Brilliant public meeting as Leicester unites to oppose EDL

People from across Leicester’s diverse community came together at a brilliant public meeting last night to organise their opposition to the English Defence League.

The racist and fascist EDL has announced plans to come to Leicester on 4 February.

Last night’s meeting of around 170 people – white, black and Asian – showed a determination to stand up in unity against the EDL.

Banners from the East Midlands regions of the Unite and Unison unions decorated the walls of the Highfields Community Centre, where community leaders, local councillors, trade unionists and local young people came together.

They heard Sital Singh Gill, general secretary of Indian Workers Association, Priya Thamotheram from the community centre, local youth activist Az and UAF’s Simon Assaf speak from the platform, along with Councillor Lucy Chaplin, who brought greetings from Leicester West constituency Labour Party and from former council leader Ross Wilmott.

Leicester councillor and Communication Workers Union branch secretary Andy Connelly also sent a message of support.

The meeting discussed the planned counter-demonstration against the EDL.

This will assemble in Leicester City Centre on Saturday 4 February – more details to follow. The antiracist, antifascist protest is supported by CWU Leicestershire branch, PCS Leicester and Leicestershire branch, Stoneygate Labour Party, Unite 0168M branch and Leicester District Trades Council.

Speaking from the floor, councillor Patrick Kitterick told the meeting:

This is my city, these are my streets. We need to draw a line and say no further to the EDL.

Huge counter-mobilisations against the EDL in Leicester in October 2010 showed the racists and fascists were not welcome then – now Leicester is set to unite against the EDL once again to drive the message home.