Recent comments and articles have led to numerous misconceptions and ill-informed opinions surrounding anti-racist and anti-fascist movements, we would like to address this. Kent Anti-Racism Network was founded by a broad group of local people in the wake of the increasing Nazi marches and violence in our area. Collectively we decided enough was enough, these openly fascist and racist thugs were never and are never welcome.
Our aims and intentions have been and will continue to be, campaigning and raising money for refugees and the most vulnerable neighbours that struggle across the channel. This is emphasised by our ‘Refugees Welcome Here’ demonstration that successfully mobilised over 500 people in October 2015 and the most recent community day, Pies for Calais, in Dover on St. George’s day – 23rd April.
This recent action was victim of scaremongering by the local MP Charlie Elphicke, who stated our intention was to march and disrupt the town whilst commemorations of the zeebrugge raid were taking place. This is factually incorrect and very misleading. This is the same MP who has repeatedly attacked our movement and recently voted against giving sanctuary to 3,000 extremely vulnerable unaccompanied children. You can read our previous statement addressing Mr Elphicke’s remarks here: https://kentantiracismnetwork.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/statement-of-response-to-mp-charlie-elphicke/
In fact, the 23rd April was a fantastically, positive and fun day spent raising money and collections of food for a convoy of aid to Calais, music, face painting and of course lashings of pie, which was happily supported by local people! The suggestion that we would have the intention of disrupting an important local event such as the commemorations of the zeebrugge raid is astounding and most offensive, especially considering many of our members and activists have family ties to this. The community based day was organised after plans from the fascist ‘Pie and Mash Squad’ to descend on Dover once again, the Royal British Legion branded them “thugs” and their plans as “disgusting”. We decided to respond by raising hope, money and smiles.
As well as our sustained and dedicated solidarity work, we will continue to oppose racism and fascism whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head. Since before September last year the area has seen relatively large, and openly Nazi marches maraud through Dover town centre, bringing weapons and violence with it. This has reduced through continued opposition and solidarity work to a handful of Nazi racists skulking around the edge, not able to reach the town centre, directed in a moving police kettle. Come the 2nd April we peacefully decorated and waved off a convoy of aid for Calais, sending love, solidarity and warm socks! We shall continue to counteract the assorted Nazis and fascists who march in Dover with the intent of stirring up racial hatred and perpetrating violence upon anti-fascists.
Being anti-racist and anti-fascist is not a ‘militant hard left’ standpoint, it is a show of humanity and decency.
As Wigan Anti-Fascists state:
“We have seen time and time again throughout history and across the globe that the minute you leave an intrinsically violent and hateful political ideology to just ‘show themselves up’, they have managed to indoctrinate people and have risen to places of extreme and dangerous power. They urge, with the help of our current government, people to direct their anger away from the 1% – the government and the massive conglomerates – and project it onto minority groups. Whilst you would hope that most people have the strength of mind to not conspire to this way of thinking, pack mentality and economical desperation under capitalism is a breeding ground for bigotry and hate.
After WW2 the world collectively said ‘Never Again’ to the Nazis, and this is exactly when we will let even the smallest piece of abhorrent, evil speech or action go unopposed: never.
Protecting your streets from Nazis should never be seen as extreme or antisocial behaviour.”
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 racists and fascists we welcome your support. We are proud to stand up to hate together in Dover and we will continue to oppose them if they march again.
Kent Anti-Racism Network