On the 17th of October the Fascist English Defence League attempted to march through the streets of Swansea. Fortunately this did not materialise and there was a very good reason for this.
400 anti-fascists turned up in Castle Square which is exactly where the EDL wanted to be. Due to the fact that they were outnumbered by atleast 10-1 they were easily prevented for getting anywhere near the square and were forced to hide away in a near by pub.
It was clear when they emerged that the idea of an actual demonstration was no the intention at all, they had no placards, no banners, no megaphones or anything else to highlight any kind of demonstration. It was clear that all they aimed to do was cause racial tension and have a punch up.
However as they were outnumbered by 10-1 once the police attempted to march them on everyone surrounded them and the police instantly they were unable to do anything for a whole hour and once that time was up they had no choice but to except a police escort to the train station and out of Swansea with their tale between their legs!
After the humiliation in Swansea, the EDL 'officially' called of the demonstration in Newport. I went on the EDL forum and whilst it also said that it was called off many EDL members said they still intended to come to Newport and it appeared that calling it off was simply just a tactic to damage the turnout of the Newport Communities Against Racism demonstration.
Luckily this tactic failed completely and several hundred anti-fascists turned up in John Frost Square where various organisations participated. When the time came the EDL did not show their face at all. So victory was ours on the day!
There was a rally throughout the day in John Frost Square with various speakers in between music, life performances and chanting. I was one of the speakers at the rally and I think its important that I mention what I said because I think it really sums up the situation facing us now and how we can effectively fight it.
I spoke about how it was not enough to just oppose fascism, how It isn't enough to organise counter-demo's everytime the EDL announce a demonstration. The EDL came out of no where and started organising demonstrations not long after the BNP gained two MEP's. The 2 organisations are clearly linked. The fact they have those MEP's has obviously given them the confidence to feel they can get away with racist marches on our streets.
Unfortunately Griffin did come across well on Question Time because despite the panel attacking him at the begining and in general Griffin made a fool of himself. When it came to the issue of immigration and jobs all the main parties were quick to blame immigration for unemployment, none of them were willing to acknowledge the problem was the mainstream parties, the bankers, and capitalism in general. That without a real political challenge the BNP will continue to grow.
I said that the BNP was a political entity and they need to be taken up politically. If there was a New Mass Workers' Party it could have effectively exposed the BNP's scapegoating of immigrants and for that matter the all three of the main parties who are responsible for the rise in the BNP by using the same tactics. It is only by exposing the main parties and capitalism, it if only by offering a positive alternative and articulating in the correct manner the concerns of working class people about job losses, unemployment and public service cuts that we can stop the growth of the BNP and send them back to the gutter!
I finished by urging everyone to come to the Youth Fight for Jobs demonstation - For Decent Jobs, For Free Education. To Actively take up these issuesand expose the capitalist system and fight for our future!
We won the battles of Swansea and Newport but the war continues.