Tuesday 1 May 2012

EDL thugs beat up pensioner: now march against them in Luton

This is the face of Andrew Smith, aged 69, who was attacked by EDL thugs on Saturday 28 April.

He was one of two pensioners who were hospitalised when a gang of thugs attacked socialists and antiracist campaigners in Lewisham, south east London.

The EDL thugs began with shouts and racist heckling before laying in more violently.

Andrew told Socialist Worker newspaper:

They smashed up our Socialist Worker stall and one of them headbutted me.

I’ve got a possible fractured sinus and a tear to my retina. But I’ll be in Luton on Saturday — and everyone who opposes the fascists should be there too.

The Lewisham Anti Racist Action Group (Larag) reports that another pensioner intervened and was quickly surrounded and flung to the floor, receiving a knock to the head. Both had to receive medical treatment for their injuries. Larag chair Jarman Parmar said:

The actions of these racist attackers is shocking and strengthens our resolve to unite everyone who opposes these kind of behaviours and ideas which have no place in our society.

The attack follows events in Brighton last week, when around 110 marchers from ‘March for England’ – a group closely linked to and sharing members with the EDL – were humiliated and outnumbered by 1,000 antifascists who filled the streets and prevented the EDL’s attempts to reach the seafront.

The thugs were shouting about Brighton before they attacked Andrew. UAF joint secretary Weyman Bennett said:

Groups of Nazis tried to disrupt UAF members from leafleting on Saturday. We will not be intimidated. The BNP and EDL are desperate because they are not getting any real support so resorted to terror attacks.

Sabby Dhalu, joint secretary of UAF, added:

This vicious, cowardly attack by fascists on anti-racist pensioners, illustrates why we must all campaign against fascism. The police must take action and immediately arrest and charge the perpetrators of this vile attack.

We urge everyone to use their vote on Thursday 3 May and stop fascist and racist groups like the British National Party, English Democrats and National Front from getting elected; and join the peaceful demonstration against the English Defence League organised by We Are Luton and UAF on Saturday 5 May.

The EDL tries to stir up racism against Muslims wherever it goes – but Saturday’s attack is one of many directed by EDL thugs at other traditional targets of fascism. They have attacked socialist meetings, trade union buildings, anti-cuts campaigners, the Occupy camps and even a radical bookshop in Liverpool.

Make sure you’re in Luton to march against the EDL on 5 May. Let’s stand united against the fascists.

>> More about the demo
>> Read the ‘We Are Luton’ statement and initial list of supporters

Assemble at 11am, Wardown Park, New Bedford Road, Luton LU3 1LP and march to St George’s Square in the centre of town.

>> Download demo leaflet here
>> National transport to the demo

Pic by Guy Smallman

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