Student backlash to fascists on campus

Students gathered on Wednesday evening to discuss whether they should form an Anti-Racist Society in light of actions by a neo-Nazi group.

The meeting, which took place in the Parkinson Building, was formed in response to activity on campus by the fascist group National Action.

A group of 14 individuals from the group came onto campus on Saturday 6th September. Whilst on campus they took a photograph of themselves making a right-wing salute and brandishing National Action materials in front of a University sign.

This action was later broadcasted on their student media channels. CCTV footage of the men was later released to the West York Police by the University’s Security Services.

In light of the incident, the anti-racist collective want to respond to fascist movements, which have been occurring at Universities across the UK.

The group stated that their ultimate goal is to “work towards eliminating racism in campus.”

Leeds University Union Welfare Officer Freya Govus attended the meeting, and told The Gryphon:

“It’s positive to see that students have took it upon themselves to take action against this racist group.

However our students decide to go forwards, it is fantastic to see them coming together to fight fascism and I’ll help and support them in any way that I can.”

More discussions are set to follow on this topic, with a second meeting planned for early next week.

National Action has drawn controversy for their right-wing views and the extreme nature of their activities and materials.

The party has been known to quote Adolf Hitler in their strategy document, with their website stating that “Britain has become a nation of weak cowards who are hypersensitive and scared to say anything”.

Many members of National Action are former members of the Young BNP, a youth-orientated branch of the far-right party.

Zarah Sultana, Block of 15 NEC, said in a statement: “Any group that promotes a ‘White Britain’, spouts racist, anti-Semitic or Islamophobic rhetoric and lists fascists including Oswald Mosley as their inspiration is not welcome on our campuses and under no circumstance should be given a platform to speak.”

Official National Action policy states that they do not perform violent protests, however they do target University campuses to spread propaganda.

Valeria Popa
Sean Hayes

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