UPDATED: Fri 2 Sept
Members of the RMT rail workers’ union at Liverpool Street station have prevented the English Defence League using it the arrival point for their demo on Saturday 3 September.
The racists and fascists have been told by police that as a result of the RMT’s stand, they will have to gather in Euston, miles from their proposed demo site in Tower Hamlets.
The EDL wanted to “muster” – their preferred military term – at Hainault station, Essex and then arrive en masse at Liverpool Street before moving in to multiracial, multicultural Tower Hamlets in full force.
But the RMT said members would stop work on health and safety grounds if the violent racists and fascists were allowed to gather at Liverpool Street.
Now RMT on alert at all stations and trains
On Friday 2 September, RMT issued a further circular to all station staff saying they should close their stations if the EDL turn up. It says:
The fascist EDL will be in London tomorrow morning. I have informed management that if they appear on any of our stations or trains, then there will be refusals to work on safety grounds of serious and imminent danger and stations will close.
The RMT will not allow staff and the public to be put in danger by these thugs, who assaulted people on their last demo.
The EDL admitted in its announcement that the RMT action had scuppered their plans, saying:
What no one thought to consider was the possibility that the RMT (The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) might get wind of our plans
This is a victory that will boost every antiracist and antifascist. The RMT has shown that trade unionists can stand up against the EDL’s racism and violence – and stop them gathering.
UAF and United East End have called a counter-demo against the EDL on Saturday, assembling at 11am on Whitechapel Road, near the corner of Vallance Road, London E1.
Now the antiracist protest has had a massive boost after the RMT action – the trade union members’ stand meant the police have now told the EDL they will have to meet miles away at two pubs in Euston, before being taken to east London in small groups by police.
The UAF/UEE mobilisation is crucial as the EDL still intends to hold a “static” protest in Tower Hamlets – we don’t know where this will be.
The antiracist event will be close to East London Mosque, to stand in solidarity with the Muslim community who are the EDL’s main targets.
We want the biggest possible turnout on Saturday to show the EDL is not welcome in Tower Hamlets.
UAF national officer Martin Smith said:
The stand the RMT has taken is brilliant, and they have scored a real victory in forcing the EDL’s meeting point out of the area. Their decision will mean the public and staff working at Liverpool St will be protected from the EDL, which is known for its racist violence.
This shows how trade unionists can take action against the EDL – and force the racists and fascists back. I’d like to congratualte the RMT on this fantastic show of solidarity, which is a great example for other workers faced by the likes of the EDL.
I urge everyone now to join the UAF/UEE demo in Whitechapel on Saturday. We don’t know exactly where the EDL’s final demo point in Tower Hamlets will be.
We want a huge turnout at the antiracist protest to show unity and solidarity with the community and get the strongest possible message across that the EDL is not welcome in Tower Hamlets.