Tag Archives: AFN

Oppose the EDL in Worcester!

On Saturday 22nd March the far-right protest group, English Defence League, are planning to hold a ‘national demonstration’ in Worcester.

They have randomly chosen the city to be the next host of their vile politics of racism and bigotry, only seeking to further divide communities in a time of brutal austerity measures by the Tories and their economic class.

We are calling for as many people as possible to come out and let them know that their politics of hatred and division are not welcome!

Keep the date in your diary, check back on this site for details and updates.

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There’s a row going on down near Slough…

Today’s protests against the EDL in Slough were a pretty good start to 2014. Slough showed loud and clear that no one at all in the town had any sympathy with the EDL. The universal message was “you’re not wanted – go home”

The down-on-their-luck EDL only managed less than 200 for a ‘national’ demo following large numbers of splits, defections and internal arguments. This is looking like the ‘new normal’ for them – the die-hards who haven’t figured out yet the EDL is dying on its feet.

The EDL were worried about numbers for Slough and it looks like they were right to be worried…

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In Exeter the EDL got 200 max and blamed it on Exeter being hard to get to.
What’s the excuse this time?

their numbers

From the horse’s mouth… an “embarrassing” 150 EDL in Slough

And here we see for ourselves…

EDL

The massed ranks of the entire EDL: “Britain’s biggest street movement”

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The anti-fascist presence from AFN, UAF and others numbered about 200+ mixed in with a feisty crowd of local Slough folks who didn’t take to kindly to a racist march down the High Street on a Saturday afternoon.

Anti-fascists mixing freely with up-for-it locals was one of the best features of the day – made a few new friends on the streets. Slough kids don’t like the cops much either!

The EDL were harassed all the way from the train station into town and all the way back with a barrage of abuse from locals. They took the expected route from the train station to the town centre rally on the High Street and then back again the same way. But as they turned the corner onto the High Street anti-fascists surged forward to try and block the road.

surge

The police had to fight and shove their way all along the High Street including using batons and horse charges against anti-fascists to get the EDL to their rally, facing some determined resistance from anti-fascists trying to block the route of the march.

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So although the march did take place, by the EDL were corralled by the police at all times, marched in and then shipped straight back out again. This is due to the actions of anti-fascists – when there is a determined opposition the police are more likely to make the decision to bus the EDL straight out. When there is only limited opposition, as we have seen many times before, the EDL are often free to roam the city in groups and to mob up and go off drinking in groups after the demo – this is when the most trouble occurs as boozed-up gangs of EDL pick on locals or anyone they don’t like the look of. The more people there are up for making a determined show of resistance to the fascists, the safer everyone is.

crowd

Anti-fascists give the EDL a piece of their minds

For their part anti-fascists stayed mobile and were not kettled or constrained by the police.

The police reported 4 arrests in total. We know of 3 anti-fascists arrested and one anti-fascist with a head injury from a bottle chucked by the EDL, who is now OK, been patched up and on their way home.

If you have any information or witnessed any anti-fascist arrests or police violence contact GBC Legal.

And please be careful with what footage/pictures you post online. Don’t give the police evidence to prosecute anti-fascists with.

The EDL’s next outing is Worcester on March 22nd. Stick the date in your diary and watch this space!

Good work by London Anti-Fascists and locals Berkshire Anti-Fascists who did sterling organising in advance to get the numbers out on the streets!

From Anti-Fascist Network


EDL outnumbered in Bristol

Reposted from Anti-Fascist Network

Yesterday evening’s demonstration against the EDL in Bristol seems to have gone well despite short notice.

A dozen EDL supporters outnumbered by police & anti-fascists outside City Hall (photo: @Bristol_Culture)

A dozen EDL supporters outnumbered by police & anti-fascists
outside City Hall (photo: @Bristol_Culture)

The local Bristol EDL had called a demonstration outside a meeting that was to be discussing an application to convert the empty Jesters comedy club in Stokes Croft into an Islamic religious and cultural centre. The event was to be for members of the Assahaba Centre group proposing the development to “discuss the objectors’ concerns and provide a better insight into the Islamic faith”. Funnily enough no one objecting to the development was interested in this and the meeting was cancelled due to lack of interest from objectors. The EDL not interested in actually hearing about the Muslim faith from some actual Muslims? Who’d have thought?

The council made the decision to approve the mosque application the day before the EDL protest.

So the EDL held a barely half hour long protest outside a meeting that wasn’t happening because they refused to go to it, before they headed back to the pubs they came from.

