On Sunday 13th of August, Swindon Trades Council arranged a short notice event to show our solidarity with murdered American anti-fascist Heather Heyer.
On Saturday 12th of August, Heather was one of thousands of people who joined a protest against a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia and was tragically murdered when 20 year old fascist Alex Fields drove his car at full speed into a crowd of anti-fascists, killing Heather and seriously injuring dozens more.
At the Swindon event, members of Swindon Trades Council were joined by around 20 members of various campaign groups, trade unions and members of the public. As well as sending a message of solidarity, the group raised close to £100 in donations to be sent to Heather’s family, part of a wider fundraising campaign which has raised nearly $170,000 in under 16 hours. A second crowdfunding page has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover the costs of medical care for those injured.
Jon Timbrell, Secretary of Swindon Trades Council said, “Since the start of the Trump presidency, the American white-supremacist movement has been growing in confidence. Trump actively courted the far-right, installed white supremacists such as Steve Bannon in the White House and did all he could to whip up fear and hatred of foreigners and people of colour. The growth in confidence and violence of the American far-right has been the inevitable consequence. With our event today, we wanted to show solidarity with the family of Heather Heyer, who was tragically murdered for standing up to bullying, intolerance and hatred. Heather died fighting for a better world, based on equality, solidarity and co-operation, the ideals that we as trade unionists hold dear. The least we can do is make sure that her family receive the support they need at this difficult time. Our solidarity will always be stronger than their hatred”.
Nikki Dancey, a delegate to Swindon Trades Council said; “It is fantastic that people in Swindon were able to turn out at such short notice and raise £100 to send to Heather’s family, but this is just the start. The American white supremacist movement has shown itself willing to terrorise, brutalise and murder. As well as continuing our fight against homegrown fascist groups such as Britain First and the EDL, we will be looking to hold fundraising events to ensure that the American anti-fascist movement is equipped with everything it needs to stay safe and effective and kick white-supremacy and all it stands for back into the dustbin of history, where it belongs”.