Message of solidarity with RMT activists attacked by fascists

Tommy Robinson supporters intimidate a Unite member on the 14 July in London

In London on 14 July some 6,000 racist and fascist supporters of Trump and Tommy Robinson rallied – and were met with a 3,000 strong counter-protest organised by Stand Up to Racism and Unite Against Fascism.  After the far-right “Free Tommy Robinson” demonstration heard a range of Islamophobic speakers spread anti-Muslim bile in Whitehall, Trump and Robinson supporters went on the rampage, harassing a Muslim woman bus driver and attacking a senior trade unionist, Steve Hedley, deputy general secretary of the RMT, who had spoken on the anti-racist counter-demonstration. At our meeting following this attack, Leeds Stand Up to Racism sends the following message of solidarity to Steve Hedley:

‘Leeds Stand Up to Racism sends solidarity greetings to Steve Hedley, deputy general secretary of the RMT union, and other RMT activists who were violently attacked by fascists after protesting against a mobilisation of Tommy Robinson supporters. Those Tommy Robinson supporters also intimidated a Muslim woman driving a bus in London, among others on the day. In Leeds we have seen what Tommy Robinson supporters mean by ‘free speech’ when a Free Tommy Robinson march on 1 June this year was followed just a few days later by racists arson attacks on a local Mosque and Gurdwara. We also remember the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox by a fascist in 2016. Whenever racists and fascists mobilise on the streets to whip up hatred and peddle their hate speech, violence and racist attacks inevitably follow – and the unprovoked attack on the RMT leadership shows clearly that their targets include trade unionists and labour movement activists as well as those from minority faith communities. We pledge to stand together and redouble our efforts to build the kind of mass movement that can turn the tide on the racists and fascists.’

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