Members of the CWU communication workers' union, UNISON, PCS civil servants and firefighters' FBU were amongst about 200 who joined the counter-protest against the fascist Britain First group in Rochdale on Saturday, 22nd July.  The counter-protest was called by Unite Against Fascism. 

The Muslim Defence League (MDL) organised up to 50 mainly Asian supporters to march from the Broadfield Park area of Rochdale to the town centre rally.  The anti-racist protest later moved to an area overlooking an edge-of-town car park where no more than 60 fascists were held in a police pen, surrounded by three-metre-high solid steel police barriers.

"Paul Golding of Britain First is just now giving a speech talking about his ancestors", UAF's Weyman Bennett said as he addressed the anti-racist protesters.  "But we already know his ancestors were Adolf Hitler and Mussolini."

UNISON member Vernetta attacked Teresa May and the Tories when she spoke, for "using racism as a distraction while continuing austerity and attacks on services."  CWU officers also spoke to offer continuing support for the fight against racism and fascism.

After a short rally, the small group of BF fascists were rushed by police back to the train station on the edge of town - most of Rochdale would not have seen them all day.  Anti-racists marched back to the town centre.

If fascist groups attempt to exploit the recent revelations of child sexual abuse in Rochdale to turn communities against each other, anti-racists and trade unionists must mobilise to block them.  Unite Against Fascism and Stand Up To Racism urge labour movement activists, faith groups and community leaders to speak out publicly against the racists' attempts to label Rochdale's Muslim and Pakistani-origin communities as somehow to blame for the abuse. 


Unite Against Fascism – Rochdale Unity Statement – No to fascist Britain First!

For travel arrangements from other parts of Manchester to Rochdale on 22nd, please call us on 07903 586 191.

We, the undersigned, support the protest – organised by Unite Against Fascism, trades unionists and others – in opposition to the intrusion by the fascist group Britain First in Rochdale on 22nd July.

Britain First’s leader Paul Golding was imprisoned last year for eight weeks for his campaign of “invading” mosques. Leading Britain First member Jayda Fransen was convicted for religiously aggravated harassment, after she abused a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.

The man arrested for the racist attack on Finsbury Park Mosque – which killed one man and injured eleven other people – is reported to have followed Britain First’s Golding and Jansen on Twitter.  After the attack, Britain First posted that ‘Finsbury Park Mosque was notorious as a haven for Islamist terrorists and extremists!’  Thomas Mair shouted ‘Britain First’ before he brutally murdered Jo Cox MP in 2016.

Unite Against Fascism 2016 conference


The English Defence League (EDL) have announced they will march on Didsbury Mosque on Saturday 20th October.  Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) have called a solidarity protest to defend the mosque against the racists and fascists - it's important this is as big as possible.

In August, over 100 anti-racists and mosque attenders rallied on the front steps of the mosque following a threat to demonstrate there by Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) racists.  The racists didn't come anywhere near the mosque, although some FLA supporters were spotted lurking in nearby streets.

Racists and fascists are organising on a scale not seen for decades, in Britain and across Europe.  The EDL was originally founded by ex-BNP member Tommy Robinson, jailed earlier this year for contempt of court.  Robinson's supporters organised a 15,000-strong rally on Whitehall in central London - the biggest ever fascist-led outdoor mobilisation in Britain.  Robinson was released on technicalities and faces a re-trial on 27th September.  He has previously been handed prison sentences for violent assault and for travelling to the US on a false passport, as well as for mortgage fraud.

The DFLA is well-funded by American racists and fascists.  Steve Bannon, former racist adviser to Donald Trump, has openly supported Robinson and has also met with Islamophobic Tory Boris Johnson.  From his new HQ in Brussels, Bannon is organising 'The Movement' to pull together the many European racist and fascist groups that are growing rapidly - the anti-migrant, anti-Roma bigot Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini is amongst the latest figures to join.

Let's organise to push the fascists and racists back.



Racists On The Move – It’s Time To Organise Against Them

On Saturday 23rd June, over 120 anti-racists and trade unionists met at the Stand Up To Racism North West Summit I south Manchester to discuss how to build the anti-racist movement we urgently need to stop the resurgent far right.  While only 5 or 6 far-right activists turned up to attempt to disrupt the conference – they were held at bay in the street, by Muslim women – their presence was a reminder that the far right and the racists are on the move.

Earlier in the month, 15,000 had joined the London march for Tommy Robinson, former BNP activist and founder of the one-time street-movement for Islamophobes, the English Defence League.  Robinson is in jail for contempt of court.   He pleaded guilty as charged, but today’s growing army of racists and fascists isn’t going to the detail of his self-confessed guilt stand in the way of building a mass movement based on anti-Muslim prejudice and violence.

Fifteen thousand is way bigger than any fascist-led or racist organisation has fielded since Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts in the 1930s.  In the 1970s, the National Front marches attracted about 3,000 at most, under heavy police protection.  But Robinson’s supporters didn’t cower behind police lines, they went on the offensive and attacked nearby police.

The march received active support from Geert Wilders of the Netherland Islamophobic Party for Freedom, from racist former Trump adviser Steve Bannon and from Louis Aliot, vice-president of the French fascist Front National (recently rebranded as National Rally.)

The alliance lining up behind Robison’s willingly-accepted martyrdom is part of a Europe-wide movement that is thrilled to see the Italian League’s leading figure Matteo Salvini condemn north African migrants to the graveyard of the Mediterranean Sea, and that cheers on his latest idea of a racist ‘register’ of Italy’s 150,000 Roma people.

Over-arching this movement is the racist-in-chief himself, Donald Trump.  Up to 10,000 people from Mexico and from central and south American states have now been forcibly split up by Trump’s agents at the Mexico-US border – and it seems there isn’t a reliable mechanism for re-uniting children with their parents.  

This is why Stand Up To Racism has launched a statement specifically calling for mass protests when Trump is in London on Friday 13th July, and on Saturday 14th July when the far-right will again attempt to march in support of their fascist poster-boy Robinson:

This is not the time for complacency or passivity, it’s time to organise.


Join us this Friday 3rd November to oppose the planned 'book launch' by former leader of the fascist English Defence League 'Tommy Robinson' at The Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Trafford Park on Friday 3rd November. Coach transport from central Manchester - phone/txt Mike 07903 586 191 to book your place.  (Returning 10pm.)

Robinson - aka Stephen Yaxley Lennon - has a record of involvement in fascist organisations. He was originally a member of the British National Party, and founded the EDL in 2009. Robinson then organised a series of Islamophobic EDL demonstrations across Britain, which involved racist chanting, violence and Nazi salutes. Only in June 2017, Robinson attacked an Asian male at Ascot Races.

Robinson recently organised an anti-Muslim Demonstration in Manchester on 11th June, in an attempt to exploit the recent, horrific terror attacks at the Arena, in order to scapegoat Muslims. At the centre of this demo were fascists who have been members of groups such as the National Front, BNP and Combat 18. Again, Robinson's protest erupted into racism and violence.

Thanks to the many organisations and individuals who have signed our statement opposing Robinson.