“We’re coming to see you on the 30th” – Liverpool’s fascists stand against the workers
It’s no revelation to say that fascism is an anti-working class ideology. Even though many groups play on the fears and frustrations of the white working class, they soon come out in opposition to effective action by workers trying to improve their lives. So it will surprise few to learn that the next far-right day out in Liverpool will be to oppose the strikes on November 30.
The English Defence League have been in rapid decline of late. Tensions between the national leadership and a hardcore of supporters who demand the right to be openly racist have led to a number of splits – most recently with the entire Liverpool Division splitting off and dedicating all their time to targeting the left. This has previously seen them turn out in support of the BNP at both a demonstration against Question Time and their national conference.
Meanwhile, news that EDL leader Tommy Robinson has joined the British Freedom Party – themselves a “liberal” split from the BNP – pretty much confirms the group’s demise. With the BNP doing very little of note and the BFP little more than a blog and a Twitter account that was fairly fond of trying to troll me, that pretty much gives those who want to “run the streets like a mob” a monopoly in the fascist scene.
Now, at present, there is nothing to be gained in over-stating the danger that they represent. This is not the British Union of Fascists or the National Front in their respective heydays, and we are a long way from them being able to control the streets – especially as more and more people are mobilised and radicalised by anger at the government’s austerity measures. But by the same token, we cannot deny that there has been growth, even if it is from two people shouting drunken inanities behind the police at a council cuts demo to around fifteen of them “attacking” News from Nowhere and Unite the Union on Armistice Day.
Their announcement on Liverpool Solidarity Federation’s Facebook Page that “were coming to see you on the 30th” is the last confirmation that they are explicitly opposed to the organised working class. I’d add that they’re not politically literate enough to comprehend this themselves, having laughably referred to Solfed as “UAF scum” and the strike demonstration as “3 million kids who say we have to pay 9k lets go and smash a city up.” Not to mention that they’ll get nowhere trying to intimidate a several thousand strong march of workers striking for their jobs and their future. They seem far more confident attacking those they perceive as easy targets, such as a women’s cooperative bookstore and remain a long way from controlling the streets by force.
So we’re not going to see what we saw during the 1926 General Strike, where the state employed squads of fascists to attack strikers. Rather, this represents the embryo of what its participants would clearly like to see become a force to be reckoned with on the streets, and if we leave it alone to grow unhindered then that it is what it may well become.
Fascists use public demonstrations to look and feel powerful. Some young people join fascist groups because of their gang-like “hard man” image, but this quickly evaporates if they are attacked. Many fascists are simply petty bullies, who will not keep attending fascist events if anyone stands up to them. This is born out by the rapidly dwindling numbers of active fascists in areas where they were targeted by AFA in the 80s and 90s.
The working class is under attack like never before, and the last thing we need is a resurgent far-right street movement. We will continue to counter their propaganda and the growing movement against austerity around the strikes will help fill the political vacuum that they grow in, but as long as they continue trying to control our streets and intimidate those who think differently to them, we have to physically resist them.