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”.
Does anyone else find it 'ironic' that some people that think nothing of throwing Nazi salutes would be surging on London to 'protect' the statue of the person many people think defeated Hitler!
London – 13th June 👇🏽pic.twitter.com/HI9H8UxBfd
— Steve Jones (@CerdynJones) June 13, 2020
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Call them what they are.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) June 13, 2020
Fighting the police
Far right thugs, emboldened by their pin up boy Boris Johnson, attacking police. This is what happens when you vote a man into office who has not only said many racist things, but who has declined any opportunity to apologise for them pic.twitter.com/MpLRj3SLDM
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) June 13, 2020
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:
Imagine putting on your Stone Island, your kids ask if you're going to the football. You tell then no, you're off to guard a statue of an 18th century murderer.
— Justin (@Justinstfc1) June 13, 2020
“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”:
the people "protesting" in London aren't “Football Lads” lets call them for who they really are. they're literally the British KKK. white supremacists interested in nothing but the preservation of white power & causing violence wherever they go for the sake of it #farright
— ً (@ffswaz) June 13, 2020
Need to stop naming these people “football lads” they are white supremacists please
— kenny (@klxlaa) June 13, 2020
Videos on social media showed the extent of the white, right-wing violence:
If the police had smashed a few BLM skulls on day 1, this wouldn't be taking place
— Les Wainwright (@WainwrightLes) June 13, 2020
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:
— Brighton BDS (@BrightonBDS) June 13, 2020
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
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