Thursday, 21 January 2010

Socialist Party Anti-EDL Leaflet

Among the numbers due this Saturday at the anti-English Defence League demonstration in Stoke, Stoke Socialist Party (assisted by comrades from all over the country) will be making the case for a socialist response to the presence of fascists on our streets and in the council chambers. The need to do so is perhaps more vital now than ever, especially as Stoke Central's sitting Labour MP, Mark Fisher, will face a strong challenge from the BNP, the former BNP group leader on the council *and* possibly the EDL itself. Even if they come nowhere near to Labour's majority they will undoubtedly build their support and reinforce existing racist sentiment. This is the text of the leaflet Stoke SP will be handing out.

Oppose the Racist English Defence League
North Staffs Campaign Against Racism & Fascism (NorScarf) has organised the Unity Rally in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent on 23rd Jan. to mobilise opposition to a planned ‘march’ by the nationalist and racist English Defence League.

Whenever the EDL (which aims to build amongst football hooligans) has reared its head in other towns and cities, it has been opposed by local community activists, trade unionists and anti-racist campaigners defending their communities.

The EDL’s claim to be non-racist and only against “Militant Islam” is a cover for trying to whip up racism against Muslims. Wherever the EDL surfaces there is a vile racist atmosphere; footage exists of appalling anti-Islamic chanting and Nazi salutes. There are also reports of racist attacks occurring near to where their supporters are.

The EDL repeatedly use the plight of British troops in Afghanistan to try to fuel their racist propaganda, and they may do so again on this occasion. While socialists and activists within NorScarf oppose the war in Afghanistan and call for British troops to be brought home, NorScarf stresses that their rally is against the EDL and not against British troops.

Some try to discourage any opposition to the EDL and their activity rather than speak out against them. They seem to see the opposition to the EDL as the problem. But we’re not fooled by claims that the EDL is non-racist and oppose them because their divisive aims pose a threat to the much needed unity of ordinary working class people.

Experience elsewhere has shown that if there is an opportunity, the EDL will try to march. Unlike the EDL, NorScarf does not want provocation or violence on the streets of Stoke-on-Trent, but at the same time is mobilising to show that threats of racial or religious violence and intimidation will be opposed by sheer weight of numbers.

Some people argue that it is better to boycott the NorScarf counter rally and ignore the EDL. Some other local and national 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. Instead of tackling unemployment, poverty, homelessness etc, they seem more concerned about bailing out rich bankers.

However, allowing them to organise on our streets would give them the confidence to continue their divisive, racist activities. We are determined to expose and oppose them, by organising a large, well stewarded and peaceful counter event.

For Jobs, Homes and Services, Not Racism!
The far right EDL & BNP try to exploit the devastating economic crisis to promote racist ideas but they have no solutions to the misery caused by this crisis. The EDL are specifically scapegoating Mulsims.

Over one trillion pounds of our money has been used to prop up banks while top bankers continue to pay themselves massive bonuses. The bosses and their politicians want us to pay for bailing out the bankers!

New Labour, Tories & Lib Dems are competing over who can carry out the most savage cuts in public services, already cut to the bone. It’s no surprise that electoral support for parties like Labour has collapsed and this has allowed the BNP to make a breakthrough by getting 2 members of the Euro Parliament elected in June.

Leading BNP members try to hide their Neo-Nazi ideas and past activities but not because they have changed their ideas or their long term aims. They know that if they tried to build an openly Neo-Nazi party with an organised street fighting wing to carry out physical attacks on trade unionists and large scale racist attacks – they would get limited support and be defeated as they were in the massive mobilisations of the late 1970’s & early 1990’s.

This does not mean that the BNP are not dangerous; their electoral success and increasing media profile mean their divisive ideas are reaching a wider audience. The main three parties all whip up prejudice and racism when it suits them and their pro-big business agendas.

They are aided by the right wing pro-bosses media which blames Muslims, asylum seekers and immigrant workers for the problems caused by government policies and the economic crisis. The BBC give Nick Griffin a platform on
Question Time but exclude elected reps from socialist organisations and left trade unionists like Bob Crow of the RMT in national political debate.

Where the BNP has a presence racist attacks increase. Their electoral success also encourages far right groups like the EDL who organise demos aiming to whip up tension & violence and demonise Muslims. Groups like the EDL want to provoke violent reaction from Asian, Black and migrant communities to create conflict.

Hardline fascists among BNP voters are a tiny minority. We need to build a movement strong enough to convince those who have been conned by the BNP or voted for them in protest against the 3 main parties. But it’s not enough to just call on people not to vote for them!

To decisively defeat the far right, we need to put forward a positive political alternative to the three main parties who have opened the door to the BNP. We need to campaign for decent jobs, free education, homes and services.

The recent Euro elections saw the far right make gains in a number of countries. But their support has been undermined by new forces on the left that have provided a political alternative. In Germany, the electoral success of the Left Party has meant support for the far right NDP has been limited. The economic crisis does not automatically mean electoral success for the far right. In Ireland, hit hard by the crisis, Socialist Party activist, Joe Higgins was elected putting forward a fighting program.

We need a new mass workers party based on the trade unions and young people that puts forward a fighting programme of a united struggle against attacks from the bosses and their politicians that would tackle the root causes of racism and fascism – unemployment, poverty, homlessness etc and cut across the lies of the far right

Unite against the EDL! Defend our communities!


Anonymous said...

