Kent Anti Racism Network (KARN) held a community event in the heart of Dover on 23rd April to show solidarity, send much needed food and raise funds for the Refugee Community Kitchen (RCK) in Calais. Since March, we have been aware that the laughing stock of British fascism – the Pie and Mash Squad – had decided to come to Dover to spread their anti-refugee message. On their original event page, which advertised a march to the Dover Docks, 137 of Pie and Mash’s fellow fascists said they would be attending. KARN members met up in the first week of April to discuss how we should respond. From information received from our friends in the anti-fascist movement, we decided to hold our nerve and put on a community event rather than directly opposing them, as it looked highly likely the fascist stooges would be lucky to get 10 of their members to Dover.
To subvert the message of hate we came up with the idea of ‘Pies for Calais’. KARN agreed we would raise funds by baking pies and that we would bring people together to send a message of solidarity from Dover to our refugee sisters and brothers in Calais and elsewhere. Solidarity pies became our message. We put calls out asking people to bake pies. The response was fantastic. We also collected donations so we could buy food to send to Calais.
Our Pies were an instant hit in the Market Square, Dover. Around 40-50 people came along to sample them and to make donations. Members of local refugee solidarity organisations, such as Samphire and Kent Refugee Help, came along, as did local Labour and Green party members. Lighthouse Church members also attended, brought food and collected from their parishioners. The pies raised £167.50 and 25 Euros and our car was filled up with food. Total donations sent to RCK were £337.50 and 25 Euros.
Despite Pie and Mash’s threats of a huge turnout, and their ridiculous claims of local support, they managed to muster only 8 inept drunkards in Dover. Whilst we held the centre of town in celebration, the pathetic master race was seen skulking about.
We’d like to send big thanks to everyone who baked pies, donated online and elsewhere, attended this event and thanks to everyone who helped out in any way on the day. A special thanks to Sheereen, a lady from Dover, who attended her first KARN meeting last week and ended up running the pie stall! Her first words to us were “I don’t want these Nazis in my town.” And finally, we’d like to say thank you and solidarity to our anti-fascist friends from out of town who kept a vigilant, disciplined look out for possible trouble from the fascists.
Kent Anti Racism Network