Protest in Leeds: Sat 31 October, 12 midday, outside the Art Gallery on the Headrow
Anti-racists, politicians, faith leaders, trade unions and community leaders and have signed the statement opposing the EDL marching in Leeds and calling for unity to celebrate and defend multicultural Leeds.
The statement reads:
"We the undersigned strongly oppose plans by the 'English Defence League' - a group linked to the fascist BNP - to demonstrate in Leeds city centre. The EDL is a racist group dedicated to attacking Asian people and Muslims. Islamophobia - bigotry against Muslims - is as unacceptable as any other form of racism. Its aim is to divide us by making scapegoats of one community, just as the Nazis did with the Jews in the 1930s.
Today they threaten the mosque, tomorrow it could be a synagogue, temple or church. Today they threaten Muslims, tomorrow it could be Jewish people, Hindus, Sikhs, black people, lesbians & gay men, travellers or Eastern Europeans. There is no place for Nazis, racists or the BNP in Leeds multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious community.
We call on the Home Secretary and the police to ban the EDL action.
We also urge people to attend the peaceful ‘Celebrate and defend multicultural Leeds’ rally to be held outside the Art Gallery on Saturday 31st October at midday."
Signatories so far include:
Yorkshire and Humberside TUC, Yorkshire and Humberside UCU, Leeds TUC, Yorkshire and Humberside UAF.
Individuals: Fabian Hamilton MP, Councillor Richard Brett (Leader of Leeds City Council), Bill Adams (Regional Secretary, TUC), Sue Dorsey (President of the Leeds Jewish Representative Council), Right Reverend John Packer (Bishop of Ripon and Leeds), Paul Clays (Regional secretary of the CWU), Tim Roache (Regional Secretary of the GMB), Ian Stephenson (Regional Secretary of the NUT), Councillor Arif Hussain, Councillor Josephine Jarosz, Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Asghar Khan (Prospective councillor), Zubeda Arshad (Armley Mosque), Revd Ashley Hardingham (Minister Chapel Allerton Baptist Church), Gill Goodswen (Vice President, NUT), Tony Stanley (Leeds REC), Mick Hooson (NAPO - West Yorkshire Branch Chair), Keith Allen (Actor), Tony Walsh (PCS Negotiations officer), Patrick Murphy (Leeds NUT secretary), Prof Malcolm Povey (President Leeds Uni UCU) Andy Brammer (Wakefield TUC secretary), Brian Mulvey (Leeds City Council UNISON Branch secretary), Bill Chard (GMB Regional Organiser), Sally Kincaid (NUT - Wakefield and District Divisional Secretary), Ken Cridland Lancashire Secretary (National Union of Teachers), Ian Murch (National Treasurer of the NUT and Bradford divisional secretary), Alex Kenny (NUT National Executive member), Andy Lee (Central Sec, CWU Leeds #1 branch), Geoff Lockyer (Organiser, PCS Leeds & District Revenue Branch) and many others.
For more information, or to add your name to the unity statement send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org