Celebrate and defend multicultural Leeds on Saturday 7 July

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Celebrate and Defend Multicultural Leeds – Don’t Let the Racists Divide Us – Keep Leeds fascist free 

On Saturday 7 July supporters of Tommy Robinson plan to return to Leeds to whip up division and spread racism and Islamophobia. What is left of the fascist EDL will be joined by extremists from other splinter racist and fascist groups.  Join Leeds Stand Up To Racism and Leeds Unite Against Fascism in central Leeds in opposing the politics of hate and fear and to send a message they are not welcome here – meet 12.30pm Leeds Town Hall steps, Headrow LS1 3AD on Saturday 7 July – see the fb event here:

https://en-gb.facebook.com/events/259323607968184/

This rally and march now has the support of Yorkshire and Humber TUC and many local and regional trade unions.

7th July Flyer Final version

Campaign statement 

Fascist EDL not welcome in multicultural Leeds – Don’t let the racists divide us

The racist and fascist English Defence League (EDL) is getting ready to march through Leeds on Saturday 7 July in support of their jailed ex-leader Tommy Robinson.

On 1 June 3-400 racists and fascists marched through Leeds in defence of Robinson chanting ‘Muslims off our streets’.

Just days later, on 5 June, the Jamia Masjid Abu Huraira Mosque and the Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Beeston were targeted in horrific racist arson attacks.

In response to this, over 150 people joined a ‘Beeston Together for Peace and Unity’ vigil called by local Stand Up to Racism activists in Cross Flatts Park, and then walked to the Mosque and the Gurdwara to show solidarity.

On Saturday 9 June a pro Tommy Robinson demo in London saw around 15,000 far right activists take to the streets.

The demonstration to defend ‘free speech’ saw anti-racists and the police attacked and Robinson supporters giving the Hitler salute in Whitehall.

It is symbolic that the EDL are now planning to march on 7 July in Leeds. It is the anniversary of the terrible tube and bus bombings in London in 2005. In the immediate aftermath racists and fascists tried to exploit the tragedy to whip up racism in Leeds.

The atmosphere created by the far right and Robinson supporters is toxic. Whenever fascists march and mobilise; violence and racism follow in their wake.

Robinson and his supporters have been attempting to build the kind of mass far right street movements that we have seen across much of Europe.

They have been using Islamophobia as a tool to build support, particularly in the wake of the London Bridge and Manchester terrorist attacks.

The last year has seen the growth of the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) and the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA).  They have brought thousands onto the streets. Increasingly they have been linked both to UKIP and also to Tommy Robinson and the fascist right.

We can’t let racists and fascists march through our city without facing mass opposition from the anti-racist majority. We are that majority and we recognise the threat of this resurgent racist and fascist movement on the streets.

We cannot allow Robinson, a violent racist, to become a focus for a new far right street movement.  It is more important than ever that our proudly multicultural and multi faith city continues to stand united and sends the EDL and the DFLA and their supporters a message that they are not welcome here.   We support the mobilisation initiated by Leeds Stand Up To Racism and Leeds Unite Against Fascism of those opposed to racism and fascism on 7 July.

Endorsed by: Richard Burgon MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Justice); Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary; Bill Adams, Yorkshire and Humber TUC regional secretary; Jane Aitchison, President Leeds TUC and Labour Prospective Parliamentary candidate Pudsey; Ikram Butt, former England Rugby League International and founder and CEO of British Asian Rugby Association; Tosh McDonald, President ASLEF; Cllr David Jenkins; Cllr Kevin Ritchie; Leeds Local Government Branch UNISON; Leeds University UCU; West Yorkshire NAPO; Leeds City College UCU; Leeds Hope Not Hate; Racial Justice Network; West Yorkshire MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development); Central and Outer Leeds Green Party; Neil Derrick, Yorkshire and Humber GMB regional secretary, Andrew Aldwinkle and Rachel Dix, GMB Yorkshire regional organisers; Ann Cruse-Stoddart and Mick Hooson, convenor and chair of West Yorkshire NAPO respectively; Simon Elliot on behalf of PCS Yorkshire and Humber regional committee and Marion Lloyd, PCS Yorkshire and regional Chair; Isobella DeMartino, chair, Leeds Coalition Against the War; Leon Fleming, playwright; Marvina Newton, founder of Black Lives Matter Leeds; Karen Reay – Unite Regional Secretary; Nita Sanghera, UCU Vice President; Darren Smith and Daniela Prataviera (Leeds Language Academy); Jennie Appleyard; Jackie Baker, NUT NEC; Andy Bateman, UCU and Counsellor, Mandy Brown, UCU NEC; Lynne Chamberlain, secretary Greenwich and Bexley TUC; Hazel Danson, NUT NEC; James Dean, UNISON, Jess Edwards, NUT NEC, Dr Karen Evans, Laura Jane Fisher, Wakefield NUT Young Teachers; James Fraser-Currie; Dennis Gibbons, Leeds NEU NUT Treasurer;  Sally Harris, UNITE Community; Simon Hewitt, UCU; Mandy Hudson, NUT NEC; Kauser Jan, NEU and assistant headteacher; Steve Johnston, Leeds TUC treasurer; Simon Jones, NUT NEC; Gawain Little, NUT NEC; Gary Kaye, trade union activist and Leeds Utd supporter; Daniel Kebede, NUT NEC; Sally Kincaid, joint secretary of Wakefield and District NEU; Roger King, NUT NEC; Liz Kitching; Martin Knight; Gerry Lavery, Unite Community Leeds and Wakefield (pc); Toby Mallinson, joint secretary of Sheffield and District NEU; Kate Mayer, GMB; Jo McNeill, UCU NEC; Laura Miles, UCU NEC; Brian Mulvey, UNISON; Dave Muritu, UCU NEC; Ian Murch, NUT NEC; Simon Murch, NEU NEC, Patrick Murphy, NUT NEC; David Paine, UCU; Annette Pryce, NUT NEC; Louise Regan, NUT NEC and Past President; Peter Shaw, Leeds TUC and UNITE; Stefan Sims, NUT NEC; Namibia Tobias, teacher; Rebecca Townesend; Waqas Tufail, Leeds Beckett UCU; Jade Unal; Kerry Unal; Nick Wigmore, NUT NEC; Amanda Wignall; and many others.

[To add your name / organisation to this statement please email sutrleeds@gmail.com ]

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