Racist political party, the BNP, are organising a march on Lewisham Islamic Centre this Saturday starting in Woolwich at 1pm.
The BNP’s support has collapsed in South-East London in recent years. In the whole of Lewisham (in 2009) they had just 20 members – out of 280,000 people. This march is a clear attempt to capitalise on the appalling murder of Lee Rigby to stoke up community tensions and give the BNP local profile.
I’ll be speaking to Labour party members tonight about what our response should be. Lewisham and Greenwich Councils are also working with the police to ascertain the likelihood of the march going ahead.
We don’t want to give the BNP the oxygen of publicity – nor do we want to leave the Mosque feeling unsupported and isolated. Counter-protests are likely. It’s essential that counter-protesters behave peacefully unlike the thuggish BNP.
People in Lewisham have a long tradition of standing up to racism and I’m sure we will do so again.
Let’s make their racism history.
Update: Lewisham NUT has put out a leaflet supporting a counter-protest.