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From: The Socialist issue 678, 6 July 2011: Our fightback can win!

Search site for keywords: EDL - Racist - English Defence League

Stop the racist and divisive EDL

Steve Simpson
Racists Out! Youth against Racism in Europe marches for jobs and homes not racism, photo Paul Mattsson

Racists Out! Youth against Racism in Europe marches for jobs and homes not racism, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

On Saturday 9 July, several cities are threatened with visits from the 'English Defence League' (EDL). They claim they will have 'protests' around the slogan of "Defending our culture: No surrender!" in Halifax, Middlesbrough, Cambridge and Plymouth. They say that a further march in Derby has been cancelled.

Over the last two years their demonstrations in a series of towns have been accompanied by violent racist attacks. For example, on 18 June in Dagenham, east London, they attacked three Asian youth who happened to be standing on the side of the road as they passed by, reportedly hospitalising one of them.

In their 'mission statement' they laughably claim to be a "human rights organisation". What kind of human rights group sends out thugs to attack anyone they see as Muslim?

The EDL's public material has claimed that they are not racist and that they only blame "Muslim extremists" for a series of ills such as terrorism and the "molestation of children". Yet in their actions and the slogans chanted on their demonstrations they clearly 'blame' all Muslims.

The EDL scapegoat Muslims, and not only seek to divide people on racist lines, but distract attention away from the real causes of the problems that working class people face. They aim to pick up on the disillusionment felt by many working class people at being abandoned by Labour and mainstream politicians.

Yet, they have nothing to say about the severe public service cuts being meted out by the Con-Dem government. Where were the EDL when 750,000 trade unionists took strike action and tens of thousands took to the streets to defend pensions and public services on 30 June? They were nowhere to be seen and would of course not have been welcome!

In truth, they have no answers to the onslaught on benefits, pay and jobs caused by the crisis in the big business system. Instead they seek to divide the working class movement that is developing to fight back on these issues.

This divisive organisation must be opposed by a united movement of working class people from all backgrounds. We must support communities who organise their own defence against these thugs. But we also have to build a movement, including a new party of working class people, that can pose socialist answers to the problems people face and that can put the blame where it lies - with capitalism and its political representatives.

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Article dated 6 July 2011

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