Published on Sunday, 04 November 2012 17:12 Written by Liverpool Anti-Fascists
Saturday 3rd November saw the North West Infidels’ demonstrate outside Liverpool Town Hall. Their aim was to put pressure on Mayor Joe Anderson and stop him allowing “the IRA” from marching in the city. To say it didn’t quite go to plan would be an understatement.
The NWI had put out a huge national callout for the day, clearly hoping to maintain the numbers that other “anti-IRA” demos had given them. Instead we were treated to the pathetic spectacle of around 20 boneheads hiding behind police lines with a banner saying “No Surrender to the IRA,” whilst an anti-fascist mobilisation at least three times their size laughed in their face.
The reduced numbers underline both the fragmentation of the far-right nationally, and the limitations of using the “IRA” card to gain numbers locally. Even under the banner of “opposing the IRA,” without the direct challenge of an Irish Republican march it appeared that the more openly sectarian elements of the Orange Order couldn’t stomach standing alongside fascists. The fact that local republican groups had refused to rise to the bait and oppose Orange marches – andthe increasingly obvious racism of the NWI – can’t have helped their recruitment on this front.
The demo lasted little over an hour. Police were quick to place themselves between the opposing camps, though there was one incident where around 20 anti-fascists entered the Infidels’ cordon and the cops had to rush to save the tinpot Nazis and separate the groups once more.
Recently released bonehead Liam Pinkham apparently also ran into trouble on the night. Word is that he ran for his life after a group of youths were good enough to lay into him. Since Pinkham was jailed for a violent assault, has more than once threatened and attempted violence against anti-fascists and is a fan of intimidating innocent people when in a mob, he’ll have to forgive us if we’re not too sympathetic to his plight.
Soon enough, the embarrassment of a protest by the NWI was led away under police protection. We understand that the planned follow up protest against the MOBO Awards for “anti-white racism” never happened, which is almost a shame for the bruises and broken teeth that will never be. Maybe next time eh, lads?
The only sour note on the night was the apparent absence of the Socialist Party from the anti-fascist crowd. Given their heavy involvement in Walthamstow and commitment as an organisation to engaging with the issue, we find the stance of the local branch disappointing. Previously, they have carried on with their own stall in town even as fascists set up next to them and on the 3rd we heard that their absence stemmed from the presence of Irish republicans. If this is true, we would ask them to re-evaluate their priorities.
Anti-fascism is a class issue, and Liverpool Antifascists are critical of those who fight the far-right on the basis of cross-class alliances. But by the same token it is an issue affecting the whole working class and the need for a broad-based response is clear. The far-right will exploit religious sectarian divisions as much as racism, sexism and homophobia to promote their cause and those who consider themselves “left” ought to actively reject those divisions.
Aside from this point the day clearly belonged to the anti-fascists. The NWI were clearly humiliated and sent packing with their tails between their legs. What we must do now is to build from this, and never be complacent. A thousand other issues plague our class at present and our communities are feeling the sting from government austerity. But when fascists show up on our streets we must all come together to face them down, because without opposition they will grow and encroach the space we have to organise against all the other threats we face.
Credit: Liverpool Anti-fascists