One Society Many Cultures and Unite Against Fascism ConventionOne Society Many Cultures and Unite Against Fascism Convention

National Convention

Celebrate diversity

Defend multiculturalism

Oppose Islamophobia and racism!

A one-day national convention bringing together a broad alliance
celebrating diversity, rejecting Islamophobia and fascism

Saturday 15 October

9.30–5pm, TUC Conference Centre,

Great Russell St, London WC1B 3LS

Speakers include:

Jack Dromey MPHelen Goodman MPPeter Hain MPClaude Moraes MEPJean Lambert MEPFarooq Murad, Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain • Edie Friedman, Executive Director, Jewish Council for Racial Equality • Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ General Secretary
Hugh Lanning, Dep Gen Secretary, PCS • Steve Hart, Political Director, Unite the Union • Megan Dobney, Regional Secretary SERTUC • Zita Holbourne, PCS NEC • Bob Lambert, co-Director, European Muslim Research Centre • Jody McIntyre, Journalist • Peter Oborne, Journalist • Dilowar Khan, Director, London Muslim Centre • Alaa’ Samarrai, VP Student Affairs, Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) • Kanja Sesay, NUS Black Students’ Officer • Nitin Sawney, Musician • Sabby Dhalu, Secretary, One Society Many Cultures • Denis Fernando, Lesbian and Gay Coalition Against Racism • Weyman Bennett, Joint National Secretary, Unite Against Fascism • Martin Smith, National Co-ordinator, Love Music Hate Racism

£15 organisations, £10 individuals, £5 concessions

All welcome!

Register online or by post now

OSMC and UAF logos
Sponsored by SERTUC, Supported by Unite, CWU, MCB, UCU, PCS, NUS BSC

Why we are backing the conference

Billy Hayes General Secretary, Communication Workers Union

Britain’s diversity offers many social, cultural and economic benefits. We must assert that we are one society with many cultures. This important event will be an opportunity to unite trade unions, faith and other communities to celebrate our multicultural heritage and oppose racism, Islamophobia and hatred.

Edie Friedman Executive Director, Jewish Council for Racial Equality

Britain has a proud tradition of being a haven for those fleeing persecution, tyranny and fear. We must protect that right to refuge. This timely event will celebrate the positive contribution we all make to society.

Farooq Murad Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain

Sadly, Islamophobia is an undeniable reality in our society. It is culminating in Mosques being attacked, Muslims being vilified in the media, hatred and violence being encouraged. We are committed to fight this by working with people from all walks of life. We need to celebrate diversity and promote understanding to create a just and cohesive Britain.

Michael Rosen poet and playwright

The far-right think that they can rustle up enough bullies and thugs to threaten the peace and security of Muslims. We can’t rely on the government doing anything about this. In fact, we’ve come to expect the opposite: they either keep suspiciously silent, or even worse: deliver speeches full of aggressive and prejudiced talk towards Muslim people. We need trade unionists and activists to come together to keep our streets and lives free of this danger so I welcome this conference on October 15.

Professor Danny Dorling University of Sheffield

When governments run out of good arguments to explain why their policies are hurting people they look for scapegoats. Suggesting that multiculturalism is a problem is just one way of trying to hide the fact that the rich are getting richer whilst most peoples’ living standards are falling.

