Bradford Women for Peace Protest 28 August 2010

Bradford Women for Peace was set up in August 2010 in the lead up to the proposed EDL march in Bradford.  Following confirmation that the English Defence League will be holding a static protest in Bradford,  women from across the city have come together to send a clear message of peace.

Wahida Shaffi, spokesperson for Bradford Women for Peace (and a founder member of the Christian Muslim Forum) believes the initiative is unique as it draws together women from across Bradford’s diverse communities who have expressed a genuine desire to stand together in solidarity and support.

“The EDL are calling the Bradford demonstration “The Big One” and the fact that they are coming to our city during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with a clear view to cause trouble is a calculated attempt on their part to inflame racial and religious tensions in our city.  As mothers, sisters, daughters, partners and wives we want to send the clearest message to the EDL that we will not allow a far-right extremist organisation intent on fanning the flames of racial and religious intolerance to create a breach between Bradfordians. By coming together and bridging our age, racial, religious and cultural differences we want to send out a positive message of peace and unity that is an antidote to the EDL message of hate.”

Bradford Women for Peace are organizing a series of events in the run-up to the EDL event. On Friday, the 27th of August, they will be in the city centre distributing peace ribbons and inviting women to join them in spreading the message across the city.  Accordingto Liz Firth, the group’s co-spokesperson, the women involved in the initiative have adopted the colour green to symbolize hope, renewal, nurturing and peace.

“By owning the colour green we are sending the strongest possible message to the EDL that we reject their anti-Islam message and that Muslims are an integral part of the Bradford community and we intend to stand alongside our Muslim sisters.”

In order to convey our message of non-violence, Bradford Women for Peace have organised an event called Voices for Peace. The group are inviting women from across Bradford to join them in creating a Web of Solidarity to highlight our essential connectedness with each other as part of the larger Bradford family. The EDL gathering threatens to undermine the resilience that the City has builtup since 2001. By bringing women together in solidarity the group wants to invest in a peaceful Bradford for the future.

Bradford Women for Peace will be meeting at Ivegate, (opposite Centenary Square) Bradford City Centre on Friday, 27th from 11 – 1pm and they are inviting women from across Bradford to join them in creating a web of solidarity and posting their messages of unity and solidarity on the Tree of Peace.

The BWFP will continue the theme of peace, unity and solidarity on Saturday 28th of August. For further information please contact Wahida Shaffi on 07983 646096 or Liz Firth on 07988 966097

Women are encouraged to wear a green item of clothing to express their support.

For Press and Media interviews and information contact: Wahida Shaffi 07983 646096 or Liz Firth on 07988 966097