UDL fail to even show when Belfast anti-fascists take their protest site

Date:

This video shows some scenes from the successful Belfast Anti-Fascist demo that took place Saturday April 1st
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About 200 anti-fascists gathered to show the supposedly 30 or so supporters of the Ulster Defence League that while neither they nor their views are welcome here refugees certainly are.

In reality, the illustrious UDL 30 had no organised or visible attendance, with merely a couple of their brave warriors skulking around the edges, clearly humiliated by the overwhelming presence of anti-fascists.

Derry Antifascists who travelled to Belfast for the protest later reported on their page

"Antifascists from across the North gathered in Belfast city centre earlier today in what was a clear visible show of strength to counter any attempt by members of the tiny fascist group Ulster Defence League (UDL) from holding a public protest in order to threaten or spread their lies and hate on the streets.

From to outset as antifascists assembled in Writers Square in central Belfast by the international antifascist monument, a monument dedicated to the local brigadistas of the international brigades. There was also a highly visible PSNI presence who informed those gathered that the event itself was an illegal demonstration and warning several activists about having their faces covered in a public place. At the assembly point as more people gathered it was decided to break up in order for activists make there way to another agreed point before making there way to Belfast City Hall. As this happened many people along the way again were being harassed by the PSNI and notified about walking together in numbers as well as for wearing items that covered or obscured their identity.

Members of different left, republican and trade union groups were represented from Workers Solidarity Movement to the Industrial Workers of the World including several non-aligned anarchists, socialists and antifascists from across the North.

One activist said "When you hear of random racist attacks happening on our streets on an almost daily occurrence as well as attacks witnessed on just yesterday on the streets of London, when a young Kurdish asylum seeker was almost beaten to death by a mob people have to say, "this has to stop here and now!"

Another young activist interrupted adding: "We can't allow any group, whether they're the UDL or whatever they want to call themselves to even attempt to moblise here.

"History shows us all too cleary how we should deal with Nazis or fascist scum wherever they raise their fucking heads or when they come up for air, if it's here in Belfast, Derry or Dublin we'll be there!"

As antifascists made their way through the busy city centre streets through crowds of Saturday afternoon shoppers under tight PSNI observation another activist commented, "Many of us come from or acknowledge that we have a strong tradition of militant antifascism in Ireland and it's appropriate for us to start today's events by assembling at the Spanish Civil War monument. It's even better that more and more younger activists acknowledge this also and are answering the call to organise".

At Belfast city hall there was no sign of the planned UDL rally against immigrants and refugees, instead around 200 antifascist activists chanted slogans in between the beats intervals of Samba drumming as a hand full of bemused union flag protests looked on. Several finger pointing incidents, flag waving and one muppet wearing an 'anti commie' t-shirt was all that developed. At times there were a few jossels and angry out bursts as the PSNI kept a clear barrier between those outside City Hall but one thing was certain, the proposed UDL gathering was a none starter.

In a statement issued by Belfast Antifascists afterwards a spokesperson said "Antifascists from all over Belfast and Derry in representation of citizens of this island in opposition of the regressive and fascist ideology of the Ulster Defence League and their associated counterparts in the 'flegster' element.

"Despite the apparent fear and abscence of the UDL who in fact called for a protest in the firstplace, Antifascists sought to take action and demonstrate even the very fact that a hateful islamophobic protest was even dared to be called.

"Fascists should never have the right to an agenda, make them afraid, keep them off our streets and communities. If you have any information regarding antifascists activity in your area , please do not hesitate to make contact with us please.

"Immigrants, people of colour and the working class, will always be and forever more be the priority of our political actions. Humanity comes first before borders".

The sunshine faded and the skies opened with torrents of heavy rain and hailstones, the union flag protesters blinked first and packed up amidst cheers, jeers and applauding onlookers."

Photos: From Derry anti-fascist FB album

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