Join Labour Party members as we march against racism and fascism on 9th December. Click attending here.
On December 9th, Tommy Robinson plans to lead a rag-tag coalition of neo-Nazis and assorted reactionaries in a mass march through central London. They must be opposed. Robinson and the British far right are part of a new, interconnected and sordid global movement and require a cognisant, coordinated and unified response. They will march under the banner of the “Great Brexit Betrayal” and will channel anti-migrant sentiment to use the march as a recruiting ground for the far right.
Eight years of Tory austerity and forty years of damaging neoliberal economic policies have created a fertile breeding ground for far right narratives. A deflection of blame for stagnating wages, eviscerated communities, and economic precarity away from capitalist bosses and the profit motive to migrants and the poor has created a Fortress Britain mentality. Theresa May’s hostile environment, racist immigration policy, savagely inhumane detention centres and the callous nature of deportations have allowed for the scapegoating of migrants, refugees and Muslims and engendered hate, division and exclusion.
Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, paints himself as a defender of women from rape gangs, obfuscating the Islamophobia that lies behind his framing. From Robinson to Trump and from Bolsonaro to Bannon, those who subscribe to this ideology actually see women as tools to serve the purposes of the patriarchy, grotesquely objectified, routinely abused, and denied basic reproductive rights.
This is why we believe that women and women’s rights should be at the front and centre of any global anti-fascist and anti-racist movement, side by side with the black, Asian and minority ethnic, LGBTQ, and migrant communities – a self-organised, inclusive, working class coalition of opposition to the far right. It is only with these communities driving our movement that we can breakdown the forces behind Fortress Britain.
To do this, we need to build a broad, united front from all sections of the Labour Movement that is prepared to counter the far right both on the streets, online and in mainstream political discourse. We can learn from the best practices of key players in this coalition, who successfully managed to block the Democratic Football Lads Alliance with a dynamic counter-demonstration in October. We should also aim to replicate the confrontational but non-macho mass blockade tactics employed on the streets of Berlin, Liverpool and elsewhere. LARAF backs, supports and joins with those who employ actions best placed to demoralise and defeat the far right.
It is by capitalising on Tory austerity and despair, the after-effects of nearly two decades of illegal wars and the social division that followed, and by weaponising Brexit for their own means that a far right front spanning from Yaxley-Lennon to Rees-Mogg plans to usher in a new era of racist and fascist solutions. We cannot allow this to happen. The responsibility rests with us to repel the far right in the short term by building a street movement to dwarf them, while continuing to build upon a positive, transformative vision for this country, and indeed the world, for the many and not the few.
This is why LARAF will be mobilising CLPs and fellow Labour members to march as part of the unity coalition demo “No to Tommy Robinson, No to Fortress Britain” on 9 December, co-sponsored by Owen Jones, Momentum, Women’s Strike Assembly, Feminist Anti-Fascist Assembly, Brazilian Women Against Fascism, Plan C London, Migrants Organise, NUS Black Students Campaign,Stop Trump Coalition, Global Justice Now, Another Europe Is Possible and Labour Campaign For Free Movement.
The demo on Dec 9 will be fierce in its opposition to the far right’s divisive politics of hate but will also be a colourful, vibrant and inclusive celebration of the many diverse communities that make up the world we all want to see. So get mobilising in your CLPs, get creative with your placards, dust down those banners and join us on the Labour bloc on 9 December.