Confronting the National Front in Swansea
11th March 2013
Comrades from across Wales descended on Swansea to tell the National Front that they were neither welcome in Swansea, Wales or anywhere else for that matter.
The NF in Wales had chosen Swansea to host a “White Pride” day, to peddle their filthy Racist, Homophobic and Islamophobic philosophies. The event was billed as a celebration of being “white” but a visit to the “White Pride” website instantly reveals the true motives behind the gathering and that is to peddle hate of anyone who is not white, Anglo-Saxon, straight, able bodied and Christian.
The Counter-Demonstration was organized by Unite against Fascism who had liaised with the Police and the Council.
We gathered at 11 am behind the LC2 Leisure Centre and were then put into our demonstration area along with two or three hundred other anti-fascist activists. By this time the whole event was becoming, in my opinion, a trifle farcical, and we were hanging around passing the time listening to inane speeches by politicians stating the obvious and puerile chanting by some of the UAF members.
Eventually about fifty of us from the Swansea, Llanelli and West Wales, and Cardiff branches, made our way up to High Street Station and we arrived there just in time to witness the NF boarding their coaches to be bussed down to their enclosure.
We were very vocal in expressing our views on the NF, their ideologies and the fact that they were not welcome. The police who were there then started physically pushing us to one side. We linked arms and the Police started pushing us back further down High Street. When we asked why they were protecting people who, if the boot was on the other foot, would use tactics seen in 1930’s Germany to smash anyone who stood in their way, the answer came back that “they were protesting peacefully” and we were the ones inciting the trouble.
We made our way back down to the LC2 and the ranks of the Anti-Fascists had swelled by this time to around 700 people. When the NF finally arrived by buses supplied by Cymru Coaches Ltd, they had only around 50 to 60 people there. The noise the Anti-Fascists made must have made their rally almost impossible to carry out and for the duration of their time there until they got picked up again, we hurled abuse at one another across the divide.
Undoubtedly the event could be classed as a failure on their part. It was supposed to be a “national” event with Fascists invited from all over the UK. Having barely a bus load turn up shows their lack of support. But on the other hand how the whole issue of dealing with fascist events like this one, needs to be debated because the UAF also failed. The fascists were not stopped, they had their event, they came into the city and they were protected.
The Labour led City and County of Swansea Council must hang their heads in shame for allowing them to use Council Property for this event. The Leader David Phillips said in his speech at the event that law was against them and after consulting with lawyers the council were obligated to provide a venue. This is absolutely outrageous, a Labour held Council providing a platform for Neo Nazi ideology to be peddled. It is shameful that the Council did not grow a backbone and refuse access to any Council owned property. That would have shown that the Council has the interests of the population of Swansea at heart. It would have also demonstrated that Council members put principles before career politics.
We need to build our intelligence organisation up as well, with some forethought and prior knowledge and planning the event could have been stopped in its tracks, if the amount of people who had gathered in LC2 had gathered in High Street then the whole dynamics of the Counter Demonstration would have been changed.
As the Global crisis in Capitalism deepens the potential for people to be drawn into the false ideologies of the far right will increase. The circumstances that have led to the rise in fascism in the twenties and thirties are also in place now, poverty, high unemployment, welfare cuts, a culture of blame, in the twenties and thirties the Jews were blamed for all the world’s ills, today it is the migrant workers and immigrants who get blamed for stealing jobs and increasing the crime rate. It is the same scenario but different scapegoat.
The events in Swansea will no doubt be repeated in many towns and cities across the country, but if we are serious about stopping the NF or any other fascist organisation having in platform then we really need to organise ourselves better. Hurling abuse, whilst it might relieve some stress in the individual, will not stop them, intellectual argument alone will not stop them but a mass movement of the people will stop them and confine them to where they belong, the dirtiest, dingiest and darkest pages of our history books.
More on the positive side of the event, the Swansea Branch had eight potential members fill in contact forms which will be followed up as a matter of priority. This is another indicator that our perspectives are gaining momentum as the Crisis in Capitalism Deepens!
No to Fascism No Passaran
Yes to Socialism!