Successful conference and emergency motion on Bolton arrests

Over 50 anti-fascists attended the Unity conference in Nottingham, on Saturday, 27th March with representation from campaigns in towns and cities across the Midlands, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside and London areas as well as a number of trade union delegations, particularly from the RMT. The conference opened with speeches from the President of NORSCARF (North Staffordshire Campaign against Racism and Fascism) on EDL activities in Stoke as well as from a representative of the Notts Stop the BNP campaign.

Separate workshops were held on: combating the EDL; campaigning against the BNP; as well as working in the trade unions. The resolutions linked to in the last post to this site were discussed and a number of minor amendments were made.

At the end of the day all of the amended resolutions were carried as well as a resolution on creating a new  national anti-fascist network (the amended motions will be attached to this post soon). Representatives from campaigns were nominated to serve on the committee that will meet to take this work forward. Other campaigns, who gave their support for the conference but were unable to attend, will be invited to also send reps.

This network will: build nationally, and if necessary independently of the the UAF, against BNP and EDL mobilisations to make sure that they are effectively challenged; and share political material that can be used to counteract more effectively the EDL and the BNP across the country.

Other anti-fascist campaigns that generally support the approach outlined in the conference’s policies are invited to contact the Notts campaign who will be responsible for co-ordinating the first meeting within the next few weeks.

The following emergency motion was also passed on the arrests made at the protest against the EDL’s provocation in Bolton on 20th March.

Motion on Bolton arrests

The arrests of Weyman Bennett, Rhetta Moran and other anti-fascists in Bolton and the charging of Bennett with conspiracy charges is a clear attempt to intimidate the anti-racist movement against the EDL.

The UAF activities in Bolton on March were no different to those they carried out in protest at other EDL events and no more than the police would have expected.

The arrests can only be presumed to have been pre-planned, probably at a very senior level, and with a clear intent; that is to intimidate the UAF and other anti-fascists organising in protest to the EDL. The arrests were part of a police operation on the day that was clearly engineered to provoke and maximise arrests of anti-fascists whilst colluding with the EDL.

Whilst not necessarily agreeing with the tactics used by the UAF and having no confidence in its ability to organise democratically and inclusively with other working class anti-racist organisations, we unconditionally condemn these arrests and demand that all charges be dropped against anti-fascists arrested in Bolton.

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