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"Hit in face, pushed off table - by racists"

ftp | 21.10.2004 00:07 | European Social Forum | Anti-racism

The story of the "racist attack" on Weyman Bennet gets stranger and stranger. Fridays Guardian carries a letter from Weyman himself - and it isn'tnice reading. As it goes, its not true either...........

Consensus breaks down at the Social Forum

Thursday October 21, 2004
The Guardian

I was the chair of the anti-fascist plenary at the European Social Forum. I would like to clarify the incident referred to in your leader (October 18). Shortly after the meeting began, around 100 people marched into the hall and stormed the stage. Despite the fact that I allowed the intruders to make a statement, I was hit in the face and pushed off the table. My wallet and mobile phone were snatched.
As a black activist, I have been involved in the movement for many years. I have only ever been attacked in this way by racists. It is outrageous that an anti-fascist meeting organised by black and Jewish people should be attacked for any reason.

The ESF was the biggest gathering of global justice activists ever seen in Britain. It should be remembered for that. But we need also to be clear that this kind of behaviour should never be repeated in our movement.
Weyman Bennett
Unite Against Fascism

Underneath it appears the letter from Asad Rehman and 8 others:

"Attempting to paint the 200 or so protesters as racially motivated white thugs when they actually included many black, Hispanic and Arabic activists is disgraceful."

It is becoming clear to see that the SWP/GLA are seeking to shift the focus from the appalling Frankenstein's monster of a Social Forum they created, by crying wolf - and that the damage of that tactic will only serve to cause further disunity - that will spill over into many areas.

There were thousands of people in that hall - and they did not see what Weyman and the central committee claim, because it didn't happen.

There were loads of cameras on that stage, its about time that the footage started appearing .....................

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