Jobs, homes and services - not racism, photo by Bob Severn

Jobs, homes and services – not racism, photo by Bob Severn   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Worcester Socialist Party

The Socialist Party was involved in organising a counter-demonstration against another visit of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) to Worcester on 1 September. Together with the trade union movement and local Asian youth we taught the racists a lesson they will not forget too soon!

The EDL billed the day as the ‘Battle of Worcester’ following an earlier demo on 21 July when its supporters were outnumbered and prevented from marching. But barely 100 followed their call.

The EDL even resorted to giving out flags to children in the street to make their numbers look larger!

The speeches were full of the usual hate, lies and historical inaccuracies, and less and less of their crowd continued to clap as the rants became more and more extreme.

At this point the 600-strong counter-demonstration marched into view. Socialist Party members led the chants, joined by trade unionists, such as the large Fire Brigades Union contingent, and hundreds of local supporters.

Serious questions have to be asked about decisions made by the police. Close-up filming by the police of the faces of Asian youth as they travelled to our event was designed to intimidate.

This was followed by the detention of one of the local Asian young people who helped lead our previous protest. A meeting has been organised with the police to discuss these concerns.

The day was a victory with many protesters returning to the local community centre where they were served with tea and cake. However, we know that this was just a single battle.

Under the current system there will be other disaffected people who could potentially fall into the dead-end trap of racism. We need to replace the rotten capitalist system, linking the fight against racism to the struggle for decent jobs, homes and services for all.