A police state created by anti-fascists
Taken from Spiked Online. Written by Patrick Hayes. Monday 29 October 2012.
My comments below article.
Given that the key thing about twentieth-century fascism was its extreme authoritarianism, you might reasonably expect those who describe themselves as ‘anti-fascist’ to be anti-authoritarian. You might imagine that these campaigners, more than most, would know the dangers of giving the state too much power and trusting it to determine who may speak and who may not, who is a ‘decent’ person and who is not.
But you would be wrong – certainly if the events in the north-east London district of Walthamstow this weekend were anything to go by. There, anti-fascists campaigning against a protest planned for Saturday by the right-wing, allegedly fascistic English Defence League (EDL) demonstrated that they are uncritically pro-state, and unabashedly pro-authoritarian, trusting the powers-that-be to police public protest and political discourse more broadly.
The modern anti-fascist left has provided plenty of justification for increased state control over political to and fro in modern Britain. It has strengthened the use of public-order laws over political freedom, and it has empowered the state to govern all forms of political speech. That control extends not just to the statements and actions of ‘fascist’ groups, but also to the statements and actions of left-wing groups and anti-fascists, too.
So for the next 30 days, any group – regardless of its grievance – is banned from marching in Walthamstow and the rest of the borough of Waltham Forest and in the nearby boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham and Islington. This blanket ban is directly down to the campaigning efforts of left-wing anti-fascist protesters, who have spent the past month taking to the streets to get people to join local Labour MP Stella Creasy in signing a petition to ban the EDL from entering Walthamstow. The successful campaign for a ban was celebrated by Creasy who, ironically, claimed it meant ‘our community can get back to its normal, peaceful and tolerant state’.
In truth, Walthamstow on Saturday resembled a police state. Hundreds of police officers monitored public transport, roads and thoroughfares, looking suspiciously at anyone who walked past. Random searches of individuals and cars were carried out, which led to three arrests of individuals, not because they were EDL members, but for things like drug possession and driving while disqualified. Many more officers waited in the wings as mobile surveillance-cameras checked the town for anyone who dared take to the streets to express their political views.
Police line up on a Walthamstow shopping street.
While the UK Home Office cannot ban ‘static demonstrations’, the Metropolitan Police used section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 to ban any EDL event from taking place in London, with the exception of a one-hour rally outside the Houses of Parliament. The anti-fascist protesters were permitted to have a demonstration in Walthamstow, however, and they duly decided to hold a “victory rally” celebrating the fact that they had successfully kept the EDL from marching. Censorious Creasy was cheered by the anti-fascists when she took to the stage.
In what bizarre world is this a victory? In lobbying for the state to ban the EDL, anti-fascist protesters managed to have their own freedom to protest restricted as well. The fact that their own civil liberties would also be affected must have come as no surprise to many of these anti-fascist protesters, given that they were banned from marching in Tower Hamlets last year, too. Some socialist groups, however, did saw it as ‘scandalous’ that they were banned from marching. They began chanting ‘Whose streets? Our streets!’, complaining that their human rights were being breached.
Hypocrites of the highest order. They are more than happy to bleat about how the EDL should not be allowed to demo or march, or even to voice their opinion but when the same rules are applied to them we have massive tantrums and all of the toys thrown out of the pram and dummies spat out of mouths all over the internet.
Calling for the cessation or banning of something purely because your opinion is that it’s wrong actually makes you a fascist, not an anti-fascist.
You people are the ones who work for INGSOC.
This past weekend one of your trolls got outed after 3 years of constantly stalking people and posting their names, addresses and places of work on the internet, not to mention names and pictures of family members. All her commie “friends” thought this was great and they must have had many laughs over how clever they are and how they are “smashing the Fash” (LOL).
However, now the shoe is on the other foot, it’s a whole different story, isn’t it?
Also, along with being a hypocrite and a fascist, she doesn’t like Jews either.
But people who are against Militant Islam are Nazis???
Couldn’t make the shit up.
No Surrender, Ever! J xx