I have heard a lot about the issues with the UAF on one hand and Antifa on the other. I wasn't expecting much and thought the protest would be very compliant in style and we would mostly be trapped in a police pen. It turned out I was partly right but mostly wrong. We went to block a road leading to the RWB and we were told there were others blocking other routes. Police formed a line in front of us but we were already blocking the way of the fash so this was not a problem.
The cops tried to issue a Section 14 but they were blocked out by noise. There were two police evidence gatherers one with a camera and another with a video camera. I decided to do a bit of FIT watching and block one of the cameras. I was proved right in this case about the compliant style of the protest as went I was pushed back by a cop I was told by one protester 'it's not worth it' and got no help from others to block the camera. But I continued for a good while longer all the same.
The police tried to break our lines but were stopped by people linking arms, they did however manage to get a vehicle through. To get the van past they broke us up and as I tried to get back one of the cops pressure pointed me by twisting my hand back to immobilise me – shamefully it worked and I stood still! The police then decided to let us move down the road but organisers decided to stay put so the police couldn't kettle us in separate sections. This was a good choice in my book. If the cops wanted us to move down the road they must have a reason for it, certainly not for our benefit!
The protest was authoritarian in it's organization with everyone expected to do as told by the organizers, but in this case this did not mean complying with the cops. Much as I hate having authoritarian organisation limiting my actions, it seemed to work with a balance of insuring the fash couldn't get past with not giving the cops to much excuse to act.
The police then turned up with horses and everyone linked arms. Organizers then decided we should go – something I disagreed with. However they said this was because all other road blocks had been broken so I guess it could have been justified. They then decided to keep us on one side of the road only which I think was overly authoritarian.
In conclusion this was a good action and did disrupt the BNP and there supporters. There were aspects to the day which did annoy me, but that is to be expected. Overall this demo was a good one and I think if this type of energy is kept up then it will give the BNP a run for their money.
If Antifa and others like them continue to cause BNP supporters damage (via property damage for example) then the BNP really could be taken to task. In my new and possibly naive opinion I think if there was more unity it really could go somewhere – open super peaceful civil disobedience on one hand and militant direct action on the other against the BNPs money and suppliers.