Massively outnumbered by anti-fascists, the neo-Nazi National Action Group “called off” their planned march through the city of Liverpool. The neo-Nazis having previously threatened that “only bullets will stop us!” never got out of Lime Street railway station; after trying they ran into the left luggage area and pulled the shutter down.
They were forced back having lost their bravado after being attacked by eggs and bananas and realising that the police, who were also outnumbered, were unable to provide protection. National Action Group boasted the day would be a historic day for fascists. For the 30 or so who turned up, it may well have felt like a historic day, but it will go down as a piece of history they will want to forget.
Two anti-fascist groups called for marches. One was a combination of the Anti-Fascist Network, local anti-fascist groups, local activists and a majority being working class youth. They marched directly to Lime Street to block any movement by the fascists.
The second was led by Unite Against Fascism (UAF), with Unite, Unison and PCS leaderships, trade unionists, Black and Irish community, young and old. They congregated close to Lime Street station and marched away from Lime station to the river Mersey!
UAF gave a platform to the local pro-austerity Labour leaders, Joe Anderson and Labour councillors as they have done in the past and refused to include or co-operate with the local anti-fascist/anti-racist groups.
UAF and fascism
It became clear on the day, as has been the case in the past, that the UAF demonstration was not to oppose National Action from marching, because they marched away from the fascists down to Pier Head, where the “great and the good” gave their anti-fascist speeches, while the real opposition to “Fascism marching on our streets” was taking place in Lime Street station.
As news of the activities at Lime Street reached the Pier Head many returned to join their comrades, whilst UAF members implored people to stay with a promise of stopping a fascist rally where they were!
Meanwhile, Labour councillors were tweeting about the wonderful speeches at the Pier Head stopping a fascist rally and later tweeted messages suggesting that they had stopped the fascists!
Who are UAF? They are a front organisation of the Socialist Workers Party that has support from many trade union bureaucracies. As became clear on the day, UAF is completely out of step with the mood of the movement. How to fight fascism is now a major question in unions and community organisations as the tactics of UAF must be questioned and a more democratic, inclusive and open organisation must be fought for.
UAF claims to be a united front but it in reality it is a “bureaucratic front”.
It is the refusal to organise open and democratic meetings and conferences where the rank and file are in charge that makes the UAF sectarian against the interests of the activists and working class.
Build a rank and ﬁle struggle against fascism
National Action and other far-right, neo-Nazi groups will not disappear but what happened in the battle of Lime Street shows they can be defeated by united actions on the street as they were by the people of Liverpool.
Only a socialist revolution will destroy the fascists, and they will rise as the working class begins to act and threaten austerity plans, so we must be vigilant, and build a working class struggle against fascism.
Some fascists, who may organise in the future, will be inside the Tory party or inside UKIP now. The government attacks and divides the working class with anti-trade union laws, immigration controls and anti-terror laws, diminishing, for the moment, the role for fascism.
So today, the fight against racism is urgent because racism and nationalism are a feeding ground for fascism.
Attacks on immigrants and the Black communities take place daily, legitimised by institutional racism, racist policies and practices that are normalised through stereotyping and criminalising minority groups and communities.
The ISL congratulates all the activists and organisations who stood up against fascism on 15 August 2015, in Liverpool preventing them from marching and shouting “Migrants in, Fascists out; That’s what we are all about”.
The ISL calls on workers and the left organisations:
1 Support all anti-fascists arrested including financial and legal help if necessary.
2 Oppose fascist marches with a broad alliance of community organisations, progressive organisations, TUs and other interested parties and organise in a democratic and inclusive way.
3 “No Platform for fascists, do not let them march”.
4 Oppose all forms of racism including Labour party racism. End police harassment of Black communities.
5. End all immigration controls.
6 Going forward, an organising committee should be created for a conference in 2015 where the rank and file are in control.