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Enough is enough: anti-racists must mobilise against far-right thugs who target peaceful protests

ENOUGH is enough, campaigners said today as they called for anti-racists to come together and mobilise against far-right thugs who have targeted minorities across Britain.

The violent disruption of an asylum-seekers’ demonstration in Glasgow by Loyalists on Wednesday sparked warnings that far-right groups could be emboldened if action is not taken to oppose them. 

The peaceful protest, organised by the city’s No Evictions Network, sought to highlight the appalling conditions facing refugees in the city, who have been forced from their homes and into overcrowded hotels. 

But the demonstrators were forced to abandon their action in the city’s George Square after a group attacked the protest, with some seen to be making Nazi salutes. 

At least six arrests were made on Wednesday, with politicians condemning the violent scenes — the second time in just four days at the same site.  

Anti-racist campaigners said it is time for people to stand up and defend the streets from far-right hate.

Lawyer and activist Aamer Anwar told the Star: “We cannot allow our city centre to be taken over by the far-right — it is simply unacceptable that these thugs can turn our city centre into a no-go area with their bile and hate.

“It is time politicians of every party had the guts to speak up — for our church leaders, for civic society to put the words Black Lives Matter into practice.”

City politicians reiterated this message, asking others to make it clear “such behaviour has no place in Glasgow” and will not happen “ever again.”

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill said: “The actions of an unrepresentative group of bigots and racists in George Square should shame us all and force us to come to terms with the racism still present in Scottish society.”

Trade union leaders have come out strongly against the fascist violence, arguing such far-right groups should be denied access to public areas such as George Square. 

In a statement the Scottish Trades Union Congress said: “Far-right groupings are seeking to capitalise on current lockdown measures.

“Just as we condemn the overt racism witnessed yesterday, we condemn the dog-whistle politics and misjudged policing which has given it oxygen, and the institutional racism which hinders an effective society-wide response.”

This latest incident follows repeated gatherings of thugs across the country against Black Lives Matter activists, refugees and others across Britain, with concerns they could continue if allowed to spread. 

Representatives from Unite Against Fascism (UAF) told the Star the emergence of far-right and Nazi demonstrations across Europe is continuing, adding “we ignore them at our peril.” 

UAF’s Weyman Bennett said: “These are the people we fought at Cable Street, at Lewisham. They are the enemies of democracy, and of the working class. 

“We must mobilise in the age of Covid to keep ourselves from the hands of a double enemy — coronavirus and the virus of racism and fascism.”

Anti-racist advocacy groups added their horror and solidarity to those targeted in recent weeks, claiming those of us supporting minorities need to “up our game.”

Hope Not Hate’s Duncan Cahill said: “The majority of people don’t like what they have seen in London or Glasgow. We’re seeing angry, confused, disengaged people whose minds have been poisoned.

“The concern is, we’re going to keep running into this resistance. These are the actions of people who are losing the argument — losing a discussion they don’t want to have.”

These attacks on BAME people across Britain come as police chiefs committed to taking action on racial inequalities. 

The National Police Chiefs Council said it will develop a plan looking at issues of diversity and inclusion, a well as concerns about racial inequalities in policing and the criminal justice system. 

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