In the aftermath of the horrific killing of Jo Cox MP, Unite Against Fascism Joint Secretaries and Stand up to Racism Co-Convenors Sabby Dhaluand Weyman Bennett put out this statement:
“We are deeply saddened that Jo Cox died as a result of this attack. Our thoughts and sympathy are with her loved ones. We would like to echo the magnificent words of Brendan Cox, Jo’s husband, who said that Jo would have wanted us to ‘unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.’
“We cannot allow double standards in response to such attacks, especially now that information has come to light linking Thomas Mair to neo-Nazi terrorist and white supremacist groups. Jo Cox’s murderer shouting ‘Britain first’ must be treated in exactly the same fashion as some one shouting ‘ISIS’ and carrying out a similar attack. This incident cannot be treated as an isolated incident by someone with mental health problems. Britain First and the paramilitary ‘Britain First Defence Force’ must be investigated for terrorist and criminal activity.
“Batley and Spen has a history of fascist activity. Six years ago Terrance Gavan – who was linked to the BNP – was sentenced to eleven years in prison after fifty four explosive devices were found in his home in Batley. The constituency has a history of fascist activity for over a decade: From electoral support for the BNP to English Defence League and Britain First demonstrations.
“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 who oppose 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. Exactly the same racist arguments were used against Jews, Irish, African, Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. There is no doubt that Jo Cox was targeted because of her positive views on immigration, her humanitarian work helping refugees, and her excellent relations with the local Muslim community . Politicians stirring up this toxic racist debate on immigration are responsible for the climate in which this attack took place. We say racism out of the referendum – unite against fascism.”