Liverpool: anti-fascist leaders collude with police?

As noted previously, protests took place in Liverpool following the arrest of BNP members for distributing racist material.

Reports have now emerged accusing leaders of the “official” anti-fascist movement of manipulating the demonstration:

On arrival we were informed by Merseyside Coalition Against Racism and Fascism (MCARF) spokesperson, Alec McFadden, that earlier in the morning the Attorney General had, unsurprisingly, intervened to overturn the charges against the BNP members. Crowds continued to gather around the sound system that had been set up at the bottom of Bold Street. We listened to several speakers talking about the need to keep Merseyside free of fascists before it was announced by McFadden (shortly after 11am) that the BNP had not come to town and we could claim ‘victory’. It quickly became clear that this information had been supplied by the police to mislead us, and stupidly was passed on to the crowd by McFadden and Weyman Bennett, a leader of Unite Against Fascism and the Socialist Workers Party.

The announcement directly conflicted with information from those activists who had been walking around watching out for the fascists. It was clear from the police presence that the BNP were indeed still in town, and sure enough at 11.30am a group of us spotted around 50 of them marching (with a police escort of course!) from St. Georges Gardens to Church St. Immediately it became clear that we had been followed by the police, and as soon as we reached for our phones we were stopped and harassed.

Further reports on the demonstration can be found here, here and here.

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