- Update : Your email was the first we have heard of this (see: three, below). Working with ICE and DHS are totally contrary to ARA’s points of unity (we do not rely on the cops or the courts) and also completely inconsistent with our two major current campaigns (defending migrant rights, opposing police abuse and political repression). However, when I tried to post a comment to that effect on the indymedia UK site, my browser alerted me that it was not a secure connection or a trustworthy, verifiable site, so I did not proceed further. Feel free to share this response. Thanks for the heads up. — X, Anti-Racist Action, Los Angeles
In the UK, the Anarchist Federation has issued a statement regarding the apparent fact that ‘Unite Against Fascism (UAF) stewards collaborate with police on anti-EDL mobilisation’ (November 13, 2009):
The Anarchist Federation condemns the group Unite Against Fascism (UAF) who, on Saturday 31st October at a mobilisation against the English Defence League (EDL) in Leeds city centre, openly handed one of our members over to the police. Several UAF stewards, including the head of UAF Leeds, physically prevented our member from rejoining the cordon, and then called the police over to arrest him. We will not tolerate collaboration with the state to halt the activity of genuine anti-fascists and ask other progressive organisations to do the same. UAF’s policy of negotiating with the state for its public protests is well known, as is its alliance with religious leaders, trade union bureaucrats and politicians. UAF, apart from being nothing more than a front group for the Socialist Workers Party, has never been an effective means to combat the rise of fascism in Britain nor does it offer anything to working class communities.
D. Yates, National Secretary (Anarchist Federation, UK)
With the author’s permission, I’d like to post an account of the protest from an anarchist’s perspective — we’ll see. The UAF/SWP version of events is provided by Christian Hogsbjerg in ‘Leeds Marches on against Nazis’ (Socialist Worker, November 3, 2009).
The Scottish version of the EDL held a demo in Glasgow on Saturday (November 14) and a brief report is available on Indymedia Scotland. According to this account, UAF failed to confront the EDL, but on the bright side the SWP presumably managed to sell some papers.
Here’s two photos from the counter/demo. See if you can guess which mob is ‘defending England’.
Rather moar oddly, a statement is circulating claiming to having been made on behalf of ‘ARA’ — ‘Anti-Racist Action’ — appealing to readers to:
…call their elected representatives, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security with any information they may have about a racist criminal alien who plans to travel to the United States this month.
Arthur Benjamin Kemp, a leader in the fascist British National Party, is reportedly attempting to gain US citizenship after arranging a sham marriage with a fellow neo-Nazi and Stormfront poster, Jeannine Delp Gerace, of Mount Joy, PA.
The statement has been posted on UK Indymedia by ‘Antifa’, which suggest it has been issued by ‘Antifa England’ — which is not the case.
Obviously, a call to take action of this sort can be judged on its merits, but to attribute it to ‘Antifa’ or ‘ARA’ seems to me to be very confusing — if not misleading. On Kemp himself, see : nutzis are W E I R D : Arthur Kemp / BNP (August 30, 2009).