Press releases

LRC supports mobilisation against the EDL

29th August 2011

The LRC vehemently opposes the racism and bigotry that underpins groups like the EDL and the BNP, and postponed the date of our National Committee meeting in London to allow members to take part in the counter-mobilisation to the proposed EDL march in Tower Hamlets on 3 September.

We did not add our names to calls for the EDL march to be banned however. We believe the most effective way to defeat racism and fascism is to campaign and mobilise against it. The EDL cannot be banned out of existence, it must be defeated by political campaigning to mobilise communities against the bigotry they promote and the hatred they incite.

As socialists, we also have an analysis of the state. Unlike liberals, we do not believe the state and its police force are neutral actors, but protectors first and foremost of the capitalist order. Socialists must resist the lazy thinking that believes the state can fight our battles for us and the delusional thinking that it will act in our interest, especially under an extreme right wing government that is determined to rip up the last vestiges of social democracy.

There is also a problem in the anti-fascist organisations in Britain that themselves have little in the way of democratic decision-making structures. The tactical mistake of asking for the state to ban the EDL, led to the entirely foreseeable consequence that such bans would be used to ban peaceful protest. It is therefore no surprise that buoyed by such support, the Home Secretary gladly banned all marches across five London boroughs for 30 days.

That the Hope not Hate campaign regards this as a victory compounds their tactical failings and emphasises the need for trade unions (who are now banned from marching in defence of jobs, pay and pensions) and communities (now banned from marching against cuts and the fascists) to discuss and debate tactics within the anti-fascist movement.

The reality is that the EDL will still mobilise to demonstrate in a ‘static’ protest, which is just as likely to lead to violence, as it did when marches were banned recently in Leicester and Telford.

The LRC continues to support the mobilisation on 3 September in Tower Hamlets and encourages all LRC members to attend from 11am at the corner of Vallance Road and Whitechapel Road, London E1 (near East London Mosque)(see event details)

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