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Update 28/10/12 As predicted there was a low turn-out for the EDL's Westminster shindig. Around 70-100 of the league milled around inside their pen before dispersing into the St Stephen's Tavern and the Red Lion pubs along Whitehall. There was very little of the boisterous chanting that has charmed town centres up and down the country over the last three years – they really aren't singing any more.
Meanwhile in Walthamstow the EDL's original demo point the Unite Against Fascism organised counter-demo turned into a victory celebration that defied the marching ban.
A few attempted to make a nuisance of themselves at the the annual UFFC protest and rally against deaths in police custody outside Downing St but were seen off with a mixture of police intervention and a feisty crowd action.
This piss-poor effort by the league has prompted yet more internal wrangling and fallings out with one character Paul Pitt resigning/ getting thrown out before the demo even started.
The only sour note was the lack of opposition – only a handful of anti-fascists left either the Walthamstow celebration or the Anarchist Bookfair to run the EDL out of town. A brief scuffle between the two groups saw one EDLer get nicked.
Well – what a funny week it's been for Tommy Robinson and his merry gang of troubadours, the English Defence League. Last Friday it was all feisty facebook boasting about heading down to the North London borough Walthamstow on October 27th for what was optimistically termed “the Rematch”. Given that previously the EDL had their demo point overrun and were escorted through the streets in a tight kettle before mostly all getting nicked for their own safety – it's fair to say that as far as local youth were concerned this was a hotly anticipated fixture.
Sadly the wind rather fell from the sails after Tommy and 53 of his mates were nicked after they crowded into two removal lorries to head for some kind of escapade outside a Whitechapel mosque. Unfortunately for our patriotic heroes they were pulled over (presumably on suspiscion of overloading) by cops on the M25 and M3 leading to a night in the cells on charges of 'conspiracy to cause a public nuisance' for all and sundry with bail conditions to not attend 'the Rematch'.
The icing on this racist cake came when Tommy Robinson (who got himself nicked barely a week earlier for attacking local preacher Sayful Islam)* got busted for being an illegal immigrant. Tommy was barred from travelling as a result of earlier court cases but somehow sneaked into the U.S under false pretences for a gathering of white supremacists and counter-jihad oddballs. At the time of writing it looks as if he might be remanded until January 2013 – and may even be fighting an extradition battle alongside long-time chum Abu Hamza.
All this led an understandable lack of confidence amongst what remains of the EDLs leadership (i.e those who aren't inside, bailed away or have split off into their own increasingly weirdzo groups in order to squabble with each other all the better) about the wisdom of heading into enemy territory.
It's fair to say that Walthamstow and it's allies were preparing a serious reception party for the league this time round and it was for this reason rather than any fear of the EDL running amok that led to the Met requesting a banning order on all marches in Waltham Forest and the surrounding boroughs. This was duly granted by the Home Secretary (well she wasn't going to say no).
The EDL have now relocated their demo to a static protest in Old Palace Yard outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster (time unconfirmed) and have hilariously tried to pass this off as a victory of some sort.
For more – http://antifascistnetwork.wordpress.com/
For an amusing video of Sayful and Tommy having a frank exchange of views go here.
Russian anti-fascist unfairly imprisoned under Putin's new house rules.
Brighton turns out thousands to oppose the March for England's message of hate.
Oh Christ ..not again, about as welcome as Jimmy Saville at an orphanage, it's time for the outbreak of political venereal disease that is the March for England set to tarnish the streets of Brighton again on April 21st.
National Front demonstration has a poor turn out in Swansea, followed by a Blood & Honour gig in the valleys.
Dead cat bounce as EDL irritate the people of Manchester?
Over 10,000 anti-fascists gathered in Dresden, East Germany on Wednesday (13th) to oppose a neo-Nazi march.
Golden shower as British far-right turn in another piss-poor performance at the Greek Embassy
For 25 years Golden Dawn were a marginal group that for the most attacked small left-wing and anarchist groups and sometimes would also go for immigrants. Until a few years ago they never measured more than 200 members. Up until recently they had one office. Now? They have forty-eight.