The result of an appeal by jailed Nazi Tommy Robinson was set to be announced on Wednesday.
Robinson was arrested for filming outside Leeds Court in May and handed a 13-month jail sentence for contempt of court. He was trying to use a sexual abuse trial to whip up Islamophobia.
The arrest acted as a lightning rod for the whole of the British far right, who have portrayed him as a “free speech martyr”. His supporters organised a 15,000-strong rally of fascists and racists in Whitehall on 9 June.
Anti-fascists scored an important breakthrough last month. Some 3,000 joined a Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) counter-mobilisation in London on 14 July—and the fascists had less than half their previous numbers.
But if Robinson wins his appeal, it will be a boost to his supporters. And even if he loses, they will continue to organise and rally with him as a figurehead.
The threat from a resurgent far right hasn’t gone away—fascists and racist populists continue to forge links.
Anti-fascists have to take to the streets in larger numbers against Robinson’s thugs.
Nazis outnumbered in Stockton-on-Tees
Anti-fascists outnumbered supporters of jailed Nazi Tommy Robinson in Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside, on Sunday.
A tiny group of Nazis turned out under the banner of “Gays Against Sharia UK” along with the fascist For Britain party.
Less than 50 Nazis marched, carrying banners calling for Robinson’s release, as well as Union Jacks, St George’s Crosses and Israeli flags.
They were outnumbered by up to twice as many anti-racists, chanting, “There are many more of us than you”.
The counter protest was organised by Labour Party members from Stockton and supported by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR). Labour MP Alex Cunningham also issued a statement condemning the Nazi march.
SUTR activist Yunus Bakhsh told Socialist Worker, “The significant thing about our protest is that everyone on it came from the Teesside area whereas most of the racists came from outside.”
He added, “The Nazis marched up the road behind an LGBT+ rainbow banner, but that was quickly pushed aside for Union Jacks and the Israeli flag.
“They also had a ‘Free Tommy’ van driving around—but it blew over in the wind and got smashed.”
Activists were set to build on their success with a launch meeting of Stockton SUTR on Wednesday.