisations to pull people to their politics.

It is absolutely necessary to oppose them on the streets.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has backed the counter-protest in Manchester on 19 May.

There is a big audience for anti-racist ideas and the potential to create broader anti-racist mobilisations.

Mass mobilisations have previously broken the back of the racist street movements led by groups such as the EDL.

This has forced Robinson and other Nazis to try and find new formations to latch onto and push their vile racism. More mobilisations can make sure they fail.


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.