EDL pioneer radical new Y-fronts-as-headgear look

EDL pioneer radical new Y-fronts-as-headgear look

Bristol UAF, Bristol Anti-Fascist Co-operative and Bristol Anti-Fascists mobilised against the EDL. There were about 100 anti-fascists opposing about 30 EDL, from most accounts. Outnumbering the fascists 3 to 1 is not bad for short notice.

There was a frank exchange of views and some minor skirmishing.

For more background on the Stokes Croft Islamic centre and the EDL’s campaign against it, including multiple threats to “burn it down”, see our previous post.

This particular local struggle in Bristol may not be over yet, but this was a positive moment, showing that the EDL will be opposed wherever they raise their heads.


Is anti-fascism being criminalised? (IRR)

Reposted from the Institute of Race Relations

“An activist comments on the implications of recent arrests of anti-fascists at demonstrations opposing the English Defence League and the British National Party.

In the space of just over three months this year, police made upwards of 340 arrests of anti-fascists in London. Of the arrests made over two occasions, less than a dozen will proceed to trial. ‘No Further Action’ has been taken against the vast majority of those arrested, raising questions about the credibility of the grounds for arrest.

Anti-Fascist Network (AFN) in action

Anti-Fascist Network (AFN) in action

But Wednesday 6 November saw the first court date for five anti-fascists arrested on 1 June. All five pleaded not-guilty and will present a united defence case, in a five-day trial due to take place in April next year.

This trial could have important implications for anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigners, should opposition to far-right street movements be effectively criminalised. In a climate of resurgent anti-Muslim racism and attacks from the media and politicians on migrants and refugees, the police response to those campaigning against racism and fascism has, by any measure, been severe.

The background

On 27 May 2013, less than a week after the killing of Lee Rigby, the English Defence League (EDL) organised a protest outside Downing Street in central London. Estimates of the number of EDL supporters in attendance ranged from 1-3,000. A smaller number of anti-fascist demonstrators, around 600, were present to voice their opposition.

Toward the end of the protest and counter-protest, anti-fascists were forced to retreat under a hail of glass bottles, cans, sticks and other debris thrown by EDL supporters over the heads of the police and into the crowd of their detractors. Police said thirteen arrests were made over the day, but it was only by chance that the crowd of anti-fascists, which included wheelchair users and the very young, did not sustain any serious injuries.

Three days later, Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party (BNP), used Twitter to make a ‘personal appeal’ to EDL leader Tommy Robinson to join him on the BNP’s own anti-Islam protest the following Saturday.

Griffin had originally planned to hold a march from Woolwich barracks to the Lewisham Islamic Centre, but the Metropolitan Police used the Public Order Act to force the demonstration to relocate out of South London and to Whitehall. The BNP agreed to assemble instead at Old Palace Yard, close to the Houses of Parliament, and then march to the Cenotaph.

Arrests at the BNP protest

Arrests at the BNP protest

Anti-fascist activists again mobilised in response, this time significantly outnumbering their opponents. Hundreds linked arms and moved to blockade the path of the BNP and prevent them marching to the Cenotaph. After several hours, police moved to disperse the anti-fascists and facilitate the BNP march. ‘Snatch squad’ tactics were used to pick off demonstrators – who were then arrested and placed on London buses marked ‘special service’, to be driven to various police stations around London.

'Special service' buses used to detain arrested anti-fascists at the BNP protest

‘Special service’ buses used to detain arrested anti-fascists at the BNP protest

In contrast to the more timid policing of the EDL the previous Monday, fifty-eight anti-fascists were arrested. One woman was hospitalised with a broken leg, caused allegedly during her arrest by police. Restrictive pre-charge bail conditions were imposed on those arrested, preventing them from attending future protests against the BNP or the EDL.

Despite the arrests, the BNP were unable to complete their march, and left humiliated. On 7 September, however, the EDL returned to London – this time to the borough of Tower Hamlets. Again anti-fascists took to the streets to voice their opposition to the Islamophobic and racist politics of the EDL, and again the police responded by making mass arrests.

This time 286 arrests were made, including anti-fascists, legal observers and passersby. London buses were again used to send arrestees as far away as Sutton, where punitive pre-charge bail conditions were handed out en-masse. Information recently revealed under the Freedom of Information Act shows that the Metropolitan Police contacted Transport for London twelve days ahead of the planned march to inquire about hiring London buses. A booking with Sullivan Buses was confirmed by 29 August.

