Firstly, we need to say a massive thank you to everyone who came out yesterday to oppose nazis in our city, including all the locals that helped and the AFN groups that came down. Without all of you that turned up yesterday, we wouldn’t have been able to keep the place tidy and nazi free! Massive victory! Thanks, we love you all! Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for lots of victory photos from the day!
Before the day
As soon as we heard about the far rights intention on marching through Southampton we got the cogs turning in preparation for their trip. We got very busy exposing these nazis for what they are to the communities that we live in (and photoshoping Craig David photos for our Facebook page). We knew early on that SCR (which apparently stands for South Coast Resistance not Shitty Caucasian Rejects) had ‘booked a hotel in Southampton’ and a ‘safe pub’ for a social afterwards. This was enough to piss off lots of proud locals who after getting wind of this, contacted pubs left right and centre but none were open to housing fascists (believe it or not ….). Given it is be better safe than sorry, antifascists were out on the Friday night looking for any signs in and around Southampton that for once they might not have been talking nonsense. But as we thought, not a single fascist, not even one of those tiny little 5ws stickers was could be found in our fine city. Why you ask? Cause they were too scared to stay here in the first place 🙂
Up early, we were met by other AFN groups throughout the South. We moved early to join the rest of Southampton’s Antifascists at our call out point (The Bargate, the same place as the nazis but an hour earlier). Pie and Mash Squad claimed they’d pick any one up that wanted to join them at the same time outside a pub round the corner- which believe it or not was completely dead. Meanwhile hundreds of us gathered, holding firmly our demo spot, sending our message loud and clear to everyone out and about on a Saturday morning.
Just after the nazis call out time of 12PM we got word that they were hiding behind police lines in a pub in Bedford Place, the whole other side of the town centre. We were told from people close to the pub that police had put them under pressure to host these racist scumbags. They were very distressed that they had been forced to hold them (blame the cops not the pub!) So with respect to said pub we won’t mention its name here. The police snuck the far right out the back entrance of the pub and quick marched them straight down towards the hundreds of antifascists at the Bargate. Word quickly made it to the Bargate and without a moments hesitation the whole of the antifascist demo moved towards them. Pie and Mash in their Mobile Kettle Unit very quickly made the decision that actually where they wanted to go this lovely Saturday afternoon was to Southampton Central Train Station and on the next train outta here, turning round and moving with some haste!
Antifascists, being held back by the police were in hot pursuit and in a Raiders Of The Lost Ark moment the far right just manged to get behind heavy police lines and into the station before antifascists got to them! The train station was quickly surrounded to make sure their only way out was on a train (after all it wasn’t even 1pm yet hahaha!)
The only down side of this was that whilst Pie and Mash Squad were at the station a couple of antifascists got off at the platform the nazis were being held at. Seeing no other option, and in a truly bad ass moment of solidarity with us all, the antifascists whipped their flag out and charged to confront the nazis. Outnumbered 16(ish)-2 the flag was lost but both were completely unhurt and dignity remains intact! The groups were split and shortly after racist idiots were put on the train and sent home. The stolen flag is now being held up by these clowns as a massive victory. Which is weird cause if we called a demo and a social after and had spent MONTHS going on about it, then didn’t manage either we would be pretty down about the whole thing …
Of course we then took the opportunity for an awesome and well earnt victory march to the guildhall! Even after hanging around to celebrate, we were still all done and dusted before half 1. Fascism smashed and still got time for a pub lunch? Southampton you have spoiled us!
Today was brilliant and we can’t have done it without you. It was a massive loss for the far right; they didn’t made it anywhere near the bargate, their so called “safe pub” was non-existent, North West Infidels were no where to be seen and they were all on the train outta here before lunch. Most importantly, they had no support from local people at all and our demo outnumbered their ridiculous 16 with anything from 500-1000 (we lost count).
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop here. The hard work is to make sure our united and powerful message that racism is not welcome in our city continues to be heard loud and clear. The media response to our march angered lots of us- completely twisting our message and attempting to tease divisions between us.This isn’t a surprise to us, we know that the media has it’s own agenda which will manipulate events to fit it. But unless people have an alternative source of information they won’t learn the actual story of the day.
Thank you to everyone who has been correcting people online, arguing with people who wanted to make out that “we are all as bad as each other” and explaining the reasons why some of us wear face-masks. As many of you have pointed out on our Facebook page, the people in masks are the people that organise against racism and fascism day in and day out. We hide our faces in solidarity with each other and to protect our privacy from the Nazi’s who have lots of reasons to want to stop us doing what we are doing. Far from being troublesome or scary, many of you reached out to let us know that the counter demonstration yesterday made you feel safer to live in Southampton and proud to stand strong with your fellow residents. None of us want to lose that strength and none of us want people to go back to feeling unsafe, unsupported and detatched. Lets keep Soton tidy! Get in touch on Facebook if you want to get involved!
Love, rage and solidarity from Southampton Antifascists
Lastly we’d like to add that the week before ours was another antifascist demo in Sacramento, California. Their nazis showed the levels of violence they are capable of, you can donate towards the medical bills of the Antifascists hurt on the day. Peace!