Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/604/8432
Rally to oppose racist EDL
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE STOP the BNP (NSBNP) has organised a Unity Rally in Nottingham on 5 December against a planned 'protest' in the city by the nationalist, racist English Defence League (EDL).
Nottingham, Socialist Party members
Where the EDL has reared its head in other cities, it has been opposed by local community activists, trade unionists and anti-racist campaigners.
NSBNP's Unity Rally congregates outside the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham at 10am on 5 December. See www.nottmstopbnp.wordpress.com for more information
The EDL's claim to be non-racist and only against "Radical Islam" is a cover for whipping up racism against Muslims. Wherever EDL has surfaced, there has been a vile racist atmosphere. Footage exists of anti-Islamic chanting and Nazi salutes, with racist attacks occurring during and around their events.
The Nottingham date chosen by the EDL - 5 December - is also the date of a 'derby' football match in the city and a military parade by an army battalion that recruits in Nottinghamshire.
Socialists within NSBNP oppose the war in Afghanistan and call for all British troops to be brought home, but the NSBNP stress that their rally is against the EDL and not linked in any way to the military parade. The EDL on the other hand repeatedly use the plight of British troops in Afghanistan to try to fuel their racist propaganda, and might do so again on this occasion.
Knowing that they are completely unrepresentative of British society, the EDL have tried to keep their congregation point secret. NSBNP's campaign has included public meetings to build for a large counter-protest.
Unfortunately there have been reports of the police meeting various Nottingham institutions including colleges. The authorities in Nottingham seem to be trying to discourage a counter-protest. The police presence on the day will be boosted by reinforcements from other counties, seemingly to facilitate the EDL's rally and possibly a march.
Some people argue that it is better to ignore the EDL. However, allowing them to organise on our streets would give them confidence to continue their divisive, racist activities. NSBNP is determined to expose and oppose them, by organising a large, well-stewarded, peaceful counter-event.
Local politicians from the main political parties are silent on the EDL's appearance, probably because they have no alternative to offer that would cut across division by raising living standards for all communities of whatever background.
This shows the importance of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party, in raising the urgent need for a political party that can act in the interests of all working class people, including by taking a lead in opposing the far right.
IN LINE with its policy of opposing all racist and fascist events, Nottinghamshire Stop the BNP aims to show by strength of numbers the extent of community and working class opposition to events organised by far-right organisations.
The group plays a major role, working with local residents, in organising against the BNP's annual 'festival of hate' in neighbouring Derbyshire.
The group successfully stopped BNP leader Nick Griffin speaking in Kimberley in 2007 by mobilising large numbers outside the meeting hall.
In The Socialist 2 December 2009:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Youth fight for jobs
War and occupation
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party election campaign
Marxist analysis: history