Late report on recent events starting 24th September.
Last Tuesday week the local Unite Against Fascism (UAF) group held a public meeting at Southsea Community Centre to discuss the rise of the far right and the relatively unknown group March For England (MFE). MFE are not really known at all to the general public, but most antifascists will know them as the ones who keep going back to ‘red’ Brighton for what has become an annual, almost ritualistic, humiliation of a far right parade.
Obviously MFE claim to be patriotic and not fascist. So when they heard about an opposition meeting they got a bit excited and quietly started planning to disrupt it – a true patriotic tactic, never used by fascists before, oh no. Here’s a quick look at their facebook page. (The meeting venue was also shared on the South East Alliance page – Paul Pitts little gang who have a history of attempting to shut down Antifascist meetings, with some success it has to be said)
26 shares and an appetite to attend – notice we see the return of Portsmouth’s runaway fascist landlord, Barry Smith, promising to put in an appearance. We have heard he has another pub in Pompey now, after getting forced out of the Alma Arms, so we would encourage people to keep an eye out for the bald pink Sasquatch.
Without wanting to sit through a meeting, and also not wanting to see the fascists score a victory, a mob of Portsmouth Antifascists headed down and stood around outside eagerly awaiting some flag waving morons to put in an appearance -alas it was not to be and they never showed up – could it be that they learnt a lesson last time they tried to disrupt a lefty meeting, see this previous post? Based on the fact they keep returning to Brighton year after year we have to question whether they are capable of learning anything at all .
The following Saturday the fascists got a little bit more brave and decided to try and disrupt a Muslim stall that is in the city centre most weeks, in what can only be described as a really fucking cowardly incident. Here’s a picture taken of some suspicious looking lads before they got the bollocks to do something:
The four lads, a couple of whom we recognise, and a couple we don’t, apparently rocked up and stood around. They then went away and turned up again with a few more – they did this for a while, no doubt popping into The Trafalgar for a bit of liquid encouragement each pass, until they had finally summoned up enough courage and numbers to have a go. In the end they had at least 12 lads who walked over to the stall and started giving the few Muslims who were running it grief as well as the usual racist shite. Really fucking brave boys, seriously, wow! Harrassing a few people doing a religous stall on a Saturday afternoon. Seriously pathetic. Luckily for the stall holders some security guards from the Cascades Centre saw what was going on and came to their assistance, 2 female police officers also turned up which must have well and truly sent the ‘patriots’ balls into retreat. The fascist crowd stood around and attempted to intimidate the stall holders by filming them, and a couple were searched by police, i assume for expected cocaine possession, how else did they summon up such courage?
So this was a bit of a mixed bag for antifascism in Portsmouth, on the one hand the fascists again showed themselves up to be nothing more than pathetic bullies, on the other hand they have shown willing to go through with daft hair brained schemes, that eventually could lead to a serious incident, and someone innocent getting hurt.
On a more positive note there was also a bit of community building put on by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) this week with the visit of a Palestinian Footballer. A full report of that can be read on the Inside Left sports blog. This event was nothing to do with the Portsmouth Antifascist group, but it is an example of how we should be looking to find common interests and building links between our communities (hopefully the SWP didn’t try to make everyone leave with a paper!?) .
Politicians, cops, religious leaders, corporate media, have divided us for too long. The fascists who go around trying to bully people doing street stalls are carrying out the dirty work of the politicians, cops, religious leaders & corporate media. Lets not let them divide us, lets be ready to confront them together.