Last night The Oppressed, among other acts, entertained hundreds of militant anti-fascists at the excellent Rage Against Racism gig at The Well in Leeds. The gig was organised by local anti-fascists for the benefit of Leeds and Cardiff Anti Fascist Action, the event was not related to Unite Against Fascism or Hope not Hate despite what the EDL thought. Manchester Anti Fascist Alliance were, again, offered to do a stall at the gig selling our merchandise .
The English Defence League had threatened to disrupt the event on the grounds that the “UAF racists” shouldn’t be at an anti-racist gig. Around a dozen members of the EDL, thought to be from Bradford, turned up to conduct a smash and run type operation. Unfortunately it was successful in that they put through two windows, three of them got banged (including one leading mixed race EDL member who was sporting a cracked head) and then ran away only to be arrested latter on. One anti-fascist was injured by a stray bottle thrown as the legged it. Hope Not Hate claim to have photographic evidence but they have handed it over to the police *groan*. The gig carried on and the consensus is that it was fantastic!
However this is another worrying development the EDL are carrying out their threats against anti-racists although they are yet to realise there is a difference between the UAF and Anti Fascist Action types, hopefully the cracked skull will make them realise. The EDL have stepped up their militant activities especially in the North due to the North West Infidel and North East Infidel (NWI & NEI) split. These two groups, along with what remains of the Scottish Defence League, are disillusioned with the pathetic marching from the train station and back in some racial diverse town or city.
The NWI & NEI want to take the fight to the UAF and other “reds” and we must be prepared to defend ourselves and our activities. the UAF are constantly turning a blind eye to these attacks, which are mostly aimed at the UAF due to the intense hatred the EDL have for the UAF. The UAF must not allow themselves to be beaten off the streets and their ever decreasing turn outs to their useless counter demonstrations give evidence to this happening already. The UAF denounce militant anti-fascists as chuvenistic and “squaddist” but militant anti-fascist must be a weapon always in our arsenal and we must not be afraid to deploy it. Let us be prepared to defend the working class communities from fascists and to prevent their infiltration by fascists. The UAF has failed working class communities and allowing the EDL to take the place of what should be the left. The NWI & NEI must be watched too, if these groups move outside of the EDL they will no longer be constrained by the EDL marching tactics. They are a more openly racist group, openly using “white power” on their facebook group, and are more inclined to militant and violent tactics than the EDL officals.
To end on a positive note: MAFA would like to thanks the organisers for holding an excellent gig and we hope that we see more of them. Also thank you for inviting MAFA to do a stall. A special mention has been requested to thank the anti fascist organisation who stewarded the meeting so professionally and well and thwarted the attempted attack outnumbered.
This article will be updated once new information comes out. All the specifics in this article have already been written about in the public domain, if you have any further information and amendments please post it in the comments.
Written by Fat Lad at Manchester Anti Fascist Alliance
Thanks to NewsHound for the heads-up