Friday, April 15, 2011

Brighton, Hove and District TUC open letter on the far right in Brighton

Friday, 15 April 2011

BHDTUC letter to the March for England organisers...

Brighton, Hove and District TUC would like to express its full solidarity to organisers Unite Against Facism and those present at the In Defence Of Mulitculturalism public meeting on Tuesday April 5 at the Friends Meeting House which was violently attacked by members of the racist, far-right English Defence League.

This physical threat - the first witnessed in Brighton for over 20 years - upon our right to hold public meetings peacefully, that celebrate our achievements and rights, is very concerning. In light of this attack, we are highly concerned about the very likely presence of the English Defence League and other ultra right-wing groups attending your annual St George's Day March for England demonstration on Saturday April 24.

Therefore, BHDTUC is asking the organisers of the March for England to cancel the event in order to prevent an opportunity for further, unwanted provocations towards our community in this divisive and threatening way.

We would like to acknowledge your public statement regarding your wish to disassociate yourself from these groups. However, it is evident on their own online forums that they are actively building for the event and using threats of violence towards ourselves and to individuals, to various communities and campaigns, and the essential unity of the working class that is required to stop the government's assault on our jobs, public services and liberties that are unjustly and disproportionately affecting our most vulnerable and lowest paid communities.

Under this attack on the working class and the trade union movement, carried out by a government of millionaires determined to make ordinary people pay for the mistakes of their capitalist economy, it is vital that those of us who struggle to get by most of all stick together. We do this so that we might use our unity of strength in numbers to defend ourselves. Working together through trade unions and community campaigns can harness that understandable anger, of seeing bankers run off with our £billions and the rich avoiding paying their taxes, and forge it into industrial action and mass demonstrations which make government's shake and listen.

Freedom from discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, colour, disability, sex and sexuality are rights we have fought so hard to achieve and continue to fight for, against an exploitative and crisis-ridden capitalist society. These diversities are not the cause of our problems - the lack of jobs, homes and services caused by the failure of capitalism to provide these essentials is. In particular, pointing the finger of blame towards the Muslim community, as both the EDL and March for England do, only serves to divide our class which is made up of many people worshipping different faiths. Muslims do not cause unemployment or or poverty - capitalist government ministers do.

Any group or political party falsely and violently attempting to blame the faults of the capitalist crisis on any of these rights or on any section of the working class will be actively opposed by BHDTUC, alongside other socialist and progressive groups. It is with this task that we ask you to cancel the March for England demonstration.


Brighton, Hove and District Trades Union Council

April 15 2011.

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