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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 January 2014

Lincoln marches against racism and fascism

On 18 January, around 150 people marched under the banner of Lincoln Against Racism and Fascism (LARF).

In early December, the far-right East Anglian Patriots group had announced they would demonstrate in Lincoln having marched in June against the building of a mosque in the city.

Socialist Party members in Lincoln played a key role in relaunching LARF. A LARF public meeting in December unanimously agreed to hold another counter-demo, plus a rally against racism in the run-up to the demo.

Despite its democratic decision, intense pressure was exerted on steering committee members to call off the counter-demo by Labour councillors and 'community leaders'.

Most effective strategy

Attempts were made to change the march and rally to a silent vigil at the cathedral. These calls were resisted by LARF, which sought to organise the most effective possible opposition to the far right.

In the week before the 15 January rally, the East Anglian Patriots encouraged their supporters to target the LARF Facebook event.

A call was made in the trade union movement for stewards to defend the rally. Two fascists attempted to enter the venue, but stewards stopped them.

The demo rally was addressed by dozens of people, with demonstrators encouraged to say why they had taken part.

Many had never been on a protest before. A soldier said that far-right groups lie about their support in the ranks of armed forces.

Trade unionists from PCS and Unison, two Labour councillors, Youth Fight for Jobs campaigners, Socialist Party members, the Lincoln University Student Union and Islamic Society, and a local Eastern European community group also spoke.

Once the East Anglian Patriots had set off on their march, anti-racists moved off from their rally towards them and chanted, separated from them by a large police presence.

Death threats

LARF spokesperson Nick Parker told the crowd that he had received death threats from the far right, and vowed to continue to build the fight against racism and unemployment, low pay, and austerity policies that fuel the spread of this poison in our society.

Some of the far right left their demo main route to attack the anti-racist protest. They were forced back by demonstrators, which was rightly cheered as a victory.

When the far right had left the city centre, the march set off again back to the initial assembly point, identified by stewards as a safer area for protesters to disperse.

The thousands of people in the city centre on Saturday heard LARF's clear message: "when the far right spread their racist lies, we fight back and organise!"

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In The Socialist 22 January 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Real living wage now

Capitalism is a system in crisis

Pay me - I'm a banker!

What exactly is the point of Labour?

Stop the NHS sell-off

Bedroom tax loophole: Can legal tactics be effective?

Fracking - profiting from environmental destruction

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Egypt referendum: no enthusiasm for new constitution

"Ireland is a success story" rhetoric is based on spin


Stop the student debt spiral - day of action 6 February

Youth Fight for Jobs campaign in Croydon

An open letter to Tristram Hunt

Socialist Party workplace news

Transport workers have power to defeat cuts

Teachers need a date for national action

Teachers strike against threatened redundancies

NUT strikes against management "observations"

More action needed to defend Probation Service

Publicity alone can't save sacked union branch official

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Lincoln marches against racism and fascism

Protest against Atos 'assessments' on 19 February

Salford workers and environmentalists challenge council

Stop cuts in Kent

Carlisle petition

Readers' comments and reviews

Benefits Street: A caricature of poverty

Leeds' forgotten dispute: The 1913-14 Corporation Strike

Robert Burns, insurrectionary poet


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