Stop the EDL in Batley Saturday August 9th

29 07 2014


Saturday 9th August, 11.30, Batley Town Hall

Facebook event

On Saturday 9th August join Leeds Anti-Fascist Network, Sheffield Anti-Fascist Network and other groups from the Anti-Fascist Network in opposing the EDL in Batley, West Yorkshire. Anti-fascists have been out distributing thousands of leaflets door to door in Batley and talking to local people, putting in the groundwork fro a successful local mobilisation.

Leeds Anti-Fascist Network write:

On Saturday 9th August the racist English Defence League (EDL) will be demonstrating against the creation of an Islamic faith school in Batley. We believe this is an attempt by the EDL stir up animosity between communities in order to build support for their message of hatred and racial division. We will be opposing the EDL on the 9th August.

Who Are The EDL, And Why Are They Protesting?

The EDL are a racist group that was set up by members of racist and fascist organisations such as the British National Party and National Front. Their members have been convicted of terrorism offences including possession of explosives, vandalism and arson against mosques and Muslim businesses, and serious assaults against black and Asian people. They claim they are only against “extreme Islam”, but instead attack the community as a whole. They say they are not racist, but their organisation is full of individuals with links to racist, far-right organisations. They demonstrate around the country, seeking to divide working class communities by playing on people’s fears and concerns, and turning white against black, Christian against Muslim.


In Batley, they say the creation of a Muslim school is racial discrimination on the part of Kirklees Council, and ask “would a Christian only school be allowed to open?” This is intentionally spreading misinformation to support their hate filled message of racial division. There are thousands of state funded and private Christian faith schools which operate their own enrolment policies i.e. accepting only children of the Christian faith. There are, in contrast, very few Muslim faith schools in this country, and there is no preferential treatment of Muslims in education. Instead of protesting against Muslim schools, we should be protesting against the real injustice in education in this country – the private schools where only the very elite go. Ordinary kids in Batley, Christian or Muslim, will never grace the fields of Eton or Harrow. While our schools are crumbling, the grammar schools and boarding houses of the rich are better than they’ve ever been.

They also say that this school will be a “breeding ground” for terrorism. As is usually the case, the EDL can present no evidence for this being the case. What they really mean is that they think ALL Muslims are terrorists, and all Mosques and Muslim schools are potential recruiting stations for Al-Qaeda. This is the kind of racist myth that they spread, and any of us that work with or live next to Muslims know this is a lie.

Why Should We Oppose Them?

In Britain the economic crisis is being used by the government to cut jobs, pay and services, while those at the top continue to profit. The old saying that “the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer” is more true now than it ever was. When cuts are made to the local hospital, to libraries or to benefits, it affects working class people of all colours and religions. The EDL have nothing to say about what the government are doing to our communities, instead they want to make scape-goats out of people they say are different.

We believe the working class in Batley, non-Muslim or Muslim, have more in common with each other than with the Etonians, politicians and bankers that run this country. Working class communities should be united, irrespective of colour or religion, against the inequality in this country and against the people that want to divide our communities. We urge people to come out on the 9th August and tell the EDL that their message or hatred and racial division is not welcome in Batley.




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