Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Fascism

SWP and others call for relaunch of the Anti Nazi League (AWL).

with 3 comments

Image result for antinazi elague

Is the Past Another Country?

In Socialist Worker this week,

Labour’s John McDonnell’s recent call for a movement “emulating the work of Anti Nazi League” was incredibly important. Paul Holborow, who co-founded the organisation, looks at its history and its legacy.

How the Anti Nazi League beat back the fascists

We learnt from the revolutionary Leon Trotsky, who argued for the need to build a united front against fascism.

Today, Stand Up To Racism, Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism are active and provide focuses for opposition to the far right.

The founding members of the ANL are all supporters of these organisations, which stand in its tradition.

But with the scale of the challenge we now face, we need to broaden and deepen those three organisations.

Anything that John McDonnell can do to assist us in this process of extending unity is hugely welcome.

We need to get together and create a genuine mass movement that takes on one of most serious challenges of fascism since the 1930s.

In the Guardian today,

All of us who are committed to a tolerant, multiracial and multicultural society face a growing and serious challenge from the racist and fascist right in the UK, encouraged by Donald Trump and his close associate Steve Bannon and now boosted by the release from jail of former EDL leader Tommy Robinson.

The storming of the socialist bookshop Bookmarks (Report, 6 August) and the disturbingly large mobilisations on the streets of London, Leeds, Manchester and elsewhere underline the scale of the threat.

Boris Johnson’s recent remarks are a calculated bid to appeal to the same audience and can only give them further confidence.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s recent call for an Anti-Nazi League-type cultural and political campaign is therefore very welcome and timely. We need a broader-based, imaginative and vibrant campaign that unequivocally opposes all forms of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism.

As founder members over 40 years ago of the original Anti-Nazi League (ANL) and its sister organisation Rock Against Racism, we think that Stand up to Racism, Love Music Hate Racism and Unite Against Fascism have been established firmly within this tradition, and indeed these organisations have already provided essential and much-needed rallying points of opposition to the rising far right.

This is a process that, as John argues, now urgently needs to be deepened and extended, uniting all people and organisations of goodwill against the huge challenges we face over the next few years from the far right and fascists.

This will involve applying the ANL’s tactics of mass propaganda, unrelenting opposition to the racists and fascists wherever they organise, and the cultural appeal that ANL/RAR pioneered, with large-scale music and similar events asserting the values of our multiracial and diverse society.

We believe this needs to done with the utmost speed. Tommy Robinson and his international backers are likely to be preparing further national and international events in the autumn, seeking to build support and influence. Developments in Germany, Austria, Hungary and Italy highlight how urgent this is. Echoes of the 1930s are all too real.

Whatever our other political differences, we believe the time to come together against the poison of racism and fascism is now.

Peter Hain House of Lords; founder member, Anti-Nazi League 
Paul Holborow Founder member and national secretary, Anti-Nazi League 
Red Saunders Founder, Rock Against Racism 
Roger Huddle Founder, Rock Against Racism 
Jerry Dammers Musician, The Specials, 2 Tone, Rock Against Racism 
Carol Grimes Musican, Rock Against Racism 
Tom Robinson Musician, Rock against Racism 
Mykaell Riley Musician, Bass Culture, Steel Pulse, Rock Against Racism

Divisively  there is no mention of the effect that Brexit has had in encouraging the “growing and serious challenge from the racist and fascist right in the UK.”

This is despite the fact that the movement behind Tommy Robinson and the “storming” of Bookmarks were created and led by groups and individuals linked to UKIP and the Brexit Right, not to mention that Bannon and Trump’s backing for Brexit is a pillar of their politics.

There is nothing about  Hope not Hate in the list of organisations to learn from.

It is equally hard to see that unity on anti-semitism is easy to achieve.

Counterfire, a faction which left the SWP and which plays an important role in such bodies as the Stop the War Coalition and the People’s Assembly, is at present engaged in a campaign to “defend Jeremy Corbyn” against charges of anti-Jewish sentiment.

Whatever the merits of this initiative they, supporters of a non-existent ‘People’s Brexit’, link it to this claim:

The right will also increasingly seek to couple this campaign around antisemitism with pressure to modify the party’s stance on Brexit in favour of keeping Britain in the Single Market or even calling for a second referendum on Brexit. In this, the right has the support of the British establishment and much of the media.

