Tuesday 7 August 2018 / 8:50 AM John McDonnell

John McDonnell calls for launch of a new broad-based nationwide movement to resist racism and the growth of the far right

McDonnell said anti-racists should seek to emulate the work of the Anti-Nazi League, which was launched in the 1970s with high profile backing from trade unions and leading musicians from that era such as the iconic band The Clash.

McDonnell spoke out against the backdrop of demonstrations in support of far right activist Tommy Robinson, last week’s attack on Socialist bookshop Bookmarks and Islamophobic remarks from former Tory foreign secretary Boris Johnson.

John McDonnell said:

“With the scale of Tommy Robinson demonstrations, the storming of Bookmarks bookshop, and now Boris Johnson’s Islamophobic comments, we can no longer ignore the rise of far right politics in our society.

“Maybe it’s time for an Anti-Nazi League type cultural and political campaign to resist.

“The Anti-Nazi League was an iconic movement over several decades that successfully combated the far right through the mass mobilisation of trade unionists and anti-racist campaigners.

“The ANL pioneered highly influential cultural movements like the Rock Against Racism, which attracted tens of thousands of people of all ages to anti-racist festivals and protests.

“We should seriously look at emulating the work of the ANL and Rock Against Racism at a time when the far right once again poses a genuine threat to our society.”