August 17, 2010

West Yorkshire Police call for ban on EDL demo in Bradford

West Yorkshire Police have today asked Bradford City Council to submit a request to the Home Secretary to ban the proposed English Defence League march on Saturday 28 August.

In a strongly worded statement, the police say they believe the risk to public order is enough to warrant a ban on the racist march. This will be the first time any police force has applied for a ban since the EDL tried to march in Luton in summer 2009.

Bradford City Council will now formally request a ban from the Home Secretary and a decision will be announced early next week. However, Home Office officials told HOPE not hate last week that it was highly unlikely the Home Secretary would ignore a request if one were made by the police and council and the stringent criteria for a ban were met.

While there is still a possibility that the EDL might hold a static protest in Bradford, a ban on a demonstration is a major success. The EDL had hoped to march down Manchester Road, a predominantly Muslim area of the city. It is also likely that as news of the ban spreads support for an EDL static protest will dampen.

The decision by West Yorkshire Police is a victory for the HOPE not hate campaign and the thousands of people who signed its Bradford Together petition. “Some people said that a petition was fruitless but we have proved that, when mobilised, ordinary people can exert pressure on the authorities,” said HOPE not hate co-ordinator Nick Lowles.

“While the EDL threat hasn’t completely gone away our campaign has contributed to the racists being kept away from Muslim communities in Bradford. This is a victory for the people of city and especially the 10,700 who signed our petition.”

The HOPE not hate campaign and its Bradford Together initiative will not stop here. If the EDL reapplies for a static protest then we will hold a peace vigil in Bradford City Centre on Friday 27 August. But even if the EDL stays away altogether we shall seek to build on this fantastic campaign to make Bradford Together a lasting initiative.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported us,” added Paul Meszaros, who ran the campaign in Bradford. “Over 10,000 local people signed our petition. That’s over 10,000 successful conversations we have had with ordinary local people.

“We still might face a static EDL protest but this is a significant victory and one we should all be proud of.”

Hope not Hate


Anonymous said...

Good work HnH - Let's hope the Home Secretary approves the ban. I think this is 90% certain because if she ignores the request and allows the EDL to gather, and there's a major riot, then she's in for the high jump.

Sadly, there will be some on the far-Left who hope the EDL march will go ahead.

Anonymous said...

Yes! Fuck the EDL scum!

redneckspy said...

This is good news, finaly a sign that the authorities are taking the threat from the edl seriously. Well done and good luck to HnH and the people of bradford.

Anonymous said...

The NF march in Bradford in 2001 was banned and there was still a major riot.

UK Fightback said...

The idea that the EDL ever engage in "static" protest is a total joke and just shows how gullible the EDL have been in the past. Let's hope Theresa May's a bit less naive about this than Alan Johnson.

EDL "static"" protest in Manchester...

Stewart said...

Hooray - with luck the ban will be approved. a "static" demo is still a danger as videos of the edl show the rampaging thrum towns even after they're "coralled".

Anonymous said...

People on the left regard a ban on the EDL march as a victory for anti-racism.

Anonymous said...

Can I just go off topic for a mo please, I am so pleased Lee Barnes is keeping to his meds as it appears that he has taken the decision to spill the beans.

His article posted in the early hours this morning about Collett/Griffin relationship looks like the first brick out of a very big dam.


Anonymous said...

"His article posted in the early hours this morning about Collett/Griffin relationship looks like the first brick out of a very big dam"

I honestly can't stomach going onto fascist sites and reading the contents (I always feel like having to take a shower afterwards - Stormfront being the worst). Can you sumarise the article for us?

UK Fightback said...

OK, what I meant to say was...

The idea that the EDL ever engage in "static" protest is a total joke and just shows how gullible the HOME OFFICE have been in the past. Let's hope Theresa May's a bit less naive about this than Alan Johnson.

EDL "static"" protest in Manchester...

Anonymous said...

The ban won't stop a static demo. And a static demo is what they had in eg Dudley, where they smashed windows, attacked homes, shops, the local Hindu temple etc etc

It is really important to get the numbers up on the We are Bradford event opposing the EDL. They are going to be in Bradford - we have to show a response.

AndyMinion said...

Look. I'm genuinely pleased to see the Old Bill taking the EDL seriously, and I fully realise this is off-topic and, furthermore, shows me up as nothing more than the sniggering, infantile buffoon I am, but...


Anonymous said...


Like you, I'm a fan of bad Fascist poetry. Barnes would have to go some to beat the late, unlamented Ian Stuart-Donaldson of Skrewdriver. Here's an extract from his song, "Pennies from Heaven" from the LP "Hail the New Dawn",

"One minute I'm in Camden, the next I'm in Euston
Then they send me back to Kentish Town
I've completed lap two, there's a hole in my shoe
And I'm down, yes I'm down"

TS Elliot, eat yer heart out!

Bradfordian said...

Sadly the EDL are going to hold a "static protest" in the centre of town, by Wetherspoons (Lloyds Bar), where they will proceed to get pissed and attack passers by with darker skins.

The EDL will still be trying to "hit Bradford", and their march will begin at Bradford Interchange.

Asian businesses had better close, and that includes the Chinese "ChinoThai" bar as they serve Halal meals.

Most of Bradford's hackney carriage drivers and bus drivers are Asian, son they had better go on strike for the day for their own safety, as in Dudley, the racist thugs checked missiles and engaged in violent racist attacks.

The total police bill will cost over £1million and a school/community centre/hospital ward will probably have to close to pay for the policing.

Millionairre Alan Lake pays nothing for the policing or insurance costs.

The law desperately needs to be changed giving the council emergency powers to banj static protests also.

