by Tim Lezard The GMB is investigating whether black and Asian bar staff were told not to turn up for work when the EDL visits tomorrow. The union says the only way to protect staff at Bar Risa in Birmingham’s Broad Street is to refuse to host the far- …

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Bar Risa, Birmingham GMB EDLby Tim Lezard

The GMB is investigating whether black and Asian bar staff were told not to turn up for work when the EDL visits tomorrow.

The union says the only way to protect staff at Bar Risa in Birmingham’s Broad Street is to refuse to host the far-right group.

GMB senior organiser Amanda Gearing said: “EDL are renowned for their confrontational and violent behaviour and their connections to football hooliganism and targeting innocent people on the street. They are not about peaceful demonstration and freedom of speech, but oppression and violence.

“The managers of Bar Risa have a clear duty of care not to place their staff in a position where they have to put up with the appalling behaviour of EDL and no doubt be subject to abuse and potential attack.

“There are also rumours that black and Asian staff were told not to work on tomorrow. If this is correct and if managers consider that this how Bar Risa should act to protect staff they are seriously misguided. Were this to happen it would be blatant race discrimination. GMB will support any members of staff with evidence that they have been subjected to the unacceptable and shameful treatment.

“GMB is calling on Bar Risa managers to exercise this duty of care by pulling out of hosting EDL. The only way to protect the staff working at Bar Risa is to say no to hosting EDL and say no to lies, hatred and oppression.

“EDL do not represent the people of Birmingham. Growing up and living in Birmingham all my life, I was lucky enough to have lived amongst people from all different cultures backgrounds and faiths. This formed the absolute backbone of our communities all across the city.  My life and thousands of others are richer as a result.

“The travelling circus known as EDL, where the clowns pedal lies and hatred instead of laughter, should get a clear message from the people of Birmingham: ‘pack up and get out of town’.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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