Pies for Calais – Report

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

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Pies for Calais – Dover community event

Kent Anti Racism Network are holding a community event in the heart of Dover Town centre on the 23rd April, between 11am-3pm at the Market Square.

We are going to cook delicious homemade pies and are asking people to also make and bring some along, or simply swing by to sample them! We’re going to have a pie-eating contest too, so come on down! There’ll be music and we’re giving away balloons and badges. There will also be a face painter free for the kids, so bring them along!

All this whilst raising money to send food to the Refugee Community Kitchen in Calais. They are specifically in need of mostly dried items; pulses (i.e. kidney beans/butter beans) dried fruit, coconut, any kind of veg and fruit. We will be organising a car to travel to Calais on the day and so we are asking for any donations to be delivered to the Market Square.

Local Dover resident, Joe Barry, said “‘I have met many of the refugees in Calais, and heard their sad stories. Today we are sending the humanity and food that they need just to survive. Whilst the British government bombs the Middle East then turns its back, the people of Dover will do no such thing, and this event will show solidarity with our fellow humans stranded on the other side of the Channel.”

If you can’t make the event, then please consider donating anything you can spare, so we can buy supplies on behalf of you. We’re still using our Indiegogo fundraiser page (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/from-kent-to-calais-solidarity-and-warm-socks#/) which paid for a vehicle to go over on 2 April, so please donate what you can.

This is a family friendly event. All welcome

 

 

 

 

Kent Anti-Racism Network

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Statement of response to MP Charlie Elphicke

To Mr Elphicke, MP for the Dover constituency.

Your recent comments branding constituents as “unwelcome” in their own town and telling anti-fascists to “go away” are dangerous, misleading and hypocritical when you yourself describe Dover’s proud tradition of standing up to fascism; “the famous White Cliffs (became) the symbol of Britain’s defiance of Hitler’s Fascist threat”. http://www.elphicke.com/about/dover-and-deal

Ever since the armed and violent Nazi National Front and their fascist cohorts came to Dover on 30 January, you have equated them with those who oppose their right to march through our towns chanting anti-refugee slogans while giving Nazi salutes.

Your later comments that the fascists were not welcome only materialised after you received huge criticism on Twitter.  We believe that your target was clearly humanitarian anti-fascists. If the fascists didn’t march in Dover, then we wouldn’t have to oppose them.

Being anti-racist and anti-fascist is not a “militant hard left” standpoint. We were decorating and waving off a convoy of aid for Calais, sending love, solidarity and warm socks to counteract the assorted Nazis and fascists; who marched in Dover with the intent of stirring up racial hatred and perpetrating violence upon anti-fascists.

In the lead up to previous fascist demonstrations, pictures appeared on the internet of fascists brandishing weapons they were bringing with them. At a service station in Maidstone, an anti fascist coach was attacked and a Swastika was daubed in blood. Combat 18 and the Chelsea Headhunters – both violent Nazi gangs – were found to have hammers, knives, bricks and knuckle-dusters in their possession.

Their world view envisages an ‘all white Britain’. They advocate violent repatriation and celebrate the deaths of drowned refugees on their Facebook pages. Theirs are the politics of the gas chambers.

If there had been no opposition to the Nazis, they would most certainly have run amok attacking anyone they are opposed to, as well as businesses run by migrants and people from minority backgrounds. This was demonstrated by the fact that on the march itself (02/04/16) it was reported that fascists ‘racially abused people’.

Your voting record, which includes voting to cut ESA and in favour of bombing Syria has played no small part in creating the humanitarian crisis we see before us. In addition, your government’s words and actions have given legitimacy to the rise of the fascist threat in this country. If you no longer wish to see these fascist demonstrations in our town then may we suggest you work to assist people rather than attack them, thereby removing yourself from the toxic dehumanising bile that calls people fleeing war and persecution “swarms”, and stand up to your responsibility as MP for Dover.

Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts were defeated by people prepared to stand up to them at Cable Street. The goose-stepping fascists that Mosley planned to force through the streets of the East End are the mirror of the fascists who were sieg-heiling in Dover. As in the 1930s, many people felt they had to be opposed and were prepared to stop them.

If you wish to join with us in opposing the fascists we welcome your support. We are proud we stood together in Dover to oppose the fascists and will oppose them if they march again.

Kent Anti-Racism Network

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