don't read everything you believe

Nae Nazis in Perth

Perth isn’t known as a hotbed of antifascist action. But when the Scottish Defence League came to town to try and whip up racism against a new mosque the response was huge. As Councillor Eric Drysdale tweeted: “1500 counterprotesters outnumbered outshouted and rejected 50 or so fascists on the streets of Perth today. Job done!”

Others suggest it was more like 600 antifascist demonstrates to about 40 Nazis.

Before the weekend UAF Scotland’s spokesperson, John McFadden issued a statement saying:

“Scotland’s communities have always provided magnificent support to refugees, migrants and all the minority communities that make-up Scotland’s rich multicultural society. We encourage anti-fascists to demonstrate their support for Perth’s Muslim community and all of our vibrant and diverse communities. The tiny minority of wandering fascists must be left in no doubt that their vile views shall never be tolerated or go unchallenged.”

People responded in droves.

Video report also – here from A Thousand Flowers:

There seemed to be some doubt about just how “Scottish” exactly the Scottish Defence League was, at least nine of them arrived on a coach from Peterlee in Co Durham. They seemed to have some difficulty getting parked.

After the demo local MP Pete Wishart said: “A handful of fascists were faced with a huge and diverse crowd disgusted at their attempt to hijack a local planning issue to promote their racist agenda. I spoke to people of many faiths and none, people of all ages determined to make it clear that the local Muslim community have our support. I am very proud of Perth today.”

See Did ye aye?: Anti-fascists shut down SDL protest in Perth here.

[Special thanks to Linda Perry for her footage. Tabloids approached her but she declined and offer it to us instead. If you were on the demo leave your comments or photos here.]

 

*

We really need your support to develop and we’d like to ask you to support us by donating to us here.

We’ve got big plans to launch our new site, to launch new publishing and events projects, and to extend our platform of writers – but all of this needs your support.

Bella Caledonia remains free (and ad-free) and takes me hundreds of hours a month to research, write, commission and edit. If you value what I do, please consider supporting with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing. GoCardless to set up a small monthly donation to support independent journalism in Scotland.

Thanks!

*
Go here to subscribe for free and get each Bella article sent to your email
Go here to follow us on Twitter @bellacaledonia
Go here to follow us on Instagram
Go here to join our Facebook Group
Go here to follow us on Spotify
Go here to write for us

Donate Subscribe

Related Articles

See all related articles >

34 Comments

  • ATF 2 months ago

    video report here, feel free to embed if you like!

    https://www.facebook.com/AThousandFlowers/videos/1516024808490612

    Reply
  • E Brown 2 months ago

    Perth had an absolutely huge amount of polis out yesterday. Were they expecting more fascist thugs and violence? Hope these creatures never dare to pollute our fair city again. Get back to England.

    Reply
  • A s 2 months ago

    Antifa is more fascist than the fascists ironically. Which doesn’t help defeating the far right in my opinion. But defeated both must be if we want any semblance of order.

    Reply
    • Bella Caledonia Editor 2 months ago

      Weirdo false-equivalence cliche.

      Not buying it.

      The was a celebration of a huge civic response to the interference by a fascist tourists.

      Reply
  • w.b.robertson 2 months ago

    Good performance by the people of Perth. However, the UAF spokesman seems to have got a bit carried away by claiming that Scots have “always provided magnificent support to refugees, migrants, and all the minority communities that make up our rich multi cultural society”. Methinks he means well …but he must have been born five minutes ago.

    Reply
    • Ray Bell 2 months ago

      Doesn’t know much about the history of minority languages in Scotland does he?

      Reply
      • Alf Baird 2 months ago

        Richt eneuch, de rigueur tae haud doon thon Scots langage in oor ain kintra, Scots bairns an aw fowk aye preventit frae lairnin thair ain mither tung in thair ain laund. This despite Holyrood being ‘run’ by an alleged ‘nationalist’ government.

        As if such blatant ‘Russianization’ language and cultural oppression policies were not enough a violation of human rights, ongoing census trends indicate that Scots themselves could possibly be a minority in Scotland sometime between 2030-2040, the latter based on inflows of over 500,000 people from rest-UK every 10 years (mostly ‘No’ voters), and with rather lesser outflows. This represents an inflow of some two million people since devolution and, taking into account outflows, the overall population change will be even more significant.

