Keep the English, Welsh and Scottish Defence Leagues in Your Sights

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2012 National LGBT Conference
25 July 2012
Carried as Amended

Conference, most people know that the British National Party (BNP) is a racist party, however fewer people realise that the English Defence League (EDL), Welsh Defence League (WDL) and Scottish Defence League (SDL) are also racist, fascist parties. What is particularly worrying about the EDL, WDL and SDL is that they proclaim themselves to be lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) friendly with dedicated groups of LGBT activists. We need to tell our LGBT community that they are not only racists, but homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic as well.

Like any other community, the LGBT community has its share of prejudiced bigots.

Racism seems to be on the rise within our own community and we do not want to go backwards to the Race Wars of the 70’s and 80’s. As members of UNISON, we represent a myriad of cultures and diversity working in public services and we should be proud to keep it that way.

In 2010 UNISON’s LGBT committee developed a strategy explaining why we are making a stand against the EDL and the BNP. This document is an excellent tool in supporting the fight against the far right. This is our fight too and the fight is not exclusively reserved for election times, but must be all year round. We know that in 2013 there are a number of local elections taking place and it is our responsibility to ensure that not one member of a far right and fascist party gets elected.

The strategy explains how the fascist party’s values undermine trade unionism, attack workers’ rights and damage the cohesion of our society. The message underlines the choice between co-operation, partnership and working with others to achieve collective benefits versus the EDL, WDL and SDL’s extremely nationalistic, xenophobic and isolationist policies that damage our members and mean a loss of jobs, rights and prosperity.

Organisations’ like Hope Not Hate and Unite Against Fascism attend rallies all year round wherever fascism raises its ugly head. Both have twitter and facebook pages where you can keep updated on the activities of these bigots and contribute to anti-fascist demonstrations. You can also celebrate in solidarity and strength with their supporters at diversity events, Pride’s and festivals around the country.

Conference we encourage the National LGBT Committee to:

1)Circulate fact sheets to the regions and to branches highlighting the huge diversity of the EDL’s hatred of civil society;

2) Encourage Regions and Branches to become involved in the fight – i.e. by affiliating to Searchlight, subscribing to UAF, sending out e-bulletins to their members, articles in branch newsletters etc.

Conference we further instruct the National LGBT Committee to:

A) Visibly, vocally and actively work with Labour Link, the NEC and Service Groups to raise awareness of each and every one of our responsibilities in ensuring that Britain is a safe and equality proofed place to live;

B) Remind Regional LGBT groups that there is a LGBT specific strategy to fight the far right.