Corbyn is right – the left needs to fight back against the slander of antisemitism

There are other, substantial, reasons why unity with the SWP looks unlikely.

Background to Stand up to Racism, (October. 2016)

Stand Up To Racism: Stand Up To Rape Culture

We, the undersigned, want all planned speakers and delegates to withdraw their attendance from Stand Up to Racism’s conference on 8 October. We ask because the speakers will share the bill with Weyman Bennett, Stand Up To Racism’s co-convenor and a central committee member of the Socialist Workers’ Party.

This must include refusing to lend any support to the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) either directly, or indirectly through its front organisations including “Unite Against Fascism”“Unite the Resistance”“Stand up to UKIP” and “Stand Up To Racism”.

We call on people to do this because the SWP’s well documented failing of two women members who accused the then central committee member of the SWP, known as “Comrade Delta”, of rape and sexually assault. The complainants were asked classic victim-blaming questions about their behaviour and drinking habits. Some members of the SWP leadership denounced the complaints as motivated by a “dangerous feminism”. SWP members who in 2012-2013 challenged the central committee’s kangaroo courts were expelled from the party – many more left in disgust.

This is not about bad individuals. The SWP as a whole is an acute example of collective disregard for sexual violence. Their culture and leadership continues to put its own internal interests above tackling rape and supporting complainants within its ranks. Sexual assault and harassment are not unique to the SWP, or to left-wing organisations, but the SWP’s unwillingness to address its failings show it should not to be worked with.

The racialised violence that has followed the Brexit vote demands a strong anti-racist movement; this movement must be principled and intersectional. This means recognising what Kimberlé Crenshaw and other Black Feminists have shown, that sexism and racism do not operate in silos rather oppressions often overlap and intersect. We cannot build an anti-racist movement organised by rape apologists and anti-feminists. We must end the bankrupt politics of the past, not rehabilitate some of the worst proponents.

It is vital for women and non-binary people – particularly people of colour who wish to resist the racism they experience – to be able to organise politically without groups that facilitate or cover up sexual assault. The SWP and the campaigns they lead are demonstrably not capable of offering this.

AFem Conference organising committee
Bis Of Colour
Black Lives Matter UK 
Brighton Solidarity Federation
East End Sisters Uncut
Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth
London Campaign Against Police & State Violence
Nottingham Solidarity Federation
Southall Black Sisters
Southwark Notes
The Free University of Sheffield

Amendment:

After sending our letter to those billed to speak at the conference, at least one high profile speaker dropped out. We were also assured by a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s media team that Corbyn had agreed not to attend. However, on 8th October it was widely documented that Jeremy Corbyn went to the conference. We suspect that we were deliberately misled to stop us from going public with our concerns about Corbyn’s association with the SWP.

Some signatories have publicly defended Corbyn’s politics in the past. However we are all agreed that any platform for the SWP is counter-productive for grassroots community and labour organising. This is because of its leadership’s abuse and gaslighting towards women inside and outside the organisation. Stand Up To Racism cannot be an effective anti-racist movement if it actively condones misogyny by having rape apologists in its leadership and paid staff.

The Guardian reported in 2016.

Weyman Bennett, one of two co-conveners of Stand Up to Racism, with whom Corbyn shared a platform at Saturday’s event, is a longstanding member of the SWP, and a recent entry on the SWP’s website listed details of SUTR planning meetings and called on members to attend the rally.

“Comrades in every local Stand Up to Racism group should be fighting down to the wire to build the biggest possible event,” it says. Many mainstream political figures also serve on the SUTR steering committee, including Abbott, its president, and Labour MP Kate Osamor, one of five vice-chairs.

Corbyn is also set to face questions over his attendance at the rally and its links to the SWP from his own MPs on Monday night, according to a report in LabourList. Several speakers, including the Guardian columnist Owen Jones, pulled out of the event after learning of activists’ concerns about the link to the SWP.

Advertisements

Written by Andrew Coates

August 16, 2018 at 11:17 am

Arsène Tchakarian, Last Survivor of Resistance Group Manouchian (l’Affiche Rouge) Dies at 101.

leave a comment »

Affiche Rouge

“L’affiche Rouge.”

