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We are witnessing an alarming growth in the threat posed by the far right in Britain.
The release of ex English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson on bail and the attack by fascists on the Bookmarks bookshop show we have reached a critical moment in British politics.
The far right are organising on an unprecedented scale, both nationally and internationally. They are receiving political and financial support from the US Alt-right, including Trump’s former chief of staff Steve Bannon and other far right figures across Europe.
They are increasingly confident and aggressive and we have to stop them now.
Tommy Robinson has become the focus for a galvanised racist right from fascist groups through to the Democratic Football Lads Alliance to UKIP.
They are developing an ever more racist agenda, targeting the Muslim community, refugees and migrants and increasingly the left.
Racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism are at the heart of their agenda.
Boris Johnson’s outrageous racist and sexist comments about Muslim women wearing the burqa are a sign of how this horrible agenda has entered the mainstream of Britain political life.
Violent attacks on anti-racists have been a feature of the Robinson campaign, including a violent assault on trade unionists after the 3,000 strong Stand Up To Racism counter demonstration on 14 July and now the attack on Bookmarks.
The murder of Jo Cox, and the attack on Finsbury Park mosque that saw the death of Makram Ali at the hands of Darren Osborne, show just how far some on the extreme right are prepared to go.
We therefore welcome the call by John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, for a mass movement in the spirit of the Anti-Nazi League. There is a long tradition of opposing racism and fascism, antisemitism and Islamophobia in Britain. We beat the National Front in the 1970s, defeated the British National Party and broke the English Defence League. Now we have to face even bigger challenges and must unite to defeat the racist and fascist right.
We call on all those who oppose racism and fascism to work together to build a movement in every workplace, college and community to drive the racists back.
We support the calls by Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism for:
· the biggest possible counter mobilisations against any demonstrations or events called by Robinson and his supporters
· a mass anti racist, anti fascist national unity demonstration on November 17, now backed by the TUC and supported by Diane Abbott and John McDonnell
· the International Conference against racism and fascism on 20 October in London, headlined by Diane Abbott and John McDonnell
And we support the gigs and initiatives organised by Love Music Hate Racism this autumn.
It's time for a mass campaign - unity against racism and fascism.
Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary
John Mcdonnell Shadow Chancellor
Kate Osamor MP
Dave Ward, CWU General Secretary
Kevin Courtney, NEU Joint General Secretary
Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary
Talha Ahmad, Muslim Council of Britain Treasurer
Rabbi Lee Wax
Sabby Dhalu & Weyman Bennett, Stand Up To Racism Co-Convenors
Steve Hart, Unite Against Fascism Chair
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary
Mick Whelan, ASLEF General Secretary
Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary
Gordan Taylor, PFA Chief Executive
Ian Lawrence, NAPO General Secretary
Lord Peter Hain, Anti Nazi League Founder
Lisa Nandy MP
Rupa Huq MP
Seema Malhotra MP
Emma Dent-Coad MP
David Lammy MP
Catherine West MP
Cat Smith MP
Ian Lavery MP
Julie Ward MEP
Jean Lambert MEP
Claude Moraes MEP
Roger Mckenzie UNISON Assistant General Secretary
Tony Kearns CWU Senior Deputy General Secretary
Steve Hedley RMT Senior Assistant General Secretary
Ian Hodson BFAWU president
Jane Loftus CWU Vice President
Margaret Greer, UNISON National officer, race equality
Gerry Gable, Searchlight
Ged Grebby, Show Racism Red Card
Aman Ali MEND National Head of Community Engagement and Development
Dr Anas Al Tikriti, MAB president
David Rosenberg, Jewish Socialist Group
Mohammed Kozbar, Finsbury Park Mosque Chairman
Siema Iqbal, AVOW - Advancing Voices of Women to tackle Islamophobia
Maz Saleem, Anti-racism campaigner
Ben Chacko, Morning Star editor
Charlie Kimber, Socialist Worker editor
Sam Fairbairn, People's Assembly
Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition
Kate Hudson, CND
Cllr Rakhia Ismail, Labour, Islington
Roger Huddle and Red Saunders, Rock Against Racism founders
Jerry Fitzpatrick, former National Organiser ANL
Alan Gibbons, author
Hsiao-Hung Pai, author
Louise Raw, author
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