Anti-fascists outnumbered the English Defence League (EDL) in Worcester for the second time in two months on Saturday
Around 500 people marched and rallied against the fascist group in the West Midlands town as part of a counter mobilisation organised by the local trades council. It was supported by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and Stand Up To Racism (SUTR).
Chants of “Whose streets—our streets” rang out.
Passers-bys lined the streets clapping the anti-fascists as they marched through the town. And many joined the rally in the town centre and mocked the small group of 100 fascists.
Paul Sillett, a UAF national organiser, spoke to Socialist Worker. “The fascists were reduced to a bedraggled rump who had to shelter behind the police,” he said.
“They could only march because of the large number of police.”
Anti-racist activist Salma Yaqoob spoke as the march was setting off. Other speakers included a representative from socialist bookshop Bookmarks in central London, which was attacked by Nazis and racists last month.
The rally was built through broad-based support from the Labour Party and trade unions. There was a sizeable turnout from members of the FBU firefighters’ union, RMT rail workers’ union and PCS civil service workers’ union among others.
And importantly local Muslim people were a key part of the march. Paul said, “There had been pressure on Muslims not to mobilise, but they were part of the organisation of the demonstration.”
The mobilisation was young and diverse. Paul said, “A group of young Polish women came up to me and said, ‘Today’s the anniversary of when Adolf Hitler invaded Poland.
‘We’re not letting people who want to do what Hitler did come here’.”
The fascists included thugs with Nazi “Combat 18” tattoos and supporters of Generation Identity, which looks to Donald Trump and the US alt right. A few local groups from the racist Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) were so demoralised they stayed in the pub.
While the EDL rally in Worcester was small, the threat of the resurgent British far right has not gone away. Nazi Tommy Robinson, whose supporters mobilised 15,000 in London on 9 June, has his retrial on 27 September in London.
Paul said, “If Tommy Robinson gets out and the fascists try to organise, this is the sort of broad-based mobilisation we need.
“By building united action we can face the storm that could be coming.”
The national demonstration against racism and fascism in London on 17 November is a key opportunity build the fightback against the far right.
Coaches booked for 17 November demonstration against racism and fascism
Activists from across Britain have already booked their coaches to the 17 November national demonstration against racism and fascism in London.
The coaches have been organised by local Stand Up To Racism groups.
The areas with arranged transport include Sheffield, Manchester, Wakefield, Cambridge, Newcastle, Scarborough, York, Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, Birmingham and as far afield as Ceredigion in West Wales.
The demonstration has been initiated by Stand Up To Racism, Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism.
It has been backed by Labour shadow ministers Diane Abbott and John McDonnell, and trade unions.
Every anti-racist should go all out to make sure there is the biggest possible turnout.