Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Anti-Fascists Block Democratic Football Lads Alliance March – Reports.

with 18 comments

 

Anti-fascists block route of Democratic Football Lads Alliance London march

Some reports:

Guardian.

Scores of officers and dozens of police vans later separated a group of counter-demonstrators shouting “Nazi scum off our streets” in Trafalgar Square.

A large section of the DFLA march eventually arrived on Whitehall, where a truck was used as a stage for speeches.

The DFLA, a group formed of mainly middle-aged, white male football fans, had planned a mass march from Park Lane to Whitehall. The organisers had said on Facebook that they were protesting against ”returning jihadists”, “thousands of Awol migrants”, “rape gangs and groomers” and “veterans treated like traitors”.

DFLA march in London: Far-right protest spills into violence as police officers attacked

Evening Standard.

Democratic Football Lads’ Alliance march erupts into violence with one supporter threatening ‘to kill police officer’

Independent.

2,000 anti-fascists deal a blow to the far right DFLA

Socialist Worker.

Around 2,000 anti-racists joined a march and rally against the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) in central London today.

Called by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and Unite Against Fascism (UAF), it was an important test in the battle against the resurgent far right.

The DFLA pulled the smallest numbers to date for a national mobilisation—around 1,500 to 2,000 joined its march from Hyde Park to Whitehall. Some stayed in pubs rather than join the march, others left early for the pubs.

And then their generator broke down, curtailing their speeches.

It came on the one-year anniversary of the “original” FLA’s first demonstration, which saw up to 20,000 march under the banner of “united against extremism”.

The SUTR demonstration saw speeches from trade unions, Labour Party members and anti-racist organisations.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott sent a message of support that said, “We’re proud to walk in the traditions of anti-racism campaigners and activists. Your fight is our fight.”

Anti-fascist demonstrators outnumber the DFLA in London 

Counterfire.

Not everybody is so upbeat pointing to the SUTR demo not being *that* big. And there was a separate AFN demo. that tried direct action.

It is also not entirely true that the DLFA march was entirely middle aged male and white, as the video at the bottom illustrates.

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Written by Andrew Coates

October 14, 2018 at 11:05 am

18 Responses

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  1. I think what is important here isn’t the numbers but the class make up of the opposing forces. It would seem that the DFLA is overwhelmingly white working class and the antis what they have always been, middle class lefty students from various one issue groups.

    What is important are the issues. The DFLA and similar groups are concerned to put it mildly about the widely reported abuse of young English girls by largely Asian men. Over the past ten years several hundred, yes several hundred of these men have been imprisoned yet the left simply denounce the whole thing as the dreaded Islamophobia. I recall when the issue was first brought to public attention by the then MP Ann Cryer and the group Hope not Hate they were both accused by the SWP front Unite Against Fascism of ” pandering” to racism. What happened then is what is happening now. If the mainstream of the Labour movement don’t confront these issues the right will, it happened ten years ago and it’s happening now.

    The issues of grooming, immigration and everything associated must be tackled head on if Labour is to win an election ever again yet we have the regular spectacle of a mumbling, bumbling Corbyn and an anti white scarcely coherent Diane Abbott totally avoiding the issues. I despair for the party that my family were members of since it was formed and have to say that it no longer represents me or people like me.

    Dave Roberts

    October 14, 2018 at 1:35 pm

  2. The DFLA are no more concerned about child abuse, pandering to Islamic extremists and associated issues than the rest us.
    They realise that most of the sane population, to a greater or lesser extent, share at least some of these worries so they can present themselves as bravely fighting for the public interest.
    The reality is quite different. The majority of the supporters of this group are no more than a violent far-right rabble overjoyed to have at last found a cause to latch on to that they feel justifies anti-social behaviour.
    Their representatives do their best to present a moderate image but the true views of these guys would repel most people.
    I am an old white working class football supporter and pub user so I do tend to hear opinions expressed by these characters that wouldn’t be expressed in most public arenas.
    It would be a mistake to allow disillusionment with left/liberal politics to justify support for this shower.

    Mick O

    October 14, 2018 at 8:50 pm

  3. Confused response Mick O. As an old white working class football supporter and pub user, bit like myself, you hear things express by these guys that normally wouldn’t be expressed in public arenas. So do I and I couldn’t disagree with that part of your post at all. If you believe that then your first sentence makes no sense.

    Most people are concerned by these issues and because the liberal left refused for so long to confront these issues support for a the likes of Tommy Robinson would be miniscule. Unfortunately it isn’t and the only thing that keeps their numbers down is that the section of the population from which they come tend not, at the moment, to go out on demos whereas it’s second nature for the left. I think your exposure to political correctness has clouded your judgment.

