Why we Need to Shut Down the London Forum

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The London Forum was started by Jeremy Turner and Max Musson as a response to the collapse of the BNP and the EDL as a pole of attraction for hardline fascists to meet and listen to renowned international speakers.

The London Forum aims to be the ideological backbone of the contemporary fascist movement in the UK, distancing itself from rowdy alcohol fueled demonstrations of the EDL but attempting to provide an attraction to the the most serious of that former street movements. It has hosted holocaust deniers to anti-semitics who cynically use the pro palestine movement to further their racism at expensive West London Hotels, creating a fascist platform that seeks to unite all reactionaries that share a hatred for Jews and progressives under one one campaign, even hosting the cockroach James Thring that has spoken at pro palestine meetings with Corbyn in the past.

Although we have seen much bigger far right movements before, the London forum is a fascist form to be concerned about. It began small but has grown to about one hundred people attending their extremely closed and secretive meetings. In addition to this they have expanded their meetings to the Southwest, Yorkshire and Wales with plans to expand further. The fascists organising this are some of the original founders of the National Front in the 70’s and it is clear that they are attempting to found a similar movement eot the London London forum. In the 1960’s the National Front was established as a coalition of small groups on the far right including the League of Empire Loyalists the BNP and the Greater Britain Movement, although this coalition proved to be volatile and problematic the National Front went on to become the largest fascist threat that the UK had faced since the British Union of Fascists in the 40’s.

It is clear that the intent of these secret discussion groups is to relaunch the fascist movement in the UK and it is essential for the anti-fascist movement to root its opposition to fascism in the opposition to these meetings. These are well funded and attended events that have links right across the spectrum of reaction in the UK and must be stopped if we are to oppose the rise of fascism in the future.

(Details of the London Forum have been withheld for operational reasons, however it should be noted that these details add to the evidence of the dangerous and insidious nature of the London Forum)  

If you’d like more information, the Independent produced a good report on the London Forum and the anti-fascist protest.

Statement on the Attack in Manchester

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Last night at 10.30 PM at a pop concert in Manchester Arena, an explosion killed at least 22 including children and injured at least 59. Reports have been coming in during the early hours of the morning confirming the suspect to have been killed in the blast. This has been described as one of the deadliest attacks in the UK of the last decade.

There is still speculation as to the motives of the killer and an ongoing investigation to uncover whether they acted alone or part of a wider group.

What we do know is the misery following this horrific attack will be hijacked by the grief vultures of the far right. Already high profile racist Katie Hopkins is calling for a “final solution” on Twitter, while other fascist media personalities are scrambling for any information they can twist in order to fuel their anti-migrant, anti-Muslim agendas, and continue attacking the Left who dare challenge their blatant racism. There are two fascist demonstrations planned for Liverpool and Manchester in the coming weeks that will, no doubt, use last night’s tragedy in order to attract bigger numbers and use the deaths of dozens of ordinary people in order to grow their organisational capacity. They must be opposed.

What we also know is that black, Asian and Muslim communities in the UK will bear the brunt of the inevitable racist fall-out from this attack. The media will allude to the killer acting in the name of Islam, and people will be out for revenge fuelled by the hate-mongering far right. Of course, the irony being the ideology that incites such hatred and bloody violence, which is shared by extremists from ISIS to National Action, is fascism. Vilifying Muslims in the name of freedom only plays into the hands of the same forces of reaction that breeds terrorist organisations. The most under threat of terrorists in the Middle East are Muslims, Kurds, and other ethnic and religious minorities. This is not a race war and blind nationalism is not the answer.

This is the people’s war. Anti-fascist comrades from Manchester and London are fighting together on the frontlines in Rojava, in the name of class struggle, liberty, and international solidarity. This is the time to resist the far right’s cynical attempts to capitalise off of a grief stricken community once again. This is the time to come together and fight and not allow the bourgeois class to continue to sow division and suspicion amongst ordinary working people. This is the time to recognise that our liberation is tied up in the liberation of our working class siblings who struggle all around the world.

Our thoughts are with all of the victims, their friends and families in Manchester throughout this difficult time, and our Manchester comrades. Your struggle is our struggle.

