A last minute mobilisation of anti-fascists yesterday saw off both the BNP and the Scottish Defence League, who both attempted to hold separate public activity in Glasgow city centre.
With fears that the SDL were attempting a ‘flash-mob’ style protest, in the vein of what the EDL organised in Oldham last weekend, SAFA activists were already keeping an eye on the city centre, when they came across the BNP setting up a stall around 1pm.
SAFA activists – plus people from left-wing stalls elsewhere in the city centre – were able to quickly mobilise to confront the BNP. Around 1.45pm, a large number of anti-fascists descended on the stall, which was kicked over and the contents of it torn up or seized. With a large crowd now gathered around, the BNP were left standing beside the ruins of their stall as up to 100 onlookers and anti-fascists chanted at them. The police showed up around 15 minutes later and attempted to gain control of the situation, but in the end were forced to remove the BNP members for their own safety.
Meanwhile, the SDL were beginning to gather in The Goose pub on Union Street. They indicated that they would heading to George Square at 5.30pm, for an assembly at the Cenotaph – their full intentions were unclear. By the time the 15 SDL supporters showed up, around 100 anti-fascists and local youth were gathered in the square. A brief confrontation ensued, with one SDL supporter arrested, alongside a 14 year old, who allegedly threw a punch in the direction of the SDL.
The SDL were denied the use of the Cenotaph, and the police were again forced to step in to remove the fascists from our streets.
All in all, a hugely successful day of direct action against fascism – let’s hope they got the message and don’t return any time soon.