L’ancien résistant Arsène Tchakarian, le dernier survivant du groupe Manouchian, est mort

Le Monde

Avec la mort d’Arsène Tchakarian le samedi 4 août à l’âge de 101 ans, disparaît le dernier survivant du groupe Missak Manouchian, dont 22 membres furent exécutés par les nazis le 21 février 1944 au Mont-Valérien. Après le décès d’Henri Karayan, le 2 novembre 2011, à Paris, à l’âge de 90 ans, celui d’Arsène Tchakarian renvoie la mémoire et la relation précise de cet épisode, à la fois magnifié et propice à certaines polémiques, à la seule responsabilité des historiens.

The report below appears via Deutsche Welle.

The last survivor of a famous group of immigrant workers that fought against the Nazi occupation of France during World War II died on Saturday at the age of 101, French media reported.

Arsene Tchakarian, a tailor of Armenian origin, passed away at a hospital near his home in the Paris suburb of Vitry-sur-Seine, where he had lived since 1950.

He had dedicated his life to fighting “facism,” French paper Le Figaro reported.

After fighting in the legendary resistance group Manouchian, Tchakarian’s historical and memorial tasks occupied him for the rest of his long life. He turned his home in an archival center, spoke at colleges and schools about the Nazi occupation of France, and campaigned for the recognition of the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians as a genocide.

“I’m sort of the last of the Mohicans, as they say,” Tchakarian said, according to French newspaper Le Figaro.

..

By 1942 he had joined the Manouchians, a small resistance group made up of foreigners and named after its leader, the Armenian poet and communist Missak Manouchian.

“They were immigrants who had come from countries that were becoming fascist, like Hungary, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria,” Tchakarian said, according to the German News Agency. “From all those countries, there were immigrants who were kind of hunted out.”

The Manouchian group carried out an intense campaign of resistance activities against the Nazi German occupation of France that included attacks and acts of sabotage such as assassinations and train derailments.

In 1944, 23 members of the group were rounded up and sentenced to death by a German martial court in a highly publicized trial.

The ‘Affiche Rouge’ poster campaign aimed at turning public sentiment against the resistance fighters of the Manouchian group

After the execution of Tchakarian’s fellow group members, Nazi German authorities and French officials in the collaborationist Vichy government hung up infamous red posters, known as the “Affiche Rouge,” denouncing the members of the Manouchian group as “the army of crime” in an attempt to sway public opinion against the resistance fighters.

Tchakarian managed to escape to Bordeaux and was taken into hiding by fellow resistance members. He remained active in the resistance until the war’s end.

After the war, he turned his focus to history, writing multiple memoirs, and fighting for recognition of the Armenian genocide.

DW.

There is a comprehensive Wikipedia entry in English on L’Affice Rouge.

In mid-November 1943, the French police arrested 23 members of the Communist Francs-Tireurs et Partisans de la Main d’Oeuvre Immigrée (FTP-MOI), who were part of the French Resistance.[1] They were called the “Manouchian Group” after the commander, Missak Manouchian. The group was part of a network of about 100 fighters, who committed nearly all acts of armed resistance in the Paris metropolitan region between March and November 1943.[2]

Its membership included 22 men: eight Poles, five Italians, three Hungarians, two Armenians, a Spaniard, and three French; and one woman, who was Romanian. Eleven were also Jewish.[3]

After having been tortured and interrogated for three months, the 23 were tried by a German military court. In an effort to discredit the Resistance, the authorities invited French celebrities (from the world of the cinema and other arts) to attend the trial and encouraged the media to give it the widest coverage possible. All but one of the Manouchian Group’s members were executed before a firing squad in Fort Mont-Valérien on February 21, 1944. Olga Bancic, who had served the group as a messenger, was taken to Stuttgart, where she was beheaded with an axe on May 10, 1944.