SEA Shut Down in Croydon

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To say that fascists descended on Croydon on Saturday May 6th would be both an exaggerated lie and hyperbole. Whilst the London Evening Standard likes to believe that the South East Alliance (a coalition of fascists formed out of the dying embers of the National Front, the BNP, English Volunteer Force and British Movement) pulled out 40 members, their actual numbers were closer to, but not quite, 15.

Yesterday was an important moment in recent street anti-fascism, no less because of the way it was coordinated. London Antifascists want to first extend a congratulations to the group who organised yesterday’s counter-demo, Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary. From early in the day, MfJ established a strong presence at East Croydon Station, ready to meet the fascists as they arrived. Attracting locals to join members, a crowd of nearly 200 people soon amassed and stayed, joining in chants of ‘When the community is under attack, we fight back!’ and ‘We will win’. And we did.

There were moments of confusion, especially at the beginning. Members of the crowd, and it should be said members dressed in black bloc not affiliated to the AFN, made an uncoordinated push to meet fascists at the pub they were found to be drinking in. Leaving behind comrades from the larger crowd, they immediately came into contact with police who created a tight barrier across the main road forcing the march to halt almost as soon as it began. Despite this setback, the lack of a police kettle and the layout of Croydon meant that groups from the march soon started to form elsewhere and think tactically. This isn’t by any means a desire to attack comrades in black bloc, but it is necessary to recognise the weaknesses in mobilisation and formation and remember what the purpose of the bloc is. The black bloc should be a collective action, placing themselves as the first wave between police and fascists and the rest of the demonstration in a way that aptly counters the forces they face. It should not be lacking form, direction, or coordination. Otherwise, it only seeks to endanger everybody present. This point is underlined by the fact that one activist now faces a Section 5 Public Order charge which could have been avoided.

As small groups found ways out of the police cordon, siphoning off in order to once again attempt to confront the fascists, police began the arduous, embarrassing march accompanying the SEA through the streets of Croydon. Whether by chance or design, antifascists were able to surround the small collection of drunk, weathered louts, furiously out-of-shape for an apparent “master race”, surrounded by tight formation of police at a ratio of at least 10:1.

For all the tactical shortcomings of the beginning, protesters and activists soon shut down the main road and for some time held the SEA in stasis. A rallying moment came when, arms linked, drowning out the weak chants of the failing far-right, Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’ came pouring over the crowds, releasing cheers and a new motivation to push harder against the now encroaching police lines. This is what we need – the sound of working class London artists (and self-proclaimed activists) shutting down racist outsiders looking to capitalise on an ideology of fear and division.

Police managed to push back protesters to the meeting point of Lunar House, where the penned-in UAF counter demo, which was, in a sad twist of irony, made up mostly by the UK Border Agency Union, had been all day. Whilst they will inevitably aim to take credit for the work of Movement for Justice activists, anti-fascists and the local community, their lack of solidarity in recent years is thematic as they cling on tightly to their delusions of grandeur.

For nearly 2 hours, police protected the SEA in the car park of Lunar House, while activists drowned them out with grime music, chants and laughter. What had been a planned launch of the SEA in London, proved to be an empowering moment in anti-fascism. Their PA speakers mumbled as they tried to make speeches, and it was easy to tell that most of them were pining to be back in the pub.

When the fascists were finally done with their unsuccessful launch party, the police attempted to take them back to the station and ferry them onto the trains home, back outside of the city that won’t ever want them. They were continuously out-maneuvered at this point too, with the people of Croydon not happy until every last one of them was gone. The only way police could keep the fascists safe was by closing off all exits to East Croydon Station and chauffeuring them away.

Yesterday showed that what we need more than ever is an organised and united coalition amongst different anti-racist and anti-fascist groups to always outnumber the far-right. As UKIP rapidly collapses, and out of that collapse, new and more motivated anti-immigrant nationalist movements will grow with more power than they’ve ever had, we need to begin the process of developing a movement that is ready for them.

Solidarity to the people of Croydon, Movement for Justice and anti-fascists everywhere!

NB: On Saturday 13th May, Movement for Justice have organised a demonstration outside of Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre in support of the migrant and asylum seeking women trapped inside – click on the event here to attend: https://www.facebook.com/events/1397760473581688/

A COMMUNIQUE FROM ANGRY CROYDONIANS

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Below is a statement by members of the local community on the recent attack in Croydon. Comrades have asked for the circulation of this statement, and we do so extending our solidarity and strength to Reker Ahmed, the victim of the attack, and to the community shaken, but not defeated, by these events.

