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Why state bans boomerang on us

WHY SHOULD revolutionaries be opposed to calling on the capitalist state to ban fascist marches? Not because we defend the democratic rights of fascists to march through immigrant areas, to terrorise their inhabitants. On the contrary we say there must be no platform for fascism. But to rely on the police or the courts to do this for us is suicidal.

The most practical demonstration is what has just happened with the ban on the planned EDL march in Tower Hamlets – a counter-demonstration by the labour movement, antifascists and the local immigrant communities have also been banned. But that’s OK say its supporters – the EDL is banned so no need to march against them. Really?

In fact it is perfectly possible the EDL will defy or evade the ban. To rely on the police to enforce it would leave Tower Hamlets Muslim communities, entirely the mercy of the EDL and the racist police. So of course antifascists movement should still mobilise. All the ban in fact means is that this legitimate self-defence is now illegal.

Fascism is a weapon of war against the entire workers movement even when it starts marches and targets its street violence first of all against migrant communities. In a time of deepening social crisis the bosses will turn to it, especially if resistance against their attacks mounts.

When fascists take to the streets they must be confronted and crushed as they were in Britain in the 1930s and the 1970s and 80s. The lesson is; never rely on the state to do what the workers organisations need to do for themselves. Socialists are in favour of community self organisation, including the setting up of anti-fascist organisations to stop fascist violence.

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