ABOUT 100 local people came together in Woolwich, south east London, last Saturday to oppose a march through the area by the National Front (NF). Later that day the Nazi NF attempted to march near Green Street in Newham, east London.
But they were stopped by another 100-strong mobilisation of local people. The Woolwich demonstration was called by Unite Against Fascism with the support of Greenwich Council for Racial Equality and several local trade unions, including Unison, Natfhe and the NUT.
Many people expressed anger at Labour-controlled Greenwich council for failing to prevent or even condemn the NF march, which aimed to use the murder of teenager Terry Gregory in December 2003 to whip up racism in the area. The Gregory family distanced themselves from the NF march on the front page of a local paper last week, saying they wanted nothing to do with it.
In the event, the Nazis could only muster 30 or so supporters, who had to be escorted back and forth by the police to jeers from residents and protesters.
“We’re here supporting people’s rights. Fascism and racism are totally wrong,” said local school students Tasha and Suzanne. After the NF were chased out of Woolwich, they were prevented from marching by a sizeable anti-fascist demonstration in Green Street that was joined by many passers-by.
THE BNP suffered a serious blow in their attempts to get a foothold in Hull, coming bottom of the poll in a recent council by-election. They were hoping to capitalise on a low turnout. But a determined campaign by Unite Against Fascism supporters saw over 5,000 leaflets distributed, which helped to significantly boost the numbers voting. The Unison and GMB unions also supported a protest at the count.
Unite Against Fascism’s national conference will be held on Saturday 26 February, 9.30am to 5.30pm, at the TUC’s Congress House, Great Russell Street, central London.