        In this regard the devolved ‘parliament’ actually appears to be achieving what Lord Robertson predicted – i.e. “Devolution will kill Nationalism stone dead”. Population change is the main reason support for independence is falling away.

        Reply
        • Doghouse Rielly 2 months ago

          My apologies Mr. Baird but 500,000 every ten years makes 1,000,000 in the twenty years since devolution but your wild numerical exaggeration aside my reaction to your point is the same every time you post it.

          Your saying we’re being over run by forigners who are diluting what you think of as Scotland’s culture.

          It’s a view that would be enthusiastically shared by the thugs so recently chased from the streets of Perth by the residents of that city taking action in defence of a people who are unlikely to share your view of our culture.

          Your view has no place next to this article or, in my view, on this website.

          Reply
          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            “sometime between 2030-2040” is approximately equal to four decades since devolution, so the direction of travel is clear. Don’t forget also that for the century prior to devolution the largest ethnic migrant group coming to Scotland was likewise people from rest-UK, primarily England. And over the same period Scotland’s biggest export was our own people. But clearly such fundamental changes to a nation’s population does not interest you, whoever you may be, and neither does ongoing cultural discrimination it seems.

          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            For clarification, it was not me, but you, who stated that:

            “…we’re being over run by forigners who are diluting ….Scotland’s culture.”

            In my opinion Scotland’s culture is diminished due in large part to the refusal of Holyrood to deliver a Scots Language (Scotland) Act, which would/should provide for some belated equality with the equally welcome Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, and help overcome some of the ongoing damage inflicted on Scottish culture before and since the Education (Scotland) Act 1872 and other British state initiatives aimed at the Anglicisation of Scotland and by implication the enforced eradication of Scots language. If culture is essentially language, then Scottish culture is quite obviously severely diminished when the Scottish population are prevented from gaining adequate knowledge and understanding of the Scots language, thair ain mither tung.

        • Doghouse Rielly 2 months ago

          If your point is that Scots culture is diminished by a lack of support for it from the Scottish government then why not just say that?

          It’s not an unreasonable concern and seems to me something that could be productively discussed and debated.

          What I struggle with is your repeated reference to this figure of 500,000 migrants from the rest of the uk that arrive here every ten years?

          Why does that matter so much that it’s the fact that you lead with when you want to raise the issue of support for Scots culture?

          And how do you suggest that we react to the suggestion that “census trends indicate that Scots themselves could possibly be a minority in Scotland some time between 2030 and 2040”

          To the extent that you think this is a problem, what action do you suggest is taken to address it?

          Reply
          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            “If your point is that Scots culture is diminished by a lack of support for it from the Scottish government then why not just say that?”

            I did: (“..the refusal of Holyrood to deliver a Scots Language (Scotland) Act”)

            “It’s not an unreasonable concern and seems to me something that could be productively discussed and debated. ”

            Language is a human right, not a political concession.

            “Why does that matter so much …when you want to raise the issue of support for Scots culture?”

            The ‘independence movement’ appear to be putting all their eggs in an indyref II basket. My argument is that this a flawed strategy primarily because the census trends tell us quite clearly that the No vote is constantly being boosted through rising in-migration of what the UN might term ‘settlers’. The Yes/No voting decision, reflecting voting intention survey data, is primarily dependent on ones dominant cultural orientation; i.e. those ‘feeling’ culturally more British/English will tend to oppose Scottish independence, whilst those ‘feeling’ culturally Scottish tend to be more inclined to bring thair ain sovereignty hame. We might hark back to Indyref I and the countless media interviews with self-proclaimed ‘proud Scots’ who maintained they were ‘both British and Scottish’ and who generally tended to oppose independence and voted No.

            “To the extent that you think this is a problem, what action do you suggest is taken to address it?”

            The most common/standard international approach to managing migration, including within EU states and indeed here in the UK, is to introduce controls over immigration. Every sovereign nation has controls over immigration to/from its territory. Why should Scotland be any different? Not to have any controls (over migration) is highly unusual, and is arguably negligent.

