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By TAL’s Eye-Witness in Liverpool
The Liverpool Echo has dubbed the day’s events of 15th August 2015 as the “Battle of Lime Street” and Nick Lowles of Hope Not Hate announced on Twitter “in 26 years of activity I can’t remember fascists so comprehensively beaten as #NationalAction and #NWI were today in Liverpool by #Antifa”. The event he is referring to is the action(s) to stop the second White Man March (WMM) this time in Liverpool. (Editor’s Note: Lowles, a former editor of Searchlight, is being deliberately disingenuous or his memory has seriously faltered if he cannot recall the rout of the fascists at Waterloo by AFA in 1992)
The story of the Liverpool White Man March (WMM) begins last March in Newcastle. On this occasion an old school anti-fascist kicking at the meeting point was the order of the day for their first White Man March (Whilst about 30 of them sat inside of the pub). During this action veteran nazi Simon Biggs received a few blows and a further two nazis were hospitalised, one with a bloodied and bashed in face and another with 2 broken ribs. The one with the broken ribs has subsequently decided that being a nazi is simply not worth the hassle and the one with the busted face has not been seen since either. This served as some serious humiliation for National Action, the principle participants and organisers of the White Man March. The organisers of the WMM hyped the event up to be the coming of the new Reich and told local anti-fascists the event would be “explosive” and that they would “get their shit rocked” along with other comments such as “you want shum [sic]?”. People, fascists and anti-fascists alike, were expecting hordes of nazis to attend when in reality barely 80-100 turned up. The group comprised of National Front, British Movement, British Unity, National Rebirth of Poland, Misanthropic Division; North-East Infidels (Including a member convicted for attacking two 14 year old girls in a park) members and unaligned wrong ‘uns. They were also equaled in numbers by a counter protest waiting for them on Newcastle’s Quayside and outnumbered by another counter-demo at Grey’s Monument in the centre of the city.
The actions at Newcastle caused mixed reactions on the far-right with a few in sympathy of the beaten fash and more criticising and laughing at them. This was a serious dent to the pride of National Action and other participants of the White Man March. In an attempt to remedy this and reduce loss of faith, the genius organisers of the WMM decided it would be wise to hold a second attempt at a trouble free demo in August. This time it was going to be held in one of the most socialist leaning and ethnically mixed areas of England…Liverpool.
Liverpool, being a city with an extensive socialist history and a big Irish, black and other ethnic minority community, seemed an unlikely place to hold this sort of event. Confused but nonetheless confident this time around things would be even worse for them we set about planning and scheming to oppose the fash. Weirdly enough things look as if they will go well which is weird because in this day and age anti-fascism is just one half-arsed middle-class liberal demo after the other. Threats had also been made by the cartoon nazis of the North-West Infidels and as we had been told before the event, they were to be backed up by the likes of the North-East Infidels and the clown army of the Scottish Defence League (The SDL have such a hard time in Scotland that they need to come to England to be with their nazi mates). National Action also said on the morning of the demo that “history will be made”.
Fast forward to the day of the White Man March, 15th August 2015. Myself and a few others arrived in Liverpool very early on the morning and hung around until the time was right to meet with others at the main meeting point at St. Luke’s Church Gardens in the centre of the city. We were met by new and familiar faces (Well, for what we could see through black masks) and after some waiting and some shady characters lurking on the periphery we set off in a group of 100+ heading for one of the fascist redirection points, Lime Street station.
Comprised not only of people from the Anti-Fascist Network (The organisers of the mobilisation) but also comprising locals from other left groups and those locals unaligned to any left group, chants echoed through the streets. From the off the local support was amazing, toots from car, van and bus horns together with claps from locals. Passing two of the local Irish bars patrons from the local Irish community piled out cheering us on with tricolour flying and many of them joining us.
We had heard via intelligence received that the fash were meeting in a pub attached to the side of the station so we went for that and we promptly spotted the fash inside. The police quickly stood across the entrance blocking our way in and the pub manager locked the doors. We stood jeering at them through the pub windows when we seen the police shuffle them out of another door and onto the station concourse. So off we go to the back of the station to try and get onto the station concourse to get at the nazis. Upon reaching the back of the station the gates were locked except one which had coppers blocking it. This however did not stop a determined anti-fascist crowd from trying to rip the gates open. Alas this was unsuccessful as the police kept running over to us pulling us away so some of us try to push through the line of police. The nazis stood laughing, looking confident and abundant in cocky body language and gestures. They did not count on how determined we were. We heard that some of them were also meeting in the Adelphi Hotel so we made our way for that to try and blockade it and so we set off a short distance down the road.
