Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and the Muslim Association of Britain have called a national demonstration—“No to racism, No to Islamophobia”—on Saturday 6 November in central London.
The demonstration has been called to counter the increase in racism and Islamophobia fuelled by the rise of the racist English Defence League (EDL) and the ongoing campaigning by the fascist British National Party.
Weyman Bennett, joint chair of UAF, spoke to Socialist Worker about the importance of the demonstration.
“The EDL has targeted Muslims and mosques, whipping up hatred and division wherever they have marched,” he said.
“We saw this two weeks ago in Dudley. The EDL were demoralised because their demonstration was small—so they ran amuck, attacking shops and smashing car windows.”
EDL members even attacked a Hindu temple, despite claiming to be only opposed to “Muslim extremism”.
EDL supporters have also put videos of their violent rampages on YouTube and have been photographed making Nazi salutes.
“We have to make a stand,” said Weyman. “We must put out a call for unity in defence of the Muslim community.
“We want trade unionists, students and black and white people to come together in London to show that anti‑racists are the majority.”
The national demonstration is part of an ongoing battle against the EDL.
Where the EDL march they are met with resistance.
Their leader, “Tommy Robinson” (now exposed as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon), has written to all EDL supporters.
He is clearly worried about the negative impact of the small size of its Dudley protest.
He wrote, “The mood of members has been somewhat low since the Dudley demo.”
The message continues, “Yes, we had one bad demo…We need to forget the past and look forward to the future.”
The future for the EDL is the racist riot they hope to spark in Bradford on 28 August—this has become their focal point.
Bradford UAF has been working alongside local communities to organise a “We are Bradford” event to celebrate multiculturalism and diversity, and to oppose the EDL protest.
UAF nationally has backed the demonstration and is asking activists from across the country to join the protest.
Activists have organised coaches from across Britain including London, the south coast, the north west, the West Midlands, the East Midlands and the east of England.
For details, leaflets and information of coaches visit www.uaf.org.uk