EDL

left wing

First they came for the *Others

“Sorry, I know it is really terrible and fucked up that so many people got arrested yesterday, but please don’t compare this police response to the rise of Nazism or make lazy claims of ‘creeping fascism’. It’s offensive, shows a complete misunderstanding of what ‘fascism’ is, and totally disorients any opposition to racism or police aggression.”

A person, presumably a white male (based on the information I was able to glean) said this about a piece I wrote regarding my fears that fascism was on the rise in Great Britain last year when the far right mobilised in response to the murder of Lee Rigby. My fears felt real, I wasn’t being sensationalist to bring in the readers; I had been at a demo (the last of many) where white supremacists were given the time and space to spout their hateful ideology, bringing terror to the people of the area they targeted; Tower Hamlets (whilst multicultural it is known for its large Bangladeshi community). The police responded violently to the people attempting to protect the area, not the fascists who were being abusive in their language and threats to kill. 286 comrades were arrested that day; among them innocent members of the public who were not permitted to protest their innocence, they were kettled and led onto waiting buses, their hands bound together with cable ties. To me, the horror of went down that day (bail conditions forbidding any contact between arrestees and any right wing fascist group within the M25) felt like the beginnings of a regime where powers could be made up on the spot and this was a frightening thought when remembering the past. It’s a slippery slope right?

There was also the time (almost a year ago in fact, 22nd June) this friendly fella took objection to my white best friend slapping a white man on a packed bus for calling me a Paki. This one slap was (apparently) the beginning of the end of all white male supremacists and my friend and I deserved to be harassed and slandered for daring to defend ourselves. Nobody seemed to care about the sexual harassment that led to us telling these two entitled menz to back off (politely at first), nor the toxic shaming racist abuse they subjected us to. No, WE had gone too far this time. I knew at the time this was in fact the beginning of unchallenged casual racism.

I tried to report someone to the police for openly gloating about a racist attack on a mosque but I was silenced when they assumed my motivation was my religion. Being an atheist I refused to engage with people who were already racially profiling me. If the case had ever gone to court one search on Google would reveal Helen Lewis’ lies about me. I felt exposed and manipulated but I wasn’t to complain cos that meant I was self-obsessed and only after a meeja deal. I even wrote this to explain how vulnerable I was feeling.

The Left has systematically shut down the voices that challenge their very problematic beliefs (for lefties they are incredibly bigoted). This means most women of colour, women like me (anyone who is not white and wealthy actually). When I challenged them I was silenced and ridiculed and then thrown to the White Knights of Twitter who have called me every dirty paki bitch under the sun. People like Graham Linehan made this ok. His response to racist abuse against me was to mock me, not once acknowledging the words “paki” or “cunt” but instead fighting for the honour of that other model of white supremacist feminism, Caitlin Moran. Academics like Becca Reilly Cooper accused us of doing it for the kudos and ruining The Left but didn’t see the irony in her very right wing threats to sue anyone who utters her name (come at me).

(Have you noticed how white everybody is yet?)

The line between The Left and the Stupid Right was blurred even more when Louise Mensch got involved. There was no difference in how I was targeted by either side. The same patterns emerged; often these people mention my name but block me before I can challenge them. Their intention is the same; to silence me with outright racist, sexist, ableist abuse from the white majority of this land. I said last year that all of their actions were structurally racist; that you don’t need to say the Paki word to be racist. The very least I expected from people on this side of the political fence was to be heard. They could have told me I was wrong and I might even have listened but they never had any intention of living by their socialist ideas, they really are just pretending to be something because it’s trendy. They’re like political hipsters.

(Reminder: Helen Lewis was on a Channel4 news piece suggesting that the abuse WOC receive is down to class and not race. Wish someone had thought to ask a WOC that question)

Of course I hope I am wrong here but when future generations ask how it was possible that so many non-white people were terrorised and murdered by the English (this century), the answer will be the same as it was for Nazi Germany. The liberals and lefties let it happen. They allowed for the kind of rhetoric that othered anyone who was not able, wealthy and white. They lied about why it was happening; it’s not class war, Helen, it’s white supremacy.

..It’s the kind of white supremacy that speaks to white women about issues that affect non-white women in hijabs, not considering that they may be the experts here on account of living it. You don’t need to be a *something* to have an opinion ok?

..It’s because they abandoned anti-fascist actions at a time when the fascist right was growing exponentially.

..Or the fact they were given a platform so we knew exactly why they were hating on other humans, as if we didn’t already know.

..It’s the air time given to actual outright Nazis by the allegedly Left biased UKIP channel (sorry, BBC).

