Cambridge: support grows for ‘celebration of unity and diversity’ in opposition to EDL

Support has come from all quarters for a celebration of unity in defiance of a right wing march in Cambridge.

A host of councillors, community leaders, musicians and local people have thrown their weight behind a city centre march and “celebration of unity and diversity”, organised by Unite Against Fascism, in opposition to the English Defence League’s plans to make their presence felt on Saturday, July 9.

Richard Howitt MEP, members of Cambridge Muslim Council, local Trade Unionists, Kevin Courtney – deputy general secretary of the NUT – and members of Cambridge Fans United have all added their names to a statement entitled “We Are Cambridge”. Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum have also joined in.

A spokesman said: “We are proud of Cambridge’s history of welcoming those who have had to flee persecution and intolerance from around the world. The Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum is committed against all forms of prejudice, intolerance and hate.”

A public meeting will be held tonight (July 4) in the Unitarian Church Hall, Emmanuel Street, from 7.30pm featuring speakers such as Lewis Herbert, leader of the Labour group on Cambridge City Council, who plans to reveal a statement signed by Labour and Green councillors opposing the EDL and supporting the peaceful counter protest.

Also speaking will be Mirza Baig, vice chair of Cambridge Muslim Council. He recently told Unite Against Fascism members: “Thank you for raising your voice against messages of hate. You have our full support, and our committee will be participating in your demonstration.”

The counter march will take place on Saturday in Market Square from 11am.

Cambridge News, 4 July 2011