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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 September 2011

Jobs, homes and services, not racism

Matt Gordon, Bristol

On Saturday 3 September, Youth Fight For Jobs participated in the counter-demonstration against the English Defence League's (EDL) plan to intimidate the community of Tower Hamlets. United action prevented them from marching in the borough.

Undoubtedly the racist EDL have felt emboldened by the recent scapegoating of 'black culture'. In response to the August rioting, the UK government has even appointed American 'supercop' Bill Bratton as an adviser citing his 'zero tolerance' response to the Los Angeles riots of 1992.

The riots in Los Angeles were sparked in response to the acquittal of policemen involved in the brutal beating of black construction worker Rodney King.

The early 1990s was a time of economic recession and increased racist attacks with the growth of far-right political parties such as the British National Party (BNP).

It was against this background that Youth against Racism in Europe (YRE) was founded in October 1992, marked by an international demonstration against racism and fascism in Brussels. YRE was a democratic campaign founded and led by young people and supported by the Socialist Party (at that time called Militant Labour).

The campaign explained the real causes of racism in a capitalist society and posed a socialist alternative, summed up by slogans such as 'jobs and homes, not racism'.

Following the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence in April 1993, YRE co-organised an 8,000-strong demonstration of black and white youth which marched on the BNP's head quarters in Welling, south east London.

This movement grew and in 1994 there was another demo of 50,000 co-organised by YRE which proved to be the turning point in the successful campaign to shut down the BNP HQ.

The BNP were also successfully driven out of their regular paper sale spot in Tower Hamlets that year thanks to a dedicated campaign spearheaded by YRE.

We need a mass campaign today to defeat racism and prevent the 'divide and conquer' tactics of the ruling class.

See www.yre.org.uk

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In The Socialist 21 September 2011:


Building for 30 November strike

We won't pay for the bankers' crisis!

30 November - the fight of all our lives


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Gloucestershire: Rage ignites against NHS privatisation

12th hour reprieve for Dale Farm

Protest at Lib Dem conference


Socialist Party news and analysis

Wales mine deaths: Privatisation comes under the spotlight

Private rail companies - a licence to print money

Fast news


Socialist history

Poplar 1921: 'Better to break the law than break the poor'


Socialist Party feature

2011 Labour Party conference - a debate: Can Labour be reclaimed?


International socialist news and analysis

Kazakhstan: Dictatorial regime threatens socialist activists

Floods devastate Sindh: Crisis worsens, hundreds killed


Socialist Party youth and students

Don't let the Con-Dems steal our future!

Save Devon youth service: "time for young people to stand up"

Jobs, homes and services, not racism

University - pay more, receive less

Youth protest movement grows in Israel


Socialist Party workplace news

Southampton council workers vote for more action

Remploy workers "will not go gently" - or at all!

Expelled from Unison for effective anti-cuts leadership

Bus workers force management climb-down

Protesting construction workers call for national strike ballot

Recognition won back - at a price

Workplace news In Brief


 

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Related links:

Racism:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: "You can't have capitalism without racism" (Malcolm X)

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