From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
THOUSANDS STAND UP TO THE PEGIDA THUGS
Monday 2nd March 2015
People of Newcastle turn out to make a stand against just 200 red-faced fascists
THOUSANDS of anti-fascists took to the streets of Newcastle-upon-Tyne at the weekend to oppose a demonstration by racist and Islamaphobic gang Pegida.
While around 200 Pegida fascists were protected by a phalanx of police, 3,000 to 4,000 anti-fascists staged a march and rally, dwarfing their demonstration.
Under the banner Newcastle United, they made a clear statement of the broad base of opposition to the racist group.
Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, people of no faith, trade unionists, students and political activists stood shoulder to shoulder against Pegida.
Pegida — whose German acronym means Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West — peaked last month in Dresden when 25,000 people attended a rally, but its popularity has dwindled following leadership scandals.
Far-right activists in Britain were trying to import its racist beliefs in the forlorn hope of creating a mass movement of their own.
But their turnout in Newcastle on Saturday — and the massed ranks of local people who opposed them — was a major knock to their hopes.
Speaker after speaker denounced Pegida at a rally that followed a march by the anti-fascist protesters.
He told the exuberant crowd that the association is restoring a banner of the International Brigades, created in honour of people from Newcastle who went to Spain to fight in the country’s war against fascism in the 1930s.
“When I came here today I thought there would be a few hundred people scattered about,” he said.
“I have been on many demonstrations over the years but today has lifted me.
“The National Union of Mineworkers has never been found wanting when racism and fascism shows its ugly head.
“When you look over there and see the small number of absolutely despicable people, and you look up here and see 3,000 to 4,000 people, it gives you a lift.
“My union has fought fascism through the whole of its history.
“Today’s demonstration must tell those 200 people down there that there is no place for them in Newcastle, Durham and Northumberland, and there should be no place in the country for scum like that,” he said to cheers.
Messages of support were read out from Sunderland and Newcastle football fans’ organisations. Among other speakers was the Lord Mayor of Newcastle George Pattison.
Five people were arrested, including for drunkenness and public order offences.
See also here.
England: MATT WILLGRESS talks to leading lights in the movement for racial equality about the importance of taking to the streets in the run-up to UN Anti-Racism Day: here.
Italy: Racist protest dwarfed by opposition on the streets of Rome. TENS of thousands of anti-fascist and anti-racist activists confronted Italy’s far-right Northern League on the streets of Rome on Saturday: here.