Friday 27 August 2010

Peaceful ‘We are Bradford’ event is not a counter protest


Tomorrow’s “We Are Bradford” peaceful, multicultural celebration in Crown Court Plaza, Bradford city centre is not a “counter protest”.

“We Are Bradford”, supported by Unite Against Fascism, has issued a statement to correct many media reports which have described our event as a “counter protest”. This is incorrect.

“We Are Bradford” has called for a peaceful celebration of diversity. UAF supports this event and has not called a counter protest, nor did we apply for a march.

Media reports that a UAF march was banned are incorrect because a march was never intended or applied for.

“We Are Bradford” is organising a peaceful multicultural celebration of Bradford on Saturday 28 August, in Crown Court Plaza, Exchange Square, off Drake Street in the city centre between midday and 4pm.

The celebration will show that the overwhelming majority believes that the racist English Defence League is not welcome in our city.

The event will feature music, dance, speeches and art, with people from across Bradford and beyond coming together to create a celebration of our wonderful diversity in the heart of our city.

Headline acts include Justin Sullivan – lead singer of legends New Model Army, Bradford mainstay Joolz Denby, Barnsley-based Eugene Bruce, Truthful Movement and Young Kof.

Ashiq Hussain, chair of “We Are Bradford” said: “The We Are Bradford” event is a multicultural celebration and will be a peaceful focus for unity in the city, and for people to publicly show their support for multicultural Bradford and reject the EDL’s racism and violence.”

Rev Chris Howson, priest at Bradford’s City Mission, said: “It is important that on 28 August and beyond, Bradford shows the world that we claimed our city centre in the name of peace and respect for people of all faiths and none. Bradford is a great and diverse city and the politics of hatred are not welcome here.”

UAF joint secretary Sabby Dhalu said: “UAF supports the ‘We Are Bradford’ peaceful celebration and wants people to attend the event on this basis. UAF has only ever called for a peaceful celebration and did not call for a march.

“Representatives from We Are Bradford and UAF have held several meetings with the police and we are committed to co-operating with the police to ensure that we have a peaceful event.”

UAF joint secretary Weyman Bennett said: “The ‘We are Bradford’ event in the city centre on Saturday has been supported by eight Bradford councillors, along with MPs, trade unions, campaigners, artists and many others.

“It is clear that many people oppose the racism and violence of the EDL and want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim community – the main targets of the EDL’s racism.

“We will have a peaceful, united and multicultural event to act as a focus for everyone who wants to express their opposition to the racism and violence of the EDL.”

Ateeqa Darr youth worker from JUST West Yorkshire said: “I urge everyone to come to the “We Are Bradford” peaceful event and celebrate our multicultural city.”

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