Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/601/8355

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 November 2009

Anti-fascists tactics - What happened in Newport?

ON 24 October, Newport Communities Against Racism (NCAR) organised a rally of 600 local people against the far-right English/Welsh Defence League (E/WDL) that shut the League out of Newport.
Des Mannay, Newport SWP, subsequently sent the letter below to The Socialist to criticise publication of a letter sent by NCAR to Unite Against Fascism (UAF).
Dave Reid of Socialist Party Wales replies.

FIRST LET us congratulate all who attended, for a great victory over the Welsh Defence League (WDL) in Newport. Unfortunately important misinformation about the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) march against the E/WDL was put out publicly on facebook.

It was therefore disingenuous of the Socialist Party to republish an 'open letter', to UAF even though it had been removed from the Newport Communities Against Racism (NCAR) facebook group after a representative of South East Wales Race Equality Council (SEWREC) complained about the negative posts about splits.

There was pretence that the UAF march was a rival event - this is not true. It was a short, feeder march to join the demo in John Frost Square. Feeder marches are common - they happened in Manchester and Harrow without any accusations of disunity.

UAF, a well-respected Muslim group and SEWREC originally proposed a feeder march. The proposal was rubbished by NCAR, and the Muslim organisation withdrew from the campaign.

The facebook statements and further emails suggested it was not safe for Muslims to march. This could have conceded the streets to the fascists - had they turned up. The march showed our support for the Muslim community and encouraged Muslims and others to join in protest against the Nazi thugs.

Hundreds were on the UAF march from Pill [a district of Newport - editors] - which became the main focus of local press coverage. This included students from the local university, the executive of the local lecturers union, members of various PCS branches including the local passport office, Stonewall Cymru, Torfaen Trades Council, members of Unison and the RMT, and of course an impressive turn out from the local Muslim community; which had requested a march in the first place. There were also a number of politicians present - including Labour AM John Griffiths and Bob Bright; Labour group leader.

We had a great reception from shoppers clapping us - shaking hands - and joining along the way. We were also welcomed to John Frost Square by people lining up to applaud the feeder march as it entered the square. As one observer stated, "In the morning the police had forced the NCAR rally into a small corner of the square but by the end of the afternoon the crowd had taken over the whole square".

To be sure, our various groups had different responses to fascism. These different responses converged in John Frost Square like the fingers of a mighty fist.... Or at least a two fingered salute to the morons.

Des Mannay (Newport SWP)

DES MANNAY'S letter raises important points. Hundreds of working class people took part in a very successful rally that dealt a serious blow to the far right in South Wales. But unfortunately this is despite the role of the leaders of Unite Against Fascism.

The Socialist was not 'disingenuous' in issue 598 to publish a letter passed unanimously by NCAR to UAF criticising the UAF's decision to organise a rival march to the NCAR rally against the W/EDL.

NCAR was set up as a broad response to the calling of the W/EDL protest. NCAR included Socialist Party members, SWP members, trade unionists, environmentalists, ana-rchists, representatives from Newport's Muslim community, local residents, religious leaders and representatives of the South East Wales Race Equality Council (SEWREC).

Inevitably there was a diverse range of views at the meetings, but a clear majority opposed the idea of a march and supported the idea of a rally in John Frost Square.

Suddenly, out of the blue, NCAR dis-covered that the UAF/SWP had organised a march to John Frost Square without consulting, or even informing, NCAR.

The SWP claimed the march was organised in response to concerns from the Young Muslim Community Organisation and SEWREC. But these concerns were merely used as pretexts for the SWP to organise the march.

SEWREC did not take part in the UAF march but concentrated on making the rally in John Frost Square a success. Nor did the young Muslims, who had expressed concerns about the danger of confrontation with the W/EDL and its ramifications for Muslims in Newport if the rally in John Frost Square went ahead.

Des's claim that the UAF march was a feeder march is itself 'disingenuous'. If it were so why did no UAF representatives participate in the NCAR to inform us of their 'feeder' march?

Few local people joined the UAF rival march - the bulk of their march was made up of UAF members bussed in from outside Newport and was clearly outnumbered by the NCAR rally in the square. Wales TUC put its full weight behind the NCAR rally and instructed its members to go directly to John Frost Square - effectively bypassing the UAF.

A large contingent of local youth from Pill, where the UAF march began, did not join their march but later joined the NCAR rally, swelling the numbers in the square. UAF/SWP stewards' attempts to lead chants to drown out NCAR speakers also came to nought.

Socialist Party members will continue to campaign with UAF and many other organisations against racism and fascism. But the SWP leadership in UAF needs to accept that it is one of many anti-fascist organisations and that, without betraying any principles, there has to be an honest and fraternal spirit of co-operation between them to allow a united response to far-right organisations.

Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 13 November 2009:

Fight for real jobs and free education


War and occupation

End the war in Afghanistan: Bring the troops back now!


Socialism 2009

Socialism 2009: An excellent weekend!


Postal workers strike

Postal workers force management back


Defend the four campaign

Unison witch-hunt: Defend the Four campaign gets a boost


Campaign for a New Workers Party

RMT conference on political representation


International socialist news and analysis

20 years after fall of Berlin Wall, capitalist triumphalism turns rotten

General Motors - no to 'divide and rule' in Germany

Ireland: 90,000 march against government cuts

United Socialist Party congress delegates defy difficult conditions in Sri Lanka


Socialist Party workplace news

Leeds bin strike - week ten

London bus strike

Strikes force concessions

Steelworkers get organised and score a victory over bonus payments

Fujitsu

College strike


Young People

Big business fights for fees: Students must fight back

Internationally young people fight for their rights


Socialist Party review

Reclaim the game by John Reid

Anti-fascists tactics - What happened in Newport?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 November 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Newport:

triangleBron Afon workers strike against 3,000 pay cut

triangleUncovering the class struggle behind the Rebecca Riots

triangleBrookes workers continue the fight against 2Sisters

triangleRF Brookes walk out over pay cut

triangleCould it be 3 strikes and you're out at 2 Sisters?

SWP:

triangleAfter the Unite elections - now turn outwards

triangleTUSC: SWP suspends participation in England/Wales

triangleDebates on building the anti-Trump movement

Socialist:

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Why Labour and Plaid councils must set no-cuts budgets

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Do Trump's antics make nuclear war more likely?

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Iran in turmoil

Wales:

triangleRough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Catalonia, Scotland and Wales

Muslim:

triangleMobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

Fascism:

triangleCatalan elections: PP humiliated

Far-right:

triangleProtest outside Ukip conference against German far-right speaker

Welsh Defence League:

triangleRacists - stay out of Wrexham!

Fascists:

triangleLewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

Far right:

triangleBending the knee v Trump

Fascist:

triangleEditorial of the Socialist, issue 968

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/1/18

Birmingham

Home care workers to strike

12/1/18

Waltham Forest

Outrage against 'monster block' plan

12/1/18

Manchester

Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

10/1/18

McDonalds

Strike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

10/1/18

Usdaw

Amy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

10/1/18

The Socialist

Socialist sales highest in years as mistrust in capitalist media hits record levels

10/1/18

Fighting Fund

2017 was the best fighting fund total this century!

10/1/18

NHS

Closure of Nottingham unit shows dismantling of NHS

10/1/18

Hackney

Hoxton: "Stop this unwanted development"

10/1/18

Newham

Newham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

8/1/18

RMT

RMT rail members buoyed by coordinated action

4/1/18

RMT

Strike against driver-only operation on five rail networks

3/1/18

Higher Education

UCU members balloting for action on pension cuts

3/1/18

Bradford

Bradford protest against children's service cuts

3/1/18

Leeds

Leeds college pay protests

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

triangle10 Jan Strike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

triangle10 Jan Movement of workers and youth challenges Iranian regime

triangle10 Jan Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's...

More ...

triangle16 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'Bad Art' - socialist struggle in the arts

triangle16 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: Building socialism in Cardiff in 2018

triangle17 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Planning for 2018

triangle17 Jan Salford Socialist Party: Housing crisis - the socialist solution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2