- Created: Wednesday, 24 February 2010 10:24
- Written by FRFI
On 20 February, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters joined hundreds of people in
FRFI supporters joined the early morning mobilisation called by the recently formed Edinburgh Anti-Fascist Alliance (EAFA), a loose coalition of socialists, anarchists and individuals who came together in order to confront the SDL’s presence in the city. A state-sponsored event called by Scotland United – a collection of politicians, trade union bureaucrats, ‘civil society’ representatives and religious figures – was held at 12 noon in
Once the SDL’s location was known, hundreds of antifascists immediately began marching towards it, mainly young people from Edinburgh and Glasgow, with internationals from
At the same time, an open confrontation arose between genuine anti-fascists and the opportunists in the main body of the march. After police lines blocked the road, demonstrators turned back to the beginning of the Royal Mile, and , the opportunists tried to seize the moment to demobilise a protest that had escalated far beyond their control. Weyman Bennett, UAF Joint National Secretary and Central Committee member of the SWP, and lawyer Aamer Anwar, the leading force behind Scotland United, used megaphones to urge people away from the SDL and towards the assembly point for the afternoon’s respectable diversion on
Defying the UAF and its middle class allies, hundreds of antifascists surrounded the SDL pub. Hundreds of police, including full riot squads, vans, mobile police units and a helicopter, defended the SDL from any encounters. The fascists, numbering not more than fifty, remained trapped in the pub for hours. At one point, violent scuffles broke out between police and antifascists, as in an act of complete provocation, the police marched disparate football hooligans straight past protestors, through police lines and into the pub, beating back protestors trying to prevent their passage. At 4pm, the drunken thugs were herded into buses by riot police and shipped out the city past up to 800 protestors chanting ‘fascist scum out’.
The day was a great victory against the SDL: they were completely unable to march. It was also a defeat for the opportunists who were unable to contain the protesters despite their every effort. Now this must be consolidated into a movement which fight against the state racism which nurtures fascist movements such as the SDL.