On the March

A few notes on what just happened.

Having been gaslit all week by the Tories and their press we are continuing to be gaslit about the events of the last 48 hours.

We are being told that – somehow – the largely peaceful protest of between 800,000 and one million people marching to demand peace is equivalent to a few thousand English fascists threatening and assaulting people and attacking the police.

It is not. There is no equivalence.

We must reject this complete misrepresentation.

Political violence in Britain is overwhelmingly a problem of the right and the far-right.

Far from being ‘soft’ on English fascists, the police were rarely in riot gear and allowed the EDL and others to take over key sites.

They were also allowed to intimidate and assault people throughout the day.

Having summonsed her hate mob Braverman and her allies are now attempting to pretend that the protest was a violent one and will attempt to shut down future marches and repress public opinion. This narrative must be exposed.

The main thing that the Conservatives are terrified of is this man here and what he represents (the majority of public opinion).

Secondly we need to talk about the problem of English fascism, and how it is connected to the more ‘mainstream’ parliamentary right without either overplaying this and giving them more agency than they deserve, or smearing wider English society. But we do need to talk about this.

Photo credit: @ShawDonald

But the main takeaway from what’s happening is the need to defend the right to protest which are under significant threat.

Finally – we must be pushing for the Scottish Parliament to take an independent stand and demand a ceasefire and denounce war atrocities, supporting those MSPs and MPs of all parties who are calling for a ceasefire and defying their leadership (in the case of the Labour Party).

In such times its easy to feel cowed and threatened. They tried to ban the march. They failed. They tried to frame the march as violent, they must fail at this too.

Comments (11)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Dougie Blackwood says:

    Wonderful. We never see anything like this on what purpots to be ouir “National News”. I saw a couple of thugs being lifted as an aside from the wreath laying but we never see the gangs of thugs rampaging through peacful demonstrations. It happemed tiday in London It happened in George square on the day after the independence referendum and it is commonplace but seldom shown.
    I particularly liked the clip of the rational speaker who would attend both the remembrance and the peace march. His words rang with honesty and truth. I’d like to share that clip but do not think I have the skill to extract it.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Dougie Blackwood, there is a ‘copy link’ option under the videos (at least on my screen) that may help you paste the link elsewhere.

      I agree, the Reverend was rational and spoke of doing better and doing wrongs in the past. Reflecting on this is kind of the point, and it is not just about what wars we fight, or what sides we take, but how we conduct ourselves all the time in and into wars, out of wars and into peace, and how we can break with the warmongering imperial state to create a more rational political system that values live irrespective of narrow, sectarian interests or bloodlust (or species).

      Where I slightly depart with some commentors is that we have to recognise British colonial fascism and its perpetration before and throughout the World Wars and ever since, to its support for Israel. The vicious rightwing thugs we saw are, in this respect, celebrating a genuine strand of British foreign policy and practice. We too often romanticise WW2 as a war against fascism, but if Brits really wanted to fight fascism, its heart of darkness was closer to home than many would like to recognise. Some left Britain unofficially to fight Fascism in 1936‒1939, but they would as well be fighting the British in Palestine as Franco in Spain.

  2. John says:

    Excellent overview of where UK stands at the moment. It appears that Israel’s hard right leader looks set to carry on breaking international law killing women and children while trying to kill every conceivable Hamas member in revenge for the reprehensible attack of 7th October. Eradicating Hamas is not only questionable under international law but also impossible and counterproductive as it will only serve to radicalise far more Palestinians.
    More and more countries will join U.N. and international humanitarian organisations in calling for immediate and long lasting ceasefire (by both sides) until only USA (& no doubt UK) will be left effectively turning a blind eye to Israel flouting international law and committing war crimes. The obvious hypocrisy displayed by USA, UK and others will have a negative long term impact on war in Ukraine and reduce influence of USA and allies in future conflicts.
    Support for ceasefire will continue to increase in UK population so the marches will potentially increase further in size over next few weeks. This would be a massive embarrassment to government therefore they will continue to pressurise police, and stir things up to incite more violence to hopefully get the Police to apply to ban the marches.
    I fully expect the government to also complain that the cost of policing marches is no longer affordable.
    Braverman and right wing press are displaying deeply cynical tactics and must not be allowed to succeed.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @John, well indeed, it would be like the British killing all Catholics in Northern Ireland to get rid of the IRA.

      1. Daniel Raphael says:

        Spot on.

  3. John Wood says:

    Well said.

  4. florian albert says:

    ‘We need to talk about the problem of English fascism.’

    Do we ? English ‘fascism’ barely exists. Just like the Scottish, Welsh and Irish versions. There is a part of the left which can only see events through a distorted prism of the 1930s. It is one of the reasons for the left’s chronic political enfeeblement.
    The withdrawal of so much of the left from electoral politics has contributed to this blinkered error. If you campaign to win votes, you meet ordinary people, vanishingly few of whom will be – by any stretch of the imagination – fascists. With every year that passes, it becomes harder and harder to reconnect with electoral politics and, by doing so, connect with voters.

    1. Did you see the EDL on Saturday?

      1. florian albert says:

        I did see the TV coverage. The EDL is, politically, entirely inconsequential; a bit like the Rangers supporters who behaved in a similar fashion beside the Cenotaph in George Square in Glasgow a couple of years ago.

        Incidentally, The Guardian, at the weekend, described the EDL as ‘now-defunct’ and pointed out that Tommy Robinson dislikes Islam because it is

    2. SleepingDog says:

      @florian albert, on the contrary, the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament report on Extreme Right-Wing Terrorism (2022) is very concerned with the extreme right-wing threat, and among other aspects highlights in infiltration of such groups in armed forces (including reservists) and police.
      And that is just the terrorist dimension; there will be many more Brits fascinated in one way or another with aspects of fascism (you can monitor this sort of thing in online play, for example). As the report says:
      “This recruitment can start with an invitation to a closed chat room in an online gaming community, or with a link to a closed forum.”

  5. Satan says:

    Unfortunately, I didn’t see any ‘free Gaza of Hamas’ placards in Edinburgh. Hamas isn’t nice – they haven’t had an election for 7 years, and it dosen’t look like there will be any election anytime soon, they torture Gazas as State policy with about 170 complaints of torture to international authorities last year, they murder Gazans extrajudicially, and any thoughts of Gazans protesting against the government lead to the previous. These people are bampots, but they should be eradicated by the ballot-box not indescriminately bombed from 20,000 ft. If the Isreali government really wanted to wipe the monster under the bed off the face of the Earth, they would need to bomb expensive hotels in Qatar.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.