Anti-fascists in stand off with Nazis at Royal Holloway demonstration

A group of Royal Holloway students held a counter-protest against the Racial Volunteer Force (RVF), in a stand-off between anti-fascists and Nazis at the university gate.

The RVF were protesting at main gate of the campus because two of their members, who were working as cleaners at the university, were sacked over their involvement in far-right demonstrations.

They were met by 80 students who marched across campus chanting “Nazi scum off our streets” as they made their way to the main gate.

Read: Convicted fascist found worked as a cleaner at Royal Holloway Students Union

Most students wore some sort of facial coverings or masks to protect their identity. One source told London Student
that fascist organisations have been known to expose and target their opposition on a website called RedWatch, which they claim is for combatting the “spread of Marxist lies in the UK”.

When the counter-demonstrators first arrived, they found that the RVF, who organised the demo were not there. Over the next 20 minutes, ten Nazis began to congregate outside the campus.

Photo: Yasmeen Frasso

One student commented: “As a Jew, I found it extremely reassuring that a large number of people from all different political, religious and racial affiliations came out to counter the vile hatred that Nazis stand for. Us minorities weren’t left alone and vulnerable in demonstrating against them.”

In a two-hour stand-off, the counter-protest chanted, sang, and spoke about their views. Stewards intervened for the safety of both sides, following insults and antagonistic behaviour, including waterballoons being thrown.

Photo: Yasmeen Frasso

The organisers, who remain anonymous for safety reasons, thanked those who came saying: “It was great to see such large numbers and how passionate students were about anti-fascist politics.

“We feel that when fascists mobilise it is important to meet them in the street. A counter-demonstration raises awareness of racist activity in an area and mobilises communities against it.

“The absence of a counter-demonstration can also be quite dangerous as it allows space for fascist viewpoints to be normalised, which enables these groups to recruit.

“When fascists come out on the street, they are often dishonest with the public about who there are and what they stand for.

“Neo-Nazi organisations often try to hide their ideological leanings when talking to the public as they know they aren’t popular. It is much harder for them to do so when there is a sizeable counter-demo close by.

“The RVF have made threats of further action and we intend to mobilise students against them if they ever decide to organise in Egham again.”

Photo: Yasmeen Frasso

Whilst the RVF claim not to be racist nor promoters of hate speech they stood with banners that read “White Pride, World Wide.

Fittingly, all but two were white males who said that they “didn’t want to be discriminated against”.

The RVF read their speech off a script which was barely audible from inside the campus gates, in addition to some
heckling, sexist comments and remarks about how Royal Holloway is a “Zionist institution”.

This did mean, however, in their film of the event it appears that they are calmly and innocently expressing themselves outside the university whilst faced by a mob of students.

The RVF claim to have been protesting against the institution rather than individuals but several students say that in targeting the organisation they were essentially targeting those who identify with it.

Threats of flash demos in the coming days and weeks have been made, leaving a climate of fear and intimidation for students and risks to their safety.

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