Press Release: 30th July 2014
Around 30 fascists from the National Front came to Oxford on Saturday to sow division and to whip up hatred against our Muslim brothers and sisters.
They were cynically attempting to use the horrific cases of sexual abuse of children in Oxfordshire to stir up hatred against Muslim men.
We are proud to have taken part in the much larger Unite Against Fascism counter-protest.
We reject the racist idea that the appalling crime of child abuse is a problem confined to any particular community.
The recent high-profile cases that have exposed Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall and Rolf Harris confirm what the experts Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre state, ‘Child sexual exploitation is not confined to one community, age, demographic, social status or gender.’
The real reason that the National Front have bussed their thugs in from places such as Kent, Wales and Yorkshire is that with the large UKIP vote and media campaigns scapegoating migrants and Muslims, groups of fascists believe that there is an audience for them.
We should not be complacent.
The murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis in Germany during WWII should be a lesson to us all as to what can happen if fascists ideas and movements are not effectively challenged.
That is why it was a disgrace that the NF, who stand in the tradition of Adolf Hitler, were allowed to parade through town on Saturday.
We have many questions about the police operation on Saturday.
Foremost is the question as to why it was, that given the behaviour of the NF, etc, that officers refused to enforce the legislation on incitement to racial hatred?
For what reason was it that the people that want to keep Oxford Nazi-free were kettled and intimidated by a heavy and disproportionate police operation that included the use of horses?
How was it that 3 people that were part of the anti-fascist protest and that were standing up for a peaceful and multicultural Oxford were arrested and detained overnight, whilst only one fascist was arrested and then cautioned?
Any further action taken against these anti-fascists will be a further stain on the reputation of the police and the authorities that allowed the NF to parade through our multicultural city.
Finally, we will continue to strongly oppose any platform for fascists and any further attempts by any group of fascists to stir up racial hatred in Oxford will be met with larger mobilisations of people to defend our communities.
Mike Rowley, Van Coulter (Labour councillors)
Sam Hollick (Leader of The Greens, City Council)
Dr Hojjat Ramzy (Director, Oxford Islamic Information Centre)
Kate Douglas (Vice President, Oxford and District Trades Union Council)
Tracy Walsh, Ciaran Walsh, Pat Carmody (Oxford Unite Against Fascism)