While we still haven’t seen a full summing-up of the weekend’s events in Dover from an anti-fascist perspective, Novara have offered up a pair of reflections from Dover and Maidenhead motorway services, both of which are worth a read, even if the latter is a bit incoherent in places. I also think that the claim that “Unite Against Fascism is dead, long live the Anti-Fascist Network” is a bit overstated – it’s certainly the case that the AFN can put on impressive national mobilisations, but it’s also the case that the AFN can’t mobilise against every single far-right demo, and a lot of fascist activity happens in small towns with no local militant group, and in these places the SWP/UAF are often the only opposition in town.
But moving beyond the events of last weekend, the weekend coming up will also see activity by a thoroughly despicable set of arseholes: I’ve already mentioned the upcoming Pegida march in Birmingham, aiming to mobilise the niche “we hate foreigners but also want to be more like the Germans” market, but it turns out that hardline misogynist scumfuck Roosh V is calling for meet-ups of Men’s Shite Activists across the world, and Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Shrewsbury, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, and two separate locations in London will be treated to gatherings of women-hating wrong ‘uns.
Just as with racist activity, a two-track approach is needed here: white working-class people who feel neglected and blame immigrants for problems like housing shortages and unemployment should have their concerns listened to without being automatically shouted down for being racists, and men who feel inadequate, confused or anxious about their sexuality or lack of sexual success should have space to talk about their problems without being preyed on by manipulative fucks like Roosh V. But just as it’d be pointless to attempt discussion with the hardcore Nazis who turned out last weekend in Dover, anyone who actively identifies with the pro-rape ideology pushed by “Return of Kings” and wants to organise around it should face uncompromising, extremely hostile opposition until they’re too terrified to even think about spouting their shit in public.
With that in mind, here are the counter-events I know about so far: Edinburgh, Glasgow event 1, Glasgow event 2, Newcastle event 1, Newcastle event 2, and Manchester. I’ve not seen anything planned for Leeds, Cardiff, Shrewsbury or London, but if you live in one of those places you probably know what’s going on better than I do, and even if there’s nothing else organised you can still get together with some friends and start making plans.
Other than that, next weekend will also see the Rojava discussion and fundraising party in Manchester. “Counter-jihadist” wankers like those who’ll be out in Birmingham like to claim that anyone who opposes them is some kind of Islamist sympathiser, so showing solidarity with those fighting most directly against ISIS is a good way to show them up as the bullshitters they are, as well as being very worthwhile in its own right.
If you don’t live anywhere near any of those places, but still want to contribute in some way, one thing you could do is chuck a few quid to Oleg Serebrennikov, a Russian anarchist and anti-fascist comrade who’s appealing for help to pay his medical bills for the health problems he’s suffered since being attacked by Nazis ten years ago. If you can spare any cash, paypal it to ABC Moscow at email@example.com or to him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, a few things I couldn’t really tie in with the general theme of this post, but wanted to plug anyway: this Saturday in Glasgow will also see a screening of the Ditching the Fear film about warehouse workers’ struggles in Italy, people in Luton are still making plans to resist an imminent eviction, there’s a regional housing summit coming up in Leeds in mid-March for people who want to organise around housing in the North, Novara have posted up an organiser’s notes about rebuilding radical unions that I haven’t read yet, but look very interesting, and the doctors’ strike is definitely back on for February 10th.