Participants included Asians, blacks and whites people
5th April 2011: Just about two months after the thumping beats of drums filled the air as a delegation of proudly marching Sikhs joined a big rally against the English Defence League (EDL) in Luton, more than a thousand people demonstrated against the alleged racist organisation in Blackburn on Saturday.
The demonstration saw Asian, black and white people, primarily from the local area, gather to particate in the anti-racist event on a call by Blackburn and Darwen United Against Racism. The general disposition was that of anger and defiance.
The event was supported by Unite Against Fascism (UAF), Blackburn Trades Council, Blackburn College Students Union and Youth On A Mission.
Also backing the event was the Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM).
The development is significant as mosques, pressurized from police and local councils, have previously been advising Muslims to stay at home.
As a part of the demonstration, nothing less than a thousand people gathered in the city centre in Suddell Cross. Hundreds more stayed on street corners to defend their local community.
Leading the crowd with the chant of `no to racism, no to fascism’, Mulana Rafiq from the LCM and said they have a common aspiration of making Blackburn welcome to all.
National UAF officer Martin Smith addressed the crowd by saying if they don’t protest, the EDL will keep coming back for more. Smith said he had returned Liverpool where the EDL tried to attack a joint UAF conference with the Unite union and the Anthony Walker Foundation.
Smith said they chased them off. But it told them what kind of hardcore racists they were if they were prepared to attack a meeting organised by Britain’s biggest trade union and a foundation founded after the murder of a black teenager. They were a danger to the whole society.”