Tag Archives: Birmingham mail

Police to screen EDL rally footage on Crimewatch in fresh appeal to trace 100 thugs

Looking like the state may be turning on its very own bootboys –  The English Defence League.

From the Birmingham Mail (Jan 19).

Smoke bombs, cobble stones, bottles and coins were hurled at police as the EDL and their opponents descended on Birmingham city centre for simultaneous demonstrations

Police are to make a fresh appeal to identify up to 100 demonstrators involved in bloody clashes at an English Defence League march last year.

Smoke bombs, cobble stones, bottles and coins were hurled at police as the English Defence League and their opponents descended on Birmingham city centre for simultaneous demonstrations.

One policeman suffered concussion during scuffles while other demonstrators were left bloodied by missiles and clashes with police in the shadow of the city’s new library.

An estimated 2,000 EDL supporters poured into Centenary Square last July, chanting hate-filled anti-Islam slogans.

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In Chamberlain Square about 300 people – some hiding their identities by wearing balaclavas – from Unite Against Fascism turned out for their counter-demonstration.

More than 1,300 officers from 12 forces were drafted in for a £1 million pound operation designed to guarantee public safety. It was West Midlands Police’s most expensive ever policing bill.

Set against the backdrop of soldier Lee Rigby’s murder, and three bomb attacks on Midland mosques, the demos were held at a time of heightened tensions.

Around 20 arrests were made at the time with 16 further suspects from across the country being detained and bailed since the incident.

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But police have spent the last six months scouring CCTV footage of the rally and say it has given them access “to a wealth of exceptional quality footage” likely to provide “significant investigative opportunities to bring a large number of offenders to justice”.

It is understood that officers have managed to collate images of up to 100 suspects and an appeal will be made to identify them on BBC’s Crimewatch programme on Wednesday.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “A team of detectives continue to investigate disorder which broke out at Birmingham’s EDL demonstration in July 2013, and to date 16 people have been arrested post incident.

“Those detained have been arrested from across the country – from Newcastle to Exeter – and they remain on police bail pending further enquiries.

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“Efforts continue to identify others involved in the violence in Centenary Square and a fresh appeal will be made on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme January 22.”

Last night online EDL chat forums were buzzing with activity as members discussed impending arrests and the upcoming Crimewatch appeal.

A spokesman for fascist monitoring site EDL News said: “Some EDL who were there have gone on social media sites, saying they are planning to hand themselves in to the police in an effort to pre-empt ‘a knock on the door by Old Bill’.

“It’s really got them worried, especially after 30 or so EDL members were sentenced recently for violence at their Walsall demonstration.”

The EDL and its splinter groups have held five demonstrations in Birmingham. The first two, in 2009 and 2010, resulted in serious disorder while others in 2011 and last January passed peacefully.

But the July 20 demo last year marked a return to violence.

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In a move criticised by some, EDL supporters had gathered from late morning at Broad Street’s Bar Risa as agreed beforehand with the police, who were keen to keep them in one place before the official rally.

Anti-Islam chants were soon echoing as attendees queued at the bar for their pre-demo drinks. Outside, flags of St George boasting EDL divisions from as far afield as Grimsby were unfurled as members chanted “England Til I Die”.

As the crowd gathered, more police riot vans lined up along the street, forming a barricade between the demonstrators on one side and onlookers on the other. At one point about 20 climbed on top of a small fast food van, prompting fears that the roof would collapse under their weight.

Eventually, the EDL were escorted by a heavy police presence down Broad Street, at which point the first of a series of scuffles took place.

Opponents to the group became more vocal as they marched, yelling “Scum!” and “Not in my name!”

Progressing towards Centenary Square, where the main demonstration with speeches took place, EDL leader Tommy Robinson, flanked by watchers, was quickly ushered to the staging area.

But even as the speeches began, many of the EDL supporters clashed with police.

One group clambered on top of a bus shelter while fellow EDL members held up the roof to stop its collapse. Others attacked the construction fence around the new Library Of Birmingham, only to find riot police waiting on the other side as they broke through.

