Sunday, 4 November 2012

We Are Norwich press release

We Are Norwich plan a family friendly celebration of multiculturalism in Chapelfield Gardens on Saturday 10th November

We are Norwich - a rainbow coalition of faith groups, trade unions, political parties and community organisations will hold a peaceful, family friendly but determined demonstration against the visit of the English Defence League to Norwich on Saturday 10th November.

This broad coalition, which has the support of over 25 organisations (some of which are listed below), all the church leaders in Norwich and the Chapelfield Mosque says the EDL is a violent fascist organisation with clear links to other far right groups across Europe.  Speaking on behalf of the group, secretary Nick O'Brien said:
The EDL has held countless demonstrations across the country where they have rampaged through towns - attacking mosques, businesses and individuals. We Are Norwich is determined to peacefully counter protest and hold a fantastic, family friendly celebration of multiculturalism in the city. This is what Norwich is about.
The EDL claims to be demonstrating in Norwich to oppose the banning of a stall in the centre of the city by the Norwich Reformed Church.  The city council banned the stall because of the Islamaphobic nature of its leaflet "Why not Islam".  The Norwich Reformed Church are also the only group to protest at the city's annual Pride event.  The Norwich Pride Collective also support the coalition.

WE ARE NORWICH has held numerous stalls in the city centre and two weeks ago held a meeting of over 120 people at the Vauxhall Centre in Norwich.  At the meeting Julie Bremner from the PCS union and the Norwich Pride Collective said:
Some people think if you ignore them, they will go away but this was not the case in the 1930s. We need to make a stand now whilst they are small.
Meanwhile members of the city's Muslim community say they are alarmed at the prospect of an openly hostile and violent organisation being given the opportunity to push a creed of intolerance and hate on their home city.  Jamal Sealey of Chaplefield Mosque said:
We are against violent extremism of all forms, particularly the likes of the EDL who represent the worst of this kind. The Norwich Muslim Community has been a part of this city for over 30 years and welcome the opportunity to work with the other members of the WE ARE NORWICH group to ensure this city remains safe for people of all backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicities.
We Are Norwich plan to assemble in Chapelfield Gardens at 11am and will host a range of live perfomers, DJs and speakers - including Rebel Lion, Red Flags, Jonathan Williams and Acivilianinvention.  People are encouraged to bring banners and community groups can bring stalls. There will be facepainting for children. 

There will be a march through the centre of Norwich - time to be confirmed.

For more information –
contact Nick O’Brien on 07717504210
OR email
Our website is

Supported by (updated):

Norwich Labour Party

Norwich Green Party City Council Group

Chapelfield Mosque

Norwich Progressive Jewish Community

The Norwich Pride Collective

Ian Gibson

Richard Murphy

Union of UEA Students

Kings Lynn Trades Council

Great Yarmouth Trades Council

Norwich Trades Council

Norfolk Coalition against the cuts

Norwich Stop the War Coalition

Unison Norfolk County Branch

USDAW (various branches)

David Peel (NUJ)

Unite Eastern Region

Unite Aviva Norwich Branch

Norwich Unite Central LE/1880

Unite Great Yarmouth and District LE/142

Andrew Osborne Unite Norfolkand Suffolk Area Activists Committee

Unison branch (Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust)

Norfolk Division NUT

PCS Eastern Region

Julie Bremner (Unite against Fascism)

Trade Union Friends of Searchlight

Matthew Fulton (Compass Youth)

Tim Knight Hughes (Norwich SWP)

And many other citizens of Norwich

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