WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! It's yer plebbin' the plod
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Are the Met really going to march the EDL into the heart of Tower Hamlets? That's what the English Defence League's leader Tommy Robinson is proclaiming on Facebook and Twitter right now.
“EDL have today announced plans to march to Altab Ali Park for a rally on 7th September! This is a clearly an arrogant and incendiary declaration even on their own (sub) standards. We call on every militant anti-fascist to join us on the streets on Saturday with the good people of Tower Hamlets in ensuring that the EDL DO NOT SET FOOT in the area and are effectively opposed!” - London Anti-Fascists
Significantly for anti-fascists (militant or otherwise) it looks as if there will be no state ban on demonstrations in the borough as there was during the EDLs last outing there in 2011. Tommy was bailed out of Tower Hamlets after his ill-fated charity walk but a judge reviewed the conditions and made an exception for the 7th (SchNEWS is betting he wouldn't want to be there on say the 6th or the 8th in any case).
At first the EDL were bragging that their rally was to be held in Altab Ali Park. Quite apart from the sickening thought of the league celebrating behind police lines on a piece of ground dedicated to a victim of racist violence, there was the small matter of the fact that both the Anti-Fascist Network and Unite against Fascism will be meeting there two hours before the league even muster.
However according to the Met police press office the local authority have vetoed the use of the park by the EDL. This still means that a march into the area is very likely (One possible route might even be along Cable St!).
See you on Saturday!!
Original article and links
“The EDL don't have any right to 'march on' areas. This is not about expressing freedom of speech, it's about causing fear and division. That's why they must be opposed” - Anti Fascist Network
The EDL's leadership have a peculiar obsession with this borough of London – this'll be the third time they've tried (and failed) to demonstrate en masse in the area. That's without counting leadership Tommy and Kev's ill-fated effort at a charity walk through the area back in June.
The last time the league put in an appearance in the borough, in September 2011, a thirty day ban on all parades in the area was enforced by the Home Secretary. On the day, an army of cops enforced separation between them and the thousands of locals and anti-fascists waiting for them just up the road.
So why Tower Hamlets? According to the EDL it's because the area is already under Sharia law. In fact they go so far as to claim that there is “No beer allowed, this is a Muslim area”, which will come as news to regulars of the White Hart and Blind Beggar.
In reality there probably are a handful of nutters who want to establish a global caliphate and Taliban-style social mores in the East End but they're a tiny, tiny minority. Despite EDL assertions, local government is probably no more corrupt there than in any major city. Scare stories about 'ghettoes' and 'no-go zones' are just there to whip up hate and get boots on the street.
Last time, the EDL mobilised around 800 of their footsoldiers for their venture into darkest Muslamic country. When they announced Tower Hamlets 2013 they were at the height of their post-Lee Rigby bounce. Recent outings in Hull and Portsmouth have not seen anything like the numbers turning out in the immediate aftermath of the soldier's death but the threat to the area is still substantial.
There's every likelihood that there will be a state ban on demos and parades again but anti-fascist opposition on the streets is what counts. The Anti-Fascist Network is calling for autonomous anti-fascists to meet in Altab Ali park at 11 a.m on September 7th saying, “We are calling a mass opposition, the more people, the safer and more empowering it will be for all of us. On the day we aim to be mobile and fluid in order to disrupt the EDLs plans”.
Look out for the Anti Fascist Network (AFN) banners and flags and join us on the streets.
Follow @THStopEDL for updates now and on the day
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