Register online or by post now

Tel: 020 7801 2782

Email: info@uaf.org.uk

Web: uaf.org.ukwww.onesocietymanycultures.org

How the EDL was defeated in Tower Hamlets

By Sabby Dhalu, Unite Against Fascism Joint Secretary and One Society Many Cultures Secretary
The demonstration against the English Defence League (EDL) on Saturday 3rd September 2011 in Tower Hamlets was a huge victory for the anti-fascist movement and all those in the community who had worked together for months to stop the EDL coming to the Borough and to organise an anti-fascist, anti-racist event in response to their attempts to divide and intimidate the local community.
The attempt by the EDL to hold a demonstration through the heart of one of the most multicultural areas in the country, aimed at the East London Mosque, one of the key centres of London’s Muslim communities, was always an evident racist and Islamophobic provocation. In the event the EDL could not hold any kind of event in Tower Hamlets, while a large, peaceful anti-fascist event went ahead on Whitechapel Rd.
The key to this success was the unity of a number of political and other forces locally and nationally: the national anti-fascist movement in Unite Against Fascism; the local response brought together in United East End that included faith representatives, trade unions, local community activists of all backgrounds, students, LBGT groups and many others; the East London Mosque, the London Muslim Centre and key local Muslim organisations like the Islamic Forum Europe; and the leadership offered by Tower Hamlets Mayor, Lutfur Rahman and his office.
This unity was based on agreement around two key elements of the necessary response: firstly, a political campaign that the EDL should not be allowed to march through a multicultural, predominantly Muslim, community with the aim of threatening and intimidating; and secondly, that the EDL must be countered by the broadest possible mobilisation of the local community and all anti-fascists to assert the multicultural unity of Tower Hamlets against the politics of hatred and division.
The unity in the community that the EDL should not be allowed into Tower Hamlets eventually forced Theresa May’s hand. She responded to this pressure by placing a month-long blanket ban on all demonstrations in 5 London boroughs. The possible implications of this for legitimate public protest on a range of unrelated issues led some to argue that to call for a ban had been wrong.
The case in principle for a ban is straightforward. The right to freedom of expression and assembly does not extend to the right to intimidate, threaten, whip up hatred against individuals or communities, carry out violent assaults and drive other people off the streets. This is a classic example of the case made by JS Mill in his seminal work, On Liberty, which laid down the principles of the limits of action of the state in a liberal society – that the state had no right to place any limit on the actions of human beings, including specifically the right to freedom of speech or protest, except insofar as these actions would lead to harming others.
It is on the basis of this liberal understanding of the limits to ‘free speech’ that the anti-fascist movement has traditionally called on the media to refuse to give a platform to fascist views and organisations, called on student unions to adopt a policy of ‘no platform’ for fascists, supported legislation outlawing incitement to racial violence, and called on the courts to prosecute those who do so.
Progressive movements have called on governments and the state to introduce laws outlawing discrimination against women, black people, ethnic minorities, gypsies, LGBT people, and many others. In the same way, there should be constraints on the right of the EDL to march into communities with the aim of inciting hatred and violence. This is not to call for all EDL activity to be banned or the organisation proscribed – but to confine its activities to areas where it does not present a real and present threat of violence to others.
This is the same argument whereby the Orange marches in the North of Ireland have not been banned, but inhibited in their right to march provocatively through nationalist communities.
At the same time, this does not mean that a ban on a march or protest is sufficient to stop the fascists or the EDL.
Firstly, the state will only be persuaded to act at all if the anti-fascist and anti-racist movement is sufficiently strong, mobilised and united. This is why those sections of the anti-fascist movement that have implied that calling for a ban is an alternative to organising mass protests against the EDL are wrong. Only the knowledge that the anti-fascist movement and local community will be massively present on the streets has persuaded the police to determinedly keep the EDL away from their target communities, let alone argue for a ban on their marches. Experience shows that where there has been no anti-fascist response – for example where the local community has been persuaded by the police in particular that it should oppose such a presence and call on businesses to shut and people to stay at home – then the policing of the EDL has remained light and they have been free to riot and rampage through towns.
Secondly, as we saw with the ban on the EDL on 3rd September, the ‘ban’ itself was limited and did not stop a so-called ‘static protest’. That this ‘static protest’ by the EDL would not be permitted within Tower Hamlets itself was far from certain right up until the day. The work carried out by Mayor Lutfur Rahman in pressuring the police to not allow the EDL in Tower Hamlets and the fact that the anti-fascist movement and the local community were present in large numbers, ensured that the EDL was kept outside the Borough.
And finally, as we saw in the blanket ban on all marches imposed in this case by the Home Secretary, the Tory government wants to pretend there is an equivalence between the EDL thugs and anti-fascist movement, and that the marches have to be banned to prevent ‘disorder’ rather than to stop the intimidation of Muslim communities. Maintaining the anti-fascist mobilisation rejects this reactionary logic of the Tories.
Saturday’s event organised by United East End and Unite Against Fascism (UEE/UAF) was a brilliant, peaceful display of unity with trade unions, faith communities, LGBT and other communities showing solidarity with Muslim communities against Islamophobia, racism and fascism.
Mayor Lutfur Rahman not only opened the event, but stayed with the community right to the end.
The lessons of 3rd September are clear. The EDL can be defeated through unity of the community under attack in insisting that they should not be allowed to enter an area to threaten its residents with violence. This can force the government and the state to take action to prevent the EDL’s provocations, but their action cannot be relied on and has to be accompanied by the broadest possible, peaceful, mobilisation of the community and wider anti-fascist movement on the streets to counter them.
Celebrate diversity, defend multiculturalism, oppose racism, fascism and Islamophobia
Called by UAF and One Society Many Cultures, sponsored by SERTUC
Saturday 15 October, TUC Congress House, Great Russell Street, London

