A neo-Nazi rally which was held this weekend in London was dwarfed by a huge counter-demonstration.
Around 20 anti-Semitic demonstrators, some of whom were carrying Confederate and banners with 'White Pride' slogans, gathered in Whitehall, central London, on Saturday to protest the "Jewification" of London, but were massively outnumbered both by a large police presence, but also by several hundred counter protesters. The two groups were divided by crash barriers and police officers.
Whilst the self-branded neo-Nazis used megaphones to make speeches, the counter-protesters chanted "Scum, scum, scum". A number of Twitter accounts also tweeted images of the protests, with captions such as "Nazis off our streets" and "Hitler's fan club", as they took pictures of the far-Right activists being led by police back to the tube at the end of the protest.
The nazis .. pic.twitter.com/7SOUUKSGt7
— Jack Mendel (@Mendelpol) July 4, 2015
Demonstrators had originally planned to hold their anti-Semitic demonstration in Shomrim, a strict Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Golders Green, north-west London, but police decided to move the protest to Whitehall in central London after pressure from local MPs and Jewish leaders.
Claire Fernandez, deputy director for policy for the European Network Against Racism told Newsweek, that whilst the numbers that attended this weekend's protests were very low, extreme anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe.
Fernandez claims that the various neo-Nazi groups spread across Europe are well-connected and organise forums and meetings between themselves and other extreme Right-wing political parties. She cited a gathering which happened in March this year in St Petersburg, Russia as an example. "400 neo-Nazis from 15 different countries, including the British National Party from the UK, gathered together to promote racism," she explains.
The rate of anti-Semitic crimes in many European countries is on the rise, Fernandez warns: "In Belgium, 40 anti-Semitic related incidents were reported in 2013 whilst 130 were recorded in 2014".
Crime figures released in May by the Metropolitan police in London show a 138% increase in anti-Semitic crimes over the period of May 2014 to May 2015.
According to figures released in a report by Community Security Trust (CST) an organisation set up to ensure the safety of the UK's Jewish community, 1,168 anti-Semitic incidents against British Jews were recorded in 2014, compared to 535 in 2013.Try Newsweek: Subscription offers