Socialist Worker

Labour and union leaders say, ‘Protest against the Nazis’

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2609

Supporters of Tommy Robinson marching in London on 9 June

Supporters of Tommy Robinson marching in London on 9 June (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Labour shadow ministers Diane Abbott and John McDonnell are calling on people to take to the streets against supporters of jailed Nazi Tommy Robinson.

They are among dozens of signatories to an open letter initiated by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) from across the labour movement and Muslim organisations.

Thousands of fascists and racists plan to descend on Whitehall, central London, on Saturday 14 July.

It will follow a 15,000-strong rally in the same location on 9 June—the biggest outdoor mobilisation organised by fascists in Britain.

Talha Ahmad from the Muslim Council of Britain said their last mobilisation was “an alarming reminder”.

“We must not be complacent in facing off the challenge posed by the far right and fascists,” he said.

“We must tackle head on this alarming show of force by fascists.”

The forces of the British far right are trying to regroup. Nazis such as Robinson see an opportunity to rebuild a mass movement on the streets.

During the 9 June demonstration, protesters did the “Sieg heil” salute and hurled racist insults at non-white tourists.

And, perhaps most dangerously, the fascists and racist populists of Ukip are being brought together for the first time.

At the Free Tommy rally Ukip leader Gerrard Batten told the baying mob that they had a choice to “submit or resist” to Islamisation. And he called on people to “join, support and vote” for Ukip.

He hopes to rebuild Ukip after their wipeout in local elections last month.

Breakaway

The bridge between the two is the Democratic Football Lads Alliance. It was a much bigger breakaway from the “original” FLA, and the two have now reunited.

Groups such as Generation Identity, made up of young admirers of the US alt right, are a new and growing element on the protests.

Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Britain could boost every Nazi and racist in the country.

That’s why the SUTR statement also said, “We will take to the streets to protest against his racism.”

Other signatories calling for people to protest on 13 and 14 July include Stop the War Coalition convenor Lindsey German and Labour MPs David Lammy and Laura Pidcock.

The leaders of all the major trade unions have also backed the call.

Len McCluskey, Unite union general secretary, said, “There is a growing and worryingly unified and violent far right marching on our streets. 

“I call on all trade union members to join the protest against them—let’s not let the peddlers of prejudice win.”

Activists must take this broad-based support into every workplace and campus and use it to get colleagues and classmates out on the day.

Pushing back the Nazis means taking on the racism that feeds them—and mobilising on the streets whenever we can to break their confidence.

Unity protest against the Nazis and Tommy Robinson Go to www.facebook.com/events/169517280565963/
From Windrush to the far right: resisting the “hostile environment” SUTR meeting with Diane Abbott and others. Go to www.facebook.com/events/1712902475424164/

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