Fighting fascism means fighting the state that inspires it

Birmingham FRFI and supporters, with much appreciated help from local anarchist groups, went to a counter demo against the far-right 'Yorkshire Patriots' on 2 September 2023. They were attempting to spread their reactionary, racist propaganda in the Midlands. Their failed attempt to sow division and hatred among the working class is one in a wave of demonstrations against the rights – and very presence of – migrants. A wave that has clearly been inspired by government rhetoric aimed at justifying extensions of already inhumane border controls. While simultaneously shifting the blame for capitalism's 'cost of living crisis.'

 

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COP27 Day of Action in Birmingham

On 12 November 2022, Birmingham supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! joined a demonstration called by the Birmingham Climate Justice Coalition (CJC). A number of groups attended with different views on what could be expected from the COP27 conference taking place in Egypt, but we were clear: these annual summits offer no solutions to the climate crisis already affecting indigenous communities, oppressed nations and the poor and hungry across the globe. COP proceedings are dominated by the heads of states of rich nations who profit from environmental destruction. Representatives of fossil fuel companies and multinationals outnumber delegates from poor countries bearing the brunt of that destruction. As one of our placards read: ‘COP pledges are dead letters!’ The conference is sponsored by banks, energy firms and consumer goods giants like Coca-Cola. The host nation, Egypt, has long-standing economic ties with Britain: UK investment in sectors such as oil, gas, and consumer goods amounts to $48bn. Meanwhile, its people struggle to access basic state services and seditious activists are met with violent state repression, as highlighted by other groups at the demonstration. The UK’s College of Policing has even previously trained Egyptian police forces!

 

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Birmingham FRFI speak out against the housing crisis

Birmingham FRFI supporters took to the streets in March to speak out against the housing crisis. This was part of our work fighting capitalism's destruction of working-class housing and its continued denial of the supposed human right to shelter. Our aim was to build awareness of and resistance to this inhumane barbarism that is especially bad throughout the West Midlands.

 

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Defend the example of Cuban socialism

Birmingham RCG and our Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporter's group held a rolling picket in solidarity with socialist Cuba on Saturday the 30th of October. After weeks of discussion meetings based around our pamphlet, Revolutionary Cuba, the streets are ours we protested outside of various locations around Birmingham. Targeting the institutions of British imperialism that comply with the blockade. There we upheld all that the Cuban people have managed to achieve, despite US economic warfare.

 

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Nottingham protest against health privatisation faces Unison censorship

Nottingham RCG march for the NHS (photo: FRFI)

On 3 July, Nottingham RCG and FRFI supporters joined a march for the NHS called by the Nottingham University Hospitals branch of Unison. Around 100 people attended. The demo was part of a national day of action in defence of NHS pay and opposing privatisation. In Nottingham alone, five GP surgeries have recently been gutted and turned over to Operose health, a subsidiary of the US owned Centene, a megacorporation making billions off health care while inflating costs and driving down standards.

 

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Birmingham: a wave of anti-imperialist anger for Palestine

Birmingham RCG join protests for Palestine (photo: FRFI)

Through May and into June of this year Birmingham saw a level of action in solidarity with Palestine that hasn't been matched since before Corbyn became leader of the labour party (for more see The rise and fall of Corbynism, FRFI 279.) Without the illusion that freedom for Palestine could come through the ballot box, people took to the streets. There were several large protests a week for weeks on end, as well as caravans of cars sporting Palestinian flags and blocking roads to raise awareness. People were angry; they had no faith in PM Boris Johnson and the arch-reactionaries in power or Sir Keir Starmer and his band of arch-opportunists. Israel's continued ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem and their murder of peaceful protestors and revolutionaries alike cannot be tolerated by anyone who wants to live in a just and free world. As always, our Birmingham comrades attended to develop an anti-imperialist and communist trend within the movement and see it achieve its ultimate aim.

 

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Nottingham: Solidarity with Palestine faces police violence and lies

Palestine protest in Nottingham, RCG banner reads 'Victory to the Kurdish and Palestinian peoples'

On 22 May, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI) supporters in Nottingham joined mass protests in solidarity with Palestine, including a rolling picket called by the newly-formed People for Palestine (Nottingham). As the first target, hundreds of people protested outside the British Army recruitment offices, to highlight the close military ties between the British and Israeli states and the importance of the arms trade between Israel and Britain. Here, an RCG supporter spoke about the power of international solidarity with Palestine and the links between British imperialism and Zionism.