..How about the way ‘race is not a feminist issue’ (a white leftie feminist slogan)? Even though white supremacists routinely target women in attacks, pulling their clothes from them, mocking them for being ugly, hairy, mannish.

..Why would any of The Left lend support to me on the back of a few intense weeks of horrific racial bullying and death threats? Where my bank account was hacked and attempts made on my social networking accounts. Where people responded in earnest to questions posed my someone imitating me “I’m a pakigirl and I smell. Should my boyfriend dump me?” (or something) Where was the outrage for people like me?

..What about the focus on Muslims/Jews cruelly murdering animals when of course being bashed in the head and then having your throat sliced open is like well humane? Of course this issue needs to be drummed home by the BBC who couldn’t give the NHS the same attention but y’know, leftie bias.

..There was the time white feminism focused on sex selective abortions (a non-white problem apparently) which deserved our attention more than the sex selective IVF favoured in the west. Not racist though right? Not about denying non-white women the rights to their own reproductive health. Pro-choice but only for white ladies.

..Rape, right, it’s an Indian problem. Maybe it happens in The Congo too. But it definitely doesn’t happen in the same way here. Our rapists just aren’t as rapey as the non-white ones. The Asians, they even prey on young girls, like their prophet. Jimmy Saville just wasn’t as dedicated as the grooming gangs of Bradford.

..There are good immigrants and there are bad immigrants, right? If you jump through enough hoops (a 70hr working week (for no pay), making personal contributions into the system without indefinite leave to remain or any of the rights that affords a citizen, eyes cast downwards at all times, especially when there is a white person passing) then someone might pick you as their token Asian pet. This privilege may be whisked from underneath your feet at a minutes notice though. Don’t start getting uppity; know your place in this structure.

We’re expected to take all of this without objection. We’re to accept the unspoken notion that no part of this land (or the lands stolen from us) belongs to us, that we are not entitled to the same level of basic respect and recognition of human rights because we’re not descended from Vikings. We are expected to live with the constant fear of displacement (because we’re not worthy)? Our allies and comrades said and did all of these things. Farage and the other Nazis are just bolstered by the general support of white English people regardless of their claimed political allegiances. Theresa May now has powers to strip British citizens of their citizenship if they so much as suspect terrorism. But.. They already suspect every non-white person of this. How on earth was this bill allowed to pass without so much of a fanfare from the leftie press? Could it be perhaps because the leftie press is focused on dehumanising and othering groups of people they do not like? Trans women for example?

Nazi Germany happened because the Germans were concerned only with themselves. Under the guise of socialism (alarm bells) they convinced an entire nation that the Jews were vermin. Just like our socialists have been doing this past year about us. It was as Pastor Niemoller said.

We would all do well to remember the past because if we forget, we are doomed to repeat it.

*This is how and why

lauriepenny

fascists

The rise of fascism in Great Britain (Tower Hamlets)

In the months since the murder in Woolwich, there is a familiar conversation being had by conscientious activists keen to avoid the predictable backlash against a marginalised group of peoples. I’ve heard the same questions being asked; the uncomfortable realisation that current day Britain is echoing the horrors of Nazi Germany. Of course, those on the right are quick to minimise and dismiss genuine concerns with Godwin’s Law but it has also been established this is not relevant when discussing actual fascism. BBC News has been reporting on the number of arrests at yesterday’s counter demo against the fascist EDL. Whilst I wish it were true, sadly their estimate of 2 anti-fascist arrests is grossly misleading when the numbers were in fact closer to 250+.

If you have a heart, you may have wondered how Nazi Germany came to be so organised and how, HOW ON EARTH so many were systematically murdered by the state. Why wasn’t there an outcry much sooner? How did people not notice this was happening right under their noses? It’s simple really. The media and government filled people with propaganda and the atrocities were downplayed. Exactly what the BBC appears to be doing now. 250+ of my comrades were arrested yesterday under sections 14 and 16 but here’s the thing; none of them were aware these orders were in place. People were arrested by deception.

Section 14 gives the police the right to confine protests to a particular space. Now, if this was the case yesterday, tell me why the police allowed us to march through the streets in our 100s whilst they stood idly at the sidelines? Surely a section 14 would have prevented us from leaving Altab Ali Park? How can people be arrested for a crime they did not know they were committing? What of the innocent passers-by who happened to be caught up in the brutally enforced kettle and were then arrested for simply occupying the same space as anti-fascist activists? Of the 15 people I helped support at Colindale police station, 3 of them were adamant they had nothing to do with the demo. It did not matter that they protested the unlawful arrest; they were not given the chance to explain their circumstances. The police acted with impunity, as though these facts were never going to be relevant. Doesn’t that scare you? It scares me. I can be plucked from a crowd of people in a public area and thrown into a cell for as long as they like, though 12 hours seems to be the standard.