Why we must mobilise against the EDL

By Sabby Dhalu, Unite Against Fascism Joint Secretary and One Society Many Cultures Secretary

Despite a ban on its march in Tower Hamlets, the English Defence League (EDL) is attempting to organise a static demonstration. At the time of writing it is not clear where this demonstration will be.

The EDL must not be allowed to demonstrate in Tower Hamlets.

The EDL is a fascist street fighting movement. Attempting to demonstrate in Tower Hamlets is a highly provocative move by the EDL and consistent with previous attempts to bring their violent Islamaphobia into Britain’s Muslim communities. EDL demonstrations have led to riots, with violent attacks upon police officers, Muslim, Asian and black communities,  Mosques, Sikh and Hindu temples. Its actions are aimed at inciting hatred against Muslims with placards saying “Allah is a paedophile” and chanting “Burn down a Mosque”. Members of the EDL have also been linked to Norway terrorist Anders Behring-Breivik.

However recently the EDL has also turned its violence on the labour movement, attacking a trade union book shop in Liverpool and a meeting in Barking organised by local Labour Party members with Unite Against Fascism (UAF), resulting in injuries.

We welcome the public initiative led by Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman to ban the EDL’s march. A march through the heart of the East End, a multicultural borough with the biggest concentration of Muslim communities in the country, would have been damaging for community relations.

However banning EDL marches is not sufficient in itself in opposing the EDL. The EDL still intends to hold a static demonstration.  The police say it cannot ban static demonstrations. We believe the EDL’s previous violence indicates it is a clear threat to public order, and overtly incites religious and racial hatred. This supersedes any so-called right of the EDL to demonstrate in Tower Hamlets, and on these grounds it should be prevented from having static demonstrations in multicultural areas with large Muslim populations.

Crucially, the lesson of history is that fascist organisations must be mobilised against. The EDL represent a tiny minority in society. We must alert and mobilise the vast majority of people in our society who find its violent, racist and Islamophobic behaviour abhorrent. We must unite all those in society that fascists target : Muslim, Jewish, other faiths, black, Asian, LGBT communities, trade unions, the labour movement, liberals, socialists, disabled people and all those for freedom and democracy, against fascism and racism.  This is how similar movements in the past like the National Front and Mosley’s Black shirts were defeated.

Today Muslim, Asian and black communities walk freely through the streets of Poplar and the Isle of Dogs without fear. This right was hard won and thanks to those that actively campaigned against racism and fascism before us.

We cannot be complacent in the face of racism and fascism. We must actively oppose and unite against it the moment it rears its ugly head. Failing to do so would give the EDL the green light to continue its violent hate campaign without opposition.

That is why local community organisations in Tower Hamlets formed “United East End” to oppose this threat.  Together with Unite Against Fascism, we will be hosting an event on Saturday 3rd September in Whitechapel to celebrate our diverse communities.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the Cable Street demonstration when Moseley’s fascists were stopped from running amock amongst the East End’s Jewish community. Today the Muslim community in the East End is facing a similar menace. It is vital that we stand together against this threat.

National Convention: Celebrate Diversity, Defend Multiculturalism, Oppose Islamophobia and Racism

Saturday 15th October
supported by SERTUC
TUC Conference Centre, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

A national conference to bring together the broadest alliance to celebrate diversity, defend multiculturalism, and oppose Islamophobia and racism.

The shocking massacre in Norway in July has underlined the pressing need to bring together all those who wish to defend freedom of expression and diversity, and oppose fascism
Our hard won rights, including freedom of expression, speech, thought, conscience, religious and cultural expression and defending civil liberties, are the product of hundreds of years of struggle, creating a more civilised society in which each person is able to live their life as they wish and to the fullest expression of their talents.

These rights are under attack on many fronts, including the actions of Breivik, but also through legislation banning religious dress, the building of minarets, bans on kosher and halal butchers, inflammatory and inaccurate media scare stories suggesting that the tiny minority of Muslim residents in Europe threaten the introduction of ‘sharia’ law or ‘creeping Islamification’, and fascist attacks on places of worship, communities, meetings and cemeteries.

