Today I attended a protest in Belfast City Centre aimed at countering the quasi-patriotic message of groups such as the Ulster Defence League. Not familiar with the UDL? They are the Northern Irish equivalent of the EDL and count amongst their views that:
'...polish scum are taking over and it makes me sad as fuck sometimes i feel like getting out of my car and betting [sic] them.'
'...all because you think you cab come over n do what you want ... it proved right in the end i would have kept shooting until no pulse left in there body...'
as stated, endorsed and defended on their Facebook page. They are, racist, xenophobic, hateful and ignorant, on a crusade to spread heir misinformation and small minded and misguided views whilst encouraging violence and discrimination against those they feel are different. They are in short, fascists.
With it's long history of sectarianism Northern Ireland is no stranger to pitching 'us' against 'them' and is well versed in fostering a frothing sense of patriotism. That they have in recent years developed a fascist rhetoric is no real surprise. It is sad but not a shock.
At this point I want to note that there is a piece of graffiti on my street that simply says 'Get Out!' next to a swastika. I am sadly, in the thick of it here.
Surrounded by a crowd of about 70 who supported the anti-fascist voice (a mixture of different groups and independents like me) I realised there was something I wanted to make clear. So here we get to the crux of this long post on my revised blog:
Anti-fascism is not a new idea. It is not novel or a new cause to rally too. It is not left-wing propaganda or a liberal conspiracy. Anti-fascism is the default position for the vast majority of people. Thousand if not millions of people in the UK alone are not fascist. They simply do not care about the race, religion, ethnicity or nationality of other people beyond the occasional fit of intrigue or friendly curiosity. People just aren't fascists. They aren't.
Those people that are have made a deliberate choice to hate people who are different to them are in the minority. Fascism is not the normal state. A ignorance and lack of care to people's differences is. To be fascist you must consciously disregards he evidence that is in front of you. Not just the studies polls and statistics but the every day evidence: the bloke in the street who you don't notice the friendly woman in the shop, the guys you work with who get on with their job and complain about the same things you do.
That is the direct evidence what us non-fascists deal with: some people are dicks, some people are nice and it has nothing to do with where they are from or what they believe. Fascist minorities choose to ignore this every day evidence and instead hold on to misguided stereotypes and tropes which just don't make sense. They make a choice and they are not the majority.
Those people who stand in front of a City Hall or Islam centre and say no to fascism are also in a minority. They are a portion of the non-fascist majority who have decided not to let the fascists get away with vocalising their lies. They face them down like a trainer with a bad puppy and say 'No! Wrong! Stop That!'.
We have a responsibility to prevent Fascist behaviour and to say 'No!'.