No platform for fascism or bigotry

We are pleased to announce that Bristol UWE have cancelled the debating event and platform for fascist,  misogynistic scumbags, Milo Yiannopoulos and Carl Benjamin aka Sargon of  Akkad. While this is great (and saves us wasting our milkshakes), and a testament to the power of collective  organising and pressure, their stated reasons for pulling the event,  “security concerns”, are a disgrace. In UWE’s statement there was nothing about concerns over giving a platform for and enabling far right  figures to spout bigotry and thinly veiled hate speech. Of course the UWE debating society and UWE  as an institution would predictably justify it all as taking a stand  for “free speech” but as militant antifascists who understand the  history of fascism and how it grows, we know where this approach leads us. Fascists worldwide and throughout history have always used “free  speech” as a shield to gain power. And once they do, see how quickly  their much heralded “free speech” disappears for anyone who disagrees  with them. It’s giving a platform for fascist, white supremacist views  that emboldens fascists and leads to murderous attacks such as what we  saw in Pittsburgh, Christchurch, London and so many other places where  fascist terrorism has shocked the world. Fascism is not to be debated.  It needs to be smashed.
 The racists and fascists will be enraged by this cancellation and   removal of their platform. The debating society appears similarly   annoyed on their twitter yesterday (14th May):
 “UWE  Debating Society were informed earlier  today that the University has  withdrawn support for our EU elections  hustings. We are still in  communication with @UWEBristol and @TheSUatUWE  to allay any concerns  they have. We are continuing to prepare for  Friday’s event.”
 Keep  your eyes and ears open in case they try to get the event  reinstated  or to hold a speaking event in an alternative venue in  Bristol. Let’s  be ready. Antifascists assemble!

Swansea demo report

This report comes from our comrades in South Wales:

“On Saturday the 27th of April, antifascists from across South Wales joined Swansea Antifa to oppose the far-right. UKIP-rejects “For Britain” had called for a march in Swansea, while fascist wannabe-hooligans boasted of coaches to join them from London. The coaches never showed-up, and their “march” amounted to 30-odd For Britain and DFLA types huddled around a crap PA. Under the protection of the police they remained in a corner of the old Norman castle – an appropriate spot for right-wing British nationalists.

Though billed as a plain “Brexit” demo, For Britain’s anti-Muslim and anti-migrant agenda was as obvious as ever. Typical of the far-right, the party scapegoats and attacks already persecuted groups. Their policies push for further state violence against refugees and more welfare cuts against those trying to survive on benefits. Their racism is blatant. The last time For Britain leader Anne Marie Waters spoke in Swansea (to a hidden mass meeting of ten) she talked of the supposed threats faced by the white “racial group”. Her previous transphobic remarks were also repeated by a fellow-speaker on Saturday.

As antifascists, we spent most of the day keeping an eye on smaller groups of fascists strutting around. Later we joined other protesters, including those from Women’s Strike Cymru and the Socialist Party, who confronted the rally from across the street. With more of a whimper than a bang, For Britain eventually packed their bags and left – and after some macho-posturing and mouthing off from afar, their nastier friends went without a goodbye.

Stand up to Racism had organised their own rally nearby. Typically, they tried to pull protesters away from any real confrontation with the far-right and keep everyone well-behaved in front of their official stage. It was encouraging to see that most people would rather shout at fascists than stand there listening to the Swansea council leader. The Socialist Workers Party, which form Stand up to Racism, have a history of covering-up rape inside their party and are happy working with the police and state-institutions. We maintain that antifascism must be feminist and cannot co-operate with the racist state. Only direct action and community organising can beat back the far-right.

The day showed that it is always worth while for antifascists to mobilise. Left unopposed, the far-right is given free-rein to attack who they like – as those stray groups of fascists might have. Far-right mobilsations may remain small in South Wales, but the racist vandalism of a home in Swansea that same morning shows that there’s little to celebrate. Bashing Muslims and immigrants has been normalised by the politicians already in power. Meanwhile, austerity keeps grinding down the working class. Neither Corbyn or a “People’s Vote” will save us – we need a real, fighting movement, on the streets, in our communities and in the work-place. No pasaran!”