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Posts Tagged ‘UAF

What’s Going On At Unite Against Fascism?

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Political stupidity is nothing new and the British Left’s almost perpetual sectarianism has impeded many developments, but even I am surprised at this, from Indymedia:

Dear TCAR members and supporters,

The following open letter is being sent this week by the organising group for the Northern March Against Racism, after much consideration. It is a response to an unacceptable act of sectarianism by a leading member of UAF (Unite Against Fascism) to undermine the Northern March Against Racism, which has been called by TCAR. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that leading members of UAF around the Socialist Worker Party have attempted to undermine the work of other anti-racist organisations in the North East. We are writing this open letter in the hope that this issue will be addressed by UAF and that similar situations can be avoided in the future.

To the leadership and members of UAF (Unite Against Fascism):
Cc: Ken Livingstone, UAF Chair; Sabby Dhalu, UAF joint Secretary; Weyman Bennett, UAF joint Secretary; Martin Smith, SWP National Secretary

We are writing from the organising group of the Northern March Against Racism 2010, which is due to take place in Newcastle upon Tyne on 20 November. The march has been called by TCAR (Tyneside Community Action Against Racism), and is supported by over a dozen other organisations and trade union branches. We are writing concerning attempts by a leading UAF member and SWP regional organiser, Yunus Bakhsh, to undermine the Northern March.

On Monday 18 October, TCAR supporters put posters in the following shops in the Arthurs Hill area of Newcastle to publicise the Northern March:
Crossley Wine Centre
Brighton Oriental Food Stores
Fenham Call Centre
Mishti Mukh Sweet Centre
Tanveer Gents Hairdresser
M.A. Travels
Kamran’s Barber Shop
Geordie Hairdressing Salon
Persian Delights
Aanchal Fashions
Sanam Travel
Heera Jewelers

By Wednesday 20 October, most of these had been removed and in their place were UAF posters advertising the march in London on 6 November. We then put up more posters for the Northern March in the same shops on 20 October, of course leaving the UAF posters in place. The Northern March posters remained until the morning of Tuesday 26 October, when someone again removed the posters from shops including:
Crossley Wine Centre
Brighton Oriental Food Stores
Fenham Call Centre
Tanveer Gents Hairdresser
M.A. Travels
Kamran’s Barber Shop
Aanchal Fashions
Sanam Travel
Heera Jewelers

On enquiring with shopkeepers, several were able to confirm that a man had entered the shop, removed the posters for the Northern March, and in some cases replaced them with a poster for the UAF march. These shopkeepers confirmed from a photograph that the individual who removed the posters was Yunus Bakhsh. We have access to a shopkeeper’s CCTV footage, which clearly shows Yunus entering the shop at 14:48:26 on 26 October, removing the poster for the Northern March Against Racism, before going to the counter and handing the shopkeeper a flier for the 6 November UAF march.

We are sure you will agree that this is an appalling and unacceptable act of sectarianism, which damages the integrity of the wider anti-racist movement in the region. How can any serious socialist justify this sort of behaviour? We urge you to take measures to ensure the members involved end such acts of sabotage immediately.

The Northern March Against Racism is a vital part of building positive anti-racist unity in the region. It is being organised on an open and democratic basis. The local branch of UAF were first invited to participate in building the Northern March on 14 July, including full rights to distribute their literature, display banners and have a speaker. This offer has so far been ignored, but remains open. We hope that you will take immediate action to end the removal of our posters by your members, and that UAF will start to make a positive contribution to the Northern March. We await your response, and wish you well in London on the 6 November.


Organising Group
Northern March Against Racism 2010

Justice for Immigrants! Freedom for Refugees!
Together we are Stronger!


James Taylor

It doesn’t get more stupid than that. I do wish that the SWP and UAF would get their act together, British neofascism is the real danger not other antiracists.

We, The Undersigned.

with one comment

This is a welcome initiative from the UAF:


We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned by the rise in fascism, Islamophobia, antisemitism and racism. The English Defence League has organised events across the country, stirring up hatred, Islamophobia and racism – running riot in some cases and provoking violent attacks on Muslim, black and Asian communities and on Mosques and Mandirs (Hindu temples).

Alongside this the British National Party has received unprecedented electoral support for a fascist organisation in Britain.

Despite losing many council seats in the elections this year, the BNP’s share of the vote overall continued to rise and it has two elected members of the European Parliament.

This is in the context of a wave of Islamophobia and racism in Europe and the USA, including threats to burn copies of the Qur’an, attacks on Mosques and Islamic cultural centres, bans on Muslim women’s full-face veils and the construction of minarets. In France, the Roma people have been singled out and subjected to mass expulsions.

Now, more than ever, we must unite to turn back this tide of hatred.

