October 12, 2009

Calls for Harrow mosque protest to be banned

A Harrow MP and former policing minister will ask the Home Secretary to ban an anti-Islam protest.

Tony McNulty (Lab/Harrow East) announced today he will hold an informal meeting with Alan Johnson this week to discuss possible routes to stopping a rally by Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE). The protest is due to be held on December 13 outside Harrow Central Mosque, and Unite Against Fascism (UAF) intends to hold a counter demonstration.

But the move has sparked fears there will be violent scenes similar to those of SIOE's first Harrow rally, a month ago today, when members were met by angry crowds seeking to defend the religious institution.

The police say there are no powers to ban “static protests” that do not involve a march, and so do not believe the Christmas rally can be prevented.

Mr McNulty said: “The one different thing this time around, if they come again, is the experience of last time and the experience of last time shows very clearly that there will be the potential for serious disorder.”

After an initial meeting in the next seven days he plans further, more formal discussions, with Mr Johnson in the coming weeks. UAF clashed with the far right English Defence League (EDL) in Manchester yesterday, leading to more than 40 arrests. Ten people were arrested at a demonstration outside Harrow Central Mosque on September 11, including protest organiser Stephen Gash, who was detained to prevent a breach of the peace.

Mr McNutly's comments came as the borough's politicians gathered to show unity a month on from the rally with a unity walk starting at Holy Trinity Church, in High Street Wealdstone. A crowd helped by police cadets and led by Harrow mayor Councillor Eric Silver walked the borough's war memorial outside Harrow Civic Centre, in Station Road.

Cllr Silver said: “We've had people come to this borough to try to break it up. We live together, we work together and we play together.”

All three parties on Harrow Council expressed solidarity with the mosque in the run up to and during the September protest and re-stated their support today.

Councillor David Ashton, leader of the council and Tory group, said: “We still hope it won't happen but it's been threatened. It's the last thing we want to see in Harrow.”

Councillor Paul Scott (Lib Dem/Harrow Weald) was sceptical of claims by SIOE that it could raise 2,000 supporters, a figure that would dwarf its turn out in September. He said: “They haven't done it thus far. I'm just concerned that we shouldn't allow a very small group of people to hold us to ransom with exaggerations about what they can do.”

Councillor Bill Stephenson, leader of the Labour Group, backed Mr McNulty's calls for the demonstration to be banned. He said: “I think we have to take pro-active action and Tony's going to be approaching the Home Secretary. You can't let a small group of people go round the country causing mayhem. We don't want that in Harrow. There must be some way we can sort this out and prevent it because the potential for violence is there and if some people turn up next time someone could get seriously hurt. I know Mr Johnson's made some statements and we now want less talk and more action. We remain totally united in Harrow.”

Harrow Times


Antifa Harrow said...

Point 1. For the SIOE demo on Sept 11, SIOE leader Stephen Gash promised the police SIOE would provide stewards to escort the goon-squad from Harrow & Wealdstone station to a static protest outside the Mosque - no stewards were provided, proving SIOE cannot be trusted by the police

Point 2. SIOE may have a right to demonstrate, but last time I looked libel was still a crime, and SIOE used their protest to try and libel an entire community by false association with 9/11

Point 3. Most of the Anti-Fascists who protested against the EDL and SIOE on Sept 11 did so believing they were opposing the self-same people who'd FIRE-BOMBED Luton Mosque

Point 4. Evidently people don't need permission for a static protest, but since the police ended up escorting EDL back to Manchester Piccadilly station on Saturday en-masse, a huge mob of chanting right-wing hooligans ended-up MARCHING through Manchester anyway, despite only having sought permission for a static protest

Point 5. Casuals United have said they're supporting the Dec 13 SIOE Harrow demo - Casuals United founder Jeff Marsh was jailed for stabbing Man U fans

Anonymous said...

“Stop the Islamisation of Europe” and the
“English Defence League” a group of racist
football hooligans with links to the fascist
BNP are threatening to invade Harrow on
Sunday December 13th to demonstrate
against the Harrow Central Mosque. We
cannot stand by and let these racists attack
any section of our community. An injury
to one is an injury to all.

Islamophobia - bigotry against Muslims - is
as unacceptable as any other form of
racism. Its aim is to divide us by making
scapegoats of one community as the Nazis
did with the Jews in the 1930s. Today they
threaten the mosque, tomorrow it could be a
synagogue, temple or church. Today they
threaten Muslims, tomorrow it could be
Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, blacks, gays, travellers
or any other minority.

Fascists have been beaten before by
people standing united against them: at
Cable Street in the 1930s, Lewisham in the
1970s and in Derbyshire this Summer where
black and white, young and old, Hindu,
Christian, Muslim and Jew, gay and straight
all came together to oppose the BNP’s
fascist rally. In September we made it clear
that these thugs are not welcome in
Harrow. Now we must make Harrow a
No-Go Zone for Nazis.

Please sign the statement of support for Harrow Central Mosque
Join the demonstration on Sunday December 13th
We are black, white, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Jew
Assemble 12 noon Sunday December 13th on the wide pavement
outside Harrow Civic Centre opposite the Central Mosque
Called by UAF Brent & Harrow ● uafbrentandharrow@googlemail.com and National UAF:
unite@ucu.org.uk ● www.uaf.org.uk ● PO Box 36871 London WC1X 9XT ● 020 7801 2782