And as speeches from Robinson and others, speaking out against Islam, continued, flashpoints erupted from one end of Centenary Square to another.

One EDL member said: “These are our streets we can be here if we want. It’s nothing to do with the police – they shouldn’t be here.”

In the shadow of the ICC and Symphony Hall red smoke bombs were hurled at riot gear-clad police while fences surrounding the REP Theatre were also attacked. On the other side of the square plastic bottles, gravel and coins were thrown at a line of police.

While cheers rang out every time a missile found its mark, one man pulled up a cobble stone, smashed it in two, before covering his face and hurling it at the line of police. During the disturbances some suffered head injuries and were seen wandering around with bleeding wounds.

One appeared to be hurt when fencing around the library was pulled down on top of him.

Robinson told the gathered crowd that the EDL wanted CCTV cameras returned to Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook. Around 200 cameras – costing £3 million – were removed in 2011 after an outcry from local communities concerned about civil liberties.

Robinson also said the jailing of six Birmingham men, who planned to attack an EDL rally in Dewsbury, was behind the protest.

As the EDL were gradually ushered to waiting coaches along Broad Street, some broke through lines at Regency Wharf.

A window at the Blue Mango Indian Restaurant was smashed as a small group ran along the canal towpath and plant pots were strewn around. But with coaches waiting and the afternoon heat taking its toll, the earlier anger of the group faded as they waited to be released by police.

Broad Street re-opened at about 6pm and council clean-up crews arrived to tidy litter and debris before the crowds of regular Saturday night revellers arrived.

As the clean-up continued West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe hailed the operation a success.

“A great deal of time, effort and thought has gone into today’s events and it is reassuring to see that both demonstrations have largely passed off without serious incident,” she said.

“We are aware of some instances of criminal damage and a number of assaults have been reported, which will be the subject of our ongoing inquiries as we move forward from today’s operation.

“Most people who came to Birmingham to go about their daily business in the shopping areas would have done so without having been greatly affected by the protests, which is pleasing.

“Arrests were made where necessary and further inquiries will be made to determine if any other offences were committed.

“That said, this has been a successful operation, due in no small part to the excellent work between police, our partner agencies and representatives of our communities. She added: “We recognise that the people of Birmingham have been both concerned and inconvenienced and we would like to thank them for their tolerance, co-operation and patience.”

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“SHAMEFUL: Midland man defends mock KKK lynching as a ‘bit of fun'” (updated)

*Article below from The Birmingham Mail (The mail is not naming who they are talking about here so 3CAFA to the rescue .. it’s Darren Clifft from Walsall)

“Shocking fake hanging carried out as band played Johnny Rebel hits while 70 strong crowd gave Nazi salutes.

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A Midland Ku Klux Klan admirer has defended his mock golliwog hanging stunt as “just a bit of fun”.

The man, who the Sunday Mercury has decided not to name, said: “I didn’t realise I was doing anything wrong.”

And he stressed that “it wasn’t planned” and that he was “egged on”.

The 23 year-old, from Walsall, was pictured holding a noose around the neck of a black doll at a music gig in Swansea last month. He later posted a video of the incident on Youtube.

His actions have been condemned by a Labour MP.

But the man told the Sunday Mercury: “The gig was absolutely brilliant. One of the best nights of my life. As I was hanging the golliwog the band was playing American Country and Western music and Johnny Rebel hits.

“It was all in jest and I don’t regret a minute of it and would so the same again.

“The mistake I made was to put a video of the ‘lynching’ up on YouTube.

“I didn’t realise I was doing anything wrong. I wasn’t inciting anyone to go out and lynch black people because it’s against the law.”

He added: “I admire the Klan and its Christian values and believe in racial segregation.

“The UK is only for white indigenous folk and everyone of colour should be settled in one small area out the way or better still deported back to their place of origin.”

Labour MP for Perry Barr Khalid Mahmood said the man’s actions were “reprehensible”.

“Police need to carry out a thorough investigation because individuals like this have the potential to cause serious damage in our communities through word and deed.

“He appears to show no remorse.

