Dear IRR News subscriber,
The prospect of white nationalists getting hold of the reins of power is a terrifying one. And yet we have just witnessed Donald Trump, who recklessly utilised racism throughout his campaign, being elected as the 45th President in the ‘Land of the Free’ and see him now strengthening his administration with unashamedly nativist advisors. His victory is likely to strengthen the hand of the extreme and far Right in Europe (see our regular calendar of racism and resistance). This is a topic that IRR News will no doubt be returning to over the next few months.
In Britain, the taking on of the far Right has often fallen to communities under racist siege in northern towns and cities. We celebrate the acquittal by a Sheffield jury of the Muslim men who faced charges of violent disorder after defending themselves against far-right extremists at a protest in Rotherham at the racist murder of 81-year-old Mushin Ahmed. At the time, Rotherham was a magnet for far-right groups, and a terrifying place for British Asians. The campaign of the Rotherham 12 was named to resonate with that of the Bradford 12. Members of another British Asian community besieged by fascists and unprotected by police thirty-five years ago, the Bradford 12 were prosecuted on charges of conspiracy to cause explosions after preparing petrol bombs for use against an impending invasion by the far-right National Front, and similarly acquitted at Leeds Crown Court on the basis of community self-defence. The Rotherham 12 campaign, like its 1980s precursor, attracted widespread community support around the slogan ‘Self-defence is no offence!’ The jury’s verdict was welcomed in a press release which we reprint here.
IRR News team