Owen Holland helping to organise counter-protest
The English Defence League (EDL), a far-right street demonstration movement, is set to march again in Cambridge on 23 February, campaigners revealed last week. Cambridge Unite Against Fascism (CUAF) revealed that “our head office has information that has been confirmed by the EDL that they will march in Cambridge on 23 February.”
CUAF, who claimed in a press release that they are “determined that should not march again”, have initiated a unity statement for a counter demonstration called by Unite Against Fascism (UAF), the national campaigning organisation. The counter protest is backed by Richard Howitt MEP, local councillors, trade unionists and other community groups.
Signatories of the letter opposing the planned march thus far include Muslim leaders such as Iman Ibn Tahaikt of Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service, and Abdul-Kayum Arain who is Muslim chaplain at Anglia Ruskin University, as well as city councillors such as Councillor Jeremy Benstead, who said: “18 months ago we showed the EDL that they are not welcome here – let’s do it again.”
Additionally, academics and activists are organising an anti-fascist ‘teach-in’ before the planned march, to be held on 17 February in King’s College, Cambridge.
Owen Holland, PhD student in the English Faculty at Cambridge who was suspended for one term for his part in a protest against Universities Minister David Willets in November 2011, has pledged his support to UAF to march against EDL. He told The Cambridge Student: “Anti-fascists cannot afford to be complacent; Cambridge Unite Against Fascism hopes to see another large turnout against the EDL when they return to Cambridge on 23 February. Students, workers and the people of Cambridge must come together to show that racist ideas and organisations do not have coherent ideas with which to solve the present crisis.”
Details for plans on 23 February remain unconfirmed.
Gwen Jing – News Co-Editor