Monday 9 July 2018

Anti fascists outnumber supporters of fascist Tommy Robinson in Leeds

Image may contain: 5 people, crowd and outdoor

Image may contain: 5 people, crowd and outdoor

Image may contain: 9 people, crowd and outdoor

Hundreds of anti racists and anti fascists marched in Leeds today to say that racists and fascists are not welcome in our multicultural city.

They massively outnumbered a much smaller march by around one hundred members of the fascist Yorkshire Patriots.

 

The number of anti racists would have been even higher had many in the media not falsely reported the far right mobilisation on the day had been completely cancelled.

 

Hundreds attended a rally at Leeds Town Hall organised by Leeds Stand Up to Racism and Yorkshire and Humber TUC to hear speeches from among others Shadow Secretary of State for Justice Richard Burgon MP. The rally held a minutes silence for the victims of the 7 July 2005 bombings.

 

The anti-fascist protest organised by Leeds SUTR marched through town. Many people joined the protest as it marched. It joined up with a smaller anti fascist mobilisation which had been kettled by the police. It meant there was a united march of around 700 anti-fascists in Leeds city centre.

 

Chants of, “fascism has got to go” and “say it loud say it clear, refugees are welcome here” rang out to cheers from bystanders.

 

 

Richard Burgon spoke about how ‘the scapegoating of migrants and minorities lets those responsible for austerity, cuts, poverty and despair off the hook’.

 

Hilary Benn MP and founder of the British Asian Rugby Association and former England Rugby League International Ikram Butt spoke, as did Labour councillors Javaid Akhtar, Kevin Ritchie, Gohar Almass and Fazilla Loonat.

 

 

About twenty local councillors attended in total. Messages of support were received from Tim Roache, GMB general secretary and Fabian Hamilton MP.

President of Leeds TUC Jane Aitchison spoke alongside speakers from NAPO, GMB, UNISON, NEU.

 

Other speakers included Michael Bradley from Stand up to Racism, Zenab from West Yorkshire MEND, Sharon from Leeds Hope not Hate, Ashieq Hussain from We Are Bradford, Marvina Newton from Leeds Black Lives Matter, and Rev Heston Groenewald from All Hallows Church.

All spoke about celebrating multiculturalism, the historic contribution of migrants, and the importance of unity in action against racism and fascism.

 

The far right wanted to exploit the anniversary of the terrible and tragic 7 July 2005 bombings to whip up racism in Leeds City Centre today.

 

Yet supporters of the imprisoned fascist Tommy Robinson realised they were going to be heavily outnumbered by anti racists in Leeds and used the World Cup as an excuse to try and save face for their likely poor turnout.

Yet the threat of a new racist movement emerging on British streets remains.

 

Leeds Stand Up To Racism, Unite Against Fascism and the local Labour movement will mobilise in even greater numbers in the future if necessary to keep Leeds far right free.


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