In the spring of 1944, the Vichy authorities launched a propaganda campaign, designed to discredit the Manouchian Group and defuse public anger over their execution. They created a poster, which became known as Affiche Rouge, due to its red background. It featured ten men of the group, with nationality, surnames, photos and descriptions of their crimes. The Germans distributed an estimated 15,000 copies of the poster.[4] Along with these posters, the Germans handed out flyers that claimed the Resistance was headed by foreigners, Jews, unemployed people and criminals; the campaign characterized the Resistance as a “foreigners’ conspiracy against French life and the sovereignty of France”:

Si des Français pillent, volent, sabotent et tuent…

Ce sont toujours des étrangers qui les commandent. Ce sont toujours des chômeurs et des criminels professionnels qui exécutent. Ce sont toujours des juifs qui les inspirent. C’est l’armée du crime contre la France.

Le banditisme n’est pas l’expression du Patriotisme blessé, c’est le complot étranger contre la vie des Français et contre la souveraineté de la France.”[5]

Although the poster attempted to depict the group as “terrorists”, the campaign seems to have had the effect of highlighting the feats of people whom the general public saw as freedom fighters.[5] Legend has it that supporters scribbled the words MORTS POUR LA FRANCE (They died for France – the phrase used on official monuments to soldiers of France who died in combat) and put flowers beneath some of the posters.

In 1975, Philippe Ganier Raymond claimed that there was no historical record of such activity.[6] More recent research has in fact confirmed that such additions occurred.[5]

The story was put into verse by Aragon which is sung by  Léo Ferré.

Written by Andrew Coates

August 6, 2018 at 11:19 am

Prepare for Far-right Carnival Of Reaction as Tommy Robinson Freed on Bail.

with 10 comments

Tommy Robinson bailed after Court of Appeal win

BBC.

Far-right activist Tommy Robinson has been bailed after winning an appeal against a finding of contempt of court.

Robinson, 35, from Luton, admitted the charge and received a 13-month jail term in May after he filmed outside Leeds Crown Court during a trial.

At the Court of Appeal, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett ruled there had been technical flaws by the judge who jailed him and quashed the finding.

He will attend the Old Bailey for the Leeds allegation to be reheard.

In his written judgement, Lord Burnett said: “We are satisfied that the finding of contempt made in Leeds following a fundamentally flawed process, in what we recognise were difficult and unusual circumstances, cannot stand.

“We will direct that the matter be reheard before a different judge.”

Lord Burnett said a suspended sentence Robinson, also known as Stephen Yaxley Lennon, was given for contempt of court relating to a trial in Canterbury in May 2017 should stand.

Anti-racist protest during the Hearing.

There have been warnings that the far-right was preparing a Carnival of Reaction if Robinson, either if he remained in gaol or  was freed on bail (Police are bracing for the possibility of mass protests and disorder over Tommy Robinson’s appeal result) .

It has begun:

Robinson’s cause has been taken up by the international far-right from Europe to the USA. It’s in the latter that he’s received the biggest support including this Trump diplomat ‘took up Robinson’s cause to UK ambassador’ (Mirror). And this,  US rightwing groups bankroll campaign to free Tommy Robinson. Thinktank that paid for far-right activist’s legal defence says other groups are backing him. Guardian.

Recently this caught people’s attention:  Steve Bannon calls for Tommy Robinson to be released from prison. Guardian.

Steve Bannon, the former adviser to Donald Trump, has defended the jailed far-right leader Tommy Robinson, saying that he didn’t think he was “a bad guy” and that “he’s got to be released from prison”.

Written by Andrew Coates

August 1, 2018 at 11:27 am

Pro Trump Thugs Demonstrate in London as US Lobbies for Tommy Robinson.

with 5 comments

Image may contain: 4 people, crowd, hat and outdoor

Trump, “I think they like me a lot in the UK” – pro-Trump London Demo.

Today London played host to a raft of far and radical right leaders from around the world as pro-Trump and free Tommy Robinson demonstrations merge in Whitehall.

Hope Not Hate.

The day kicked off with a ‘Welcome Trump to London Demonstration’ near the US embassy in Vauxhall. Despite being organised by the oddball Make Britain Great Again group, led by the equally bizarre Luke Nash-Jones, the event attracted a number of UKIP speakers including Elizabeth Jones from UKIP NEC and UKIP London chairman Freddy Vachha.

The most high profile speaker was the Australian anti-Muslim activist Debbie Robinson from the anti-Muslim party, the Australian Liberty Alliance. Robinson, who was accompanied by Avi Yemini, is also President of the key Australian ‘counter-jihad’ organisation, the Q Society of Australia. 

