Anti-Racist Action (ARA) is calling all anti-racists in the GTA and surrounding regions to mobilize opposition to a planned ‘Support Rally’ of the nationalist and racist English Defence League (EDL) by the Jewish Defence League, this Tuesday January 11th at the Toronto Zionist Centre. As long as groups like the EDL exist, we will be here to stop their spreading of hatred and violence, and defend our communities.
A growing number of community groups have signed onto an open statement denouncing the EDL and condemning the JDL for supporting a far-right, fascist organization founded in 2009, whose organizing principles are to oppose the “spread of Islam” in the UK. Their claim of opposing “Militant Islam” is a cover for their racist campaign of whipping up hatred against Muslims. Their organizing principles of opposing the ‘spread of Islam’ in the United Kingdom clearly show that they are not only against militant Muslims, but rather seek to destroy ALL Muslims regardless of political ideology. The EDL has organized violent street marches that target Arab and Muslim communities, demonstrating the fact that they target ALL Muslim people simply for being who they are. Although they operate in the UK, they have been seeking to make ties with far-right extremist groups in Sweden, the United States, Canada and Israel. They are part of the alarming rise in fascist, racist and neo-Nazi organizing in Europe over the last few years, including attacks on Muslims, immigrants and Roma people. Wherever the EDL surfaces there is a vile racist atmosphere and reports of racist attacks; footage exists of appalling anti-Islamic chanting and Nazi salutes.
Groups like the EDL exploit economic crises to create a climate of scapegoating and hate-mongering of marginalized and oppressed communities. We confront the rise of these right wing groups just like we confront the daily acts of racism which make the ongoing colonization of stolen native land an acceptable form of genocide in canadian society, and which divide poor and exploited peoples. As part of these daily struggles, we use direct action and confrontation against those who threaten the safety of our communities, relying on ourselves to protect ourselves and standing united with each other to fight any attempts to stir up racist and anti-immigrant sentiment.
Wherever the EDL has reared its head in other countries, towns and cities, it has been opposed by local community activists, trade unionists and anti-racist campaigners defending their communities. Toronto will be no different!!! United in one voice we can chase the scourge of bigotry and intolerance from our streets and from our city!!!!
Gather at the front of Lawrence West Subway station @6:45pm, this Tuesday January 11th
see you in the streets!!!
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid – Community Open Letter Denouncing the Jewish Defense League’s Rally in Support of the English Defense League
National Post · Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011
BBC Documentary on The English Defence League
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