            In addition, the standard international approach to national voting, and more especially in referenda on important constitutional questions, does not involve offering the franchise to anyone based merely on ‘residence’ as was the unfortunate and internationally rather unique case in Indyref I, and which arguably led to the surprising appearance of one million or so postal votes, mostly for ‘No’. I can only put this down to the actions of a rather young and still naïve Holyrood, albeit that (non-sovereign) ‘parliament’ remains ‘managed/controlled’ by more savvy ‘UK Home’ civil servants appointed by Scotland’s ‘administrative Power’.

          • Doghouse Rielly 2 months ago

            You’re not a believer in “free movement” then?

            And you would define the franchise for a future indyref on place of birth?

            These are genuine questions, I’m keen to understand your view.

          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            What would you think if 2 million+ Russians went over the border to live in Norway over a 40 year period, or 2 million+ Germans went to live in Denmark over 40 years, or if 2 million+ English people went to live in the Republic of Ireland, forming half the population in these nations, whilst also filling the majority of the elite positions, changing the language and culture, dominating the media and political discourse etc? The Lithuanians, Poles, Ukrainians etc had a word for this phenomenon, but it was not “free movement”.

            This does not happen where such countries are independent and have sovereignty over their territory, and are no longer controlled by what the UN refers to as an ‘administrative Power’. Scotland and its people, by contrast, have no sovereignty/control, and demonstrates many of the characteristics and the relative powerlessness of a colony.

          • Doghouse Rielly 2 months ago

            But that’s not an answer to my questions.

          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            I’ve given you facts, which is better than opinion, mine or yours. Come back to me if you can find any facts.

          • Doghouse Rielly 2 months ago

            To never fair you answered my questions with one of your own. You asked “what would you think if….” and went on to describe a number of scenarios that could occur in other countries. I didn’t answer that but I will now. I think those would be issues that those nations would need to address and I don’t think it’s my place to tell them how to do that.

            But to be clear on my opinion on the situation in Scotland, I have no fears or concerns about the numbers or the impact of immigrants arriving in this country.

            Moving on a little, in earlier posts you have made a number of statements including……………………………

            “ongoing census trends indicate that Scots themselves could possibly be a minority in Scotland sometime between 2030-2040, the latter based on inflows of over 500,000 people from rest-UK every 10 years (mostly ‘No’ voters), and with rather lesser outflows. This represents an inflow of some two million people since devolution and, taking into account outflows, the overall population change will be even more significant.”

            On the assumption that this is one of your facts I’d be grateful if you could provide me with a reference for it.

            I ask because I’ve had a look at the census data from 2001 and 2011 and as far as I can see the actual rise in the number of rUK born residents n Scotland was 53,482. The total as at the 2011 census stood at 513,532, just a bit over the number you have said arrive every ten years. The % of rUK born residents in Scotland actually fell from 9.69 to 7.7%.

            (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_Scotland but you will have to do some maths for which I apologise)

            Both sources can’t be right so can we start by clearing this up?

          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            “But that’s not an answer to my questions.”

            Actually the answer is fairly obvious but seems to have gone right past you. It is that all independent sovereign countries exert controls over immigration. Scotland, however, is not an independent sovereign country therefore Scotland has no control over immigration to its ‘territory’. Immigration to Scotland is controlled by an ‘administrative Power’ (i.e. England’s 500+ MPs) who can decide to reduce, boost, and/or replace Scotland’s population as it pleases. The census evidence suggests that boosting and replacing, predominantly by one main ethnic group, is current ‘policy’. It seems indisputable that Scotland’s ‘administrative Power’ has been ‘mucking around’ with Scotland’s population for at least the last 300 years, e.g. mass emigration, forced clearances, deindustrialisation etc., and one should not assume this meddling has ceased.

          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            Should have read 0.5m every decade, not 1m, i.e.: “Census data indicates inflows from rest-UK to Scotland of 45,000-65,000+ each year, X a decade = 0.5m+”.

            You state that: “Most immigrants from the rest of the UK don’t stay permanently.” Where did you get that from?

            ‘Net migration’ is obviously a different issue to absolute numbers, as is data (now rather outdated) on country of birth.

