Attempts by the right-wing groups to stir anti-Muslim feeling in Birmingham need to be stopped in their tracks, Unite, the country’s largest union, has said.
The West Midlands branch of Unite Community, representing local activists, is helping coordinate the campaign against the far-right group Pegida, which is planning to demonstrate, it is understood, at Birmingham’s International station on Saturday 6 February.
Pegida, founded in Dresden in October 2014, has an anti-Islamic agenda. It is a European-wide organisation and in the UK is fronted by the former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson.
Unite regional community coordinator Shaun Pender said: “Unite, Hope not Hate and many other partners, including local faith leaders and MPs, are countering Pegida’s attempts to spread the politics of hate by running a campaign that celebrates the diversity of Birmingham.
“The campaign will involve an online petition, a social media campaign and an event at the city’s central mosque after lunchtime prayers on Friday, 5 February where different communities can show solidarity to their Muslim neighbours.
“Racism and discrimination are cancers that need to be eradicated from society and should not be allowed to disrupt inter-community relations in Birmingham, one of the UK’s most diverse and culturally vibrant cities.
“The politics of hate have no place on the streets of Birmingham.”
Unite West Midlands regional secretary Gerard Coyne has signed the unity statement supported by 60 community leaders and the union has urged people to sign up in a show of solidarity.
Find out more from Hope Not Hate Birmingham.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble in the Unite press office on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.