Monday, May 27, 2013

BNP plan march on Lewisham

Just got back from opposing the English Defence League in central London. Considering it was a sunny bank holiday, they failed to make a big breakthrough in terms of numbers in the aftermath of the killing of Lee Digby. But we shouldn't be complacent, the opposition was only of a similar size, and at times the EDL seemed able to march around the streets at will. At one point I bumped into several hundred of them wandering in the road along Victoria Embankment with no police around them (other than some vans coming up behind). With the rise in support to UKIP too, the racist far right does seem to have some momentum and they are obviously trying to capitalise on popular outrage at the Woolwich killing.

...enter the British National Party, desparate to re-establish their brand amidst internal faction fights and fading support. The BNP have now announced that they are planning a march next Saturday June 1st from Woolwich Barracks to the Lewisham Islamic Centre (363-365 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6NZ)

Will provide more detail as it becomes available but for now anti-racists in South East London should probably put aside any other plans for next Saturday...

[the source for this information is the BNP website, they say they are planning to meet in Woolwich at 1 pm and then march seven miles to Lewisham]

Update (28 May 2013):

South London Anti-Fascists Call Out: 'There are a whole host of fascist actions coming up in the next two weeks:
1) Nick Griffin has appealed to all fellow travelers to attend the British National Party march and motorcade from Woolwich Barracks to Lewisham Islamic Centre on Saturday 1st June from 12pm. They are distributing leaflets locally to prepare.
2) The English Defence League will be assembling outside Woolwich Crown Court on Thursday 6th June to celebrate their “Day of Justice”

This Saturday, we must be stop the fascists from marching to Lewisham, from attacking Islamic centres and mosques. We won’t “cheer up”, this week we will be holding a planning meeting, knocking on doors, visiting local Islamic centres and mosques to organise against the scum that dare to intimidate our communities and darken our streets. NO PASARAN!'

(Lewisham Councillor) Mike Harris: 'Racist political party, the BNP, are organising a march on Lewisham Islamic Centre this Saturday starting in Woolwich at 1pm.  The BNP’s support has collapsed in South-East London in recent years. In the whole of Lewisham (in 2009) they had just 20 members – out of 280,000 people. This march is a clear attempt to capitalise on the appalling murder of Lee Rigby to stoke up community tensions and give the BNP local profile.  I’ll be speaking to Labour party members tonight about what our response should be. Lewisham and Greenwich Councils are also working with the police to ascertain the likelihood of the march going ahead.

We don’t want to give the BNP the oxygen of publicity – nor do we want to leave the Mosque feeling unsupported and isolated. Counter-protests are likely. It’s essential that counter-protesters behave peacefully unlike the thuggish BNP.  People in Lewisham have a long tradition of standing up to racism and I’m sure we will do so again. Let’s make their racism history'.

Update 29 May: Lewisham National Union of Teachers and others are calling for people to meet at 1 pm on Saturday at the War Memorial opposite Lewisham Hospital to oppose the BNP - this is also in the vicintiy of the Lewisham Islamic Centre which is the focus of the march.  The start of the march in Woolwich will be opposed by an anti-fascist gathering in General Gordon Square from 12 noon.

Update 30 May: Lewisham protest has now been confirmed for 2 pm by the Lewisham Islamic Centre - for full details of all protests in Lewisham and Woolwich go to this new Transpontine post.


Peter said...

Unite Against Fascism: Unity in the Community demonstration
Saturday, 1 June 2013 12:00
General Gordon Square, Woolwich (next to Woolwich Arsenal DLR)

Don't let the racists divide us. Fascist organisations such as the English Defence League and British National Party are trying to use the horrific murder in Woolwich to whip up racism and direct hatred against all Muslims. Mosques have been attacked by racist thugs. These fascists and racists should be condemned and opposed. We must not give a quarter to those who would judge an entire religion, race or nationality by the actions of a few.
The EDL and BNP are planning to march in Woolwich. Join the peaceful counter protest. Bring banners, workmates, flags, please share and spread the word.

Ray Barron Woolford said...

Please Note Meeting time in Lewisham Opposite the Lewisham Hospital will be at 2pm. Greenwich People Before Profit supporters will be going to woolwich and i will be joing fellow Lewisham People Before Profit members at Lewisham Rally. As our Group meeting is not until, Monday, in a personal capacity i have called on Labour Mayor, GLS, the Police and Labour MPs to call for a ban. This march has nothing to do with free speech, and eve4rything about boosting the far right that has even insured the once great Labour Party is no longer willing in [present climate to stand up to far right scared of losing more votes to UKIP. Lewisham Voters will be voting for Lewisham People Before profit who will stand up for our community.