As a few thousand mostly white men who claim to be “the football family against extremism” descended on Birmingham over the weekend to demonstrate their anti-extremist credentials, merging with several other self-proclaimed “non-racist” groups, regular Brummies who also happen to be football fans (but not so much into racism) decided to stand together to remind everyone that there’s no hiding bigotry and hate behind popular sporting past times.

The Football Lads Alliance (FLA) was joined by their post-split offshoot, the so-called ‘Democratic Football Lads Alliance’ as they gathered at Victoria Square and Millennium Point, with the FLA also marching through the city centre past a counter protest organised by Stand Up To Racism.

Despite the FLA march apparently inviting failed UKIP leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters – who has described Islam as “evil” – and far-right agitator Tommy Robinson to the event; the founders of the FLA groups insist it’s all about football fans standing up to extremism (selectively it would appear) and nothing to do with being racist.

Yet, where go rowdy drunk white men hurling xenophobic and Islamophobic abuse at passers-by, anti-racist activists and residents are sure to be ready-and-waiting; with their “Let’s see you try your shit here” faces proudly on display. Oh, and banners. Lots of really cool banners.

Here’s some inspiring Brummies standing up to racism and racists:

#1  Muslim women speak out

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#2 Football Lads Alliance taunt with nationalist flags

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#3  Anti-racism activists chant back

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#4  FLA supporters hurl abuse as they pass anti-racism protesters

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#5  Anti-racism protesters send the FLA on their way

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#6  “Football For All”

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#7  Brummies united against hate

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#8  “Stamp out Islamophobia”

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#9  Azhar Qayum from Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND)

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#10  “Keep racism out of St. Andrews”

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#11  Brummies joining forces to fight fear

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#12  “Stand United – Don’t let racists divide us”

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#13  Speaking out against racism and Islamophobia

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#14  “Love Football”

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#15  Police holding back drunk FLA supporters

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#16  Poet and performer Alan ‘Kurly’ McGeachie

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#17  Anti-racism activist Charlie Williams

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#18  Weyman Bennett from Stand Up To Racism

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#19  Anti-racism gathering in High Street

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

#20  “Stand United”

Birmingham Stand Up To Racism counter protest against FLA march and demonstration in March 2018Geoff Dexter

Photographs courtesy of Geoff Dexter.

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