Friday 24 April 2015

Stop the EDL in Waltham Forest, Saturday 9 May

Local people stopped the EDL in Waltham Forest in 2012

Local people stopped the EDL in Waltham Forest in 2012

UPDATED: Thursday 7 May Antifascists and local residents in Waltham Forest, east London, are organising to stop the racists and fascists of the English Defence League on Saturday 9 May.

Walthamstow town centre was the scene of a huge defeat for the EDL‘s racist and fascist street thugs in 2012, when thousands of local people ensured their attempt to demonstrate in the borough was a miserable failure.

The huge antiracist protest and the EDL’s defeat on the day was a key factor in the demise of the racist and fascist group.

Now the remnants of the EDL have announced that they want to come to Waltham Forest again – and local antifascists are determined to stop them and ensure the racists and fascists cannot rebuild.


Local antifascists and community groups are backing a statement calling a counter-demonstration for 9 May.

NEW assembly details:
Saturday 9 May
Assemble 11am – note new start time
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road
London E17 6HE

>> Download a Stop the EDL leaflet here

Waltham Forest statement against the EDL

The English Defence League has announced plans to march through Walthamstow on Saturday 9 May. The EDL is an extremely violent, fascist group that whips up hatred and intolerance. It particularly targets Muslim communities.

This violent, street-fighting group had originally planned the march through Woolwich in a sickeningly cynical attempt to exploit the death of Fusilier Lee Rigby who was murdered outside the army barracks in 2013. However, Lee Rigby’s mother expressed her disgust at the EDL plans. In a statement she wrote, “I have never given any permission or agreed to any part of this demonstration, I have never believed in this nor would Lee.’
Instead of apologising to Lynn Rigby, the EDL now plans to target Waltham Forest, a move condemned by Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy and faith leaders.

Waltham Forest has a proud history of standing up to fascism and celebrating our diverse and vibrant community. In 2012 over 4000 local residents joined in protest against the EDL marching through the borough. The protest was attended by local MPs, faith communities, disability rights organisations, trade unions, school students and pensioners. It received widespread national support and contributed to the collapse of the EDL.

However, a climate of bigotry and hatred is on the rise – the scapegoating of migrants, attacks on the Muslim community and an increase in antisemitism. Political parties are using the general election to whip up this hatred further. The EDL is trying to use this situation to revive itself. We cannot allow this to happen.

Here in Waltham Forest we have shown that if you want to defeat fascism you cannot ignore it and hope that it will go away. Instead, you must challenge its politics of hate, expose the racist lies, and stand united against it.

So, on Saturday 9 May, we will again take to the streets in peaceful united protest to defend and celebrate our multicultural home. We urge everyone to join with us to send our message loud and strong: the fascist EDL is never welcome here.

Initial signatories include:

Yusuf Hansa, Chairman, Noor Ul Islam Trust
Abdul Majid, Vice President Lea Bridge Road Mosque
Tahla Ahmed, Executive Member of the Muslim Council of Britain
Rabbi Richard Jacobi, South Woodford Liberal Synagogue
Canon Steven Saxby, Vicar of Saint Barnabas Church, Walthamstow
Reverend David Britton, Vicar, St John’s Leytonstone
Dr Shaukat Khan, Chair, Walthamstow Migrants Action Group
Rebecca Tully, Green Party PC for Chingford and Woodford Green
Michael Gold, Green Party PC for Walthamstow

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