Saturday, August 18, 2018

Fascists flee at Bookmarks rally

By Theo Russell
standing by Bookmarks at the meeting

Fascists wearing blackshirts with Nazi-style logos were given a taste of their own
medicine when they tried to disrupt a meeting called in support of the London
bookshop vandalised by Nazis and racists a week earlier. A small group of
supporters of the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) and Generation Identity gathered
outside shouting abuse, but they were immediately chased several blocks away by
an angry crowd chanting “fascist scum – off our streets!”.
London comrades joined many other anti-fascists last Saturday to show their
solidarity with Bookmarks, the socialist bookshop which is the official bookseller for
the TUC. Hundreds came for the rally at the nearby Bloomsbury Baptist Church to
show solidarity after the shop was ransacked by a group of Nazis and racists the
previous week.
Three UKIP members have been suspended after 12 men, one wearing a
Donald Trump mask, jeered Muslims and called the shop staff “traitors”.
Noel Halifax, who was one of the two staff in the shop on the day of the attack,
said that the last time Bookmarks had been targeted was in the 1970s. “The National
Front was around then, and it feels like that kind of atmosphere today,” he said, also
pointing to a recent attack on London’s LGBT bookshop Gay’s the Word.
Dave Gilchrist, the manager of Bookmarks, said: “We have emerged from it
much, much stronger,” and pointed out the hypocrisy of the fascists and racists
involved in the attack, who paint their figurehead Tommy Robinson as a “free speech
David Rosenberg from the Jewish Socialists’ Group read a message of solidarity
from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whom he called “my MP, an outstanding
fighter against all racism”.
Weyman Bennett from Stand Up To Racism commented on the far right’s “make
Britain great again” slogan, saying: “What’s not great about Britain? The NHS, black
and white, gay, straight and trans people coming together?”
He called for a united front against the threat of resurgent forces of the British far
right, saying: “Tommy Robinson's supporters had 15,000 on the streets – they are
bigger now than before.
“We built the Anti Nazi League, we built Unite Against Fascism – and we're
building Stand Up To Racism.” But he added: “It is not automatic that we will win this
fight – but what is for certain is that we will fight.”
Finally Unmesh Desai, a Labour member of the London Assembly, said: “We
need to create a hostile climate for Nazis and fascists coming into our communities.”

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