Martin Costello of Make Britain Great Again addressed the crowd screaming “round up all illegal immigrants and get them out of here” and “we shall never surrender” into the microphone.

FREE TOMMY ROBINSON DEMONSTRATION

The main event happened in central London and kicked off just after 3pm in the wake of the shocking revelation that Sam Brownback, the US ambassador for international religious freedom, lobbied the UK on behalf of Tommy Robinson (AKA Stephen Yaxley-Lennon).

As the stage and screen were erected just in front of the Monument to the Women of World War II on Whitehall, notable figures from across the international far right and the right-wing alternative media began to gather. Members of Lennon’s team such as George Llewelyn-John and co-founder of the English Defence League (EDL) Kevin Carroll helped set things up alongside Siegfried Daebritz from the German anti-Muslim street movement PEGIDA. Also milling around the stage area was American “alt-light” figure Jack Posobiec.

The Guardian Reports,

A union leader has said he was the victim of an “unprovoked” attack by a mob after he addressed a counter-protest to a rally in support of Donald Trump and the jailed far-right leader Tommy Robinson.

Steve Hedley, senior assistant general secretary of the RMT, was among a number of officials assaulted by Robinson supporters, according to the union.

Witnesses said a mob ambushed a group at the Westminster Arms pub in central London on Saturday afternoon in a targeted attack.

In a video on social media, Hedley said: “We got attacked by a load of thugs, completely unprovoked.

“We defended ourselves obviously and there were a lot of casualties on both sides. But it was a completely unprovoked attack – we were just sitting there having a drink.

“If you oppose Tommy you get attacked by a glass and a chair – we have to stop this.”

He described the attackers as being from the far-right English Defence League, which Robinson used to lead.

One witness, who asked not to be named, said: “They [the attackers] knew what they were doing.”

Guardian.

AMERICAN THINK TANK FUNDING TOMMY DEMOS

Hope Not Hate,

it has emerged that Lennon has also been receiving significant financial assistance from across the Atlantic, receiving money for legal help from the Philadelphia-based organisation the Middle East Forum (MEF), led by Daniel Pipes.

Worryingly, MEF also claims to have held an “organizing and funding” role in both today’s protest and the previous protest in June, which was marred by violence and vandalism and saw nazis and other antisemites among the crowd.

MEF’s blog claims that they “provided all the funding and helped organized the first “Free Tommy Robinson” event held June 9 in London.” The event in question attracted around 10,000 people and saw police officers being chased and attacked near Trafalgar Square. Sections of Lennon’s supporters also hurled metal barriers, bottles and street signs, injuring five people and resulting in the arrest of nine.

Despite this, the MEF also decided to once again contribute to the funding and organizing of today’s Free Tommy demonstration in London, writing that it was arranging for US Congressman Gosar to speak at the rally. Gosar has previously courted controversy when, in an interview with VICE News, he suggested that the August 2017 alt-right Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, which led to the murder of counter-protester Heather Heyer, may have been organised by an “Obama sympathiser” and raised the possibility that it may have been funded by Hungarian philanthropist George Soros. Gosar also accused Soros of having “turned in his own people to the Nazis”.

Socialist Workers Party Thuggery Returns.

with 14 comments

“SWP stewards overturned the AWL stall, stole leaflets and threatened violence while we were leafleting at Marxism, for our meeting on the left and Brexit.”

Today (Saturday 7 July), a group of Workers’ Liberty supporters went along to the SWP’s annual Marxism festival. We wanted to talk to attendees and challenge some of the SWP’s politics, and especially their support for “Lexit” during the European referendum.

We were leafleting for a fringe meeting hosted by ourselves – The Left Should Oppose Brexit. One of the guest speakers was from Another Europe is Possible/Left Against Brexit.

The result of this activity? The SWP first overturning and breaking our stall while it was set up outside the Institute of Education. The material overturned from the stall was picked up by SWP organisers and put on the floor on the footpath. One of the organisers stole a chunk of the Brexit event leaflets. Some of the material was torn up.

Later, when standing outside Student Central (Malet Street) SWP members stood round our leafleters making petty comments and obstructing them for over an hour.

Behaving like police enforcers against picketers or demonstrators we were continually asked to move one or two metres in order to stand on the pavement. One SWPer challenged one of our members to a fight.

