Lewisham NUT is outraged by the news that, while campaigning against government cuts on Saturday, our NUT Retired Members’ Secretary was attacked and hospitalised by racists claiming to have allegiance to ‘March for England’, a group closely linked to the English Defence League (EDL).
Lewisham NUT believes that it is no coincidence that this attack should take place just a few days before elections to the Greater London Assembly where candidates supported by racist and fascist parties are seeking to benefit from the public anger against the effects of the austerity measures.
Racism and fascism provide no answers to the problems facing young people, nor to any part of our community. Instead of bringing people together to defend their jobs, homes, pensions and public services, racists and fascists make it harder to defend our livelihoods by dividing communities instead.
Saturday’s outrage shows that, far from standing up for people’s rights, the racists instead attack trade unionists and socialists out campaigning to defend our local communities from cuts. As trade unionists, we pledge to defend our union members and our local community from racist attacks and to continue to campaign for the united trade union action which is needed to defeat cuts and austerity.
Lewisham NUT resolves to:
1) Join other trade unionists and campaigners demonstrating in opposition to the EDL when they march through Luton this Saturday.
2) Organise with other trade unionists and socialists in Lewisham to organise stewarding and support to ensure that campaign stalls will continue to be held in Lewisham High Street. The NUT will mobilise members to make sure we can proudly and safely bring our message to the public in opposition to racism and in support of a mass campaign to defend jobs, pensions and services from cuts and privatisation.