Leeds Stand Up to Racism statement after racist arson attacks in Beeston
Both the mosque and gurdwara in Beeston were attacked with petrol in the early hours of the morning of Tuesday 5 June. There were people inside both properties at the time. No to the politics of hate behind these attacks – we stand together
We condemn in the strongest terms the recent horrific arson attacks on two places of worship in Beeston – Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque and the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara.
Leeds is a proud multicultural and multi-faith city in which people of all religions and none live happily side by side. The person or persons who carried out this shameful attack represent a tiny fraction of our population and their racist and hate filled ideology and behaviour is not welcome here or anywhere.
We believe unity in the face of such an attack is essential. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim and Sikh brothers and sisters. We represent the anti-racist majority.
But following the scenes on Friday 1 June, where some 350 racists and fascists marched through Leeds city centre in support of the jailed Nazi Tommy Robinson openly chanting ‘Muslims off our streets’, the threat of a resurgent racist and fascist movement on the streets is ever present which is why we urgently need to mobilise the anti-racist majority to confront this new threat from the far right. On Saturday June 2nd 1,500 ‘Democratic Football Lads Alliance’ supporters marched in Manchester chanting ‘Free Tommy Robinson’ and this Saturday 9 June they are marching in York, Newcastle and London. They are almost certain to return to Leeds again in the future.
The far right in the UK want to imitate the success of movements across Europe by pushing their Islamophobic ideology and portraying themselves as victims. We are supporting the York Stand Up to Racism counter-protest this Saturday 9 June in York at 11am York Minster to say that racists and fascists marching for Tommy Robinson are not welcome in York or anywhere else – our slogan has to be the traditional anti-fascist slogan born out of the Spanish Civil War – ‘¡No pasarán!– they shall not pass’.
Leeds Stand Up to Racism; Leeds MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development), Leeds Unite Against Fascism; Leeds Hope not Hate; Leeds Stand Up to Trump; Jane Aitchison (President Leeds TUC and Labour Prospective Parliamentary candidate Pudsey), Councillor Javaid Akhtar, Bill Adams (Yorkshire and Humber TUC regional secretary), Headingley Green Party, Leeds University UCU branch committee; Penny Wangari-Jones (Racial Justice Network), Sally Kincaid (NEU and Beeston resident), Sue Clegg (Emeritus Professor, Leeds Beckett University), Waqas Tufail (Leeds Beckett UCU), Prof James Dickins (University of Leeds), Prof Steven French (University of Leeds), Prof Malcolm Povey (University of Leeds), Helen Gibson, Joanna Gilmore (UCU), Alaric Hall (UCU), Kate Mayer (GMB), Andrew Stafford (UCU), Qona Wright, Gigliola Sulis, Linda Petty, Melanie Ndzinga, Sam Hollings, Sue Talbot, Rasha Soliman, Maria Hussain, Amanda Barbedette-Green, Bex Cattran, Gabriele Zagel-Millmore, Andy Stafford, Jonathan Saha, Lata Narayanaswamy, Hanem El-Farahaty, Carolyn Edwards, Vivienne Anderson and many others.
If you would like to add your name / organisation to this open statement please email firstname.lastname@example.org , message us via Facebook ‘Leeds Stand Up To Racism’, or message us on Twitter @SUTRLeeds
Edited to add: There is a Beeston together for peace and unity vigil this Sunday 10 June 2pm Cross Flatts Park to bring together people from all parts of our diverse community in a show of solidarity, peace and unity – please spread the word
Edited to also add: The fascist EDL (‘English Defence League’) – or what is left of them – together with other fragments of the far right are marching in support of their former fuhrer Tommy Robinson in Leeds on Saturday 7 July – we have to mobilise the greatest numbers in opposition to say they are not welcome in our city –