Hundreds of Cardiff taxi drivers are set to strike this Saturday – one of the city’s busiest days this year – in protest at a racist anti Muslim rally being held by the Welsh Defence League’s (WDL).
Tens of thousands of people will come to Cardiff for three big events: Wales versus South Africa rugby match at the Millennium Stadium, the Stereophonics gig at Cardiff City Stadium and Glamorgan’s cricket match against West Indies A at the Swalec Stadium.
Some will join the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) mass protest against the WDL and in defence of Cardiff’s multiracial community.
Mathab Khan, chair of the Cardiff Hackney Association (CHA), has warned police of the potential for disruption as a result of the strike which will run from 10am on Saturday to 10am Sunday. While the CHA is a non-political organisation, Mathab Khan said he would be joining the UAF counter protest.
Hackney cab drivers on the rank outside Cardiff Central Railway Station yesterday confirmed some drivers were planning to strike.
One man, who did not wish to be named, said he feared he would be at risk of violence if he worked on Saturday and was therefore planning to take part in the strike.
A Facebook group organised by anti-racist Cardiff City supporters, Bluebirds versus the Nazis, has also been organising for the counter protest.
Neath MP and president of Wales UAF, Peter Hain, has called for a “big turnout of people” to join the anti-fascist march on Saturday.
He said, “It is vital that the decent progressive majority in Wales rejects the poison of the Welsh Defence League which does not speak for, let alone defend, Wales.”
In addition to the UAF protest, a peace vigil supported by Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan and the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Wales, Saleem Kidwai, will be held at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay on Friday evening.
They have described the WDL event as “crude, dangerous and unhelpful”. The event is organised by the Interfaith Council for Wales and will celebrate the different cultures in Cardiff.
The UAF march will start at 11am at Roald Dahl Plass/Oval Basin in Cardiff Bay.