Yesterday evening some of the LAFA crew linked up with Critical Mass and BMXers from Southbank skatepark & joined a bike bloc of several hundred riders to oppose the fascist presence on Brexit day.
We cycled down Whitehall and round Parliament Square chanting antifascist and antiracist slogans, and later came back round Westminster Bridge and then by College Green, though we were then blocked by police from entering Parliament Square. 2 soundsystems played political music from Keny Arkana to DnB.
Although there were upward of a thousand right wingers present, many of the Brexiteers aren’t fascist, or violent. However it’s clear that the extreme right are taking advantage of the upsurge in patriotism and xenophobia from Brexit to radicalise and recruit, so it’s necessary these protests are opposed. A range of far right groups from the Pie and Mash Squad to the South East Division (ex-C18 neo-Nazis, now involved in the DFLA) were present and as usual there was sieg heiling going unchallenged by the rest of the crowd.
It had been spread across far right social media that Brexit day would be the day they “smashed antifa” and “put the left to sleep.” But when we showed up they were much less confrontational then they’d been online, until police lines formed then more of them gathered behind chanting the same tired lines such as “oh Tommy”, “Rule Britannia” and “build the wall”. A few drunk fash threw cans and got themselves nicked but no antifascists were arrested or injured.
The remain/rejoin protests around Parliament Square which had thousands attending on Facebook failed to materialise.
While we did what we could with the numbers we had, and a lot of new people came down, we were heavily outnumbered and the growth of open fascism witnessed yesterday is worrying. The situation is likely to get worse under Boris and it’s essential we look at new tactics and get organised. Expect to see public callouts over the next few months & watch this space.