Entering the anti-extremism debate

November 21, 2013 — Press release

Written by IRR News Team

Today, the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) enters the debate on how best to combat extremism by publishing two thought provoking pieces on IRR News.

Anti-racism and anti-fascism should be core values of a liberal and democratic society. But what if the contrary happens? What if anti-racism and anti-fascism are treated in policy and law enforcement circles as just another form of extremism?

Liz Fekete, who is one of Europe’s foremost experts on European fascism and author of Pedlars of Hate: the violent impact of the European far Right, questions whether government policy approaches are masking the multi-dimensional and pan-European nature of contemporary fascism. In ‘Anti-fascism or Anti-Extremism‘, Liz Fekete outlines the problems inherent in the frameworks developed by influential anti-extremist think-tanks and university departments, further noting the dangers that occur when police and intelligence services get too close to the far Right. She warns that anti-extremist experts, albeit unintentionally, may be strengthening calls from European extreme-Right and anti-immigrant parliamentarians, now openly advocating bans on Left parties and criminalisation of anti-fascists.

In a separate piece published today, ‘Is anti-fascism being criminalised‘ a young anti-fascist activist reports on upward of 340 arrests of anti-fascists in London over the space of just three months. There is growing  concern amongst UK civil libertarians about the policing of anti-fascism, with tactics such as ‘snatch squads’ and restrictive bail conditions for those arrested lending credence to a belief that opposition to far-right street movements is now effectively criminalised in the UK.

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

Comments

November 24, 2013
mark metcalf:

I went on the demonstration against the EDL in Bradford in late October and anyone outside the designated area was constantly threatened with arrest and there were numerous attempts at cordoning everyone together to arrest people. These police officers had earlier enjoyed a free curry from some of the ‘important people’ of Bradford.

The week before the EDL came to Bradford I challenged Hope not Hate about why they were organising a protest on the day before the EDL demo and it ended up them accusing Unite against Fascism (of which I am not and never woild be a member) of scabbing for organising a static protest on the actual day of the demo. I have written to them asking them to withdraw such a statement and have yet to receive a reply.

The letter is on my blog on my website.

November 24, 2013
mark metcalf:

I have written a small piece on what happened in Bradford in October when EDL came to town and also of Hope Not Hate’s accusations that people attending were scabbing at:-
http://writemark.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/letter-to-hope-not-hate-on-events-in.html

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