By Charlie Kimber
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SWP statement: Don’t let racists divide us after Woolwich attack

This article is over 8 years, 11 months old
Issue 2354

Racists and right wingers are trying to use yesterday’s horrific killing in south London to divide working people and whip up hatred of Muslims.

It is crucial that we stop them. We must not allow this to be exploited to generate racism or to give a boost to the far right.

Even when few facts were known about what had happened in Woolwich, the inflammatory stereotypes of race and religion were trotted out by “respectable” sources as well as gutter Nazi ones.

BBC News’s political editor Nick Robinson wrote, “To those offended by my describing the attacker as of ‘Muslim appearance’—I was directly quoting a Whitehall source quoting the police.”

And Tommy Robinson, leader of the racist English Defence League, tweeted, “There has to be a reaction by the British public to this attack on one of our brave young soldiers. When the f**k is this country and its people going to take the threat political Islam poses seriously?”

For the Tories this is an opportunity to divert attention from austerity and their party splits. Instead all the talk is of “emergency committees”, “terrorist incidents” and “national unity”.

We should not allow them to get away with such hypocrisy.

Nor should the imperialist policies of successive British governments be forgotten. 

The US and Britain have murdered hundreds of thousands of people in the “war on terror” over the past 12 years. The killing in Woolwich is not the way to fight it. 

This is a war which we learned last week that the US administration believes will go on for at least another ten to 20 years.

That means decades more of invasions and drones and bombs and torture camps and assassinations. Is it a surprise that some people react in this shocking way?   

We need unity against racism, and unity against the Tories. The millions strong movements against the war in Iraq and broad mass mobilisations against racism and fascism show this is possible. 

Charlie Kimber
national secretary 
Socialist Workers Party 
23 May 2013 

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