Tuesday, 1 September 2009

The campaign of support for Harrow Central Mosque continues

We have been campaigning hard this week in opposition the proposed demonstration against Harrow Central Mosque on Friday September 11th organised by Stephen Gash of Stop the Islamification of Europe, supported by the English Defence League (which has links with the fascist BNP).

On Friday we leafleted Harrow Central Mosque and the Wembley Mosque in Ealing Road at the end of Friday prayers. Although the police had said that the Mosque leaders were emphatically opposed to any demonstration in solidarity with them and in support of Harrow's united community, we had a very warm reception there. We were thanked for our support and many agreed that fascists cannot simply be allowed to march unopposed, discriminating against one section of our community and seeking to divide us. If they get away with that, they will claim a victory and be back for more. The reception in Wembley was more mixed.

On Friday evening we leafleted Harrow-on-the-Hill station and there, though many people were in too much of a hurry to stop and talk, we had a good response from those who did.

On Saturday, we had a stall in Harrow Town Centre and the response was amazing, overwhelmingly favourable, with people from every section of the community signing the statement of support for the mosque and agreeing with us that we must defend the unity of our community.

The front page article in the Harrow Times from the group editor reflects this change of mood and may even have contributed to it. Click on this link to read it:
http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/Launch.aspx?referral=other&refresh=dL135jC0G81i&PBID=2F9A24F6-35D0-4ABE-BC3C-6C7AE76A2204&skip= phrases in this article could have been taken straight from the letter sent to the Harrow Times by Martin Francis, one of the most active supporters of UAF's campaign.

So far more than 150 people have put their names to the statement, but we need more. The statement will form the basis for a letter to the local papers, so the more signatures we can get from people with status or positions in the community the better. If you get, for example, councillors, MPs, celebrities, religious or community leaders to sign, please ask them if we can use their names when the statement is sent to the press and also whether they would be willing to speak at the rally at 6.00 pm on September11th. The statement is attached in case you haven't seen it. Please forward it on far and wide.

We have already distributed about 3,000 leaflets advertising the protest against the planned fascist invasion of Harrow at the places mentioned above and also through workplaces. On Thursday we will get 5,000 postcards, based on the wording of the leaflet to use in our ongoing campaigning. Please help with it.
Please email uafbrentandharrow@googlemail.com if you need postcards to distribute at your work or college, at another workplace, outside a station or anywhere else you can suggest. If you need help, we'll try to organise it.

We need to repeat the most successful events from last week and also reach out to new places.We also need to reach out to new places. We were unable to cover Harrow and Wealdstone station last Friday, can anyone distribute cards and collect signatures there on Friday evening? Can you suggest any other places? Can you suggest speakers we should invite to the rally?

NEXT ORGANISING MEETING TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 8TH 7.30 PM UPSTAIRS IN THE TRINITY BAR STATION ROAD HARROW. WE NEED LOTS OF PEOPLE THERE. WE WILL BE FINALISING PLANS FOR THE COUNTER DEMONSTRATION AND RALLY ON SEPTEMBER 11TH AS WELL AS LEAFLETING LEADING UP TO IT. Apologies to our Muslim brothers and sisters for holding it in a bar. We couldn't find another accessible venue in Harrow. There is a separate entrance from the street to the upstairs room.

Names on the statement:
the following people are among those who have put their names to the statement of support for Harrow Central Mosque, if you are one of them, please can you check that it is OK to include you and that the description is the one you would want used when the statement goes to the press and LET ME KNOW ANY CHANGES BY REPLYING TO THIS EMAIL:
Jo Lang, president Harrow Teachers Association (NUT)
Nick Grant, member NUT National Executive for Outer London
Martin Francis, Green Party candidate for Brent North
Abdul Omer Mohsin, convenor Unite Union, Harrow and Edgware bus garages
Hitesh Patel, Unite union rep, Harrow Weald bus garage
Raj Gill, branch secretary, GMB Harrow general branch (pc),
Pete Firmin, president Brent Trades Council
Alf Filer, UCU Harrow College
Indro Sen, UCU branch secretary College of North West London
An-Nisa Society
Milad Ahmed, Muslim Youth Helpline

Thank you to everybody for your support and help, keep it up - we are determined to defend the unity of our community. We will not let the fascists divide us. An injury to one is an injury to all.

In solidarity,
Sarah Cox for Brent & Harrow UAF

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