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”.

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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