 

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International workers day in Nottingham

On 1 May, International Workers Day, supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! gathered at the John Carroll leisure centre in Radford, Nottingham, together with other members of the Save John Carroll Campaign. The centre is due to be closed as part of the latest rounds of budget cuts issued by Labour-run Nottingham City Council.

FRFI comrades took the lead in initiating an open mic, encouraging the gathering of roughly 60-80 people with chants and slogans. A Nottingham FRFI supporter highlighted the closure of the John Carroll Centre as an example of wider attacks on the working class and called out Labour councillors who claimed to support the campaign yet stayed away from the vote for fear of being disciplined by their party.

 

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Birmingham – Kill the Bill: West Midlands Police show their hand as the movement grows

Left: protesters march against the Policing Bill in Birmingham. Left: Three RCG comrades hold FRFI

On the 3 April 2021, our comrades and supporters went to the second protest against the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts bill to take place in Birmingham. It was much bigger and far more lively than the previous one just two weeks ago. Speeches were given from a sound system outside of Council House which was open for anyone to us. A broad list of already organised activists spoke; disabled activists, feminists, environmentalists, socialists and communists – including members/supporters from the Revolutionary Communist Group. Importantly, members of the public who were relatively new to politics got up to speak on the platform, including BAME people with awful experiences of police harassment and enthusiastic young teens with an instinctive drive to fight for a better future. This open, inclusive and democratic attitude is what will allow the movement to continue to grow and meet its aims. It's a pleasant change from the usual pre-filled roster of councillors and trade unionists who assure us that real politics happens within the Council House and not out on the streets.

 

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Nottingham joins Kill the Bill protests 3 April

Nottingham RCG and NUAR march against the Policing Bill, 3 April

On 3 April RCG supporters in Nottingham took to the streets with Nottingham United Against Racism (NUAR) for an open mic speak out against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, as part of a national day of action. This followed regular protests organised since last July by NUAR, in which the RCG has played a central role.

 

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Birmingham – Kill the bill and stand with Cuba

Collage of photos of Birmingham comrades with placards, Cuba flags and FRFI

The police, crime, sentencing and courts bill is the British capitalist state's attempt to lash out and limit the impact of movements that have emerged and grown in strength over the past few years. These movements, like Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion, have necessarily emerged in protest against our imperialist state as it barrels on with its quest for profit regardless of the abuse faced by our planet and its people. They are movements that, on some level, knew they could not wait for the parliamentary left to act.

 

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Nottingham Council Cuts: Actions Speak Louder than Words

Nottingham comrade holds FRFI and a leaflet reading 'Save John Carroll'

On 8 March Labour-led Nottingham City Council voted through a budget that will see a further £15.4 million stripped from public services in Nottingham, following a total of £271 million already slashed in the last decade. The budget includes the closure of the John Carroll Leisure Centre, a vital community resource in the working class neighbourhood of Radford.

 

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Nottinghamshire Police and Labour Party activists shut down protest for Sarah Everard

Vigil for Sarah Everard in Nottingham - a person speaks on a megaphone to the crowd

On 13 March, Nottinghamshire Police shut down an open mic against sexism and misogyny at Nottingham’s vigil for Sarah Everard. This fact has been completely omitted by the bourgeois press, which has shown much praise for Nottinghamshire Police in recent days, remarking the “stark differences” between “minimal” policing in Nottingham and the brutal arrests seen in London (The Guardian).

 

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Nottingham Protest Calls for an End to Racist Detention Centres

Supporters of the NUAR campaign against immigration detention

Coronavirus doesn’t take a break and neither do we! Nottingham United Against Racism, which Nottingham RCG helped to found, once again took to the streets on Saturday 2 January to protest against the racism of the British state. We are still organising in the midst of a pandemic because the British state continues to keep migrants in detention centres during a global health crisis. The monthly demonstration in Market Square focused on the inherent racism of this country’s immigration system and the deplorable conditions in which asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants are expected to live in – even during a pandemic. As the deadly coronavirus spreads across the UK, this exploited section of the working class is disproportionately likely to live in cramped, unsanitary conditions with limited access to health care or protection.

