Steve Hedley of the RMT stresses how the organised working class must meet the far right on the streets and combat their racism with socialist policies.
In recent months, there has been a rise in activity on the part of various far-right groups. There have been a number of staged provocations in support of English Defence League (EDL) founder Tommy Robinson. A left-wing bookshop in central London was attacked by fascist vandals. And now the so-called “Democratic” Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) is planning to descend onto the streets of London this weekend.
These threats have led to calls for the labour and trade union movement to stand up to this wave of reaction, in order to defend workers and migrants from attack.
We interview here Steve Hedley, senior assistant general secretary of the RMT union, who was himself physically attacked by far-right thugs after a counter-demonstration earlier this year. Steve sends a clear message to all workers and youth: the labour movement must mobilise on the streets to smash the far right.
Socialist Appeal activists will be on the Momentum-organised counter-demo in London tomorrow (Saturday 13th October, meeting at 1pm at Old Palace Yard). Join us on this demonstration and help send the DFLA packing.
There has been a clear rise in far-right activity in the form of the DFLA/EDL – with attacks on migrants, refugees and Muslims. Tommy Robinson has attempted to galvanise this reactionary mob.
The fascists are a threat to the working class and the labour movement. Their aim is nothing more than to destroy the trade unions and our democratic rights. There have been physical attacks on trade unionists.
They act in the interests of big business, attempting to split the working class on ethnic or religious grounds.
The DFLA/EDL are puppets of the rich. They are anti-working class. They pretend to be anti-establishment, but exist to pit worker against worker and buttress the establishment.
We have seen this before with the fascist National Front (NF) and British National Party (BNP). We must mobilise the forces of the Labour and trade union movement against this danger and sweep them off the streets.
We stopped the Mosleyites from marching in the East End in Cable Street in 1936. We defeated the NF in the 1970s. And decades later we drove the BNP out of Barking and elsewhere.
Only by driving them off the streets did they retreat back into their holes.
At the end of the day, it is the crisis of capitalism that breeds this far-right scum. To eradicate the fascists and the far right once and for all, we need to eradicate the system that spawns them.
The RMT is fully committed to fighting the racists and fascists. We will organise a defence of our meetings and events to protect them against fascist provocations.
We must stand up to the Tommy Robinsons and all the rest of them.
The organised labour movement is the force to do this. But we need to act now. Wherever they raise their ugly head, we must be there to confront them.
We need to link this fight to one of changing society: to put an end to this rotten capitalist system and build a socialist society, where everyone can get a decent job, home, and wage.
We cannot allow the fascists to carry out their dirty work. We will not permit them to succeed. Don’t stand on the side-lines! Join the fight! The call must be: no pasaran!