Last June, a 'Unite Against Hate' march, organised by ex-EDL leader, Tommy Robinson, was supposed to be a 'silent' march to 'Honour the victims of hate' in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bomb attack. Instead, anyone who was near the 'rally' saw bottles and cans thrown, CS gas let off and Hitler salutes (see previous Salford Star article – click here).
On Saturday, 19th May, another rally is being held by Football Lads' Alliance (FLA), three days before the anniversary of the Manchester Arena attack and on FA Cup final day. This time, the protests will be much bigger, with Worsley and Eccles South MP, Barbara Keeley, leading the call from Salford to oppose the rally on the streets.
The Salford MP joins 15 other MPs, including Manchester MP Angela Rayner and Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, plus over forty councillors, including, from Salford, Heather Fletcher, Derek Antrobus and Michele Barnes, plus trade unions, football supporters, Manc poet Tony Walsh and victims' families in signing statement reading...
"We believe that any FLA event in a multicultural city like Manchester can only promote division in our community and open the door to racist, Islamophobic and far right groups and ideas to grow...We oppose the FLA event, oppose Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and all forms of racism, and support Stand Up To Racism's anti-racist mobilisation in Manchester to show opposition to the FLA..."
Dan Hett, who lost his brother in the attack and co-founded of Survivors Against Terror, tweeted "The racist and Islamophobic Football Lads' Alliance are planning to callously hijack the anniversary of the attack to march in Manchester. No class. No respect. Not welcome."
North West MEP, Julie Ward, added: "We love our music and our football and we despise organisations such as the FLA who seek to exploit the personal tragedies of those caught up in violent attacks. Whether you support United or Man City this is one issue where we need to come together and stand firmly against racism and Islamophobia. We are one, we love Manchester!"
Rabnawaz is a Manchester United fan but he will not be going to watch the FA Cup Final on Saturday... "I will standing here in Manchester shoulder to shoulder with the people in unity to make sure the Football Lads' Alliance cannot pedal their hatred and bigotry in our city..."
Stand Up To Racism Manchester Protest
Saturday 19th May 11am
St Peters Square, Manchester
To read the full statement against the FLA and to see all the signatories – click here
To sign the petition opposing the FLA – click here
See also the Facebook event page – click here