Socialist Worker

Key tests for anti-racists - hold the streets against Donald Trump and the fascists

Issue No. 2611

Anti-fascists stand their ground against Tommy Robinson supporters in London last month

Anti-fascists stand their ground against Tommy Robinson supporters in London last month (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Anti-racists are building opposition to the renewed threat of the British far right regrouping.

Supporters of jailed Nazi Tommy Robinson plan to rally in Whitehall, central London, next Saturday, 14 July.

It will come the day after US president Donald Trump descends on the capital.

Together Against Trump has called a demonstration in London next Friday, 13 July, and local groups plan protests in towns and cities across Britain.

Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism have called a protest against the fascists with the backing of Labour MPs and all the major unions (see pages 10&11).

On Monday Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey, who backs the 14 July anti-racist demonstration, wrote in the Daily Mirror newspaper that “We must tackle the far right alliance head on”.

These mobilisations are a key test for anti-racists in Britain.

Robinson is launching an appeal against his 13-month sentence on Monday of next week at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

If he’s released, it will be a boost to his fascist and racist supporters.

If Robinson remains behind bars, the fascists will attempt to paint him as a “free speech” martyr. In fact he wants to extinguish free speech for his opponents.

The far right senses an opportunity to rebuild a mass movement on the streets to terrorise Muslims, minorities and their political opponents.

A Tommy Robinson supporter on the march in London

A Tommy Robinson supporter on the march in London (Pic: Guy Smallman)


A 15,000-strong “Free Tommy” rally on Whitehall on 9 June was the largest outdoor mobilisation by fascists in British history.

Rallies

The Nazis and the racist populists of Ukip are openly working together. Ukip leader Gerrard Batten regularly speaks at fascist rallies and appeals for the crowd to join his party.

The bridge between the two is the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA). A new crop of young people—inspired by Trump and the US alt right—are getting behind the fascists.

Major alt right figures are joining Ukip, as was reported by Socialist Worker last week.

What’s striking about the “Free Tommy” protests is their international dimension with speakers from across the European far right.

Their allies include the Austrian Tory/Nazi coalition whose Tory prime minister Sebastian Kurz called for an “axis” of Austria, Germany and Italy to “secure Europe’s borders”.

But there are possibilities for resistance too, and international unity against the racists and fascists.

Around 120,000 people marched in Vienna last Saturday against the Tory/Nazi coalition’s plan to extend the working day to 12 hours.

And 6,000 people also protested against the far right German AfD party in Augsburg in Bavaria.

Defeating the British far right will take mobilisations on the streets and building opposition to the Tories’ racism that fuels it.

It also requires putting forward a socialist, anti-racist alternative to their politics of division. That starts with protesting against Trump on 13 July—and the Nazis who love him on 14 July.

Protest against Donald Trump - Friday 13 July, 2pm, Portland Place, central London. Go to the Facebook event for more details. Protest against fascism - Saturday 14 July, 2pm, central London. Go to the Facebook event for more details

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