    Dave Roberts

    October 15, 2018 at 12:02 am

  4. Post are disappearing Andrew. I have just sent a long one of which there is no sign.

    Dave Roberts

    October 15, 2018 at 12:03 am

  5. Too right, Dave. These so-called ‘antifas’ are drawn from the same cesspool of middle-class dull conformists who made Hitler’s rise to power such a breeze.

    Anne

    October 15, 2018 at 6:47 am

  6. Can anyone explain the “NO RAPE, NO RACISM” placard? Is this an attempt to conflate rapists with the ‘far-right’? That only white, middle-aged working-class men object to young white girls being systematically groomed, abused and raped by Asian gangs? And that that these very same white, middle-aged working-class men – ‘gammons’ to use the pejorative – are all rapists? What a load of silly nonsense.

    Anne

    October 15, 2018 at 6:57 am

  7. Mrs Roberts

    October 15, 2018 at 7:27 am

  8. @ Anne – ideological and political reasons 😉

    Men in Scotland are now at risk of being branded ‘rapist’ for political and ideological reasons, following the Stephen Coxen case. Coxen was tried for the rape of Miss M in 2015 in the High Court, the verdict was not proven and Coxen walked away a free man. Three years later in a landmark ruling a judgement has been made against this man, in other words, he has been found guilty and been asked to pay £80,000 in damages. Perhaps worse than the financial hit, Coxen has been branded a rapist.

    The civil justice system is the place were individuals use the law in relation to one another, so it could be argued, this a private affair between Coxen and Miss M, but that would be to ignore how and why this case was carried out in a civil rather than a criminal court.

    This is not the first case of this kind. In 2017 the footballer David Goodwillie was taken to a civil ‘court’ for rape and fined £100,000. On this occasion, Goodwillie’s case did not even make it to the High Court due a lack of evidence. Nevertheless, despite this apparent lack of evidence the Sheriff ruled against him. Stephen Coxen on the other hand had a trial and was then, essentially, put on trial for the same act a second time, thus breaching the principle of double jeopardy.

    Some would argue that the civil justice system is different and therefore this is not a breach of this principle. Technically, they have a point. But the reality of the matter is that in both cases the judgement about an extremely serious crime has been forced through the back door of the Sheriff court.

    Just as the Goodwillie case set a precedent for rape being examined in a civil court. Coxen’s case is the first case of its kind in more than 100 years. This risks taking us back not only to ‘Victorian values’ but to a pre-modern situation where our victim centred form of justice becomes based more upon vengeance and prejudice than upon justice.

    The problem with a rape case being ruled upon in a civil court is that the weight of evidence in a civil case is ‘the balance of probabilities’ as opposed to the need to prove an act ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. Rape is clearly a criminal matter and should, as it has been for generations, be dealt with in the highest court of the land, overseen by a jury and needing corroborating evidence.

    In a civil case, like Coxen’s, the balance of probabilities benchmark means that guilt can be found by an individual, in this case Sheriff Robert Weir, based simply upon an opinion about the credibility of the witnesses – there is no need for concrete evidence. Sheriff Weir heard the story of a drunken night in 2013 that ended in sex between Coxen and the unnamed woman and drew the conclusion that Stephen Coxen ‘took advantage’ of Miss M, who was, in the Sheriff’s opinion, too drunk to give consent.

    It would be harsh to blame the women in question for wanting to have a second trial and one that needs no corroboration. It may be harsh to even question the Sheriff’s ruling, after all, this is a civil process and so long as you believe there is a 51 percent chance that the alleged victim is telling the truth, Sheriff Weir would have to act accordingly. What is wrong however is that the Scottish criminal justice system deems it acceptable to put a man on trial for the same act twice and in a court where a guilty verdict is a far more likely outcome.

    This is not a matter of taking the side of men or women, it is simply a matter of justice. Justice is, or should be, a universal system that treats everyone the same and is one that is based on objectivity and evidence. These principles of law, coupled with the need to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt have been the bedrock of criminal justice in this country and are some of the most enlightened and progressive aspects of modern society. But they are being lost.

    So why is this happening? One reason is that the criminal justice system across the UK is becoming victim centred. This sounds reasonable, but not when it means that the scales of justice are unbalanced in an attempt to ‘find closure’ for victims at the expense of due process and evidence. The other is the concern about the difficulty of finding guilt in rape cases, something that has become more of a political issue as concerns and campaigns about sexual crimes and harassment heighten.

    What we are now witnessing is the Scottish justice system, the state and the government all pushing to convict men of rape.

    In the Goodwillie case, the woman in question was supported by the UK government agency, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. She was awarded £11,000 for what they believed was a rape, before Goodwillie stepped into the Sheriff court. In the case of Stephen Coxen, Miss M received the support of the Scottish government’s Legal Aid Board. In other words, if we ‘follow the money’ it leads back to the state and government funding this new development.

    What is more, the money for the Coxen case came from a special fund within the Legal Aid Board, set up specifically to pursue cases of gender based violence. Here we find a further problem because the very idea of gender based violence, or at least the understanding of this by the Scottish government, is both political and ideological and stems from a particular, one-sided, and often extreme brand of feminism.

