Newcastle stood united against hate as thousands of anti-Pegida protestors marched through the streets of the city this morning.
Anti-fascists, trade unions, religious and community groups, and politicians all turned out to oppose the German “anti-Islamisation” group’s first visit to Britian.
“I wish this wasn’t necessary,” said Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, one of the speakers on the march.
“What we’d like is for Pegida to have Newcastle Unites: Thousands turn out for counter-march against Pegida protest not picked our great city to march in.
“But to see people of all cultures and backgrounds, from across the political spectrum and including many football fans, turn out really shows Newcastle is united against these outsiders.”
Charlie Trotter, 21, a waiter from Morpeth in Northumberland, was among a group carrying a Morpeth 4 Peace banner.
“I came down to help make it known that the people of the North Eats are comfortable with immigration and people of different backgrounds and to show that we need to stand up to the far right,” said Charlie.
Gateshead MP Ian Mearns said the number of people at the Newcastle Unites march, which travelled from the gates of the city’s Chinatown, down Gallowgate, and down Newgate Street, was “fantastic.”
“It really shows the solidarity among the people of Newcastle and the North East, and from the perspective that the Pegida protest only had numbers in the low hundreds, and the counter protest had thousands it’s very encouraging,” he said.
“But what I can’t understand is among the Pegida rally there will have been British Nationalists demonstrating alongside proud Europeans – it doesn’t make sense.”
Among the speakers who took to the Newcastle Unites stage was German MEP Arne Lietz, who travelled from Gelsenkirchen.
“For me it is very important to show solidarity and that we are together as Europeans against hate,” he said.
“This Pegida protest will have attracted other groups or individuals who will call themselves Pegida, but many of whom are right wing and nationalist, and who’s hate speak we don’t want to see in the European Union.
“I come from East Germany when I grew up we were singled out for being Christians under the Communist regime. I now want to ensure that we live in a fair Europe with the liberties denied to my own parents.”
The Newcastle Unites march on Newgate street and the Pegida protest on the Bigg Market were kept around 100 yards apart by police cordons and scores of uniformed officers enforcing a “sterile zone.”
It is not yet known if any arrests were made at either protest
> I had hoped to attend myself ( the Newcastle Unites rally, in case you were wondering !) but the effects of bronchitis made worse by a heavy cold dictated otherwise.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 28 Feb 2015
> Pegida supporters (for today, anyway – back to EDL tomorrow). As one comment for this video put it: “Never seen so many inbreed sister fuckers in one place, look like scum sound like scum tramps get a life..”
Hate attacks on Muslims in Britain quadrupled in the months after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby last year, a study by North-East academics has found.
Of the 734 anti-Muslim attacks reported to the Tell Mama charity hotline in a ten-month period to February this year, over half were in the two months after the drummer was stabbed to death in Woolwich in May 2013, the University of Teesside report shows.
Over half of the Islamophobic attacks in the period were committed against women, often targeted because they were wearing clothes people associate with Islam.
> Or more likely because they are seen as softer targets…I suspect the average heroic defender of our British way of life (whatever that is) would rather hit a woman or child than take on some hard-looking guy.
The report is published by the university’s centre for Fascist, anti-Fascist and Post-Fascist Studies – the first research unit of its kind in the UK dedicated to the study of the far-right and its violent opposition.
It also comes just days after the far-right English Defence League marched through the streets of Middlesbrough in protest at what it described as “Muslim grooming gangs”.
Report authors Dr Matthew Feldman and research assistant Mark Littler said they found Muslims were facing hate crime, both online and in the streets, on a daily basis.
Dr Feldman said: “Muslims remain amongst the most likely minority group in Britain to be targeted for a hate crime. ‘Trigger’ events like the murder of Drummer Rigby clearly magnify the possibility of far-right groups and others victimising Muslims simply for who they are and what they believe.”
While police and government figures show that hate crime incidents are generally falling, those against Muslims appear to have significantly increased since the Tell MAMA project was set up in 2012.
