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Posted on 6 June 2013 at 11:39 GMT

Condemnation of racist destruction of Muswell Hill Islamic centre in London

Socialist Party and RMT union member John Reid, who stood as a candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in a recent Gospel Oak, Camden council byelection, issued the following statement:

We utterly condemn the atrocious actions of those responsible for burning down the Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill.

The daubing of "EDL" on one of the partially collapsed walls of the building clearly indicates that the forces behind this are supporters of the far right, and if not, members of either the BNP or EDL certainly look towards them politically.

The recent vile attempts of the BNP and EDL to exploit the terrible attack in Woolwich for their own ends can give confidence to racist individuals to carry out attacks like this.

This attack is the latest, and most serious, in a string of attacks on Muslims, their property and their places of worship following the horrific killing of Lee Rigby.

Along with the vast majority of people in society - including Muslims - the Socialist Party and TUSC supporters condemn the killing of Lee Rigby.

The labour movement cannot afford to ignore attempts to whip up racism by these vile groups and their supporters.

The trade unions in particular have a key role to play in not only calling for unity of working people against this attack but also in identifying the main causes which lie behind this.

The trade unions need to offer an alternative to the politics of racial hatred by building a mass campaign against the politics of austerity currently practised by all the major capitalist parties.

Unity needed against cuts

In the absence of a strong and united working class opposition to the recent cut-backs, far right organisations can gain the ear of sections of the working class that feel a sense of despair and abandonment.

Supporters of TUSC will not allow these right wing forces to exploit a situation where many families are threatened with eviction due to the Bedroom Tax or who are suffering from cuts in their benefits or who are facing increasing debt and job insecurity.

All sections of working class people suffer from these attacks on their living standards regardless of colour, religion or gender.

They need to be brought together by the trade unions, not ripped apart by the racists. We in the trade unions also need to condemn this act, not just in words but also in deeds, by uniting the local community in protests, marches and where necessary strike action and even occupations to ensure that our hospitals, schools and fire stations are not allowed to be closed with the resultant loss of jobs.

The way we can marginalise and defeat these racists and their thuggish methods of intimidation is to strike a blow at the heart of a system that condemns many working class people to poverty.

A significant step towards that goal would be for the trade unions to declare a 24-hour general strike to defeat this government's policies of austerity and raise the need for a system not based on greed and private profit which thrives on divide and rule.

Rather we need to fight for solidarity amongst working class people based on a system which puts their interests above those of a tiny and obscenely rich minority.

For RMT London Transport region's statement, see:
http://www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/node/4207

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