Category Archives: Anti-Fascism & Anti-Racism

Keighley Rejects the EDL

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EDL march through Keighley whilst locals tell them they’re not welcome – photo Iain Dalton

“Get out of our town and take your racism with you,” was one of the messages hurled by shoppers at the small contingent of EDL members trying to stage a demonstration in Keighley. Massively outnumbered by police, around 40 members of far-right EDL met a respinse that celarly indicated Keighley folk didn’t want them there.

Iain Dalton, Socialist Party West Yorkshire Organiser

This protest on Saturday 2nd September, was originally supposed to be one of two demonstrations that day, with EDL members set to descend on Bradford where threats of acid attacks against women wearing the Burka had been made in the preceeding week.

Yet the Bradford protest was called off, and the Keighley demonstration only took place due to the 4 lines of police seperating them from angry locals. An indication of the EDL’s poor state of organisation at present was they didn’t appear to have a megaphone, so no-one apart from them could hear their racist message.

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Socialist Party banner on one of the counter-demos – photo Tanis Belsham-Wray

Around 100 people, locals and anti-fascist campaigners gathered to oppose them on the other side of Church Green, whilst Unite Against Fascism held a similar sized protest which was kettled by the police around 500 metres down the road.

Socialist Party members from Bradford district, and neighbouring towns, intervened in both counter-protests, getting a good response to our leaflets linking the need to oppose the divise politics of the far-right with a clear opposition to austerity and the capitalist system.

 

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Bradford anti-EDL protest – Police lock down city centre

Bradford city centre was locked down by a heavy police presence on 12 October in order to allow a ‘static’ protest by several hundred far-right English Defence League (EDL) supporters. A Bradford Socialist Party member explains what happened.

There was an eerie feel walking into the centre of Bradford on the day of the EDL’s visit as the streets were practically deserted.

With no march route granted, it was basically a day out to the pub for the EDL, with various coaches shipping supporters into a police-designated pen.

The EDL’s desire to be heard and their threat to cause havoc didn’t materialise. Unite Against Fascism had arranged a peace festival a few streets away, but 50 or so of us from various organisations, including the Socialist Party, were determined to get closer to try to stop the EDL.

Police horses surged forward in an attempt to move us towards the UAF demo point, which we managed to avoid. Attempts by police to kettle us on at least three occasions were also thwarted.

In-fighting occurred within the EDL pen, with two reported arrests. Their speeches at 1pm were also cut short, with police escorting EDL’ers to their buses after only 20 minutes.

We anti-racists, stuck around, determined to protect our city. The rain had been pouring down all day and the EDL’ers now looked more pathetic than ever, drenched in their misery and insignificance.