Posts Tagged ‘Unite Against Fascism’

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

Birmingham city centre riots: Police and politicians meet to discuss events

Salma Yaqoob at the UAF protest in Birmingham

Salma Yaqoob with supporters at the UAF protest in Birmingham

THE scuffles and clashes which followed recent anti-extremism demonstrations are under the spotlight at a public meeting featuring city MPs and community leaders this weekend.

Rival protests – one by anti-Islamic extremism campaign group the English and Welsh Defence league and the other by the UAF or Unite Against Facism – brought scenes of chaos to Birmingham City Centre two weekends ago and resulted in 33 arrests.

Now a group of community activists have called a public meeting aimed at Birmingham’s young people tomorrow to respond to the problems before a second series of protests are held on September 5.

Among guest speakers are Perry Barr MP Khalid Mahmood, Yardley MP John Hemming, Sparkbrook Councillor Salma Yaqoob and a representative from West Midlands Police.

Co-organiser Wasim Zaffer, a Muslim and magistrate, said: “Following the disgraceful events in Birmingham City Centre, there has been immense discussion and debate in a number of forums. However, we feel that there has been a lack of engagement with young people from across the city.

“Scenes of young people, white and Asian, running through streets does nothing for Birmingham and reflects badly on our community relations. We need to discuss, debate and encourage a peaceful form of activity against any fascist elements, including encouraging young people to stay away from the City Centre.”

Source Article: Birmingham city centre riots: Police and politicians meet to discuss events – Birmingham Mail, 22.08.09

NEWS: Birmingham EDL Protests – 08.08.09

Multicultural Birmingham comes out in full force against far-right troublemakers

Multicultural Birmingham comes out in full force against far-right threat

Below are a few useful links to news stories relating to last week’s English Defence League protest in Birmingham City Centre and Unite Against Fascism’s counter-protest, in which Respect party leader and Birmingham City Councillor Salma Yaqoob spoke against racism and fascism.

Councillor Salma Yaqoob commented:

“The instigators of this demonsrtration are fascist thugs. They are coming to our city with one intention only;  to sow racist division by stirring up anti-Muslim hatred.

“One of their ringleaders made their intentions very clear when he publicly stated his opposition to ‘all Muslims practising their faith in Britiain’, and admitted links with the BNP.

“The police have assured me that they will deal with any troublemakers. I am concerned, though, that the West Midlands Police are playing down the racist nature of this protest, and the links the protesters have with far-right organisation. Everyone has a right to voice their opinions, but no-one has the right to incite hatred against others on the grounds of race or religion. It is very important that the West Midlands Police act firmly to deal with any incitement to racist hatred.

“Birmingham is a multi-cultural city and proud of it. It is also important that people of all faiths and cultures stand together in the spirit of peace and unity. We must show these people that they are not wanted here, and that Birmingham will not be divided by race or faith”.

LATEST NEWS:

Right wing rioters threaten more protests in Birmingham city centre – Birmingham Mail, 17.08.09

Anti-Extremist protests in Birmingham: racism takes to the streets – Charlie Salmon, The Sikh Times, 11.08.09

Salma Yaqoob condemns racist protesters – Pakistan Daily, 10.08.09

Battle of Bimringham: 35 held after riots – Louisa Pilbeam, The Mirror

City of Birmingham in UK sees anti-fascist action – Pakistan Daily, 10.08.09

Birmingham sees anti-Fascist action – The Stirrer, 09.08.09

‘Patriot League’ plans more clashes with anti-fascist activists – The Guardian, 09.08.09

Police review anti-Islamic rally – BBC News, 09.08.09

35 arrests in Birmingham after rival protesters clash – The Telegraph, 09.08.09

Arrests at Anti-Islamic protests – BBC News, 09.08.09

Stop the Racist Nazi BNP – Birmingham Protest tonight

UAF and other anti-BNP protesters in Manchester last night

UAF and other anti-BNP protesters in Manchester last night

 

‘Stop the Nazi BNP’ protest in Birmingham TONIGHT5pm

No to fascists representing us in Europe!
 
Date: Tuesday 9th June, 2009
Time: 5pm – 7pm
Location: High Street (Meet outside Zavvi/Waterstones), Bullring, Birmingham.

Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=104673371440
 
Organised by UAF (Unite Against Fascism) and others. 

All welcome, please attend.