The racist EDL – which has links to the British National Party and other fascist groups – wants to bring its poisonous message to the Lancashire town on that day.
But Blackburn & Darwen United Against Racism supported by UAF, Blackburn Trades Council, Blackburn College Students Union and the Youth On A Mission organisation have called a celebration of multicultural Blackburn on 2 April, to show that the racist EDL is not welcome in Blackburn.
The organisers say:
'On that day people from all sections of our community will be uniting in a public & peaceful celebration of our intent to live our lives, free from hatred, racism, intolerance and bigotry.Mosques
We do not wish to see our town become the venue for the latest display of EDL intimidation and violence, which is the hallmark of all of their public activity. Please come along and join in our celebration. There is far more that unites us than divides us.'
Lancashire Council of Mosques this week urged Muslims and non-Muslims alike to join the multicultural celebration event and show their opposition to the EDL. They said:
'We encourage all people of all backgrounds to come out and attend the celebration of multicultural Blackburn being held in Sudell Cross on 2 April. We particularly call on the mosques to encourage their congregations to actively come out and support this event.Backing
It is important that we demonstrate to the country at large that the vast majority of hard working and decent people in Lancashire abhor the poisonous and divisive messages of the EDL and that there is no place for the views they propagate in our communities.'
The list of local politicians, faith leaders, trade union activists and others backing the event includes: Lancashire Council of Mosques, Bishop of Blackburn Mr Nicholas Blackburn, Sir Bill Taylor, Michael Hindley leader of Hyndburn Council, Lancashire County councillor and former MEP Lancashire East, Kate Hollern leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, David Foster leader of Blackburn and Darwen Liberal Democrats, Councillor Mohammed Khan, Councillor Tony Humphrys, Councillor Pat McFall, Councillor Dave Harling, Councillor Jim Shorrock, Councillor Salim Sidat, Councillor Andy Kay, Councillor Faryad Hussain, Councillor Abdul Samad Patel, Councillor Maureen Bateson, Councillor Eileen Entwistle, Councillor Naushad Surve, Councillor Mike Johnson, Peter Billington Lancashire TUC, Shaukat Hussain chair Labour Party local government committee, Karen Narramore secretary Unison East Lancs branch, Peter Dales chair Unison East Lancashire Health branch, Simon Jones secretary Blackburn with Darwen National Union of Teachers, Paul Hogan assistant secretary Blackburn with Darwen National Union of Teachers, Anjum Anwar director of Womens Voice, Phil Riley secretary Blackburn Labour Party, Craig Hammond chair University & College Union Blackburn branch, Ashley Whalley secretary University & College Union Blackburn branch, Ian Gallagher Blackburn & District TUC, Gareth Roscoe secretary Unison BwDBC Local Government branch, Hansa Canon Unison black members officer, Pat Maudsley Blackburn Labour Party, Frances Bradley senior Unison steward, Dave Bradley Unison steward, Frank Davis Unite senior union rep Crown Paints, Bob Wellham Unite senior union rep Crown Paints.