Oppose fascist and Islamophobic Britain First in Birmingham – 24 June

By Gerry Gable

Birmingham Unite Against Fascism is calling upon anti-fascists to oppose another fascist attempt to inflame race hate in Birmingham.

Birmingham UAF

The Islamophobic and fascist sect, Britain First, plan to visit the city of Birmingham on 24 June. They had aimed at an earlier, unwanted intrusion, but had to postpone this, as their leaders were arrested on various charges. Birmingham Unite Against Fascism have called a counter mobilisation.

The ex-BNP members who lead Britain First have a long history of attempting to intimidate Muslims, in particular. They are now banned from every mosque in the UK, after having on a number of occasions, arrived at mosques and threatened often elderly, Muslims. One founder of Britain First, James Dowson,  has criminal convictions that include possession of weapons and is well connected with Loyalist organisations in Northern Ireland, where he was involved in organising Loyalist “flag” protests.

Britain First were among the words shouted by the killer of Jo Cox MP, at the scene of his appalling act. It is still an open question as to whether the murderer, a white supremacist, was linked to Britain First. The fascists, like their counterparts in the EDL and ex EDL leader, Tommy Robinson, wish to cynically capitalise on the terror attacks in the UK. Britain First do not seek unity of course, but try to inflame Islamophobia and target all Muslims.

The last time fascists visited Birmingham was in the shape of the EDL, in April. They  were opposed by anti fascists and superbly upstaged by Saffiyah Khan, caught in a picture which went viral. Britain First have a large online presence but this generally belies their actual ability to mobilise on the streets. Their electoral results are overwhelmingly poor, witness their pitiful results in the London Mayoral election.

Despite this, the recent Manchester march led by Tommy Robinson, of over 1,000 racists and fascists, from across the far right, means that anti-fascists will keep focused on undercutting UK fascists. Robinson’s thug-filled, tide of hate was the largest extreme right demonstration, since 2013.

Birmingham Unite Against Fascism are organising with allies in the trades unions, the Muslim community and via Love Music Hate Racism, to ensure the fascists are marginalised. Britain First are not wanted in the city and will be shunned by all who reject their Islamophobia.

Details of the march are here.