Last Saturday, the Kirklees Anti-Fascist Assembly organised a successful protest in response to the Yorkshire Patriots march in Dewsbury. Here is KAFA’s report back on the events of the day .
The Yorkshire Patriots, apparently petrified of possible opposition, arranged a police escort to meet them at Leeds train station and escort them on the train to Dewsbury.
Around twenty miserable-looking fascists arrived at Dewsbury train station to make their way to The Station Hotel pub (who facilitated them). Police coaches were arranged, despite the pub being under a five-minute walk from where the fash were.
The local taxi drivers had some kind words to say to them as they were loaded on to the vehicles.
Just past 11am, the Yorkshire Patriots arrived at their pub, where there was further police protection arranged for them. They were then allowed to drink at the pub until their rally began at 1.00pm.
The police presence in town was intense. There were hundreds of officers – including riot officers, and those on horseback – deployed to protect and facilitate this pointless fascist event.
Locals in Dewsbury were shocked by the sheer number of the police on their streets. Judging by the local news outlets and online forums, there is a consensus that the police went absolutely overboard on policing the event.
Below are some screenshots from the Yorkshire Patriots secret group which we were sent via an anonymous account on Twitter. These confirm who is to blame for the level of policing yesterday. We want the community of Dewsbury to know exactly who was responsible for the over-implementation of state power.the
We mobilised around a hundred antifascists, and Stand Up to Racism managed similar numbers. Unfortunately, not all antifascists were allowed to attend, as the police were overusing section 35s powers to disperse any counter-protest on sight. Such was the fear of opposition from the plastic Yorkshire Patriots.
One-third of our group got dispersed on the way to our rally point, and no clear explanation was given for these dispersals. There were no disturbances, breaches of the peace or otherwise unlawful actions by these antifascists.
Another block of around forty capable-looking antifascists were mistaken for a rival fascist group that the Yorkshire Patriots had told the police to disperse due to a petty feud. The police issued section 35s to this group but gave them the wrong maps (Halifax?!?) for their dispersals. While the police were sorting their fuck-up out, they kept the group kettled for two hours.
There was one arrest at this point, as a fascist spotter was trying to film and doxx the needlessly kettled antifascists. A protester told the person to fuck off promptly, which triggered their arrest. This protester was released without charge or even an interview. The police in Dewsbury don’t seem keen on hurty words.
A small portion of our bloc did make it to the main rally point and were immediately kettled by the police. Kirklees Stand Up to Racism intervened at this point and chanted “let them go, let them go” to put pressure on the police to release the rest of our bloc and succeeded.
The rest of the day was a victory for antifascists. Even at a reduced capacity, the Yorkshire Patriots were easily outnumbered, and to be honest, looked a little sad and little silly.
The Yorkshire Patriots had a chant on their big day out bless em. No one could make it out though, with one local elderly resident asking “are they singing the okey kokey?” After this sad display and a few nonsensical speeches, they were escorted out of town by the police.
The antifascists set off on a victory march, and then were invited for a curry at a local mosque by way of thanks on behalf of our wonderful Muslim community. This was a lovely and kind gesture that exemplifies the spirit of the local community.
As antifascists, we hear the argument regarding people’s right to protest fairly often. We agree that is true, but it also must work both ways. On Saturday, 70% of our bloc was stopped from protesting needlessly, and the police were very heavy-handed. Dewsbury town centre was over-policed, and mass disruption caused… all so 25 scared fools could walk up a road, five minutes to the town hall.
We don’t think there’s anything left in the tank for the Yorkshire Patriots. They are too scared to air their views in public without begging and lying. They told the police that 1000s of MDL protesters were coming in order to gain protection.
They are done, and never before have they looked so pathetic and desperate for any sort of attention.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all groups who have supported us and made the journey to Dewsbury. We stand in solidarity with those who were harassed by the police and stopped from protesting, and we will be looking at footage and following this up in the coming days.
Love and Solidarity