Neo-Nazi demonstration moved from Golders Green
30 June 2015
CST welcomes the decision, announced today, to relocate the proposed neo-Nazi demonstration of 4 July from Golders Green to central London.
This will allow Jewish residents of Golders Green and the surrounding area to observe their Shabbat with integrity and dignity; and sends a strong message of support for British Jews at a time when fears of antisemitism remain high.
The neo-Nazis had sought to protest in Golders Green, as they have previously done in Stamford Hill, and as they plan to do in other areas with notable Jewish communities. We will not sit idly by when antisemitic neo-Nazis choose to spend their Saturday afternoons agitating against Jews in various areas of North London.
The decision to relocate the neo-Nazi demonstration follows weeks of intense conversations with Barnet Police, Scotland Yard, Barnet Council, the Home Office, and the Department for Communities and Local Government, in which CST was joined by our colleagues and friends in the London Jewish Forum, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism.
Many politicians, including the Prime Minister, had expressed their sincere concerns about the demonstration. CST wishes to especially thank Mike Freer MP (Conservative), and Andrew Dismore AM (Labour), for having done everything in their respective power to assist the Jewish community and help stop neo-Nazis demonstrating in Golders Green.
CST will also continue to play its role in supporting the ‘Golders Green Together’ campaign which has been led by anti-racist organisation Hope Not Hate, the London Jewish Forum and the Board of Deputies. This utilises Hope not Hate’s extensive experience in opposing hateful far right protests, by counter-actions showing the unity and cohesion of local areas in rejection of external racist forces.
CST will also keep working with Barnet Police and Barnet Council to ensure that there is a strong policing and security presence in Golders Green over 3, 4 and 5 July. We are aware that various antisemitic elements have been very excited by the publicity surrounding the proposed demonstration, including one provocateur who is now remanded in custody after CST brought his social media postings to Police attention. So, the need for stringent security remains.
There will, no doubt, be those who argue that the Nazi demonstration should have been allowed to occur in the physical and symbolic heart of British Jewry. CST understands this position, as freedom of speech and assembly are fundamental human rights. It is, nevertheless, surely correct that hate speech and racism are legislated against: and, if those principles are to apply anywhere, then it must surely include when neo-Nazis try to demonstrate in Golders Green.
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