On Saturday March 25, far-right ‘Neo-Nazi’ protesters appeared on the Royal Mile on what was said to be ‘Global White Pride Day’.
The demonstration is thought to have been organised by the National Front, along with other far-right groups.
The far-right protestors, however, were met strong opposition by anti-fascism group, Unite Against Fascism Scotland (UAF).
The presence of UAF drew some criticism, due to their affiliation with the Socialist Workers Party.
According to police estimates, a group of 400 UAF counter-protestors overwhelmed the initial protest, who had numbers of only 40 people.
Ten arrests were made during the demonstrations, three of which were for religiously-aggravated offences.
A similar event was organised in Swansea on the same date last year. According to The Independent, the organisers of that event described their demonstration as a way to “stand proud of our race and white heritage while pledging that we must secure the existence of our people and future for white children.”
A UAF press release read: “Anti-fascists from a variety of organisations and none, saw off the tiny spatter of fascists, who were only able to be in Edinburgh because of police ‘facilitation’.
“No one in the city wanted the fascists and they left, as ridiculed, as they arrived. Anti-fascists were shocked, but not surprised by the sieg-heiling of the Nazis behind police lines. None of them were local and were bussed out of the city in the same way they came in behind scores of police lines.”
UAF spokesperson Margaret Woods said in a statement: “We are delighted at today’s brilliant turn-out for the UAF demonstration against the Nazis National Front.
“There is no place in our society for fascists and we always oppose any attempts they make to assemble or march. They will not be allowed to spread their vile racism, hatred and division in our community.
“The support for today’s demonstration from so many trade unions, anti-racist organisations and cross-party politicians shows the breadth of determination to ensure fascism will always be opposed in Scotland.”
As quoted in The Independent, the anti-fascist UAF have expressed that there has been a fortifying force for white nationalism, apparent in the rise of France’s National Front and in the actions of Donald Trump.
Stating that they would ensure Edinburgh would stand against extremism, they told The Independent: “We won’t stand for their racism, their Islamophobia, their scapegoating of migrants and refugees. We will push them back like we did with the Scottish Defense League, the English Defense League, and the British National Party.”
Among the speakers at the anti-fascist counter demonstration were SNP MP Tommy Sheppard, Labour MP Ian Murray, Muslim Women’s Association of Edinburgh, Stand up to Racism Scotland and many more.