A "White Man March" led by the far-right group National Action was quickly disbanded in Liverpool on Saturday. According to reports, the neo-Nazis were vastly outnumbered by anti-fascists demonstrators. This is great, although when I first heard that the march was happening, I couldn't help but feel sceptical as to why it was being permitted by the city in the first place.
I’m all for free speech and tolerating other people's beliefs, however unpalatable they may be. But this had nothing to do with any of these principles. It was about fascism coming to modern-day Liverpool on a weekend, with the hope of dividing the city and scaring people.
National Action confirmed this when they sent a threatening letter to Mayor Joe Anderson before the march. "If our march is stopped or heavy handed policing tactics are employed against us, your city will go up in flames," it warned. "It's fairly easy to do this, 3 or 4 people in 3 or 4 ethnically enriched areas after dark wearing masks & gloves, a few niggers beaten up, a few cars set on fire & a few shops smashed & your own non-whites will erupt like a volcano, all we have to do is prove them".
However, despite my reservations, I'm now quite glad the march did go ahead. Because if it hadn't, everyone wouldn't have been able to laugh at how much of a failure it was. And a large part of this was because National Action took on the wrong crowd: Scousers.
Liverpool was built by immigrants, which is why it's often described as "the world in one city" and "the pool of life". And as a mixed-race, gay, Catholic Scouser with Irish and Bajan heritage, I can't help but agree.
Britain's colonial endeavours around the world left a multicultural blueprint on the city like nowhere else. It’s because of this that it went from being a small fishing town to one of the most significant cities of the empire. Immigrants from around the world flocked to it. The city's black community is Britain's oldest and longest established. The same goes for the city's Chinese community, and you only have to walk around the city and its cathedrals to see the influence of the Irish.
So it's unsurprising that the White Man March didn't go down so well. Liverpool showed its true colours, and the neo-Nazis the door. Although they didn't even make it quite that far: they ended up locked in left luggage at the city’s Lime Street train station, surrounded by the Police for their own safekeeping.
If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s never to pick a fight with a Scouser – especially if you're a fascist. There’s only ever going to be one winner. We despise injustice, and all the -isms that go with it. The sense of doing the right thing is in our blood. When we’re at our best, we’re unstoppable. And it’s why Liverpool will always be my home and in my heart.
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