Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Fascist threats against Occupy Liverpool come to nothing

Given the dreadful events of the weekend, it's worth noting that whilst the far-right have treated up my blog as an admission of defeat, it was actually a wake up call. Moreover, judging by what took place tonight, it's a wake up call that is being taken seriously.

Tonight, Occupy Liverpool had called a General Assembly at the Wellington Monument. The group have recently been evicted from their second indoor site - the old Rapid Paint Shop on Renshaw Street - and the assembly was called to discuss where they would go next. Word being that, with winter coming to an end, they are looking to return to an outdoor site.

However, the decision to hold the meeting at the site where they first set up camp prompted the local section of the North West Inifidels to make threats. They promised to be at the meeting, implying that there would be some kind of confrontation. However, lacking any kind of national mobilisation or support to bolster their numbers, the fash would be looking for Occupy to be an easy target simply to give them a bit of extra momentum following their success on Saturday.

We were determined that this wouldn't happen. As such, at short notice, Liverpool Antifascists decided that we would mobilise and provide security for the event. We put a call out among our members to see who could turn up so that there would be sufficient numbers to repel any threat at the column. At the same time, a number of people who had witnessed the violence by fascists first hand on Saturday got in touch. They were eager to get involved and start turning the tide against this new found confidence on the part of the fascists. So we set up a meeting point and decided to take the NWI up on their challenge.

A couple of lads had been sighted scouting the monument at about half five. Around seven of them were also seen following a member of Occupy Liverpool who they've taken a particular dislike. But when the General Assembly took place among 20 occupiers and under the watchful eye of about 30 anti-fascists, the far-right were nowhere to be seen.

The meeting lasted an hour, at the end of which I gave a brief talk explaining why it was important that people got involved in anti-fascism and the threat that the far right pose to the organised working class. Following which, everybody left in large groups and many of the anti-fascists retired to a nearby pub for a well deserved pint. All of which goes to show that, whilst the common perception of militant anti-fascism is one of violence, in some circumstances merely organising in numbers will for the fascists off the radar.