Demonstration against the SDL, Saturday 16th February, 2013
Berwick Unites Against Fascism
1st October 2016
So the cowards that are the fascist SDL and NEI are having a little excursion into Berwick today. They are, sadly, not here to enjoy what the town has to offer, but to spread their hatred and lies.
Berwick has problems like anywhere else, but like anywhere else, at its core is a population of decent, honest, tolerant people.
Yes—people are worried.
Yes—people are fearful.
Yes—times are hard.
Yes—get active and protest!
But protest against those that have caused the problems: a corrupt and highly flawed financial system, politicians whose ideologies further that system and fail to see other ways to improve the lot of everyone. A right wing gutter press that tap into these fears and propagate it further for the only reason of selling more of their rags.
Please do not turn your anger against those whose fault it is not, migrants, muslims, gays, blacks, whoever. We are all essentially the same people just trying to muddle along as best we can on this tiny blue speck whizzing around the sun.
So please. Take a moment to stand up against this wave of hatred. Join me and others at Berwick Town Hall today and show the fascists that we, together, united, reject their views.
Unity Statement 2016
We the undersigned strongly oppose the proposed march in Berwick upon Tweed on the 1st of October 2016 by the racist groups of the Scottish Defence League (SDL) and the North East Infidels (NEI).
The SDL is a racist organisation with an established record of mounting protests which feature racist chanting, placards and Nazi salutes. At a previous demonstration in Edinburgh, the SDL displayed the ‘Swastika’ emblem of the openly racist and Nazi Greek party, ‘Golden Dawn’. In January this year the SDL took part in an anti-immigration demonstration in Dover described by the Daily Mail as a gathering of neo Nazis.
SDL member Derek Phin was jailed for threatening to burn down Edinburgh Central Mosque whist an anti-racism meeting was taking place inside. The NEI are a racist and fascist splinter group of the fascist English Defence League, an organization which has a record of attacking meetings of unions and students. Members of the EDL had sympathetic contact with Norwegian mass murderer Anders Brievik and expressed their support for his ideas after his sentencing. The Infidels are even more openly racist and fascist than the EDL, splitting from the EDL when its leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon allowed Jews to join the EDL.
As their last effort in Berwick showed they bring in members and sympathisers from elsewhere with an intention to promote racial hatred. We find it abhorrent that a message of hostility and scapegoating should be paraded through Berwick, a welcoming town with good community relations. It is unfortunate that David Coburn, the UKIP MEP for Scotland has used anxieties after BREXIT to label Berwick as a potential ‘New Calais’ if Scotland becomes independent and joins the EU. He implies that Berwick would become a target for refugee migrants seeking to enter England. This has given the neo Nazis an excuse to come here yet again to parade their vile and racist rubbish.
Following the significant gains made by racist and fascist parties across Europe, street thugs like the SDL and NEI will attempt to grow. It is vital that we unite and act to stop the rise of racist and fascist organisations at home and show solidarity to those opposing fascism elsewhere.
Berwick Trades Union Council, Uinite Against Fascism Scotland, Stand up to Racism Scotland
Demonstration and rally against the SDL & NEI
Saturday 5th July 2014
Once again Berwick put up a magnificent display of solidarity in opposing the racist Scottish Defence League (SDL) and their fascist friends the North East Infidels (NEI) marching in our streets last Saturday.
After our boisterous but good natured and orderly march up and down the town we held a rally at Marygate. The theme was “whose streets? our streets”, “whose town? our town”, “whose walls?” and so on. In other words, the town belongs to us, not to shipped in, masked up fascists and racists who came from across Scotland and England to whip up racism in Berwick.
Our final rally at the Guild Hall had Jim Herbert introduce a series of speakers: local trades unionists; Berwick Trades Union Council; Unite Against Fascism Scotland; Newcastle “People’s Assembly”; Berwick Migrant Support Group; and of course, local people of no particular affiliation coming to the fore.
The speakers addressed many of the concerns of local people. The trades union council in particular has had some criticism on how best to deal with the fascists. Some have argued that it’s best to ignore them and they’ll eventually go away. And that they are only coming here to seek confrontation.
Many of our speakers, some of whom with a vast experience on this, explained that this is profoundly mistaken. History demonstrates that where they are ignored they grow, they gain confidence and locals inclined to these insidious views, on seeing no opposition, join them.