The events of the day disturb me. I wasn’t personally arrested but I was treated with suspicion. When the police closed in from all around us, the natural reaction was for people to flee the scene. Who wants to be kettled? As experienced activists we know what a kettle means. Surrounded by officers built like brick shit houses, comrades are pulled out of the kettle, beaten and arrested for simply being there. How does one react in such a situation? Well, you’d want to avoid a beating obviously but if you so much as push back, there’s an assault charge with your name on it. I was trapped in a crowd of activists, all pushing and straining to avoid police brutality and I froze. I was being carried along, I couldn’t afford to push anyone myself, I have a historic spinal injury. Maybe this is why the female officer chose to bash her baton into me. It was frightening. I couldn’t feel anything, the adrenalin was pumping but I was aware I might have been injured. At the first opportunity, I and my buddy retreated to as safe a space as was possible but it was too late, we were in the kettle. It was another 20 minutes before the adrenalin subsided and I felt the pain and tingling creep in. I approached the officers at the end of the police line and expressed my wish to leave the kettle because of my medical condition. They jokingly suggested they’d put in a request with the big boss. An arrestee who was nearby would later tell me how those officers were mocking me for lying and of course, I only wanted to leave the kettle to join the UAF in Altab Ali Park. Anyone who knows me or anyone with any grip on reality would know that this was the last thing on my mind. Another 10 minutes passed and I pleaded with them again to let me leave the kettle, this time lifting my top so they could see the old surgery scars. This time the big boss was asked to have a look at my back. He advised that, unless I need immediate attention I should sit down on the floor to avoid exacerbating the condition. Again, anyone with an iota of intelligence would probably know that sitting down on a hard floor with this kind of complaint is probably not advisable. When my back is inflamed, my body stiffens up. If I’m sat down, it becomes difficult to stand. About half an hour after my initial complaint I asked to be seen by police medics. There were horses and dogs straining on their leashes and then the familiar red bus (Sullivan’s of Potters Barr – ‘a small friendly bus company’) designated for arrestees turned up. Experience has taught me that this is when things take a turn for the worst. When I asked officers why they were stood sideways, holding on to the backs of each other’s belts and why we were being kettled when we were peaceful, the response I got was astonishing. Apparently this was not a ‘kettle’ but ‘containment’. I didn’t fancy being sat on the floor unable to move quickly if things were about to become violent. The medics checked my pulse and it was higher than they would have liked. Suddenly these men in their padded suits and hard hats were being sensitive and attentive. They lifted me out of the kettle. They gently placed me down on the ground around the corner from the rest of my comrades. I watched with heavy heart as they pulled people onto the arrestee bus. Young people, gentle people. They didn’t stand a chance.

There are those that will tell me I deserved this predicament because I should know better than to attend a protest with a medical complaint such as mine. Well, in recent months I have been racially abused more than ever before. The threat has escalated and hateful people have become brazen as you like. I know that I prefer to confront things head on and defend my right to a non-threatening life. The alternative is a deep depression spurred by feelings of hopelessness and vulnerability. I have been agoraphobic once before, I am damned if society does that to me again. It’s why, after I was allowed to return home without further police interrogation and able to take my pain meds, I volunteered – with many of my close friends – to provide arrestee support. There is a growing solidarity between people from all walks of life who are prepared to sacrifice their own mental/physical health to ensure true equality for all. We are anti-fascists and we mean business.

We chose to attend Colindale copshop as it’s the arse end of nowhere for most and being in North London it was easier for us. When we arrived, one arrestee had been released. His eyes were bloodshot and he was shaking. He hadn’t been given any food and was extremely grateful for the supplies we’d brought. We read his bail conditions in disbelief.

“Not to engage in demonstration within the boundaries of the M25 where the English Defence League, English Volunteer Force or British National Party are present”

Are the police effectively enabling fascists by stifling dissent? Why were over 250 anti-fascists arrested in this manner? Who are the police trying to protect? Of the 15 we processed, most of them were given bail conditions to the 21-22nd of the month and a couple had 24th. I’d be interested to find out whether there is a planned fascist march before these dates. It would certainly explain why such a large number were arrested and then released without charge. I would also like to understand why one of our arrestees at Colindale had had his flat raided by the police. This all feels unlawful. I haven’t the legal knowledge to challenge any of this but there are many of you who do. It is our duty to halt the creeping fascism infecting this country of ours, lest young people of the future ask the same questions of the once Great Britain the way we do now of the Holocaust.

