Fascist shenanigans in Dover

A far-right and fascist anti-refugee action is taking place on 5th September in Dover, Kent. Information is contained within a recent YouTube video by ‘The Little Veteran’ who is organising this along with others on the far-right (we’re not going to link to this nonsense but if you’re desperate to have a look, it’s not hard to find).

These far-right activists claim they are planning to block roads with vehicles and try to stop trucks with refugees in getting out of Dover. We have been informed that they are planning to blockade the port, which is currently being monitored by these far-right activists in Dover, on the seafront opposite and around the Port and at the Lorry parks. Nigel Marcham AKA The Little Veteran (who is behind this) wants activists and people to put the affiliations of organisations aside and unite for this action and it is likely that this demo could be popular in the Dover area, a place where racist and xenophobic attitudes are not uncommon. At the same time, the blocking of roads is likely to annoy local people. The organisation Hope Not Hate have published an article that is worth reading to get an idea of the attraction Dover is for the far-right and who is likely to be involved in this action, and others, in Dover.

It is likely that all of these groups will show up on the day. On the same day at Market Square (11am-1pm) there will be an event organised by Kent Anti-Racism Network held in solidarity with refugees called We Stand With You. It is possible that this event will be targeted by the far-right on the day.

It’s worth noting, about Dover, that it comes across as rather a pro-military place. Of course it’s a symbolic place for patriotic and nationalistic people and it’s a former barracks town. If you walk around the town you will notice not only a war memorial, but plastic poppies everywhere that the council have had tied to posts (some of them turning pink, and even white, as their colour fades); you will notice that a new commemorative wall covering has been added to the war memorial, the memorial itself not being enough. And then there are the other new things that have popped up, a poppy sculpture that has appeared in Pencester, and a statue of a soldier that has appeared on the seafront, along with all the other commemorative war related things on the seafront that were already there.

And if you spend long enough in the Dover area you will notice some people wearing Help for Heroes tops, people wearing poppies all year round, and people wearing poppy covered clothes and face masks can even be seen.

This gives you an idea of the mentality of some of the people who live there, and bear in mind that there has been significant support for UKIP and the Brexit Party there, as well as the Tories and even other far-right groups have done well there in getting local support (such as the BNP in their day, and more recently, Britain First and the EDL). It is certainly possible that a veteran (despite dodgy far-right connections) will be welcomed in the area. It is obvious to see why far-right veterans (and the far-right in general) are focussing on the Dover area.

At the same time of course, there are strong anti-fascist connotations with the Dover area (ironically) and not everyone is supportive of nationalistic sentiment. People in the local area should be aware that Nigel Marcham is aligning himself, with this action, with out and out fascists (such as Britain First and For Britain). The National Front and Mark Colett’s Patriotic Alternative were also initially welcomed for this action (but have since been told to stay away) and have their own plans for activity in the Dover area. These people are trying to manipulate and use the patriotic symbolism of the area and anti-refugee propaganda coming from the bourgeois media and the far-right, racist Johnson government. Marcham has been spreading racist lies about asylum seekers on his YouTube channel, vulnerable working class people who have every right to be protected from war and persecution. Marcham AKA The Little Veteran harps on about all the things refugees supposedly get at ‘the expense of the people of this country’ when in fact, if they are allowed to settle here they only get about £30 a week as they are not allowed to work (an insignificant pittance, especially considering the vast amount of wealth and resources and ownership and power hoarded by the ruling class in this country and all over the world).

Refugees are vulnerable working class people who deserve our respect and solidarity and nationalists and fascists work hard to divide us, distracting us from the real enemy, the real problem – the ruling class and their failing capitalist system; a system that increasingly fails us, but works all too well for the rich ruling class. Nationalism and fascism are anti-working class ideologies and are poison for working class people.

And with far-right veterans showing up on the 5th September, along with their fascist allies, it is worth noting that this veteran schtick and the opportunistic targeting of the Dover area with all its patriotic symbolism ties in perfectly with Fascism itself. Characteristics of fascism (an extreme form of nationalism) include a kind of worship of militarism and a belief in the supremacy of the military, as well as an obsession with national security and the regimentation of society. Other characteristics include a disdain for human rights, clearly expressed by these far-right activists who are opposed to the rights of refugees and the identification of scapegoats – clearly on display here. Other fascist characteristics are as follows: rampant sexism, protection of corporate power, suppression of labour power, religion and government intertwined, a controlled mass media and powerful and continuing nationalism. Marcham himself denies being far-right and racist, however he has been seen berating non-white protesters and bragging about how his family heritage is white (and therefore British) and that the people he was shouting at “should go back to your own country” despite the fact that they were British. He is clearly a racist nationalist, but is not brave enough to be honest about it.

Anti-fascists and anti-capitalists would do well to keep a close eye on what is going on in the Dover area, and the groups and personalities of the far-right that it is attracting.