Over 100 people joined a UAF rally outside Southern Cemetery in Manchester last Sunday to protest against the desecration, for a third time, of Muslim gravestones. All of the twenty headstones toppled last week were in the Muslim section.
'This attack is not act of mindless violence. Those who did it knew exactly what they were doing. And we all know that they are a tiny, tiny minority in this City', said Cllr Val Stevens, deputy leader of Manchester City Council speaking at the rally. Police are treating the desecration as a race hate crime.
Many at the vigil were asking why is this is happening again? And why now?
"Since the first attack on the Muslim graves last month, we have seen the BBC put the Nazi BNP leader Nick Griffin on Question time, and we saw hundreds of racist thugs in the EDL march in Manchester city centre making Nazi salutes and carrying placards saying 'No More Mosques'", explained UAF spokesperson Mike Killian. 'This has created a climate of hatred against Muslims which we must stop'.
Widespread support at the vigil, included local MP John Leech, Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders, as well as from the African Caribbean community and trades unionists.
The support and solidarity with Muslim brothers and sisters that was shown at the vigil demonstrated the very unity and solidarity that those who desecrated the graves most fear. A stronger and broader Manchester UAF was established at a meeting following this protest.
Greater Manchester Unite Against Fascism