Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Demonstrators clash in Ashton memorial gardens!

Last Saturday around 100 racial bigots from an organisation called the 'North West Infidels', a nationalist splinter group from the English Defence League (EDL), marched through Ashton-under-Lyne to the cenotaph in St Michael's Square. They were confronted by around 30 anti-fascist protestors from Tameside Unite Against Fascism (TUAF).

Although this was an highly organised affair with each group being given a police liaison officer, there were clashes between individuals from each of the rival groups, when some people broke ranks and stormed towards the cenotaph. The police were seen to detain a number of people.

Ashton-under-Lyne has become a focal point for the far-right since the EDL marched through Hyde in February. The EDL march, followed an earlier incident where two white youths were attacked by Asian youths. Takeaway worker, Ali Haydor, aged 21, was subsequently jailed for two-years for assault. The marches in Ashton, are supposedly a response to an alleged racial incident involving Asian and white youths that took place last month.

Before the march to the cenotaph in St. Michael's Square, members of TUAF had been told by a senior council officer from Tameside Council that they could not leaflet on the market ground. This kind of heavy handed attitude is fairly typical from the Labour run council in Tameside. The Electoral Reform Society, recently stated that Tameside was in danger of becoming a one party state like North Korea, because of the lack of democracy in the borough.

1 comment:

Editor NV said...

This letter from the Secretary of Tameside Trades Union Council, appeared in the Tameside Reporter on July 11 2013.

Dear Sir,

In 2008, Tameside Trades Union Council nominated James Keogh from Ashton, for a blue plaque. This young man sacrificed his life fighting fascism during the Spanish civil war (1936-39) when he was just 22-years-old. The plaque which honours James and other volunteers from this borough who fought in Spain, now stands in Ashton library.

Although Tameside Council supported this application in honour of a brave and principled young man, they seem less happy to support anti-fascist/anti-racist activity which is on their own doorstep. On Saturday, members of Tameside Unite Against Fascism (TUAF), who had turned out to peacefully oppose the march by the far-right extremist group the 'North West Infidels', were told by a senior council official that they could not distribute leaflets on Ashton market ground which called for the defence of a 'multicultural Ashton'.

As a trade union organisation, we find it quite reprehensible that a so-called Labour council would seek to ban people from distributing leaflets on the market ground who oppose racial hatred being brought to the streets of Tameside and who refuse, to see the local community divided by right-wing opportunists.

Yours faithfully,

Brian Bamford,
Secretary Tameside Trades Union Council.