North Staffordshire Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (NorSCARF) is a campaigning organisation that was founded in the 1970’s to oppose groups on the far right.
Supported by local trade unions, faith groups, community organisations, student groups and many individual members, NorSCARF campaigns against the likes of the Nazi British National Party, the English Defence League, and other far right entities. We oppose all bigotry, such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, prejudice against old people, disabled people, and travelling communities.
We are not affiliated to any political party. All we ask for is a commitment to fight racism and fascism to defend the multicultural society that we live in today.
NorSCARF has been campaigning for over forty years…
In that time we have successfully opposed the fascist National Front (NF) and its successor, the British National Party (BNP). More recently we have campaigned against the racist ideas of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
Fascist splinter groups, such as Britain First, still exist. The far right is reorganising: a leading member of UKIP has founded For Britain, while members of the English Defence League (EDL) are active in the anti-Islam groups, the Football Lads Alliance and the Democratic Football Lads Alliance. The temporary imprisonment of Tommy Robinson, former EDL leader, in 2018 has given all these groups a further focus to organise around.
Among NorSCARF’s activities, we helped organise the 2009 Stoke ‘Love Music Hate Racism’ event at the Britannia stadium and the protest in 2010 against the EDL in Hanley. That year an EDL member was nearly blown up trying to destroy a mosque in Stoke. Recently, in 2017 we ran our most recent local ROAR! (Root Out All Racism) fair and demonstrated against the Stoke Infidels’ vile Islamophobia.
Whenever fascists get into power they shut down all democratic expression, particularly trade unions, and persecute minorities. Nazi ideas of a master race led to ghettoes, concentration camps and gas chambers – and unleashed a world war.
NorSCARF was formed in 1977 to deal with fascist NF’s threat to march locally. The NF was making electoral gains nationally and trying to physically intimidate black and Asian migrant communities. We were part of a nationwide resistance which saw the Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism created.
The NF was beaten but reappeared as the BNP. At their high point locally (2008) they had nine members on Stoke City Council. Nationally they had two Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). NorSCARF’s constant campaigning, particularly door-to-door mass leafleting, helped expose their vile lies and prejudice. They lost their remaining Stoke council seats in 2011 and their MEPs in 2014.
Recently a racist tide has swept across Europe, with ‘populist’ right-wing parties growing. President Donald Trump defends white supremacists in the USA. Here UKIP’s rise gave racism a ‘respectable’ face. The 2016 referendum decision to quit the European Union saw a spike in openly racist behaviour and attacks.
NorSCARF and other local campaigners helped to stop UKIP’s momentum in its tracks when its leader Paul Nuttall was humiliated in the Stoke Central parliamentary by-election of February 2017.
Locally we oppose the systematic scapegoating of asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants. We use the banner of Love Music Hate Racism to promote an anti-racist message in the music scene. Nationally we support the Stand Up to Racism initiative which, as with NorSCARF, is for anti-racists of all faiths and none.