"We Stand together" in Edinburgh on 1 June

Sat 1 June - "WE STAND TOGETHER" - Demo against racism and fascism

1pm Saturday, 1 June at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh

Racist and fascist organisations such as the Scottish and English Defence Leagues are trying to use the Woowich murder to whip up racism and direct hatred against all Muslims.

The Scottish Defence League (SDL) have organised a protest to try to stir up trouble and racist violence in the wake of the Woolwich killing, they do not care about the dead soldier, his family or the interests of any community.

We stand together to oppose the SDL protest outside Scottish parliament on Saturday 1 June.

Organised by Unite Against Fascism, supported by Edinburgh Stop the War Coalition and SACC

Statement from UAF Scotland

Unite Against Fascism-Edinburgh sends its condolences to the family and friends of the soldier murdered in Woolwich. There can be no justification for such a terrible attack on an individual.

Despicably, racist and fascist organisations such as the Scottish and English Defence Leagues are trying to use this tragedy to whip up racism and direct hatred against all Muslims.

We must not give a quarter to those who would judge an entire religion, race or nationality by the actions of a few. We do not hold Norwegian Christians responsible for the actions of the fascist Anders Breivik, whose 2011 rampage left 77 dead. We do not hold all white British people collectively responsible for David Copeland, the former BNP member who planted bombs across London in 1999. Nor should anyone suggest that Britain’s Muslims are collectively responsible for the attack in Woolwich.

The Scottish Defence League (SDL) have organised a protest to try to stir up trouble and racist violence in the wake of the Woolwich killing, they do not care about the dead soldier, his family or the interests of any community.

We stand together to oppose the SDL protest outside Scottish parliament on Saturday 1 June.

Statement from SACC

The brutal killing of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich on 22 May was murder, not war. Just like the drone assassinations of supposed Taliban and al Qaida figures who are not actively engaged in combat. All actions of this sort are indefensible.

David Cameron has called the murder "an attack on Britain and on the British way of life." It was not. It was an attack on one soldier intended, according to the reported words of the attackers, as retaliation for the killing of Muslims in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Cameron also says it was "a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country."

Cameron's comments are sugared with praise for the Muslim community but they evoke the worn-out cliches of a clash of civilisations. He must know perfectly well that comments like these will not deflect the racist hatred already being directed against British Muslims.

London mayor Boris Johnson says it is "completely wrong to blame this killing on the religion of Islam and it is also equally wrong to link this murder to the actions of British foreign policy." He's right to disconnect the murder from Islam, but it cannot be disconnected from Britain's wars of aggression in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The British government's wars are wrong. But the government's collective responsibility for that carnage doesn't diminish the responsibility of individuals who commit dreadful crimes either to further the government's policy or to oppose it.

The Woolwich murder must not be used as a pretext for yet more anti-terrorism laws or new surveillance and monitoring initiatives. Such measures threaten all our liberties, reduce our capacity to respond to destructive politics, and create the climate of suspicion and fear that leads some people to resort to terrorism.

The British government must end its attempts to occupy other people's countries. Individuals contemplating crimes under the umbrella of the war must remember their obligations under our shared human values and under domestic and international law. And all of us in Britain must resist the racism that feeds off the war and feeds war.

Also see

  • Statement by the Stop the War Coalition and CND
    "...The invasion and occupation of mainly Muslim countries abroad has to lead to the dehumanising of the victims of the wars. Racists like the EDL turned up in Woolwich to try to further foster Islamophobia. We call on everyone to resist any racist backlash as a result of this attack. We also call on the government to recognise the damage done by these wars and to change its foreign policy accordingly."
  • Britain's wars fuel terror. Denying it only feeds Islamophobia by Seumas Milne
    "Eight years on, nothing has been learned.... 'Kneejerk' barely does it justice. As for the impact on Muslims, the backlash has if anything been worse than in 2005, when 52 Londoners were killed by suicide bombers."
  • Woolwich murders: a warning for the future by Moazzam Begg
    "If left unchallenged, the real backlash of Woolwich will materialize in the shape of extra police and intelligence powers resulting in more draconian anti-terror legislation..."
  • British security services, torture and the Woolwich murder by John Rees
    "...In the Woolwich case these are the facts that are now clear: Michael Adebolajo was arrested on a trip to Kenya in 2010. He was said to be planning to join the Al Shabaab group in Somalia which has been accused of having links with Al Queda. He was tortured and sexually assaulted in prison....When Adebolajo returned to Britain the security services tried to recruit him. His family were questioned by MI5. His brother was arrested at gunpoint and questioned on a visit to Saudi Arabia. His brother in law got the same treatment in Yemen and was questioned by MI5 when he came back to the UK."
  • Daring to use the words 'western foreign policy' by Terry Eagleton
    "Why did the Woolwich killing happen? Less than a week on, the debate has swiftly moved on to the issue of 'preventative measures', with Theresa May proposing new internet controls and the banning of groups preaching hate. Yet anyone who dares to use the words 'western foreign policy' in this context is bound to be speedily shut up by the likes of Paxman and co..."
  • Mass surveillance wouldn't have saved the life of Drummer Rigby by Henry Porter
    "Two former Labour home secretaries, a security minister and a former "independent" reviewer of terror laws have called for the swift review of the communications data bill, following the Woolwich killing. If I didn't believe these were the first reactions to a shocking crime, I'd put the interventions of Jack Straw, Lord (John) Reid, Lord (Alan) West and Lord (Alex) Carlile down to cynical opportunism, because I'm afraid that is very much how it looked..."
  • What we must do now is straightforward enough by former soldier Joe Glenton
    "...So at the very outset, and before the rising tide of prejudice and pseudo-patriotism fully encloses us, let us be clear: while nothing can justify the savage killing in Woolwich yesterday of a man since confirmed to have been a serving British soldier, it should not be hard to explain why the murder happened....What we must do now is straightforward enough. Our own responsibilities are first of all to make sure innocents are not subject to blanket punishment for things that they did not do, and to force our government – safe in their houses – to put an end to Britain's involvement in the vicious foreign occupations that have again created bloodshed in London."