Proposed neo-Nazi demonstration in Golders Green

May 20th, 2015 by CST

For several weeks, CST has known of a proposed neo-Nazi demonstration in Golders Green, North London, planned for Saturday 4 July. CST has been discussing the matter with Police and Government, and yesterday joined with other Jewish groups in asking that the demonstration be banned.    

This latest demonstration follows an earlier one by the same neo-Nazis in Stamford Hill, North London, on Saturday 18 April. They have also discussed subsequent demonstrations in other Jewish areas. By definition, this is attracting self-selecting antisemitic neo-Nazis who want to spend their Saturdays antagonising Jews.

Should this neo-Nazi demonstration occur, then CST will urge our community to stand firm and not be cowed or intimidated. Neo-Nazism is reviled by all other sections of society. If they come to Golders Green, then it will be an opportunity for Jews and non-Jews alike to stress their united values and their utter rejection of racism and antisemitism. 

It is not CST’s role to organise counter-demonstrations, but we will gladly secure any that should occur, just as we have done on many previous occasions. Similarly, we will help to facilitate any counter-demonstration discussions that need to be held with Police, the local council and others. One such counter-demonstration has already been called by Campaign Against Antisemitism (see here).  

The background to this latest situation should be noted. It arose because of irresponsible media hype, following the Paris terror attacks, around empty claims of a Stamford Hill demonstration for 20 March, from a sole neo-Nazi provocateur called Joshua Bonehill-Paine. The hype caused a great deal of anxiety in the Jewish community, leading to yet another round of media coverage. (CST tried to calm and explain the situation. See here for more detail.)

Inevitably, Bonehill cancelled his supposed demonstration, but it had now gathered so much hype, that another group of older neo-Nazis picked up the antisemitic cudgel: this is the group that demonstrated in Stamford Hill and that now wants to demonstrate in Golders Green.

By the time the Stamford Hill demonstration eventually occurred on 18 April, the media had moved on and the local Jewish community basically ignored the provocation. The actual demonstration was a quite pathetic affair. It comprised 20-30 ageing neo-Nazis who were held by police away from the Jewish area, and were drowned out by a crowd of opposing anti-fascists. (CST wrote about it here, including the call for further demonstrations.) The neo-Nazis failed in their primary objectives of gaining publicity and spreading fear.

Obviously Jews now face two choices for 4 July. They can ignore the neo-Nazis (as in Stamford Hill), or they can protest. Whichever choice each individual takes, we hope that they will do so out of a feeling of pride and strength, rather than fear and intimidation. In either case, CST will do its utmost to help make this possible.

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“Since 2003, CST has been a stalwart supporter of ODIHR in its efforts to effectively monitor antisemitic hate crime in the OSCE Region. With its rigorous methodology and innovative partnerships with the British police, it is viewed by many as representing the gold standard for NGO responses to all forms of hate crime. I wish CST all success in its exciting new phase of work.”

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