Just as we reach the junction at the hotel a group of anti-fascists suddenly storm down the road and I am stood thinking “what the fuck is that about?” so I inquire with my mate next to me. As it turned out a nazi had just reached the junction as we did and was chased down the road, first nazi scalp of the day.
We stood blocking the road before we decided to make our way back to Lime Street station. Upon reaching the station we rushed up the steps to a side entrance where just before entering someone informs me “there’s a fash bouncer inside” an so we all pile through the entrance to see a stunned and scared shitless suited and booted nazi. He was sent by the main lot at the top of the concourse to redirect people. He is surrounded and berated, trying to get him to bite and hit first but although he was pretty scared and angry, he didn’t react so he got a smack anyway. We then made our way up towards the top of the concourse where the main body of National Action were waiting but not before another nazi lingering half way up the concourse decided to take a swing at an anti-fascist but received a brief but good slap in response. Then the police jumped in to protect him and grabbed two of our lads, first 2 arrests of the day. The cocksure nazi having a ring of coppers around him started smiling and so feeling the rage I tried to rush him and grab his throat before I was pushed back.
The crowd starts moving up the concourse again and this time no stopping, with dumfounded tourists and locals alike looking on. We finally reach National Action along with Shane Calvert (North West Infidels) together with a member of the National Front and a member of the National Rebirth of Poland (NOP). The coppers quickly form a ring around them outside of the left luggage shop and they are cornered and not enough coppers to shift us to boot. The fash give a little lip probably thinking that the coppers will soon shift us but this soon stopped when they sharp realised we were going nowhere. There was some pushing and shoving between us and the coppers as we were trying to get close enough to give the nazis a kicking. Out of the corner of my eye someone starts spraying them with water from a water bottle to piss-taking cheers, they slowly become uneasy and one of the main ones, Wayne Jarvie, becomes more and more angry. Then in quite a funny ironic twist of events a couple of members of Liverpool’s black community start throwing bananas at the fash, “want a banana?” to fits of laughter from the anti-fascists. The fash were not pleased one little bit (Wayne Jarvie at one point slipping on a banana)!
Soon after the eggs start getting thrown at the scum with the yolk splashing all over them. Then one egg lands straight on the side of the head of one of the nazis and the crowd just roars. By this point the station is sounding like a stand in full swing at a football match. Under a hail of foodstuffs they slowly trickle into the left luggage area but the objects keep going. Wayne Jarvie (National Action) and Shane Calvert (North West Infidels) are frantically phoning people but of course help never came despite being only a stone’s throw away (We were ready for them too). All of a sudden a full bottle of whatever it was went flying smack into the face of Wayne Jarvie, this is when the rest of them retreated into the left luggage area. Then the customer services assistant closed the shutters with only a small gap at the bottom. By this time the crowd is swelling in numbers. Things turn relatively calm for a short while with just piss taking being thrown at the nazis hidden inside of the baggage area like scared rats. One of my mates then informs me that Liverpool football casuals are coming down to support us and have already done a few nazis on the way. 10 minutes or so later they arrive.
We overhear on the police radio that they are going to get them out and give them 15 minutes to make speeches but we were having nothing short of complete no platform. It was all or nothing! So the police raised the shutters and as they raise them we edge closer and closer, one or two more robust objects fly towards them. By this point the nazis are well and truly shitting themselves. They exit the baggage area slowly and tightly with a thin but determined line of coppers between us and them, we surge forward and at one point have them pinned against a wall in a crush. Fists start flying into them with one nazi having his nose busted clean open. The police have fucked up as both the police and the fascists are backed into the far corner of the station with literally nowhere else to go. We perform one massive surge towards them and fists and a flag pole come beating down on top of them and I am sure one even started crying. I have a certain someone locked right in my sight and now I am practically nose-to-nose with Jack Renshaw, former Young BNP leader now defected to National Action. I have a can of Lucozade in a bag in my hand ready to knock him clean out. Just as I raise my hand and about to swing for him a copper unintentionally moves in his way due to the crush so I have to pull my arm back quickly. I have no love for coppers to say the least however hospitalising a copper would have got me singled out for arrest on the day or a dawn raid later. I settle myself for trying to snap his leg by stamping on it but the crowd is moving backwards and forwards, side to side so I can not get enough clean shots to do any major damage.
