The English Defence League (EDL) has announced its intention to hold a national March and Rally here in Exeter on Saturday 16th November. The EDL is a violent, racist group riddled with fascists, dedicated to promoting hatred and intolerance in society. Norwegian racist killer Anders Breivik cited the EDL as an inspiration. Several high profile EDL activists were recorded admitting their support for Breivik’s actions in killing 77 people in two terror attacks. Hundreds of EDL members have criminal convictions, including many for racist violence.
We agree that Islamophobia – bigotry against Muslims – is as unacceptable as any other form of racism. Exeter EDL claim to stand against “extremist Islam” but the truth is that a brief look at their Facebook page shows a deep hostility and aggression against ALL Muslims.
The EDL’s aim is to divide us by making scapegoats of one community, just as the Nazis did with the Jews in the 1930s and the National Front attempted in the 1970s. The EDL is trying to create a street movement to terrorise ethnic minority communities and attack Trade Unionists and anti-fascist activists. They have staged many provocative demonstrations across the UK over the past three years. Whenever the EDL march they bring disruption and violence.
We are proud of the diversity of our city which is most visibly seen at the annual Respect festival. There is no place for the EDL’s hateful bigotry here in Exeter’s multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-faith community.
The EDL are not welcome in Exeter. We call on all to take a firm, peaceful stand against the EDL by coming together to celebrate our diversity on the day.
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