We Are Bristol Says Thank You
We Are Bristol says Thank You
We Are Bristol would like to thank all trade unions, community groups, anti-racist organisations, political representatives and individual Bristolians who supported our March and Rally against the EDL on Saturday.
Despite enormous pressure from the City Council and the police not to demonstrate more than 800 rallied with us at the Fountains at 11am. We then marched after an hours rally to Castle Park and more local bystanders and a feeder march swelled our ranks to over a thousand. Speeches at Castle Park were given by many trade union representatives, We Are Bristol supporters, Weyman Bennett of Unite Against Fascism, Sikhs Against the EDL, Kerry McCarthy MP, local councillor Mile Woollacott, and Mayoral candidate Marvin Rees among others. Another thousand or more voiced their opposition to the EDL by lining their route. We then marched as one from Castle Park to join Pride, in celebration of diversity. In the event, despite proclaiming a national demonstration, the EDL only managed 250 on their march, and were ferried out of the city with massive police presence shortly after their march had finished. We clearly showed that racism and bigotry are not welcome in Bristol.
However, the cost of this operation to accommodate the EDL reached over £500,000. This is a shameful act of our city council, especially when they have denied a grant of just £30,000 that would have enabled St. Pauls Carnival to go ahead this year. Just what are our local elected representatives' priorities!?"
We Are Bristol are standing by all those anti-racists arrested on the day. A National Officer of Unite Against Fascism, Martin Smith, was one of those arrested while speaking at the Fountains. He was held for 12 hours in a police cell before being charged with with offences that clearly obstruct our right to protest. To support him and all others arrested a meeting has been called by Unite Against Fascism this Thursday July 19th, 730pm which will take place at Co-Exist, Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft. Martin Smith will be speaking at the meeting, together with trade union, Labour Party representatives, and other anti-racist campaigns.