Resistance – An East End Girls Story.

I will try to keep this post short-ish and to the point. It probably the most important post I will ever write so I hope you will indulge me.

I’m 53 years of age, from the East End, grew up with everyone around me still living WWII from living among rubble (yep it was still around in the 60s), to UXBs still being found, to older people talking constantly about the blitz and Moseley. At around 8 years of age I was sitting with my Grandfather watching All Our Yesterdays and he started to cry. He said to me ‘this is where hate leads, it must never happen again and its up to your generation to make sure it never happens again’ I took that seriously, and I often wondered what I would have done had I lived in Germany faced with the rise of the Nazis, and even at that age concluded that I would have been a part of the quiet under the radar resistance. I thought later that was a romantic childhood musing and nothing more.

In the 1970s Idi Amin expelled the Asian people from his country and they came here. People were picketing Heathrow airport with signs telling the Asian refugees to go home, telling them they were not wanted. This was a time when white women who dared to walk along hand in hand with a man of a different culture/colour/religion were openly spat at, called a ‘whore’, told things like ‘your fanny must be fucking rotting’ and all done in front of children. The national front were a rabble running around causing chaos. People thought it funny to leave gollies on the desks of black or mixed race people at work, and if they didn’t laugh they were told they had a chip on their shoulder. Most did not complain and rarely were they stuck up for. Asian people had to endure being called ‘Gungadin’ or ‘wallah’ or other such names overhung from a perception of a Raj and ‘bud bud’ noises were quite normal to hear being thrown toward them. People from Chinese Asia were supposed to laugh at and join in the fun when fully grown adults slanted their own eyes to them and chanted such hilarious quips as ‘I’m a ching chong chinaman, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhshole’

In the late 80s/early 90s after the Berlin wall fell I began to notice news reports of neo nazis from those countries which has once been taken over by the nazis and then taken behind the iron curtain. It seemed that the nazi ideology, defeated in the minds of some, had been merely in some suspended animation. Again, I was taken back to my grandfather’s words and my romantic musings about being a resistance hero. We had Margaret Thatcher who shifted politics to the right. We had the unions stomping everywhere shifting opinion away from the left. I began talking to people about this rise and subtle political shift and was always met either with sniggers, or advice to ‘get a grip, life’s too short, stop living in the past’. I more or less had a decade where I forgot all about this, where thankfully laws began to tackle the kind of abuses people who were not WASP males had to endure. We had TV programmes like Roots, films like Ghandi, the apartheid regime in SA and support growing for Nelson Mandela all together showing the kind of abuses those we had been happy to taunt had had to suffer. Attititudes began to shift. Children were born into a country where they were more likely to call out and tackle racism and openly reject it.

For a while things seemed to be going forward. And then in the noughties UKIP began to grow. Farage took over. At first he was not known, only appearing now and again in small news items. There was no defining period when he was suddenly propelled forward in the media. It seemed like a gradual transition, a drip drip drip, a subtle rise. Jean-Marie Le Penn in France became a ‘thing’ in our media, dismissed as a buffoon. And suddenly, around 6/7 years ago Farage and his message of anti immigration and anti immigrants was everywhere. The country laughed at him as they did Le Penn. But they were not talking to us, they were directing their very simple message to those WASP males who felt their rights to laugh at, abuse and generally lord it over anyone who was not like them had been ripped from them unfairly, this is the ‘common sense’ they speak of. The words ‘political correctness’ began to be used as a weapon, a term which denoted a stripping away of some perceived moral rights to speak and laugh as they wished. While we were laughing at Farage those people were taking him and Le Penn seriously, they were listening. They began to feel emboldened. Again I started to talk to people and try to stop them laughing at UKIP and Farage, even those who would instinctively agree with my liberal stance laughed at me and told me it wasn’t going to happen. When the by election came in Clacton (I know the area well) I was met with ridicule when I said the predictions of 62% for Carswell was right. When he won I was told it was a one off, a cut off Hamlet which didn’t represent the rest of the country. Again my mind went back to my Grandfather’s words. I knew we would Brexit. I heard the mutterings of those people Farage had been seducing and cultivating for several decades rising, those same people who had abused white women in the street, picketed Heathrow, the ‘Enoch was Right’ brigade.

And here we are. I am still being told to ‘get a grip’. I am being told now that it is my fault that the far right across Europe is on the edge of taking over Europe again. It is my fault because I denied those people the right to abuse me, as a woman, my friends and neighbours who are not WASP, I am told now that I am a neo nazi because I am a liberal I am therefore a socialist and Hitler was a national ‘socialist’ and therefore on the liberal left of the political spectrum. I am now the enemy. We are now at a watershed. We sit on the edge. Now is the time my romantic childhood musings of being a part of a resistance against extremism have become a reality. We all have to make a choice now. We all have to decide whether to fight the monster of the far right neo nazis who not only have teeth and a voice, but have legs and agency. The neo nazis are organized, they are united (Farage wasnt joking when he said after his resignation that he was going to spend time in Europe encouraging other countries to leave, what he meant was he is going to unite other neo nazi groups). Now we have Trump. The puppetmaster of the far right. An unstable narcissist who is breathing life into the never defeated but sleeping nazis worldwide. Farage is with him now, in the bossom of right wing US media. The Lord Haw Haw of modern times. I know what I am going to do. All I ask now is that everyone here ask themselves what they are going to do. There are 2 choices. 1. Give in and appease 2. Resist.

Author Anonymous: EDIT: I AM NOT GINA MILLER, I CANNOT AFFORD 24/7 PERSONAL PROTECTION FOR MYSELF AND MY CHILDREN. I AM HAPPY FOR PEOPLE TO SHARE MY WORDS, AS LONG AS MY NAME IS TAKEN OUT AND I CAN REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

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