DAVID WHITE took to the streets of Croydon on Saturday to make a stand against the EVF
When racist or fascist groups take to the streets, should we ignore them or demonstrate against them?
This dilemma faced multi-racial Croydon when the “English Volunteer Force” announced that it wanted to march from Croydon to Woolwich last Saturday. Trades unionists and others planned a counter-demonstration.
Having witnessed it, I am sure this was the right tactic.
The EVF could muster fewer than 40 activists, all from outside the area. The anti-racists had at least five times this number, drawn from local communities and trade unions.
The EVF provocatively chose Lunar House in Croydon, headquarters of the UK Border Agency, as the place to hold their rally. However, faced with the vastly superior size of the counter-demonstration, and hundreds of police, they were reduced to shouting slogans and making Nazi-type salutes.
After about 45 minutes they left, apparently taking a train from East Croydon, abandoning part of the route they were planning to march.
History has shown us that standing up to fascists is the best tactic. For example there was the Battle of Cable Street in 1936, when thousands of anti-fascists forced Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts to abandon their march through the East End of London, with its large Jewish population. This is widely credited as being the beginning of the end for Mosley’s group.
Showing racist and fascist groups that most people reject their views is the best way to counter their ideology.
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough – 262,183 page views (Jan-Jun 2013)
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