September 03, 2009

Their lies, our strength

BNP leader Nick Griffin went on air last month to distance the BNP from the hooligan protests. As usual what he did not admit was that many of the leading figures in the Luton protest are BNP supporters. Just like Oldham in 2001, Griffin denied responsibility while his own followers were inciting hatred and violence.

When the English Defence League announced its intention to hold a protest in Luton we were faced with two options. We could have called a counter-protest and mobilised the local community and anti-fascists to occupy the streets or we could call on the authorities to ban the march.

In normal circumstances we would have preferred the first option. Mobilising communities can be an empowering process but these are not ordinary times and the stakes are too high. There was a very serious risk of major disorder in Luton if the march had gone ahead – be it from the hooligans and fascists or the local community, which quite understandably wanted to defend its neighbourhoods.

We decided that any disorder would have been a disaster. It would have driven a firm wedge between communities in Luton and also had national ramifications. With the strength of the BNP and Islamophobia it is trouble we could least afford.

Anti-fascists must accept that we too have a responsibility to the people we claim to represent. Yes the fascists must be challenged wherever they raise their heads but it is also important that we are sensitive to the consequences of our actions. Stopping the fascists holding a meeting is pointless if we then have to endure three days of adverse publicity which leaves local people – the very people we want to keep away from the BNP – feeling sympathy for them. Likewise, burning the Union Jack in a city centre is hardly likely to win over ordinary shoppers.

It was precisely because of our concerns over the consequences of a march that we called for the protest to be banned. However, the manner in which we did it mobilised and empowered people. The Home Office banned the march because of the actions of thousands of people who got involved in our campaign. Over the coming months the hooligans and BNP will again try to whip up hatred and division. They need to be opposed but in a responsible manner which gives thought to the consequences and empowers people along the way.

Hope not hate

Hope not hate is campaigning to get Saturday's equally-dangerous march in Birmingham cancelled. Despite an amazing 1427 letters objecting to it landing in the Council's inbox, it seems that they're still unwilling to budge.

We have received information that football hooligans from across the West and East Midlands, the South West, Wales and the Home Counties are preparing to descend on Birmingham on Saturday. They will be meeting outside the city centre and marching in as a mob. We cannot allow this to happen.

To ramp up the pressure on the Council, Nick Lowles of Searchlight/Hope not hate is planning to send a letter to each of the Councillors, and the local media, in the next 24 hours demanding they put a stop to it. But to make the impact we need, we need a headline number. We're aiming for 2000 letters to be sent to the Councillors before Nick sends his. we'd like your help in meeting this goal - can you invite your friends to contact the Council about the march as well?

We've set up an easy-to-use tool to help you reach out to your friends - with your help we can get over 2000 people involved. We've had great success stopping these types of marches before. But this didn't happen by chance. It happened because people like you and me were willing to stand up and make a difference. Please contact your friends and get them to put pressure on the council.

To send a message yourself, click here.
To enlist the support of your friends, click here.


Brummie said...

Now 2,100 signatures, seven hundred more signed yesterday (Wed)

Keep the pressure on!

Brummie said...

Next weekend there is a big fashion show taking place in the city centre and Gok Wan is going to be the star of that. The following weekend it's Artsfest, which is the UK's biggest FREE arts festival.

Both these events depend to a major extent on tourism. Allow a racist hooligan march to take place this weekend, expect a huge drop in attendance for both these, and future events, and consequential decrease in revenues.

Birmingham City Council's continued capitulation to the 'angry mob' in the future means our famous Christmas market from Frankfurt will be rather quieter this year if we see further EDL and far right activity in the autumn.

Still, if the council, who claim to represent Brummies of all races creeds and colours, and to which I pay my council tax, won't listen to its citizens, the weather gods will! Start praying for some traditional English rain and wind on Saturday in the Second City!

Kaiser Chief said...

Everybody saw the devasting impact of the West Ham and Millwall soccer thugs fighting in and outside the ground at West Ham the other day. It made the headlines of every major newspaper in the land, and both football authorities and the Metropolitan Police have been critised in the aftermath for failing to prevent dangerous and damaging football violence from happening.

What's wrong with the police chief and the council in Birmingham?

Do they want a devestating football hooligan riot in their own backyard for which the city will never recover?

Most of these thugs are known to the British Transport Police, so why the hell are hey free to travel to Birmingham to cause a riot?

Fenwick said...

Football hooliganism is on the increase, a revival inspired by stupid pro-hooligan "thug-glamourising" movies such as Football Factory and The Firm, making violent football hooliganism cool and sexy once again.

If this march is going ahead, it will be a milestone for football hooliganism in so much as the EDL Casuals violent assault on Birmingham isn't even related to football.

Armed with bottles and sticks, rather than simply taking on other supporters itching for a fight, the armed football thugs (mostly from outside Birmingham) will be acting against a whole city for fuck's sake!

The EDL Casuals must not only be banned from marching. They must be made a proscribed and illegal gang, just like Combat18. Members should be jailed for belonging to it.

What's the hell's wrong with the police and the council? Do actually they want serious disorder to happen in Birmingham?

jonno said...

This is what the racist football hooligans want - their chance to turn sports-related disorder into a violent mass movement.

Didn't Britain ban private armies in the days of the English Civil War?

If so, why are the EDL Casuals allowed to storm Birmingham with a free hand to do what they bloody well like???

Why are Birmingham Council and the West Midlands Police failing to act in the scene of overwhelming intelligence that a massed army of football hooligans are about to cause havoc in the city?

The "EDL Casuals" football hooligans have been effectively given a free reign to invade Birmingham to freely unleash violence, mayhem and large-scale civil disorder.

The police and councillors will fiddle while Birmingham burns......

Anonymous said...

Anyone got any idea who will be doing the forthcoming "Official Birmingham September the 5th Post Riot Enquiry", especially if there is collusion between the authorities and the far right?

It used to be Lord Scarman, so obviously someone equally as scathing of cronyism and institutional racism will have to lead the enquiry when Birmingham is ransacked by these football hooligans, and the riot policemen turn on the anti-racist protestors, as I fear might happen.

The Sinyck said...

Just to be cynical, one must possibly ask the unbelieavable question, do police chiefs want a riot to happen so as to increase police budgets for the years ahead from the rates?

And councillors would be able to put up the council tax on this surmise?

It does make you wander if underhand motives are at hand.

Why else wouldn't this march get banned?

More money was spent on policing after the Oldham and Burnley riots.

If this is the case, the police (who do an excellent job at fighting all other crime than riots) should simply ask the council and the government to put more bobbies on the beat, not stand aimlessly by with hands tied while a bloody avoidable riot unfolds before their eyes!

Shirley said...

Get ready for the establishment bullshitters who will say they didn't see this one coming.

You don't need to be the feckin' Kasier Chiefs to predict this riot, folks! All football hooligans do it fight. It's in their blood!

They hardly stand in the streets inviting open debate. They do all their speaking with boos, fists and blunt instruments.

If the cops, councillors and government cannot predict the riot caused by football hooligans hell-bent upon causing chaos and destruction in one of the UK's major cities, then serious questions must be asked?

How come we can (quite rightly) stop Dutch Islamophobes from entering the UK when we allow our own racist thugs a free reign to run riot in our own country.

This is the hundred million dollar question that any right-minded person in this country must ask the powers that be!!!

Red Flag said...

Fenick, don't know what planet you are on (or want to live on) but C18is not a "proscribed illegal gang".

It does not exist.

DHL said...

Is Lord Scarman still with us?

Who else could take his place IF AND WHEN Birmingham is destroyed by a ragtag army of brainless pissed-up football hooligans?

Lord Ashdown would be quite good at doing the Birmingham Riot Enquiry, as he has witnessed the aftermath of many un-necessary war zones around the world.

ratepaya said...

I agree - In the aftermath of a large-scale riot with violence, arsen and looting, Birmingham City Council will put up the council tax.

Anonymous said...

I know people won't agree but if no Anti Fascists turn up and no Muslim Youth turn up they have nobody to fight but Police.

This prevents the scenes of racial violence that gains public sympathy. They would just the be seen a thugs fighting the Police. Don't rise to the bait.

joedoh said...

Combat18 might have ceased to exist officially, but there's still Hitler-worshipping Blood and Honour and Skrewdriver fans who act as unofficial C18 members.

Anonymous said...

I must put you right - Combat18 used (until recently) to exist. It was formed from members of the BNP's security team, and the police used to regularly arrest Combat18 members, confiscating neo-nazi memorabilia and weapons.

blockbuster video delivery guy said...

Whether Combat18 exist or not, the EDL Casuals seek to take their place, using violent force against minorities (including the Irish - remember the IRA chants they made last time!)

I remember the Birmingham Six, and how they were set up by racist police.

Brummie said...

Back in the 90s, we had regular threats from the National Front who threatened to cause havoc in Erdington and Stockland Green (suburbs to the north of the city). The local shopkeepers and residents mobilised and hey presto the march was banned and the racists got a slap in the face.

Nowadays there are more people living in the city centre than there were in the 90s. I mean, doesn't the welfare and safety of a) City Centre residents b) business owners and managers and c) the thousands of people who come into town to work actually matter to Councillor Whitby and his 'Am I bovvered?' Council??

Mr Yang said...

Yes, I agree, we mustn't take on the football hooligans if the march is allowed to go ahead at their own game, and descend to their own gutter level.

However, many people are concerned at the safety of their own communities, and nobody from the police helped the people of Brick Land fight Oswald Mosley.

Peaceful protest however, is quite rightly the feasable option, if the police turn a blind eye to these football hooligans.

Many of these football hooligans are known to the police, indeed!

Anonymous said...

This prevents the scenes of racial violence that gains public sympathy. They would just the be seen a thugs fighting the Police. Don't rise to the bait.

So, West Midlands Police, will you now be advising people to stay away from the City Centre then, and businesses/pubs to close at 3pm so the Luton soccer hooligans can, after plenty of time to arrive on their trains have their silly little hate march in town then??

What a bloody retrogressive council there is in Birmingham, eh??

Birmingham Bill said...

Most police do a very good job, thankfully. It's the police chiefs not the helpful beat bobbies who must be questioned for their failure to ban the EDL Casuals from importing football violence to Birmingham.

By the way, each time I turn on Sky Sports News, a channel which condemned the recent soccer violence at the West Ham versus Millwall game, why do they repeatly advertise that pro football hooligan film The Firm?

Surely it's the British Film Industry which has allowed 80's football hooliganism to have its resurrence.

People who make football thug movies have blood on their hands also.

Brummie said...

blockbuster video delivery guy said...
Whether Combat18 exist or not, the EDL Casuals seek to take their place, using violent force against minorities (including the Irish - remember the IRA chants they made last time

I remember this too, as I have Irish traveller ancestory. Guaranteed there'll be a few over-zealous sectarian R*ng*rs fans there!

Real Football Fan said...

The Birmingham Six were set up by the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, which were thankfully disbanded.

The modern police force in Birmingham aren't particularly racist. They now include Asian and Black officers in their ranks!

But questions must be asked as to why the police chief is happy to allow football hooligans to run amok on their home patch.

Actual football games must happen, but this isn't even about football.

Come on, Chief Constable, get your arse in gear and do what the rate-payers of Birmingham require you to do, and ban this bloody racist football hooligan gathering.

Brummie said...

Btw 2500 signatures now!

NO RACIST MARCHES IN BRUM IN 2009! Black white Asian unite, if you live in Rubbery, King Sheath, A Cock's Green or Great Bra, keep the faith!

Anonymous said...

The Far Right is still composed of UDF types, some of whom were booted out from ulster, as well as likeminded people from Glasgow Rangers, indeed.

The Edl Casuals march will be as much anti-Irish as well as anti-Muslim as most far right hoolies side with Loyalists over Republicans.

Jenny said...

If a riot does happen, their must be mass resignations of Birmingham's useless Chief Constable, and likewise all of the stupid councillors who stood by to allow this to happen.

Anonymous said...

Football hooliganism is being made cool and fashionable by British film-makers.

Anyone know why?

Tommy said...

If the gathering isn't banned, can't the football hooligans be kettled at Luton Station, and full stop and search proceedures used against these ultra-voilent drunken hooligans?

Or is stop and search only to be used against black and Asian people?

Brummie said...

A very good point Birmingham Bill. Large booksellers such as Waterstones sell loads of tell-it-all books from former and in some cases still active hooligans from big 'firms' such as the Blades Business Crew, Soul crew and ICF, which contain graphic descriptions of humungously glorified alcohol/testosterone/ignorance fuelled violence and destruction They even INVITE these people to do book signings and shamefully they put these items of filth amongst genuine books about football. Irresponsible or what!

The media are also partly responsible for the rise of football hooliganism and its associated BNP/NF/EDL activity, though the powers that be will only realise this when it's too late, I greatly fear.

Carnival Goer said...

The Metropolitan Police in London used emergency powers to detain known troublemakers from the Notting Hill Carnival, a fun, joyous and peaceful event, but nothing is being done to stop known football hooligans, many with ASBOS, from visiting Birmingham City Centre with the sole intent not to party, but to unleash sickening ultra-racist violence upon shoppers in Birmingham City Centre.

They're mostly from Luton, not Birmingham, so why are they allowed to travel with impunity to Birmimhgam this Saturday?

. said...

Stop and Search is only used for black and asian people not dangerous white football hooligans.

Wedge said...

Let's get this right: Red Flag is right, there are no members of C18, there have been no arrests of C18 members for years as they have not got any members anyway.

All of this running around blaming "C18" is a sensationalist cop-out by people who do not understand the shift in and appeal of the far-right and indeed football hooliganism over the past ten years.

A strong anti-Irish feeling among nationalist football supporters has existed since the 70's, for instance.

Just because Watmough runs a website with lots of little pictures on it means nothing.

C18 does not exist, they have no members and they are not going to magically appear because it suits people think so.

If you study the film of the West Ham and Millwall match, you will see plenty of black hooligans from both sets of fans. Even among the Millwall mob who went onto abuse Carlton Cole.

Football related arrests are up, but violence is down for instance.

Please get your facts right instead of just commenting for the sake of having something to say.

Too many people who got involved in the riot in Birmingham did that and did absolutely no favours to antifascism or the fight against Islamophobia.

Brummie said...

The modern police force in Birmingham aren't particularly racist. They now include Asian and Black officers in their ranks!

To be fair, the WMP has to be the most racially diverse force in the UK, which makes the question why are they allowing a racist march in one of the UK's most multiracial cities more of an ironic one.

midfielder said...

I'd give every football a lifelong ASBO if I was in charge of the courts.

Football hooligans have ruined british football, a small number of dangerous, moronic soccer thugs are all set to cause damage to Birmingham's international reputation unless this "Casuals" march is banned.

irishtony said...

I can still remember clearly the day football hooligans rioted in Dublin at lansdowne Rd.

I was there listening to their chants of
"Clegg is innocent"
"No surrender to the IRA"

Everything was chanted to try and provoke Irish football fans into violence, clearly our fans rose above these neanderthals and ignored them.

However thanks to the complacency of the Irish authorities these thugs rioted inside the grounds and the match was abandoned and the violence was screened worldwide.

I hope these scum don't get the same platform again, this march should be banned.

It will not only adversely affect Birmingham city but also England, English people and the authorities.

ban these scum

Anonymous said...

"Surely it's the British Film Industry which has allowed 80's football hooliganism to have its resurrence."

I don't know what a resurrence is but what a naive comment. Whatever next? If they show The Godfather will the mafia become more powerful? If Trainspotting is shown will smack become more widespread? Let's hope no World War II films are shown on telly soon or we'll all be back in the bunkers.

Anonymous said...

Ever since Football Factory, you do see lots more hooligan videos on youtube. Like it or not, movies like this have glamourised soccer hooligamism.

iagree said...

I defo agree that the entertainment industry has hyped up football hooliganism. Football hooliganism was dying out until Football Factory came along, and you could start to take your kids to games, but since then, you get more incidents now, and there has to be a direct link between this film and the return of 80s hooliganism.

Why make movies where football hooligans are heroes, and advertise them on Sky Sports between reports of violence at West Ham.

Looking at Facebook and YouTube, there does seem to be some connection between what people watch and how they act. It's not just the Daily Mail who makes such a connection.

Football hooligans are scum, and no way should they be made out to be heroes by bloody filmmakers just 'cos they are sponsored by companies such as "hooligan casual clothing labels" River Island and Rockport who make big money out of a revival of large scale football hooliganism.

The film industry is all about spin-off deals.

Do a search on any social networking site and see how many self-professed hooligans put Football Factory as their most favourite movie.

It's not rocket science. It's the facts, pal!

Anonymous said...

Many young white working class and lower middle class BNP and EDL supporters list Football Factory as their most-inspiring film.

Buddhist said...

Football hooliganism is largely a white working class drug that both guiltless filmakers and the BNP/EDL Casuals have been resourceful to tap into, exploiting anger, fear and disillusionment of young white kids into raw aggression and aggro for their own ends and means.

That is indeed why the BNP rely upon football hooligans for most of their street fascist support.

Anonymous said...

Let's get things into some sort of perspective: - I saw the Hammers video against Millwall, and I only saw three black faces amonsgt a mob of lets say 400 to 500 people. Which makes football hooliganism a mostly angry-white man thing.

If the BNP allow non-white members to join, there will only be the odd non-white member joining.

It's undeniable that football hooliganism is, and always will be, a majority white pasttime!

That's why the BNP loves making use of football hooligans in its ranks.

Lizzie said...

I think some of the comments on here defending football hooliganism whiff of trollism.

I mean, everyone knows football hooligans are vast majority white. It's not rocket science.

The Zulus aren't real zulus, but fat white men with bar haircuts, and the Soul Crew don't listen to Whitney Houston and attend Gospel church services before laying into people with boots and fists.

bluey said...

No way! Football hooliganism hasnt changed much.

Its still a mainly white thing.

Bee said...

Luton Town FC has taken a dip over the past year. They've been relegated from the football League and there's a sense among hooligans that they want to prove themselves through violence.

Ginseng said...

I read this in the Telegraph the other day: -

"Watching the scenes on television on Tuesday, and wondering when Sky Sports were going to pull the advertisement for a new film that glorifies those who use football to sate their thirst for violence, it was instructive switching over to Liverpool Football Club's channel where Jan Molby was being interviewed".

Many people are indeed uncomfortable with films like Football Factory and The Firm which glorify football violence.

Anonymous said...

There was plenty of racist chanting at the West Ham v Millwall game, according to the Press Association.

Football hooliganism and fascism are interlinked.

pettis flous said...

According to former hooligan
John O'Kane, 40, writing in the Sun newspaper, ex-leader of the Celtic Soccer Crew (CSC) claims youngsters are drawn to organised groups because they've been glamourised in blockbuster films such as The Football Factory.

A remake of the 1980s' flick The Firm will be released next month.

Explaining the attraction of the yob gangs, O'Kane said: "There's a camaraderie among crews - the lads feel as if they're part of something. There's also the adrenaline rush, too.

"I think people are attracted by the films as well as celebrity programmes like the Danny Dyer shows.

"Guys in a crew also get to travel throughout Britain and see different parts of the country."

O'Kane turned his back on football violence.

Anonymous said...

I think they meant resurgent and don't underestimate how suggestible some people are to the glamourising of taboo subjects. You'd be naive not think that at least some of them will have recalled the films in their initial interest and will award themselves a similar kudos by participating.

Wedge said...

"The Far Right is still composed of UDF types, some of whom were booted out from ulster, as well as likeminded people from Glasgow Rangers, indeed.

The Edl Casuals march will be as much anti-Irish as well as anti-Muslim as most far right hoolies side with Loyalists over Republicans"


More bollocks again? Who is the UDF???

If you don't know what you're talking about, do us a favour and shut the f**k up. Some people who are posting on here lately are as thick as the fash.

Brummie said...

More bollocks again? Who is the UDF???

I think you may mean the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) if you're referring to the anti-Irish paramilitary organisation. As quoted by both the Sex Pistols and the Specials!

Anonymous said...

"'cos they are sponsored by companies such as "hooligan casual clothing labels" River Island and Rockport "

It's actually Stone Island and nobody would be seen dead in Rockport.

The fash must be laughing at these posts - there are a lot of middle-class 'Rugby' types on here slagging working class football hooligans. Most hooligan firms had nothing to do with Fascism back in the day and some included Black guys - the only firm where the NF got a hearing was the Chelsea Headhunters (tossers) and at Glasgow Rangers and north of the border the Celtic and Hibs crews were anti-fascist. If a rise in hooliganism drives about the Russian oligarchs and prawn sandwich eaters then all well and good. And so what if it's a White thing? - anti-fascists should be reaching out to working class White people.

Bluetooth User said...

Probably meant the loyalist paramilitaries the UVF. Some people have fatter fingers when using mobile internet "bluetooth devices", which must surely account for typos galore.

The UVF are apparently still active in Belfast, and their members involved in drug and protection rackets.

Some former terrorists went to live in Stockport after leaving Belfast, didn't they???

Interesting article from former Celtic hooligan O'Kane, and how he blames films and popular culture for making people from his 80s generation into heroes when they were anything but role models.

Anonymous said...

God this is like a BNP message board full on un-informed key board warriors giving the impression they are looking forward to a confrontartation.

Wedge said...

A few more points for "experts" posting here.

The Zulu army are not fat white blokes, but a mixed race gang who were born out of Birmingham's black community to defend them from racist gangs, like the Villa hooligans.

Also, yes, The Soul Crew? Yes, there was soul music behind their name.

Also, Leicester City's firm has a large number of Asian hooligans.

Also Blue Tooth User, it was the UDA and they went to Bolton after being forced out at gun point. So close, but yet no cigar.

All of the paramilitary groups in Ireland are still active in varying forms and degrees.

Brummie said...

It looks like our concerns are falling upon deaf ears, and even according to the Birmingham Mail the UAF will not be holding any official anti-racist demos.

All we need now are independent observers armed with video cameras collecting evidence of them (racist lager louts) being racist lager louts.

As for Steve McCabe, New Lab MP for Hall Green, when he's not claiming his parliamentary expenses he's at best a BNP appeaser and at worst not fit to represent multiracial Birmingham.