Racial Volunteer Force protests outside RHUL gates
There were police filming it in the bushes
A fascist protest and an anti-fascist counter protest took place on campus today.
This protest has been much anticipated on campus, after two members of cleaning staff were laid off for being found to be involved with ‘a group known for violent and discriminatory views’, the Racial Volunteer Force, according to the college information on the planned event.
At around 2pm many Royal Holloway students, with their faces covered, met at International Building before moving through campus to the main gate, chanting various slogans such as ‘Nazi scum off our streets’ as they went. Then, as the front gate was shut, members of the RVF and other arrived at the front gate to take part in the planned protest. There were not many of them compared to the students who had turned up, but they were armed with megaphones and banners of their own. Members of security and Surrey Police were present.
The Tab managed to speak to the cleaner who was laid off and helped to organise the protest. He did not reveal his identity, but was happy to talk about the situation and why they were there.
His argument was that they were protesting against the ‘discrimination of peoples political views’. The cleaner stated that it had never been proved that he was involved with the group, and that it’s ‘nobody business what he does at the weekend’. He claimed he was asked to leave his job after being involved with a protest against a ‘Jewish vigilante police force’, Shomrin, in North London. The group calls itself a ‘neighbourhood watch charity’. He claims that this group is non-inclusive, and that the students holding Israeli flags were being ‘divvy’, and that the star of David wasn’t ‘anything to do with Jews’.
His point was that the group was trying to protest that we should all be able to have our views, and that people shouldn’t be discriminated against for having them.
Things started to heat up later into the protest. The spokesperson for the protest made a speech through a megaphone near to 3 pm this afternoon, trying to argue that they had to take action since peoples jobs were being threatened for having a view. He has a point, as we are entitled to free speech. It was when he dismissed student’s arguments as ‘feminists…what a load of nonsense’ that the credibility of his argument could have been questioned. The group eventually had water balloons thrown at it by the students protesting against them. It is unclear if any action has been taken following this.
The event does highlight the importance of free speech, for both sides, and that Royal Holloway students are very much mobilised against fascist views.