In response to the shooting of Jo Cox, Labour MP for Bately and Spen; Sabby Dhalu and Weyman Bennett, Unite Against Fascism Joint Secretaries, issued the following statement:
“We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the shooting and stabbing of Jo Cox MP. We sincerely hope she pulls through. Our thoughts are with Jo and her loved ones.
“According to the Telegraph the perpetrator shouted “Britain First” as he carried out this despicable act and the BBC say witnesses saw a white man hitting Jo Cox. If these reports are accurate this attack must be treated as a fascist terrorist incident.
“Britain First is a fascist organisation and has been carrying out attacks on Mosques, intimidating Muslim communities up and down the country. Now the chosen target of attack is a Labour MP. This is why our organisation is called Unite Against Fascism – the lesson of history is that we must unite social democrats, liberals, socialists, trade unions, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, those with no faith, LGBT communities, disabled people and all those against fascism. An injury to one is an injury to others.
“This attack has taken place in the context of a racist discussion on immigration in the EU referendum debate, with both remain and leave campaigners presenting immigration as a big problem. Exactly the same racist arguments were used against Jews, Irish, African, Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities.
“Nigel Farage and politicians that follow suit, must from now on refrain from this negative, inflammatory and racist discourse and discuss the issues in a reasonable and balanced fashion. Politicians must tell the truth about immigration, as Jo Cox MP did so passionately in her maiden speech. It has massively enriched the economy, society and culture. In a free and fair democracy such politicians should not have to fear that their life is at risk for making such comments. We say racism out of the referendum – unite against fascism.”
Notes to editors:
1. Unite Against Fascism was established in 2003. It campaigns against Britain First, the British National Party, English Defence League and other fascist organisations.
2. For information and interviews please call Sabby Dhalu on 07794 633 097 or Weyman Bennett on 07734 032 314.