Anti-racism groups are demanding the banning of a planned parade by a far-right organisation through the heart of Edinburgh. The Scottish Defence League is seeking permission for a lunchtime parade on 10 September, from Regent Road to the east end of Princes Street next month.which would see activists gather around the Duke of Wellington statue. (the Welly Boot)
Opponents claim the Scottish Defence League (SDL) has deliberately chosen the day before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on New York for the parade, which is understood to pass the American Consulate.
Luke Henderson, spokesman for the Unite Against Fascism group, said he is "appalled" to learn of the SDL's plans for another demo in Edinburgh. "We don't think the SDL should be given permission to march in Edinburgh and will be urging people to write to the council to make their view clear before a decision is taken."
Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar, spokesman for the Scotland United anti-racism alliance, added: "Our view is absolute condemnation of this application in light of what has happened in Norway. This is a violent and extremist organisation."
The SDL's racist ideology is hateful and it is understandable – and to be welcomed – that most people don't like it. But what's the best way to deal with them? The Socialist Party takes a very unpopular position with the Left. We in the Socialist Party have always insisted on the advantages, for the advancement of the cause of socialism, of the fullest possible freedom of expression of political and social ideas. No view should be prevented from being expressed. We have always practised what we preach. We opposed the banning of the Daily Worker in 1941. We have criticised the policy of “no platform for fascists” as censorship by direct action. We have debated against fascists and Islamists. The best condition for the emergence of socialist understanding remains free and frank discussion. The only effective way to deal with the SDL is to confront their arguments head on and that includes their nationalism. The other parties cannot do this because they too are nationalists. The SDL is only expressing in an extreme form a nationalist position that they themselves share. When capitalism fails to deliver, when despondency and shattered hopes arise from the stench of the failed promises and expectations that litter the political landscape, is it any wonder that workers fall for the scapegoating lies of fascists and the quick fix they offer? The answer is not to stop the SDL by banning them or physically fighting them. It is to organise on a world-wide class basis to end capitalism – which, necessarily, involves a rejection of nationalism. That is the socialist, anti-nationalist position which the Socialist Party maintains against all other parties, not just the SDL.
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