A JOINT statement by anti-fascist across Coventry has slammed the English Defence League’s (EDL) plans to protest in the city.
The ‘We are Cov Unity Statement’, written by Unite Against Fascism, condemns the EDL’s demonstration and claims fascist organisations are using ‘fear over terrorism and war to whip up racism and direct hatred’ against Muslim people.
The statement reads: “Coventry is a city which has a very proud tradition of promoting peace and unity.
“Our city was built on tolerance and respect for the huge contribution made to our city by people from many different backgrounds.
“Coventry has a proud history of combating racism in all it’s forms.”
Citing Coventry’s historic support of refugees and asylum seekers settling in the city, the statement claims the EDL and other far-right groups like Britain First seek to judge ‘an entire religion, race or nationality’ by the actions of a few.
It continues: “The EDL have no solutions for real problems in our society. They have nothing to offer on jobs, housing, young peoples services, education or the economy.
“The EDL offer no future for Coventry people of any background.
“The EDL want only to see Muslims attacked and a race war on our streets.
“We condemn them and oppose their attempts to call ‘demonstrations’ to exploit these issues.
“We need to show we are not complacent. We will not allow the EDL to use our city as a platform for their agenda of hate.
“It is the EDL who are the outsiders and the violent threat to all in Coventry.”
The statement is supported by Coventry Against Racism; Coventry Trade Union Council; Coventry and Warwickshire Peoples Assembly; the Midlands region Public and Commercial Services Union; Coventry branch of Unison; Coventry and Warwickshire branch of Unite, and Love Music Hate Racism.
A separate peaceful #wearecov protest against the EDL will be hosted by the anti-fascist groups in Coventry.