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Sat 17 August 2019
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75,000 peacefully took to the streets during Donald Trump’s state visit, but Louise Raw is reminded of the disturbing past of Far-right protesters.

‘Nonces’!

As the three men unfurled a huge ‘We Love Trump’ banner behind an anti-racist stall, they hurled abuse at anyone within earshot.

75,000 peaceful anti-Trump protestors came together yesterday, assembling in Trafalgar Square where a good humoured crowd enjoyed creative banners and costumes: there were red-cloaked Handmaids, orange toddler Trumps and a Presidential impersonator clad in shirt, jacket and that famous red tie above the waste, but shocking pink tights and high heels below.

Since Trump’s inauguration, extremists have claimed him as one of their own – never before have we seen British fascists drape themselves in the American flag and root for the commander in chief.

There were also a handful of assorted Far Right ‘faces’- associates of the EDL and even of banned terror group National Action – contained by police, but shouting and making obscene gestures.

It was to be expected – anyone who didn’t believe there would be a neo-fascist presence had failed to read the political room. Since Trump’s inauguration, extremists have claimed him as one of their own – never before have we seen British fascists drape themselves in the American flag and root for the commander in chief.

Last summer, 12 Far Right supporters in red ‘Make Britain Great Again’ baseball caps (because what’s more British than baseball?) attacked a political bookstore in London.


Man Down

Back in Parliament Square yesterday, at the point where the procession was set to end, there had been signs of trouble to come for some hours. As well as a vocal few in ‘MAGA’ caps, there was a small but aggressive contingent of the serious Far Right.

Amongst them were men with convictions for extreme racist violence, and connections to the English Defence League, Combat 18 (the paramilitary wing of the BNP) and the aforementioned National Action, who publicly celebrated the death of Jo Cox MP in 2016, subsequently plotting the murder of another female Labour MP and several other people.

Police yesterday were informed of their presence, but declined to move the 40 or so men.

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As the anti-racist bloc entered the square with a banner held by several people across the full width of the march, an individual stepped deliberately in its path, and appeared to propel himself at the marchers. There were upwards of 70,000 people behind them; no-one could have stopped abruptly without chaos and a crush. Several people grabbed at the man to pull him clear; he lost his footing in the mêlée. He was immediately assisted to his feet, but it was too late – an edited clip of his fall was broadcast as evidence of an innocent Trump supporter attacked by the violent left.

Another individual who had been abusive for some time, was ‘milkshaked’, in this summer’s anti-fascist tradition; this has also been roundly condemned as an assault.

Serious threats were made, using their names, to anti-fascist activists, and one of the men kicked out, narrowly missing a disabled woman.

Then, after police removed anti-crush barriers protecting the back of the Stand Up To Racism stall, three men, two of them know to anti-racists, moved in and unrolled a large ‘We Love Trump’ banner, shouting abuse: ‘Paedophiles! Nonces!’.

These are now common accusations made by the Far Right against the Left. Since a Far Right leader faced a contempt of court charge in the trail of a Muslim grooming gang has somehow been parlayed into his opponents being paedophiles themselves.

Serious threats were made, using their names, to anti-fascist activists, and one of the men kicked out, narrowly missing a disabled woman.

Police declined to move the men on, despite being asked to do so in the interests of public order, but did intervene when another young woman put her hand on their banner as if to take it down; a sergeant shouted that she was ‘like a child in the playground’ and said ‘you’re all as bad as each other’.


‘All as Bad as Each Other’

This last is a common theme. The left are used to being threatened by the Far Right on demos: anti-fascists had to prevent journalist Owen Jones from serious harm earlier this year as he was spat on and insulted with homophobic slurs.

Instead of outrage, the liberal as well as right-wing media tends to opine that the left are in fact ‘just as bad’, or worse, than the Far Right. The Far Right naturally finds this amusing, and encourages it with enthusiasm, calling anti-fascists ‘the real Nazis’.

But is it really ‘six of one and half a dozen of the other’?

The Far Right has killed an MP, and is responsible for thousands of violent crimes. They have advocated the murder of Sadiq Khan, Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn.

The Far Right has killed an MP, and is responsible for thousands of violent crimes. They have advocated the murder of Sadiq Khan, Diane Abbott and Jeremy Corbyn.

Anyone walking into a huge Far Right demonstration and shouting abuse at the demonstrators would be lucky to get out in once piece, let alone just a bit milky. As I write, a gang of notorious football hooligans are chanting abuse at anti-Trump protestors in Portsmouth.

Yet the Far Right are constantly given a platform- there have been numerous complaints about how frequently Nigel Farage is featured on television, and the opinion of Generation Identity were sought by the BBC on the Christchurch massacre as if they were simply another valid political commentator; GI were later found to have directly corresponded with and inspired the gunman.

As monitoring group Resisting Hate warns, ‘High profile figures like Trump incite hatred on social media that spills into real violence on the streets.’

Sections of the media would be well-advised to stop feeding this threat, however inadvertently, while there is still time.

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