*Worth nothing, there were only 2 fascist arrests. Whose police?

** Update – 14 EDL arrests

antifa_logo_neu

Disunited Against Fascism

Demoralising is the word I’d use to sum up yesterday’s events. Fascists converged on my hometown en masse. I wasn’t quite expecting so many; I had been hoping they’d broken a few noses with all the infighting but they were here. If I had not been with my small group of white people, I would have been terrified. I think all anti fascists figured out very quickly we were going to be outnumbered and our plans to prevent them from passing were looking like suicide.

Even if we had managed to stand our ground, the police weren’t having any of it. They followed us around, stopped and searched us, mocked us for being stopped and searched, refused to provide a receipt cos apparently they didn’t need to and when the fun stuff was over, they physically pushed us for not immediately responding to command. They didn’t want to talk about whether what they were doing was lawful or how many human rights they were breaching, at one point I felt almost lifted off my feet as they pushed us out of the way and into the UAF kettle. Or hell as I’ve come to term it.

I don’t know if you’ve ever visited Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square, it looks like an amphitheatre with a fountain in the middle. Sitting on the stairs you can see everyone in the square. As we begrudgingly joined UAF and the like at the designated point for protest, I recognised the various groups assembled. UAF had a megaphone, English Disco Lovers were DANCING and SWP were handing out placards to people who have no idea who they are.  Among the sea of white faces were local Asian lads, older black men and the odd member of an anti-fascist network. It was these people that helped keep us safe. Or at least made us feel safe-ish. They were going to defend our town, they were ready. They had to be; EDL had broken through two police lines and were injuring police officers and even each other in an attempt to attack us. When I heard this news, I felt chilled to the core. There were so many more of them than us. I felt we could come to serious harm. I felt conflicted. I’m not a fan of a Muslim Defence League any more than I am the EDL but given the choice, in that situation, they were my comrades, we had a common enemy and an appreciation for the seriousness of the situation. Unlike the others.

English Disco Lovers made me want to rage in fury. Here we were, under imminent threat of attack and they were boogying? I was on the other side of the square and watching in disbelief as they pranced. Was this a spoof? Is my whole life a parody? Unfortunately not. The group of white people in their retro disco clothes, having fun whilst the rest of us struggled to suppress the 10th panic attack of the day were able to do so because racism, let’s face it, doesn’t really affect them or at least won’t ever in the same way. It’s ok to be so blasé when you’re not the one under threat of attack at any given time. UAF just did not BLOODY SHUT UP once as they reminded us of this racist threat we were under. No shit Sherlock, that’s why we’re at this demo. I was already seething from a comment I’d read on their page where they said they would be dealing with ‘racists, fascists and trolls’. I found it irksome because UAF are known for shopping Antifa comrades to the police. They stifle dissent by criminalising people. I was worried. Worried for the Asian lads and black men and my friends. To be quite honest there weren’t even many UAF there.

I searched the news today, again incredulous, at the media’s portrayal of events. Pictures of EDL interspersed with the counter demo, all white front pages as they say. There were some pictures of people of colour but all of those were masked and threatening. They referred to an ‘anarchist element’ and ‘troublemakers’. The EDL looked like they were at a festival in a country they run. Tell me, if I, as a person with a foot in both worlds, looked at those pictures and identified PoC as the antagonists then what is your average Daily Mail reader thinking? Considering the white mainstream news sources, it is clear to see where their prejudices lie. Everything you heard/saw on the news was untrue. I did however; find a link to content that looked like the demo I had attended. It was a YouTube clip filmed off a telly, a Bangladeshi channel and it spoke to actual people of colour. I wished I knew what he was saying but I didn’t need to, he’d seen what I’d seen and that was good enough for me.

See, that’s what the anti-racist movement needs more of; more people of colour speaking up and defending themselves, more white people shutting the fuck up and listening. But they don’t y’see; they know what’s best after all.

A friend of mine got into a discussion on a UAF page where she echoed many of the sentiments I have expressed above. UAF were praising Disco Leaguers for their impressive shapes. She was told that the term ‘person of colour’ is offensive and that she, as a white woman was being patronising. Well, I had to correct them and sent them this, “Hey, so I’m a person of colour and think it highly patronising when white people undermine threats to our lives with happy clapping and stupid dance moves. You are quick to dismiss dissent and you can manipulate it to look like some white people appropriate the struggle as though it’s all about them, but what exactly are you doing? Thoroughly disappointed with UAF, SWP, English disco league. You make a mockery of our pain” which was then promptly deleted by them. Unite against Fascism, the anti-racist organisation don’t care for my opinion. Is it because I am brown? Or is it because I am a woman? Is it because these people don’t actually have a clue what they’re doing and are seen to be doers with very little respect for people of colour’s lived experiences? I think all three. The Disco Leaguers didn’t even know what PoC means! They had to Google it.