 

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Nottingham Protest against Racism and Deportations

NUAR protest 5 December 2020

On Saturday 5 December, Nottingham RCG joined Nottingham United Against Racism (NUAR) for a protest against state racism in the centre of town. Supported by members of Nottingham Global Justice Now Youth, the monthly speak out against racism focused on Britain’s racist immigration system and the intensifying attacks on migrants as the capitalist world heads into another economic crisis. The British government uses deportations to enforce a brutal immigration system which is designed to maintain immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers as an especially oppressed section of the working class. The use of deportation against those convicted of crimes is racist double punishment, on top of the disproportionate police harassment and imprisonment that black and minority ethnic people face in this country.

 

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Video: Fighting Police Harassment - Don't Walk On By!

Police harassment - don't walk on by

On 7 November, Susan Davidson spoke on behalf of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! at an online meeting organised by Nottingham United Against Racism (NUAR), a campaign established by Nottingham Revolutionary Communist Group and others out of the summer’s Black Lives Matter mobilisations against racist police brutality. The meeting aimed to build support for NUAR’s Don’t Walk On By initiative against police harassment. For more information, email the campaign at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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Racists headed off by Nottingham mobilisation

NUAR mobilisation 22 August 2020

On 22 August, Nottingham RCG participated in an anti-racist demonstration as part of Nottingham United Against Racism (NUAR). A threatened ‘All Lives Matter’ counterdemonstration against NUAR’s weekly open mic against racism had merged with a larger national mobilisation presenting itself as a march and rally against child abuse in social services and for veterans’ issues, but which in reality was clearly a front for a racist and pro-imperialist agenda. Indicating the political character of the event, a number of explicitly racist organisations including the Democratic Football Lads Alliance joined the march, and banners present included one stating ‘God Bless Donald Trump’, alongside flags celebrating the Operation Werewolf Nazi military campaign. 

 

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Black Lives Matter - Nottingham march

NUAR rally outside HMP Nottingham

On Saturday 15 August, hundreds of people marched through Nottingham on a Black Lives Matter march organised by Nottingham United Against Racism (NUAR). Passing through busy parts of the city, the march stopped first at Radford Road Police Station, where attention was drawn by speakers to the 3,013 stop and searches carried out by Nottinghamshire Police between April 2018 and March 2019, when black people were stopped over seven times and Asians two and a half times the rate of white people. The march then stopped at HMP Nottingham, where an RCG speaker drew attention to the cases of Shalane Blackwood and Anthony Solomon, two black men who have died in HMP Nottingham in recent years as a result of the dehumanising prison conditions. Many joined us as we passed through working class neighbourhoods. There was an open mic throughout, taken up by dozens of people. 

 

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Nottingham United Against Racism: lessons of the anti-racist struggle

Nottingham Unites Against Racism demo, 4 July

For the fourth week in a row, anti-racists have taken to the streets of Nottingham in support of the Black Lives Matter cause. Once again, Nottingham United Against Racism (which Nottingham RCG was central in founding) provided an open sound system in the market square, which was taken up by dozens of people, before the demonstration marched to central police station. A speaker on behalf of Nottingham RCG outlined the vital lessons from the anti-racist movements of the 1970s and 1980s that we must learn if we want to build an effective movement against the racism of the British state. 

 

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Nottingham: anti-racists take to the streets

Anti-racists protest outside Central Police Station

Saturday 27 June saw well over a hundred anti-racists take to the streets once again as part of the Black Lives Matter cause. The event was called by Nottingham United Against Racism, a new group which Nottingham Revolutionary Communist Group were involved in founding. The day began with an open mic in the Market Square, taken up by dozens of mostly young people, before a spontaneous march around the city centre which visited three key institutions of racist state power: the Central Police Station, Nottingham Crown Court, and the Bridewell police station. Marchers vowed to keep building the movement on the streets, and to return to the Market Square at 12pm the following Saturday, 4 July. Nottingham RCG will be there, and calls on all anti-racists to join us.

 

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Demanding Justice for Shukri Abdi in Birmingham

Shukri Abdi protest, Birmingham 25 June

On the 25th of June 2020, nearly one year on since the death of Shukri Abdi, the Birmingham Branch of the Revolutionary Communist Group supported a demo called by the Justice 4 Shukri campaign.  In June 2019, the 12-year-old Shukri's body was found in a river in Bury, Greater Manchester. Despite circumstances around her death that would usually be cause for further inquiry, the Greater Manchester police quickly dismissed the case as a tragic incident. As was pointed out by many people at the demo, it isn't atypical for people of colour to have the police not take them as seriously. Especially for first or second-generation migrants. Ths is a manifestation of state racism which the protestors, largely Muslims and Somalis, called out in front of the West Midlands police station.

