January 10, 2010

Campaigners ask capital’s pubs to ban far-right group

Campaigners battling the Scottish Defence League are to ask every pub in Edinburgh to ban members of the far-right group on the day of their coming protest in the capital

The Edinburgh Anti-Fascist Alliance hopes to disrupt the SDL’s usual tactics, which involve congregating in a pub before marching on a city. Several pubs have already vowed to ban any SDL supporters from their premises and one branch of national chain Wetherspoons has reportedly agreed to beef up its security ahead of the march, which takes place in the capital on February 20. The Edinburgh Anti-Fascist Alliance has already written to some 100 pubs in the city, and this week will write to the 200 others in Edinburgh.

A spokesman for the Edinburgh Anti-Fascist Alliance, who claimed he was too scared of reprisals from the SDL to give his name, said: “We’re a bunch of local people who hate racism and don’t want these people to march through our streets. We want to urge people to get involved in the planning of a reaction to the protest of the racist Scottish Defence League.”

The letter they have already sent to pubs features pictures from previous protests, depicting a gang of men in balaclavas and English football tops as well as shots from another demonstration of two men displaying an English flag near the entrance to a pub in Sheffield.

The letter said: “We are writing to inform you that ‘Scottish’ Defence League thugs may gather and get drunk in your pub before their racist demonstration. This may cause problems for renewing your licence, and may result in a consumer boycott. We are sure that your pub is welcoming to anyone of any ethnic background, however your hospitality may be taken advantage of on the 20th of February, when the ‘Scottish’ Defence League is planning a march in Edinburgh.”

The SDL is an off-shoot of the English Defence League, an organisation that exists to challenge the perceived threat of extremist Islam. They have led several marches on cities around Britain, including Glasgow, where activists were penned into a pub and briefly allowed to protest before being bussed off by police. An unprecedented cross-party alliance gathered to oppose them in Glasgow, under the banner of Scotland United.

An SDL representative, who goes by the name of Don, said the group would not be intimidated by anti-fascist measures to ban them from city-centre pubs. Don said: “Who are the fascists, telling people they can’t go into a public house? On what basis can you ban a group of people from going into a pub? These pubs are scared of these people, who come up and smash them up if they are not intimidated enough to close. No matter what happens we’ll be there in Edinburgh.”

He added that the decision to meet in pubs was taken for “safety reasons” and claimed SDL supporters were better off inside as there were opponents on the streets who wanted to attack them.

The Edinburgh Anti-Fascist Alliance denied it would use any force or try to intimidate public houses. Several pubs have already agreed to ban SDL supporters in the case of any trouble. Others are consulting their area manager to discuss a ban. The manager of one well-known bar said: “It’s all about the safety of our team and customers.”

Wetherspoons in George Street is to put on extra security on the day, mindful that the EDL have used their premises as meeting points during previous demonstrations. But a spokesman for Wetherspoons said they would allow anyone in, as long as there was no trouble.

He said: “You can’t stop someone coming in because of their views – you’d have empty pubs. Where would you stop? What anti-fascists think is right, corporations don’t. Like any right-minded people, we don’t agree with the EDL or the SDL. But if their supporters come to our pub and don’t cause trouble, we won’t turn them away. If they misbehave, we will ask them to leave.”

Sunday Herald


Boycott Spoons said...

Wetherspoons are wankers and they are shameful in defending their hospitality shown to the EDL.

They cannot on one hand claim to dislike the EDL/SDL but on the other hand defend the right to serve these thugs drinks just 'cos capitalism says so!!!

There ought to be a national boycott of fash-friendly Wetherspoons.

Anonymous said...

So that worked out well then. :0(

NewsHound said...



Celtic Fan said...

So the SDL's purpose is to oppose Irish Catholics as well as Muslims, which must be why the EDL love to chant about the IRA.

That's no surprise!!!

Rangers sectarian scum linking up with the sodding EDL bastards.

Anonymous said...

Trevor KKKelway up to his usual scumbag fascist tricks, opposing Irish Republicanism as well as Islam.