            Are Scottish people not supposed to discuss ongoing fundamental changes to our population and culture, or where that might lead? Do you not believe a country’s population is capable of being ‘managed’? Who has immigration ‘powers’ (i.e. to ‘manage’ the population) and who does not, this goes back to the question of sovereignty, and Scotland’s relative powerlessness over these and many other matters.

        • Doghouse Rielly 2 months ago

          And whilst you have provided some facts you have also expressed a number of opinions. This is one I’m particularly interested in

          “The ‘independence movement’ appear to be putting all their eggs in an indyref II basket. My argument is that this a flawed strategy primarily because the census trends tell us quite clearly that the No vote is constantly being boosted through rising in-migration of what the UN might term ‘settlers’.”

          What alternative strategy would you suggest and in particular, to refer back to my earlier question, how would you change the franchise for Indyref2? Or what would you suggest as an alternative route to independence if not through a referendum?

          Reply
          • Doghouse Rielly 2 months ago

            I’m sorry but that isn’t a reference that provides evidence to support your statement that there are 500,000 immigrants born in the rest of the UK arriving in Scotland every 10 years.

            The census evidence that I have provided a link to doesn’t support your view.

            And now you say “The census evidence suggests that boosting and replacing, predominantly by one main ethnic group, is current ‘policy’.”

            All I’m asking for is a link to this census evidence so I can judge the facts for myself.

            Though I’m also now interested to know how this policy of replacing Scotland’s population is being given effect.

            It hardly seems likely, for example, that actively undermining Scotland’s economy is going to be helpful in encouraging rUK residents to move here.

          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            “What alternative strategy would you suggest ”

            Scotland’s democratically elected majorities of MSP’s, MP’s, and local councillors should give notice now to end the ‘union’ charade in the same way it began (minus the corrupt bribes to aristos/landowners).

          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            Census data indicates inflows from rest-UK to Scotland of 45,000-65,000+ each year, X a decade = 1m+.

            See: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/population/population-estimates/mid-year-population-estimates/mid-2016

          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            “actively undermining Scotland’s economy” has been the function of successive UK governments for as long as any living Scottish person can remember.

          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            One does not need much of an economy to retire in, to study in, to buy a holiday home or btr in, or to take up a public sector post in.

        • Doghouse Rielly 2 months ago

          Thank you, a helpful reference and as you say, the census data includes a figure of annual in migration from the rest of the UK of around 50,000 a year. Though that figure has declined since a peak around 2002-3.

          But it is equally clear from this publication that this is the “gross” figure. The net migration figure is substantially lower. Most immigrants from the rest of the UK don’t stay permanently. As a result the number by which the rUK born population in Scotland rose in 2015-16 was around 8,800.

          Your use of statistics to support your claim that rUK no voters are undermining the chances of a yes vote on Indy ref 2 is partial to say the least.

          To go on to use that same misleading statistic to claim that Scotland’s culture is being damaged by residents from rUK and that this is an active policy of the British state is most politely described as propaganda.

          I note that you don’t mention that gross immigration from outside the UK is currently running at around 40,000, but more of these stay longer term so their numbers rose by 22,900 in the year to June 2016. Is this because the culture of overseas immigrants is more compatible with Scottish culture than that of the rest of the UK?

          And good luck with you plan for UDI. Though that doesn’t seem much like a way to build a united and democratic independent Scotland.

          Still, politics is a participation sport and all voices are welcome, except racists and facists that is.

          Reply
        • Doghouse Reilly 2 months ago

          I noticed the arithmetical error but assumed it was just that, a slip, we all make mistakes, I knew what you meant so I saw no need to point it out. But it helps to have it cleared up. Thank you.

          As to net migration figures, they come from the link you provided. They matter because they show that the rate of increase in the number of rUK residents is modest compared to the total movements and substantially less than the 500,000 figure you quote.

          As I pointed out in an early post, the % of rUK born residents in Scotland actually fell between 2001 and 2011. And I accept that this is 6 year old data but the census is only conducted every ten years so It’s as good as we have.

          I don’t have any problem with these issues being discussed, that’s why I’m doing so. I just want that discussion to be based on the facts.

          The growth of the rUK population in Scotland is a fraction of the figure you have claimed. The impact on voting patterns will therefore be substantially less and it does rather weaken your claim that the British state is actually encouraging folk to move to Scotland to defeat the independence movement.

