Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 3AA
Anti-racists, politicians, faith leaders, trade unions and community leaders and have signed the statement opposing the EDL marching in Leeds and calling for unity to celebrate and defend multicultural Leeds. The statement reads:
"We the undersigned strongly oppose plans by the 'English Defence League' - a group linked to the fascist BNP - to demonstrate in Leeds city centre.Organisations backing the statement include Yorkshire & Humberside TUC, Yorkshire & Humberside UCU, Leeds TUC and Yorkshire & Humberside UAF.
"The EDL is a racist group dedicated to attacking Asian people and Muslims. 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, just 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 Jewish people, Hindus, Sikhs, black people, lesbians & gay men, travellers or Eastern Europeans.
"There is no place for Nazis, racists or the BNP in Leeds multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious community. We call on the Home Secretary and the police to ban the EDL action. We also urge people to attend the peaceful 'Celebrate and defend multicultural Leeds' rally to be held outside the Art Gallery on Saturday 31st October at midday."