The following is a message from Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants Bristol Branch to members and supporters of Bristol IWW:
English Defence League splinter group “Gays Against Sharia”, who marched in Bristol last year, have announced their intention to return to our city on 3rd March. Claiming to speak for LGBT people, they are led by racists who seek to sow division and hatred between marginalised groups to promote a fascist vision for Britain.
As LGBTQ+ people, we abhor the abuse of our identities to promote hatred of fellow persecuted groups. This is blatant pink-washing of outright racism and we intend to stand up and say NOT IN OUR NAME. We hope to build a broad and vibrant opposition to make it loud and clear that racists are not welcome to spread their disgusting hatred in our city.
The conviction of Darren Osbourne for murder and attempted murder, highlights the danger posed by Islamophobic rhetoric under the guise of “anti-terrorism”. He admitted to the court that he was inspired by former EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) and Britain First to attack Muslims and those he had been convinced were a threat, the ‘terrorists’ Jeremy Corbyn and Sadiq Kahn. His actions left one man dead and several others with life-long injuries.
We recognise the dangers that the normalisation of this type of speech poses to all of us and in particular to minority communities. To that end, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants are inviting queer, black and minority ethnic people, supporters and activist groups to come together to organise against hatred and racism in a demonstration of the power of our solidarity.
In the last week we, along with other groups. have been meeting to discuss ways we can support LGSM in resisting the fascists on the 28th of April and beyond in our city. The first step is to call upon our members and supporters to join us on the street for a counter-demonstration on the day. Details will be released via this event nearer the time.
Fascists not welcome in Bristol. Today, tomorrow, always.