Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/703/13657
Don't let the racist EDL divide us
Fight for jobs, homes and services
Socialist Party members Leicester
The racist and hooligan English Defence League (EDL) claims its demonstration through the heart of Leicester on Saturday 4 February, is in opposition to "discrimination in the justice system". But this is not about there being 'one law for the rich and another for everyone else' - it is about what they ludicrously claim is discrimination in the British legal system in favour of Muslims!
The EDL is a racist organisation which is based on a travelling circus of thugs going from town to town in an attempt to stir up division amongst working class people. They scapegoat Muslims, basing themselves on the fear of terrorism that was exacerbated by the 'war on terror' - initiated by the British and US governments to justify the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq.
In the process they divert attention away from those causing the real problems people face - such as unemployment, cuts in services, low pay, and lack of housing. They hamper the fightback against governments and big business by attempting to divide working class people.
The EDL claims: "We have marched through many cities and towns across the country with zero disruption to communities and that is our full and only intention for 4 February." This is a lie. In October 2010 they came to Leicester and attacked people and shops they saw as 'not English'. YouTube footage of their attack on innocent men, women and kids in 'Big John's', a Halaal fast food restaurant, is available for all to see.
Hundreds of EDLers attempted to attack the Highfields area, where there is a large Muslim population. Only a massive mobilisation of local people stopped them. The huge police operation was ineffective, indicating that communities and workers have to defend themselves.
On that day the Unite Against Fascism protest was kettled by police at the same time as some of the EDL were allowed to roam free. We need to avoid this happening again.
This time the EDL are being allowed to march through the centre of Leicester.
On 4 February there will be a big counter-demonstration supported by the Socialist Party in Leicester City Centre to oppose the EDL: we aim to stop them by force of numbers!
But, alongside this demonstration there will be community self-defence organised in areas that feel under threat. We fully support this, and believe that trade unionists and anti-racists should stand shoulder to shoulder with local communities. There needs to be coordination between us all to be as effective as possible on the day.
And to undercut any support EDL might get in the wider community, we need to make it clear: We don't just oppose the EDL, we are also fighting for jobs, homes and services for all.
Demonstrate against the EDL
Assemble near the Clock Tower, Leicester city centre, Saturday 4 February, 11am
In The Socialist 1 February 2012:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party youth and students
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
The Socialist - readers' comments