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Call for mass movement against the rise of fascism in Europe after Le Pen victory in France

ANTI-RACISTS have said “we must learn from history” to build a mass movement against the rise of fascism in Europe following the French election results.

The first-round election results gave a far-right alliance 33 per cent of the vote in France.

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) sent solidarity to anti-fascists in the country today as they held mass protests to stop Marine Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) party.

SUTR co-convener Weyman Bennett said: “The Nazis could have been stopped. The rise of fascism in Italy, in Spain, could have been stopped. We must learn from history.

“In Britain the anti-fascist and anti-racist movement managed to block each attempt to create a fascist movement — from the NF, to the BNP, the EDL, and fascist Tommy Robinson’s Football Lads Alliance five years ago.

“Now, after driving the far-right and fascist movement in Britain into the fringes, the toxic mix of racist policies and rhetoric pushed by governments and echoed by Starmer’s opposition, has allowed the space for Farage and Reform UK to gain traction. And fascist Tommy Robinson is on the march again.

“We must look to France, tremble with the possibilities, and with the indignation that racists, the far right and fascists cannot be allowed to take our streets.”

Fellow co-convener Sabby Dhalu said the election result in France is “yet another illustration that you can’t out-racist racists.”

She said: “The only way to defeat the RN is to challenge Islamophobia and racism and unite against them.”

Samira Ali, campaigns lead in Clacton, where Reform UK leader Nigel Farage is standing for MP, said the rise of the far right must “wake up every anti-racist to the threat of Farage and Reform UK here in Britain.”

Communication Workers Union deputy general secretary Tony Kearns urged members last week not to vote for Reform UK, saying Mr Farage, like Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, represented the interests of his super-rich City friends. 

“They do that by stoking up rhetoric — in this particular occasion on the issue of race … we couldn’t advise strongly enough for members not to vote for Reform,” he said.

Thousands took part in street demonstrations against the far right after Ms Le Pen’s RN alliance won about 34 per cent of the vote in the first round of legislative elections on Sunday.

The New Popular Front left-wing coalition came second with about 29 per cent, followed by President Emmanuel Macron’s Together alliance, exit polls showed.

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