One of the reasons overtly fascist and racist parties have failed in the UK is precisely because of local opposition initiated by the trades union movement. Berwick Trades Union Council and the RMT union branch are proud of standing in this fine tradition. To keep Berwick safe, diverse and welcoming “good people”, as Albert Einstein explained, have to do something to oppose evil.
The SDL and NEI have dedicated their hateful existence to attacking Asian people and Muslims. Islamophobia – bigotry against Muslims is as unacceptable as any other form of racism. It tries to divide us by scapegoating one community, just as the Nazis did with Jewish people in the 1930s.
It is vital that we continue to organise, to unite, to make sure they are not allowed to spread their racist and Islamophobic hatred and violence in our community. We have to continue to oppose fascists when they march.
Messages of support were read out, including an anti-fascist message from Sir Alan Beith to the people of Berwick. The rally ended when the police informed us of the departure of the fascists. No Pasaran!
Unity Statement 2014
We the undersigned strongly oppose the proposed march in Berwick upon Tweed on the 5th July 2014 by the racist groups of the Scottish Defence League and the North East Infidels.
The SDL is a racist organisation with an established record of mounting protests which regularly feature racist chanting, placards and Nazi salutes. At their demonstration in Edinburgh last year, the SDL held placards of the ‘Swastika’ emblem of the openly racist and Nazi Greek party, ‘Golden Dawn’.
Earlier this year, SDL member Derek Phin was jailed for threatening to burn down Edinburgh Central Mosque whist an anti-racism meeting was taking place inside. The NEI are a racist and fascist splinter group of the fascist English Defence League, an organization which has a record of attacking meetings of unions and students. Members of the EDL had sympathetic contact with Norwegian mass murderer Anders Brievik and expressed their support for his ideas after his sentencing. The Infidels are however, more openly racist and fascist than the EDL, splitting from the EDL when its leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon allowed Jews to join the EDL.
As their last effort in Berwick showed they bring in members and sympathisers from elsewhere with an intention to promote racial hatred. In particular, we find it abhorrent that such a message of hostility and Islamaphobic scapegoating should be allowed to be paraded though our town. Berwick is a welcoming town with good community relations. We object to the SDL's attempts to disrupt the good community relations in Berwick and to spread racial hatred.
Following the significant gains made by racist and fascist parties across Europe, street thugs like the SDL and NEI will attempt to grow in the wake of these parties’ divisive and racist, scapegoating political agendas. We believe that it is vital that we unite together and act to stop the rise of racist and fascist organisations at home and show solidarity to those opposing fascism elsewhere.
Saturday 16th February 2013
Well over 100 anti-fascists demonstrated against the Scottish Defence League and their fascist friends the EDL, in Berwick on Saturday the 16th February. Berwick Against Fascism garnered local support for a demonstration opposing the small racist group. A unity statement has been signed by MPs, Councillors and others strongly opposing the SDL march in Berwick. The newly formed anti-fascist group did an excellent job in mobilising support for a counter demonstration and rally in the town centre. Local speakers where complemented with support speakers from Newcastle and Edinburgh. Statements from signatories to the Unity Statement were read out.
The whole event was well received by local people and hundreds of leaflets were distributed explaining the racist nature of the SDL and their identification with the openly Nazi Greek Golden Dawn Party.
Berwick UAF marched up to the War Memorial and returned for the Rally in the town centre with: UAF banner; Berwick Trades Union Council banner; Show Racism The Red Card placards; RMT union flags. At the town wall arch a NO PASARN banner was displayed for photographs; and, draped over the wall an SDL Not Welcome banner.
Berwick Advertiser, Thursday 21st, April 2013
The article reports five SDL arrests. There are accusations of racist chanting by the SDL and the police are reviewing information from the public. The article reports an SDL spokesman saying “this is about Islam”, when asked to clarify who they are against.
This comes as no surprise to the anti-fascists. The SDL and the EDL are racists, particularly targeting Muslims, and have roamed UK towns and cities trying to divide communities with anti Muslim racism and hatred. Fascism starts by targeting a small group in society but they are quickly moving on to attacking trades unionists and socialists. They must be stopped from gaining a foothold in our community. They are a danger to us all.
Visit Borders & Berwick Against Fascism on Facebook.
DEMONSTRATION AGAINST RACISM AND FASCISM, MARCH 22ND 2014, GLASGOW
A day of action against racism and fascism in Europe called for by Greek anti-fascists to coincide with the marking of United Nations Anti Racist Day, 2014.
Berwick Trades Union Council organised a bus to this event and joined the march and rally at George Square.