Socialist Worker

Racist attack in Stoke after English Defence League demonstration

Issue No. 2191

The partner of a man who was the victim of a racist attack blames the EDL for stoking up hatred.

Delivery driver Zahid Zanan was pelted with beer bottles by a gang of 15 people.

His partner, Elizabeth Smith, aged 23, says she has felt more intimidated since the EDL protest in Hanley in January.

She says, 'The incident involving Zahid has left me feeling really angry. I think it's a knock-on effect from the EDL demonstrations last month. It seems people now think it's acceptable to behave however they want.

'We are a mixed-race couple who have been together eight years and haven't experienced many problems.'

Zahid Zanan, a father of five, told the Staffordshire Sentinel, 'I have never been the victim of a racial attack before. They were shouting 'Paki' at me and said if I got out of the car they would hit me.'

'It's left me feeling like a prisoner in my own home, I don't feel safe any more. I don't know why I was targeted, all I wanted to do was go out and earn some money to support my family.”

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said, 'Police were called to the incident on Friday evening where a man was arrested. 'However, due to insufficient evidence he was later released without charge.'

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