After Bolton: drop the charges against the arrested anti-fascists!

Submitted by AWL on 25 March, 2010 - 11:28 Author: Sacha Ismail

Weyman Bennett, joint national secretary of Unite Against Fascism and a prominent member of the SWP, and Rhetta Moran, joint secretary of Greater Manchester UAF, were arrested at the anti-English Defence League mobilisation in Bolton on 20 March. So were a significant number of other anti-fascist demonstrators.

The charge against Bennett is "suspicion of conspiracy to organise violent disorder".

Workers' Liberty thinks Weyman Bennett and his associates have consistently misled the anti-fascist movement, but let us be very clear. The only people guilty of this charge at the Bolton demo were the police, who harassed and beat peaceful demonstrators in order to protect the right of a gang of racist thugs to maraud through the streets. 55 out of 74 arrests that day were of anti-fascists, and only nine of EDL supporters. The arrest of leading UAF organisers, whatever we may think of UAF, is an attempt by the state to batter down the anti-fascist movement.

All this is further evidence of those in UAF who call for state bans and police prohibition of fascist marches are radically wrong-headed.

For now, however, our first demand must be: drop all charges against Weyman Bennett, Rhetta Moran and the other anti-fascists arrested in Bolton!

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