Anonymous said...

The EDL are criminals who ought to be locked up, but are treated with a blind eye by the police cos of Yaxley_Lennon's famously loose tongue.

Anonymous said...

The static march will still cause a deadly riot.

Do something please to save Bradford from these scum, Theresa May??????

Anonymous said...

"The static march will still cause a deadly riot.

Do something please to save Bradford from these scum"

Napalm ????

Old Sailor

Anonymous said...

Contrary to the ultra left I do not get hot under the collar when people & communities (quite clearly there IS a groundswell of community opinion to BAN this EDL march) want to oppose the EDL. Contrary to some round here I do not think that the EDL represent anything but some far right politicos & there already existing footy social networks. They are not a genuine 'new social movement' at all, rather like the Countryside Alliance in some ways. SO, I am indifferent & I do not think it matters too much, rather it is the political work people can do in & around these conditions, & the events themselves that are important.

Ointment said...

As someone who actually lives in Bradford, could I ask that the UAF also listen to those of us that live here and stay away too?

Once they've all got on their coaches back to London it's us left to pick up the pieces.

You don't stop the demos, you don't "smash" the EDL, you do nothing but make things worse.

Stay away.

Anonymous said...

"They are not a genuine 'new social movement'"

Agree - The EDL are a slightly different manifestation of the same goon squad who have always existed. I remember being surrounded by hundreds of right wing footie fans on a march in Bermondsey in 1991 (the cops saved us then) and during 'troops out' marches just before that. I don't see the EDL as a radical departure at all.

UK Fightback said...

As in Manchester, as soon as the cops escort EDL to and from a "static" protest, EDL start chanting and hey presto it becomes an EDL march, despite the EDL being "banned" from marching, so the EDL make a laughing stock out of the Home Office and the police

EDL kicked off in Luton and Dudley where there was either no UAF protest at all, or when the UAF were literally miles away having a totally separate event

If there is trouble in Bradford it'll be EDL and/or C18, BNP, Ointment going AWOL from the main event to attack local Asians. It's very difficult to know how to deal with this as a ban makes policing the EDL a bit easier, but, ban or no ban, racists WILL attack and it's vital this doesn't escalate into anything the BNP can call a "race riot"

Ointment should fuckin' stay at home as well as they're all totally well known to police spotters

Anonymous said...

Isn't 'Ointment' the name of Bradford's resident football hooligan posse?

Who may well be aligned with the EDL?

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

To Ointment:
Everyone who lives in Bradford is not asking the UAF to stay away. When the EDL are unopposed, they go on a rampage. When they are opposed, large numbers of police get between the two sides so the EDL are less able to run riot.
Decades ago, the National Front acknowledged that it was the Anti-Nazi League who had knocked them back by consistently opposing them and (correctly) labelling them Nazis. Living in Bradford gives no one any special say in the matter. I live in Lancaster and would welcome a UAF counter-demonstration to any attempted EDL march here.

Anonymous said...

Someone here keeps taking issue with the ultra- or far left. Can we leave that out and just unite against the fascists?

Anonymous said...

Their march will be banned. They'll be allowed a 'static protest'. And if Dudley is anything to go by they'll be bussed to a central point then walked en masse to their demo.

Now, can someone please tell me how thousands of fascists walking together under police escort isn't a march?

United we stand - Divided we FALL said...

Disappointing to see some posts casting aspersions on a part of the anti-fascist movement. The first poster is claiming "some on the far-left" want the EDL march to take place. Please post some proof.

What angers me most is a poster presumably from a Bradfordian, calling on the UAF to stay away without saying exactly why. I am not in the UAF, I am not a Trotskyist, but can still recognise brazen cheek when I see it.

It is a dead certainty that the EDL are intent on going to Bradford on the 28th.

It is also certain that the UAF's activists will converge on the centre of Bradford to help ensure (through law-abiding means) that the EDL cannot spout their filth unopposed.

Others present will be members of Searchlight, the unions, religious communities, various political parties, etc. Or more likely than not, none of the above.

These groups will all be shoulder to shoulder with the UAF in the same crowd. Should they not bother turning up either?

Think about what you are asking for.

Even if you did keep it as a local demo for local people, there would STILL be trouble, and more of it too, and it would be the EDL providing it.

If anyone wants to reopen the ancient debate on the UAF/Searchlight's relative merits, by all means suggest it - but after the 28th please.

Sorry if I've offended anyone - especially the MANY committed activists in Bradford who've gone through a lot more than the rest of us ever will - but I hear this sort of petty sectarianism too often and it makes my blood boil, knowing that the BNP/EDL are reading it too and smiling to themselves.

Best of luck whatever happens about the demo.

Anonymous said...

"I hear this sort of petty sectarianism too often and it makes my blood boil"

Maybe you should have a word with Mr. Martin Smith who is using the Socialist Worker newspaper as a plarform to criticise Nick Lowles and Searchlight magazine. We oppose the counter-demo in Bradford, not for petty sectarian reasons, as you infer, but because we remember the disastrous outcome of the 2001 Anti-Nazi League demo and, for the good of Bradford, don't want to see it repeated.

I stand by my claim that the SWP 'street' leadership of the UAF have too much invested now and want to see the EDL turn up so they can go ahead with their counter-demo. It's become a battle of wills by two strains in the anti-fascist movement and the actual EDL have become almost a side-issue.

Anonymous said...

I did not come here to discuss the SWP but I must respond to the slanderous accusation that the SWP want the EDL to show up. Please address these accusations to Socialist Worker, not to Lancaster Unity.

Anonymous said...

The SWP does not want the EDL to march. (Plus Lancaster Unity blog is not about the SWP.)