It’s The End Of The World As We Know It
The last few days have sometimes felt a bit like the end of the world, or at the very least, the beginning of a new era. Trump’s ascendancy seems to have sparked a new wave of repression and resistance, and the far-right across both the US and Europe is on the march.
On the day Trump announced his travel ban from 7 Muslim-majority countries, a Mosque in Texas was burned to the ground, and the very next day (Sunday 29th), a man walked into an Islamic Cultural Centre in Qubec and opened fire with an assault rifle, killing six and wounding 5 others. In the immediate aftermath, many right-wing news outlets reported that the shooter had shouted “Allahu Akbar”, leading to notable fascists like ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson and everybody’s favorite punching bag Richard Spencer to blame the terrorist attack on Muslims (despite the attacker shooting up a mosque).
It quickly became clear that the suspected shooter was a white Canadian nationalist, Alexandre Bissonnette. Various screenshots from his facebook have shown “likes” for the likes of Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen. Another clear example of how fascist retoric quickly turns to violent action.
Closer to home, a group of London squatters took over an empty mansion in Belgravia, turning it into a homeless shelter and organising community events. Obviously, something about trying to help the homeless rubs the far-right up the wrong way. On Saturday, a group of fascists from the wannabe hooligan crew “Pie and Mash Squad” attacked the building, smashing windows and attempting to smash their way through the front door, while throwing seig-heils and offering the occupants out for a fight. The squatter put up a brave defence, and pretty quickly the fascists legged it.
Now for some good news. Ever since Trump annouced his “Muslim Ban”, it’s been easy to feel powerless. Watching the resistance in the US, many of us wondered what we could do about it over here. The spontaneous marches that have broke out across the UK in response to this have been truly inspiring, and Brighton was no exception. Around 2000 people gathered in the centre of town (with only 24 hours notice!) and a Brighton Antifascist speaker (amongst many others) gave an excellent and well recieved speech.
After that, Brighton Antifascists led the crowd on an impromptu march throught the town, with flares and some extremely creative chanting.
The number of young people on the march, many of whom had never been on a protest before, was truely inspiring, as was the number of people who approached us, interested in getting involved in militant antifascism. For those of us involved in long-term activism, it was a heartening experience. We had so many membership requests it’s going to take us some time to get through them all.
See you on the streets!