Neo-nazi danger in Scotland


This video from Scotland says about itself:

11 October 2012

Anti-fascists confronted the racist SDL who came to Dundee in Scotland on 1st Sept 2012 to try and spread their race hate in a city that has a proud history of anti-fascism. As usual most of the “SDL” were EDL Islamophobes transported up from England. Dundee city council did not give the SDL permission for a march but they turned up anyway. I’m frankly surprised they dared to show their face in a city like Dundee which has a long progressive history.

Police kept the SDL away from the city square where a multicultural festival was in progress. Instead they contained them in a small space round the corner from the shopping centre outside the Primark where they were only able to hold a static protest. Both fascist and anti-fascist counter-demonstrators shouted and chanted at each other and one of the racists can be seen giving vulgar gestures to the antifascist crowd. At one point the neo-nazis surged forward as if to start a fight with the anti-nazis but the police managed to contain them.

Eventually the racist thugs get back on their bus and anti-fascists sing “Cheerio cheerio cheerio” at them and wave “good riddance” to the thugs before returning to the square for more multicultural entertainment. Earlier in the day an anti-fascist march took place to lay flowers in the colours of the International Brigades that fought Franco’s fascism at a plaque commemorating the Dundonian volunteers in the brigades who gave their lives in the fight against fascism.

During the afternoon while the antifascist/SDL confrontation was taking place, there were speeches in the city square highlighting the need to be ready to oppose fascism to make sure it never raises its ugly head again. Austerity measures and cuts and job losses create conditions ripe for neo-fascism which play on people’s discontent and try to divide and rule. Those in government responsible for the cuts largely ignore the threat of fascism because it suits them to have people blaming vulnerable groups like immigrants or people of different religions or colour. It is therefore the duty of those who don’t want to see an upsurge in fascism to campaign against it and take steps to oppose it where it attempts to poison people’s minds. In the words of the international volunteers who fought fascism in Spain: “No pasaran!” They shall not pass!

By Rab O’Donnell in Scotland:

The dangers of the far-right in Scotland

Tuesday 23rd February 2016

THE anti-racist organisation Hope Not Hate published its annual State of Hate report earlier this month detailing the current state of both far-right and Islamist extremism in Britain and Europe.

Over the past year there has been a lot for anti-fascists to celebrate. The implosion of the English Defence League and BNP are a result of many years’ hard work and campaigning within communities by anti-fascist organisations and trade unions.

The continued decline in the number of people active within far-right/extremist groups is to be welcomed, as is the displacement of the far-right’s three leading figures — Nick Griffin (BNP), Jim Dowson (Britain First) and Stephen Lennon

Full name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. He often uses the pseudonym ‘Tommy Robinson‘.

(EDL).

This has undoubtedly weakened the far-right and led to it being racked with internal divisions, feuding and the vying for control of organisations with potentially lucrative financial sidelines.

This clear lack of leadership and absence of one cohesive body has led to many smaller splinter groups and, the report warns, may lead to more violent confrontations on the streets.

In addition, the return of Lennon in the new guise of the German-inspired street movement Pegida UK is also a concern.

Lennon is probably the one person who could unite a large section of the far-right and, with his plausible manner and projection by sections of the mass media, secure credibility within some working-class communities.

In the past he has played up anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric as a danger to British values and played down his previous involvement with the BNP and other far-right groups.

In Scotland we should not think that we are immune to people with such extreme attitudes — despite some of the claims made during the referendum campaign. The far-right scene in Scotland goes hand in hand with the rest of Britain.

Scotland has seen its fair share of National Front, BNP and Scottish Defence League activity on the streets of its towns and cities over the years.

Only last Saturday, Satanic Warmaster, a death metal band who use nazi insignia and references to nazism in their lyrics, played a gig in Glasgow.

The Scottish Defence League, which for many years was at pains to claim it was not racist, has had a reciprocal agreement with the extreme right, northern England-based neonazi gang, the North West Infidels, which regularly congregates in towns and cities across Scotland, England and Wales spouting extremist rhetoric mainly aimed at Muslims but also people on the left and trade unionists.

It is interesting to note that both the North West Infidels and the Scottish Defence League now openly display the Deaths Head insignia of the nazi SS, as well as that of the proscribed Combat 18, while attending demonstrations — and are able to do so under our freedom of speech laws.

A demonstration for Syrian refugees in Glasgow was violently disrupted in Glasgow late last year.

The same day, the stalls of progressive organisations in the city centre were targeted by skinheads in jackboots posting stickers of Rudolf Hess on lampposts in Buchanan Street.

We have also seen National Front candidates standing in Scotland during the most recent general election.

While such people are thankfully in a small minority, they are waiting for an issue that can shake public opinion and ignite much more widespread racist action.

After the Paris attacks by another set of extremist fundamentalists from Isis, some mosques and gurdwaras in Scotland were attacked and daubed with racist graffiti.

Fortunately no wider action occurred — probably as a result of the temporary disorganisation of the far-right in Britain.

Ultimately these people are mere pawns to be used by our ruling class in times of crisis.

A more worrying aspect of the State of Hate report was its documentation of the creeping rise of racism within mainstream media and politics.

A 2014 poll carried out by YouGov showed 58 per cent support in Scotland for the statement that immigration into Britain should be reduced.

Though less than the 75 per cent support for this position in England and Wales, it is still worryingly high — especially when combined with the 12 per cent in Scotland who viewed English people in the same light as immigrants.

David Cameron’s reference on Holocaust Memorial Day to families fleeing violence in Syria as “a bunch of migrants” is an example of the increasingly inflammatory rhetoric used by politicians who are themselves the authors of the crisis in social provision and housing.

The Immigration Act currently before Parliament will give greater legitimacy to this rhetoric, with landlords legally obliged to police the origins of tenants and penal conditions imposed on asylum-seekers and their children.

The same rhetoric will undoubtedly enter the campaign on the EU referendum which will follow very shortly after the Scottish parliamentary elections.

While Hope Not Hate does not have a position on the EU referendum, it cannot be denied that the extreme austerity measures enforced by the EU have led to an upsurge in support for far-right neonazi organisations such as Golden Dawn in Greece and its counterparts in Hungary, Austria, Finland and elsewhere. The role of the EU and fascist forces in Ukraine cannot be ignored.

Hope Not Hate in Glasgow has campaigned against TTIP, in part a product of the EU, for the same reason — that it will force down wages and conditions, break up collective bargaining, intensify competition in the labour market and inevitably lead to the further scapegoating of migrant workers.

In Scotland Ukip is already represented by one MEP, elected in 2014. It will be very important to ensure that Ukip’s anti-immigrant rhetoric does not dominate the Leave campaign, at the same time as David Cameron pumps up his own anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Scotland has deep traditions of anti-racist internationalism, annually celebrated by the STUC on St Andrew’s Day, as well as a commitment to economic democracy and workers’ solidarity that can provide an alternative vision.

Migrants do not deserve to be vilified by politicians seeking to deflect attention from the consequences of their own actions.

The trade union and labour movement must be first in line to see this does not happen.

Rab O’Donnell is secretary of Greater Glasgow Hope Not Hate.

7 thoughts on “Neo-nazi danger in Scotland

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