We stand against the rise of racism, fascism, Islamophobia and antisemitism and support the demonstration on Saturday 6 November.


Derek Simpson joint general secretary, Unite the union, Tony Woodley joint general secretary, Unite the union, Keith Sonnet deputy general secretary Unison, Ed Balls MP, Diane Abbott MP, Billy Hayes general secretary, CWU, Tony Kearns deputy general secretary, CWU, Chris Keates general secretary, NASUWT, Christine Blower general secretary NUT, Kevin Courtney deputy general secretary, NUT, Mark Serwotka general secretary PCS, Hugh Lanning deputy general secretary PCS, Matt Wrack general secretary FBU, Bob Crow general secretary, RMT, Jeremy Dear general secretary NUJ, Pete Murray president NUJ, Gerry Conlon Guildford Four, Paddy Hill Birmingham Six, Runnymede Trust, Napo, POA, Musicians Union

Written by modernityblog

03/11/2010 at 20:31

Bertie Lois And The Riot Police.

with 2 comments

The British riot police are often a law unto themselves.

Please watch the video below, about 26 seconds into it you will see Bertie Lois, a 89 year old man being assaulted by a policeman.

It is not obvious, but as they past him they shove him aside like a rag doll.

Bertie Lois is a WW2 veteran and is treated by the riot police as if he is detritus. Appalling, but fairly typical of British riot police as the death of Ian Tomlinson’s shows.

Update 1: Manchester UAF have rather good coverage of events:

Nurse Karen Reissmann helps Bertie while police attacked anti fascist campaigners.

Evidence of Police Violence in Bolton.

Neofascists in Bolton.

with 9 comments

I’m still waiting for an update on the events today in Bolton, but from the BBC coverage it is apparent that the British police colluded with the English Defence League and escorted them into Victoria Square in Bolton.

The video clip from the BBC suggests that the police were more concerned to attack antifascists than halt the progress of the neofascists in the EDL.

Independent sources suggest that the antifascist turnout was higher than the BBC figure indicates.

And for American readers, who might wonder what is going on, essentially the EDL picking areas of Britain with relatively high ethnic populations and provocatively marching in those areas, in the hope of having a fight or stirring up racial hatred.

Similar to the Ku Klux Klan parades of old but without the white sheets, same type of purpose.

Update 1: Bolton anti-EDLers get “kettled”.

Update 2: Videos over at Counterfire.

Update 3: As it happened from the Manchester Evening News.

Update 4: The Bolton News has various videos and photographs of events.

Update 5: New commenters should read my comments policy before posting.

Update 6: Anorak has various photos including this one of EDL giving Nazi salutes, second row in:

EDLers in Bolton, giving Nazi salute

EDLers in Bolton, giving Nazi salute

Update 7: The Guardian covers it:

“UAF groups waved anti-Nazi placards and chanted: “Fascist scum off our streets” while EDL supporters carried flags bearing the St George’s Cross and banners against “Islamic extremists”. Prior to the demonstration, both groups agreed to stay in separate areas, separated by steel barriers. But many smashed through the barricades and were involved in clashes. Last week a plea from the council and faith leaders to ban the demonstration was turned down in a letter from Alan Johnson, the home secretary. The EDL describes itself as a peaceful group campaigning against “militant Islam”, but violence has frequently marred its protests .”

Update 8: Bob points us to Bolton, Brutality and Lies

Update 9: Not forgetting Dave Osler on the topic.

Update 10: Greater Manchester Police accused by NUJ:

“On Saturday March 20th NUJ member, Rhetta Moran, was arrested by a police snatch squad at a lawful protest against the English Defence League in Bolton.

Rhetta was arrested while reading out a message of support from TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber at the protest in Bolton town centre. She was not engaged in any violent activity at the protest.

She was detained for 10 hours and while in detention her house keys were confiscated and her home was searched without a warrant. Documents were copied from her computer.

She was not charged but released on police bail until May 10 on condition that she does not attend any meetings or gatherings of Unite Against Fascism anywhere in the country. Rhetta is joint secretary of Greater Manchester UAF.

I believe the actions of the police, and in particular the bail condition, is an outrageous violation of my member’s human rights and is in breach of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights which protects freedom of association and assembly.

Since the Human Rights Act 1998 makes it unlawful for UK public authorities to act in any way which is incompatible with Convention rights, Greater Manchester Police has clearly behaved unlawfully. I have therefore protested to the Chair of Greater Manchester Police Authority and I am calling for an investigation into police behaviour at the protest.”

[My emphasis].

Update 11: Luna17 points to Police’s Tweet.

Update 12: The Sauce had UAF live blogging from Bolton.

Written by modernityblog

20/03/2010 at 22:27