Yesterday about a 100 people marched in Manchester to remember Clément Meric, an 18-year-old antifascist murdered by fascists in Paris whilst out shopping with friends on Thursday the 6th of June. Our demonstration came in the wake of several other demonstrations across France and in other European countries including Germany, Spain and Italy. In the UK a memorial was organised in London and a demonstration occurred simultaneously in Oxford alongside our Manchester event.
Plan C Manchester and Manchester Anti-Capitalist Action put out a call for a solidarity demonstration and we had a massive response. Lots of other groups came forward to support the call out and help make it happen – these included the Anti-Capitalist Initiative, the Anarchist Federation, Feminist Fightback and Solidarity Federation. Comrades also travelled from elsewhere in the country including Bradford and Liverpool, and several members of the new Leeds Anti-Fascist Network were there. Those that assembled held a short, spontaneous march along Oxford Road from Manchester University to All Saints park where a few speeches were made explaining the situation in France and Greece and the need to continue organising here in the UK. A minute’s silence was then observed.
The amount of groups that came forward (10 in all) to sign the call out and which provided practical support is a really encouraging development for us here in Manchester. Hopefully this can be the basis for continued co-operation on anti-fascist work and, hopefully, beyond that. In the wake of the collapse of the SWP and the continued ineffectiveness of Unite Against Fascism it is encouraging that the radical left in Manchester is beginning to co-operate around anti-fascist activity. To get 100 people to demonstrate on a weekday evening at short notice should be seen as a positive step in the gradual process of network building which feels like it is going on in Manchester right now. Also, it is important to encourage solidarity across national borders; something which the British Left is generally quite poor at.
We will be sending a message of solidarity to Clément’s comrades in Action Antifascist Paris-Banlieue and our thoughts go out to them and all of Clément’s friends, family and comrades.
Plan C Manchester
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