The English Defence League – racist thugs with links to the nazi British National Party and other fascist groups – has been forced to admit that it would be “a suicide mission” for the organisation to come to multiracial, multicultural Tower Hamlets.
Over the past few weeks, the scale of the opposition to the EDL’s attempts to stir up anti-Muslim racist hatred and violence has become clear. More than 800 people packed out a rally in Whitechapel on Sunday in preparation for a unity march, bringing all sections of the community together in opposition to the EDL.
The antiracist unity march will take place on Sunday 20 June – the day the EDL had planned to come to the borough.
They shall not pass
The EDL’s shadowy leader “Tommy Robinson”, who will not give his real name, has admitted that the EDL cannot march in the area because of the scale of the antiracist mobilisation.
It would be a suicide mission if we walked into East London,” Robinson told the East London Advertiser. “The Met Police told us there would be a hostile scene with thousands of protesters coming from all over if we turned up.”
The EDL had made plans – revealed in a Guardian investigation – to “hit” major cities with multiracial, multicultural communities over the summer.
The response by people from all backgrounds in east London has shown that unity and a refusal to let the racists sow divisions in our community can force the EDL to back off.
UAF joint secretary Weyman Bennett said:
The EDL leadership has realised it has bitten off more than it can chew. The East End is home to many Muslims and has a proud history of fighting fascists, stretching back to the 1930s. In the build-up to the unity demo, we have seen people from different backgrounds coming together to stop the EDL – black, white and Asian people; Muslims, Christians, Jews and other religious groups; trade unionists and youth organisations.
We’ve shown that we can stand together and show the racist thugs of the EDL they are not welcome in the East End – or anywhere else.
Join the unity demo
The unity demo called by UAF and United East End will go ahead on 20 June to hammer home the message that the EDL and its racism are not welcome in Tower Hamlets.
It assembles at 12.30pm in Stepney Green Park, London E1 and will march to Altab Ali Park.
There will also be a music stage, organised by Love Music Hate Racism, with artists including The King Blues, Lowkey, Mecca2Medina, Mumzy Stranger, Akala, Heartless Crew and Lauren Mason.