“On 31st March, a young boy, Reker Ahmed, was brutally beaten by a gang in the area of Croydon whilst waiting for a bus. The gang (of almost 25) approached the boy and after asking where he was from, chased him and attacked him, leaving him with life-threatening injuries. He was only 17 years old and currently applying for asylum in the UK. This attack occurred on the Shrublands Estate, in Shirley, a diverse working-class area and its significance was felt by the local community.

In response to this racist and xenophobic violence, we chose to decorate the neighbourhood with our outrage. In offering a message of solidarity here, we demonstrate our solidarity everywhere; from the U.S to Greece, from Belarus to the Middle East; for all victims of the State, of the border regime and for all victims of hate crime.

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We carried out this action as a clear message from the community, but also as a message to the perpetrators. At the time, we were still unsure as to whether this was an attack carried out by people from within the estate, as it would be unlikely and unheard of in such a diverse, close community. However, sadly, the gang consisted of people from many backgrounds. It is true that nationalism blurs the reality of the oppressive class and racial hierarchies, and has us identify with our own oppression. However, the response to our action has revealed exactly what we also suspected; that this was an attack endorsed by self-identifying FASCISTS from likely within the area.

The media coverage of this event described the incident as an ‘alleged hate crime’ and has thus far refrained from describing the incident as explicitly fascist. However, Nazi graffiti was painted and we see this as clear evidence that the attack was not a random case of mob violence; but a held a targeted and politically understood motive of hatred towards migrants. (We have since covered and subverted this fascist graffiti: seen below.)

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LET US BE CLEAR:

– We will not stand by as migrants are scapegoated and brutalised, encouraged by the rhetoric of governments and their right-wing media vanguard.

-We will not allow immigration enforcement to abduct people from our communities and sentence them to deportation and death.

– We will certainly not be intimidated in the face of Brexit Britain and the toxic resurgence of far-right politics.

– We shall respond duly to all of these threats and the violence they inflict on our communities.

WHY?

It is perhaps no coincidence that the attack took place the night before Britain First hosted a pathetic, tiny far-right rally in the heart of Central London. Most anti-fascists and other discerning political types understand that the far-right in the UK is currently fractured and disorganised, but Brexit is a historical force that carries the possibility of an emboldened fascist presence on our streets.

It is thus an urgent necessity that we EDUCATE ourselves, PREPARE ourselves and begin ORGANISING within our communities and workplaces using dialogue and action. We must empower ourselves to challenge and disrupt the logic of oppression wherever it rears its many heads; from the hydra of the State to the long neck of fascism, we are not afraid and we will continue fighting.

Croydon is vibrant, Croydon is migrant, Croydon is strong.

To the fascists in Shrubland: YOU ARE IN THE WRONG NEIGHBOURHOOD. KEEP HIDING.

To everyone else: THEY ARE AFRAID. LET’S KEEP IT THAT WAY.

JUSTICE FOR REKER AHMED.

SOLIDARITY WITH THE INTERNATIONAL STRUGGLE AGAINST FASCISM!!

NO PASARAN!!”

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LAF Statement on London Attack

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On March 22 there was an attack outside Parliament that has killed four and injured many. No sooner had this happened when Tommy Robinson, former leader of the EDL appeared at the scene of the attack to rave about a clash of civilisations and a war with all Muslims. This was swiftly followed up with an announcement of a march planned by Britain First in London.

The truth of the matter is this. These so called patriots are delighted that this has happened. This one fanatic has given them the opportunity they desired to try and start a conflict in society drawn down racial lines. They would seek to rebuild their failing movements off the blood and tears shed by ordinary people, they would use this attack to justify their own brand of jackbooted terror against the Muslim population of this country.

But we will not let them.

Our group and the national network know the reactionary ideology at the heart of the attack in the capital. Today the howls from the right are directed at us, to claim that we caused this attack through our tolerance of ‘Islamic extremism’ or our work to support the rights of refugees. These claims are built on the assumption that there is a clash of civilisations in this country. That ‘English culture’ and ‘Muslim culture’ cannot co-exist and a war is inevitable.

These are lies.

