On 19 September the National Front held a demonstration in Wigan against immigration and the recent refugee crisis. Prior to this demonstration their local organiser, Daniel Lewis, called for homosexuals to be gassed in response to the Manchester gay pride festival.
The National Front was met by counter-protesters from parties such as the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), Left Unity, SWP, and other organisations were present such as Hope Not Hate.
Throughout the day the NF actions were clear for all the public to see, throwing bottles at counter-protesters while holding combat 18 flags, a group responsible for past racist attacks on immigrants. The police allowed them to march around the town and back into the pub.
The question most local people have is, ‘why Wigan’?
According to the 2011 census statistics, 95% Wiganers were born in England, so why does the National Front come to a town which has such a low percentage of immigrants? Simply, they are trying to exploit the recent refugee crisis, which has been fuelled by the media and manipulated by politicians, as anti-immigrant and racist sentiment is much more prevalent in areas with more homogeneous racial/national makeup, reflecting the ignorance these ideologies prey on.
It’s important to expose the real reasons behind immigration, whether ‘economic’ migrants or refugees fleeing war-torn or otherwise dangerous countries, in order to counter the scourge of racist and nationalist ideas and, just as importantly, to educate people about the inevitability of capitalism to create suffering for the working class whether at home or abroad.
While imperialism wreaks havoc across the Middle East and Africa, targeting any stable, independent country (Libya, Syria, Iraq) resulting in millions of refugees seeking shelter, it’s death throes at home (the most recent financial collapse and the continued consolidation of vast amounts of wealth into an ever-decreasing amount of people) hurt the same working class that are told immigrants coming to take their jobs or benefits.
In reality, it is a useful distraction fostered by the finance capitalists as they close factories and shops across the country, and a vital tool for the imperialist governments as they attempt to escalate their war in Syria.
So who is the really enemy of the British working class, those who seek a better life from war and hunger in countries ravaged and plundered by the imperialist countries now building bigger walls along their borders, or those who are attacking the most vulnerable in society, attacking our public services, and are attacking our working class in towns all across this country in places very much like Wigan?
Racism and fascism are too useful for imperialism to let them be crushed or withered away. They are designed to divide the working classes, nationally and internationally, as only an organised and united working class can challenge the capitalists. Black and white, unite and fight!
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