          Your points about Scottish culture are more complex but I don’t see culture as fixed or unchanging and I think it likely that social media, the Internet and the globalisation of entertainment will all have a much bigger impact than population change. I also think that immigrants, where ever they come from can being vibrancy and energy and diversity to any culture. We all benefit Ben if it means we talk and think differently in 50 years time.

          And there is a debate to be had about managing migration but you will note the post from “Willie” where he rightly objects to the Brexit debate being conducted through complaints about “dirty filthy forigners who coming here….”

          As I said in my very first response to you, your complaint about immigrants coming to Scotland reads in much the same way. The racists on the streets of Perth and elsewhere would have little problem in finding common ground with the language you use.

          We all have a responsibility to conduct our discussions in a way that includes and promotes understanding and respect.

          Railing against immigrants based on partial data in defence of Scottishness does the opposite.

          Reply
          • Alf Baird 2 months ago

            You are rather selective in your ‘analysis’. The inbound migration figures are the main issue here, 50,000+ a year. Taken over 30-40 years or so since devolution that tells its own story, i.e. Scots must inevitably become a minority in thair ain laund. You should also look at current regional data for inflows from rest-UK, e.g. Mull over 30%, certain Orkney Islands over 50%, etc as illustrative of general trends. Subsequent generations from these inflows also largely tend to ‘vote Britain’ so it is not only those ‘born’ in rest-UK that matter; culture is embedded and reinforced in families, and culture is the way we do things, the way we speak and think (and the way we vote).

            Independence is about liberation, freedom, and aye, as the UN tells us, it is also about decolonization, hence the UN Committee 24 on that very topic. Conversely, (British) nationalism and fascism, and associated cultural oppression and population replacement is what is being imposed by the ‘administrative Power’ on Scotland. You need to ask yourself why you ostensibly support that racist and fascist agenda.

          • Doghouse Rielly 2 months ago

            I think I’m happy to leave to others to decide which of us is distorting statistics and using anti immigrant language in a way that would give support to racists and facists.

  • Ken Ferguson 2 months ago

    First of all Perth and its people are to be congratulated on a brilliant, broad based rejection of the SDL’s politics of hate yesterday. The numbers said it all but they were achieved by the hard work of a real coalition of forces civic, political, religious since the announcement that the racists were planning to pollute Perth.

    Slight difference o anti Fascist nature of Perth. They saw off–with mass action–Mosley’s BUF in 1936, Perth people fought and died fighting Franco in the International Brigade and of course the Fair `city had strong links to that well known anti Nazi force the 51st Highland Division. Not a bad record really.

    Reply
  • Willie 2 months ago

    We might take pride in our abhorrence and protestation against a Fascism.

    But the grim reality is that our Westminster government are rolling out even more concerning policies that are absolutely fascist in tooth and claw.

    Think of the current direction of Brexit debate, the hatred being pumped out against the dirty filthy foreigners who come here to steal our jobs, take our benefits and then think of the policies being implemented.

    Detention centres, border controls, the Great Repeal Bill, state surveillance and snooping, the continual reduction in living standards whilst the super rich get wealthier, the media control where the deaths of over a hundred souls in the Grenfell fire tragedy is withheld for days to slowly play down a third world disaster in a so called first world city, the increased militarisation at huge costs whilst austerity is the diet for the masses.

    Maybe it Reminds you of 1930s Germany and if it does, ask yourself this. How successful were the good Germans in resisting the march of the Nazis or the apocalyspyse that befel them a short time later.

    Forty thugs on the streets of Perth is one thing. But fascist thugs in control in a Westminster are entirely another. But maybe we’re overdue a big slaughter and the establishment of May and Trump will, like the 1930s Germany, deliver on that.

    They’ve done a good job in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere, and now have the opportunity to flex a bit of nuclear muscle against North Korea who General Douglas MacArthur wanted to nuclear bomb in the 1950s.

    So let’s go for it folks, we’ve got Coulport, Faslane and the military muscle, and, like the old song, Britannia ( and the USA ) rule the waves.

    But I digress, I am fevered, How could I forget it, but live in the worlds finest democracies.

    Reply
  • Frank 2 months ago

    Street theatre.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other articles in Antifascism

See all in Antifascism >