Monday 24 July 2017

Rochdale says No to fascist Britain First

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, sky and outdoor
Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, crowd and outdoor
Around 150 people outnumbered 100 fascist Britain First racists in Rochdale on Saturday. Britain First (and the EDL, who are going to Rochdale, this coming Saturday, July 29) are trying to create division by racialising the issue of crimes of sexual exploitation.
 Our thoughts are with all those affected by this. Sexual exploitation is an appalling crime but it is not linked to ethnicity or religion.

Unite Against Fascism’s protest was mainly composed of people from Rochdale and Greater Manchester, while Britain First brought in fascists from across the country to a national demonstration.

The fascists held their rally inside a ten-foot high barrier in a car park, where few could hear their Islamophobia. Local Muslim youth marched from Broadfield Park to join UAF’s protest in the town centre.

UAF’s rally was supported by a number of local and regional trades unionists, including:
Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Trades Council; Rochdale UNISON; CWU North West Region; GMB North West & Irish Region; Julie Ward MEP; Mark Rowe, FBU North West Regional Secretary; Carl Webb, CWU North West Regional Secretary; Mick Whitley, Regional Secretary, Unite the union North West; Sharon Hutchinson, Regional Women’s & Equalities Officer, Unite the union North West; Neil Smith, Political Officer, GMB North West & Irish Region; Saf Khan, CWU Branch Secretary, North West Number 1 Branch; Nick Wigmore, Rochdale NUT; Sam Mitchell, Membership secretary and youth officer, Rochdale CLP; Dawn Taylor, NUT Executive; Peter Billington, Secretary, LATUC; Dave Wilson, President LATUC, and others. [Thanks to everyone who signed our Rochdale Unity Statement – list on previous post)

There was strong local and regional representation from the CWU, and Carl Webb, North West Regional Secretary, spoke at UAF’s rally on the day. Other speakers include Sam O’Brien, member of Rochdale UNISON; and Weyman Bennett, UAF Joint National Secretary. There was great representation too from other unions including NUT, UNISON and  Unite.

Journalist and musician Professor Green has also spoken out against Britain First, after being subjected to abuse by the fascists who accused him of ‘defending rapists’ while filming their protest. Link here:
http://m.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/…/professor-green-says-he-w…

Rochdale is a multicultural community which has rejected attempts to by fascists to whip up racism and division. UAF and others will again oppose the EDL this Saturday: event page here, https://www.facebook.com/events/1539993136066216/


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