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On November 7, in Bromley—a district in the southeastern quarter of London, England—the far-right group, Britain First, attempted to hold another one of their anti-Islam protests, according to the British magazine Searchlight.

In the street, over 200 anti-racists stood with placards: “Never Again: No to the Nazis,” “No to Britain First,” and a banner “United Against Fascism.” They were Greens, Labour Party members and trade unionists, particularly from the railway unions.

On the Britain First side, barely 50 racists turned out to see their leaders, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, sign in at the police station, a condition of their past convictions.  According to Searchlight, “Britain First’s racist poison was largely drowned out.  A few fascists gave Nazi salutes … but they were roundly rebuffed.”

This same organization, Britain First, is now the source of a racist, Islamophobic video that President Trump has sent out to his 44 million followers.  Not since President Woodrow Wilson claimed that the Klan movie “Birth of a Nation” was “history written with lightning,” has an American president so publicly endorsed the worst kinds of racism.

In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister May, of the Conservative Party, rebuked Trump publicly.  Jeremy Corbin of the Labour Party called for Trump to be denied a planned visit to London.  Trump’s outrageous actions and his notorious tweets have only drawn favorable notice from David Duke, the national socialist who said he “loves” Trump.

IREHR believes that two points must be drawn from these facts.

First, the barrier that once separated mainstream society and the white nationalist movement has been irrevocably breached.  Only the complete and total defeat of these movements can once again push them back into the closet, like after World War Two.  The tactics of “quarantine” that anti-racists have used for generations are now of limited power.  New tactics must be found.

Second, organizations like the Institute for Research & Education for Human Rights must have strong working relationships with their colleagues overseas.  Fortunately, we at IREHR have fostered our relationship with Searchlight since the early 1980s. That working partnership has led us into others with those in Germany, Sweden, and other relevant countries.  These relationships are an irreplaceable must.

The tasks before us all are many.

Leonard Zeskind

Author Leonard Zeskind

is founder of IREHR. For almost four decades, he has been a leading authority on white nationalist political and social movements. He is the author of Blood and Politics: The History of White Nationalism from the Margins to the Mainstream, published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in May 2009. [more..]

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