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Far right SDL driven out of Glasgow city centre
OVER 3,000 anti-racist protesters achieved their stated aim of keeping the far right-wing Scottish Defence League (SDL) from marching in Glasgow on 14 November. An important factor in the size of the counter protest was the creation of a broad coalition of trade unions, socialists, anti-racists and anti-fascist groups brought together under the banner of Scotland United.
The SDL, an off-shoot of the English Defence League and with links to the football hooligan group Casuals United, could only muster around 100 members and spent most of the day hiding in pubs in the city centre.
Due to the size and activities of the counter protesters the police were left with no option other than to bus these racist thugs to outlying parts of the city. A few made their way back into the city centre but were quickly spotted by the protesters on the counter march and once again the police intervened to remove them.
The Sunday Herald published a quote posted on the SDL's Facebook site from a member saying that "people were laughing at us like we were clowns. We were scared to leave the pub. What a shambles."
The Scotland United rally saw all the main political parties represented on the platform. This meant that the 3,000 who attended did not hear a clear call for a change in the failed policies that have allowed organisations like the EDL, SDL and the BNP to exploit the social conditions created by the main parties.
Only Tommy Sheridan of Solidarity, in a well received speech, made reference to the present economic conditions and the failed policies of the other parties. Tommy called for a war on unemployment, poverty and inequality as the way to defeat racism and fascism.
The day was successful in its stated aim of stopping the SDL march. But we must now build on that success and step up our campaign for a new workers' party that can end racism and defeat fascism.
Brian Smith, International Socialists
In The Socialist 18 November 2009:
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