Socialist Worker

Support grows across Britain for anti-racist protest on 6 November

by Viv Smith
Issue No. 2224

Coaches are booked from over 30 towns and cities across Britain to the national demonstration and carnival against racism, fascism and Islamophobia on 6 November in central London.

The event has been called by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and is backed by the TUC, Muslim Council of Britain and Love Music Hate Racism (LMHR).

“We want to use 6 November to send a signal across Britain and Europe—racism will not be tolerated here,” Weyman Bennett, joint chair of UAF, told Socialist Worker.

“Despite their weaknesses electorally and organisationally, the BNP is trying to grow,” Weyman said. “And the racist English Defence League [EDL] is promising to rampage in a number of towns in the months ahead. There can be no room for complacency.”

Paul Jenkins, a UAF organiser in the north west of England told Socialist Worker, “We organised a fantastic 350-strong LMHR gig at Preston university—students are angry that the EDL plans to march here in November. The interest in the London march was huge.

“Activists were out leafleting mosques on Friday. On Saturday we ran stalls in Burnley, Liverpool and Wigan.

“In Manchester we leafleted council workers on Friday. Manchester University and Bury students are selling coach tickets and UAF members in Oldham were out leafleting.”

Around 100 students from Tower Hamlets College, east London, packed into a meeting about Islamophobia and racism and agreed to build the protest.

In Newcastle over 85 people attended a meeting called following the recent burning of the Quran in Gateshead. Labour Councillor Dipu Ahmad, UAF and Show Racism the Red Card supported the meeting.

Labour Party members, trade unionists and Muslim leaders agreed to support the demo. The Pakistani Association has agreed to pay for a coach.

The Irish Travellers Movement in Britain also backs the demo. Matthew Brindley told Socialist Worker, “We are supporting the UAF protest—Gypsies and Travellers experience some of the highest levels of racism of any minority ethnic group in Britain.”

A fantastic line-up of artists and musicians is set to play on the day. It is vital that the 6 November is as big and diverse as possible.

Assemble 12 noon, Malet Street, London WC1 on Saturday 6 November. For transport details and more go to

UAF is calling a counter-protest against the EDL this Sunday 24 October in London when they plan to stage a rally outside the Israeli embassy.

Jewish community organisations have spoken out to condemn the EDL rally and warn that the EDL’s event is a ruse to recruit Jewish people to its organisation.

UAF is a diverse organisation which has black, white and Asian members who are from many religions and none.

UAF does not have a position on the question of Israel and Palestine but unites around the common aim of opposing fascism and racist division.

Protest: Sunday 24 October, 10:30am sharp, 26 Kensington High St W8 4PF (nearest tube, High Street Kensington)

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Tue 19 Oct 2010, 18:53 BST
Issue No. 2224
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