Walsall Labour Party is giving its full support to a peaceful demonstration celebrating community strength and tolerance being held in Gallery Square on Saturday at 11am.
The “We are Walsall” rally is being held to counter the racism of the English Defence League who are bussing in people from across the country to incite hatred of the town’s Muslim community.
Cllr Tim Oliver said it is fantastic that so many community groups, churches, temples and members of political parties are joining together to oppose the EDL’s message of hate, and instead celebrate the town’s tolerance and understanding.
“We in the Labour Party were the first to warn about this vile group and its plans to come to Walsall in July.
“Since then the leaders of all the borough’s main political parties have condemned it and people from so many diverse and varied backgrounds have come together to organise this peaceful statement to show our communities won’t be divided by the hatred of outsiders.
“As a party we have made representations to the council and the police on how we can minimise the threat and disruption the EDL want to bring to our streets.
“Given that past protests by the EDL in areas like Dudley have become drink-fuelled, violent rampages we are very concerned that the site of their demonstration will take place so close to bars and we would urge that landlords either shut for the day or refuse to serve them.”
The “We are Walsall” rally will be joined by local Labour MPs David Winnick and Valerie Vaz, who will stress the rally’s message that the people of Walsall won’t be divided.”
Cllr Oliver added “The best response to the EDL is for the people of borough to join the peaceful rally and send an overwhelming message that they are not welcome in our town.”