Over 600 trade unionists and anti-racists rallied in central Manchester on Saturday to reject the divisive politics of the Football Lads Alliance.  Several major trade unions sent delegations to join the rally and march – UNISON, Unite, FBU firefighters, PCS, NEU teachers, RMT rail workers.

Rabnawaz was one of about eight Labour councillors who helped organise the rally.  To cheers from the crowd gathered outside the Central Reference Library, he said “We beat the BNP, we beat the EDL – and Manchester will beat the racist Football Lads Alliance too.”

Lively anti-racist slogans filled the streets for the short march to Castlefield Arena – where campaigners found just 250 or so FLA supporters.  This was a huge setback for the FLA, given their recent rallies in Birmingham and London of 4,000-plus.  A large group of their supporters remained outside a nearby pub, gloomily surveying the very-empty Castlefield Arena.

The FLA melted away quite quickly.  However there is a real threat from their two components, the FLA and the ‘Democratic FLA’ (DFLA.)  Despite their recent split over money raised from ‘merch’, far-right fragments are continuing to gather around these groups, and the DFLA is more or less in the hands of former EDL founder and fascist Tommy Robinson.  The DFLA’s hook-up with UKIP must also be a concern for all trade unionists and anti-racists.

The DFLA have declared they will rally in central Manchester on Saturday, 2nd June.  Back at St Peter’s Square, Anna from LGBT Against Islamophobia was applauded when she said, “As a trans woman I don’t want groups like the FLA and DFLA coming here telling me my Muslim neighbours hate me – we have to unite against these racists, that’s why you’ve all got to come out and do this again on the 2nd June.”

Greater Manchester UAF supports the call to demonstrate against the racist-led Football Lads Alliance (FLA)  on Saturday 19 May, when the FLA have said they will demonstrate in Manchester.

The FLA want to exploit the anniversary of the tragic bombings at Manchester Arena.

The FLA claims it is an organisation of football fans, yet they've called their protest on the same day as the FA Cup Final and the Royal Wedding!

We believe there is a real danger that the event could open the door to far right groups, that want to promote racism and Islamophobia.

The FLA linked up with an Islamophobic group, Veterans Against Terrorism (VAT), for a march in Edinburgh in November 2017. The FLA claims to be against all extremism but in recent months it has had far right speakers on its platforms and promoted Islamophobic events such as an intimidating march by far right extremists against the East London mosque in Tower Hamlets.

As exposed in the Observer newspaper, far from opposing extremism the FLA's closed Facebook page continually sees racist and Islamophobic posts, also posts targeting the Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott in the wake of concerns she raised about the group.

We call on all people of good will to stand together in Manchester against all forms of racism and Islamophobia.

We believe that football is for all, women and men, black and white, LGBT and straight, people of all religions and none.

The FLA has said it's next moibilisation will be in Manchester.

Whether that is on the 19 May or another day, Stand Up to Racism will be working to ensure that there is the biggest possble mobilisation to bring a message of unity and opposition to racism and Islamophobia onto the streets of Manchester

All Gtr Mcr anti-fascists and anti-racists are urged to support Stand Up To Racism's rally in solidarity with Muslims this Tuesday, 3rd April at 6:30pm at Central Ref Library.

This important event is in response to the disgusting 'Punish A Muslim' letters that have been circulated to some homes in Manchester
The Facebook event for this is https://www.facebook.com/events/2083601391887154/ , please visit and click Going, or Interested, to show solidarity with Muslims and unity against those seeking to spread hatred and division.

After last Saturday's pathetic showing by a few dozen fascists, join the UAF counter-protest this Saturday 29th against EDL Nazis in Rochdale, 12:30 in Rochdale centre. More details to follow on the Fb event page, see link below.

Years of consistent, broad-based mobilisations  have pushed the EDL back to the point where - at their most recent demo in London - they were only able to muster a tiny group of about 50 fascists.  Similarly, in Liverpool on 3rd June, when around 1,000 people humiliated the EDL, the fascists could only gather a rabble of, at most, 60.

