Cardiff says 'no' to the racist EDL
Anti-racist campaigners from all over Cardiff are mobilising on 5 June against the English/Welsh Defence League (E/WDL). Our message to them is very simple - We will not allow you to divide our communities with your racist poison.
A Cardiff Socialist Party member and member of, Youth Fight For Jobs
The EDL have called their protest in the city centre against alleged Islamic fundamentalism and the building of a halal slaughterhouse around 40 miles away in Neath. The proposed development would in fact create some 300 jobs, the vast majority of those will be available to workers of any ethnic or religious group.
Socialist Party members have been working as a part of Cardiff Communities Against Racism (CCAR) to build a counter-demonstration with other anti-racist organisations against the EDL. Cardiff is a city proud of its multicultural traditions, and people of all backgrounds are determined not to allow the EDL to bring their divisive message here.
Socialist Party members and others in CCAR have been holding events such as street stalls, and leafleting of workplaces and music venues, to advertise the counter-protest. Shops and cafés in many districts of the city are displaying posters advertising the event.
The response has been excellent. Locals are genuinely angry about the presence of the EDL, and there is a mood to stand up to them and prevent them demonstrating in the city.
The EDL intend to hold their protest outside the National Museum. In CCAR, our original intention was to hold our demo in the city centre, in order to make it difficult for the EDL to march from the train station to their meeting point. We still believe that this would be the most effective means of combating the EDL.
However, Unite Against Fascism (UAF) has called a march starting in Cardiff Bay and finishing at the museum, and in the interests of unity of the anti-fascist movement, we are organising and building for this demonstration.
But Socialist Party members are also explaining the need to undercut the causes of racism. When jobs, public housing and public services are being cut back, it is necessary to provide an alternative, to cut across racist organisations like the EDL and the BNP.
This was something that even Margaret Hodge, the New Labour MP for Barking dimly understood when she explained some of the reasons for the rise of the BNP in her area in a recent article: "The traditional employer, Ford, has cut back from 40,000 workers to 4,000. The sale of council houses created a lack of decent affordable homes."
However, Margaret Hodge and New Labour helped to create the problems of unemployment and lack of housing in the first place. They have no solution to these problems. A real answer has to be provided with effective campaigning on these issues. That's why Youth Fight For Jobs will be coming on the demo.
Neither the violent racism of the EDL nor the empty phrases of New Labour can provide any answer for working class people, young and old.
In The Socialist 2 June 2010:
British Airways cabin crew strike
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party LGBT
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis