With help from our friends from West Midlands UAF, a full coach of NorSCARF supporters set off for Tower Hamlets last Saturday for the Unite Against Fascism/United East End demonstration against the Fascist English Defence League.
The EDL’s demonstration, billed as their “Big One”, was intended to bring fear to the multicultural streets of east London, and to intimidate the local Muslim community. Unfortunately the racist’s plans were dealt a huge blow by the Rail, Maritime and Transport unions (RMT).
The EDL had planned to have a mass meet up in Liverpool Street Station before moving on down to Tower Hamlets, however the RMT announced that if the Fascist EDL “appear on any of our stations or trains, then there will be refusals to work on safety grounds of serious and imminent danger and stations will close.
The RMT will not allow staff and the public to be put in danger by these thugs, who assaulted people on their last demo.”
Having seen what the EDL’s thugs could do first-hand when they rioted in Stoke-on-Trent city center, attacking Black and Asian communities, and the more recent arson attack against the Regent Street Mosque in Stoke, NorSCARF responded to the call to defend Tower Hamlets from these sick racists.
Trade Unionists from UNISON, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) were all present, along with students from Staffordshire University and Stoke College.
Spirits were high on the day, after the news of the RMT’s action and that two EDL coaches from Stoke-on-Trent had cancelled. Spirits only raised more as the anti-fascist crowd grew larger and larger.
Unfortunately, despite the states ‘ban’ on the EDL marching, the Police did march the fascists down as far as the border into the borough of Tower Hamlets. However, such was the size of the anti-fascist demonstration, that any thought of the EDL entering the borough were quashed straight away.
The EDL were forced to retreat, tail between their legs, as Tower Hamlets said no to Racism, Fascism and Islamophobia.