Socialist Worker

Rail workers: 'If EDL racists turn up at our stations, we’ll shut them down'

by Patrick Ward
Issue No. 2267

London Underground workers in the RMT union today informed management that if the racist English Defence League (EDL) appear at any stations or on any trains tomorrow, they will refuse to work.

This means that stations would close on safety grounds if the racists turn up. Management have now said that the EDL will not be allowed on London Underground tomorrow.

The EDL had boasted earlier in the week that a ban on their march in Tower Hamlets, east London, would not affect them as they are still allowed to come for a static protest. But campaigning by anti-fascists and trade unionists is causing them real problems.

Steve Hedley, the RMT’s London regional organiser, spoke to Socialist Worker. “We’ve made clear that the EDL are racist and fascist thugs,” he said.

“Last time they came to Kings Cross they assaulted workers and members of the public.

“Our drivers will refuse to move trains if they are on them, and will close stations on safety grounds if they turn up.”

The EDL are panicking. They wanted to assemble in the car park of Sainsbury’s supermarket in Whitechapel. But Sainsbury’s have refused to host them.

Then they wanted to assemble at two pubs in Euston. But both have now also refused to host them. These refusals came after huge public pressure.

The RMT action has further thwarted their plans for a violent rampage through multicultural Tower Hamlets.

Reports on the EDL’s Facebook page claim that four of their divisions have cancelled their transport for tomorrow.

Martin Smith, from the Love Music Hate Racism steering committee, told Socialist Worker, “We’ve got people power and workers’ power on our side. It’s pushing the racist EDL thugs further and further away from Tower Hamlets.

“This shows the level of disgust people have against the EDL. Their racist hatred is not welcome in Tower Hamlets or anywhere else in London.”

It’s of vital importance that every anti-fascist and anti-racist turns out in force tomorrow. We need to make a massive, united stand against everything the EDL thugs stand for.

Assemble at the corner of Whitechapel Road and Vallance Road near the East London Mosque at 11am (Nearest tube Whitechapel).

Several London Underground lines will be closed for maintenance tomorrow. Check the Transport for London website for the latest transport details.

Sign the Unite Against Fascism petition demanding our right to march on Saturday.

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