Socialist Worker

Racists launch new attacks, but EDL London march is a flop

Racists have carried out a wave of attacks on Muslims since the killing of soldier Lee Rigby, reports Annette Mackin

Issue No. 2360

Weyman Bennett speaking at unite against fascism demonstration

UAF's Weyman Bennett addresses anti-racists (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The bomb squad blew up a suitcase left at the Al Rahma mosque in Liverpool last Sunday. Though it turned out to be a false alarm, worshippers were scared after a series of abusive phone calls. Mosque administrator Mohamed Mansur said, “While no direct threats were made, the calls were insulting to the Muslim community.”

The scare follows a string of racist terror attacks on Muslims around Britain.

Four Muslim graves were desecrated in Newport, Wales, on Sunday night.

The attackers painted swastika symbols on the stones. They wrote “EDL”—the initials of the racist English Defence League—as well as “BNP”, “Ukip”, “Lee Rigby murder” and “white power”.

Racists also daubed swastikas and “EDL” on the walls of Redditch Central Mosque last week. Rafqat Hussain is chair of management there.

“These attacks are frightening, especially when they happen in the run-up to Ramadan when mosques will be full,” he told Socialist Worker.

“The media and politicians are to blame. Every time there’s an incident they emphasise if it was done by ‘Muslims’. 

“It’s demonisation. They’ve stoked things up and this is the consequence.”

But Rafqat said that many ordinary people opposed the racists.

Swastika on a Muslim grave

Swastika on a Muslim grave


“After the attack on our mosques we had calls donating money and pledging support,” he said. “People came out to say how sorry they were that this had happened.”

The EDL has whipped up racist hatred in the wake of the killing of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south London, in May.

It planned to march from central London to Woolwich last Saturday, through Tower Hamlets and Newham in east London.

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) called a counter demonstration and organised rallies with United East London.

The racists’ march flopped when 25 turned up in Hyde Park. They soon scuttled away before their march was due to begin. 

EDL founders Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll were arrested when they tried to enter Tower Hamlets, breaking their agreed marching route.

Some 250 anti-fascists assembled and went on a victory march to join the London Pride LGBT march (see page 18) when it became clear the EDL were off the streets.

The EDL is in disarray. But anti-fascists can’t afford to be complacent.

EDL members hurled abuse and tried to intimidate trade unionists entering and leaving a UAF meeting in the Unite union office in Ipswich last Thursday.

UAF and Keep Ipswich Fascist Free are holding a demonstration on Sunday of this week to oppose them. Assemble at 11am, Giles Statue.

Story updated Thursday 4 July once it became clear that the bomb squad's controlled explosion had not detonated a bomb

 


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