 

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Black Lives Matter – Birmingham Is Not Innocent

Birmingham RCG at BLM march 4 June

On June 4, Birmingham saw its biggest political demonstration in several years as thousands of young people took to the streets, many for the first time, to protest against racism and police brutality. Inspired by recent actions in the US and London, this spontaneous action called by a group named 'The UK Isn't Innocent' followed months of heightened attacks on the BAME working class through a racist state response to the novel coronavirus, and comes in the wake of many incidents of police brutality by West Midlands Police.

 

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Black Lives Matter – Nottingham rallies and marches!

BLM rally in Nottingham 6 June 2020

On 7 June, Nottingham RCG supported a demonstration called under the banner of Black Lives Matter. Around 4,000 people gathered at the Forest Recreation Ground for a rally, before more than 1,000 people spontaneously decided to march through the city. Nottingham RCG provided a sound system for the march, which was used as an open mic for speeches and chants throughout. Nottingham's Council House and Central Police Station both received a visit as protestors denounced British state racism and expressed solidarity with the movement in the United States. Then the march proceeded through several working class neighbourhoods, where people leant out of windows, came out on the streets and honked their car horns in support, with some joining the march. We ended back at our original starting point, five hours after we began, where those present committed to returning next Sunday, 14 June at 12pm to continue building the movement we need to take on the racism of the British state.  

 

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Steps Toward Socialism – Nottingham RCG Fundraiser

Nottingham RCG

**UPDATE FOR THE END OF JUNE**

At the end of June, comrades have taken 1,698,630 steps towards Cuba, clocking up 850 miles - roughly the distance between Nottingham and Madrid! Huge thanks once again to all those who have supported us with sponsorships and donations  - and to those who are adding their steps to the tally! 

Nottingham supporters have raised over £1,900 towards our target of £3500. If you haven't yet sponsored us, please donate via https://www.paypal.me/NottmRCG, and if you'd like to join in and add your own steps to our total, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Steps to Socialism graphic

 

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Nottingham: FRFI available in shops near you

Midlands RCG

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and the economic and social crisis it is triggering, the mainstream media is already covering up for the government’s failures, rubber-stamping its attacks on democratic rights, and laying the narrative ground for the massive further attacks against the working class which are to come. In these times, the independent communist analysis of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! is more vital than ever. During the lockdown, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! will still be available in Nottingham in the following shops:

  • Peter’s Convenience Store, 141 Radford Road, Hyson Green, NG7 5DU
  • Price Cutter, 322-324 Radford Road, Hyson Green, NG7 5GP
  • Rivermead Convenience Store, Wilford Lane, Nottingham NG2 7RB
  • Binning Stores, 1 Vale Rd, Colwick, NG4 2GL
  • News Shop, 181 Sneinton Dale, Sneinton, NG2 4HU
  • Best One, 197 Sneinton Dale, Sneinton, NG2 4HU
  • Sneinton Boulevard Post Office, 134 Sneinton Boulevard, NG2 4FJ
  • Kandola News, 620 Carlton Road, Carlton, NG3 7AB

 

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Coronavirus: Nottingham communists respond

Cuban medical team

The Nottingham branch of the RCG are organising to defend the working class in the face of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and against a government and council who continue to prioritise business interests over people’s lives. Below is a text of a leaflet that was distributed prior to the lockdown, and our petition is available here: http://chng.it/bLh4tByD4q On Thursday 2 April we will hold a public meeting online to discuss the pandemic, contact us for details.

 

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Fighting the Criminalisation of Palestine Solidarity in Nottingham

ZIRDC meeting, 14 March 2020

On Saturday 14 March, the Zionism Is Racism Defence Campaign (ZIRDC) held a public meeting entitled ‘Fighting the Criminalisation of Palestine Solidarity.’ The Defence Campaign was set up in response to the 8 February arrest of a black anti-Zionist singled out at a picket organised by the Revolutionary Communist Group in Nottingham (https://tinyurl.com/uvmc6zn), and was recently able to announce a victory when Nottinghamshire Police dropped their investigation (https://tinyurl.com/uoxmuum). Nottingham RCG has been central to the campaign from the start. 

 

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