Former Plaid Cymru leader’s response to the Millwall scandal is a must-read

Leanne Wood spoke out about Millwall
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A former Plaid Cymru leader gave perhaps the most important response to Millwall fans booing players who ‘took the knee’. Because she provided crucial historical context as to why the supporters’ and others’ reactions should worry us.

Over at Millwall…

The Guardian reported that on Saturday 5 December, Millwall fans sparked outcry. It wrote that:

some of the 2,000 home fans inside the ground booed when home and Derby players took a knee before kick-off.

It also said:

Booing from the stands was clearly heard after the referee, Darren England, blew his whistle for the players to take a knee, a gesture used to show support for the fight against discrimination following the unlawful killing of George Floyd in America.

Taking the knee

Goal summed up the meaning of “taking the knee”:

Historically, kneeling has been a way to show silent solidarity in support of human rights amid political turmoil – when athletes are not expected to drift away from their role and ‘stick to sports’.

Read on...

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The action of kneeling can be dated back to the civil rights movement in the United States, where the likes of figures such as Martin Luther King Jr – along with other activists – kneeled after leading a prayer after a group of protesters were arrested during a march to the Dallas County Alabama courthouse on on February 1, 1965.

So Millwall and Derby players doing it should hardly be a surprise. Yet it clearly was for some fans. But then, as commentator Ash Sarkar tweeted, maybe we shouldn’t be shocked:

But there’s a deeper problem with what happened at Saturday’s match.

“Marxist” BLM?

Many people tweeted that Black Lives Matter (BLM) was a “Marxist” group. They used it as the reason for Millwall fans booing the players taking the knee. This is probably nonsense. Yet it didn’t stop people saying it.

Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, however, provided a timely reminder of why people smearing a progressive group as ‘Marxist’ should worry us.

In response to UKIP’s Neil Hamilton, she tweeted:

Wood went further on her Facebook page.

A lesson from history

She wrote about how she visited the site of the former Nazi workcamp in Dachau, Germany. Wood described how the Nazis put people who opposed them in this workcamp. She noted how the camp’s first prisoners were “socialists, anarchists, clerics and academics”. But perhaps crucially, Wood said:

Before people were interned in camps, there were propaganda campaigns by the Nazis designed to demonise and demean certain groups of people, to “other” them, to turn wider public opinion against them. That way, blind eyes can be turned to cruel treatment towards these groups.

When I hear the loser President of the United States denounce “socialism” and “socialists” and when I see far-right / alt-right voices denounce “anarchists”, “leftists” and “Marxists” as they do, I am reminded of my visit to Dachau and I shudder. Do you?

Wood is spot on. The baseless accusations of Marxism made against BLM are dangerous propaganda, designed to detract from its cause. We all need to see this for what it is: the far-right, once again, on the march.

Featured image via Garry Knight – Wikimedia

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  • Show Comments
    1. It makes a change that we (@narchist’s) are mentioned, as we’re very often at the forefront of actively opposing the filth and bile in (pseudo) human form of the far-right. The latter really are the scum of the earth, aren’t they? Bellends.

    2. If the Canary really thinks that a bunch of millionaires kneeling down and getting booed is peak racism, they need to have a look at themselves. Perhaps Marc Wadsworth’s behaviour of heckling and booing Jewish politicians isn’t too dissimilar yet no criticism of him on these pages.
      Marxism ultimately killed over a hundred million people in the last century. They made the Nazis look like rank amateurs. Patrisse Cullors is on video saying that she and her fellow organisers are ‘trained marxists.’ Hardly baseless is it.
      Oh Steve, any chance of you commenting on the money you received for pushing the Kremlin’s agenda. Guido Fawkes still has the evidence published and no comment from yourself yet in relation to the accusations.

      1. So, back to the actual article. You believe that the football players have been conned by marxists and that racism either doesn’t exist or maybe it’s a good thing? Forgive me for seeming to put words in your mouth, it’s because you have strayed off topic and not said anything about the article itself. I’d be interested in your thoughts on racism and how people in the public eye should lead public opinion on it being a bad thing..

    3. A “trained Marxist” is a parrot that sees Class in everything.

      Idiots who refuse to see Class in ANYTHING are slugs.

      Marxism is a useful tool to see how Class Interest and Class Consciousness develops, it is a terrible and totalitarian theology for anyone who takes it seriously beyond that, imo.

      Are some BLM leaders trained in Marxism? Well, the biggest number of Marxists in the UK come from the Public-schools, who ARE trained in Class Consciousness (AKA, “How to maintain it”), and the ideas are not at all hard to grasp. For sure, it would be more surprising if not.

      Funny, the poor and ill-educated seem more worried about Marxism, than about Neoliberalism – that force that has ACTUALLY ruined their lives.

      Gee, perhaps there are consequences to allowing the mass media to fall into the hands of billionaire rightwing oligarchs, with its hypnotic power? 😮

    4. Marx and Engels denigrated the existing bourgeoise parliament and civil society of law in favor of revolution as did Nazi philosopher Carl Schmitt, in the exact same terms. The knee jerk anglo political tendency to throw terms like “Marxist” around really in order to justify their own Nazi leanings is dangerous!

    5. Of all the football teams it seems least surprising that Milwall was the one to get publicity for booing their own team on the subject of racism. I’m told that this is the season ticket holders too, not simply ‘hangers on’

      But true enough, racism is a problem throughout football. Like sectarianism in Scotland it seems to hang over the game like a sickening cloud. Things deemed unacceptable outside the confines of the stadia are perpetrated without question.

      But given my awakening to just how racist this country is then perhaps football fans are just more honest and open about their racism than the rest of the population. Meanwhile, over on Guido, people are commenting that it is ‘controversial’ to have opinions on racism and that it is ‘political’ (actually they’re saying a lot worse but I’m paraphrasing and being very kind)

      I think we criticise racism but we fail to ask the racist why? Why do they believe what they do? I believe that genuinely haven’t given it much thought, it is an unthinking response to the world we live in..

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