Sunday 25 June 2023

Mass protest in Elgin sends fascists packing

 ATUC members joined a mass protest in Elgin on Saturday 17 June to send packing Hitler wannabe Alek Yerbury and the fascist Highland division.

Organised by Moray Trade Union Council and Stand up to Racism, the fascists were well outnumbered by anti-racist activists and members of the public, including ATUC members. All had a clear message - "Refugees are welcome here - fascists are not!"

ATUC's Tommy Campbell spoke powerfully at the rally and you can hear his words on the video below.

This blog from one of those who attended, describes the uplifting event.

Cos-play and Contempt

Hard to believe that these people are serious. That bloke over there is openly spouting hate and appears to have come dressed as an off-brand Hitler.

Saturday 17th of June saw hundreds of anti-fascists, trade unionists and concerned citizens counter protest a “rally” called by the local far right group. The “rally” peaked at 9 people and was hopelessly outnumbered by the counter protest. As one chant went, “There are many, many more of us than you.”

Passers-by would have witnessed a tiny group of fascists, holding union jacks, and wearing a strange mix of double breasted suits, bovver boots, vests and in one case an Irn-Bru T-shirt. They had their back to the church building and were surrounded by a ring of police and barriers. Comprehensively outnumbered, the fascists looked confused and hesitant. They attempted to make speeches, and spent a lot of time ostentatiously filming the counter protestors.

The fascists were ostensibly gathering in reaction to the opening up of a hotel to house refugees in Elgin. This has been met only with kindness and support from local people. A tiny group of local fascists though decided to invite Alek Yerbury, the Hitler wannabee, and a few acolytes all the way from Leeds to speak in the town. It’s this Alek who decided that 1930’s fancy dress was appropriate for a hot day in Moray.  

Not only have the local fascists invited in a bloke cos-playing as Hitler, they have shamelessly co-opted the name and logo of the 51st  Highland Division of the British Army for their group. I assume they were attracted by the red white and black colour scheme of the logo. The sheer contempt the use of this logo embodies is quite startling.

For context, the 51st was the unit that selflessly held up the Nazi war machine outside Dunkirk so others could escape and the UK could continue to fight the Nazis. Most of the survivors of this action spent the rest of the war in Nazi POW camps. Whatever your views on militarism it beggars belief that they would sully the memory of that dedication and sacrifice with their fascist beliefs. We are left to conclude that these people have no sense of history, or no respect for those who fought the actual Nazis.

The people of Moray left them in no doubt that their poison is not welcome. Every time they tried to speak they were drowned out by chants, shouts or the sound of vuvuzelas. One 17 year old lad was lifted, later released with a warning, after throwing fruit at the fascists.

On a lighter note, one highlight of the day was an activist using a bubble machine to keep a constant flow floating and drifting over the fascists, gently making them look even more comical than they already did. Police Scotland spent the day looking hot and worried, then providing an escort to the car park for the fascists after an uncomfortable couple of hours. The police essentially spent the day protecting fascists.

It’s a sad indictment of where we are that self-identifying fascists are openly calling for racist hate on the streets. However, we can take heart from their obviously incoherent and delusional world view and in the huge, staunch and comprehensive opposition they faced in a generally peaceful counter demonstration.

No Pasaran!