The EDL is a fascist organisation – their founder ‘Tommy Robinson’ was a member of the British National Party. Leading EDL figure Alan Spence was also a member of the BNP.

Join us on Saturday 29th July, to show for the second time in a week, that fascists are not wanted in Rochdale.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1539993136066216/  ,  or search July 29th: Unite Against Fascism Protest Against Edl in Rochdale

Members of the CWU communication workers' union, UNISON, PCS civil servants and firefighters' FBU were amongst about 200 who joined the counter-protest against the fascist Britain First group in Rochdale on Saturday, 22nd July.  The counter-protest was called by Unite Against Fascism. 

The Muslim Defence League (MDL) organised up to 50 mainly Asian supporters to march from the Broadfield Park area of Rochdale to the town centre rally.  The anti-racist protest later moved to an area overlooking an edge-of-town car park where no more than 60 fascists were held in a police pen, surrounded by three-metre-high solid steel police barriers.

"Paul Golding of Britain First is just now giving a speech talking about his ancestors", UAF's Weyman Bennett said as he addressed the anti-racist protesters.  "But we already know his ancestors were Adolf Hitler and Mussolini."

UNISON member Vernetta attacked Teresa May and the Tories when she spoke, for "using racism as a distraction while continuing austerity and attacks on services."  CWU officers also spoke to offer continuing support for the fight against racism and fascism.

After a short rally, the small group of BF fascists were rushed by police back to the train station on the edge of town - most of Rochdale would not have seen them all day.  Anti-racists marched back to the town centre.

If fascist groups attempt to exploit the recent revelations of child sexual abuse in Rochdale to turn communities against each other, anti-racists and trade unionists must mobilise to block them.  Unite Against Fascism and Stand Up To Racism urge labour movement activists, faith groups and community leaders to speak out publicly against the racists' attempts to label Rochdale's Muslim and Pakistani-origin communities as somehow to blame for the abuse. 


Unite Against Fascism – Rochdale Unity Statement – No to fascist Britain First!

For travel arrangements from other parts of Manchester to Rochdale on 22nd, please call us on 07903 586 191.

We, the undersigned, support the protest – organised by Unite Against Fascism, trades unionists and others – in opposition to the intrusion by the fascist group Britain First in Rochdale on 22nd July.

Britain First’s leader Paul Golding was imprisoned last year for eight weeks for his campaign of “invading” mosques. Leading Britain First member Jayda Fransen was convicted for religiously aggravated harassment, after she abused a Muslim woman wearing a hijab.

The man arrested for the racist attack on Finsbury Park Mosque – which killed one man and injured eleven other people – is reported to have followed Britain First’s Golding and Jansen on Twitter.  After the attack, Britain First posted that ‘Finsbury Park Mosque was notorious as a haven for Islamist terrorists and extremists!’  Thomas Mair shouted ‘Britain First’ before he brutally murdered Jo Cox MP in 2016.

Unite Against Fascism 2016 conference


Join us this Friday 3rd November to oppose the planned 'book launch' by former leader of the fascist English Defence League 'Tommy Robinson' at The Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Trafford Park on Friday 3rd November. Coach transport from central Manchester - phone/txt Mike 07903 586 191 to book your place.  (Returning 10pm.)

Robinson - aka Stephen Yaxley Lennon - has a record of involvement in fascist organisations. He was originally a member of the British National Party, and founded the EDL in 2009. Robinson then organised a series of Islamophobic EDL demonstrations across Britain, which involved racist chanting, violence and Nazi salutes. Only in June 2017, Robinson attacked an Asian male at Ascot Races.

Robinson recently organised an anti-Muslim Demonstration in Manchester on 11th June, in an attempt to exploit the recent, horrific terror attacks at the Arena, in order to scapegoat Muslims. At the centre of this demo were fascists who have been members of groups such as the National Front, BNP and Combat 18. Again, Robinson's protest erupted into racism and violence.

Thanks to the many organisations and individuals who have signed our statement opposing Robinson.