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(en) wsm.ie: UDL fail to even show when Belfast anti-fascists take their protest site
Mon, 10 Apr 2017 09:51:05 +0300
This video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg8JlyRZe_s shows some scenes from the
successful Belfast Anti-Fascist demo that took place Saturday April 1st ---- About 200
anti-fascists gathered to show the supposedly 30 or so supporters of the Ulster Defence
League that while neither they nor their views are welcome here refugees certainly are.
---- In reality, the illustrious UDL 30 had no organised or visible attendance, with
merely a couple of their brave warriors skulking around the edges, clearly humiliated by
the overwhelming presence of anti-fascists. ---- Derry Antifascists who travelled to
Belfast for the protest later reported on their page ---- "Antifascists from across the
North gathered in Belfast city centre earlier today in what was a clear visible show of
strength to counter any attempt by members of the tiny fascist group Ulster Defence League
(UDL) from holding a public protest in order to threaten or spread their lies and hate on
From to outset as antifascists assembled in Writers Square in central Belfast by the
international antifascist monument, a monument dedicated to the local brigadistas of the
international brigades. There was also a highly visible PSNI presence who informed those
gathered that the event itself was an illegal demonstration and warning several activists
about having their faces covered in a public place. At the assembly point as more people
gathered it was decided to break up in order for activists make there way to another
agreed point before making there way to Belfast City Hall. As this happened many people
along the way again were being harassed by the PSNI and notified about walking together in
numbers as well as for wearing items that covered or obscured their identity.
Members of different left, republican and trade union groups were represented from Workers
Solidarity Movement to the Industrial Workers of the World including several non-aligned
anarchists, socialists and antifascists from across the North.
One activist said "When you hear of random racist attacks happening on our streets on an
almost daily occurrence as well as attacks witnessed on just yesterday on the streets of
London, when a young Kurdish asylum seeker was almost beaten to death by a mob people have
to say, "this has to stop here and now!"
Another young activist interrupted adding: "We can't allow any group, whether they're the
UDL or whatever they want to call themselves to even attempt to moblise here.
"History shows us all too cleary how we should deal with Nazis or fascist scum wherever
they raise their fucking heads or when they come up for air, if it's here in Belfast,
Derry or Dublin we'll be there!"
As antifascists made their way through the busy city centre streets through crowds of
Saturday afternoon shoppers under tight PSNI observation another activist commented, "Many
of us come from or acknowledge that we have a strong tradition of militant antifascism in
Ireland and it's appropriate for us to start today's events by assembling at the Spanish
Civil War monument. It's even better that more and more younger activists acknowledge this
also and are answering the call to organise".
At Belfast city hall there was no sign of the planned UDL rally against immigrants and
refugees, instead around 200 antifascist activists chanted slogans in between the beats
intervals of Samba drumming as a hand full of bemused union flag protests looked on.
Several finger pointing incidents, flag waving and one muppet wearing an 'anti commie'
t-shirt was all that developed. At times there were a few jossels and angry out bursts as
the PSNI kept a clear barrier between those outside City Hall but one thing was certain,
the proposed UDL gathering was a none starter.
In a statement issued by Belfast Antifascists afterwards a spokesperson said "Antifascists
from all over Belfast and Derry in representation of citizens of this island in opposition
of the regressive and fascist ideology of the Ulster Defence League and their associated
counterparts in the 'flegster' element.
"Despite the apparent fear and abscence of the UDL who in fact called for a protest in the
firstplace, Antifascists sought to take action and demonstrate even the very fact that a
hateful islamophobic protest was even dared to be called.
"Fascists should never have the right to an agenda, make them afraid, keep them off our
streets and communities. If you have any information regarding antifascists activity in
your area , please do not hesitate to make contact with us please.
"Immigrants, people of colour and the working class, will always be and forever more be
the priority of our political actions. Humanity comes first before borders".
The sunshine faded and the skies opened with torrents of heavy rain and hailstones, the
union flag protesters blinked first and packed up amidst cheers, jeers and applauding
Photos: From Derry anti-fascist FB album
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