Yesterday (01/11/14) was Britain First’s “National Day of Action” in Rochester, the town in which their deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, is standing for election. Despite talk on the internet of “hundreds of patriots”, barely 80 fascists actually made it, virtually none of whom were actually from Rochester or Strood. They were opposed and outnumbered by around 100 to 150 local residents and militant anti-fascists.
Although the party leadership told members that “good standards of behaviour apply”, right from the get-go, Britain First were embarrassing themselves. They hurled racist and homophobic abuse at anti-fascists, and clearly many of them were very much up for a fight, including Party Führer Paul Golding himself.
As both sides gathered at the station, things took a lurch towards the surreal as Britain First started playing epic orchestral music over a PA system. Hey guys, taking yourselves too seriously much? At this time prospective MP Jayda Fransen turned up, grabbing the mic in order to hurl abuse at anti-fascists, calling them “brainwashed traitors” who should be “hung, drawn and quartered”. Way to win over the local electorate, Jayda!
Meanwhile, anti-fascists regaled BF with some inventive chants including “You’re losing your deposit”, “where’ve your leaflets gone?” and “Royal Mail Royal Mail Royal Mail!”, those last two in reference to the fact that, hilariously, the Royal Mail has refused to deliver BF’s election leaflets, calling them “threatening” and “abusive”.
Soon the fascists tried to move off for a march. Quickly, anti-fascists got in front of them with a large “No Pasarán!” banner and blocked the road, leading to an hour-long stand off.
Whilst the local plod panicked and tried to figure out what to do, Führer Golding took to the microphone to repeatedly threaten anti-fascists, saying that “if the police don’t get rid of them, we will!”. Despite this posturing, they never made good on their threats (although Golding’s security team did repeatedly try to start fights with individual counter-protesters) and instead had to rely on Kent’s finest to force their march through.
Eventually, around an hour after they started their march, Britain First managed to reach their destination, a car park around 200 yards from the station where they initially mustered. They were promptly surrounded by anti-fascists and spent the next two hours attempting to give speeches over the heckles and abuse of locals and anti-fascists. Bizarrely, Jayda also burned a placard showing her face, which led to some very strange photos.
Also, eagle eyed anti-fascists spotted that the Britain First armoured Land Rover, last seen crashing into a car park barrier and being utterly humiliated in Swanley, spent the whole day parked in a disabled parking bay. Stay classy, lads.
One anti-fascist was arrested for refusing to give the police their details, but they were released without charge around 2 hours later.
All in all, Britain First were utterly humiliated, and it’s clear they have absolutely no local support in Rochester. Odds have shortened on them losing their deposit in the by-election on the 20th November.
In other anti-fascist news, several members of London Anti-fascists were on the huge Kobane solidarity march in central London yesterday. Solidarity with the Kurdish resistance!