Around 80 people turned up to a city-centre protest staged by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) in Glasgow on 4 February.
The protest was in response to an incident the previous week when fascists surrounded the Communist Party of Britain’s city-centre stall, spat on it, and gave Nazi salutes. One of the fascists also filmed the event.
This incident followed an attack on the Glasgow Palestine Human Rights Campaign city-centre stall last November, when a group of 30 or so masked thugs from the Scottish Defence League (SDL) attacked it and tipped it over.
The SDL has now lodged an application with the city council for a demonstration in Glasgow city centre on 25 February. UAF has put in its own application for a demonstration the same day, commencing an hour earlier from a different venue in the city centre.
Beyond doubt, the SDL’s application will be refused by Glasgow City Council. The SDL — which claims that the “Northern Infidels”, a breakaway from the EDL, will be turning up to support it — will organise a static protest (for which no council permission is required).
At last Saturday’s protest rally UAF speakers promised that they would be mobilising to stop the SDL. But going on their past performances, they cannot be trusted to do so.
In Glasgow in November of 2009, and then in Edinburgh in February of 2010, the UAF led protestors away from confronting the SDL.
And in Edinburgh in September 2011 the UAF hailed as a great victory (“Victory! Victory! Edinburgh is Nazi-free”), the fact that the UAF were able to march a hundred yards along Princes Street and than stand around for an a hour and a half.
In the past, militant opposition to the SDL has been organised by the Glasgow Anti-Fascist Alliance (GAFA) and the Scottish Anti-Fascist Alliance (SAFA).
Neither has been active in recent months.The forces which made up GAFA and SAFA in the past need to come together again between now and 25 February in order to prepare an organised intervention on the day.
If that does not happen, then anti-SDL activists should turn up at the UAF’s assembly point (George Square) and seek to take as many people as possible with them to confront the SDL.