Sectarianism of Newcastle Unites

Newcastle Unites

On 14 September Newcastle Unites - a coalition between the Labour Party and the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) - published a statement on their Facebook page banning the Socialist Party (SP) from attending a forthcoming demonstration against the racist English Defence League (EDL) on the grounds that an SP member is secretly affiliated to the British National Party. Newcastle Unites has published no evidence to support its claim, and until the SP says otherwise, we assume that it has either taken action against the member, or cleared him of the allegation. In these circumstances, we condemn the ban of the SP as both sectarian and anti-democratic.

In the final paragraph of the statement, Newcastle Unites says that they ‘have only had reason to exclude one other organisation, the Revolutionary Communist Group (FRFI) because they wilfully published details of an anti-fascist meeting which led to the Trades Council building staff being threatened by the EDL.’ FRFI was banned from attending a Newcastle Unites march against the EDL on 25 May 2013 because Newcastle Unites knew we would challenge the Labour Party’s history of vicious racism. To enforce its ban on the day, Newcastle Unites, led by the pro-cuts Labour councillor Dipu Ahad and with the support of SWP members, colluded openly with the police to ensure the arrest of 14 anti-fascists, including 7 FRFI supporters, who were accused of conspiracy to commit violent disorder. After a determined defence campaign no charges were brought.

Newcastle Unites is a sectarian organisation whose purpose is to defend the Labour Party against charges of racism. For this reason, it attempted to undermine the march organised by the Migration and Asylum Justice Forum against the 2016 Immigration Act on 25 June this year. Instead of attending the march to show solidarity with migrants and refugees, Newcastle Unites organised its own demonstration against an EDL counter-mobilisation. It refused to publicise the March Against the Immigration Act, attempted to stop the march from reaching its scheduled end-point where SWP members tried to drown-out Migration and Asylum Justice Forum speakers with childish anti-EDL chants of ‘Nazi scum’.

FRFI will be attending the Newcastle Unites’ march against the EDL on Saturday 24 September where we will speak out against the government’s attack on migrants’ and asylum seekers’ access to welfare, housing, healthcare and other services and its powers to detain and deport them, and its drive to criminalise and terrorise Muslims. There can be no successful fight against fascist organisations on the street except as part of a fight against state racism: the EDL would not exist if it were not for the racism of the British state. There is an urgent need to build an anti-racist movement in Britain today. We urge anyone committed to building it to join us on the Newcastle Unites’ demonstration.


Byron Burgers targeted in Newcastle – End immigration raids!


On Saturday 6th August supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! North East held a picket of the Byron Burgers restaurant in Newcastle. The picket was against the recent immigration raids, which Byron and the Home Office orchestrated, when Byron workers were pounced upon by immigration police in a phoney health and safety meeting called by Byron, and subsequently 35 workers have been arrested and deported.

The protest assembled in front of the restaurant demanding an end to all immigration raids and decent work for all whether people have papers or not. There was a lot of support from people passing-by and stopping to listen to speeches. The 2016 racist Immigration Act will see this type of collusion between businesses and the Home Office increase. The new laws have been put in place to create a hostile environment for migrants to make it almost impossible to live in Britain. If an employer is found to hire anyone who to does not have the legal right to work then they can face fines of £20,000 per worker and up to 5 years in prison. This will have the effect of forcing migrants into even worse jobs, with worse pay and next to no rights – exactly what British capitalism needs into order to grow.

Anti-racists made the important point: that we will not fight another member of the working class over a job, a council house or a hospital bed. Our fight is not with migrants. Our fight is with the government, the local Labour council, the banks, big business, the police and the racist media. And we will fight them, side by side with our migrant brothers and sisters demanding decent jobs, housing and healthcare for all.

Fight the racist Immigration Act! End immigration raids! Solidarity with the Byron workers!





Newcastle marches against racism

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On Saturday 25 June, two days after the EU referendum, the Migration and Asylum Justice Forum marched through Newcastle against the racist 2016 Immigration Act. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! North East is centrally involved in the Forum and played a key role in organising the demonstration. Anti-racist and migrant-led organisations from all over the country joined the Forum’s protest: the Edinburgh Migrant Solidarity Network, Manchester Migrant Solidarity and the South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group from Sheffield, the Newcastle-based Angelou Centre, Beyond Borders, Keep Our NHS Public, Amnesty International and Peace of Mind, as well as supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham.

The Immigration Act is intended to deepen the oppression of migrants from outside the EU, making it even easier for the government to deport them, restrict their access to jobs, health services and housing, and increase powers of surveillance with immigration checks ordered at every level of society. The purpose of this is to force migrants into accepting super-exploited, casualised, poverty pay jobs. With the post-Brexit rise in xenophobia and racism, now is the time to redouble our efforts in the fight against state racism, and, despite EDL threats, we went out onto the streets confidently, loudly and defiantly marching down the roads and stopping traffic from the heart of Newcastle's West End, a working class community, home to many migrants and black people who will be subject to the Immigration Act.

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North East Events coming up..

We have street actions and political educational meetings in Newcastle every week – for details call 07858346276 or email

For more information on events in the North East you can also join the FRFI North East e-mail list and the mailing lists of campaigns we are involved in on the following pages:

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Tyneside Community Action Against Racism:

Palestine Action Group:

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