Southampton Stands Against Fascism

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Hundreds of people attended an anti-fascism demonstration in Southampton after the South Coast Resistance group announced plans to demonstrate in the city last Saturday.

Also known as “Pie ‘N Mash”, the squad behind the anti-immigration event, describe themselves as “a group of people who love Pie n Mash and Britain the way it used to be” and said they would hold a demonstration in the city. Posting on social media, they encouraged demonstrators to “join us to celebrate Brexit and an end to mass immigration”.

After the hard-right group said it would protest under the banner of “refugees not welcome”, a counter demonstration was organised for the same time by Southampton ANTIFA and Southampton Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, under the banner of “refugees welcome”.

Outside the Bargate, spread out on the tarmac, a throng of activists chatted and listened to the speakers, carrying placards, toting flags, and shouting slogans that promoted messages of tolerance. Representatives from local parties and unions called for unity.

The South Coast Resistance demonstration was supposed to come up through the centre of town, but ended up being swiftly escorted to the railway station by police.

The demonstration came after Eid celebrations in Southampton were cancelled over security concerns. Thousands had been expected to attend a prayer event to celebrate the end of Ramadan, but the demonstration, alongside the rise of xenophobic hate crime in post-Brexit Britain, had prompted British Bangladesh Cultural Academy (BBCA) to cancel the event.

Speaking about the event on Facebook, Union President Alex Hovden said:

Let me make this clear: those fleeing war and conflict should always be welcome here. I’m proud to live and work in a country where we show people with such backward views as the far right wing group that their ignorance and hatred is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

This affair comes around a growing sense of xenophobia, with increasing incidents of hate crime being reported within the UK.

 

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Discussion1 Comment

  1. avatar
    Dyfan Rowlands

    ”Let me make this clear: those fleeing war and conflict should always be welcome here. I’m proud to live and work in a country where we show people with such backward views as the far right wing group that their ignorance and hatred is unacceptable and will not be tolerated”

    I agree, those fleeing from conflict and persecution should be offered a safe haven, and the UK should be that place if possible. however 4 out of 5 refugees during the Refugee Crisis weren’t even from Syria. It’s wise to be skeptical about who we are letting into the country, that’s called enforcing professional immigration checks. And look at the sexual assault and abuse cases in Germany and Sweden from refugees which have arisen in the last 6-7 months or so, in particular during the New Year’s eve celebrations across Germany. The acceptance of large volumes of migrants is not always a bed of roses.

    Also, this Alex guy says that the hatred is ‘unacceptable and will not be tolerated’. I’m sorry Alex, but in a country where free speech and liberty of expression is permitted, that’s exactly what you have to do: tolerate it. Yes of course you can protest against them, and by all means do so, but saying that it shouldn’t be tolerated (or even permitted, as you may be inferring) is unfair. You may not agree with their hate, same with me, but free speech is free speech.

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