Socialist Worker

Updated- unity statement backs mobilisations against racism and the far right

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2621

We need a mass mobilisation against racism and fascism

We need mass mobilisation against racism and fascism (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Labour shadow ministers, trade union leaders and figures from across the labour movement have called for mobilisations against the resurgent threat of the far right.

The unity statement was initiated by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR). Signatories include shadow ministers John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and Kate Osamor and a dozen other Labour MPs and MEPs.

And union leaders who have signed include Dave Ward of the CWU, Kevin Courtney of the NEU and Mick Cash of the RMT, as well as Unison assistant general secretary Roger McKenzie and musician Lowkey.

As the statement was released, the TUC backed a 17 November demonstration against racism and fascism in London, and Abbott and McDonnell were announced as speakers at an anti-racist conference on 20 October.

The unity call comes amid “an alarming growth in the threat posed by the far right in Britain”.

“We call on all those who oppose racism and fascism to work together to build a movement in every workplace, college and community to drive the racists back,” the statement said. 

Robinson

It supports initiatives by SUTR, Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism. This includes “the biggest possible counter mobilisations against any demonstrations or events called by Tommy Robinson and his supporters”.

Nazi Tommy Robinson’s retrial for contempt of court is set to take place at the Old Bailey in central London on 27 September.

Every fascist, far right and racist group has sensed an opportunity to grow out of the new movement around Robinson. As the unity statement notes, “He is the focus for a galvanised racist right from fascist groups through to the Democratic Football Lads Alliance to Ukip”. 

The racist Democratic Football Lads Alliance street movement plans to protest in London on 13 October. It is an attempt to become the focal point for the “Free Tommy” movement and could see his supporters turn out in large numbers.

Anti-racists are building a counter mobilisation called by SUTR and UAF. 

The origins of racism
The origins of racism
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The Tories, Donald Trump and right wing politicians across Europe are ramping up racism against Muslims, migrants and refugees. This is fuelling the far right by normalising racist ideas within wider society. 

The statement said, “Boris Johnson’s outrageous racist and sexist comments about the burqa are a sign of how this horrible agenda has entered mainstream political life.

There are also growing links between fascists, the racist populists of Ukip and the traditional conservative right. Before Johnson wrote the racist remarks about Muslim women he is reported to have met with US far right ideologue Steve Bannon. 

This shows the need to mobilise against the far right and against the broader racism that is boosting its rise.

The unity statement calls for a “mass anti-racist, anti-fascist national demonstration” in London on the 17 November. Initiated by SUTR, UAF and LMHR, it is an opportunity to boost the confidence of anti-racists and drive back the right. 

Every activist needs to go all-out build opposition to the far right and racism this autumn. 

Add your name to the unity statement here

Anti-racist diary 

27 September, Protest outside retrial of Tommy Robinson in London. Details here. 

13 October, protest against DFLA in London. Details here

20 October, SUTR international conference. Details here.

17 November, national demonstration against racism and fascism, London. Details here


Oppose DFLA in Sunderland

Anti-racists and anti-fascists are preparing to take on a far right protest in Sunderland this Saturday. The Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) plans to protest there.

It wants to use sexual abuse scandals to demonise Muslim men as abusive, and to encourage racism.

Sunderland Unites and Stand Up To Racism North East have called a counter-protest.

It is called under the slogan, “Justice for the survivors—Don’t let the racists divide us.” It assembles at 1.15pm in Keel Square.

For details of the anti-racist protest go to bit.ly/SunderlandProtest


Kirklees says no to fascists

Anti-racists in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, opposed a fascist protest in Huddersfield last week.

The fascists marched into Huddersfield and handed out racist leaflets about a child sexual exploitation case in the town.

A much larger group from Kirklees Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) opposed them.

SUTR and Momentum Kirklees issued a joint statement in response.

It was signed by councillors, trade unionists and others. Signatories include Labour councillors Fazila Loonat, Erin Hill, Rob Walker and Richard Murgatroyd. Huddersfield TUC also signed the statement.


Racists try to ‘save Europe’

Far right forces across Europe have launched a coordinated effort to become the biggest group in the European Union’s (EU) parliament.

Far right fanatic Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former advisor, has set up The Movement with a headquarters in Brussels.

The EU’s policies on refugees are already racist.

Now this far right grouping wants to push them even further to the right.

Italy’s racist interior minister Matteo Salvini said it was the last chance to “save Europe”.

He met with Bannon last Friday and discussed plans with Dutch far right politician Geert Wilders at the conference in Italy the following day.

This shows the need to build a mass movement against the far right and racism across Europe.

The Stand Up To Racism international conference in London on 20 October will bring together anti-racists from across Europe, including Germany and Austria.


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