The following statement has been made by the Nottinghamshire Stop the BNP campaign, Sunday 27th September
The local anti-fascist campaign, Nottinghamshire Stop the BNP (NSBNP), is calling on trade unionists, working class community organisations and other anti-racists to join them in a Unity rally against the demonstration organised by the English Defence League (EDL) in Nottingham on Nov 7th.
The EDL has achieved notoriety over the last few months by organising a number of provocative marches in Britain’s predominantly peaceful, multi-racial towns. Under the pretence of protesting against Islamic extremism, they crudely stir up racist hostility against all people from a Muslim background. The initial action of the people who formed the EDL was in Luton on March 24th. It led to random attacks on non-Muslim Asians and shows the racist motivations of many of those taking part.
The EDL hopes to exploit the alienation of many young people from politics and society. Their actions are clearly intended to lead to street violence particularly between youths from white and Asian backgrounds.
The Nottinghamshire Stop the BNP campaign says that, whilst the BNP are not known to be currently involved in these events, those attending EDL events are known to have BNP sympathies and wear clothing identifying that allegiance. BNP members are also known to have taken a part in forming the EDL.
The BNP was formed out of the National Front. Both the BNP and the National Front used to carry out actions similar to the EDL’s. We believe that the current BNP are watching to see if the EDL are successful in stirring up racial tension. Many in the BNP will want to renew their street provocations if the EDL are successful.
The EDL are unable to organise anything other than small-scale provocations usually well under a hundred people. Many people think that such provocations are best ignored. However the violent intents of those taking part in the EDL action cannot be discounted. Many ordinary anti-racist people as well as the black population are bound to feel threatened.
NSBNP therefore has the responsibility of ensuring that those protesting against the EDL can do so in the most effective way possible. That is by organising in large numbers, from all races and drawing attention to the real problems that working class people face, both young and old, and demanding real action to answer them.
The campaign therefore will hold its Unity rally under the banner of ‘Jobs and Homes not Racism’. It is inviting all trade unions, working class community and other anti-racist organisations to a planning meeting next Thursday to discuss this rally.
NSBNP aims to make sure that the EDL action on the day will be swamped by many hundreds of local anti-racists in a display of multi-racial unity. It is intended that this rally will both discourage the violent hooligans from attending, that the EDL hope to attract to Nottingham from across the country, as well as prevent them from engaging in racist violence.
Further details about the planning meeting on Thursday evening, 1st October can be obtained by emailing NottmStopBNP@yahoo.co.uk