On Saturday 19 May, the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) has said they will demonstrate in Manchester. They want to exploit the anniversary of the tragic bombings at Manchester Arena. The FLA claims it is an organisation of football fans, yet they’ve called their protest on the same day as the FA Cup Final and the Royal Wedding!
We believe there is a real danger that the event could open the door to far right groups, that want to promote racism and Islamophobia. The FLA linked up with an Islamophobic group, Veterans Against Terrorism (VAT), for a march in Edinburgh in November 2017. The FLA claims to be against all extremism but in recent months it has had far right speakers on its platforms and promoted Islamophobic events such as an intimidating march by far right extremists against the East London mosque in Tower Hamlets. As exposed in the Observer newspaper, far from opposing extremism the FLA’s closed Facebook page continually sees racist and Islamophobic posts, also posts targeting the Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott in the wake of concerns she raised about the group.
We call on all people of good will to stand together in Manchester against all forms of racism and Islamophobia. We believe that football is for all, women and men, black and white, LGBT and straight, people of all religions and none. Stand Up to Racism will be working on 19 May to ensure that there is the biggest possible mobilisation to bring a message of unity and opposition to racism and Islamophobia onto the streets of Manchester.
Join the Manchester Stand Up to Racism counter-protest – 11am, Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, Saturday 19 May
fb event here:
Leeds Stand Up to Racism have organised transport for people to go over on 19 May – please book your ticket on the coach which leaves West Yorks Playhouse at 8.30am – tickets £10/£5 via this eventbrite here:Take action now!