Below is the text of the leaflet the North Staffs Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (NorSCARF) has been handing out and delivering around Stoke-on-Trent this week in preparation for the arrival of the English Defence League this Saturday. It was written at short notice by well known local anti-fascist and president of Staffs University Students' Union, Assed Baig. The mobilisation details for the NorSCARF-led counter demonstration is at the foot of the text. The leaflet concentrates on who the EDL are and why they should be opposed. Needless to say a good turnout from all over the city and further afield is key to the success of our action.
Nazi EDL are not defending us!
They say "we're not racists" ...
But the EDL are regularly heard chanting racist abuse and making Nazi salutes. A look at the EDL website and its supporters' comments prove what they really stand for.
They say "we're not the BNP" ...
But there are many close links between the EDL, BNP and other Neo-Nazis. The EDL website was designed by a BNP man. Major EDL funder Alan Lake runs internet services for far right groups across the world. BNP member and activist, Davy Cooling administers the Luton EDL Facebook page and David Tull, a well known former National Front member has been arrested twice for using foul and abusive language during EDL demonstrations.
The blame counter-protests for violence
But the facts tell a different story. There is worse violence where no one stands up to the EDL. In Luton 300 EDL went on the rampage overturning cars, smashing windows and attacking passers-by, especially Asian people. And at their demonstration in Nottingham, the police said "We were with both groups. The difference in the way we policed related to the way the groups were behaving. We escorted Unite Against Fascism whereas we had to control the EDL."
They say they're defending Freedom of Speech
The eDL want the right to spread their lies and hatred - but when journalists and photographers have exposed their violence and caught them making Nazi salutes, the EDL have retaliated by telling their supporters to treat reporters as "hostile", thrown missiles at them and made death threats by telephone and on the internet.
The say they're defending the rights of women
Most women will find it ironic that a group with its support base in hooligan gangs claims to be defending the rights of women, which it claims are threatened by Sharia Law. But football-related violence does hurt women here in Britain every week: incidents of domestic violence are higher on match days. And it's the macho, drinking-and-fighting culture promoted by groups like the "Casuals" who are the backbone of the EDL we have to blame for this.
Don't let the EDL turn you against your neighbour
We all know where making scapegoats of a minority leads - January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day. Have we forgotten that the worst post-war atrocity in Europe was the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 where more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were murdered?
Don't play the EDL's violent game
What matters most on Saturday 23rd January isn't that there are more of us then the EDL - though that would be great! And it isn't whether we make more noise than the EDL - though we'll have live music and excellent speakers. What really matters is that we are better than the EDL, and the people of Stoke-on-Trent get to see that for themselves.
Say "NO!" to hate in Hanley - join the Peace and Unity Vigil
12:30pm onwards: Assemble at Cannon Place, Hanley, ST1 4EP
2:00pm: March into Hanley (Stoke-on-Trent City Centre)
3:00pm: Peace and Unity Vigil at the Cenotaph outside Hanley Town Hall, Albion Square, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1QQ
Write to NorSCARF at PO Box 1960, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 1WF