London anti-fascist gig today

I came up town today without having planned to, because my family went out for a meal to a venue which I wasn’t willing to go to. I was passing by Trafalgar Square and found that there was some sort of event, at which a multitude of Communist parties from around the world had stalls. These included the Worker-Communist Party of Iran, a Revolutionary Communist Union from somewhere or other (possibly Turkey - there was definitely a group from Turkey there), the SWP and a group from either Sri Lanka or India. There were also the usual Marxist booksellers out.

I went further into the square, where there was a gig playing. Among other people, Peter Doherty (of Libertines and Babyshambles fame) was on the bill. The event turned out to have been a “Unite Against Fascism” event, organised by a number of groups including the Anti-Nazi League. The Green Party also had a presence with two guys and some leaflets.

I asked who had organised it, and whether the mayor had any hand in it, and was told he hadn’t, but he would be speaking. I heard a speech about the NUS’s role in heading off the threat of the British Nazi Party and how it couldn’t be appeased, and in protecting Muslims and the “asylum community”. All well and good, but did anyone think to tell these people that you don’t have to be a Communist to be anti-fascist? More than half the stalls that were out were from communist parties, which lends weight to the accusations we hear from certain quarters that anti-fascist organisations are, in fact, fronts for various sectarian communist parties.

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