Sunderland in the north east of England saw violent scenes last Saturday. Hundreds of racists and fascists gathered in the town centre, scared residents and attacked an anti-racist counter-protest.
The Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) claimed to be marching to oppose sexual exploitation. This was a thinly veiled pretext for whipping up Islamophobia.
Ukip leader Gerard Batten spoke at the rally, underlining his increasing support for the far right.
He is deepening the links between Ukip, the DLFA racist street movement, and Nazi Tommy Robinson supporters.
But the fascists who mobilise also take confidence from the racism driven from the top of society.
The Tories’ repugnant state-sponsored racism has emboldened the far right movement.
Theresa May is behind the “hostile environment” policies designed to target migrants. And Boris Johnson knows fascists agree with him when he says Muslim women look like “letter boxes”.
This week Tories in the European Parliament lined up to protect the antisemitic Hungarian leader Viktor Orban from criticism.
And environment secretary Michael Gove defended them.
It’s time for action and the building of a confident anti-racist movement.The fascists must be opposed whenever they march.
Join the unity demonstration in London against racism and fascism, supported by trade unions and Labour MPs, on Saturday 17 November.