Tagged: Bigg Market

Newcastle Unites against Pegida demonstration backed by unions from across the country

Unions across the region are joining forces in protest against the controversial anti-Islamic demonstration set to take place in Newcastle next week.

German right wing group Pediga plans to hold a demonstration on Saturday in the city’s Bigg Market.

But opposition Newcastle Unites plans a counter march beginning at Gallowgate and heading to Newgate Street.

Comedian and activist Russell Brand and Respect MP George Galloway have pledged their support to the anti-facist group.

Dozens of groups from across the region are backing Newcastle Unites, and organisers are now asking all unions across the country to strengthen their cause.

Newcastle councillor Dipu Ahad said:

“I urge all the unions in the country, to unite and support Newcastle Unites Against Pegida.

“I urge you all, who want to see a better future for our children, where we can coexist in peace, no matter what our race or religion. Let us start today, and not tomorrow as each and everyone of us has got a responsibility as humans.

“Our unity is our strength, and together we can eradicate all types of hate, no matter what.

“Too many times we focus on what divides us, which diverts the real issues. We’ve got a responsibility to combat evil, so I urge you all to stand up and be counted.”

The councillor said many groups had come forward voluntarily to support Newcastle Unites.

Just days ago Pegida were told by Newcastle United fans: “We’re black and white”.

The demonstration is planned for the same day as Newcastle face Aston Villa at St James Park, and NUFC Fans United put out the defiant message on their website which reads:

“There is a fear that Newcastle United supporters who are of the Islamic faith or origin may be singled out for abuse by this group and we say that the authorities cannot allow any of our community, whatever their race, creed or religious belief to be treated in such a manner in our city on match day or any other day.

“As Supporters of Newcastle United we are asking what kind of message is such a rally sending to players such as Papiss Cissé, Mehdi Abeid, Cheik Tiote and Moussa Sissoko as well as to our wider Muslim community? Remember, we are black and white; we are UNITED.”

A heavier-than usual police presence is expected on the day of the two marches.

Newcastle Chief Supt Laura Young said:

“We have met with representatives from both of the organisations and have agreed on plans for their demonstrations.

“The organisers from both groups have assured us they do not want any trouble and their intention is to hold peaceful protests before moving on and we will act in a neutral capacity to facilitate this.

“People often ask why we can’t ban protests. Police forces do not have the power to ban a protest or the right to peaceful assembly. This is a fundamental democratic right and is laid down in the European Convention of Human Rights.

“On occasions we can insist on certain conditions being applied to ensure we preserve public safety, prevent crime, serious disorder and serious damage and protect the rights of others.

“Our priority is ensuring public safety and minimum disruption to the local community.”

Newcastle Unites against Pegida supporters so far are:

• The Durham General Branch of the GMB

• Northern Cultural Projects CIC

• The Durham Miners Association

• The County Durham Trades Council

• Northumberland County Unison

• The Newcastle Hindu Temple

• Islamic Diversity Centre(IDC)

• Spice FM

• Show Racism The Red Card

• Durham UAF

• County Durham Unites Against Racism

• Newcastle Council of Faiths

• North East People’s Assembly

• Newcastle Stop The War Coalition

• Northumberland County Unison

• UAF North East

• Sunderland Anti-Fascist Coalition

• West End Housing Co-operative in Newcastle

• TWAFA

• Unite Against Fascism

• Stand up to UKIP

• 5Pillars

• Newcastle Council for Voluntary Service(NCVS)

• Jude Kirton Darling MEP

• Julie Ward MEP

• Lord Beecham

• Comedian and activist Russell Brand

• Journalist and activist Yvonne Ridley

• Dave Anderson MP

• Chi Onwurah MP

• Davy Hopper (General Secretary of Durham Miners Association)

• Palestine Solidarity Campaign Fife

• Sunderland Together

• NUFC Fans United

• PCS Northern

• Bakers Union

• Tyneside Irish Centre

• Unite The Union

• Gateshead Unison

• Unison Northern Region

• TUC Northern Regional

• Newcastle Central Constituency Labour Party

• North East Greens

• Tyneside SWP

Source –  Sunday Sun,  22 Feb 2015

Pegida ? Racist ? Now why would anyone think that ?

The co-founder and leader of anti-Islamisation party Liberty GB has accepted an invitation by Pegida UK to be guest speaker at their planned demonstration in Newcastle.

German anti-Islamic group Pediga will hold its demonstration on Saturday, February 28, at 11am in the Bigg Market and protesters will gather there for speeches.

Paul Weston is best known for being arrested last April on the steps of Winchester Guildhall for quoting Winston Churchill.

Churchill once said of Islam, “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world”, and for repeating these words Weston was thrown into a police cell.

His political arrest was covered by the world’s media.

> Was it ? I don’t recall it at all.

Styling himself “a revolutionary” rather than a conventional politician, Weston achieved online notoriety for a viral video entitled, “My Name Is Paul Weston and I Am a Racist”, in which he argued that the Left smears patriotic Brits as ‘racists’ in order to neutralise popular opposition to Britain’s destruction via uncontrolled immigration and Islamisation.

He has described government immigration policy as “criminal and systematic race replacement of the native English.”

> And this is revolutionary thinking ? Nothing new there, just the same old bollocks.

Recently, Weston has spoken at several EDL rallies, including one outside Downing Street at which he condemned David Cameron as a “quisling, coward and traitor” for his refusal to address the alledged  Islamic threat.

 Liberty GB describes itself on Facebook as “a patriotic, anti-Islamisation party promoting Christian civilisation, Western freedoms and British culture”.

>  Oh, surely not Christianity – an imported middle eastern religion sharing roots with Islam.  By their own standards, Liberty X – sorry, Liberty GB – are dangerously close to being classed as traitors by their own definition. But I don’t suppose they do irony.