Anonymous said...

My only concern with banning Scum United from the pubs is seeing the lovely city streets on Edinburgh littered with Tetley Bitter cans.

Workingman said...

I can only assume there have been several complaints to Weaselspoons as i had to write 3 emails to get an actual reply, not a prewritten response to anti fash. Many a time i have seen large groups of lads refused entry to their pubs so as not to upset the rest of thier customers. But not the EDL . . very suspicious.

Boycott boycott boycott . . not that i was desperate enough to drink in a weaselspoons very often anyway lol

Anonymous said...

Hatred of Irish and Irish Scottish people goes back centuries.

paula said...

It has been reported on Sky News that Home Secretary Alan Johnson plans to ban Islam4UK as early as Monday.

However the government will continue to ban the fucking neo-nazi EDL.

Double standards or what?

boltoner said...

Seriously... maybe Alan Lake has shares in Weaselspoons.

Someone should do some investigating as to what Tim Martin is up to.

sue said...

Was climbing on the roof of the Nottingham branch (Lloyds Bar) not enough to get them banned from meeting at the McDonalds of pubs?

Wetherspoons have no ethics.

Anonymous said...

The SDL are basically Rangers,Hearts and Airdrie sectarian casuals plus Scottish and English neo-Nazis thrown in to the mix.

Anonymous said...

There ought to be a national boycott of fash-friendly Wetherspoons.

Don't be ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Exclusive: Neo-Nazis launch web plot to attack Republican march in Glasgow
Jan 10 2010 Stephen Stewart, Sunday Mail

A MOB of English neo-Nazi thugs plan to battle Irish republicans on the streets of Glasgow.

The football hooligans, right wingers and loyalists, under the Scottish Defence League banner, have secret plans to cause chaos at a march next week to mark the 38th anniversary of the Derry Bloody Sunday massacre.

A Sunday Mail investigation has revealed that SDL yobs aim to attack marchers from Irish republican groups on Sunday.

SDL fanatics were forced out of Glasgow in November after failing to stoke racial hatred. Hundreds of police hemmed in around 70 racists and BNP thugs as they met at a city centre pub after failing to march on the central mosque.

An SDL organiser called "Beight", said: "I urge SDL supporters to let these vermin know that their presence is not welcome on Scotland's streets."

A spokesman for Cairde Na hÉireann, an Irish republican support group in Scotland, said: "Groups should be entitled to demonstrate and not suffer because of the violent actions of others." Strathclyde Police's Chief Superintendent Bernard Higgins said officers had met with march organisers and council officials to discuss safety arrangements.

"The event organisers intimated at this meeting that they now plan to withdraw their application," he added.

samantha said...

Thanks Mr Troll, but what the hell's ridiculous about boycotting a national chain bar which is happy to allow neo-nazi football hooligans to get drunk on their premises?

Ben Trunch said...

Good to see that Manchester City Council have finally closed that public health hazard and fash drinking den, the "Ace of Diamonds"...

Kudos to the MCC.

I wonder where the fash will meet now - a car park somewhere?

Anonymous said...

Remember EDL founder Paul Ray posing in T-shirts celebrating Loyalist mass-murderer Johnny Adair

I hate the IRA but the UVF etc are just as bad

Andrew said...

It occurred to me that Wetherspoons pubs are popular with trade unionists because their pubs can be relied upon to serve good reasonably-priced food and a reasonable selection of real ales. The landlord of the Charing Cross road Wetherspoons, within 10 minute's walk from TUC Congress House, could confirm this.

I wonder which group of people bring in the most money - union members or the EDL. Time for union activists to start asking their unions to boycott Wetherspoons until they realise that the views of the EDL/SDL/WDL don't matter and neither do the views of "corporations" - it is only the views of normal customers that matter.

It would not be a difficult boycott to arrange. If you bring together a couple of dozen male trade unionists, the chances are one of them has had the foresight to bring along his Good Beer Guide and can suggest a true local pub with more character than Wetherspoons or any of the other corporate chains.