Cross-communal group launches in protest at planned nationalist rally


A group founded to oppose a planned extremist protest “against Jewish privilege” has launched with a cross-communal event in Golders Green, north-west London.

Around 50 people attended the Golders Green Together event, with leaders from Muslim, Sikh, Christian and Jewish organisations voicing their strong opposition to the proposed demonstration.

Golders Green Together was created by the London Jewish Forum and Hope Not Hate, aimed at anyone who wants to combat what the Campaign Against Antisemitism has called a “Neo-Nazi demonstration” planned for July 4 - which is a Shabbat.

The group has planned a programme of activities over the month to promote the unity and diversity of the area.

Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush said the launch showed “there is a massive, society-wide condemnation of antisemitism, and all forms of racism.

“Here you can see people from all faiths coming together with the Jewish community to demonstrate their revulsion at antisemitism.”

The new Board president called on the Jewish community “not to leave the streets free to the neo-Nazis,” saying there should be “a Jewish presence” when the New Dawn-promoted rally takes place.

Mr Arkush said Monday’s photocall showed the true feelings of the community, and said it displayed an ironic effect of the planned protest.

“This tiny group of washed up far-right-wingers aren't worth becoming over-anxious for. But it's a very good opportunity to come together and say with one voice: we reject prejudice and bigotry.

“To that extent, I'm rather grateful to the people behind this pathetic demonstration, because they have succeeded in bringing us together.”

However Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer voiced his concerns about a counter-demonstration.

He said: “We have to be careful we don't feed the egos of a relatively small group of people [on the far-right]. It's right to show them they're not welcome, but we must ensure that the groups in the counter-demonstration remain united, as we don't cause any friction that reflects badly on the community.

“We need to make sure we remain calm and don't let this far-right group get under our skin.”

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