Hate speech and the state
DOI link for Hate speech and the state
Hate speech and the state book
Central to the court’s decision in Redfearn was the idea that the state exists to hold the ring in a battle between two sets of extremists. This chapter argues that a similar politics can be seen in the much complained of tendency for police to intervene on the side of fascists against anti-fascists. This point is developed through a study of the case of Robert Relf, which is central to Waldron’s The Harm in Hate Speech, and which this book argues shows the court displaying both liberal and authoritarian faces. The alternative to relying on either judge or the police, is to revisit the terms under which campaigns for racial justice (etc.) have shown an interest in anti-fascism – as a means to enable popular challenges to institutional (i.e. state) racism. The superiority of no platform over hate politics is not merely, in other words, the narrower target of the former but also its insistence that the defeat of fascism does not require any judicial interlocutors. No platform does not seek a fair hearing. Its supporters are trying rather to build their own power, and the power of the workers and oppressed with whom they are in dialogue.