And would you have counter marched against Choudary and his cronies if they had gone ahead with Wootton Basset? The problem with most anti racism groups in this country is that they wont. Extreme islamics are racist and more dangerous than the BNP will ever be but dare oppose them publicly and then you are labelled racist, facist. etc... Especially if you are English and white. The EDL are filling a void that I believe people like you have left open. Yes they are being infiltrated by racists and hooligans jumping on the bandwagon but that is bound to happen. Alot of anti racism demonstrators just seem to go along for the fighting! It seems to me though that the majority of these EDL guys are just saying what alot of people in this country are too scared to say. But that is changing. And just to add that I am in no way racist, I totally despise the BNP but I am one of the usually silent majority who are waking up to what is happening in our country.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

What a surprise, an anonymous racist who signs off with the 'I'm not racist but...' line.

It may have passed you by but no one round these parts likes fundamental Islam, indeed I for one don't like religion at all and to be clear, Islam isn't a race so you can't be racist about not wanting a bunch of extremist Muslims marching about.

Now that old myth is out the window onto the rest of your dirge...

You talk of the EDL filling a void, well that's another myth, thankfully, the UK is not full of racists who think that England needs defending and have such small minds that such concepts as England and indeed Englishness are modern and quite daft inventions that will no doubt fade away as we hopefully progress to more advanced levels of thinking.

If there was a void than the EDL would be snowed under with members but it ain't and what it actually is is a football coach full of is daft racists, wearing MA1 jackets and doing Nazi salutes as if late 70s/early 80s skin culture never died.

Also, you talk about another myth: that somehow racists like the EDL speak for the silent majority, I hate to break it to you but they are a minor fringe group who speak for racists and ignorants that could not piece together decent political policy if you wooed them with endless Sham69 gigs.

If this majority is so huge why aren't racist parties kicking as left right and centre? In the EU elections 1.6% of the UK voted BNP. That is not a silent majority.

What is actually happening in our country then racist? I'd love to know what twisted, bizarre and vile views you have on the matter. Please tell me.

Let me guess? Johnny Foreigner taking all our jobs? Too many immigrants? White people experiencing racism? Sharia law coming in to force? All them darkies committing all the rapes and murders and don't start me on Somalians mate! I mean I'm not fucking racist mate but them Pakis...

You make me sick racist.

Word verification: coone

brother_f said...

'and would you have counter marched against Choudary and his cronies if they had gone ahead with Wootton Basset?'

yep they are just as bad as them EDL lot.

Phil BC said...

Why should anyone protest against Islam4UK? They are an utter irrelevance, albeit one with an ability to excite the sad hacks who pepper Fleet Street. And clueless meatheads it would seem.

And as for racism ... have you challenged the attacks on Asians and Asian businesses EDL thugs have undertaken? Thought not.

Anonymous said...

And you wonder why I stay Anonymous. See it's typical. Branded a racist again. But actually yes, I would stand against those in the EDL that are violent towards Asians just as I would stand against the BNP. But remember that alot of Asians cause trouble aswell, remember Birmingham? I am not a member of the EDL and never will be while there are racists in camp. I have no problem with anyone living or working in this country whatever their race or beliefs. There are enough lazy scrounging white English people in this country that that annoy me too. I am against Racism and that does include Extreme Islamics who spout their bile while taking advantage of our freedom that they are so against!! And yes I do think more Anti Racism groups should publicly oppose them as much as they do for any other racist group. And unfortunately as you have proved yet again that somehow brands me racist? You make me sick too Daniel. I said I was not racist but you proceeded to attack me anyway.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

You stay anonymous because you're worried about putting a name to your views and you want to expound racist ideas but not have the drag of being called a racist.

From your words I don't think you quite see what the EDL are about.

You are indulging in whataboutery by saying, "Asians are violent too" which is neither here or there, you don't base politics on lowest common denominators as you are.

At least in this comment you've made your views a little bit clearer, I now doubt you're a racist but your compass seems off and using anonymity is never a good idea.

Anonymous said...

The truth is painful and socialists need to stop making excuses for this growth in the EDL. Just like the Labour Party, many organizations on the left HAVE neglected white working class people. I think the de-industrialisation of the UK is partly to blame, with fewer workers organized in large trade unions with socialist support. However, socialists have intervened more in student struggles, such as campaigns against fees. While many working class people have entered universities, most students are still middle class. This can give some working class people the mistaken idea that we are defending their privilege, especially when we don't see large numbers of socialists protesting the crime and degradation in working class communities. Also, whenever socialists are active on the streets, most of the time the media don't have to try too hard to find us marching alongside people that don't seem, at least on the surface, to be working class. No offense to people who like to beat on drums, grow dreadlocks, and dance and skip along the streets, but the image of them weaving through a serious protest irritates and alienates the working class people I know. Also, dodging the issue of not protesting against what were increasingly brazen demonstrations by religious fascists who want to impose their feudal religious ideas on all of us, only gives the impression that our socialist organizations lack courage. We could have tried much harder to win over working class Muslims on a class basis and link them up with their class brothers and sisters to protest against religious extremists. Instead, the "left" kept its collective mouth shut, but now responds clumsily when the white working class gets organized by the right. By the way, please don't use RESPECT as an example of a working class organization winning over Muslims to the socialist cause. If anything, that alliance gave the impression of the support going in the opposite direction with little in return. I wonder how many Muslim business men who exploit Muslim and non Muslim working class people have since joined socialist organizations.

aberfoyle said...

Anonymous,you say that you have marched with socialists are you then a socialist for i am confused you state."There are enough lazy scrounging white English people in this country that annoy me too."i find that a strange statment to come from the mouth of a socialist.

As for the E.D.L.they are what they are and like the B.N.P. white fright.

Anonymous said...

Thats obviously a different anon aberfoyle!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm the other "Anonymous." I just didn't want my personal details all over the net. And Yes, I do consider myself a socialist. I might be wrong, but I do believe our organizations need to somehow rebuild relationships with white working class youth. Otherwise, groups like the EDL will win more of them over.


Phil BC said...

I can't really disagree with you, Steve.