The image shows the result of a gang of them coming to remove us from IoE: the stall on it’s side, broken with a pile of material in the gutter, including some which has been ripped up.

The SWP have form here. At Marxism 1993 two of our comrades were physically assaulted by SWP thugs (see what we published about it here). At the time the AWL launched a campaign against violence in the labour movement. We said then and we repeat it now: the left has disagreements but these should always be resolved by discussion and debate.

It should be completely taken for granted that the left should interact without resorting to physical obstruction, removal from venues, destroying literature and threatening physical fights.

Workers’ Liberty.

The SWP has promoted a call for ” a united mass movement” against the rise in racist far-right street protests and this,

Unity protest against Tommy Robinson, Trump and the far-right.

Some on the left (Socialist Resistance) have already noted that,

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) mobilised about 300 people against them. Both these groups are front organisations of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and receive their political direction from its leadership. They are sometimes able to get Diane Abbott or Jeremy Corbyn to speak at their events but they have no relationship with Labour Party members and many on the left are unwilling to work with them because of their leaderships’ role in dealing with an allegation of sexual assault. Whatever one’s political judgement on that view, it’s a fact which won’t go away.

What kind of unity can we have with the burly SWP toughs who act in this way against political critics on the left?

Having been to the Chartist AGM yesterday where one of the main speakers in the morning was the same as the one addressing the later in the day meeting the AWL were advertising (see above), Alena Ivanova (Another Europe Is Possible), perhaps the SWP should had come to Toynbee Hall and beaten us up as well.

Some History:

This year’s Marxism was marred by a disgraceful physical assault by SWP national organiser Martin Smith. Mark Fischer demands the setting up of a workers’ commission to investigate

On July 7, the second full day of Marxism, Socialist Workers Party national organiser Martin Smith physically assaulted comrade Simon, a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain and the Tower Hamlets branch of Respect.

Weekly Worker 11.7.2007.

Martin Smith is better known as Comrade ‘Delta’.

In 2010 a man called Martin Smith (“Comrade Delta”) was the National Secretary of the SWP, its day to day leader, the person who employs the other party workers. In July of that year, a 19 year old woman (“Comrade W”) complained that he had mistreated her. She didn’t use the word “rape”, but the people who met her and heard her knew what she was talking about.

More here.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

July 8, 2018 at 11:18 am

Free Tommy Robinson Rally Ends in Violence.

with 17 comments

Fascist Gammon Rally For Robinson.

Far-right activists stage violent protest calling for Tommy Robinson to be freed

The Independent.

Five people have been arrested during a violent protest that saw crowds of Tommy Robinson supporters in a tense stand-off with riot police.

Hundreds of far-right demonstrators descended on the capital on Saturday afternoon, occupying the road around Trafalgar Square.

Supporters chanted “Free Tommy Robinson” and hurled missiles and smoke bombs at police. Right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders also delivered a speech.

The protest is the latest in what appears to be a bid to secure the former English Defence League (EDL) leader’s release from jail.

A spokeswoman for megasightseeing.com said: “Our London sightseeing bus was on its normal route when it got caught up in the demonstrations.

“The bus was stormed by demonstrators and the driver and a small number of customers got off.

“The demonstrators have caused a significant amount of damage to the bus which meant it had to be towed away.

“We have reported this to the police and will help them with any investigations.”

The report adds,

Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders, who campaigned last year to become Dutch Prime Minister, was among those attending, as was UKIP leader Gerard Batten.

The demonstration has been picked up internationally:

Libération: Heurts au cours d’une manifestation de l’extrême droite à Londres

Le Parisien Londres : une manifestation de l’extrême droite dégénère

Here is some footage (Russia Today carried a live stream).

 

Anti-fascists are concerned at the size of the rally.

But there were anti-fascists there to protest against the fascist mob.

Hope not Hate states,

BIG NUMBERS AND VIOLENCE AT FREE TOMMY ROBINSON DEMONSTRATION

The demonstration, which started at Trafalgar Square before marching down Whitehall, saw speeches from Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders, The For Britain Movement’s Anne Marie Waters, former Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam, co-founder of the EDL Kevin Carroll and several others.

