UAF is calling on antiracists and antifascists across the country to mobilise against the English Defence League in Luton on Saturday 5 February.
The EDL, a violent racist organisation with links to the British National Party and other fascist groups, has called a ‘protest’ on that day – they describe it as going ‘back where it all began’.
It is clear what they mean: the EDL was formed after masked racist thugs went on the rampage through Luton last year, attacking Asian residents and spreading fear and intimidation.
That is the reason they are targeting Luton again – their own publicity is designed to remind its supporters of their hate-filled history. They claim Luton will be their biggest demonstration yet.
They are refusing to cooperate with police and EDL divisions are planning to split up and roam around the town in groups to threaten and intimidate local residents, especially Muslims. Their aim is to go on the rampage again.
UAF believes we need to have a peaceful counter-protest that makes it clear racists aren’t welcome in Luton. We are urging people to gather in Luton town centre for a peaceful counter-protest.
Assemble: 12 noon, Park Square, Luton
We will also be supporting local people who will be gathering in the Bury Park area, where many local Muslims live, to help defend local homes and places of worship.
UAF national officer Martin Smith said:
It’s time now to make a stand. We cannot allow racists to rampage through our towns, threatening and attacking Muslims or anyone else. We urge all antiracists and antifascists to come to Luton on 5 February, in the largest possible numbers.
Local UAF groups should organise transport to be in Luton by midday and to leave the town no earlier than 4pm.
Where antiracists and antifascists have turned out in numbers to show their opposition to the EDL and to support our diverse, multicultural communities, the EDL has been unable to run rampage as it did in Luton last year.
We need to build the widest possible opposition to the EDL and their anti-Muslim racism and violence. We need to stand up for unity in our community.
Photo: Balaclava-clad racists in Luton, May 2009. Copyright: Martin Spooner