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'Election Campaign May Trigger Race Riots'

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posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 04:30 AM
British cities may be hit by race riots like those seen in 2001 if parties do not take care when campaigning for next year's General Election, an expert has warned.

Luton and Birmingham have both seen street violence between anti-fascist demonstrators and far right organisations in recent weeks and months.

Ninety people were arrested in Birmingham after clashes between the far-right English Defence League (EDL) and counter-demonstrators near the city centre last weekend.

The weekend before saw hundreds of Asian youths, gathered following rumours of a right-wing march in the Bury Park area of Luton, clash with police and throw fireworks.

There have been problems in the town since March, when a handful of Muslim extremists disrupted a homecoming parade by the Royal Anglian Regiment from Iraq, culminating in an arson attack that gutted an Islamic centre.

Luton Town's home game against York City on September 19 has been postponed after police told the clubs they feared the EDL was planning to flout a ban on protests in the town.

In 2001, more than 150 police officers were hurt as thousands of people rioted in Burnley, Oldham and Bradford around the time of the General Election.

Campaigners accused the Government of inflaming passions on both sides by constantly using phrases such as "bogus asylum seekers" and "bogus refugees".

"Home Secretary David Blunkett and his colleagues have been posturing over their tough stance on immigration, fuelling the far-right and further alienating minority communities across the country," a spokesman for the Anti-Fascist Action group said at the time.

Arun Kundnani, of the Institute of Race Relations, said Labour in particular had been guilty of adopting British National Party rhetoric as it attempted to win back voters that had deserted it in core inner-city areas - using phrases such as "British jobs for British workers". os=Politics_First_Home_Article_Teaser_Region_3&lid=ARTICLE_15379270_Race_Riot_Election_Campaign_Warning_After_Far_Right_Demos_In_Luton_And_Birmingham< br />
[edit on 11/9/09 by parrallel]

[edit on 11/9/09 by parrallel]


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