The Party’s policies include:

– complete halt to immigration

– death sentence for terrorism

– prohibit Muslims from holding public office

– deport all Muslims considered to be a threat, along with their families

– segregate Muslim prisoners within the prison system to prevent conversion of non-Muslims to Islam

– ban mosque-building, remove minarets from existing mosques, outlaw the Islamic call to prayer

– ban ritual slaughter of animals and importation of ritually slaughtered meat

– close all madrassas and Muslim faith schools

– close Muslim prayer rooms and Islamic centres on university campuses

Asked for his view of George Galloway and Russell Brand, due to lead a counter-demonstration in Newcastle, Paul Weston called the former “a despicable traitor” and the latter “an idiot”.

The counter rally by Newcastle Unites will meet in Gallowgate at around 10.30am, before walking a short distance to Newgate Street where they will hold their demonstration.

Source –  Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 19 Feb 2015

Pegida urge other right-wing groups to keep Newcastle demonstration peaceful

The controversial anti-Islam group Pegida has urged extreme right-wing groups planning to join its first British demonstration, in Newcastle, to keep protests peaceful.

It has admitted the 11am start on Saturday, February 28, was a “pain” for supporters travelling from elsewhere, but accepted police and the local council had “a lot to contend with” as there was a Premier League fixture in the city that afternoon.

There will also be a counter-demo which left-wing comedian Russell Brand and Respect MP George Galloway were understood to be joining.

Pegida UK is an offshoot of the group which started in Germany and whose name translates as Patriots of Europe against the Islamisation of the West.

On Facebook, it said it was aware extreme right-wing groups were planning to join them in Newcastle, and insisted the rally in the Bigg Market must remain non-violent.

It said: “Pegida is an organisation that believes in freedom of expression and speech. We welcome everybody. No matter of political nor religious background…

“All we ask is that people acknowledge our agenda of peaceful protest and unite under the Pegida flag for the day….. In a perfect world we would love the extreme right-wing element to leave us to it… but this isn’t an ideal world… as long as everyone behaves themselves, this should go without incident.

“The subject about Islam’s influence of our culture is a very sensitive issue… and it is a topic that lays heavy on our hearts… it is true this stirs emotions and sometimes anger… but we are not angry at the Muslim community, but the Governments that have allowed such acts to take place.

“Pegida asks that all aggression and ill conduct to be ruled out completely. This is a public and political awareness campaign… The only awareness a violent attitude will bring, is the awareness that we are out of control thugs that have no agenda except cause destruction.”

In a separate message addressed “Dear loyal and proud patriots” the group said it was too late to alter the February 28 date.

That afternoon a crowd of around 50,000 is expected to watch Newcastle United play Aston Villa at St James’s Park.

Pegida said Northumbria Police and Newcastle City Council “have a lot to contend with on the 28th, our hands are tied”.

> Well, you could just stay away…

The statement continued: “It is a pain for us all we can appreciate this. Newcastle will be the first of many demonstrations held. The next will be planned better with city events and logistics sorted out prior.”

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 19 Feb 2015

Fascists march through Newcastle city centre

Up to 400 English Defence League supporters joined forces today (Saturday 17 May 2014)  to march through Newcastle.

The event started at 1pm in the Bigg Market, snaked along Collingwood Street, on to Westgate Road, along St James’ Boulevard, on to Barrack Road and into Leazes Park.

The procession was led to the beating of a drum and chants by its members.

Supporters draped in Union Jacks and St George’s flags were hemmed in by lines of police.

The far-right group arrived at Leazes Park to the sounds of a DJ in the sweltering heat.

And from the bandstand they listened to a string of speakers.

Police wearing high visibility jackets flanked the crowds and in the park they carried riot helmets in case of any trouble.

Joining in with the march were people of all ages, from pensioners to mums with their toddler children.

Wendy Angel, from Newcastle, who has been an EDL member since 2011, was an event speaker. She said: “There are more than 300 people here today. It’s great to get this support.”

Ian Crossland, from Sheffield, who is EDL’s South Yorkshire regional organiser, said: “We have had fantastic support. This is just a regional demo and over 300 have turned up. Last week we had a national demo in Rotherham and 700 attended there. We want to get our message across to the general public.”

> And your message is what exactly ?

Hundreds of police lined the streets were the march took place. Across the city officers could also be seen.

Anti-fascist group Newcastle Unites made a counter protest as they marched through the centre. The two groups were kept apart as Newcastle Unites started their march at the City Hall before going along John Dobson Street, on to New Bridge Street, along Blackett Street and ended up at the Monument where they held speeches.

Once the EDL were in Leazes Park, Newcastle Unites members marched along Gallowgate to Barrack Road where they held a static protest.

The EDL then marched back to the Bigg Market where the event finished.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Coun Nick Forbes, said: “The extremist views of groups like the English Defence League have no place in a modern, welcoming city like Newcastle where everyone regardless of colour, creed or ethnicity is treated with respect.

“Their presence here is a huge concern to businesses and communities alike.”

Chief Supt Laura Young, Newcastle Area Commander, said: “As expected it’s been a busy day in Newcastle and I’d like to thank members of the public visiting the city centre and those who work and live here for their patience and cooperation today.

“There have been a number of events across the city, all of which have passed safely and with minimum disruption. All marches passed off smoothly and there have been no arrests or reported incidents of disorder during any of the events.

“Newcastle is a vibrant city and we get thousands of people coming in every weekend to enjoy everything the city has to offer and I’m pleased they felt able to do so today.

“We are expecting a normal busy Saturday night and officers will be on patrol as usual across the city. The city has a lively night life and this is something we are well used to policing. “

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 17 May 2014