Last Saturday, 4th October, the London Anti-Fascist Assembly, along with a range of other groups, networks, and individuals, called for a counter-protest against a far-right anti-refugee demonstration at the Home Office in Croydon.
Although we organised the demonstration at short notice, we still managed to do some leafletting in the area before the event, with everyone we met being very supportive. On the day, there was a great anti-fascist turnout with local support continuing against the far-right demo which was embarrassingly small. The fascists were isolated and unable to spread their hatred as we outnumbered them by about 10 to 1 throughout. In their own words, the 10 or so of them that showed up were “surrounded”.
As expected, police were aggressive and violent towards us anti-fascists. They continuously tried to control us and get us to stay in an “official protest area” along with SUTR (Stand up to Racism, a SWP front). SUTR also had a decent turn up, but after a bunch of speeches they escorted their group to the train station, as they felt their attendees were at risk. We remained mobile, militant and ungovernable. Through this we were able to take the fascist’s spot after less than an hour from when we arrived, forcing them to move right over to the corner and keeping the pressure on them for the rest of the day.
Of course we didn’t expect police to be of any help, nor would we want it if they were offering it. But their behaviour on the day was a clear reminder of their true nature: singling out people to harass, using innocent horses to intimidate the public, refusing to let out passersby who were caught in their kettle. All this while many of them were wearing “thin blue line” badges that seek to present the police as victims of violence, instead of what they truly are: the first line of defence, and executors, of the violence of the state, which in turn reproduces the violence of wage slavery, white supremacy, heteropatriarchy and more.
All in all, the day was a success and we showed the far-right that Croydon welcomes refugees and kicks out racists. A lesson they won’t forget any time soon.
If you also want to organise against the far-right in the streets, in our neighbourhood and in the government, get in contact with LAFA here: https://network23.org/lafa/about/
London is Anti-fascist!
Croydon is Anti-fascist!