    In the Scottish government’s Equally safe delivery plan, published in 2014, we are informed that gender based violence is a ‘function of gender inequality, that is an abuse of male power and privilege’, and that ‘women and girls experience violence and abuse because they are women and girls – and because they continue to occupy a subordinate position within society in relation to men’.

    This feminist ideology that has been adopted by the government stems from a belief that we live in a patriarchal society based on gender inequality, enforced by men, who have power, over women, who do not. It is a highly contested ideology and one I suspect the vast majority of the Scottish electorate do not subscribe to. It is also an ideology that at its most extreme has resulted in the claim that ‘all men are potential rapists’ and that abuse of men by women is an impossibility: If power lies in the hands of men, the argument goes, it would be oxymoronic to believe in violence i.e. power, of women against men.

    That this completely one-sided understanding of gender based violence has been adopted by the government is significant, as is the lack of political protest or opposition to it. The police and the criminal justice system more generally does not subscribe to this feminist doctrine, if it did so openly, it would no longer be possible to even suggest that there is a balance to the justice system. But it would be difficult to imagine that it does not influence how our system of justice operates.

    The idea of gender based violence has become a political issue and tool, one where the idea of #believe has become uncoupled from criminal justice processes and become instead a moral position taken by ‘right thinking people’. The Scottish government is now funding rape cases through the back door and there are rumoured to be more cases in the pipeline. The result is that every failed rape case can now be tried twice and many more men will be branded rapists based on the balance of probabilities and the pressure on sheriffs to #believe.

    What we are witnessing is the destruction of justice.

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16982743.stuart-waiton-scots-men-are-at-risk-of-being-branded-rapist-for-political-reasons/

    –__

    Mrs Roberts

    October 15, 2018 at 7:34 am

  9. Good to see “Football Lads and Lasses against Fascism” group take on the scruffy far right DFLA mugs on Saturday (very few actual Casuals on the DFLA side……fat 40 somethings for the most part) . A good first outing. Still finding their way but things are coming together. Follow them on Twitter #FLAF

    IainF

    October 15, 2018 at 11:41 pm

  10. Interestingly, the Government are proposing to add misandry (the hatred of men) to the definition of ‘hate crime’. Ageism will also be included, so using the term ‘gammon’ will be deemed a ‘hate crime’. ‘Special interest’ groups such as ‘goths’ will also be covered.

    Stella C

    October 16, 2018 at 7:11 am

  11. It was Stalin who said: “We will win the war with slogans.” You could add #hashtag to that.

    Abigail

    October 16, 2018 at 7:30 am

  12. What exactly is the point of these choreographed stand-offs between ‘opposing’ groups? It is like the madhouse has been let out for the day. The only beneficiaries are the coppers with their handsome ‘overtime’ payments. And the rest of us (the vast, vast majority) pay for it. It is high time to ban this crap and sweep these loonies off the streets once and for all.

    Shutter Island

    October 16, 2018 at 7:42 am

  13. Why do these idiots always use deceptive images to exaggerate the numbers in attendance? If you observe these ‘demos’ in person it is striking to notice that the plod always outnumber the nutters waving their placards by at least ten to one. It is awful to watch the poor police horses being frightened to death and hear the plods dogs yelping as they are being cooked in the vans. Bring back Boris and his water-cannons. A good dowsing will soon scrub them up the filthy beggars.

    Londoner

    October 16, 2018 at 7:56 am

  14. “Can anyone explain the “NO RAPE, NO RACISM” placard? Is this an attempt to conflate rapists with the ‘far-right’?”: I’m pretty sure that this was, at least in part, intended as a dig at the SWP.

    Jim Denham

    October 16, 2018 at 11:01 am

  15. Very possibly could be, Jim. Just just seems an incongruous juxtaposition; mixing, decrying rape and racism makes no sense at all unless it is indeed a dig at the SWP.

    Tabitha Cook

    October 16, 2018 at 11:10 am

  16. It’s important to get the placard thing in perspective. I can remember before the SWP when they were the International Socialists that they would turn up at any march or demo about anything, hand out their placards and then claim they had organised the whole thing. This led to Chris Harman getting himself knocked out in Brick Lane in 1976. They are totally opportunistic bits of shit with a long history of being so.

    Dave Roberts

    October 16, 2018 at 7:27 pm

  17. The No Rape No Racism is a counter to the DFLA headline sloganeering. So against ALL rape and sexual abuse, not just that of the South Asian origin street grooming gangs, AND against racism of those who ONLY oppose rape of ‘white women’ by foreigners. It is true that many Leftists have shied away from dealing with the reality of sexual violence, both of the Rotherham grooming gangs and more generally across society. This was an attempt, and pretty good imo as it was by women, to change that.


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