Socialist Worker

We can beat the racists on 3 September

by Viv Smith
Issue No. 2265

Anti-racists and anti-fascists from across Britain will join thousands of local people in east London on 3 September.

They are organising to march together against the racist English Defence League (EDL), which plans to come to Tower Hamlets that day.

Trade unions are backing the anti-racist mobilisation.

The Communication Workers Union and the PCS civil service workers union have backed the protest, as have Tower Hamlets Unison, East London National Union of Teachers and Tower Hamlets College UCU branches.

Over 30 coaches are booked to bring people from around Britain. Many areas are booking their second coaches as so many people want to come.

The march has been called by United East End and Unite against Fascism (UAF). A UAF office has been set up in Tower Hamlets and a battle bus will be touring the borough to advertise the protest.

“The mood is defiant,” Martin Smith from Love Music Hate Racism told Socialist Worker. “Everyone knows the EDL is coming, and there is a determination to stand up to it.”

Tazmin Ali, a school student in the area, told Socialist Worker, “This is a deprived borough. But for me the positive side is that I grew up learning to respect people from different religions and backgrounds.

“The EDL wants to come here and stir up racism. We have to oppose that. I think everyone who can should come and join us against the EDL and racism.”

Despite a state ban on the EDL march in Telford last Saturday (see Telford unites against 'banned' EDL protest), racist thugs were still allowed to rally.

Some activists, rightly disgusted by the racism and violence of the EDL, call for state bans in the hope it will cut off support to the group.

But a ban will not remove the social conditions racist ideas come from. That can only be achieved through a united, mass movement for change.

And a state ban can only stop people from marching, not from assembling.

That’s why many bans have seen police “escorting” the EDL to its rallying point—allowing thugs to march through cities chanting racist slogans.


A ban on EDL protests also means that demonstrations against them get banned too. That allows the police to attack our side.

Weyman Bennett, the UAF joint secretary, told the crowd in Telford, “We have to oppose the EDL wherever we are with multiracial, multicultural demonstrations—because banning it doesn’t stop them. Only mass opposition will break the EDL.”

That is why activists in Tower Hamlets are determined to march through the borough on 3 September.

We cannot allow the EDL to rally unopposed.

Disgracefully, the EDL has been given more and increasingly favourable publicity since Anders Behring Breivik’s murderous rampage in Norway.

Its leaders are allowed to spout their racist filth, giving confidence to bigots across Britain.

The EDL is trying to stoke up a race war—and we have to be out in our thousands on 3 September to stop it in its tracks.

Donate to the UAF financial appeal for the demonstration in Tower Hamlets and get more info at

Demonstrate Saturday 3 September. Assemble 11am, Weavers Fields, Bethnal Green, London E2 6HW

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