An emergency appeal to all anti-fascists and anti-racists: we need to respond to the increasing threat of the far-right. Reposted from Liverpool Antifascists.
On Monday 6th February the British National Party (BNP) and English Defence League (EDL) along with other racists and fascists, were able to hold a confident, 100-strong demonstration , outside the hearing of a child sex abuse case at the Crown Court. The fascists were trying to capitalise on the case, as the accused were Asian men.
On Saturday 18th February some 250 far-right activists, bolstered by Loyalist and veterans’ organisations, were able to control parts of the town centre as they mobilised against a parade organised by Liverpool Irish Patriots. The combination of their numbers and the fairly relaxed attitude taken by Merseyside Police meant they were at liberty to harass and racially abuse the demonstration, other political activists in town, and black people who were simply out of a Saturday afternoon.
This increased confrontational street presence of the far right is extremely concerning. The British National Party seems to be abandoning its recent strategy of trying to gain electoral ‘respectability’ and is therefore becoming less hostile to its members getting publicly involved in street thuggery. The EDL seems to also be changing tactics. In addition to its set piece rallies and marches ‘against Islamic extremism’ some of its splinter groups have begun specifically targeting left-wing and labour movement meetings and stalls. The Unite regional office in Liverpool as well as the Occupy group in the city have already had hassle.
One of these splinter groups, the North West Infidels (NWI), have called a day of action on Saturday March 24th. It is possible that they will want to follow up their recent successes in this city and target Liverpool.
The response of our movement has left quite a lot to be desired. Much of this is understandable given many of us have been occupied with the enormous task of responding to the attacks this government is launching on health, education, welfare, pensions and the rest of it. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that the cuts and the uncertainty and misery created by them will create opportunities for racists and fascists, especially if there is not a serious fight against them.
We are therefore calling a meeting open to all anti-fascists and anti-racists, to discuss how to respond to the immediate question of March 24th and beyond.
Liverpool Antifascists coordinating meeting
Sunday 4th March, 1pm-3pm
Liverpool Guild of Students, 160 Mount Pleasant, L3 5TR