Time to get organised across Europe

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Hundreds attended a solidarity day after Bookmarks bookshop was attacked

The significant growth of the far-right in various forms is a subject we have highlighted frequently in Socialist Review over the past few months. Now the mainstream media seems to be catching up.

The anti-migrant riots by far-right and fascist thugs in Chemnitz, eastern Germany, at the end of August, were a wake up call for anti-racists.

This followed two other incidents earlier last month — Boris Johnson’s comments ridiculing women who wear the niqab, and the invasion of Bookmarks bookshop by a ragtag of pro-Trump, alt-right and Ukip members. But as the fantastic solidarity received by Bookmarks after the attack confirmed, there is also massive anti-racist feeling in Britain and across the world.

This month’s Socialist Review analyses the complex interactions between the rise of the far-right and fascism, the official racism coming from the top of society, and how these relate to both the long term economic crisis and the acute political crisis currently being faced by the Tories.

But the job of socialists is not merely to analyse — we have to act. Prominent figures including John McDonnell have recalled the success of the Anti Nazi League in beating off the fascists in the 1970s and 1990s. Now Stand Up to Racism, along with Unite Against Fascism and others, are putting out a call to broaden and strengthen the anti-racist and anti-fascist movement (see key dates below).

As Petros Constantinou makes clear elsewhere in this issue, what we do in Britain has an impact across Europe and beyond.

Key dates for the autumn

Saturday 20 October
International conference: Confronting the rise of racism and fascism 10am to 5.30pm, Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London. A day of workshops and plenaries, with speakers from around Europe and prominent figures from the trade union movement and the Labour Party. Hosted by Stand Up to Racism. Go to standuptoracism.org.uk for more info

Saturday 17 November

National unity demonstration against fascism and racism Called by Stand Up To Racism, Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism, backed by John McDonnell MP, Diane Abbott MP, and many others. Go to standuptoracism.org.uk for more details