The English Defence League (EDL) claims to oppose Islamic extremism but in reality they target all Muslims. The group is made up of football hooligans, racists and fascists and they believe that Muslims and non-Muslims cannot live together. Over the past year the EDL has caused trouble in towns and city across the country, often attacking shops and homes and costing local people millions of pounds.
They are calling their protest of Bradford "the big one". They have their sights on causing trouble in our city.
Bradford has witnessed enough trouble over the years - we do not need more. That is why many people are now calling on the Government to ban the EDL protest. We do not want them stoking up a riot in Bradford.
The vast majority of Bradfordians want a peaceful city; not one in which outside agitators turn into a battlefield. If enough Bradfordians ask then the Home Secretary will grant us a ban.
A group called Bradford Together has been set up to try and prevent this inevitable disaster from happening – they are a group from all backgrounds in our city.
For the sake of Bradford, and everyone who lives within it, support the campaign.
in Bradford on the 28th of August. The working class of Bradford,
Yorkshire and beyond need to unite in opposition to this
racist organization's attempts to seize the streets and intimidate the
Asian population of Bradford.
The EDL claim they are not a racists but just a "grassroots
mobilisation against political Islamism". Some of their members
possibly even believe this is true. However their actions in Luton,
Stoke and elsewhere show when allowed the opportunity they attack and
intimidate people from Muslim backgrounds irrespective of these
peoples political views. They have singled out Bradford simply because
it has a large Asian population. The ranks of the EDL include open
fascists and their chants are often straightforwardly racist. By demonstrating in
Bradford they want to drive a wedge between working class people from
Muslim backgrounds and the rest of the working class.
The EDL and other racists and fascists (like the BNP and National
Front) do not exist in a vacuum. We are living through the greatest
economic crisis since the 1930s. Working class people of all racial and
religious backgrounds are being made to pay for an economic crisis
created by the rich and their friends in government. We are suffering
from job losses, massive cuts in public services and a long standing lack of
decent housing. The EDL and other racists are feeding on the despair
this causes and they grow by scapegoating other working class people
who happen to be Muslim or from a Muslim background.
So far the "mainstream" anti-fascists and anti-racist groups have had
little to say about the causes of the growth of racism and fascism.
Groups like Unite Against Fascism and Hope Not Hate actually link up
with the politicians and millionaires who helped create the poverty
and despair the EDL feed off. They work with the state whose racist
immigration laws, control orders and stop and search policies have
openly discriminated against people from Muslim backgrounds. They also
have often courted self appointed "community Leaders" who claim to
speak for all Muslims but who in fact only speak in their own self
interest. At times they have downplayed the fight for sexual equality
and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights so as not to offend bigoted
religious "leaders". These politics and tactics are not only wrong
they have failed to halt the growth of the EDL. This is why we are
organizing independently of these two groups.
Hope Not Hate are circulating a petition to ban the EDL's rally in
Bradford. Whilst we agree with the motivation behind this we cannot
rely on the state to ban the rally. Firstly because we cannot support the use of these laws that have been used to stop worker movement and anti-racist demonstrations, secondly because we cannot sow illusions that the police will always protect people against the EDL. The only way we can be sure the EDL pose no threat is a mass mobilizations of working class people against them. It is down to us to oppose the EDL on the day and send them home to think again.
That's why we're organising a mobilisation against the EDL in
Bradford. This is based on independent working class self
organisation. We will oppose the racism of the EDL, but we are also
against assaults on all working class people by the boss class. We are
mobilizing against racism and religious discrimination but also against sexism,
homophobia and all other forms of bigotry. We seek to unite people of
all ethnic and cultural backgrounds under the banner of working class unity,
working class politics and secularism. Bradford needs to be the place
where the rise of the EDL is stopped once and for all by a mass united
working class opposition.
We will be assembling in inner-city Bradford from 11AM on Saturday the
28th of August. Details TBC