Over a month ago, neo-Nazis announced their intention to hold a demonstrate against Jews in Golders Green on 4th July. It is no coincidence that they chose to demonstrate on the Jewish sabbath in the neighbourhood with the highest Jewish population in the country.
On April 18th, they demonstrated in Stamford Hill and were ignored. They identified the Jewish community as a ‘soft’ target and announced plans to demonstrate in Golders Green and elsewhere. Ignoring them made them bolder.
In response, Campaign Against Antisemitism rallied thousands of Jews and non-Jews to stand opposite the neo-Nazis in dignified defiance, unity and pride.
The neo-Nazi demonstration in Golders Green has now been cancelled following our discussions with the police and prospect of us countering in our thousands. We are therefore calling off our counter-protest.
The Metropolitan Police Service confirmed that it was our counter-protest which resulted in this success: “After carefully considering all the facts surrounding this protest and counter protest activity, including the impact on the Jewish and wider community of Golders Green, it is the assessment of the Metropolitan Police Service that the presence of these groups in the same area at the same time is likely to result in serious disorder, serious disruption to the life of the community and intimidation of others.”
The Metropolitan Police Service has therefore imposed conditions on the neo-Nazis under s.14 of the Public Order Act that require them to present themselves on a given central London pavement on Saturday where they will be kettled for 60 minutes, before dispersing on pain of arrest.
We have always said that we expected the authorities to exercise their full powers to cripple this threat to our community. The neo-Nazi demonstration has been crippled and as such we will now not be holding a counter-demonstration.
The issue was that of neo-Nazis being free to intimidate Jewish people in the heart of our community and they are no longer able to do so. The neo-Nazis have threatened to hold “flash mob” demonstrations in Golders Green in the future and we are now discussing the use of injunctions to prevent that with the Council and the Metropolitan Police Service.
Since neo-Nazis announced their plans to demonstrate in Golders Green this Saturday, Campaign Against Antisemitism pursued the twin tracks of intensive discussions with the Metropolitan Police Service and rallying thousands of people to stand opposite them on the day in dignified defiance.
Our approach has been vindicated. “Never again” means firmly standing up for our rights, in the streets if necessary, not ignoring aggressors.
For over a month our volunteers have worked tirelessly. We have held countless discussions and meetings with the various branches of the Metropolitan Police Service, Barnet Council and our government contacts. This has meant dozens of days of work and hours of work for our pro bono lawyers.
Our volunteers have simultaneously prepared for a demonstration for thousands of people in the middle of a busy road on Shabbat with huge logistical and security challenges. We have prepared thousands of placards and procured thousands of flags. We have distributed 7,500 flyers. We have contacted tens of thousands of people via social media and e-mail.
We would like to thank the dozens of volunteers who stepped forward to share this burden, allowing individual members of the community to contribute their considerable talents to the fight against antisemitism.
This neo-Nazi demonstration was an attempt to intimidate the largest Jewish community in the UK on the Jewish Sabbath at the heart of Golders Green, on the very memorial to those who lost their lives fighting Nazis.
We believe that “never again” is a call to action from our history, which is why we called thousands of Jews and non-Jews to stand together against this disgrace in dignified defiance, unity and pride.
Today’s decision by the Metropolitan Police Service is a victory for British values and we applaud their firm defence of our community.
Antisemitism is a societal disease and zero tolerance law enforcement and education are fundamental parts of the cure.