South Wales has a long history of opposing fascism and hate in all its forms. In Blackwood there is a plaque dedicated to the lives of the men from the South Wales Coalfield who fought and died for the cause of democracy against the evil of fascism during the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1939.

The Second World War was fought to bring an end to the hate, racism and intolerance of Hitler’s Germany, which in perpetrating the holocaust committed one of the worst ever crimes against humankind. Every January I visit schools to talk about the importance of Holocaust Memorial Day.

Those brave men and women who fought against the Nazis did so justly and rightly, and it will always be right to oppose those who continue to hold Nazi ideologies and beliefs.

After these wars and others, and the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s in the US and elsewhere, we thought that the fight against fascists, racists, bigots and the intolerant would come to an end. We thought we had condemned these things to the dustbin of history where they belong.

Recent events in the United States are a timely reminder that ideas of equality, toleration and respect must continually be defended against those who would spread hate, ignorance and racism.

Earlier this month, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other far-right groups gathered in Charlottesville, in the US state of Virginia. They chanted racist, intolerant and hateful slogans and made Nazi salutes.

Anti-fascists and civil rights campaigners peacefully opposed them. Yet by the end of the day, fights had broken out and a man who is alleged to hold far-right ideas drove a car into the counter protests killing a young woman named Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others.

US President Donald Trump said that both sides share the blame for the violence. He even defended some of the actions of the far-right. This is wrong. There can be no suggestion that the actions of neo-Nazis or white supremacists are equal to those who rightly oppose them.

The events in Charlottesville prove the fight against intolerance, racism and hate will never be over. It is a constant struggle and we owe it to those who have come before us, and sacrificed so much in the fight against fascism, to continue opposing hate in all its forms. If we do not, we risk a return to the dark days of the past.