Socialist Worker

Labour front benchers back national demo against racism and fascism on 17 November

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2619

Anti-racists protesting against supporters of Tommy Robinson in London last month

Anti-racists protesting against supporters of Tommy Robinson in London last month (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Labour shadow ministers Diane Abbott and John McDonnell have backed a call for a national demonstration against fascism and racism in London on 17 November.

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) has called the demonstration in response to the resurgent threat of the British far right and rising racism against Muslims and migrants. It is a major opportunity for people across the left, labour, trade union and anti-racist movements to unite and get on the front foot against the fascists and racists.

An SUTR statement said, “We are experiencing the biggest rise in support for fascism, the far right, racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism since the 1930s. In Britain fascists and racists are mobilising on a scale not seen for decades.

“We must unite against this threat.”

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR) are sponsoring the demonstration.

This autumn will be a key battleground in the fight against the far right and racism.

Nazi Tommy Robinson has his retrial on Thursday 27 September at the Old Bailey court in central London.

If he wins, fascists and racists in Britain and internationally will be cock-a-hoop. And his supporters could call a rally on the weekend of 8/9 September during the “international break”—when there are no major matches between English football clubs.

Confidence

Anti-fascists have to be ready to mobilise against the Nazis when they next try to march in order to break their confidence on the streets.

Alongside confronting them on the streets, anti-fascists are also part of building a broader anti-racist culture in Britain. That’s why LMHR has put on a float, sponsored by the NEU education union, at the Notting Hill Carnival in west London this bank holiday weekend.

A big turnout on17 November demonstration can also give confidence to anti-racists to take on arguments in workplaces and campuses.

The racism against Muslims, refugees and migrants pushed by the Tories and Donald Trump is fuelling the rise of the far right. And there are growing links between the traditional conservative right, the racist populist right and the fascist right.

But the response to McDonnell’s recent call for activists to “emulate the Anti Nazi League” showed the potential to build mass opposition to fascism and racism. The ANL beat back the National Front in the 1970s.

Activists should seize on this response to strengthen SUTR, UAF, LMHR and build a bigger opposition to fascism and racism.

SUTR said, “The recent rise in attacks by the far right has created a real thirst for a mass anti-racist mobilisation in the spirit of the Anti Nazi League.

“Now is the time to take to the streets.”

Details of the demonstration are here. Please share and publicise.

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