Scotland ‘United’ Against Anti-Fascists
Posted by andywelshman
Yesterday, 14/11/09, saw the English Defence League, in their guise as the ‘Scottish’ Defence League, attempt to hold a rally in Glasgow. This was to be a rally ‘against Islamic extremists’ and not against Muslims in general… honest guv! According to their propaganda they are merely concerned about the spread of radical Islam and the implementation of Sharia law in the UK. A fairly reasonable standpoint; Islam is after all, like it’s Abrahamic siblings Judaism and Christianity, a vile and contemptible ideology of misogyny, homophobia, intolerance and hatred and the thought of its edicts being implemented as law should make all right headed people shudder. This writer would be more than happy to see all mosques, synagogues and churches recycled into socially useful buildings. A friend of mine suggested recently that churches would make excellent climbing centres what with all that wall space in the nave and the steeple for abseiling! This however is not, despite their rhetoric, the aim of the so called Defence Leagues.
However the tactics of the Defence Leagues belie their true intent for all to see. The group, formed from an amalgamation of football casual firms associated with the far right, calls for confrontational marches on mosques/Asian areas in order to provoke confrontation with the local Asian population. This was clear when their very first outing, as the ‘United People of Luton’, in May of this year resulted in racist attacks and damaging of Asian businesses. This was in response to demonstrations against returning British troops by a tiny yet extreme Islamic sect, Al Muhajiroun, that thrives on the outrage sparked by stunts like this. The group also held meetings praising the 9/11 attackers.
The aim of the confrontations created by the *DLs is exactly the same as the actions of Al Muhajiroun; that is to drive a wedge into British society in order to usher more young people into the waiting arms of Islamic extremists like Al Muhajiroun and Anjem Choudary. This is sought after by Al Muhajiroun et al for obvious reasons but the reasoning behind the DL’s actions are slightly more subtle. Subtlety not being a word you will hear me apply to their type very often. By driving young people into the arms of extremists the *DLs heighten the chances of there being another terrorist outrage in this country that will be associated with Islam. This will in turn increase support for right wing politics in reaction to the perceived threat from Islam. (I say perceived because over the last decade there has been more terrorist activity from far right British nationalists than there has from Islamic extremists. We don’t hear about it so often though, I wonder why that may be?)
Whilst this may not lead to mass support for groups like the *DLs and other similar, more traditional, right wing groups such as Combat 18 or the National Front, it is likely to lead to support for either the British National Party or, more likely, for more draconian policies from whichever mainstream party is in power. This alone is reason enough to oppose them and to not allow them to organise. It is also true that cases of racist violence increase where groups like this are allowed to be active unopposed and as such it is in all our best interests that they be stopped at every turn.
Stopping the DLs and protecting our communities from racism and bigotry brings me back Glasgow and yesterdays SDL demonstration, the counter demonstration and the extremely bizarre Scotland United event on Glasgow Green.
Shortly after the EDL announced that they intended to march in Glasgow as the SDL meetings began to be held at the University of Glasgow with a broad spectrum of concerned folk wanting to prevent the SDL from having their march/rally/demo. At around the same time more liberal organisations such as the Socialist Wankers Workers Party, Unite Against Fascism(the SWP in disguise) and the mainstream political parties formed ‘Scotland United‘.
The intent of the group organising out of the university was to stop the SDL from marching. The intent of Scotland United was however far from clear. The university group called for anti-fascists to meet at 10:00 am in St Enochs Square, a sensible and central location as the SDL were not announcing their meeting point until the day. Scotland United however called for a rally on Glasgow Green at 12:00, despite the SDL announcing they would begin their event an hour before this at 11:00, which would consist of a rally, speeches and music before a march at 13:30 to George Square???? Well after the SDL would have had their rally and fucked off!
This is absolutely bizarre.
Stranger still were the speakers invited to talk at the rally including Conservative and Labour politicians! Two groups that are far more of a threat to our communities than the SDLs and that have both implemented policies that would make Nick Griffin have a wet dream!
Realising during the week before the SDL demo that they couldn’t even pretend to be concerned with stopping the SDL being as they were starting everything so late they decided to ‘support’ the university organised counter demo at 10:00.
By support they, this being the SWP, obviously meant hijack.
Hundreds had gathered at St Enochs and as soon as word came through of where the SDL were, a pub on Cambridge Street, the group marched off to have stern words with said DL. The SWP/UAF however decided that this was their march despite not having worked towards it nor even supporting it until the last minute. The UAF jumped to the head of the march with their head penis Weylan Bennet on the megaphone slowing the march down for photo opportunities. By the time the group reached the pub the police had cordoned the area off to protect the DL from the people of Glasgow. This caused the UAF to decide to lead the march AWAY from the DL to the other side of town to listen to politicians and the great and good like Amar Anwar having a circle jerk about stopping fascism whilst allowing fascists go unopposed on the other side of town!
Luckily a number of anti-fascists stayed in town to ensure that the DLs were not unopposed and succeeded in chasing them from the city centre. I’m sure there will be full reports of the days events on Indymedia Scotland over the next couple of days but I just wanted to highlight the behaviour and insanity of Unite Against Fascism in taking people away from the enemies they were there to oppose.
This is not the first time that the SWP/UAF have behaved in this manner. Ignoring their behaviour around other issues and only looking at their behaviour with regards the DLs a worrying trend becomes apparant. In Manchester their stewards worked with the police to protect the DLs from the people of Manchester, this is shocking itself. In Leeds however at the EDls next outing they allowed police intelligence gatherers to use the speakers platform to film the gathered anti-fascists as well as handing over a member of the Anarchist Federation to the police. This level of collaboration should not be tolerated and we must recognise that UAF are nearly as big a threat to the cause of the working class as the Defence Leagues themselves. The Anarchist Federation released the below statement about the incident in Leeds.
The Anarchist Federation condemns the group Unite Against Fascism (UAF) who, on Saturday 31st October at a mobilisation against the English Defence League (EDL) in Leeds city centre, openly handed one of our members over to the police. Several UAF stewards, including the head of UAF Leeds, physically prevented our member from rejoining the cordon, and then called the police over to arrest him. We will not tolerate collaboration with the state to halt the activity of genuine anti-fascists and ask other progressive organisations to do the same. UAF’s policy of negotiating with the state for its public protests is well known, as is its alliance with religious leaders, trade union bureaucrats and politicians. UAF, apart from being nothing more than a front group for the Socialist Workers Party, has never been an effective means to combat the rise of fascism in Britain nor does it offer anything to working class communities.
If we are going to prevent these scum, both the DLs and Al Muhajiroun and their ilk, from destroying our communities we need an active and militant working class association to deny these groups soil from which to grow and to physically smash them in places they take root. We need an organisation for all the working people of Glasgow that serves the sole purpose of protecting ourselves from threats be they threats from fascism, from our bosses, from the council or from the government. An organisation we can use to look out for ourselves and that isn’t concerned with being ‘respectable’ and hob-nobbing with the great and good of the city or wasting time with the electoral system or party politics. If we don’t build an organisation like this then we are at risk of attack from all angles and the SDL will be the least of our problems.
Posted on November 15, 2009, in Community Activism, Fascists, Glasgow, Uncategorized and tagged Al Muhajiroun, Anjem Choudary, anti-fascism, Antifa, creeping fascism, english defence league, Glasgow, Islam, Nationalism, Scotland, scotland united, scottish defence league, shariah, socialist workers party, unite against fascism, welsh defence league, weylan bennet. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.