Socialist Worker

Hundreds join vigil in Beeston, Leeds, after arson attacks on mosque and Sikh gurdwara

by Sally Kincaid
Issue No. 2608

The vigil in Leeds on Sunday

The vigil in Leeds on Sunday (Pic: Sally Kincaid)


Over 200 joined a vigil in Beeston in Leeds on Sunday after arson attacks on a mosque and Sikh gurdwara.

Speakers included Labour councillors and representatives from the Unison and GMB unions, local trades council and faith groups.

There were messages of support from NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney and Labour MP Hillary Benn.

People said that the fascists rampaging through Leeds four days before the attacks—plus the racist march in London—were wake up calls.

Anti-fascists are now planning a protest when the English Defence League comes to town on 7 July.

Over 100 anti-racists also joined a rally in Bolton, Greater Manchester, last Saturday after a racist attack left a woman in a critical condition.

It was called by Bolton Stand Up To Racism Bolton and others after a woman and her son were set upon last month.

The woman was walking with her son and two daughters.

An attacker is alleged to have racially abused her, hit the teenage boy and then assaulted her.


Nazis outnumbered in York

Fascists had planned to march in York last Saturday—but they were seen off by a lively counter-protest.

Around 50 supporters of York Stand Up To Racism occupied the area near York Minster where the fascists had planned to gather.

Around 11 racists turned up but were chased off and had to cower behind police lines.

After an hour of hearing our songs and chants of “Nazi scum off our streets” the fascists slunk back to the train station under police escort.

Labour MP Rachael Maskell spoke about the need to fight racism wherever it raises its head.


Anne-Marie Waters to spread hate in Lewisham by-election

Anti-racists planned to protest against Anne Marie Waters speaking at a hustings in south east London, as Socialist Worker went to press on Tuesday.

The leader of the far right For Britain party is running in the Lewisham East by-election, which was set to take place on Thursday.

Since losing the Ukip leadership contest, Waters has shifted rightwards and looked to street mobilisation as a way of building.

Waters was one of the star speakers at the “Free Tommy” rally where she delivered a virulently Islamophobic speech.

“Our leaders, our media, our police, all prioritise Islam in their decision-making,” she told the crowd.

“Why do we talk and investigate and get angry about an accidental fire in Grenfell, but are expected to immediately forget—or ‘not look back in anger’—about the deliberate, ideology?driven murder of British children?”

She held a meeting with former Nazi British National Party (BNP) election chief Eddy Butler in Loughton, Essex, last month.

Anti-fascists must oppose Waters’ attempts to link a violent movement on the streets with an electoral strategy.


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