The response to those who sow division is that we are one society with many cultures, ideas, faiths and beliefs.  Celebrate our diversity and organise to oppose racism, fascism and hatred.
Initially confirmed speakers include:

Jack Dromey MP
Helen Goodman MP
Peter Hain MP
Claude Moraes MEP
Jean Lambert MEP
Farooq Murad, Secretary General – Muslim Council of Britain
Edie Friedman, Executive Director- Jewish Council for Racial Equality
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ General Secretary
Hugh Lanning, PCS Dep Gen Secretary
Steve Hart, Political Director – Unite the Union
Zita Holbourne, PCS NEC
Megan Dobney, Regional Secretary, SERTUC
Bob Lambert,  Co-Director – European Muslim Research Centre
Jody Macintyre, Journalist
Peter Oborne, Journalist
Alaa’ Samarrai, VP Student Affairs Federation of Student Islamic Societies
Kanja Sesay, NUS Black Students Officer
Nitin Sawney, Musician
Denis Fernando, Lesbian and Gay Coalition Against Racism
Sabby Dhalu, Secretary – One Society Many Cultures
Weyman Bennett, Joint National Secretary – Unite Against Fascism
Martin Smith, National Co-ordinator – Love Music Hate Racism

To register now please click here
http://uaf.org.uk/2011/07/book-now-for-15-oct-conference-to-defend-multiculturalism/

Tell pubs: Dont host the EDL on Saturday 3rd September

The English Defence League wants to use three pubs as meeting points for their demo on Saturday 3 September

First victory: Euston Flyer and O’Neills turn away EDL
Two pubs, the Euston Flyer and O’Neills in Euston Road have now said they won’t host the EDL and will shut down if the racists and fascists turn up.

This is a welcome move from the pubs – and a victory for a swift campaign that began last night.

The EDL have been forced back to pubs in Euston and Kings Cross, after brilliant action by the RMT railworkers’ union stopped their plans to gather en masse at Liverpool Street station on Saturday.
They now plan to assemble at the Euston Flyer, 83-87 Euston Rd and O’Neills, 73-77 Euston Rd, London before being taken to their demo site in Tower Hamlets in small groups by police.

Please complain to both pubs and urge them not to host the EDL. But be polite, as it’s not the fault of the pubs that the EDL want to drink there.

Use UAF’s factsheet to explain why these pubs should not host the EDL  

Contact Flying Scotsman
2-4 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DU
tel 020 7837 8271

Contact the Dun A Ri (also known as Millers)
19 Caledonian Road, King’s Cross, London, N1 9DX
tel 020 7837 4863

Contact the Driver
2-4 Wharfdale Road, Kings Cross, London, N1 9RY
tel 0207 278 8827
For latest updates: twitter.com/uaf

Celebrate Tower Hamlets – One Community Many Cultures

Despite the Home Secretary banning the English Defence League (EDL) from  marching through Tower Hamlets, they are still being allowed a static demonstration.  We do not know where the EDL static demonstration will be.  However, in the wake of the riots in London, and the endorsement of the EDL by Anders Behring Breivik who was responsible for the shocking massacre in Norway this July, we believe it  is unnaceptable that the EDL, with its history of violence and public disorder, should be allowed this demonstration. Tower Hamlets is a diverse and multicultural borough with the largest Muslim community in the country.
 
United East End and Unite Against Fascism are jointly organising a national demonstration against the English Defence League on 3 September which will feature speeches and music, with artists including multitalented fusion musician and producer Nitin Sawhney, leading radio DJ Nihal, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and chart-topping rapper and MC Wretch 32.

 
The new assembly point is 11am, corner of Vallance Road and Whitechapel Road, London E1.  Please note that Whitechapel tube is closed, as is the district line, so the nearest tube station is Bethnal Green on the Central Line.
Turnout crucial
It is crucial that we get the biggest possible turnout on the anti-racist demo to show the widest possible opposition to the EDL.

 
Last year 5,000 people turned out to reject the hatred of the EDL.  
We want the biggest possible turnout on the demo to show that the vast majority of people don’t want the racists and fascists of the EDL in Tower Hamlets or anywhere else.
 
For more information including coaches from around the country please visit www.uaf.org.uk