A brief anti-fascist interlude on November 30

On November 30, three million workers across the public sector took strike action. It was the biggest day of action in a generation, and in Liverpool it was marked by workers marching through the city to rally at St George’s Hall. However, upset at being reduced to irrelevance by events, the far-right decided to put in an appearance.

Several thousand people had gathered at the Pier Head, with several thousand more at the Crown Courts for the smaller march route. In all, there must have been fifteen to twenty thousand people marching through the city, making a hell of a lot of noise and thousands of shoppers lining the route, taking pictures and offering support. At one point, as the march snaked past the Liverpool One shopping district, clapping rippled through the crowd and soon exploded into a energetic cheering and applause.

In the middle of this, however, there were cries of “communists out” from several well known faces from the BNP and the far-right – including Gary Lucas, Andrew Tierney/Brennus, and Liam Pinkham. They pointed and jeered, but were told to shut up by several old women both on the march and amongst the spectators.

There was another fascist interlude during the rally at St George’s Hall, first with Karen Otty spotted taking pictures of the marchers, then with seven of them being marched from Lime Street Station by police after using minors to hand out their leaflets.

Once the rally was over and the crowds were gone, they decided to return to have a go at the Occupy Liverpool camp at Wellington’s Column. However, they were given short shrift by those at the camp – including several members of Liverpool Antifascists. At the arrival of the police, who had been there regularly since the camp was established, they scarpered.

The far-right across Britain is imploding. The EDL’s merger with the British Freedom Party can’t disguise the fact that it is leaking members who demand the right to be more openly racist. Nick Griffin’s determination to keep a grip on power in the BNP has driven away a lot of people and given more free reign to the hardcore fascists, now unashamed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with openly neo-Nazi hooligans like Liam Pinkham.

This, combined with the fact that growing movements against austerity have greatly reduced the far-right’s appeal amongst the working class, leaves a dangerous situation. The fascists may have far less popular support and chance of winning elections, but it means that they are returning to the tactic of trying to control the streets by force and trying to attack or intimidate those they perceive as easy targets – such as the Occupy movement.

If this demonstrates anything, it demonstrates that even when they are in decline we cannot ignore the fascists and hope they go away. The fascists need to be confronted wherever they rear their heads, and chased off so that they are in no position to do any harm.

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