Tag Archives: London

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

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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


SchNEWS: Tower Power

The Met Police made up to 300 arrests (07/09/13) in order to allow the EDL to march across Tower Bridge and into the outskirts of Tower Hamlets.

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The day started well enough with hundreds answering the Anti -Fascist Network‘s call to stop the EDL. The AFN responding to earlier threats by the Met to march the league into the heart of Tower Hamlets had announced their meeting point as Altab Ali park – effectively as a side rally to the Unite against Fascism shindig.

The UAF affair went down much as expected – a platform with speakers firmly within the designated protest zone. In the end they produced nearly fifty speakers (all the usual suspects and local worthies). It also has to be said that the UAF really only started banging the drum for Tower Hamlets when it was clear that a police ban on an EDL march into Tower Hamlets proper would be enforced.

Meanwhile the AFN quietly assembled towards the back of the park and when the moment came around 500 surged out behind the banners and to the cops’ surprise marched east in order to outflank them and exploit a few undefended side streets. Many locals joined in with the break away.

Swinging round, the block made for Tower Bridge and tried to make its way through the hastily improvised police cordons. Some were kettled or turned back but one group of around a hundred made it to within sight of the EDL’s rally point on Tower Bridge. Determined attempts to break through were met with the threat of horses and dogs. In the end the exchange between anti-fascists and EDL was limited to shouting abuse.

Other anti-fascists operated in small groups along the route of the EDL’s march. After the huge build up and with all the benefits of the Lee Rigby incident the league only numbered around 600 on the day. One SchNEWS reporter who walked alongside them said “They seemed pretty despondent, there was very little shouting or chanting”.

At the EDL’s rally point at Aldgate station one brave couple, who’d evaded police detection, unfurled a banner with the pithy slogan “Racists fuck off”. This provoked a hail of bottles from the enraged EDL. The banner wielders were then nicked for ‘breach of the peace’. There were also (unconfirmed) reports that non-aligned anti-fascists got into a building site to the south of the rally and hurled bricks into the crowd.

The EDL were permitted a half hour rally, during which Tommy Robinson announced a series of charity walks in the Tower Hamlets area, an obvious move in light of the astounding success of the last one. They were then marched directly back along their route and embarked on their buses. A handful remained drinking under the watchful eyes of cops in pubs near the bridge. No EDL supporters managed any kind of visible presence in Tower Hamlets on the day.

As the news of the EDL’s departure came through the UAF staged a ‘victory march’ along Whitechapel High St. The celebration of this ‘victory’ while nearly two hundred comrades were being held in police kettles and being prepared for mass arrest was condemned by at least one AFN activist as a “fucking disgrace”.

Police brought commandeered buses to the two kettles and began loading prisoners into them to be distributed to police stations across London. Arrest support was organised by Green and Black Cross across the capital, with activists waiting outside police stations for released detainees. As far as SchNEWS is aware virtually nobody has been charged with an offence or even interviewed. They have all been bailed away from ‘demonstrations by the BNP, EDL or EVF inside the M25’. These are the very same bail conditions handed out to activists who confronted the BNP’s attempted march on the Cenotaph . Clearly the Met at least are worried about the growing presence of militant anti-fascists on the streets.

Were you arrested? If you haven’t already then it’s probably worth your while to contact Green and Black Cross who are collating information and organising legal support.

For more information on autonomous street based anti-fascism – ANTI FASCIST NETWORK

Link

More reports:

Anti-Fascist Network: East End: Always Anti-Fascist

East Midlands Anti-fascists: Heavy manners in Tower Hamlets

South London Anti-Fascists: Our Thanks

Vice: I Was Arrested for Trying to Report On Saturday’s EDL Rally

Undisinfo: The Hate Agenda’s Transparent This Weekend

Netpol: Mass arrest – an abuse of power


EDL Woolwich Washout!

By Malatesta taken from indymedia

The EDL had a less than successful time this weekend.

On Saturday, Tommy Robinson of the EDL held what he called a charity walk but which was in fact a bout of shameless self-publicity and a media grab that fed his nasty little ego for another week but failed to give a much needed boost to his failing and splintered organisation.

Tommy had applied to plod for permission for his ‘Charity Walk’ which Scotland Yard denied and told him in no uncertain terms, in a widely distributed document, that he would be arrested, if he entered the East End.

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Here’s a tip: if plod issues a letter telling you they will arrest you if you do something, and you do it, don’t complain when they arrest you. By doing precisely this Robinson got his weekly media fix and so he could disingenuously claim to be some sort of martyr. As opposed to a serial criminal with a long police record. When Robinson contravened the order and was promptly arrested he was luckily accompanied by several TV camera crews all vulturing over him for some easy pickings.

