For the second Saturday in a row, anti-fascists protested at a fascist incursion into the town of Rochdale last weekend.
After a Britain First gathering the previous week, the English Defence League (EDL) held a march and rally on Saturday. The fascists tried to exploit the issue of sexual abuse in the town.
Both Britain First and the EDL failed in this as locals refused to be part of their scapegoating.
Unite Against Fascism’s (UAF) counter protest came off the back of a well supported local statement.
The EDL were bussed in and out of Rochdale under police guard. Their national demonstration attracted barely 100, including thugs from a Nazi splinter group.
Their hate was ineffective. Several stayed in the pub, unenthusiastic for their own gathering. They left with as little support as they arrived with. In contrast, the UAF demo, although small, connected with people locally.
There was local and regional representation from trade unions including Unison, the PCS, the CWU and Lancashire TUC.
Police facilitated the fascists and kettled anti-fascists. Despite this everyone opposing the EDL was able to rally.
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle