Racist and fascist thugs are planning to descend on Bradford over the August bank holiday weekend.
The English Defence League (EDL) has one aim—to terrorise and intimidate Bradford’s Muslim population.
Yet some people are arguing that it is a mistake for anti-racists to hold a counter-protest.
They say that previous counter-protests have not stopped the EDL and that the best strategy is to call on the police and government to ban the EDL’s demonstration.
But where the EDL has been met with only limited opposition on the streets, the consequences have been dire. In Stoke at the start of the year hundreds of EDL thugs rampaged through Asian areas, smashing shops and homes.
Since January, counter-protests have gathered support and checked the EDL—in Bolton, Dudley, Newcastle, Cardiff and elsewhere.
A massive anti-racist mobilisation in Tower Hamlets in London’s East End forced the EDL to cancel their racist rally.
Anti-racist protests serve another purpose too. They are a tangible demonstration of solidarity by anti-racists with Muslim communities under attack by the EDL.
The EDL are calling Bradford “the Big One”.
Stoke was a warning about what happens when our side doesn’t mobilise on the streets.
There must be no repeat of Stoke in Bradford—a city with one of the largest Muslim populations outside London.
That’s why it’s right that a “We are Bradford” event to celebrate the city’s multicultural diversity is being held in opposition to the EDL’s racist demonstration.
All anti-racists should campaign to make this as big as possible.
•Bradford UAF public meeting: 7pm, Thursday 5 August, Girlington Community Centre, Girlington Road, Bradford, BD8 9NN
•“We are Bradford” multicultural celebration to oppose the EDL: Saturday 28 August, Bradford