Thousands of anti-fascists are expected to attend a protest rally in London on Sunday to resist the march of far-right activist Tommy Robinson and his followers.
The counter-protest action was organized by the Labor-Supporting Momentum group and its partners. It is part of an effort to increase the party's involvement in peaceful anti-fascist activities fueled by fears of the threat of Robinson and political groups such as Ukip.
A new group within the party, Labor Against Racism and Fascism, was founded, and Momentum is trying to counteract a far-right social media effort that some members believe is often more demanding than their own internet presence. A new Momentum Video The sighting on Robinson had 1.5m visibility in less than 28 hours this week.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has called on Labor members to join the Counter-Protests Action, which is also supported by London Young Labor and the Stop Trump Coalition.
He said, "A new, energetic hate network is emerging, from Steve Bannon in the US to the former EDL [English Defence League] Leader Tommy Robinson at home, and that threatens the structure of our nation. The Labor Movement must be in the foreground and oppose them. "
Thousands of people were expected to attend the Robinson event, where a march to Whitehall called the "Brexit Betrayal Rally" took place three days before the MEPs vote on the Theresia May Brexit package.
Laura Parker, Momentum's National Coordinator, said: "Some of the mainstream Labor Party members have sometimes been reluctant to participate in such events in the past. It is not a criticism of those who are still very much interested in it, but in this area Labor has sometimes been lacking, while other organizations have dominated.
"I think the right-wing threat is obviously so great now, but there needs to be a peaceful mobilization of just about everyone, from unions to party members and others."
The march follows Momentum's recent mobilization in support of demonstrations against events by groups such as the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA).
Niroshan Sirisena, a Labor Council member in Croydon and an organizer of Momentum, said he and others launched "Labor Against Racism and Fascism" a few weeks ago to develop the party's anti-racism policy at electoral level.
"Labor is an anti-racist party, but I think it has to be something more than to say it's one," said Sirisena, who was involved in distributing pamphlets against racism as part of the Premier League games The right-wing extremist focus on football fans. The initiative recently kicked off a Crystal Palace game against Tottenham, whose fans include DFLA activists.
"We want to bring our message further out," he said, "whether at the national or local level, because we have definitely seen a threat. Recently, for example, we've been organizing near Croydon to clean graffiti that appeared in the area in support of Tommy Robinson the last time he was in prison. "
Sirisena spoke of a "malaise" after referendum racism, which was often not necessarily associated with the extreme right, but involved physical attacks on migrants and the color.
The Metropolitan City police have set strict conditions for the times and places the participants could protest, and warned that anyone who has committed acts of violence will be arrested.
Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Laurence Taylor, Met's Gold Commander, said, "If you want to protest on Sunday, we ask you to do so peacefully, no matter what you think. We will adopt a robust arrest policy for anyone involved in violence or disorder or violating these terms.
"Experience has shown us that groups representing different views can create tension and disorder, not just on the day but in the longer term. We had to think carefully about how we reconcile the right to protest with the potential impact on our communities and our ability to deal with civil unrest that may result from these protests, as proposed. "