Eye-witness report from a UCU activist:
The Wales Council of University and College Union met in Swansea at the weekend. Following the FE sector meeting on Saturday morning most of us went to join the anti-fascist protest, called by the union-backed Unite Against Fascism, in Castle Square. The plan was to occupy the square and prevent the fascist WDL from assembling there at 4pm. Speeches were made and worryingly by three o’clock the numbers had dwindled to around a few hundred. But as 4pm approached the youth of Swansea turned up, people returned from getting food and there were probably well over a thousand people in the square at the height of the demo.
Around 40 WDL thugs had gathered at the pub on the corner of the square. Around a quarter-to-four we saw them start to march to the top of the square. We ran to meet them but were stopped by rows of police, including four on horseback. An hour of pushing, shouting and drumming ensued. The WDL were kettled by the police in front of one or two shop fronts across the road from us.
Suddenly, at five o’clock, the police moved the fascists down the road (and, we understand, to the station to be dispersed – some back to West Bromwich!) The WDL were not happy and there were scuffles with the police. It is reported that there were arrests.
It was seen as a victory for the anti-fascists as we had prevented the WDL from assembling in Castle Square. The anti-fascist demo had been called and supported by the trade union movement. However, the really gratifying memory of the day was the presence of so many young people, who instinctively knew which side they were on and were passionate enough to turn up and and make their voices heard.
Media report here.
Facebook discussion reporting that WDL are backing out of next week’s Newport demo.