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Dublin: Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) Ireland Clash with Anti-Lockdown Far-Right.

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Anti-Fascists, Republicans and Socialists confront National Party in Dublin.

Hundreds clash in violent exchanges at Dublin protest

Protest by anti-mask, anti-lockdown groups, including right-wing National Party took place outside Leinster House

A protest by anti-mask and anti-lockdown groups, including the right-wing National Party, was organised to take place outside Leinster House at 1pm on Saturday. However, scuffles quickly broke out when the demonstration was met with a group of counter-protestors.

Gardaí confirmed an investigation focused on the organisers of both protests is now under way, while two men, one in his 30s and second in his 40s, were arrested for public order offences.

..

The group of at least 100 counter-protestors, which appeared highly coordinated but made up of disparate groups, met opposite the Shelbourne Hotel on St Stephens’s Green at 12.45pm.

The group, all of whom were masked and mostly dressed in black, marched down Dawson St and turned right onto Molesworth St before moving towards Leinster House chanting “Nazi scum, off our streets”.

The group was flanked by uniformed gardaí on bicycles, while several Garda vans from the force’s public order unit remained on standby in the vicinity. Plain clothes members of the Garda also mingled among the crowds.

Statement by AFA. Ireland.

On Saturday 10th October 2020, Anti-Fascist Action (AFA) Ireland and its allies confronted a rally organised by the fascist National Party (NP) outside Leinster House, Dublin. Over 150 militant anti-fascists challenged a meagre group of NP supporters who were protected by a wall of steel barricades, lines of Gardaí and the Public Order Unit who had their batons drawn. The NP event was a failed attempt to use current Covid-19 restrictions as a rallying point to attract unsuspecting members of the public who may hold genuine grievances with the lockdown.

The Albert Meltzer quote “there’s no such thing as a fascist march – only a police march” was proven again today as the massive Garda operation was required to ensure the larger anti-fascist mobilisation was kept away from the underwhelming fascist presence.
It continues,

Despite several weeks of publicising the demonstration on social media, the demo received zero traction beyond the NP’s core members and supporters. Disingenuously the group didn’t even have the courage to put their own name on the event poster which was widely shared by all main NP organisers.

Amongst the speakers today was mini-führer Justin Barrett and former British army soldier ‘Tan Torino’ (Rowan Croft) who served with the Royal Engineers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Hardly what could be described as Irish patriots! A nervous Torino was spotted leaving the vicinity immediately after his rant and did not even stay around for Justin Barret’s rambling long speech.

The fascists may have been emboldened by their recent attacks on individuals but cowered behind a sea of cops until they were led away for their own safety. The sight of them being escorted away was a pathetic sight. They have recently boasted about ‘controlling’ the streets of Dublin but seemed genuinely shocked and scared by the sight of hundreds of working-class anti-fascists in Dublin today. Our numbers proudly marched afterwards through the city from Leinster House to the GPO carrying Irish tricolours, starry ploughs, sunbursts and rainbow/lgbt+ flags. Passersby stopped and clapped on hearing the chant “Fascist scum, off our streets!” This was the second Saturday in a row in which the so-called hardmen of the far-right were shown up as mouthy cowards.

The National Party have strongly opposed the use of masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 during this global pandemic. Their supporters are undeterred by restrictions. Today we saw the full support that these pricks can muster whereas we know that huge numbers of our supporters did not take to the streets today out of concern for the most vulnerable in society. Those of us out today did so out of a sense of necessity and true patriotism to protect our country from their dangerous and toxic ideologies.

The National Party, founded in 2016, is an ethno-nationalist far-right group. Its leader, veteran fundamentalist Catholic Justin Barrett, called for doctors who perform abortions to be executed. He has had long-standing ties with European fascists and spoke at several neo-Nazi rallies in Germany and Italy in the late 1990s and early 2000s when he was a leading member of the extreme anti-abortion group Youth Defence. He has remained unapologetic about sharing platforms with former SS officers.

AFA Ireland is a militant anti-fascist organisation formed in 1991. We believe in physically and ideologically confronting fascism whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head. As always, we encourage all anti-fascist minded people across the island to reach out to us and work together in a militant, disciplined movement against fascism. Profound thanks again to all our members and supporters in the republican, socialist, grassroots, LGBTQ+ and trade union movements.

Beir Bua. La Lucha Continúa. No pasarán.
AFA Ireland, 10 October 2020
ENDS

 

There is a background to this:

Socialist Democracy:

Fascism: Ireland’s illusion of immunity begins to pall

18 September 2020

In reality Ireland is a society riddled with misogyny, class hatred,  sectarianism and anti traveller discrimination that easily adapts to racism.  In the North an entire political system is built around competing sectarian rights and housing apartheid.

The old governmental system in Dublin, revolving around two largely identical right wing parties, is in decay.  An opening has occurred and fascists have begun to mobilise.

They are still weak and disguise themselves in yellow vest and anti mask protests, but they are strengthened by their willingness to use violence and by winks and nods from the police.

Two guiding principles should lead us.  Firstly we must not privatise opposition,  with each left and republican group organising independently,  shouting “trash the fash” without having built the means to follow through on our promise.  There has to be an all Ireland anti-fascist  movement.  Secondly, socialists in such a movement must argue for a radical alternative.  Fascism grows whenever the workers movement fails.  At the moment the trade union leaders have buried themselves in partnership with the government and many socialists are advancing the fatuous plan of a “left” government led by Sinn Fein.

When working people are desperate and the left are silent we are leaving the door open for the far right.  Time to unite for a revolutionary alternative!

People are beginning to ask why there have been no counter-protests against the ‘anti-mask’ confusionist and  far right demos in Britain.