Socialist Worker

Protest at racist EDL in Preston

by Viv Smith
Issue No. 2229

Anti-fascists in Preston will hold a counter-protest when the racist English Defence League (EDL) plans to march in the city this Saturday.

The counter-protest is organise by Preston Unite Against Fascism (UAF) together with Preston trades council.

Paul Jenkins, a local UAF organiser, told Socialist Worker, “We are calling on anti-racists and anti-fascists to join us in the centre of Preston.

“We want to celebrate multiculturalism, assert our commitment to anti-racism and let the EDL know they are not welcome here.

“Where the EDL marches and assembles unopposed, it has launched attacks on minority and Muslim communities. We cannot let this happen in Preston.

“Despite the police and local community leaders arguing for people not to protest, it is clear that people intend to join us on Saturday.”

The trades council has distributed leaflets to every trade union branch in the area.

At a stall last Saturday in the city centre, one couple took leaflets for the protest and told activists, “We are proud that you are doing this.

“We know what it is like to be discriminated against—we need unity to stop racism.”

Activists were to leaflet every day this week at local FE colleges, mosques and workplaces.

And activists from across the north west of England will be travelling to join the protest.

Preston independent socialist councillor Michael Lavalette has come under fire from the police for supporting the UAF and trades council counter-protest—but he is standing firm.

A number of other councillors have also agreed to join the protest.

“History shows us that where racists are unopposed, racist attacks and hate crime increase,” Michael told Socialist Worker.

“That is why we are determined to show our solidarity with our Asian brothers and sisters on 27 November.”

No to the EDL, no to racism, no to fascism and no to Islamophobia—protest on Saturday 27 November, 12 noon, Preston Fish Market (covered market), Birley Street.

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