Bolton demonstration - email firstname.lastname@example.org for transport details from Leeds
The racist hooligans of the English Defence League have rescheduled their plans to descend on Bolton for Saturday 20 March. Unite Against Fascism has called a national counter demonstration for all those who want to defend our multiracial society against the EDL's thuggery and violence.
Please log on to www.uaf.org.uk for the latest news about the local and national campaign to oppose the EDL.
The EDL has grown on the back of the breakthrough by the BNP in June. The two organisations have a far right division of labour. For now the BNP focuses on elections and the EDL aims to dominate the streets.
The recent EDL racist riot in Stoke, attracting up to 1,400 racists, and its provocations outside Harrow mosque are a serious warning of what is to come if the EDL is allowed to grow unopposed.
To not oppose the EDL would lead to even larger actions, the creation of ‘no go’ zones for Black and Asian people and direct attacks on communities as in Oldham in 2001.
The EDL is an embryonic pogrom movement that concentrates on anti-Muslim prejudice as a focal point for its racism. It will seek to organise any anti-Muslim current but starts with those, such as football ‘casuals’, most prepared to ‘take to the streets’.
It aims to create a street force capable of intimidating and attacking the Muslim community, and further down the line to pose a physical threat to other Black and Asian communities and to the labour movement.
Other European countries have shown what happens when groups akin to the EDL are allowed to grow. It leads to racist violence directed against whole communities, including arson and murder.
We should also challenge the media’s failure to condemn the EDL’s racist violence and its inaccurate portrayal of the EDL as being opposed to ‘extreme Islam’.
For transport details for the coach from Leeds please email email@example.com
BOLTON UNITY STATEMENT
This statement was initiated by North West Unite Against Fascism. To add your name or organisation's name to this statement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can sign the statement online. We the undersigned completely oppose plans by the English Defence League to hold an anti-Muslim protest in Bolton on Saturday 20 March.
The EDL is a group of racists and football hooligans with close links to the fascist British National Party. When the EDL came to Manchester in October, Muslim graves in the area were desecrated. When the EDL came to Stoke-on-Trent in January, the words "Islam scum" and "EDL" were daubed on a local mosque.
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, as the Nazis did with the Jews in the 1930s.
Today they threaten mosques, tomorrow it could be a synagogue, temple or church. Today they threaten Muslims, tomorrow it could be Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, black, Asian or Eastern European people, travellers or lesbian, gay and transgender people.
We have beaten fascists and racists before by standing up in unity against them. We cannot stand by and let these racists attack any section of our community. Let's gather in such large numbers that we make it clear to these fascist and racist thugs that they are not welcome here. Let's protest against the racists and fascists, oppose their politics of hatred and defend Bolton’s diverse and united community.
We call on everyone to support and attend the protest against the EDL in Bolton on Saturday 20 March.
Signatories include: Ruth Kelly MP, John Leech MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, Tony Lloyd MP, Margaret Hodge MP, Dawn Butler MP, Beverley Hughes MP, David Chaytor MP, Graham Stringer MP, Ken Livingstone, Christine Blower (NUT), Billy Hayes (CWU), Hugh Lanning (PCS)