Sian Timoney is a Labour councillor in Luton’s Farley ward, where the EDL is planning to assemble on 5 February. She spoke to Socialist Worker.
‘The EDL’s presence will be intimidating for the vast majority of people. The estate is mixed—over 20 percent of the people who live here are Muslim. There are groups of Turkish and black people living here too. And the majority of white people don’t support the EDL. So why should EDL supporters be allowed to gather and drink here?
The EDL wants to create the impression that it owns this town and this estate. It doesn’t. The British National Party has tried to organise here and now the EDL is.
EDL leader Kevin Carroll lives in the area and has been photographed and filmed drinking in the Parrot pub, where the EDL wants to assemble. And, EDL leader Tommy Robinson has also been filmed drinking here.
The vast majority of Lutonians aren’t racist. That’s why I agree with UAF that anti‑racists should be in St George’s Square on the day, not the EDL. The police could put the EDL in Stockwell Park. But they won’t do that because it isn’t what the EDL wants, and they are scared of losing control.
In the meetings I have been in with the police they seem to imply that the problem is UAF because they want a counter‑protest. It’s like they are shifting the blame onto UAF. But I think UAF and the people in Bury Park have every right to protest, and I think UAF is doing the right thing by standing in solidarity with them.
I was involved in the making of the Channel 4 expose of the EDL. We can be under no illusions—it is violent and racist. We need to oppose it.’
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up