Robinson had said he was going to walk from Marble Arch to Woolwich via the East London Mosque to ‘commemorate’ Lee Rigby the soldier who was murdered recently. Apart from the fact that it was highly unlikely he could manage more than a couple of miles, what an inflammatory trip via the mosque had to do with Lee Rigby’s ‘memory’ is anyone’s guess. The little Muppet set off with cousin Beaker and was shadowed by 3 plod vans and our intrepid reporter from EDL News.

After barely 10 minutes they stopped off for a McDonald’s – which shows they had no intention of doing the full stretch: greasy fried food is not good for long distance walking. After stuffing their faces they set off again only this time losing their rather overweight cameraman who couldn’t match their bovine pace and dropped further and further behind. We eventually saw him again in Woolwich getting a parking ticket outside Wetherspoon’s. Well done.

As the Muppets entered Aldgate there was a confrontation with two anti-fascists which caused Tommy to start whining ‘arrest them! arrest them!’ as the police arrested him. This film shows that KKKev hit out first.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0b4_1372537569

Robinson was dragged off to the plod van where his vain delusions of martyrdom could hatch. In case you don’t know, the charity for which he was embarrassing had rejected him and the EDL’s money as toxic (Help 4 Heroes also rejected EDL money) so his march was not for a sick girl but for a sick boy desperate for column inches. The Rigby family have also publicly distanced themselves from Robinson.

Meanwhile, we headed off to Woolwich where the Armed Services Day was in full swing. After searching the area we came across a group of 20 anti-fascists but very few EDL. As we headed back into Woolwich we found the EDL unsurprisingly kettled by plod in Wetherspoon’s.

They didn’t get the chance to lay flowers in memory of Rigby as the Army barracks didn’t want them hijacking the day and so their mission completely failed. Instead, they did what they do best: got pissed on cheap lager. Well done.

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So all in all not a great day for the EDL: leaders arrested; followers denied laying flowers; poor turnout and all round recrimination from right and left for Robinson’s shameless hijacking of Armed Forces Day, Rigby’s murder and the little girl’s charity with even some halfwit bugles from the far right Casuals claiming that he is a ‘f***ing attention seeking, money grabbing parasite.’ Well said you wee arsespangle!

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As was intended the EDL foot and mouth soldiers immediately started whinging, claiming that the police were enforcing Sharia law – which was almost as good as when they referred to David Cameron as ‘a cultural Marxist’ (whatever that means).

The EDL balloons also claimed that Whitechapel is a ‘no-go area’ for non-Muslims. Sorry fellers but anyone who cares to stroll up Brick Lane for a fine salt beef bagel, stop for a pint in one of the many bars or perhaps even do a wee bit of shopping in Spitalfields will tell you that this is a blatant and absolute lie by made up by people who have obviously never even been there.

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Despite Robinson getting plenty of publicity this week, the EDL completely failed to mobilise any significant numbers on the day or indeed organise much beyond a round at ’Spoons. Be seeing you!
Malatesta


EDL’s response to the arson attack on Muswell Hill community centre June 5th (updated)

"EDL" painted on wall of centre shortly before arson attack

“EDL” painted on wall of community centre shortly before the arson attack which happened at roughly 3:00am on June 5th

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Wednesday evening's final post from the neo-nazis 'casuals united'

Wednesday evening’s final facebook post from ‘casuals united’

War memorial in London is desecrated hours after the arson attack with the words "LEE RIGBY KILLERS SHUD HANG"

War memorial in London is desecrated around 4:20am shortly after the Muswell Hill arson attack with the words “LEE RIGBY KILLERS SHUD HANG”

London June 6th 2013

London June 6th 2013 outside the Old Bailey

June 8th: EDL in Lincoln chant “Burn the mosque

June 9th: Suspicious fire at south east London islamic boarding school

June 10th: Four Arrested on Suspicion of Arson over Fire at Darul Uloom Islamic Boarding School

June 17th: Grimsby Mosque attack: Third man arrested

June 20th: Former soldier banned from every mosque in Wales and England over arson attempt

June 20th: Cheltenham man charged with mosque ‘hate crime’

June 20th: Two charged over mosque incidents

June 26thSwastikas sprayed on walls and windows of Redditch mosque during break-in

June 27th: Arrest in explosive device find near Walsall mosque

June 28th: Jailed: men who attacked Poole mosque sentenced to four months in prison

June 30thMuslim graves at Christchurch Cemetery, Newport, desecrated by racist vandals

July 1st: Police seek racists who left pig heads in Bradford Muslim family garden

July 3rd Racist graffiti is left on mosque (Cradley Heath)