The event was held to demand the release of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon after he was jailed last month for jeopardizing a just outcome in an ongoing court case.

The crowd, possibly as many as 10,000, was extremely hostile towards the police and violence erupted with a group of roughly 500 demonstrators going on a rampage near Trafalgar Square. Bottles, sticks and cones were hurled at police officers and vehicles were attacked. At one point the police were outnumbered and forced to flee the scene in a hail of flying projectiles, pursued by the angry mob.

Another group of angry demonstrators attempted to force their way into Downing Street but were held at bay by the police.

The rally is the latest in a series of street demonstrations with Lennon as figurehead, marking an ongoing cooperation across the British far right around an anti-Muslim agenda.

Upon Lennon’s incarceration there were ugly protests outside Downing Street, but today was the largest event organised in his support.

Like previous events such as the Day For Freedom, todays event saw groups from across the far right come together around a single issue. In attendance today were activists from the EDL, UKIP, For Britain, the FLA, and a contingent of roughly 10 people from Generation Identity, among others.

Also on the demonstration were a number of notable far-right activists including the Holocaust denier Nicholas Kollerstrom and Luke Nash-Jones from Make Britain Great Again.

ANTI-MUSLIM AGENDA

Wilders, founder and leader of the People’s Party for Freedom (PVV), one of the largest parties in the Netherlands and one of the most prominent anti-Muslim activists in the world, whipped up the crowd and demanded the release of Lennon.

Waters, who is currently campaigning ahead of the 14 May Lewisham East parliamentary by-election, told the crowd “the globalist elites want our borders open” and that the government are “accelerating the islamisation of our country for their political gain”.

Meanwhile Raheem Kassam referenced Enoch Powell and claimed he had received a supportive text from Steve Bannon.

Kevin Carroll said that they will return to London for another demonstration on the 14th of July.

In addition to the London demonstration was a Free Tommy Robinson event in Belfast and a small event in Budapest organised by Generation Identity.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 10, 2018 at 11:16 am

After the Westminster Demonstration Against Anti-Semitism.

with 10 comments

Image result for ian paisley mp anti-semitism demo

Ian Paisley MP, “Supporting our Jewish People.”

 

The below is a deeply offensive and wrong-headed statement made into a headline,

Jeremy Corbyn is ‘figurehead’ for antisemitism, says Jewish group ahead of Westminster protest

Independent.

‘The reality is there are no safe spaces online, or in meetings, for Jewish people within the Labour party’.

This, by contrast, probably sums up the feelings of many people., and not just those with a Jewish background.

This is also good.

Jeremy Corbyn told to act on ‘stain’ of anti-Semitism in party.

Labour has taken too long to stamp out antisemitism in the party, a key ally of Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, said it was imperative for the party to urgently address the problem to ensure that the Jewish community felt welcome.

In an interview for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she said: “Jeremy has always been a militant opponent of antisemitism, but too often the issue has been dismissed as a few bad apples when we need to take very serious root and branch action, to root out the cause of the problem.”

….

Long-Bailey insisted Labour did take a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism but this had not been “enforced as effectively as it should have been”.

She also called for faster implementation of recommendations made by Shami Chakrabarti in a report for Labour on allegations of antisemitism.

She said: “There will be clear efforts now to roll out a political education programme specifically to make sure that every single person in the Labour party is aware of all forms of antisemitism … to make sure nobody suffers in the way that they have done.”

Long-Bailey said she hoped Jewish leaders would help Labour to tackle the issue. “I would really welcome a meeting as urgently as possible between Jeremy and the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council because we have to work collaboratively on this,” she said.

On Corbyn’s comments about the mural, she said: “It was clearly an antisemitic mural, and Jeremy has apologised for not looking at it. We are all human unfortunately and it’s a lesson to us all to look clearly at the things we are supporting or commenting on on Facebook.”

See picture above…

Our reaction to the following is more mixed.

Corbyn’s words on Labour antisemitism are welcome – now we need action

Mike Katz is vice-chair of Jewish Labour Movement and was Labour’s candidate in Hendon in 2017.

For me, this is not about undermining the fact that Jeremy Corbyn is Labour’s leader. His mandate is clear. But with great power comes great responsibility.

