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)
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
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.
Info below taken from another opposition page on facebook.
“The English Defence League have announced a flash mob demonstration for next Tuesday evening at 6pm (7th January) at College Green outside the Council House. They are demonstrating outside the Council House in protest at a planning application to convert a building in Stokes Croft into an Islamic Cultural and Religious Centre. Their demonstration is clearly designed to stir racial division and hatred in the city.
Bristol Unite Against Fascism are calling a counter demonstration at College Green to begin at 530pm on Tuesday 7th. We welcome all anti-racists and anti-fascists.”
Anti-fascists are getting organised to oppose the far-right on the streets in 2014.
On Saturday January 18th the East Anglian ‘Patriots’ are holding a demonstration in Lincoln. The East Anglian Patriots are yet another faction to the right of the EDL. Yes that’s right – to the right. Apparently the EDL which its founder left because it was infested with Nazis isn’t right-wing enough for them.
Last time the East Anglian ‘Patriots’ had a demo in Lincoln, back in June, they were opposed by a resolute crowd of locals, showing they were not welcome.
Although all the EDL splinter groups are relatively small they are all friends with each other, so with every East Anglian Patriots demo we can expect the usual ragbag of fascists – the Infidels, the South East Alliance, March for England, the English Volunteer Force etc etc. Speakers at their rally include Paul Pitt, AKA Prodromou (last seen at a rally for the openly Nazi Greek Golden Dawn – very patriotic!) and John ‘Snowy’ Shaw who recently proclaimed: “I am a radical bigoted intolerant extremist and proud of it”. A charming bunch!
Luckily Lincolnites are getting organised to oppose the racist rabble. Lincoln Against Racism and Fascism have called a counter demonstration.
As well as the EDL-wannabe alphabet soup of the NWI, EAP, MFE, SEA, EVF etc. the EDL proper have also announced 3 national demos for 2014.
On February 1st they will be in Slough for no obvious reason apart from Slough has a large Asian population. Berkshire Anti-Fascists have made a national anti-fascist call-out to oppose them.
On Mar 22nd the EDL have said they will be demonstrating in Worcester and in Sheffield sometime in May. Sheffield Anti-Fascist Network have already started organising to oppose them. They will be holding a public meeting in February as a preliminary. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for updates.
The EDL being surrounded and outnumbered on a previous visit to Sheffield
Support these counter-mobilisations to the far-right in 2014. Get to them if you can. Spread the word. Put the dates in your diary and start making plans. Let’s make this the year the far-right are finished as a force on the streets of the UK!
-More to follow soon on the planned EDL demo in Worcester on March 22nd-
“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
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
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.
“Trouble spread to Bold Street bar after gang set upon anti-fascists heading to a fundraising gig
Seven right-wing thugs who attacked a Liverpool City Centre anti-fascist meeting were jailed after admitting charges of violent disorder.
The men, who were either members of or associated with groups including the National Front, the English Defence Force or North West Infidels punched and kicked people heading for a fundraising gig at the News From Nowhere Bookshop on July 6 last year.
CCTV footage shown to Liverpool Crown Court showed the men, led by 25-year-old Liam Pinkham, running across Bold Street and attacking a smaller group walking past the Cafe Tabac bar and restaurant.
The attackers, some of whom were wearing masks, punched and kicked their victims who were pursued into the Tabac where the violence continued, sending tables and chairs flying.
Anya Horwood, prosecuting, said: “It would appear that the motivation for this violent disorder was polarised political opinions and personal enmity. The attacking group shared right-wing beliefs and the victims anti-fascist.”Witnesses described seeing the group hanging around outside the nearby Sainsbury’s store and thought they were about to raid it before they went to the Tabac and started “beating people.”
Those inside described three “punks” outnumbered two to one being beaten to the floor and one suffering a golf ball sized lump to his head.
Liam Pinkham, who was at the front of the attack having crossed the road to remonstrate with a man he had previous dealings with, was found a short time later cowering on top of a multi-story car park with another attacker Stephen Dumont, then aged just 16.
Matthew Coates, 22, was found on Roscoe Street with a mask and St George’s flag in his pocket and said: “OK you’ve got me” while Shane Calvert, 31, was found near Lime Street out of breath with bloody knuckles.
