Ask Leeds Council to stop giving far-right extremists the platform to march in the city.
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In response to the right-wing extremists' march on 7/7/2018. The demo was granted permission by Leeds City Council.
Why did LCC permit the right wing extremists’ march to go ahead? Diverting traffic to accommodate it shows complicity with them when the council should be demonstrating zero tolerance.
While Cllr Blake might not necessarily be aware that the group were far-right extremists, or indeed, signed off permission herself, we feel questions need to be answered around the following issues this has raised:
Prevent & Safeguarding:
The government’s Prevent strategy is actively trying to tackle right-wing extremism with training throughout the public sector. As such, LCC have failed to adhere to the national Prevent strategy by giving a right wing extremist organisation a platform to preach hate crimes. In doing so, they have put the citizens of Leeds at risk, and also our young people at risk of right -wing extremist groomers. This grooming is their way to drum up new young recruits which are often disenfranchised young men (and young women) and that is a major Safeguarding issue which should also be taken very seriously).
As the Council prides and promotes itself as ‘Child Friendly Leeds’ this all goes against their own policies.
Can the council justify giving the right-wing extremists this platform baring in mind the financial cost of policing it? Considering the council is already struggling with great financial strain through government cuts, this was an unsound decision on that basis alone. The money could have gone to (Prevent) cohesion projects to tackle this rise in racist extremism.
Freedom of Speech:
The argument we often hear in support of this, is that we live in a democracy and freedom of speech is for everyone. With rights also come responsibility, and spreading hate speech, inciting racial hatred, promoting violence and brutally attacking people - is NOT part of the democratic agenda.
1: Can the council please explain, considering all the risks and facts, why they let right-wing, nazi racists and extremists march through our city?
2: What do they intend to do to ensure they are not granted permission in the future, thereby keeping our city safe?
3: Offer an apology to the visitors in Leeds the day of the march who had to listen to disgusting racist chants and taunts while they stood, many with their children, going about their Saturday business?
4: Revise their policies on public demonstrations in line with national Safeguarding and Prevent strategies.
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