Our comrades from the Anti-Fascist movement and even from our own group are currently fighting on the front lines near Raqqa, the capital of ISIS. They are their fighting with an international brigade formed of all nationalities, religions and genders. They fight alongside their Muslim comrades in the YPG in the spirit of working class internationalism, and it is that spirit we need today. Their struggle is a struggle against the same forces of reaction that would seek to divide our communities down ethnic lines, it’s a struggle against those who would eradicate the Yazidi minority in Iraq just as much as it’s a struggle against those who would burn down our neighbour’s mosque because they are Muslim.

Right now the Fascists will present ordinary people an outstretched hand of welcome, raised straight up and palm open. It’s an outstretched hand that casts a shadow over modern history and grows out of the gas chambers of Auschwitz. We must reject this offering with the utmost ferocity and anger and in its place we must cement the ideals of working class internationalism. Without facing down the fascists on the streets and offering the working class an alternative to race war we will lose and the shadows of the past will consume our streets.

We encourage all our supporters to take up the slogan “They shall not pass!” and crush Britain First’s attempt to cynically grow off the death of Londoners. We stand with any and all anti-fascists who want to see fascism defeated by any means necessary. Block the station, they will not pass.

All anti-fascists and comrades are welcome to join us on April 1st to oppose Britain First and EDL

Anti-fascism is working-class self-defence: Britain First Humiliated

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On the day of the UN anti-racism demonstration, we organised an action aimed at two groups of fascists that have repeatedly tried to attack the left and working-class organisations – Britain First and a fascist squad made up of various far-right grouplets.

The UN anti-racism demo is an annual event set up by the SWP-affiliated Stand Up To Racism, which attracts thousands of unaffiliated trade unionists every year. It also attracts violent fascist groups looking to attack and oppose the left, and have a platform for their racist propaganda and scapegoating of migrants. We decided to call an action, not to defend the SWP’s front group, but in the knowledge that fascists attack in order to grow in confidence and grow their numbers. An attack on a group of trade unionists for being ‘lefties’ and anti-racists is an attack on everyone in the movement. These threats must be faced down and crushed before they can take hold and grow.

Britain First turns up to counter demonstrate the demonstration every year, taking much pride in ‘facing down’ thousands of protesters from behind the safety of ranks of police lines. This has resulted in sporadic clashes in the past, but mostly they take the opportunity to publicise their racist trash-talk. Last year, on top of this ritual, a group of fascists affiliated with the National Rebirth of Poland, National Action, Pie and Mash Squad and South East Alliance attacked trade unionists having a drink in Embankment after the demonstration.

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They stole NUT and UCU banners after beating up the trade unionists holding them. This is the same group that attacked the Belgravia squat earlier this year and attacked left-wingers in Parliament Square, hospitalising a young woman by pushing her down some stairs.

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On the day of this years’s demo, AFN groups gathered nearby, planning on taking the plinth that Britain First usually try to use as their soapbox. We were beaten to it by some early-bird, unaffiliated anti-fascists, who were already in full black bloc and surrounded by police. We decided to wait until Britain First arrived before we moved off in order to ensure that we could let them know what we thought of them without a police line in the way. After walking through some backstreets, we saw Britain First making a show of trying to move anti-fascists off the plinth. This bravado quickly melted away as we moved in behind them. Fascists were relieved of their flags without a fight as they were pushed back by AFN anti-fascists to the tube station entrance. All that was offered as resistance was the shrinking figure of Paul Golding, shouting “come on then!” while quickly backing away. It was a pathetic sight to see the uniformed Fuhrer turn tail at the slightest hint of a raised voice.

The action in Piccadilly was brought to swift end, as always, by the intervention of the police. They threw a cordon up between anti-fascists and Britain First and began preparing to arrest those gathered on a Public Order offence. A quick decision was made to leave the area and regroup, we still had business elsewhere looking for the fascist squad that had turned up last year. AFN members finished the day on a high, with Britain First humiliated and the fascist squad nowhere to be seen. We proved once again why London is the city fascists dare not march in.

It is essential for the left to take these groups and these actions seriously. It is in the shadows that fascist weeds grow best. Unless a light is shone on them and they are destroyed root and stem, they will grow to threaten to divide our movement and our class. This is something we will never allow. Our anti-fascism is anti-racist working-class unity. It is first and foremost in defence of working-class interests – migrants, people of colour, black and white – and it is for the realisation of working-class power. In contrast, fascist groups are nothing but a razorblade in the hands of the bosses.

