Anti-fascists protested against Nazi Tommy Robinson in Telford on Saturday. Some 300 turned out for Robinson’s third event in the town.
On Saturday around 100 anti-racists, anti-fascists and trade unionists counter-protested to show Robinson and his supporters that they will be challenged. The protest was called by the Shropshire and Telford Trades Council and Stand Up To Racism.
Robinson wants to rebuild his movement which saw 15,000 racists on the streets four years ago. To do this he is cynically exploiting horrific local child sexual abuse scandals.
SUTR co-convenor Weyman Bennett told the anti-fascists, “Tommy Robinson is a serial racist, serial fascist and goes into different communities to try to divide them.”
He vowed that “Robinson will not be allowed to exploit the terrible cases of child sexual exploitation for his own toxic ends.”
Weyman said. “The racists and Nazis have no real answer to the problems we face today—that’s why I’m glad people have made a stand. We want justice for the victims and won’t let the racists divide us.”
Police restrictions on assemblies meant that after assembling on the edge of town, anti-fascists had to gather for speeches in a car park. This was opposite Robinson’s supporters.
Banners included SUTR groups from Birmingham, the Black Country and Manchester, West Midlands UCU union, Coventry TUC, Shropshire and Telford Trades council and Unison and NEU flags.
As they marched anti-racists shouted, “Tommy Robinson we know you, you’re a Nazi through and through” and “Justice for the victims, no to Nazi Robinson.”
Doug Morgan, assistant secretary of Birmingham district NEU union, told the rally, “Every time they’ve protested their side has got smaller.
“And they’re smaller because he’s been opposed. Today I don’t think they’ll have many local people there. Robinson has come to Telford to fleece people and get money off them to push his own fascist political career.”
And Tracey Abrahams from the PCS union and SUTR Birmingham said anti-racists “cannot tolerate or accept” Robinson using child abuse to further his hate.
“We need to make sure our children’s vulnerability is not exploited by the merciless,” she said.
Robinson’s mobilisations are at present on a downward curve. But despite Robinson’s dwindling numbers, the battle to confront him and whichever campaign he launches is crucial. He has to be opposed wherever he goes.
But it’s only a change of language
Leeds students have occupied too