By Tony Patey in Brighton, England:
Applause for rep who faced down fascists
Friday 25 May 2012
PCS rep Phil Dickens … faced physical abuse on a picket line and then a personal attack on a social network from the fascist North West Infidels over the May 10 strike.
He got unanimous support from the 1,000 delegates at the Brighton Centre today, who condemned the “disgusting” attacks.
Mr Dickens told the Morning Star that he had been on a picket outside the HMRC offices in Bootle, which drew about 25 workers at its height.
After going home, he rushed back when he saw a Facebook post mentioning the pickets.
“There were about about six of them, one with a Rottweiler, and they started shouting off about the usual things. Everyone drew together in a block.”
Mr Dickens’s partner refused to move away from in front of him, which he said confused the fascists. He asked the Star not to print her name.
“There was shouting back and forth and the police arrived, and one of them was arrested. He was held for two hours and then released.”
He said that as “revenge” for that an abusive post was put up on Facebook. He reckons he was targeted because he is a well-known activist in the area.
“There have been idle threats but they have never materialised. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of them but we will keep campaigning,” he vowed.
It took complaints and quite a while before Facebook pulled the abuse.
Delegates cheered and clapped and Mr Dickens said it was “absolutely brilliant” to get such support from his colleagues.
Wendy Turner (East Midlands) called the rise of the far-right “a plague across this country” that must be strongly opposed and underlined that Mr Dickens and his family were “at extreme risk” at the time.