By News Desk
October 25 2012
‘Sikhs Against the EDL’ would be marching against the English Defence League (EDL) in Walthamstow on Saturday 27th October. They would be there to support the counter demonstration against the EDL march in Walthamstow on the same day. The counter demonstration is being organised by a multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-faith organisation known as ‘We Are Walthamstow’. It is a broad-based network of local community groups, political organisations and trade unions. Their aim is to ‘celebrate diversity and oppose racism and fascism’ and to show the EDL that they are not welcome in Walthamstow.
The ‘Unite Against Fascism’ is also calling for a national demonstration to support the ‘We Are Walthamstow’ demonstration. The Waltham Forest council has also issued a statement to ‘call on our whole community to come out’ against the EDL march.
This is the second time the EDL would be coming to Walthamstow within two months. The last time when they came, at the beginning of September, they suffered a humiliating defeat as they could only muster about 200 supporters and were blocked by more than 4000 local people. Thus the police forced them to abandon their march after making several arrests.
But now they want to cause deliberate provocation and offence to the Muslim community by returning during the holy Muslim festival of Eid. It has also been reported that 53 supporters of the EDL were arrested on the M1 motorway, on Saturday 20th October, hiding in a removal van, apparently to be used as a Trojan horse, which was heading towards London to, allegedly, target a Mosque while the police were occupied at the large TUC demo.
It is also alleged that among those arrested were EDL leader Tommy Robinson aka Stephen Yaxley Lennon and deputy leader Kevin Carroll who is also running for the Police commissioner’s position in Bedfordshire on behalf of the EDL’s political wing, the British Freedom Party.
The EDL is a racist organisation that particularly targets Muslims. In the last three years, since it was formed, they have staged more than 90 provocative demonstrations in towns and cities around the country, attempting to stir up anti-Muslim racism and hatred. Their recent march in Walsall, like many others before, ended in violence when they pelted the police with bricks and sticks and thus 28 of their members were arrested. In the past, in some cases they have broken free from police cordons and rampaged down the streets attacking cars shops and passers-by.
They claim to oppose ‘extremism’ but EDL supporters have been filmed chanting ‘Burn a mosque down’. A series of arson and other physical attacks on mosques and
community centres have taken place in areas where the EDL is active. In Dudley, after one of their marches, a Hindu temple and a Sikh elderly gentleman were also attacked by their supporters.
EDL leader Tommy Robinson and a number of other leading members are former member of the fascist British National Party (BNP). Many more former members of the BNP, the National Front and other fascist organisations are also active in the EDL and often EDL supporters have been photographed giving Hitler’s ‘sieg heil’ salute.
Recently the EDL announced a formal alliance with the British Freedom Party (BFP), a breakaway group from the BNP but with equally fascist policies who want to ‘scrap the Equalities Act and ban all manifestations of religious and cultural separtism’.
The ‘Sikhs Against the EDL’ campaign was formed about two years ago in response to some Sikh youth being recruited by the EDL. The campaign immediately received wide support from some major Sikh and Hindu organizations, MPs, councilors as well as many other prominent people from the community. As a result of the campaign most of the Sikh supporters of the EDL now seem to have disappeared.
Balwinder Singh Rana, spokesperson for the ‘Sikhs Against the EDL’ said, ”The EDL
Want to come back to Walthamstow to try to intimidate the Muslim community and to cause divisions. In the past they have pretended that they are friends of the Sikhs. But their alliance with the BFP has now totally exposed their true nature. They are no different than the BNP and they are against all minorities and opposed to multiculturalism. So, they can not fool us and we should oppose them where ever they show up to spread their racist poison”.
He further added, “We should all take note of what is happening in Greece where the fascist ‘Golden Dawn’ party has taken advantage of the deep economic crisis and have grown considerably in a matter of months. They go around dressed in ‘fascist like’ uniforms and openly attack immigrants in the streets. In this country we are also in a deep economic crisis with mass unemployment and massive public spending cuts. At such times they have always looked for scapegoats to blame. In the 30s it were the Jews, in the 70s and 90s it were the blacks and the Asians and now they have found a convenient scapegoat in the Muslims. But we should never forget that today it’s the Muslims and tomorrow it would be all of us”.