The Socialist Workers Party wants to keep racists and fascists out of our towns and cities—but bans are not the solution.
As a strategy to stop the EDL they are bankrupt. They do not stop the EDL, and can demobilise anti-racist activists.
History is on the side of those of us who oppose bans. This October sees the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street—the most important demonstration against Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists.
After the successful anti-fascist mobilisation the government passed a new public order bill, which it claimed would curb Mosley.
The wearing of political uniforms, like the fascist black shirt, was outlawed and marches could be banned for up to three months.
But the government and police used the new laws against those who opposed the fascists, while allowing Mosley the right to free assembly and speech.
That should be a lesson to all those who today call for state bans on the EDL.
It is vital that the racists are opposed. That is why Unite Against Fascism has launched a petition demanding our right to march.
If you hate racism and want to defend civil liberties you know where you have to be this Saturday. And sign the statement at www.uaf.org.uk as a matter of urgency.