UNITY STATEMENT by Stand Up To Racism: Unite against Tommy Robinson and the far right

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We are witnessing an alarming growth in the threat posed by the far right in Britain.

The release of ex English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson on bail and the attack by fascists on the Bookmarks bookshop show we have reached a critical moment in British politics. 

The far right are organising on an unprecedented scale, both nationally and internationally. They are receiving political and financial support from the US Alt-right, including Trump’s former chief of staff Steve Bannon and other far right figures across Europe. 

They are increasingly confident and aggressive and we have to stop them now.

Tommy Robinson has become the focus for a galvanised racist right from fascist groups through to the Democratic Football Lads Alliance to UKIP. 

They are developing an ever more racist agenda, targeting the Muslim community, refugees and migrants and increasingly the left. 

Racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism are at the heart of their agenda.

Boris Johnson’s outrageous racist and sexist comments about Muslim women wearing the burqa are a sign of how this horrible agenda has entered the mainstream of Britain political life. 

Violent attacks on anti-racists have been a feature of the Robinson campaign, including a violent assault on trade unionists after the 3,000 strong Stand Up To Racism counter demonstration on 14 July and now the attack on Bookmarks. 

The murder of Jo Cox, and the attack on Finsbury Park mosque that saw the death of Makram Ali at the hands of Darren Osborne, show just how far some on the extreme right are prepared to go.

We therefore welcome the call by John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, for a mass movement in the spirit of the Anti-Nazi League. There is a long tradition of opposing racism and fascism, antisemitism and Islamophobia in Britain. We beat the National Front in the 1970s, defeated the British National Party and broke the English Defence League. Now we have to face even bigger challenges and must unite to defeat the racist and fascist right.

We call on all those who oppose racism and fascism to work together to build a movement in every workplace, college and community to drive the racists back. 

We support the calls by Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism for:

·         the biggest possible counter mobilisations against any demonstrations or events called by Robinson and his supporters

·         a mass anti racist, anti fascist national unity demonstration on 17 November, now backed by the TUC and supported by Diane Abbott and John McDonnell

·         the International Conference against racism and fascism on 20 October in London, headlined by Diane Abbott and John McDonnell

And we support the gigs and initiatives organised by Love Music Hate Racism this autumn.

It's time for a mass campaign - unity against racism and fascism.

Signed, 

Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary

John Mcdonnell Shadow Chancellor

Kate Osamor MP

Dave Ward, CWU General Secretary

Kevin Courtney, NEU Joint General Secretary

Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary

Talha Ahmad, Muslim Council of Britain Treasurer

Rabbi Lee Wax

Sabby Dhalu & Weyman Bennett, Stand Up To Racism Co-Convenors

Steve Hart, Unite Against Fascism Chair

Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

Mick Whelan, ASLEF General Secretary

Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary

Gordan Taylor, PFA Chief Executive

Ian Lawrence, NAPO General Secretary

Lord Peter Hain, Anti Nazi League Founder

Lisa Nandy MP

Rupa Huq MP

Seema Malhotra MP

Emma Dent-Coed MP

David Lammy MP

Catherine West MP

Cat Smith MP

Ian Lavery MP

Julie Ward MEP

Jean Lambert MEP

Claude Moraes MEP

Roger Mckenzie UNISON Assistant General Secretary

Tony Kearns CWU Senior Deputy General Secretary 

Steve Hedley RMT Senior Assistant General Secretary 

Ian Hodson BFAWU president

Jane Loftus CWU Vice President

Margaret Greer, UNISON National officer, race equality

Gerry Gable, Searchlight

Ged Grebby, Show Racism Red Card

Lowkey, Musician

 Aman Ali MEND National Head of Community Engagement and Development 

Dr Anas Al Tikriti, MAB president

David Rosenberg, Jewish Socialist Group

Mohammed Kozbar, Finsbury Park Mosque Chairman

Salma Yaqoob

Siema Iqbal, AVOW - Advancing Voices of Women to tackle Islamophobia

Maz Saleem, Anti-racism campaigner

Ben Chacko, Morning Star editor

Charlie Kimber, Socialist Worker editor

Sam Fairbairn, People's Assembly

Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition

Kate Hudson, CND

Cllr Rakhia Ismail, Labour, Islington

Roger Huddle and Red Saunders, Rock Against Racism founders

Jerry Fitzpatrick, former National Organiser ANL

Alan Gibbons, author

Hsiao-Hung Pai, author

Louise Raw, author



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