Skip navigation

Indymedia UK is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues

Fascists and Agitators Try To Turn Up The Heat in Lozells

DC | 28.10.2005 15:55 | Anti-racism | Birmingham

Leaflets handed out after the incidents on Saturday, show what sort of lies are flying around... and that some surely believe them....

Leaflet after Saturday
Leaflet after Saturday

After the trouble in Lozells over the weekend, certain groups on various sides have been trying to ratchet up tension in the area. A group of African Caribbean men have been handing out a leaflet by a group called Islamic Jihad 786* that was originally handed out in Birmingham in 1996, and tying it in with the recent trouble (see the note in the bottom left). Handing out a leaflet with such outdated and clearly ridiculous ideology** on it shows some of the paranoia and doubts within the area. It also shows that some are determined to carry on a fight, which may or may not have had a real incident in the first place.

On Saturday 22nd October, a group who had been protesting outside the shop where the alleged attack took place earlier in the week, set up a meeting in a church in Lozells with members of the police and the local MP. Travel West Midlands buses were laid on for the participants to travel down from Perry Barr, and the passengers were surprised to find a large welcoming party when they reached their destination. A very large group of Pakistani young men were waiting at the Church where the meeting was held, and were outside to barrack the people leaving the meeting at the end. Various reports exist as to how many youths attended and were ready to attend, but were stopped. Some of the young men were thought to have come from outside Birmingham in an organised attempt to disrupt the meeting.

From this point forward the events would move on, leading to the tragic death of at least one young man. There were reports that large groups were chanting “Allah Akhbar” as they marched. This last fortnight has been a disturbing development that shows up the rift between people in some parts of the country and that young men are being taken advantage of by leaders using religion to mobilise people for their own fascist agenda.

The more communities mix together then the less often this sort of propaganda and rumour that has been all around this incident will be believed on both sides. The more they live in close proximity but in parallel worlds the more suspicion will thrive. In the short term, blame lies fairly equally spread around agitators on both sides who prefer tribalism to talking, but in the long term with the capitalist system that sets every human against each other.

I hope this can start some interesting debate.

*The 786 is based on numerology, something that most Muslim Scholars reject, and means ‘bismillah’- ‘In the name of god…’ or similar.
**Comments about the leaflet from a Mainstream Muslim group from the time it was originally published.