Not only do I have a sense of guilt and shame, but there is a feeling of betrayal. The date was Friday the 4th of April and the following were the words posted on Swansea Uaf’s Facebook page, “There is no White Pride rally in Swansea tomorrow. Unlike last year, no permission was given. A victory for anti fascists!” Images were posted proclaiming “victory” for the anti-fascist movement and saying that in view of it, “the planned [counter-]demo at 11:00 in Castle Square” had been called off.
By midday today (Saturday the 5th) around forty National Front members were gathered in Castle Square, waving flags, speaking through a megaphone and chanting. Unite Against Fascism were not present and neither were any of their members as they had gone to Cardiff where an anti-Bedroom Tax protest was taking place. The organisation whose sole purpose is to fight fascism, had given fascists a free reign in Swansea. Indeed UAF actively dissuaded people from attending any event today, even when news came in from various sources that the National Front rally was still occurring.
Luckily there were people that took the National Front’s presence seriously. Around 200 people gathered to oppose them with banners, chants and megaphones of their own. Separated by two lines of police, and with many more in reserve, the fascists and the protesters were kept at a safe distance. However, this did not prevent a few scuffles breaking out as the police attempted to move the fascists on.
Where UAF provided the betrayal, the shame and the guilt was caused by the group of skinheads gathered across the road from my position. As I stood beside my girlfriend, and her friends, and I looked at the group of people across the road from me, I felt a hatred and a disgust, not only at them, but at myself.
The National Front were in Swansea to take part in a celebration of White Pride. The very existence of the event stank of racism. This was not an event whereby you could understand or sympathise with those protesting, even if you disagreed with their point. This was not an anti-immigration demonstration for example, this was an anti-anybody-who-is-not-white demonstration. The people protesting across the road from my position were there purely to promote hatred. Hatred not of policy, not of laws, but of skin pigmentation.
Being white myself I have absolutely no idea of the effect such actions have upon a person. My girlfriend has Jamaican heritage and I cannot begin to think what feelings and emotions run through her body when she sees a group of grown men, shouting and chanting racist slogans, whilst standing beside a White Pride banner. I mean, what has she done? Why do these people hate her? Why is the skin colour of anyone of any relevance to anything at all?
Racism itself is utterly ridiculous and nonsensical. There is not a single piece of logic in its entire xenophobic library. Nothing, literally nothing can explain why people hold on to such beliefs. So the pro-white stance of the gathered skinheads makes very little sense to me. Furthermore, the other half of their slogan, “Pride”, makes next to no sense as well. Pride, I understand, but just not when it is used in this context. You can have pride when you achieve something, you can have pride when you take part in something, but having pride for being white? What on earth does that even mean? Their father impregnated their mother, they popped out and they are proud of that? How can you be proud of something you have absolutely no say in?
On behalf of the small minded, racist bigots who were in Swansea today, I want to say I am sorry. I am sorry to all those that faced abuse or discrimination. That because of your heritage, or because of your skin colour, or your nationality, or any number of pathetic reasons, I am sorry that you were a target. I am sorry that you had to avoid certain streets, or that you had to avoid certain pubs. I am sorry that you had to distract your children as they walked past, or cover their ears in case they heard what was being shouted. I am sorry that even after hundreds, if not thousands of years of discrimination, society has still not reached a point whereby people of colour and people of white skin are treated in the same manner.
As always, if you have liked what you have read please Share, Like, Comment and/or Reblog.
Don’t forget to check out the related articles.
And please Follow for all the latest updates and posts.