Today some of best loved friends will be getting beaten up. By cops and/or BNP. They are doing it because they know that when the rascists march unopposed they call it a victory, and they get stronger. Europe is vulnerable to fascisms. Look at the Golden Dawn in Greece, if you need help to take our British EDL and BNP seriously. They target vulnerable, disempowered, frustrated people, and give them a target for their anger. We need to work on people being less vulnerable to the appeal of ideologies driven by hate. And we need to show, on the streets, that the BNP and their ilk are a minority, and most people don’t like them. Doing so makes people who aren’t white, aren’t straight, aren’t heteronormative, and/or who want to stick up for those who aren’t less intimidated by the BNP. And that makes it worth it.
I’ll be working in my community garden. And if it comes up, or I can make it come up, I’ll be having conversations with the kids about the racists on the streets, and how the anti-fascist movement, in all its diversity, opposes them. And we’ve got our charming cardboard copper, a PCSO who comes in for a cup of tea. On the scale of the BNP & EDL the police aren’t that racist these days. They are still institutionally racist. Stop and Search is targeted disproportionately at certain groups. A young black man who lives around Blackfriars shared that while he’s fine if he’s in his suit from work, if he goes from home to the gym in his workout clothes he will often as not be stopped and searched. I’m a white woman, and I can pull out my Cambridge English when I feel like it, so I don’t get that hassle. But I do attend protests, and the majority of times that I have been intentionally assaulted have been by police. I’m talking in the region of 3 out of 4 here – I don’t seek out trouble. One time was a cop shield bashed into my arm in a bruise that stayed for 5 days when I was helping keep space around a child so they and their parent could leave along the railing as a police line advanced into a kettle. I was describing the situation to the police – they heard me, but said “I’m not interested in anything you have to say.”.
Talking about police violence is a bit of a diversion from anti-fascism, but there’s going to be a load of stuff in the media about ‘violent anarchists’ if anything escalates today. I hope it doesn’t, because I don’t want people to get hurt, but I also hope that there is physical opposition in the streets to the BNP, such that they are prevented from marching. I don’t want them to be escorted safely by the police, I want them to be stopped.
Solidarity. And I’ll be supporting you with my diversity of tactics. I’m hatching some exciting anti-racism community bridging residential plans …