Anti-Fascist Network statement on the far-right and the Rotherham scandal

13 09 2014

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It is the responsibility of anti-racists and anti-fascists to break the silence on the nature of the far-right’s presence in Rotherham.

By now virtually everyone in the country must be acquainted with the horrific details of the child sex abuse in Rotherham. As far as the extreme-right are concerned this is the perfect storm: a gang of Asian men with the connivance of ‘politically correct’ authorities engaged in systematic abuse of young white girls. The mainstream media are effectively spouting EDL press releases, while the EDL themselves accuse all those who oppose them of condoning paedophilia. Meanwhile, the whole spectrum of extreme right-wing groups have taken up residence in Rotherham, establishing a permanent camp outside the police station and holding marches and demonstrations through the town, all building up to today’s large ‘unity’ demonstration of all the racist groups.

The far-right have swarmed on this issue solely to push their own divisive and racist agenda. For all the crocodile tears shed for the children of Rotherham they remain silent on all child abuse unless it involves Muslims. If their concern for victims of child abuse was genuine, why restrict their campaign to Rotherham? Why not march against the systematic abuse perpetrated by the clergy, especially that of the Catholic church? Why have they not campaigned for the release of the “lost” Whitehall files relating to abuse and cover-ups at the heart of the British government?

The story of child abuse in Rotherham with its corrupt authorities and blind eyes turned to the exploitation of young working class girls, making them effectively disposable people, has much in common with the other child abuse scandals that have enraged us all. Jimmy Saville and Cyril Smith profited from a similar disregard for lives not important to the establishment.

Where are the EDL’s demands for white men of Christian background to put their collective house in order? They are silent on that subject and perhaps they are wise to be because lurking in their ranks are an assembly of groomers and sex offenders.

The truth is this:

We live in a patriarchal society in which sexual abuse is rife amongst people of all backgrounds. Male power and male sexuality in our society are deeply problematic.

We live in a class society in which working class lives are not seen as valuable – The police and councils don’t care about working class kids from care homes.

We live in a racist society in which people who are not white are not seen as individuals but are held to be collectively responsible for the actions of their ‘community’.

We stand against all injustice and all oppression based on class, race or gender.

It is the duty of all anti-fascists and anti-racists to speak up against responses to the tragic scandal in Rotherham that seek to blame all Muslims or all Asians. It is likewise our responsibility to address the fear of identifying racism and to take action against the far-right and their exploitation of this issue. All the nasty little far-right groups are clearly hoping this will be a great recruiting tool for them and if they go unopposed we can expect to see bigger gangs of racist thugs marching through our towns and ever increasing anti-Muslim hate crime and racism as a result.


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