Over 1,000 trade unionists, socialists and anti-racists marched through Newcastle yesterday, Saturday, against the racist English Defence League (EDL).
Veronica Killen marching with UCU lecturers said, “We have a long and proud history of immigration and integration in the North East. But to combat far right groups on our streets we have to be constantly vigilant.”
The march, organised by Unite Against Fascism, stood against hundreds of EDL thugs, largely bussed in from around the country.
The racists came to Newcastle trying to whip up racism and division after the Woolwich killing last Wednesday.
But anti-racists sent a clear message that the EDL were not wanted in the city.
Councillors, trade unionists, LGBT activists and representatives from local mosques spoke at the rally for unity against racist scapegoating.
Sandeep from local radio Spice FM said, “This protest was brilliant and just what the town needed.”
Veronica added, “I hope the political parties trying to pander to the right on the immigration debate gets the message as well. No to racism, no to intolerance.”
There is no room for complacency. There were reports that the EDL put 1,200 or more on the streets. This would be the biggest mobilisation since 2011 showing Woolwich has had an effect.
This underlines the need for anti fascists to take to the streets when the EDL seeks to organise.
Unity in the Community anti-racist event. Saturday 1 June, General Gordon Square, Woolwich, London SE18 6EU (Next to Woolwich Arsenal DLR/Rail station)
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