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This is what effective antifascism looks like!
bristol | protests | news report Tuesday April 24, 2012 23:45 by Bristol antifascists bristolantifascists at riseup dot net
Bristol antifascists, still buzzing from the huge success of the cracking antiracist gig the night before in Bristol, joined the opposition to the nationalist March for England in Brighton on Sunday 22nd April. This march is about fascists taking to the streets to air their racist, bigotted views under the guise of “national pride”. They complain that Brighton is a city of “reds” and speak of the need to target left wing organisations and others they see as “anti English”. Other than that, they don't really have much to say for themselves.
Well, it wasn't a big day for fascism in Brighton. Hundreds of people from Brighton and beyond took to the streets to disrupt, harrass and attack the fascist demonstration. With people lining Queen's Road clearly preparing to block the street, police took a very long time to get the necessary numbers in to try to keep people on the pavements, delaying the start of the march for a long time. As soon as the march left the station and entered Queens' Road, people decided the pavement was not the place to be and were quickly on the road, defying police orders to stay back. The police were, as always, intent on forcing the fascist demonstration through, protecting free speech and the right to protest for fascists with their habitual violence against antifascists and anyone who gets in their way or questions their authority.
But for all their attacks with fists, batons, cs spray and horses the antifascists remained absolutely solid, blocking the road continously in waves with banners, barricades and sheer courage and determination. The sonic weaponry provided by a mobile punk sound system kept us bouncing, buzzing and battle ready, boosting morale with some street fightng classics of rebellion and resistance! There was little of the usual separation between members of Unite Against Fascism and militant antifascists and both joined forces to make sure that the chant of “Whose streets, our streets” was more than just a slogan. We meant it. The solidarity on the street was impressive and we knew from early on that the day was ours. This was what effective, militant anti fascism looks like!
Under such pressure and constantly losing control the police re-routed the fascist march cutting it short by 2/3 of it's intended route. All the way along their sorry trajectory of shame the fascists were ridiculed, abused and attacked. The bigots tried to put on a brave face but their frustration and humiliation was clearly the only thing on display. Throughout the embarrassing spectacle the looks on their faces gave the distinct impression that they just wanted to get out and go home. Understandable. A few fascists holed up in a pub near the sea front were confronted and quickly dealt with.
As a final insult their rally point was occupied by hundreds of antifascists, showing the extent of the odds against them. There were no fascist speeches today and when asked what they had to say for themselves there was quite literally nothing. Instead they found themselves on the receiving end of plenty of loud and angry antifascist chanting. After a walk of shame to the train station, still under heavy police protection and relentless ridicule from hundreds of counter demonstrators and passers by joining in, the fascists skulked off to their trains. Next stop internal conflict and collapse. The scores for the weekend: Antifascists 2 Fascists 0!
Antifascists, remaining vigilant, with a few straggling boneheads under the watchful eye of our spotters, retired for a well earned drink at the pub shortly followed for many by a celebratory gig as part of Brighton punk's picnic. We knew we had done the job and done it well. Our burns from CS gas, bruises from batons were insignificant compared to the battered confidence suffered by the fascists today.
The March for England organisers would do well to call it a day at this point. Let's see if, after such a level of disorder and opposition, the cops agree to organise the protection of the fascists again in Brighton.
Brighton antifascists should be well proud of themselves for setting such a good example and for all their hard work and organisation. It certainly made us proud to be part of such an effective opposition to the far right and we have massive respect for all who were involved.
We intend to return the favour by helping to organise a militant, effective and overwhelming response to the planned EDL march in Bristol on July 14th. We invite antifascists everywhere to our city to help give them the welcome they deserve. Zero tolerance of fascism in our city. We will stop them.