Pinkham, of Whetstone Lane, Birkenhead; Dumont, 18, of Rosewood Close, Netherley; Coates, of Albert Road, Southport; Michael Kearns, of Dovecote Avenue, Dovecote and Nathan Smith, 21, of North Road, St Helens, all pleaded guilty to violent disorder – though Smith failed to turn up to the hearing and a warrant was issued for his arrest.Two men from Blackburn Peter Hawley, of Ailsa Road, and Shane Calvert, 31, of Shetland Avenue, admitted the same charge.
Some of the men admitted being members of the English Defence League whereas others denied membership though they offered “frank” political opinions.
Judge Robert Trevor-Jones, said: “All of you were either members of, or have associations with, groups which happen to hold right-wing views or positions whether it be the National Front, English Defence Force or North West Infidels. “It is that common factor which brought you all together on Bold Street that evening because you had been made aware there was to be some form of anti-fascist meeting.
“It is quite clear you all went there to Bold Street with the view to disrupting or preventing that meeting taking place even if you did not intend direct violence beforehand.
“Of course in such circumstances involving two groups holding diametrically opposed views there is a clear risk of confrontation as was shown by the CCTV in court.
“Although the violence was short lived it was in full view of passers-by, initially out on the street, and it spread into a nearby cafe causing chairs and tables to be overturned and glasses to be smashed. Calvert, Pinkham, Kearns and Smith were in the thick of it.”
He jailed Pinkham, who had previously threatened to burn down News From Nowhere while making abusive comments about Anne Frank, for 17 months.
Dumont was sent to a young offenders institution for a total of nine months after he was also found guilty at trial of public order offences after shouting racist taunts through a megaphone at a mosque in Ashton Under Lyne, Greater Manchester.
Coates was locked up for ten months; Michael Kearns, 39, for 14 months; Peter Hawley, 53, for 13 months, and Shane Calvert was given14 months behind bars.
As they were led to the cells their supporters, who packed the public gallery, shouted: “No justice” and applauded them.”
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.
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.
Bryan Neal Harris watched rape, torture and murder while working at the Hill Crest Mental Health Unit in Redditch, Worcestershire
Bryan Harris’s internet history included sites relating to Auschwitz, above, as well as torture methods and instruments.
A mental health nurse who browsed the web for torture techniques and toured Nazi death camp websites while on duty has been struck off the nursing register.
Bryan Neal Harris also researched the history of Hitler’s infamous SS henchmen, viewed clips of fatal motor racing accidents and accessed sites about the torture, murder and rape of prisoners.
He looked at the sites while working at the Hill Crest Mental Health Unit in Redditch, Worcestershire – in the grounds of the town’s Alexandra Hospital.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council has issued the order to strike him off, meaning he can never work in the profession again.
They found that vulnerable patients had “suffered” because of the experienced nurse’s “irresponsible” behaviour and misconduct.
Harris, who has since fled to South Africa, accessed the vile websites between July 2, 2010 and January 12, 2011 on a work computer at the unit’s Hillcrest Ward, where he had been employed for 24 years.
A spokesman for Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust said: “We have very clear policies on the use of the internet and any member of staff who is found to be using it inappropriately or excessively will face disciplinary action.
Hill Crest Mental Health Unit in Redditch
“Cases like this are extremely rare for our Trust and the vast majority of our staff act in accordance with the policy and the guidelines provided.”
Harris was also found guilty of asking healthcare assistant Kirsten Buck to give patients emergency medication, despite her not being qualified to do so, during a two-and-a-half year period from February 2009. The panel heard that Harris had confessed to assessing whether patients needed emergency medication simply by “looking at them through a window” at an earlier disciplinary hearing.
Ms Buck also told the panel how Harris’s computer usage “made the shifts stressful as he did not attend to his other duties on the ward”.
Darren Levett, who is now the Acute Lead for Adult Mental Health at the Trust, retrieved Harris’s disturbing internet history during an investigation launched after a patient complained about his attitude and behaviour in January 2011.
He uncovered numerous sites relating to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, torture methods and instruments, the SS, abuse of prisoners, serious car accidents and trailers for gory horror films including Saw IV and Saw V. Harris then tried to pin the blame on two other colleagues, saying they had logged in under his name.
But Mr Levett told the NMC panel that staff members would be automatically logged off a computer once it had been inactive for two to five minutes, and anyone using the computer after that would have to log in with their own username and password.
Harris has 28 days to appeal the decision. He is said to be in South Africa and has not provided the NMC with a forwarding address.
The Hill Crest Mental Health Unit looks after adults suffering mental health issues, and offers an intensive recovery service, consultant psychiatry, psychology and help with eating disorders.
It has 18 in-patient beds and also offers out-patient consultation and counselling.