Don’t let the racists divide us

Aside

The Argus has run a story today about the EDL’s plans to march in Brighton and lay a wreath at the war memorial.
Scott Horwood, EDL’s Sussex regional organiser is quoted by the Argus as saying that Brighton is “.not a place that’s friendly to nationalists so we won’t be hanging around” and has promised the EDL group would try to be “in and out of Brighton in one hour”.  One wonders why they feel the need to come to Brighton when they know they are not welcome.
We believe this event is about exploiting Lee Rigby’s memory, not respecting it. This weekend the English Defence League are organising 55 protests in different towns and cities across the country. The far right British National Party is trying to re-launch itself after its recent splits by  holding a national protest in Whitehall, Central London at 1pm – the first time they have done so since 1998.
The best way to commemorate Lee Rigby’s death is through a peaceful show of unity against the BNP, EDL and Islamophobia such as the one organised by UAF in London.  Lee Rigby’s family have said  “We would like to emphasise that Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others” and Drummer Rigby’s regiment, the Royal Fusiliers,  has issued a notice to veterans and serving soldiers warning them about being associated with far-right groups.

Brig Ian Liles, regimental secretary to the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, wrote: “It is wrong and disgraceful that the death of one of our own should be exploited in this manner and that dishonour, by wrongful association, is brought on to the regiment.”  In a separate notice Col James Stopford warned “extremist organisations (English Defence League in particular) will seize any opportunity to align veterans with their cause”.

The sight of EDL members giving Nazi salutes in London last Monday refutes the idea that they have any respect for the British Armed Forces.

If you haven’t already done so sign our online petition calling for unity against the EDL’s attempts to divide our communities
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Dont let the racists divide us : Unity demonstration

Saturday 1 June, 12 noon

General Gordon Square, 

Woolwich,

London SE18 6HX

Next to Woolwich Arsenal DLR/Rail station

The BNP has called a national demonstration in Woolwich this Saturday, 1 June.

Fascists and racists are trying to take advantage of the terrible murder of Lee Rigby to whip up racism and hatred for their own anti-democratic ends.

We call on everyone to join with Unite Against Fascism, local trade unionists, faith groups and community groups in a peaceful show of unity against the BNP and its Islamophobic poison.

We will not let them divide us.

Nigel Farage – leader of UKIP is speaking at Hove Town Hall on Monday June 3rd. Where do you stand?

What do Farage and his party have to say?

On Austerity: In an interview with London Loves Business (May 22nd), former banker and now UKIP MEP and economic spokesperson, Godfrey Bloom, said: ‘I’m advocating a 25% flat tax…. I spent 35 years in the City showing people how to invest money in trust funds and offshore funds in order to diminish – quite legitimately and legally – their tax’. On public spending, he is even blunter: he would cut Government spending on things like quangos from around £60B to no more than £10B and remains nonchalant about the mass redundanucies such cuts would create. ‘I hope hundreds, thousands of jobs will be lost’ he says.

On Homophobia: In December 2012 The Guardian reported Farage’s links with anti-gay, far-right European politicians amid claims he backed a populist Polish priest who describes homosexual men as “sodomites”.  More recently, The Pink News reported Farage as saying he would not expel UKIP members for voicing “old-fashioned” views about homosexuality, including those who describe it as “disgusting”.

On Disability: UKIP’s 2010 manifesto included a call to move away from independent living and inclusive education, and for out-of-work disability benefits to be paid at the same rate as jobseeker’s allowance.  UKIP initially backed (though later suspended) Geoffrey Clark, would be Kent counsellor who suggested that mothers carrying foetuses with Downs syndrome or spina bifida should be forced to have abortions to avoid the child being “a burden on the state as well as on the family” (The Guardian, 18 December, 2012).  UKIP has recently appointed a disability spokesperson but has yet to reveal any policy changes.

On Women: In 2010 a trade union blog for Red Pepper magazine reported Farage tweeting “… Pregnant Workers Directive is bad news. Can we stop it? Unlikely.” and Bloom (see above) telling a female trade union leader who had written to him about the directive to “stick to giving advice on nappies and breastfeeding”. On 22nd May the Huffington Post carried the headline: UKIP Donor Demetri Marchessini: Bible says women wearing trousers is ‘an abomination’.

On Xenophobia and racism: According the Daily Mirror (18th May) Ukip’s leader on Lincolnshire Council and East Midlands Chair, wrote: “Have you noticed that if you rearrange the letters in ‘illegal immigrants’, and add just a few more letters, it spells, ‘Go home you free-loading, benefit-grabbing, resource-sucking, baby-making, non-English-speaking ********* and take those other hairy-faced, sandal-wearing, bomb-making, camel-riding, goat-********, raghead ******** with you.’” He also objected to foreign doctors working in the NHS writing: “We don’t want them taking all the jobs in the local community and we certainly don’t want them working in our hospitals!” The Mirror story also reported UKIP’s party Chair in Bury writing of Barack Obama: “I bet he’s a closet ‘Imam’ as well!  “If I ever see him on a Greyhound bus wearing a rucksack, I’m getting off!!”   During the council elections last month a Ukip candidate in East Sussex was suspended after reportedly posting anti-Semitic comments on a conspiracy theory website including a claim that the second world war was “engineered by the Zionist” (The Guardian 26th April). A UKIP candidate in Kent, referred to risk of tuberculosis after barriers to Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants are lifted next year on his blog “I would suggest not going to London after January 2014 unless you absolutely have to and if you do, adopt the Japanese practice of wearing a face mask,” (Daily Telegraph 26th April) and there are reports of BNP and EDL members joining UKIP. The chair of the Hillingdon UKIP branch boasted on his blog that he “joined my friends from March for England to tag along on the EDL Tower Hamlets demonstration”.

Let Farage and UKIP know where you stand – join the Stand Up to UKIP Protest at Hove Town Hall from 6pm Monday June 3rd

Supported by: Brighton, Hove & District Trades Union Council, Sussex Labour Representation Committee, PCS South East Region, PCS DWP East Sussex Branch, Brighton University UCU, Brighton Defend the NHS, Brighton Queers Against the Cuts, Brighton Love Music Hate Racism, Varndean College Against the Cuts, Brighton & Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Brighton International Socialism Network, Brighton Socialist Resistance, Brighton SWP, Brighton UAF, West Sussex Coast UAF.

IF YOU WISH TO SUPPORT THIS PEACEFUL PROTEST PLEASE EMAIL brighton@uaf.org.uk

 

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Handing in of UAF unity statement to Downing St prior to EDL mobilisation

 

Monday 27 May 2pm outside Downing Street London SW1A

Unite Against Fascism sends its condolences to the family and friends of Lee Rigby, the soldier murdered on Wednesday in Woolwich. There can be no justification for such a terrible attack on an individual.
At the same time we also reject the attempt by fascist organisations such as the English Defence League and British National Party to exploit the murder to whip up racism and direct hatred towards all Muslims. Last night a mosque in Bletchley was subjected to an arson attack with petrol bomb.

Together with all anti-racists, those of different communities, cultures and faiths, trade unions and others we, now more than ever, must stand up to Islamophobia wherever it raises its head.
Join us outside Downing Street on Monday to hand in our statement following the Woolwich murder. We will be co-ordinating a peaceful assembly prior to the EDL mobilisation at 3pm. Our event will include trade unionists, faith representatives, community groups and others.