This statement was issued to Unite’s trade union reps this morning (12/10/18)
The Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) claims it’s not a racist or far-right organisation, and Unite accepts that most football fans who support them do not consider themselves to be racists. But the last time the DFLA marched on the streets of London their supporters attacked police, “sieg heiled” at the Centotaph and intimidated working people, a Muslim woman bus driver – a Unite member.
Unite the union has mobilised coaches to take members from across the country to join a counter-demonstration against the DFLA, which is marching in central London on Saturday 13 October.
Unite warns that the DFLA is using the demonstration, which the group claims is intended as a non-violent protest against extremism and child grooming gangs, to divide working class communities and spread hatred and division.
Trade unions fight for fairness, justice and equality, while the DFLA’s supporters promote dangerous and divisive racist views.
The DFLA says it is marching against terrorism and extremists because the government hasn’t done enough about it.
The reality is we’re all against terrorism and extremism but, unlike the DFLA, the trade union movement does not blame an entire religion for the behaviour of fanatics who have nothing to do with the teachings of the Muslim faith.
The DFLA says it’s protesting against the grooming of young white girls by Asian gangs, and that politicians, and the police, have done nothing to protect vulnerable children.
Unite is clear. The grooming and abuse of vulnerable people, by gangs or individuals, is appalling and illegal, and the trade union movement condemns it utterly. The police must do their job to protect women and girls from abuse. The government must give the police the resources to properly investigate, prosecute and convict.
Claims by the DFLA that they only want to protect girls and women from sexual abuse and rape, or that anyone protesting against them, including Unite, doesn’t care about the issue, are lies.
Unite has a proud history of campaigning on issues that matter to women, and our women members lead the fight to be treated with respect and dignity.