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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 February 2011

No to the racist EDL! Unite to fight the cuts

A GROUP of people sit chatting and eating in a fast food restaurant; men, women, children. Out of the blue, bricks start hitting the windows, hundreds of thugs come running past, directing their racist chanting at the diners. Children start crying. Suddenly the thugs burst in the door to attack whoever they meet first...

Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party

This is not 1930s Nazi Germany, this is Leicester 2010 and this kind of racist incident has been repeated at marches of the English Defence League (EDL) up and down the country over the last couple of years.

On their website the EDL have a "mission statement" claiming they are not racist, that they are only opposed to "Muslim extremism". But on the street demonstrations they have held up and down the country, the truth is revealed.

They do not wait to discuss religious beliefs before they attack anyone they see as not 'English'. They chant deliberately provocative slogans like "Muslims off our streets". Their leaders make statements on demos like "Muslims - burn in hell!"

They aim to blame all Muslims for terrorism, and all the other problems working class people face. Their anti-Muslim rhetoric is just the thin end of the wedge for a wider racism that divides working class people.

At a time when working class people of all religious backgrounds and none, and all ethnic makeup are under attack, when all of our public services are being devastated, when jobs are being decimated and living standards slashed, we need a mass united movement to fight back. Whose interests are served by those who attempt to divide us?

It wasn't Muslims who caused the banking collapse that sparked the recession; it isn't Muslims who are attacking jobs and services to pay off the super-rich. It can only serve the interests of the ruling class to have attention diverted away from the real causes of our problems.

But it isn't only Muslims the EDL have attacked. They heckled Swansea Trades Council's May Day march and criticised students protesting against cuts and fees.

The EDL must be opposed. Local communities have a right to defend themselves from racist thugs. Trade unions and anti-racist campaigners have to support them. We cannot let the EDL go unchallenged.

There is a danger that some people, whose lives have been worsened by three decades of cuts and privatisation by the Tories, Liberals and New Labour, may believe the EDL's scapegoating. That is why, when opposing the EDL, we need to put forward an argument for jobs, homes and services, not racism.

A socialist alternative can provide an answer on those issues. The EDL claim to defend the 'English' working class, but they actually hide the real causes of our problems. We need a real mass workers' party that can unite all working class people to defend ourselves and our living standards.

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In The Socialist 2 February 2011:

International socialist news and analysis

Egypt in revolt

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend the NHS!: Fight the Con-Dem cuts

The madness of King George cuts

Anti-cuts campaigning

Scottish Anti-Cuts Alliance established

Stop attacks on disabled claimants

Liverpool: Jobs axe must be fought

No to the racist EDL! Unite to fight the cuts

Hands off our forests!

Protesting against all of the cuts

Socialist Party news and analysis

Tommy Sheridan jailing: Political vendetta ends in draconian sentence

John Macreadie memorial

TV Review: Posh and Posher Why Public School Boys Run Britain

Socialist Party feature

'Struggle or starve!' 1932 - when Birkenhead workers beat the means test

Socialist Party youth and students

Young people march for a future

Tories have no solutions to youth crime

Police attack 'save EMA' protest in Leeds

Socialist Party workplace news

Justice for Unison Four

Unison self-destructs at TSA but unionism stronger than ever

Building action against cuts

Defending jobs at Leeds council

Ford challenged in legal bid: Pay the Visteon pensioners now!

Arriva Trains Wales - strike called off

Defend democracy in the CWU

Keep the post public demo

Discussing an electoral challenge to service cutters

Socialist Party Marxist analysis

'In reality, Britain is facing a savage economic ice age'


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