This is the Bradford United Against Racism groups response.
Some trade unionists are arguing against a counter-demonstration and are trying to persuade trade unionists and others to stay at home on 28 August. Nick Lowles from Hope Not Hate has led these calls. He says: "We believe that Bradford cannot afford further disorder and we fear that thousands of EDL protesters descending on the city, matched by thousands coming out to oppose them, could well provoke it. And this time the city might not recover." These calls have been backed by the Yorkshire and Humber TUC and some other trade unionists. We believe this approach is not only fundamentally wrong, but also potentially catastrophic.
Leaving the EDL to march through Bradford without mass opposition does not guarantee the safety of the local Asian population. On other EDL demonstrations the police have at times been unable or unwilling to control these racist thugs. In Luton the EDL managed to smash up Asian owned shops and in Dudley they attacked a Hindu temple. In both of these cases the anti-racist counter demonstration was small or non-existent. Only a large, organised counter-demonstration that outnumbers the EDL several times over will be able to guarantee this kind of attack cannot happen.
Thousands of young Muslim people in Bradford have already made plain that they intend to oppose the EDL on the day. We cannot leave these young people to face the racists alone. The labour movement is built on the principles of freedom, equality and solidarity regardless or religious or ethnic background. If trade unionists do not take the lead in organising anti-racist struggles and uniting people around these principles we may see reactionary organizations exploiting the feeling of isolation in the Muslim population to their own ends.
Bradford United Against Racism and the Stop Racism and Fascism Network are organizing a counter-demonstration. Unite Against Fascism is also calling for anti-fascists to demonstrate against the EDL in Bradford city centre. We call on all trade unionists and anti-racists to support these demonstrations and mobilise the biggest possible opposition to the vile racial and religious hatred of the English Defence League.
Bradford United Against Racism