“His behaviour is just not acceptable in this day and age.”

The shocking images were captured at an event organised by Blood and Honour, a “white power” music ­network.

It took place after a “White Pride World Wide” march in the Welsh city.

The man told the Sunday Mercury that he had not planned to mock up the hanging of the golliwog.

He said: “The lynching wasn’t planned, but somebody from the Welsh National Front had bought along this stuffed golliwog he’d made to the gig.

“Everyone egged me on to re-enact what used to happen in the deep south of America to bad black people who had done something wrong.

“Innocent black people were never lynched and people forget that bad white people were also lynched by mobs too.

“The blacks were targeted for the better good of society there at the time.”

Johnny Rebel is a controversial American Country and Western singer whose songs, with incendiary titles like “Stay away from Dixie” and “Move them N*****s North”, were popular in the Deep South in the 1960s and 70s.

His lyrics were often supportive of the Ku Klux Klan and included derogatory references to black people.

Nearly 3,500 African Americans and 1,300 whites were lynched in the United Sates between 1882 and 1968.” Ends.

Darren Cifft in and out of uniform

Darren Clifft in and out of uniform

update 31.07.13:

Willenhall man remanded in custody over accused racial hatred


“English Defence League extremists hold demonstration in Solihull town centre” (Birmingham Mail)

edl+2“Shoppers look on in horror as sixty supporters of the far-right group wave flags and shout anti-Islamist chants

Sixty English Defence League supporters have held a demonstration Solihull town centre (12.01.13)

Shoppers at the Touchwood Centre in Solihull looked on in horror this afternoon (Saturday) as the EDL far right extremists waved flags and shouted anti-Islamist chants as they passed by.

Pav Sehra, 22, from Solihull, saw the commotion as she left the main shopping area and saw the protesters at Brueton Gardens, on Warwick Road at around 1pm.

She said: “I think it is ridiculous.

“They shouldn’t be allowed to do it in public.”

The demonstration was organised by Matthew Pile, who runs the EDL Birmingham Division’s blog and is based in Sutton Coldfield.

Members came from as far as south east London to take part.

A member of the Birmingham Division, who was acting as a security for the EDL on the day, said: “We have liaised with police and the police have liaised with us.

“We were expecting around 50 people to turn up but we’ve got a few more than that.

“It is peaceful.

“No anti groups have shown up but I don’t know what will happen if they do.”

West Midlands Police said that they were aware of the demonstration and would be deploying officers to the area.

Right wing extremists from the British National Party said they did not want to be associated with the event.

BNP member Ian Stock, from Sheldon, called the Sunday Mercury to distance himself from the rally.

He said: “They have just sent me a text message saying they are holding an demonstration against Islamification in the West Midlands.

“We do not agree with anything they are doing today.

“I saw what they did in Dudley.”

Mr Stock was referring to violent scenes in Dudley as the EDL protested against the opening of a mosque there in June 2010.

Several people were injured when bricks and metal security fences were launched at riot police and 21 arrests were made.

Violence flared as United Against Fascism staged a counter protest at the same time.

A 16 year-old girl suffered a broken leg and six people were knocked over “like skittles” by a car fleeing the far right protesters in one demonstration.

Shops in Dudley had closed early and some boarded up windows as the EDL demonstrators descended on the town.

* Matthew Pile has been charged with attacking a man on the bus in the city centre.”

Original article

Great write up on indymedia “EDL outnumbered by trees in Solihull


The remaining dregs of the EDL turned out in Walsall today

Dwindling numbers of racist boneheads belonging to the EDL (“Britain’s biggest street movement” according to themselves) turned out in Walsall in the west midlands today to shout racist abuse at the local Asian population and throw bricks and stuff at the cops.

Many projectiles missed causing injuries to their own side. More injuries were incurred when the boneheads tried to fight their way through a line of cops to get at members of the local community.

Mainstream report from the Birmingham mail here

Report from vice.com “The EDL Got Covered in Their Own Blood Again

Casualty of friendly fire apparently

A contingent from the counter demo

And off they limped


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