What the fuck is a “rapefugee”? On sexism, sexual violence and the alt-right

jack-buckby-channel-4-newsThis week, Channel Four News chose to give a platform to former BNP member Jack Buckby in a debate about the ‘alt-right’, alongside Barbara Ntumy, an activist with NUS Black Students. In a video clip that’s now been widely shared, Buckby suggests that Ntumy should take in a Syrian refugee herself, then adds “I hope you don’t get raped”.

Many viewers have been shocked by this. But we shouldn’t be shocked that alt-right activists try this manoeuvre to scaremonger about refugees. Fascists and the far-right have been trying to forge an imaginary connection between migrants and sexual violence for years now. Last year, Pegida and other smaller fascist groups called protests against what they crudely termed “rapefugees” after a spate of sex attacks in Cologne, which were dubiously linked to Syrian refugees in a series of unsubstantiated reports. Far-right activists attempt to create this link in people’s minds to present outsiders –‘foreigners’ – as a danger to ‘pure’ white European culture. Fascists scapegoat Muslims and migrants for everyday evils that are in fact already deeply embedded in our own society, then cherry-pick their examples of migrant violence in a dishonest and disingenuous way to exaggerate the threat of migrant newcomers. For example, fascists made much of the fact that the Rochdale paedophile ring contained Muslims,while deliberately overlooking the large numbers of white paedophiles and sex offenders, including powerful repeat offenders in the Church and the BBC, and the dozens of white people who helped cover up their crimes. According to the 2013 Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales, 80.9% of sentenced sexual offenders in the UK in 2011 were white – and this is without taking into account the ethnic variations in sentencing across almost all crimes in Britain, which leads to disproportionately lower conviction rates for white attackers.

Let’s get this one point clear: there is no link between being a refugee and perpetrating sexual violence. The only really significant correlation between any demographic and sexual violence is that most perpetrators are men and most victims are women (and/or children). Sexism has no respect for borders; it spans continents regardless of nationality or race. White British fascists and alt-righters – the kind that use the word “rapefugee” and claim to be the defenders of women and children – are, by definition, incredibly sexist. They are sexist both in their behaviour – in their comments online and their sexual objectification of women – and in their ideology, which argues for extreme, traditional gender roles in which women’s choices are limited and recent advances in women’s rights are reversed. At a demonstration of the Racial Volunteer Force at Royal Holloway University late last year, far-right ideologue Jez Turner shouted “get back in the kitchen!” at female students on an anti-fascist counter-protest. Fascists are no friends to women.

The myth of the sexually-violent refugee draws on racist stereotypes which depict BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) men as sexually aggressive and threatening. These stereotypes go back to Britain’s colonial days and arise from a profound racist fear of black and Asian masculinity, which has often been perceived as a threat to white male domination. In the minds of far-right and alt-right men, women are the prizes for powerful ‘alpha’ males, and strong BME men represent a danger because they ‘compete’ for the same pool of women that white men are aiming to possess. Hence the popularity of the idea that migrants might “come over here and take our women” as well as jobs and resources: for these men, women are resources. Hard-right sexists don’t afford women the basic respect of recognising their agency in choosing partners. It’s no surprise,then, that the alt-right recruit through online spaces where ‘red pill’ misogyny is common: they link together feminism and multiculturalism as joint evils in a world where they feel that white men are losing out. Using this myth allows white racist men to present themselves as the unthanked saviours and protectors of women and children who are supposedly in danger from migrants, while simultaneously often blaming women and their choices (e.g. how they dress) for their experiences with sexual violence. As a woman who has repeatedly faced sexual violence from white British men, I can confirm: the idea that white men are less sexist than BME men is utter bullshit.

Here’s a message to all you alt-right pricks and fascist scumbags out there: I don’t want your “protection”. I know you’re sexist hypocrites and that you only care about my safety when it can be used to attack migrants.

We must destroy sexual violence across borders, and we must stand in solidarity with people in different communities fighting sexism and racism from the grassroots.

Oh, and for fuck’s sake Channel Four:

NO PLATFORM FOR FASCISTS.

by Kalliara