Diana Neslen represented WF PSC at the anti-fascist rally on Saturday May 9, where local residents massively outnumbered English Defence League thugs marching through our streets protected by columns of police.
Read her inspiring speech here:
79 years ago Oswald Moseley leader of the British Union of Fascists and admirer of Hitler chose to march his foot soldiers through Cable Street, an impoverished Jewish area. He hoped to divide the communities and encourage the working class dockers of the area to attack their Jewish neighbours. In spite of warnings against mobilising by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish communities together with their Irish compatriots stood firm against Moseley’s legions who were protected by the Police. Some things don’t change. The Fascists did not pass then and will not pass again.
Many years have passed and much has changed in society, but Fascism and Racism remain constant and the objectives of the EDL differ in no way from that of Moseley’s thugs. We note how the thugs of the EDL want to show their dominance by violently controlling the streets of areas where vulnerable minorities live in the hope that they will sow division. Just like Moseley did. We say that racism is a toxic brew that divides people and the way to fight it is to recognise that there is no hierarchy in racism. Once we begin to make one racism more heinous than another, we are sowing exactly the same division that Moseley tried to sow between the Irish and the Jews. So when the EDL tell us that they support Jews because they stand outside Israeli embassies with the Israeli flags every time Israel attacks Gaza, we say this is not a sign of support for Jews but a sign of support for Israel’s heinous wars of choice, wars which themselves expose the racism at the heart of Israel’s ideology. Israel’s racism against indigenous Palestinians who are treated at best as second class citizens and more usually as targets of merciless oppression, is notorious throughout the world. Israel’s racism extends to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, as well as to Ethiopian Jews. This proud bigotry acts as a magnet to racist organisations like the EDL. They are unaware of the strong Jewish political position that says that Jews are best protected not by standing aloof from common struggles but by making common cause with all those who suffer from hatred, oppression and discrimination. This has been a Jewish tradition throughout the ages.
Today we all stand together undaunted to show those with violence at their heart and division at their root, that we are not divided and in the immortal words spoken so long ago. They shall not pass.