Last Saturday saw a humiliating defeat for the fascist BNP, as anti-cuts activists and members of the local community rejected their attempts to bring hatred and intolerance in our town.
On the day that Doncaster LGBT Pride was to take place – a celebration of tolerance and diversity – the fascist BNP reared their ugly heads with a stall just around the corner from the ‘Walk of Unity’ assembly point. Local anti-cuts activists who had gathered to join Pride quickly responded with an impromptu demonstration outside the BNP stall.
Local young people and members of the LGBT community soon joined in chants of ‘BNP, Go Home!’ A mother passing by with her children thanked the demonstrators for standing up to the fascists, stating that her kids were chanting "Nazi scum off our streets" all the way around town!’
One demonstrator carried a bin liner and encouraged members of the public to trash their leaflets, much to the disgruntlement of the increasingly demoralised BNP.
They responded with a barrage of personal insults, including homophobic abuse hurled at LGBT people passing-by.
However the demonstrators were resolute, and soon the BNP became frustrated at being unable to leaflet and petition, and were becoming increasingly isolated. The local café even brought out a tray of tea for the protestors, as the fascists received abuse from shoppers and passers-by.
After three hours of noisy protest the BNP cleared off – beaten and demoralised. It was later discovered that their ‘battle bus’, which was parked on a disabled spot outside of a local pub, soon became a ‘battered bus’ as one of the locals explained: ‘it wasn’t activists or anything, the whole pub just spontaneously got up and saw them off’.
The day was huge success, but we cannot become complacent. The link between this event and the actions of the town’s English Democrat Mayor is no coincidence. Two years ago Peter Davies ran on a populist platform of cutting funding to Pride, stating that LGBT people ‘shouldn’t be funded to flaunt it in the streets’. Now the BNP feel confident enough to take the streets, in a town where they have been consistently kept from the streets.
Struggles against oppression should be at the heart of any anti-cuts campaign - the LGBT community is just one example of a minority group who will be adversely affected by the cuts, whose support services are being slashed in many areas across the country.
We must unite all sections of our society against the fascists that seek to divide us, and the Con-Dem government - whose unfair and unnecessary cuts will tear the heart out of our community.
Doncaster Counterfire are holding a Public Meeting: ‘The Red in the Rainbow: The Struggle for LGBT Liberation Today’ - Wednesday 24th August at 8.00pm at the Railway Pub on West Street.
A mobilisation has also been called for next Saturday 28th August at 12.00pm, on Market Place outside Rothwell’s Café.
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