By 20/08/2017 0 Comments

Opposing the National Front in Grantham

When it was announced that the racist National Front planned to descend on the small market town of Grantham, Lincolnshire, last Saturday, counter-demonstrators were given just one-day notice to organise.

Yet in spite this, the far-right group were massively out-numbered. Even with a national mobilisation, they could only muster around 30 supporters!

The National Front, who remain a shadow of their former 1970s self, clearly intended to use this event to build on recent developments in the US—at one point unveiling a Confederate flag – and to recruit and spread racist lies.

But in Grantham, the hometown of the hated former PM Margaret Thatcher, they were isolated and got no visible support from the general-public. Indeed, local residents made up a significant proportion of the counter protest.


Although the NF were outnumbered, the counter demonstration was not large enough to shut down the march altogether. This enabled the police, who were extremely heavy-handed with the anti-fascists, to clear a path for the Nazis to march though the town centre.

The counter protest followed quickly behind, and was greeted approvingly by shoppers and workers – many of whom clapped and cheered as we marched.

Once the NF arrived in the market square, the destination for their rally, the skies opened. Fortunately, therefore, no one was there to listen to their hateful bile.

But we cannot leave our fortunes to the caprice of British weather. The trade union movement needs to make its own luck, and should be prepared to respond to far-right mobilisations at short notice. With a larger turnout, the NF could have been stopped in their tracks and sent packing!

Socialist Party members intervened with leaflets on Charlottesville, which explained the need to undercut racism by offering working class people a positive alternative, to fight together for better living conditions, and to oppose cuts and build socialist ideas.

For a more detailed summary of why fascists need to be opposed on the streets read “Fighting the far right – socialist strategy and tactics” (Socialist Alternative, August 12, 2017).

Grantham National Front August 2017

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