No, this is a challenge to him to lead the Labour party – and the wider movement – out of this toxic situation and make all parts of Labour safe for Jews.

This is vastly over-exaggerated and wrong headed.

There is a  problem with a certain strain of ‘anti-imperialism’ which too easily makes excuses for racialist reactions to ‘Jews’ on the grounds that the Palestinians are oppressed by Israel. This  stand, in various forms has seeped through to a host of paranoid views about ‘Zionism’,and various conspi themes. It is reactionary, deeply so.

It is the ‘anti-imperialism of fools’, which, in its efforts to back anybody opposing the ‘West’ the ‘Global order’ and to understand Jihadists and various forms of violent Islamism in this light, is not reducible to antisemitism.

It is very very notifiable that at the moment there are mass murders taking place in the Middle East, not just committed by the genociders of  Daesh, but by Assad’s forces, and…the Turkish assault on Afrin.

The organisations which owe a debt to the anti-imperialism of fools are at present standing by in the conflicts, always anxious to find the US at work with little concern for the people’s suffering.

In this context, are we are seriously to take some comments about a Mural and the existence of a number of anti-Semitic nutters in the Labour Party? That is, as we mourn the death of beloved comrade Anna Campbell who gave her life for the cause of the Kurdish people and internationalism?

From the calmer backwaters of New York Ross Wolfe makes a long, reasoned, and important commentary on the controversy in Britain,

Antisemitism as a “blindspot” for the Left

Let me lay my cards on the table: I don’t think that Corbyn is a hardened antisemite or anything like that. Efforts to portray him as such are in my opinion transparently opportunistic. One can make casually antisemitic, racist, or sexist comments without necessarily being an ideologically committed antisemite, racist, or sexist. This is the crucial takeaway from theories of structuralantisemitism, racism, or sexism — that is, they don’t rely on self-consciously antisemitic, racist, or sexist agents or individuals in order to be reproduced societally at an unconscious level.

“Hillel Ticktin, the South African Trotskyist, followed a similar line of reasoning in his synopsis of an issue of the journal Critique. “No Marxist can support nationalism,” writes Ticktin, “whether that of the Zionists or of Hezbollah. That does not remove the real oppression of Palestinians, but it does imply that no religious or nationalist solution is possible… At the same time, there can also be no question that antisemitism is rising, particularly in areas where it has been endemic for the past half-century: Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Bebel’s dictum that antisemitism is the socialism of fools is partly correct in that the role of antisemitism is different from that of racism; it provides an alternative populist ideology to the appeal of socialism.

Rejecting both widespread calls for Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (or BDS, a strategy he also opposed as misguided vis-à-vis the apartheid regime during the 1980s) as well as opportunistic alliances with groups like Hezbollah, which ostensibly leftist organizations like the SWP-UK and ISO-US condone, Ticktin nevertheless affirmed that antisemitism is an irreducibly right-wing phenomenon:

The representative of the Israeli Embassy on the BBC1 10 AM program on Religion 1 May 2016 argued that, although the left had fought antisemitism, there were examples of left-wing antisemites like Proudhon, Bakunin, and Stalin. This is stretching the concept of the Left. If one includes anyone who is critical of the status quo in capitalism to be left-wing then the Israeli representative is correct. There is no doubt that Stalin and Stalinism were not just antisemitic but among the worst perpetrators of acts of antisemitism that the world has seen. This journal has made that clear. Can one call Stalinism left-wing? It was a reaction to the Russian Revolution of 1917 from the right. It introduced and maintained high levels of inequality in all respects. It was brutal in form and totally opposed to the forms of civil liberties accepted by the left. Bakunin attacked Marx in antisemitic terms and Proudhon was no better. They were both anarchists of a kind that would fall outside the left as we understand it today. The people accused of antisemitism do not fall into a Stalinist or anarchist category. There are of course left-wing anarchists but that is another matter. However, it can of course happen that the left sees antisemitism as a form of discrimination employed to divide the population in order to maintain capitalism at the present time, whatever the age of the practice. The left stands for the abolition of all forms of social inequality. Hence it is automatically and inherently opposed to antisemitism, unlike Conservatives and the Labour Right, who accept the market and its forms of subjection and inequality, since they accept the market.

Written by Andrew Coates

March 27, 2018 at 12:13 pm