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A thousand anti-fascists take on the far right in Cambridge

UP TO a thousand anti-fascist campaigners and trade unionists rallied in Cambridge over the weekend against a rag-tag gathering of just 30 supporters of imprisoned racist Tommy Robinson.

It was part of a wave of action to protest on Saturday against the former English Defence League leader and his supporters that was also seen in Glasgow and Worcester.

Cambridge Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism organised the counter-protests after learning that Robinson supporters planned to stage an event in the city.

Speakers included Cambridge Labour MP Daniel Zeichner, RMT union assistant general secretary Steve Hedley – who was viciously attacked by fascists in London last week at a “Free Robinson rally” – and Ricardo la Torre of the Fire Brigades Union.

Mr Zeichner said: “There is no place in Cambridge’s proudly diverse, multicultural and multi-faith community for the sort of racism espoused by Robinson and many of his supporters.”

He said he was proud to stand alongside Mohammed Mahmood from Cambridge’s Mill Road mosque, whose own speech prompted huge applause.

Mr Hedley said: “We refuse to be victims ... they want to control the streets, intimidate people to not come out and oppose them. But we are RMT, FBU, construction workers ... and we will oppose them in numbers.”

Mr la Torre said: “If we aren’t scared of burning buildings, we are not going to be scared of a nasty little group of bullies. We defeat them when we are united and strong.”

In Worcester, up to 500 anti-fascists protested to counter just 30 EDL supporters, and around 300 counter-protesters turned up in Glasgow compared to 60 for the Scottish Defence League (SDL).

Stand Up To Racism joint convenor Weyman Bennett said in a statement that anti-racists outnumbering the fascists “shows we can drive this new racist street movement back.”

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