Chelmsford TUC

Equal Opportunities

Chelmsford Statement Against Racism, Fascism and Islamophobia

In January 2007 Chelmsford TUC called a meeting of all the political parties in the town to agree a strategy against those who promote racism and fascism.

It proved to be a success and arising from the discussions a statement, declaring their opposition to rascism and fascism was agreed. This was sent to various prominent individuals, leaders of faith, trade and student unions and businesses.

Our Chairman, Andrew Coburn, stated: “We are pleased that so many people and organisations from across the community have come out in support of this initiative. We hope that others will be able to sign it and, if necessary, help us to combat the evil that is racism.”

When the English Defence League announced they were to march in Chelmsford on 18 August 2012 we responded by establishing United Chelmsford and relaunching our Statement Against Racism, Fascism and Islamophobia. The number of people that have signed it is 937. If you would like to add your name to the total, or that of your organisation, do let us know.

Chelmsford TUC thanks all those individuals, organisations, speakers, those that sent messages of solidarity to the fantastic demonstration we held against the EDL on 18 August. Approximately 250 people attended to hear 15 speeches from a wide section of our community and to hear 8 messages of support from Simon Burns MP, the Bishop of Chelmsford and others. It sent a clear message that the people of Chelmsford do not support any organisations that are racist or Islamophobic.

A number of those who signed the original statement have moved on from the office they occupied at the time.

WE DECLARE OUR OPPOSITION TO RACISM, FASCISM and ISLAMOPHOBIA

We, the people of Chelmsford, are totally opposed to all those who seek to promote racism in our society. We strongly believe that the lessons of history show that racism, fascism, and Islamophobia, if unchallenged, will provoke fear and intimidation among many within our City. We believe that diversity is a strength and a cause for celebration, and that those who promote racism divide our community.

All signatories to this statement have a shared belief in justice, fairness and equality. We oppose racism and Islamophobia wherever it takes place.

We declare our willingness to co-operate with political parties, faith groups and others that take a stand against those that promote racist and fascist political views.

Agreed by:

POLITICAL:

Alliance for Green Socialism,

Co-operative Party,

Chelmsford Borough Council,

Chelmsford Conservatives,

Green Party,

John Whittingdale OBE MP,

Labour Party,

Liberal Democrats,

UK Independence Party,

Respect,

Simon Burns MP,

Socialist Workers’ Party.

LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS:

Amnesty International Chelmsford Group,

Chelmsford Against The Cuts,

Chelmsford Stand Up To Racism,

Soroptimist International of Chelmsford,

United Chelmsford,

United Nations Association.

FAITH:

Central Baptist Church,

Chelmsford Jamia Masjid (Mosque),

Chelmsford YMCA,

Father Ivor Morris, formerly at the Church of the Ascension,

Pastor James Hepworth, Broomfield Road Evangelical Church,

Jennifer A. Hodgkin, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers),

Major Michael Highton, Former Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army, London North-East Division,

Peter Bardwell, The Oasis Church,

Rt. Revd John Gladwin, Former Bishop of Chelmsford,

Rt. Revd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford,

Rev. Dr. Paul Beasley-Murray, Senior Minister, Central Baptist Church,

Rev. Elizabeth Caswell, Former Moderator of the Eastern Synod of the United Reformed Church,

Rev. John Alan Cox, Christ Church URC,

Rev. Anne Brown Chair of Essex, Beds, & Herts Methodist District,

Rev. Sheila Martin, Regional Minister, Eastern Baptist Association,

Rev. Viv Gasteen, Minister Trinity Methodist Church,

Saint Mary’s Church Broomfield,

The Essex Churches Council for Industry and Commerce,

Thomas McMahon, Bishop of Brentwood Diocese.

EMPLOYERS AND UNIONS:

Frankie Whiffen, President Anglia Ruskin University Student Union,

Chelmsford TUC,

Communication Workers’ Union (Essex Amal),

National Association of Schoolmasters and Women Teachers (Essex Federation),

National Union of Teachers (Essex Division),

Royal College of Nursing (Essex),

Thompsons Solicitors,

Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (Anglia 1 & 2 branches),

Unison (Mid Essex Hospitals, Chelmsford Borough Council & Essex County branches).

For anti-racist links and information on the Race Relations Act please go to Trade Unionists Say No To Racism.