More police arrive and split our crowd by forming a line between us and pushing outwards to split us into two groups, it worked. They pushed one half out of the open gate at the back of the station (The one we were at before we entered the station) and kept the rest of us, including myself on the concourse. They then formed a tight corridor to escort the nazis out into the car park at the back of station. We were behind the locked metal gates and the rest of the anti-fascists were behind a line of police leaving a corridor in the car park for the fash to be escorted to the transport police office for their own safety. There was a surge forward and barriers were picked up and driven towards the fascists. Meanwhile on the concourse myself, a mate of mine, some Kurds and some people from the working-class estates in and around Liverpool were gathered together. With nowhere else to go we were up against the railings shouting and jeering, I stick my hand out trying to hit nazis with my can of Lucozade in a bag as they walk past but too much distance between us. Then one of the Kurdish lads spits straight through the bars and square in the face of one of the nazis, he spits back and just misses me. One lad jumps up onto the bars spits at them and grabs one nazi who comes close and almost pulls him to the floor until another fascist drags him away.
5 nazis (Ade Brooks, Wigan Mike, Wayne Baldwin and two others) emerge onto the concourse and have the shit kicked out of them and their British Movement flag stolen (And later burned). They are then chased out of the station only to be greeted with fists and kicks by more concerned locals and aligned anti-fascists. Amazingly enough, leaving the concourse (The police had largely left by now) I notice fash bouncer is now stood outside but this time covered in milk and being given a bit of shit before he is bundled into a police van and driven away. An anti-fascist is then arrested and taken away.
Myself and my mate are by now around the back of the station and back in the crush. The nazis who got a kicking on the concourse, battered and bruised, are now being escorted by police through the crowd (I guess there was no other way given that the police office is at the back of the station). The few police escorting them are struggling to contain the crowd and the fists and feet start moving in with Wayne Baldwin taking a massive kick to the balls.
Result, we had just heard another nazi had been knocked unconscious, with no nazis in sight and the WMM well and truly messed up we decided to give National Action and Co. one final cheeky blow by marching their intended route from Lime Street station to the pier down by the docks. We gathered everyone together including United Against Fascism (UAF) who had their own demo (Away from the fascists) and had some locals come up to me, never done anything like this before but were inspired by the day’s events. They were asking how to get more involved in militant stuff so I directed them to Merseyside Anti-Fascist Network. Thinking that the WMM had been escorted in police vans to their rally point at the pier we marched down there. As soon as we set off the atmosphere was electric, the feeling was more like a bunch of football fans celebrating an FA Cup win over their rivals. I had never been so happy in a long time! Along the route we had more toots from car, van and bus horns, claps and thumbs ups from passers-by. The feeling was really indescribable, we had gone old school AFA style that day and we handed the arses to the most cockey fascists since the over-hyped Combat 18. My generation of militant anti-fascists have finally had a complete win but we were not to know it was a complete win yet.
We reached the pier and guess what? No White Man March then someone had told me that they had to call off their own demo. I was walking on air at this point, we had drawn fash blood, humiliated them, took their march route and now had forced them to cancel their own demo. To my knowledge nazis had never cancelled their own demo before. The police may have cancelled them for their own safety or they may have had to be abandoned but never cancelled it before it even started because they had feared for their own safety. I just felt I had to announce this to the crowd and when I did, the crowd gave a big cheer. We all posed for a victory shot before dispersing to various watering holes around the city where the celebrations continued. The DJ at the bar we were in was active in the movement for civil rights in the 1960’s and been nicked a fair few times as a result. “This one is for the protestors who were out today, you know it makes sense and well done” and played the song “Something inside so strong”. More locals had heard about what had been going on and came down to the pub to meet us and inquire about getting involved.
A few fascists came close by the pub but they were chased and that situation was swiftly remedied.
Me and my mates then left Liverpool buzzing with an all around result under our belts.
So much was interesting about that day including the coming together of some youths from two Liverpool estates who normally hate each other, Norris Green and Toxteth. They united together to fight the common enemy and not each other, they were getting stuck in together and putting the boot in. Hopefully this will be the start of something positive between the two groups of youths.
Usually National Action and National Rebirth of Poland would be rampantly posting on social media after an action but total silence from both apart from the cancellation announcement. Later though (The next day I think) National Action North-West announced on their Twitter that they would be returning to Liverpool on the 29th August for round two. If they know what is good for them they will stay well away from Liverpool and Merseyside in general in the future as it will be even worse for them second time around.
That day militant anti-fascists from both Merseyside and around the country (Anti-Fascist Network and those in its orbit) were joined by trade unionists, members of the black and Kurdish communities, football casuals and Irish republicans. I would like to say well done to Liverpool and let the momentum and good times roll from here. We can learn from this and beat the fascists in other places too and we can do it robustly if we put the graft in. The fascists were beaten off the streets by Anti-Fascist Action and retreated into the ballot box. They have since abandoned the ballot box and gone back to the streets, this requires a militant political and physical strategy.