Posts Tagged ‘ban’

Salma Yaqoob: Why the EDL march must be banned from Birmingham

“The English Defence League claimed they only came to protest against Islamic extremism but they actually came to spread hatred and division.

One of their ringleaders, Paul Ray, made his intentions very clear when he stated, on TalkSport Radio, ‘his opposition to all Muslims practising their faith in Britain’.

Everyone has a right to their opinions but no one has the right to incite hatred on the basis of faith or race.

I am concerned there is an equivalence being made between these people, who came to provoke trouble, and people who stand against fasicsm and racism. There is no equivalence and it is wrong that people have been allowed to come into the city centre with this intent for trouble.

The fascists wants to see social disorder, especially scenes of violence between Muslim youth and white people, because then they can hold it up as ‘evidence’ of the ‘failure’ of multiculturalism.

Of course, our message is ‘do not be provoked’. We don’t want to see any scenes of violence in our Birmingham city centre; but the reality is they know some of these tactics have worked as in the past in Burnley, Oldham and Stoke where they instigated race riots and since that polarisation, they have benefited in their votes.

I believe the English Defence League’s so-called ‘protests’ are simply a repeat of this formula which they want to bring to Birmingham and other cities across the country.

I call on politicians from all parties, civic leaders and faith representatives to condemn the racist intent behind these so-called demonstrations and also call for the banning of any future such protests in our city.

Luton has also seen protests by the EDL and Casuals United, which have resulted in violence, and the police there have actually responded to a public outcry about this by calling for a ban.

Chief Superintendent Andy Frost, Divisional Commander for Luton police, said:
“The risk the proposed marches pose to public safety has left us with no alternative but to apply for a banning order.”

Alan Johnson, the Home Office Minister, granted this banning order in Luton, because he received over 14,000 letters directly to himself and the Chief Constable there, saying that they wanted a ban.

I urge people in Birmingham to write to Alan Johnson, as well as to the Chief Constable here to urge for a similar ban.

I love being a Brummie, I’m proud that Birmingham is a multicultural and diverse city. Let’s not be divided by the racists.”

To request a ban, please write to:

Alan Johnson MP (Home Secretary): public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

Chief Constable Chris Simms (West Midlands Police): contactus@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk

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Gallery: Birmingham United against Racism meeting – 23.08.09

Images from the cross-party meeting in the Birmingham Council House calling for a ban on EDL and far-right marches in the city; attended by Adrian Goldberg, John Hemming MP, Khalid Mahmood MP, councillor Judy Foster, councillor Salma Yaqoob, Apache Indian and Chief Insp Adrian Atherley. Chaired by Waseem Zaffar.

More to come…

Police urged to ban far right rally in Birmingham

An English Defence League (EDL) supporter taunts police. Image: Birmingham Mail

An English Defence League (EDL) supporter taunts police. Pic:Birmingham Mail

West Midlands Police have been urged to step in and ban a far right group from holding a march in Birmingham next month to avoid a repeat of the shocking scenes of violence witnessed earlier this month.

White nationalist organisation The English Defence League (EDL) and an associated group, Casuals United, are due to hold a rally against Islamic extremism in the city on September 5.

Their first demonstration on August 8 ended with violence and bloodshed as supporters clashed with anti-racism campaigners.

One of those calling for a ban was Respect councillor Salma Yaqoob, who expected more street violence if EDL returned.

“When it comes to public safety we have every right to intervene,” she said.

“But the ‘just stay away’ message we are hearing won’t wash with today’s Muslim youngsters who won’t put their heads down and carry on walking when they are subjected to racist taunts – they will react and fight back.”

Adrian Goldberg, Khalid Mahmood MP and John Hemming MP also attended the public meeting calling for an EDL ban.

Adrian Goldberg, Khalid Mahmood MP and John Hemming MP also attended the public meeting calling for an EDL ban. Pic: John Tyrrell

Yesterday, those at a public meeting to discuss how the city should deal with the group’s next visit voted unanimously that the police should have the demonstration banned.

West Midlands Police were urged to join forces with Birmingham City Council to apply to the Home Secretary for a banning order under the Public Order Act.

Luton is one of the places which has banned the EDL and other right-wing groups from holding marches for three months to avoid violence.

But a senior police officer said there were no current plans to do so as the EDL had a legitimate right to hold its march.

The Birmingham rally saw 35 people arrested, and running battles between protesters and police in riot gear in Victoria Square and New Street.

Chief Insp Adrian Atherley, head of West Midlands Police’s diversity and community cohesion unit, told yesterday’s meeting how both groups involved, the EDL and the Anti Facist League, acted within the law and the problem lay with their supporters.

