After days of spreading misinformation to the police, council and opposition groups, the National Front finally held their annual ‘White Pride’ demonstration at Swansea Castle on Saturday. By doing their best to convince residents that it wasn’t going ahead and keeping their rally point secret – it was obvious that the organisers didn’t expect any public support and were worried about the size of the opposition.
Unfortunately, one group that fell for the trick were Swansea Unite Against Fascism (UAF) who called off their counter demo after apparently being assured by police that the event wasn’t going ahead.
However by midday groups of skinheads were congregating in the vicinity of Castle Square around Yates bar, and a diverse counter-demonstration was gathering in the square itself.
Around thirty NF supporters unfurled fascist banners outside the castle, they were quickly outnumbered by around 100 antifascists on the other side of the road. The NF found themselves served with restrictions by police, and were ordered to disperse after only an hour.
As they were being dispersed a few up for it antifascists were able to directly confront the White Pride supporters. A small scuffle broke out and a fascist flag was snatched before the NF could be escorted to Ice bar on Wind St, where the boneheads consoled themselves by getting pissed and shouting racist abuse.
“I personally witnessed them shouting at a Muslim couple, who had joined the antifascist demonstration,” Al Brown of South Wales Antifascist Action told SchNEWS “They called the man a “paki” as police officers looked on. The cops did nothing to try to stop the abuse, and wouldn’t listen to the man’s wife when she tried to complain about it.”
After Ice bar, the NF were escorted up to another bar – Static on Kingsway, where antifascists kept watch behind a police cordon. A phone blockade was organised , and the bar’s management in Bristol responded by travelling to Swansea in order to have the racist crowd removed. The NF were then quickly marched by police to the station and made to get on a train.
“South Wales Antifascist Action had a 30-strong bloc and we opposed them every step of the way. It seemed like some kind of pathetic racist pub crawl facilitated by the police, who seemed content to turn a blind eye to all the harassment the NF were causing to Swansea residents. Officers could even be seen exchanging handshakes with NF supporters outside Static. It’s really troubling that they would fraternise in this way with people who were shouting racist insults and threats of violence during the day,” said Al Brown.
“I don’t think Unite Against Fascism can take any credit at all for the counter demonstration on Saturday. They took the fascists’ bait and called off their demo, then ignored other groups who had assurances it was still happening. But SWAFA, Swansea Trades Council and a lot of interested local residents went ahead without them. We want to thank everyone who took part, whatever their background, because we know that true strength lies in diversity.”
For more information please contact South Wales Antifascist Action: