August 13, 2011

Determined to exploit riots, EDL promises to defy police

Tommy Robinson, seen here at a rally in Blackburn in April
The controversial English Defence League will go ahead with its march through the Shropshire town of Telford today, despite the Home Secretary's decision to ban it yesterday, citing the need to "protect communities and property".

But whatever unrest the group's mobilisation there may engender, it is as nothing to that which will erupt if its planned march through the London borough of Tower Hamlets goes ahead in three weeks' time.

The group, whose supporters number in the tens of thousands, gained attention this week when it co-ordinated efforts to defend the streets of Enfield in north London and Eltham in south London from would-be looters and rioters. The police did not welcome the "assistance".

The group's founder, Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Lennon, said of the Tower Hamlets march: "The police have told us that it will be the most hostile environment they have seen in this country in 20 years. They say marching through there will be absolute suicide. The Met have told us it'll be absolute suicide, but we will go ahead with it, whether it is banned or not."

The English Defence League claims not to be a racist organisation, and was set up with the declared aim of protesting against the spread of Islamic extremism in England.

Its previous marches through Luton, Birmingham, Bradford and Oldham have typically involved young white males singing pro-English football chants, but have occasionally descended into violence.

Tower Hamlets, which is to the east of the City of London, is one of the capital's most ethnically diverse boroughs and contains many of its most impoverished neighbourhoods. It is also home to the large East London Mosque, capable of holding 5,000 people.

"Why do they want to come here?" asked Abdul Azim, 34, emerging from the Mosque after Friday prayers. He is a stallholder at the Whitechapel Road street market, which runs through the area. "They are not from here. They just want to antagonise. They say they're not racist, but there are many thousands of them. How can they say there are not many in their group who want to attack us?"

It is an argument that Mr Robinson does not accept. "There's racists in the Met, there's racists in the Labour Party. When we find racists we kick them out."

The police have agreed to a 1.2-mile route for the march. The Home Office can only move to ban the march when it receives a request to do so from the police or the local council. So far no such request has been made. Mr Robinson believes that if the march is banned, the trouble will be worse. Salman Farsi, a spokesman for the East London Mosque, said: The EDL is an extreme far-right organisation. On their marches many of their members cause disorder and unrest, and they seek to stir up hatred and tension within communities. From our point of view we have advised the local authority to ban this march from taking place. If it does go ahead we can expect to see a repeat of some of the scenes we saw earlier this week."



Anonymous said...

The EDL are jumping on the whole vigilante bandwagon to give themselves a boost after Norway.

Anonymous said...

CHRISTIAN COUNTRY NOT MUSLIM eh?? Wonder what Guramit Singh and every single Sikh (and indeed Jew) they've tried to get into bed with thinks about that then???

Anonymous said...

The EDL are jumping on the whole vigilante bandwagon to give themselves a boost after Norway.

We've seen how good they were at 'defending' Eltham shopkeepers - with cheap beer, Millwall shirts and racist chanting. Compare that with the Turkish and Sikh guys!!!

Should've been at home listening to Radio 2.

Anonymous said...

So nice of them to volunteer to be test subjects for the baton rounds and water cannons, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

~the Home Secretary's decision to ban it yesterday, citing the need to "protect communities and property".~

Bravo! Wise decision!

I'm Working Class!! said...

My contacts in Telford inform me the fascists in Telford are attempting to play the political correctness card (once again). Of course, to cover up their ignorance. 0% political correctness equals 100% ignorance prejudice and bigotry....and vice versa.

So read that as 'stop anti-prejudice' or equivalent.

Anonymous said...

Todays attempted fash provocation appeared like a flaccid cock. LOL

La Di Da Gunner Graham said...

Telford: community, unions, football fans unite against EDL