“We have to make sure that the events on Merseyside lead to a robust response from anti racists and anti fascists, not just on Merseyside, but across Britain.”
The following piece is a statement from Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism in response to the far-right attack on asylum seekers in Knowsley.
People across Britain were shocked by the events in Knowsley, Merseyside, on Friday night.
Asylum seekers had to watch a large and threatening mobilisation against them that was fuelled by the anti refugee rhetoric of the government and by the rantings of the likes of Patriotic Alternative.
The Home Secretary’s rhetoric about ‘invasion’ so appalled Holocaust survivor Joan Salter, that she confronted her with the dangerous and murderous outcomes that can be produced by inflammatory words.
Now some of the most vulnerable people in our society have been made targets – but they are not to blame for the ongoing cost of living crisis and its brutal effects on working class communities.
If we don’t act now then Knowsley can be repeated in forthcoming anti refugee mobilisations in Rotherham (18 Feb), Skegness (25 Feb) and elsewhere.
We have to make sure that the events on Merseyside lead to a robust response from anti racists and anti fascists, not just on Merseyside, but across Britain and that on Saturday 18 March there are huge #ResistRacism demonstrations organised with the TUC in London, Glasgow and Cardiff.
It’s time to mobilise the anti racist majority against this scapegoating government and against the far right. It’s not too late to stop the growth of the far right here – but with a government prepared to do anything to divide and rule its opposition – the clock is ticking.
Weyman Bennett, Stand Up To Racism co convenor, said
“We have defeated the fascists and racists who have attempted to divide the communities in the North West but we should not fall for the lies that refugees, most desperate and dispossessed, are the source of any our problems – they should be made welcome.
“This Government has disgusted me. They have tried to blame refugees – we should not accept any of these lies , we should unite.“
MP for Knowsley, George Howarth, said
“The misinformation about refugees being feather-bedded is untrue and intended to paint a picture that does not at all represent the facts.
“The people of Knowsley are not bigots and are welcoming to people escaping from some of the most dangerous places in the world in search of a place of safety.
“Those demonstrating against refugees .. do not represent this community. We are not like that and overwhelmingly behave with sympathy and kindness to others regardless of where they come from.”
Paul Jenkins of Unite Against Fascism, said:
“Fascist and far right organisations were involved in the protest against refugees who are staying in the Hotel.
“Anti-racists are the majority – in Knowsley, on Merseyside, and across the North West Region.
“We have a proud tradition of defeating the far right – we kicked fascist BNP leader Nick Griffin out of his North West Seat MEP seat, and stopped former EDL leader & BNP member ‘Tommy Robinson’ from winning a North West MEP seat in 2019.
“Fascist organisations offer no solutions to ordinary people. Their real agenda is to try and whip up racism in an attempt to divide our communities. We oppose antisemitism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism. Never Again!”
After events in Knowsley, Liverpool we have to mobilise the antiracist majority.