A hundred anti-fascists gathered at the Brighton’s War Memorial today and left white roses, a symbol of opposition to fascism and war. The White Rose Movement was the name of a group Munich students who opposed the Nazis and were executed. People gathered between 12 noon and 1.30 pm, they held up posters saying “Against Hate, War and Fascism”, “Don’t Hijack Death” and “Don’t let hate divide us”. They laid white roses on the memorial itself.
The gathering was in response to a report in yesterday’s local newspaper The Argus that the EDL would be marching in Brighton and laying a wreath at the war memorial at 1pm. The far right group has been busy exploiting the killing of Fusiler Lee Rigby despite his family and regiment’s request not to use his death to fuel revenge. Knowing that Brighton will never welcome racists and fascists, the “official EDL” altered the advertised time of their wreath laying to 10.30 am, secretly sneaking in to lay flowers. Unaligned and new EDL sympathisers were left to walk into a large anti-fascist presence at 13.00. Passers by accepted anti-fascist leaflets and as Brighton people faced off EDL supporters outside the war memorial.
The space was peacefully occupied by the anti-fascist people of Brighton who, like the Munich students, refused to be silent and allow the EDL to claim the public space and capitalise on the murder of a solider.