A reader has sent us this first hand report of the protests against the SDL’s march in Glasgow.
The protests in Glasgow against the Scottish Defence League can broadly be called a success. Anti-fascists were certainly successful in preventing the group from assembling in any significant way on the street, and the number of people who came out to fight the fascists was extremely impressive. However, as was the case in Leeds where a comrade was handed over to the police by a steward, the actions of the self-appointed leaders of the anti-racist movement – Unite Against Fascism (UAF) – were disgraceful.
Anti-fascists met outside the St. Enoch Street subway station in significant numbers with the intention of going to Cambridge street, where the majority of the SDL were drinking in a bar behind a sizeable police line. We set off through the streets towards their hideout as a loose group, but soon the UAF banner was at the front of the march and Weyman Bennett was stopping for photo opportunities, and commandeering a megaphone to tell the group to slow down to accommodate the cops! Despite this, those who were interested in actually opposing the SDL on the streets walked on towards the bar.
Having got to Cambridge street, Bennett and his supporters once again took control of the megaphone and began telling protesters to head to the ‘Scotland United’ demonstration at Glasgow Green! This created a split in the group leaving only 50 behind to oppose the SDL where they were, with the majority following the UAF banner away from any confrontation and towards the official protest. This not only left those who stayed in danger, but also allowed the SDL briefly outside the bar.
The actions of the UAF group on Saturday were despicable, but not unexpected. Their history of state collusion against radical anti-fascists and collaboration with religious groups, political parties and the forces of the state is no secret. It is becoming increasingly clear that they cannot be trusted as a genuine anti-fascist group, and are not an effective means of combating fascism in Britain.