Anti-Fascists kettled in Tower Hamlets

Anti-Fascists kettled and arrested in Tower Hamlets

Should the anti-fascist protestors be convicted next year on a series of public order offences, it will set a worrying precedent. On the one hand, it would imply that positions and tactics of fascists and anti-fascists can somehow be equated. On the other, it could send out a warning signal to would be opponents of the EDL and BNP that they face criminalisation just for demonstrating. That is, if the arrests themselves – and the collection of names, addresses, DNA and fingerprints that accompanied them – have not already made the message clear.”

Original article (Institute of Race Relations) here


Report on action against Neo-Nazi’s in London (via London Anti-Fascists)

“On Saturday 9th November, notorious fascists and neo-nazi has-beens called a demonstration in support of the jailed leadership of the murderous neo-nazi Golden Dawn party at the Greek Embassy in London.

A Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn flag goes up in smoke

A Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn flag goes up in smoke

Over 40 militants from the AFN responded in a co-ordinated action to send a strong message to those attending or thinking about attending neo-nazi and racist demonstrations – that they are not welcomed and they will be opposed. The message was spelt out to them with a “frank discussion” before the demonstration. For all their talk of “smashing the reds” not one of the 12 fascists said a word, instead the sense of shear fear on their faces would hopefully make an impression and knock some sense in the younger attendees that were present. Around 5 of the younger fascists were escorted out of the pub onto trains by AFN militants and told to fuck off home.

After we had left the remaining fascists, who had hoped for a large police presence at their pub but with none insight, pleaded with community support officers to escort them to the demo as they were too afraid to leave. They ended up getting taxis to the embassy.

Flames of resistance

Flames of resistance

Our aim was to never attend or call a counter-protest, if we had we would have had given the 30-35 odd balls that turned up a sense of importance and the cops more intel. The location of the embassy and the high police presence meant that any counter protest would have been completely in the control of the cops. Different situations require different tactics.

After the action, seized Golden Dawn Flags were burned. We give our total solidarity to our working class brothers and sisters in Greece, the many migrants who are struggle against racist and fascism and to our Brother Pavlos who was murdered by Golden Dawn members.

London – always anti-fascist!”

London Anti-Fascists ( AFN )

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London Anti-Fascists website

London Anti-Fascists on facebook


Statement on Tommy Robinson’s announcement

Repost from South London Anti-Fascists

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“We do not welcome yesterday’s announcement. If anything this is the vindication of the State’s ability to absorb proto-fascist movements into its own processes. Tommy Robinson has not renounced his views or ideas, but is simply trying to revise history and portray himself as an ‘anti-extremist’.

This is the same guy who in May of this year was filmed saying ’Islam is not a religion of peace, it is fascist and violent’. Last week he was attempting to intimidate one of the people behind the anti-racist website EDL News. Yesterday he was still calling for a ban on new mosques and ‘Islamic immigration’ unless his conditions were met.

Tommy Robinson, aka Paul Harris, aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is a notorious liar and fraudster. But he doesn’t need to renounce his views to be accepted into the mainstream. According to Government policy, his racist views are not extreme. We know who the Government and the police considers ‘extreme’: Anti-Climate Chaos groups, Stop Arms Fair campaigners and anti-racist movements. The police infiltrate our groups and spy on our members. We, who challenge the racist, capitalist and anti-democratic status quo, are monitored as a threat and our personal information is stored on police domestic extremist databases, along with information about many unfortunate and innocent Muslims and people of colour.

There are serious questions to ask of the Quilliam Foundation, too. Their attempt to rehabilitate a fascist follows years of demonising any Muslim who does not fall in line with state policy. In 2009 Quilliam co-director Ed Husain called for mass spying on all Muslims, regardless of whether they are suspected of any crime. Since 2008 the organisation has received over £1.2 million of Home Office funding. Now they want to help Lennon manoeuvre his way into the political mainstream. Quilliam is desperate to gain credibility after losing Government funding and Lennon, facing serious court cases and eyeing a political future, is desperate to detoxify his brand.

The fact remains that the Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement, the ‘Prevent’ programme, ‘Counter-terrorism Command’ and various sections of the Police are terrorising migrants, intimidating anti-racists and demonising Muslims more effectively than the EDL could: this is a broad agenda of criminalising difference. Street fascism may be dwindling due to anti-fascist mobilisations, but the racist ideology that feeds it is as pervasive as ever.

We will continue to organise and fight racism and fascism from the street to the state.”

Come to our two public events on this week:


STOP EDL in Tower Hamlets – Saturday 7th September

Click for more info

Click for more info


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