Or Was It A Police Riot?

Today is the tenth anniversary of the UNITY march against the British National Party in Welling, South East London, which was also the last demonstration I ever went on that became rather violent, although, not being terribly good at violence, I stayed out of the way. (“Or Was It A Police Riot?” was the frontpage headline of the next issue of the New Statesman and Society, as it was called back then, but I don’t really remember what the verdict was, and there’s not much 1993-vintage material archived on the internet for me to reconstruct the arguments and evidence one way or the other).

The things I do remember from the march were some of the slogans. The oddest one was one of the most popular — “We are black, we are white, together we are dynamite!”, which seemed to me both then and now to express Enoch Powell’s sentiments rather well. There was also a much better chant, which the Midlands SWP brought with them, of “Unemployment and inflation, are they caused by immigration? Bullshit! Come off it — the enemy is profit!”, the second line of the couplet having a slightly more complex rhythm that you don’t normally hear on protest marches.

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