Unite Against Fascism

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Unite Against Fascism (abbreviated as UAF) is a Far-Left "anti-racist" group (with antifa associations) in the United Kingdom. The organisation listed Doreen Lawrence (see the Stephen Lawrence affair) as honorary President.[1]

Overview

The organisation was founded in 2003 (David Cameron being one of the founding signatories) in response to electoral successes by the British National Party. Even leftist sources such as Red Pepper magazine state that the UAF was set up by the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and the Far-Left National Assembly Against Racism. Other contributors included the equally Far-Left Anti-Nazi League and the more extreme left-wing trades unions. Various sources have described it as a front organisation for the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), as discussed below. There are also associations with pro-Muslim organisations, such as regarding leaders.

The UAF has worked closely with Love Music Hate Racism, described by UAF/SWP's Weyman Bennett as "the cultural wing of our movement".[2]

Since 2013 (after the rape accusations controversy discussed below), UAF has operated in partnership with, and often used the name, of the organisation "Stand Up To Racism", which has many of the same leaders as UAF. It may possibly be viewed as a front organisation for the UAF after controversy.

Controversies

Involvement in violence

UAF has organised counter-demonstrations to activities, or anticipated activities, by the "far right". Members have been accused of at not just demonstrating against but attacking those they oppose as well as the police and otherwise breaking the law with numerous arrests made at such occasions.[3]

The UAF has been involved in numerous "protests" that has resulted in disorder, violence (including against the police), and numerous arrests, including arrests of prominent leaders.[4]

"The Harrow Times reported that a statement on the SIOE website said that the senior police sergeant was worried that his officers could be killed by the UAF organised counter demonstrators if they had allowed the demonstration by Stop the Islamification of Europe (SIOE) to go ahead."[5]

Nigel Farage stated in 2014 that UAF members had made violent attempts to silence him and that there had been repeated attempts by political opponents to disrupt his public meetings, which had forced him to hire bodyguards. His personal security had been threatened by supporters of UAF and another campaign group, Hope Not Hate. “They are violent in intent,” he said. “Their intention is to stop me speaking.” Both groups officially denied any involvement in violence, insisting they are peaceful and democratic organisations.[6]

However, its activism may have decreased after its involvement in the 2013 rape accusations weakened the SWP and associated organisations (see below).

SWP front organisations and 2013 rape accusations

Even leftist sources and organisations have criticized UAF and its associated organisation Stand Up To Racism as a Socialist Workers Party front organisation and criticized the organisations for the handling of 2013 rape accusations against a senior member. "In 2013, the way allegations of sexual violence made by a 17-year-old girl against a senior figure were dealt with by the party led to its near-collapse. The SWP politically disapproves of police involvement, so the teenager was asked to testify in front of a kangaroo court made up of the accused’s close associates. She was asked questions about her alcohol consumption and sexual history and left the room in floods of tears. In addition, a sustained campaign of harassment was launched against two female party members who helped the victim bring her allegation to the party committee. At the SWP’s national conference the committee announced it’s verdict: not guilty. Anyone who disagreed was asked to leave the party and around 700 resigned in disgust."[7][8][9][10][11][12]

Islamist associations

The UAF has been criticized for being "silent about Islamist fascists who promote anti-Semitism, homophobia, sexism and sectarian attacks on non-extremist Muslims". It has been claimed that the UAF's reluctance to tackle Islamism is that several of its own members are supporters of such extremism. One example is a prominent member who is part of a "Muslim supremacist group" and who is stated to have disagreed with democracy if it would interfere with implementing sharia laws and to have advocated the killing of British troops in Iraq.[3][13]

The perpetrator of the Woolwich attack in 2013, the killer of soldier Lee Rigby, was Michael Adebolajo, who spoke at a UAF rally.[3][5]

In 2015, UAF was involved in a demonstration called Rotherham Unites:Muslim Lives Matter, in associations with revelations of non-White gangs having mass raped, drugged, blackmailed, and prostituted large numbers of young White girls in Rotherham and elsewhere. See also Race and crime: Culture/subculture

See also Islamo-leftism.

Antagonism with other "anti-racist" organisations

In 2005, Searchlight distanced itself from UAF after an argument over tactics. This may reflect conflicts between the pro-Zionist Searchlight and the pro-Muslim UAF.

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and Hope not Hate (HnH) have been stated to have had or have a hostile relationship with one another, despite both being "anti-racist" organisations. This may reflect their origin in and ongoing influence from Trotskyism (UAF) and non-Trotskyist Communism (HnH). UAF has been described as being more extreme, such as by not criticizing Islamist extremism, possibly reflecting the origin in the more extremist Trotskyist ideology.[14]

The various controversies and antagonisms with other leftists may have contributed to leftist Wikipedia stating a surprising amount of criticisms of the organisation.

Further reading

  • Hann, David, and Tilzey, Steve, No Retreat: The Secret War between Britain's Anti-Fascists and the Far Right, Milo Books, Lytham, Lancashire, Nov 2003, ISBN: 1-903854-22-9
  • Birchall, Sean, Beating the Fascists, Freedom Press, Whitechapel, London, 2010, ISBN: 978-1-904491-12-5

External links

Criticisms

References

  1. Doreen Lawrence denies link to group accused of Farage threats http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10823770/Doreen-Lawrence-denies-link-to-group-accused-of-Farage-threats.html
  2. Anti-fascism and the spirit of the united front http://socialistreview.org.uk/385/anti-fascism-and-spirit-united-front
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Anti-fascists fuel the fire of hate https://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/andrew-gilligan/10122496/Anti-fascists-fuel-the-fire-of-hate.html
  4. Unite Against Fascism, Wikipedia, 12:23, 25 July 2020 version. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Unite_Against_Fascism&oldid=969437740
  5. 5.0 5.1 Video: Woolwich ‘suspect’ Michael Adebolajo speaking at UAF demo http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/351147
  6. Doreen Lawrence denies link to group accused of Farage threats http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10823770/Doreen-Lawrence-denies-link-to-group-accused-of-Farage-threats.html
  7. Why Jeremy Corbyn should support the boycott of the Socialist Workers Party https://inews.co.uk/opinion/corbyn-support-boycott-socialist-workers-party-24979
  8. Corbyn under fire for speaking at anti-racism rally with links to SWP https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/10/corbyn-under-fire-speaking-anti-racism-rally-links-swp-socialist-workers-party
  9. Jeremy Corbyn supporters demand he apologise to rape victims for 'laundering' SWP's reputation https://www.politics.co.uk/news/2016/10/17/jeremy-corbyn-supporters-demands-apology-rape-victim-swp
  10. Owen Jones refuses to join Trump Protest because SWP is 'a cult which covered up rape' https://www.indy100.com/article/owen-jones-on-trump-rally-7562891
  11. Comrades at war: the decline and fall of the Socialist Workers Party https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/05/comrades-war-decline-and-fall-socialist-workers-party
  12. How to fight the BNP https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/may/15/theswordofrespectandthes
  13. Why we must reclaim antiracism from the far left https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/feb/18/race-raceandreligion
  14. HOPE not hate. Unite Against Fascism. The Shocking Truth Revealed. https://thedailybale.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/hope-not-hate-unite-against-fascism-the-shocking-truth-revealed/