Repost from South London Anti-Fascists
“We do not welcome yesterday’s announcement. If anything this is the vindication of the State’s ability to absorb proto-fascist movements into its own processes. Tommy Robinson has not renounced his views or ideas, but is simply trying to revise history and portray himself as an ‘anti-extremist’.
This is the same guy who in May of this year was filmed saying ’Islam is not a religion of peace, it is fascist and violent’. Last week he was attempting to intimidate one of the people behind the anti-racist website EDL News. Yesterday he was still calling for a ban on new mosques and ‘Islamic immigration’ unless his conditions were met.
Tommy Robinson, aka Paul Harris, aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is a notorious liar and fraudster. But he doesn’t need to renounce his views to be accepted into the mainstream. According to Government policy, his racist views are not extreme. We know who the Government and the police considers ‘extreme’: Anti-Climate Chaos groups, Stop Arms Fair campaigners and anti-racist movements. The police infiltrate our groups and spy on our members. We, who challenge the racist, capitalist and anti-democratic status quo, are monitored as a threat and our personal information is stored on police domestic extremist databases, along with information about many unfortunate and innocent Muslims and people of colour.
There are serious questions to ask of the Quilliam Foundation, too. Their attempt to rehabilitate a fascist follows years of demonising any Muslim who does not fall in line with state policy. In 2009 Quilliam co-director Ed Husain called for mass spying on all Muslims, regardless of whether they are suspected of any crime. Since 2008 the organisation has received over £1.2 million of Home Office funding. Now they want to help Lennon manoeuvre his way into the political mainstream. Quilliam is desperate to gain credibility after losing Government funding and Lennon, facing serious court cases and eyeing a political future, is desperate to detoxify his brand.
The fact remains that the Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement, the ‘Prevent’ programme, ‘Counter-terrorism Command’ and various sections of the Police are terrorising migrants, intimidating anti-racists and demonising Muslims more effectively than the EDL could: this is a broad agenda of criminalising difference. Street fascism may be dwindling due to anti-fascist mobilisations, but the racist ideology that feeds it is as pervasive as ever.
We will continue to organise and fight racism and fascism from the street to the state.”
Come to our two public events on this week: