Thousands of people will take to the streets this Saturday for an important protest against racism, fascism and Islamophobia.
The demo, called by Unite Against Fascism and Love Music Hate Racism, is backed by the TUC, the Muslim Council of Britain and a host of union leaders, community groups, artists, writers and campaigners.
The march will assemble at 12 noon, Malet Street, London WC1 on Saturday 6 November.
Dozens of coaches are coming from as far afield as Glasgow and Worthing.
“This demonstration comes at a crucial time,” said Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT teachers’ union. “Far right groups will use the aftermath of the spending review and seek to lay the blame at the door of ethnic minorities rather than the real culprits—the coalition government.
“We must not stand by and see our communities divided.”
Mark Serwotka, PCS union general secretary, said, “If we let them, the BNP and the so-called Defence Leagues will feed on disillusionment, hopelessness and fear.”
On Saturday, black, white and Asian people will demonstrate together, sending a strong message of unity. Muslims will march alongside non-Muslims, in a rebuff to all those who want to say Muslims are “terrorists” and “extremists”.
The racists and the Nazis are trying to whip up hatred as the economic crisis bites. They have to be confronted ideologically and on the streets.
And there have to be real socialist solutions to the problems in society, not the poisonous ones peddled by racists.
Dr Mohammad Naseem, chair of Birmingham Central Mosque, says, “The BNP and EDL are disruptive forces of hate. We are encouraging people to join us on the demonstration to show our unity and strength.”
And Tony Benn added, “Peace is impossible without justice and equality—and the presence of racism is a barrier to achieving it. I hope that people will turn up in large numbers on 6 November.”
The demo will be followed by a carnival, with a line-up including Drew McConnell of Babyshambles, rapper Lowkey, indie-rock, ska and hip-hop band Kid British, legendary founder of The Specials Jerry Dammers and British-Muslim pop favourite Mumzy.
They will be joined by Flow Dem and Missing Andy, both from TV’s Must Be the Music, Abbas Hasan with his electro-pop and Asian classical fusion, west London singer Tasha Tah and LMHR stalwart DJ Rugrat.
“It’s crucial that we keep confirming our unwavering belief that multicultural Britain is to be celebrated—now more than ever,” said Drew McConnell.
For details of transport to the demonstration, and the full list of supporters, go to www.uaf.org.uk
Anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigners are facing serious criminal charges after they were arrested on the 20 March demonstration in Bolton against the EDL. Roger Cox, 28, who was found guilty of assaulting a police officer, has been sentenced to 250 hours of community service. He denies the charge and will appeal. For details go to www.justice4bolton.org