We saw a whole host of incidents over the weekend across England as some cities became the focal point of running battles between far right agitators and people defending their communities. Here are two reports from Bolton and London respectively.
During the week, Bolton Tories issued an ironic and inflammatory statement, the tone of which amounted a call to arms to the local right wing to protect the war memorial on Saturday.
“We are an administration opposed to any form of racism or discrimination, but we will not be dictated to on whether we should eradicate history, and we will not support the removal of any memorials or statues.”
It’s reasonable to suggest that the Bolton Tory Party would have had knowledge of the Black Lives Matter Solidarity event was taking place on the same day.
Progressive groups gathered in solidarity with Black Lives Matter listening to speeches and music.
Meanwhile the right wing gathered in response to the call to arms by the Bolton Tory Party. Well known right wing faces gathered most from Bolton, some from Blackburn. They began chanting incoherent slogans, perhaps due to the copious amount of Stella they had already consumed.
Unhappy at being ignored the right wing made a move towards the peaceful BLM protest. The right wing did not see the support waiting and watching who acted to protect the peaceful BLM protest.
At least three right wingers ended up on the floor, being dragged back by their mates. The stench of shit from one of the fash the floor, who looked the worst for wear, judging by his pants, seems he pissed and shit himself.
Not content with being repelled, an hour later, having consumed more Stella built up enough courage to try a run at the peaceful BLM protesters. This resulted in skirmishes along the line, and ended when police moved in to save, the fash from further humiliation.
The police started to push BLM protesters back, but in true peaceful protest they kneeled down and said this far and no further. Chants of “move the fash” rang out from the crowd. A stand off lasting an hour ensued.
The day finished with BLM paying respects in front of the war memorial.
The statement issued by Bolton Tory Party sent out the message that they can call on to the streets right wing fascist, such a call to arms is undemocratic, this has left a lasting legacy and has damaged community relations.
“I headed into central london today not expecting much: the main Black Lives Matter organisers and far-right agitator Tommy Robinson both called off their official protests.
This did not stop the thousands of black people and anti racists taking to the streets, nor did it stop the English Defence League types coming out to attack them. I joined the protest not thinking much would go on as the government set a curfew of 5PM. However, I arrived at Trafalgar Square around 4.30PM and a huge crowd of easily a few thousand BLM protestors were in sight. At this point it was peaceful but tensions were escelating, with police unable to move people on.
Spreading out, we ended up on Waterloo Bridge, many youth at the front including myself very keen to make sure the EDL (or whatever they want to call themselves) were not allowed to roam our streets freely. ‘Fuck EDL’ chants were echoing all around. We march along, keeping a strong coherent crowd and then I see the front speed up when approaching Waterloo station. The fash were standing there, one comes at a lad at the front of the crowd and swings something at him, but soon the right-wingers realise they’ve no chance standing and retreat into the station as we continued to pursue. A few frank exchanges of view took place and a few of the opposition had nasty falls. Police then tried to guard them but to not much avail, as signal flares and other objects found them out behind the lines.
As more and more police arrived myself a few others chased some straggling fash down to another station exit to check they knew the correct train timetable, but when they got in, the main station shutters were brought down by the police and we were unable to offer them any further assistance. We reassembled with a larger crowd outside of Waterloo station, where a few more facists were helped with some helpful directions home. There was a vocal debate within the crowd as to what to do next. Eventually, with less numbers, we get back onto Waterloo bridge, the police had blocked off one side. We realised it was a trap as the other side more and more police were around. There must have still been hundreds of people all sprinting to avoid a kettle. I got almost to the outside and an officer grabbed and pushed me against a wall. I managed to walk away to the other side of the road when they were distracted and escape the kettle, this wasn’t the case with most of our youth, who were stuck on Waterloo bridge with police either side. More and more cops started rolling in and arrests were being made. At this point it was contained and scattered, I left the area due to the risk of getting recognised.
Despite the eventual control by the police, the fascists were scared out of town by the people, bested at every opportunity. It was clear who the police prioritised defending – who was at risk. The days of protesting with placards and newspapers are done. The people’s rage was felt – not just about the evil that is racism but about the worthlessness of the working class in the eyes of the elite. The establishment is scared and rightly so.”