The new report shows that less than one in six people who reported incidents to Tell MAMA actually went to the police.
It also reveals that 60 per cent of perpetrators were aged between ten and 30 – suggesting anti-Muslim prejudice among a younger generation raised in the shadow of 9/11 and 7/7.
Nearly half of all online incidents were linked to far right organisations.
Dr Feldman said he was most concerned about the fact that hate crime was being under-reported.
Fiyaz Mughal OBE, Director of Tell MAMA, said: “We know we are only getting a snapshot of what’s happening, but it is clear that fear and apprehension is evident among Muslim women.”
The report, titled ‘Anti-Muslim Overview, Analysis and Cumulative Extremism,’ will be officially launched at an event on Friday 4 July, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, at the Old Shire Hall in County Durham.
Source – Northern Echo, 01 July 2014
Sad right-wing bastards on parade in Newcastle…
You may have read the account of our writer friend being targeted by supporters of the National Front. Here’s his account of the demonstration itself. Thanks for your contribution, comrade!
I arrived at the demonstration area about half an hour before the advertised start time and there was already about 20 people standing on Grey’s Monument with a large banner declaring ‘Nationalists against Groomers’ and smaller Union flags. The crowd had doubled in size after just 15 minutes and by midday there was around 100 people.
This wasn’t the drunken wannabes of the EDL (although there was a small group of EDL from Sunderland who were, somewhat predictably, already drunk) this group was predominantly middle-aged veterans of the far-right. The fascist insignia was proudly on display; Blood and Honour shirts, C-18 badges and swastika tattoos.
View original post 475 more words
A racist thug has been fined for damaging a mosque after a far-right rally in Sunderland.
Connor McIntosh launched the attack on the Jami Masjid mosque in Chester Road, Sunderland, drunkenly kicking a drainpipe.
The 19-year-old had been at a demo over proposals for a new mosque in Millfield on March 30.
> What I dont get is why they were at the Jami Masjid mosque, and not the site of the proposed new mosque, some distance away ?
Also, I’m told that the new mosque is for a seperate strand of Islam than that followed at Jami Masjid – rather like protesting about a new Baptist chapel outside a Roman Catholic church.
Still, that’s the EDL for you – if you thought too deeply (or at all…) about such matters, they’d probably deny you membership on the grounds of being dangerously intellectual. EDL = Easily Distracted Loons.
He was arrested after being captured on CCTV lashing out at the building.
Sunderland magistrates were told how he ranted about Islam and bragged about being a member of the EDL during his interview with police.
He pleaded guilty to causing racially-aggravated criminal damage.
Penny Bottomley, prosecuting, said McIntosh, an unemployed scrapman, was so drunk at first that he did not know why he had been arrested.
She said: “The defendant, when he was interviewed, was asked why he had been detained.
“He thought it was because he was too drunk, but then said there were too many mosques and they (Muslims) were grooming our kids.
“He said he had a child on the way and he did not want his child getting involved in all of that.
“Then he said the police should stop them burning our poppies.
“He confirmed he was a member of the EDL, and he was the male on the CCTV, and had ripped the pipe off the building himself.”
Jason Smith, defending, said father-to-be McIntosh, of Heathgate, Houghton-le-Spring, had never been in trouble before.
He said: “Usually, this is a matter that should have been dealt with by way of a caution.
“I accept the reason why it was not is because of the nature of the allegation, and because of his involvement with the EDL.”
Mr Smith told magistrates that the protest McIntosh had been to was organised with the “understanding” of the police and that McIntosh had the right to air his views.
He added: “Unfortunately, he had a bit too much to drink, and at the end of the march he caused damage to the drainpipe, then he walked away.
“He did not cause any more damage and he did not shout and swear or abuse anyone.”
McIntosh was fined £110 and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the mosque, along with £85 court costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Source – Shields Gazette 19 April 2014