Unite Against Fascism is holding a counter-demonstration against the racist British National Party this Saturday, 9 December, 1pm, Central Park, Dagenham:
“Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is calling a counter rally and protest against the fascist British National Party’s (BNP) rally in Central Park on Saturday 9 December. We need as many anti-fascists as possible to show opposition to the BNP. The BNP will be hoping that the acquittal of Nick Griffin and Mark Collett earlier in November will galvanise their activists. The BNP has 12 councillors in Barking and Dagenham.
The BNP’s racist literature publicising their rally is claiming that immigrants receive priority for council housing and that violent crime has gone up in the area because of an increase in the immigrant population.
The reality is that immigrants DO NOT receive priority for council housing. The BNP’s racist so-called “Africans for Essex” scheme is a total lie. There is no such scheme that specifically gives grants to Africans. The majority of Africans and other BME communities live in private accommodation paid for by themselves. Minority communities cannot be blamed for shortages in housing and other public services that are the result of public policy adopted in the last twenty years that led to the shrinkage of social housing. The BNP is whipping up racism by making these claims.
Secondly the BNP claim that there has been an increase in violent crime, however there has been an increase in racist violence in the area. Figures from the Barking and Dagenham Race Equality Council show that, in the 2 years between 2004 and 2006, racist incidents have increased by 30%. This corresponds with increased BNP activity in the area. In June 2004 the BNP recorded by far the highest vote averaging 20.5% in the Barking and Dagenham borough in the London Assembly elections, in September 2004 the BNP gained a councillor in Goresbrook with over 50% of the vote, the BNP recorded 16.89% – the highest vote – in the Barking constituency in the general election 2005 (up from 6.4% in 2001, when Barking was one of the five constituencies where the BNP saved their deposit). By contrast, the same period saw a year on year fall in the number of racist attacks recorded by the Met Police across London. “
Unite Against Fascism is supported by a range of political organisations and individuals, from all points on the political spectrum. Despite the high profile involvement of the Socialist Workers’ Party, which has taken to hosting racists, Unite Against Fascism is a coalition. Coalitions, by definition, bring together, in common cause, those who nevertheless oppose each other’s objectionable and dangerous politics, and are not afraid to say so. The necessity of opposing a racist party which has gained real, if limited, political power is an issue on which a coalition of Tories, Liberal Democrats, and Socialist Workers Party activists can, and are, uniting.
Although I’m not generally impressed by such things – and usually couldn’t give a toss what pop stars think – it is nice to see that some of my favourite bands and singers are supporters: including Bernard Butler, Jarvis Cocker, Ladytron, Saint Etienne and Morrissey.
It deserves a big turnout.
Ami points me to another demonstration taking place on the following day.
Amnesty and its coalition partners in the UK, will mark Human Rights Day on 10 December, by joining in the worldwide protests at the ongoing human rights violations taking place in Sudan and Chad.
The day will begin with many hundreds of activists gathering at the Sudanese Embassy at 10.00 am for a brief address. This will be followed by a march to Downing Street and a number of key speakers, including an address from a Darfuri rape survivor. This time round we want to put an added focus on the wide scale rape and sexual violence that has been perpetrated in this conflict – we are saying stop the rape, stop the killing and send the UN Peacekeepers Now.
At 12pm, our activists outside Downing Street and around the world, will take out rape alarms, hold them in the air and set them off for 1 minute. Now is not the time for a “one minute silence” – in our silence, regarding any abuse, we are complicit. Now is the time to make some noise.
Download the Amnesty flyer, here.
NB: CORRECTION – the marches are on subsequent days. You can do both