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Pensioner head butted in extreme right-wing thug attack

News Shopper by Mark Chandler | Tuesday, 1 May 2012 | Click here for original article


Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith

TWO pensioners handing out anti-fascist leaflets were set upon by extreme right-wing thugs in a shocking high street attack.

Activist Andrew Smith, 69, was helping man the regular Socialist Worker stall in Lewisham High Street on Saturday at around noon when he was head butted in the face, while his colleague, 67, was punched to the floor.

Mr Smith, a long-standing anti-fascism campaigner and retired teacher, needed laser surgery for a torn retina after the unprovoked assault but is hopeful his sight will be okay.

He told News Shopper that before the attack, the gang made reference to Brighton, where anti-fascists faced-off with the March for England right-wing group earlier this month.

Mr Smith said: "They were shouting something about Brighton and accused us of attacking women and children."

A group knocked over the men's table before coming back a short while later in a group of around 10 men and one woman.

One man approached Mr Smith and began talking to him.

Mr Smith said: "In the middle of the conversation I had an uneasy feeling and he head butted me - one blow to the face.

"I was on the ground and sort of remember crouching, like a boxer who's gone down in the ring. I was completely dazed."

He said: "I think these were hardcore Nazis. They're very dangerous people and need to be opposed."

Mr Smith went on: "I'll continue to campaign. We were determined to stand our ground and that's still our attitude."

Even before the incident, another campaigner, 42, was also assaulted and left with facial injuries.

Chairman of Lewisham Anti-Racist Action Group Jarman Parmar said: "The actions of these racist attackers is shocking and strengthens our resolve to unite everyone who opposes these kind of behaviours and ideas which have no place in our society."

A spokeswoman for Lewisham police confirmed detectives were investigating the attacks but said no arrests had been made so far.

If you have any information, call police on 101.


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