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UK Sikhs Against The EDL

SachaSingh

SPNer
Jan 6, 2011
15
20
Sikhs show solidarity in Tower Hamlets

Posted by Turban Campaign on September 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm.

The Sikh community sent a strong message to the English Defence League (EDL) on Saturday, 3rd September, that they have not succeeded in their aim of causing divisions within the Asian communities when a delegation from ‘Sikhs Against the EDL’ took part in the counter protest against the EDL in Tower Hamlets.

After the Home Secretary had banned the EDL’s anti-Muslim march through Tower Hamlets they were still allowed to hold a static protest at the edge of the borough, at Aldgate.

The EDL had bragged for months that they were going to have a national mobilisation and were going to “march into the lion’s den” in the multiracial, multicultural borough of Tower Hamlets. However they were able to muster only about 600 – police estimate of 1,000 – members from all over the country.

It took more than 3,000 riot police and mounted police to keep the violent thugs in control who have been reported in the media to have shouted at the passing tourists ‘you know you are scum’. A total of 60 EDL protesters were arrested as scuffles broke out and bottles and firecrackers were thrown. Further skirmishes broke out during the afternoon as EDL leader Stephen Lennon addressed the crowd, telling them he had broken his bail conditions to be at the protest.

In contrast, thousands of antifascists, trade unionists and members of the local community held a peaceful ‘march of victory’ through Whitechapel after the EDL had been led away by the police, having failed to demonstrate in Tower Hamlets.

Before that, at the peaceful rally, at the heart of Whitechapel, organized jointly by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and United East End there was an electric atmosphere of solidarity as white, black and Asian people, of all religions and none, came together. Throughout the day there were speeches, trade union banners, flags and music creating an atmosphere of carnival of unity.
Varinder Singh, from the Turban Campaign, a London based think tank said: “today has been a very important day in the history of East London. I think many in the future will look back on this day with pride and see how Black, Asian and other communities stood side by side to counter the fascists of the 21st century.”
Balwinder Singh Rana, spokesperson for the ‘Sikhs Against the EDL’, added,”The EDL is a racist and a fascist organisation who are no different from the National Front or the BNP. They have been trying to play a game by pretending to be only against the Muslims. But we are only too aware of their ‘divide & rule’ policies and they would not fool us. We know that it’s the Muslims today and tomorrow it would be all of us”.
He further added, “In the current economic climate with high levels of unemployment and the drastic public spending cuts, the
racists and fascists are looking for scapegoats to blame for all the problems. So, we must not let them succeed and we must create
the maximum unity with all the working people.”

The ‘Sikhs Against the EDL’ campaign, was formed early this year, in response to a number of Sikh youth joining the EDL, and has gained support from some of the largest Sikh and Hindu organizations in this country.

During the recent riots worldwide coverage was given in the media to Sikhs who protected mosques in Southall and Birmingham while Muslims prayed inside during Ramadan. In many areas all the different communities came together to offer help and support to each other to defend the religious places in those difficult times.

However, the EDL had tried to take advantage of the situation by sending vigilantes in some places and by blaming only certain sections of the society for all the violence and looting.




Some of the antifascists protesting against the EDL last Saturday 3rd September, 2011

Some more pictures in the link below:

http://uaf.org.uk/2011/09/in-pics-and-video-brilliant-tower-hamlets-anti-edl-protest/
 

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