Representatives from anti-fascist and anti-racist campaigns in London, Stoke, Derby, Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham met in early May for the first committee meeting of a new network of organisations determined to forge a “different” approach to combating the BNP and EDL.
Those organising in the new network have drawn the conclusion that the lack of democracy and the political choke-hold exercised upon existing anti-fascist networks is no longer tolerable and hinders effective action against fascists and racists.
Both the Socialist Workers Party dominated Unite Against Fascism and Searchlight magazine’s Hope not Hate campaign seem unable or unwilling to mount sharp political campaigns against the BNP or to mobilise effectively against the EDL.
The groups organised in the network want the trade unions, labour movement and socialist organisations to use their resources — organisational and financial — to fight on their own terms: to use working class politics to decisively cut the ground from under the BNP’s feet and use our strength of numbers to overwhelm attempts by racists to demonstrate and march. In short — but in terms not shared by all participants in the network — a genuine united front against racism and fascism: not apolitical, ineffective and essentially damaging popular fronts with Tories and religious right-wingers.
Apart from choosing a name (the Stop Racism and Fascism network, SRF) the group is prioritising interventions against the English Defence League, sharing campaign materials and resources and building for forthcoming action against the BNP’s “Red, White and Blue” festival in August.
We encourage all those alarmed at the BNP’s half-a-million votes at the election, those disgusted at the opposition so far to the EDL’s racist provocations and all those determined to campaign more effectively to contact the new network (visit srfnetwork.org) and work towards forming a local group.