“The people fighting were Brummies fighting each other. Why? Because they had been wound up and provoked by the groups who had left by then,” he said.

He said to obtain a ban they would have to jump through numerous legal and bureaucratic hoops.

“We have considered it, but section 13 of the Public Order Act is very specific about marches,” he said.

“In Birmingham the situation is very different to Luton where the Chief Constable felt he could not police that event. We did not lose control on August 8 , there were no major injuries or damage, and in terms of disorder there was no loss of control.”

He added: “Obtaining a section 13 ban requires the Chief Constable to go to the local authority to say in the event of a march I cannot police the streets and the local authority has to apply to the Home Secretary.”

But he said their decision was constantly reviewed and he would feed back comments to the Chief Constable.

Also at the meeting was Birmingham councillor Judy Foster, vice-chairman of the West Midlands Police Authority, who said she would be raising the issue of a ban during a meeting with the Chief Constable Chris Sims today.

Source article:  Police urged to ban far right rally in Birmingham – Birmingham Post, 24.08.09

Link: Why the next Brum anti-Muslim march should be banned – John Tyrrell, The Stirrer, 25.08.09

Link: Police urged to ban far right rally in Birmingham – Birmingham Mail, 24.08.09

Link: Ban call for anti-Muslim march – The Stirrer, 24.08.09

Link: Birmingham United, anyone? – The Stirrer, 18.08.09

Question Time: Salma Yaqoob on Geert Wilders

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Respect leader and Birmingham City councillor Salma Yaqoob featured on this week’s Question Time panel, joining presenter David Dimbleby and alongside Labour MP Liam Byrne, Conservative MP Justine Greening, former Sun editor and columnist Kelvin MacKenzie and television gardener and writer Monty Don.

Salma spoke on a number of issues including Dutch MP Geert Wilders, the economy and banking,  child truancy, climate change and the drug reclassification policy.

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

On yesterday’s UK entry ban of controversial Dutch MP Geert Wilders, she said:

“Personally, I am uncomfortable with censorship.  Does Mr Wilders have the right to provoke or even be offensive?  Yes, he does under freedom of speech, and if he’s being barred from the country simply because he offends people’s religious sensibilities then no matter how personally distasteful I might find his views, I wouldn’t support a ban.

“However, society does have a right and indeed a duty to protect itself from people who incite hatred and incite violence and if he was deemed to be in breach of our laws in this regard then, in that context, a ban would be justifiable.”

“Although I find his [Wilder’s] indignation about being banned and calling for the upholding of the freedom of speech abit hypocritical considering he advocates banning the Qur’an,” she added.

Salma Yaqoob challenges Kelvin MacKenzie on Question Time

Salma Yaqoob challenges Kelvin MacKenzie on Question Time

She also spoke on the state of our economy and finances and whether certain employees of banks, that were saved using public money, deseved bonuses.  She challenged Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie, who claimed such bank employees were ‘talented people’ who couldn’t be stopped.

“Talented people?  They have wrecked our economy! It’s absolutely shameless and digusting,” she responded.

“These are people who’ve wrecked our economy and I don’t believe a word of this ‘contract’ argument. These people would not have a job now were it not for the British tax payers bailing out the banks. They’re lucky they’re on a salary, never mind the cheek to ask for a bonus in these circumstances.

“It’s also politicians who should be in the dock because it was their decision to take away the safety mechanism, to introduce de-regulation which allowed the unvetted greed. It allowed the bankers to make the risky decisions without any proper scrutiny. It freed them up to reward themselves with these incredible bonuses and at the same time politicians from the Conservative party as well as the Labour party championed this neo-liberal economic orthodoxy which has brought us this disaster,” explained Salma.

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

“I think it’s really disgusting that we have now a public culture where if you commit huge crimes, which are resulting in millions of ordinary people losing their jobs and their homes, you only have to come up with a half-hearted apology, no accoutability, no sanctions, no punishments – and if you’re a politician you can lead our country into war on a lie and not have to resign – there is something really deeply wrong with a democratic system we have where instead of people being made an example of, we now have the lesson that ‘you can do this in the future, you can be this reckless because there’ll be no deterrent’,” she concluded.

Watch the complete programme on BBC iPlayer via the links below (UK only).

BBC Question Time – (12th February 2009)

BBC Question Time Extra [BBC News 24] – (12th February 2009)

An edited 30-minute verson of Thursday’s Question Time will be shown on Saturday 14th February 2009, at 8.30pm on BBC News 24.

Website link and presenter biogs here.