July 10th Grimsby man ‘lost everything’ over mosque comment

July 10th Footballer jailed over anti-Muslim tweets in wake of Drummer Lee Rigby’s murder

July 10th Kirkcaldy muslim centre targeted in hate crime

July 12th Nails found after ‘terror’ explosion near Tipton mosque

Keep up to date with these stories and more at EDL Criminals – Exposed


Anti-fascists gather around the UK to oppose EDL/BNP/Infidels

Fascists hiding behind the murder of Lee Rigby gathered in a number of locations throughout the UK today in an attempt to stir up racial hatred amongst communities and fight with the *’commies’ (*anyone that disagrees with them) whilst pretending to lay wreaths for the murdered soldier.

Fascists were thin on the ground in a lot of areas by all accounts.

Antifascists had the numbers.

Anti-fascists in Leeds today

Anti-fascists out in Leeds

Antifascists marching through Parliament Sq, London today

Anti-fascists marching through Parliament Sq, London

Anti-Fascists in Sheffield today

Anti-Fascists out in Sheffield

BNP guy from Croydon got himself beaten up

BNP muppet from Croydon got into difficulties in London

Poor turnout of BNP scum in London today

Poor turnout of BNP scum in London

Infidels trapped inside police pen Manchester today (vid-click to view)

Golden dawn fans the ‘Infidels‘ inside pen in Manchester (vid-click pic to view)

Manchester: Anti-Fascists (right) neo-nazi Infidels (left)

Manchester: Anti-Fascists (right) neo-nazi Infidels (left)

The far right just can't help dropping themselves in it, every time

The far right just can’t help dropping themselves in it, every time

London: BNP top - Anti-Fascists bottom

London: BNP top pic – Anti-Fascists bottom pic

London: Anti-badger-cull folks burning effigy. Anti-fascists joining badger-killer chant

London: “Anti-badger-cull folks burning effigy. Anti-fascists joining badger-killer chant”

Cochester: Anti-Fascists (left) Fascists (right)

Colchester: Anti-Fascists (left) Fascists (right)

Small antifascist presence in Bristol today, EDL never turned up at the cenotaph

Small antifascist presence in Bristol, EDL never turned up at the cenotaph @ 1pm

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Anti-Fascist presence in Northampton today

Anti-Fascist presence in Northampton

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Belfast today: Anti-Fascists against the ulster defence league

Belfast: Anti-Fascists out against the ulster defence league

Police snatch squads protecting BNP, arresting Anti-Fascists in London

Police snatch squads protecting BNP scum, arresting Anti-Fascists in London (58 A-F arrested)

London: Anti-Badger cull protesters unite with Anti-Fascists against the BNP

London: Anti-Badger cull protesters unite with Anti-Fascists against the BNP

Above: EDL’s (cough) “Dignified silence” for Lee Rigby in Sheffield

Edinburgh: Scottish defence league/ EDL pull nazi salutes in "honour" of Lee Rigby

Edinburgh: Scottish defence league/ EDL pull nazi salutes in “honour” of Lee Rigby

Colchester: EDL perform nazi salutes infront of the war memorial in "honour" of Lee Rigby

Colchester: EDL perform nazi salutes infront of the war memorial in “honour” of Lee Rigby

The Cardiff four. One looks strikingly like Welsh nazi Luke Pippen, with freshly shaved head. Why would a nazi be honouring Lee Rigby? if we're correct.

The Cardiff four out to (cough) ‘lay a wreath’. One of the (cough) ‘mourners’ looks strikingly like well known Welsh nazi Luke Pippen, with freshly shaven head. Why would a bonafide nazi be “honouring” Lee Rigby? Pippen blatantly supports those that sent british soldiers to their graves during ww2.

Brighton's war memorial today, seems Anti-Fascists got there first!

Brighton’s war memorial, seems Anti-Fascists got there first!


Pic of the day …

An EDL supporter in London today shows his respect to drummer Lee Rigby

An EDL supporter in London today shows his respect for murdered  drummer Lee Rigby

Same scene, different angle

Different angle, same scene, same fascist EDL scum capitalising from a murder

Original pictures on twitter here and here

Further reading/viewing:

News: “Help For Heroes to reject any funds raised by EDL

Video from EDL Newcastle demonstration May 25th 2013, speaker shouts ‘send the black c*nts home’

Screenshot taken 27.05.13 The Royal British Legion distance themselves from the EDL

Screenshot taken 27.05.13 The Royal British Legion distance themselves from the EDL

While we’re at it, here’s the extensive ‘EDL criminals list’ (latest version) for all you Sherlock Holmes types out there.

.. Something new on twitter #OpEDL


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