JVL statement on the Football Lads Alliance – Support May 19 counter-protest in Manchester

Jewish Voice for Labour views with alarm the growth of the Football Lads Alliance (FLA) – the latest incarnation of far-right extremism led by Tommy Robinson. The FLA has a violent, racist core and is a threat to minorities, especially Muslims.

FLA’s demonstration in London on Sunday May 6 was characterised by vile Islamophobic chants and incitement to violence as well as physical attacks on anti-fascist protesters. Its rise endangers diverse communities all over the UK.

We are concerned that the Labour Party has been distracted from the essential goal of uniting against rising right wing bigotry and intolerance, due to its current focus on one strand of racism. Allegations of antisemitism, often flimsy or false, have resulted in suspensions and expulsions from the party of a number of Jewish, black and other anti-racist activists.

We call for the Labour Party to take the lead in building a unified campaign against all forms of racism, especially, at this time, Islamophobia.

We call on the party, working with the trade unions nationally and at local level, to condemn the FLA and to mobilise for a counter-protest against its planned demonstration on May 19 in Manchester.