The face of anti-racism, ladies, gents and non-binary peeps.

I’m absolutely brimming with confidence and hope.

fuck all racism no one is illegal

solidarity

It’s not about me (TW)

It’s about the pregnant 21 year old Muslim woman who was beaten so savagely, her foetus was stillborn.

It’s about the 18 year old activist Clement Meric, beaten so badly he was left brain dead.

It’s about the young woman from the North of England knocked unconscious when she was attacked from behind.

It’s about the Muslim boarding school that was burnt down whilst the boys lay sleeping. Two of them were treated for smoke inhalation.

It’s about the 78 year old grandmother beaten for being brown and defenceless.

It’s about my comrades; black, white, Asians, Jews, queer, trans* and everything in between.

It’s about protecting them from Nazi/police brutality.

It’s about the state questioning my motives for reporting malicious communication regarding Muslims and suggesting my offence was borne from my religion. I have repeatedly told them I am an atheist.

It’s because we are brown and not white British that we cannot respond to YouGov polls questioning the threat against the ‘indigenous’ population. Personally, my 31 years of citizenship mean nothing.

It’s when they ask how British Muslim communities can protect themselves, not how they will ban the fascists hurting them.

It’s about my little nieces and nephews and their futures. I wish them long lives.

It’s about the focus on braaaahn perpetrators and paedophiles whilst the white ones get away with 15 months in prison cos 13 victims aren’t as serious as Savile’s 1300.

It’s about the soldiers who sexually abused minors in Afghanistan but escaped punishment because of the effect on THEIR families. What about the minors and their families?

It’s about the solider who punched a woman in the face but escaped punishment just because he’s an outstanding soldier otherwise. That’d be murdering civilians I guess.

It’s about the systematic rape and abuse perpetrated by Western forces in countries around the world.

It is about the value of a white life compared to the valueless non-whites.

It’s about changing our names, wearing their clothes, eating their food and still being rejected for not being white enough.

It’s about the fascists’ right to protest. It’s about the police facilitating hate.

It’s about people of colour being openly racially abused on our transport system. No fear of reprisal from their attackers but a sense of entitlement.

It’s the fact that police are reporting 8 Islamophobic attacks a day where there was previously 1. Why didn’t we nip it in the bud?

It’s about reverse racism and the audacity of white people to suggest we control their lives in the same way they control ours. This denial of power and control dynamics is offensive.

It’s about the way whole communities of non-whites are treated as a hive whereas white people are individuals.

It’s about the systematic monstering of non-white men whilst white men are free to abuse women and children and retain their hordes of adoring fans.

It’s about the accusations those in power throw at us; that somehow we’re just doing it for the kudos, instead of defending the right for everyone to live a non-threatening life.

It’s about the ease with which WoC are erased from the narrative, by painting them as delusional, hateful and provocative. Cos of course, we don’t ever tell the truth.

It’s about the abuse women in hijabs suffer. Somehow they are more controlled and oppressed for covering their bodies. Uncover yours and see them blame you for your own rape.

It’s about the white men attacking women in hijabs. Clearly the men are too much of a challenge.

It’s about those non-whites so desperate for acceptance that they support the oppressor. Token non-whites need help.

It’s about the way the media do not report the impending threat to non-whites everywhere.

It’s about the way terrorism has been defined as an act of defiance against the white majority. When non-whites are terrorised, they are simply being hated for who they are.

It’s about the way they sneer at you for ‘attention seeking’. Damn right I am seeking to draw attention to the unacceptable systems of control we are under in this godforsaken world. Solidarity with all likeminded activists.

It’s about the parallels modern day Britain draws with genocides of yesteryear. The dehumanisation of groups of peoples.

It’s about our ‘comrades’ allying themselves with people who wish us dead. No platform for bigots, ever.

It’s about the way victims are required to be humble and vulnerable to establish their victimhood. Defending oneself makes you just as bad as the other. Erm no, doesn’t work like that.

It’s about the accountability all Muslims face for uttering the words “Allahu Akbar”. Can’t see us asking the same of the queen when the fascists sing her anthem.

It’s about the way we are dismissed for being educated middle class academics on the fringes of actual people of colour’s lived experiences. Couldn’t be more wrong could they?

It’s about the everyday murder, rape, brutality faced by those considered subhuman by the white people in power.

It’s about feeling the pain of others who share the colour of your skin, your sex, your environment.

If you don’t understand that, then you are part of the problem.