London UK: Anti-fascists used a variety of different tactics to oppose Tommy Robinson’s “Day for Freedom” on Sunday May 6.
Originally published by Anti-Fascist Network
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
London UK: Anti-Fascists oppose Tommy Robinson and the DFLA’s Day for Freedom/Bigotry
About 300 people from the AFN and Stand up to Racism demonstrated in Whitehall making sure there was a visible public opposition to the far-right demo. Some of Tommy’s “free-speech” loving crowd tried more than once to attack the anti-fascist demonstration. They were repulsed by the combined efforts of anti-fascists.
Some other anti-fascists took the opportunity to confront the Tommy-lovers directly. A small group from Class War intervened in the crowd with “Tommyrot” placards and signs.
Still other activists took the opportunity to walk amongst the far-right crowd gathering intelligence.
— Sheffield AFN (@SheffieldAFN) 7. Mai 2018
A wake -up call
The “Day for Freedom” rally in central London should be regarded as a wake up call for anti-fascists and anti-racists. The combined draw of Tommy Robinson, the variety of alt-right speakers on the platform and the DFLA mobilising brought around 4-5000 out on the streets. It was a convergence of the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ far-right as well as uniting the British and American Islamophobic right. All the separate strands of right extremism were there, from slightly ‘softer’ Ukippers through Generation Identity and alt-right Kekistan freaks to actual Nazis. It was not only a big event in British far-right terms but showed the growing power of a transatlantic and international far-right.
It remains to be seen what exactly will come of this. But none of it will be good. The FLA as a giant street gang in search of a political ideology has found its spiritual guru in Tommy Robinson, a leader in search of a mob. They now have the media presence, they have the ‘celebrity’ racist pundits, they have the boots on the ground and they apparently have the money too.
Anti-fascists and anti-racists need to take this as a spur to reflection, some serious thinking and renewed effort.
If not seriously challenged, the continuing rise of the right will result in more racist attacks, and a general spreading of anti-Muslim hate and racism in society, pushing the mainstream and the state ever more in that direction.
When they are weak, they cry about their free speech. But Sunday has shown, when they get half a chance they will start coming for the Muslims, the anti-racists, the left, the refugees – trying to shut down people’s ability to meet, talk and live.
FLA and DFLA demos in Manchester
The next dates to look to are in Manchester on the 19th May and then the 2nd June. On the 19th May the FLA had announced a march to coincide with the anniversary of the Arena bombing a year ago. The DFLA, which split from the FLA, chose the 2nd June for their demo. The FLA now appears to have vanished or imploded amid accusations of its founder running off with cash intended for charity. Whether the 19th will happen is unclear. Stand up to Racism are still calling an anti-racist demo for the 19th. It seems likely that the 2nd June will be a bigger event for the far-right.
Don’t let these bigots defile the memory of those who died in the bombing by using it to spread ever more racism and hatred.
these images are from *yesterday* – and on the 19th May, some of these people are coming to Manchester, callously hijacking the attack anniversary.
— Dan Hett (@danhett) 7. Mai 2018
Help us to get to the Libertarian festival in Athens to produce on the ground reporting from Athens. But we need your support to finance it. Support our on the ground reporting across Europe. Later this year we plan to report from so-called France, so-called Greece, so-called Germany and other territiores to produce independent on the ground reporting. But we need your support to cover at least some of our expenses (Travel costs, sim cards etc). Here is how you can support our work:
Support Enough is Enough! Donate!
Donation for our work in the Enough is Enough info-shop and our independent reporting on our blog and social media channels.
New shirts and other stuff in the Enough is Enough shop. Support our work. Click here.