Hundreds of racists turned up in London on 13 June to counter-protest a Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstration. As they became violent towards anti-racist protesters and police, one person called them “the British KKK”.
The BLM march was officially called off because of concerns that it would be attacked. Witnesses claim that some people present were doing Nazi salutes and shouting “heil Hitler”:
Fighting the police
After singing the national anthem at the Cenotaph, the crowd appeared desperate to engage in violence. Journalists were attacked and videos show right-wing protesters attacking the police:
Apparently, the crowds had gathered to protect London’s colonial statues from being vandalised after anti-racist protesters drowned a statue of slave-trader, Edward Colston, in Bristol harbour on 7 June. But the state had already protected several monuments and had even pre-emptively boarded up a statue of Winston Churchill.
The far-right wasn’t just there to protect their monuments:
“Let’s call them for who they really are”
While some of the crowd called themselves the Football Lads, anti-racists are keen to point out what they really are. One person said “they’re literally the British KKK”:
Videos on social media showed the extent of the white, right-wing violence:
London isn’t the only city seeing these so-called ‘protection groups’ taking to the streets. Smaller numbers of racists paraded in the streets of Newcastle and Brighton too:
Since the BLM protests began, the far-right has also taken to the streets in Plymouth. Jacob Goldberg, a Plymouth anti-fascist, told The Canary:
Anyone with sense could have foreseen what happened in London today. As we exposed in Plymouth last Sunday, these ‘protection groups’ are full of far-right activists hiding behind a veneer of respect for the fallen. It’s clearly a charade – why else would they go around doing Nazi salutes in their spare time?
The fact is, what we’re seeing in Plymouth and London are just days out for the far right – drinking and shouting racist, sexist abuse.
It’s down to us – we all have to speak out against their lies, and stand up to their intimidation.
He’s right. We can all challenge racism. Even small acts count, like challenging social media friends’ racist comments online. If we stay silent about racism, we’re complicit.
Featured image via Twitter – screengrab