Friday, 21 June 2013
EDL attack meetings in turn to NF style old school thuggery.
There has been much talk of the various factions of the far right paying lip service to the National Front.The Casuals United have recently endorsed them.However reports of recent incidents at Hope Not Hate and Unite Against Fascism meetings give grounds for concern, that the old school thuggery of the NF may be making a comeback.
There was an attempt to disrupt what the EDL thought was a HNH meeting in Portsmouth ,in fact it was a Socialist meeting.4 EDL turned up and they were kept out by over 20 Anti -Fascist activists. Similarly there was an attempt to disrupt another HNH meeting in Southampton which resulted in a member of EDL being dragged out by Police and spending the evening in the cells.Apparently the meeting was a big success with over 25 people attending.There was also a report of around a dozen Fascists attempting to disrupt a UAF meeting in Thanet in Kent.They did not make it into the meeting.There have been other ,as yet uncorroborated reports.
Obviously there is a clear pattern emerging,and the idea that this is not due to some nationally agreed policy shift is palpably absurd. Tommy Robinson is reputed to have tweeted recently something along the lines of "The UAF need sorting out."It is pretty clear that they are now turning their attention towards their political opponents.
This is an old school classical Fascist response.In the 1980s there was a faction of the NF called The Instant Response Group. Their function was twofold,one to protect NF meetings and secondly to attack the meetings of their political opponents.
There has been much discussion within the British Nazi movement about events in Greece.
They look with awe at the rise of Golden Dawn. There are many who view Golden Dawns electoral success with envy and are wondering if a return to more street based politics might be the answer.
Factions within Britains Nazi movement perceive that a return to the overtly violent tactics of the late seventies and early eighties might be an effective way of building a mass movement.
The sense of outrage after the murder of Lee Rigby has not been quite the boost that the EDL had anticipated ,and as with all these things , with the passage of time comes the law of diminishing returns.The EDL are putting their hopes on their event on the 29th of June in the hope that Armed Forces Day can be owned by them and give them a political boost.This is why it requires the largest possible Anti-Fascist mobilisation to oppose it.
The fact that they are turning to old school style thuggery is something which cannot be ignored. Sometime ago they turned their anger on the Occupy movement and have attacked Trade Union events in the past.If they can achieve any success in targeting Anti Fascist events then soon they will be back to attacking Union and Labour Party functions.
All the reports so far have shown that they have not been able to attract sufficient numbers to intimidate people,and so far it seems nobody has been injured.
It is clear that we need to tighten up on security ,and that we need to take some precautions to ensure that we can maintain the safety of people who come to our events.
Fear can be a massive demotivator and we must make sure that we do not allow a sense of panic to do the EDL's job for them.UAF cannot function as a Praetorian Guard to the whole of progressive organisations who feel they are being threatened,however we can co-ordinate a response to perceived threats as and when they arise.
The fact that they are turning to these tactics might be a sign of political weakness , but that is little reassurance if you fear being the victim of violent assault.
It is a hackneyed observation ,but nonetheless true that we must avoid both alarmism and complacency.We need to continue our campaigns against the Nazis ,but also start taking coherent precautions to ensure the safety of all who attend our events.
They are thugs and bullies.They have proved this repeatedly .We however have to take responsibility for our own and our supporters safety .