Tag Archives: opposition

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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Pic of the day: “Nobody likes nazis”

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Opposing the “March for England” 2013

A few pictures and a video showing the huge and varied opposition shown to fascist scum who were pretending to march under the banner of St George in Brighton today. Links to independent reports from the day at the foot of the post.

A lot of people don't like fascism

A lot of people don’t like fascism

Fascists on the left anti-fascists on the right

Fascists on the left anti-fascists on the right

Loud and clear

Loud and clear

http://antifascistnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/bish.jpg

Bish

Bash

Bash

Bosh

Bosh

More coverage here (Indymedia UK)

English Fascists Took Their First Beating of the Summer in Brighton This Weekend (Vice)

MfE battered and humiliated on the streets of Brighton (EDLNews)

Mobs and Coppers (SchNEWS)

March for england 2013 (Indymedia UK)

Brighton 24th April 2013 – Something For Everyone!!! (Anti-Fascist Network)

March for England Marches Nowhere! (Maletesta’s blog)

Picture gallery (AFA Ireland)


Another weekend of arrests and failed demos for the EDL

About 60 diehard boneheads dragged themselves to HMP Wandsworth in London this afternoon in the pouring rain to mount a ‘national’ demonstration to free one “Tommy Robinson” (aka *Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) the ill fated leader of the almost defunct racist english defence league.

Heavy drinking took place beforehand in local boozers in a vain attempt to muster up the bottle needed to attend yet another poorly numbered ‘national’ gathering.

The screws inside the jail were most likely scratching their heads as they don’t have a leader of the EDL inside the prison called “Tommy Robinson”, a Stephen Yaxley-Lennon on the nonce wing for his own protection maybe but definately no EDL leader called Tommy Robinson.

One report noted “some EDL have run into tough opposition on their way to the prison”.

There are another couple of write-ups from the day’s events here and here.

*Fuhrer Yaxley-Lennon is currently in prison for trying to enter the United States illegally by using a false passport amongst other things.

*Update 28th November  EDL leader among six hit with fraud charges

 

The Bristol EDL ‘organiser’ has been arrested. For allegedly attacking a mosque….and a Sikh temple.

“THE leader of the English Defence League (EDL) in Bristol has been arrested in connection with graffiti sprayed on mosques and Sikh temples.

Mickey Bayliss, from Upton Cheyney near Bitton, was arrested on Wednesday. along with another man.

The two had their properties searched but were not charged and have been released on bail.

The arrests were made in connection with two incidents of criminal damage on mosques and a Sikh temple on Valley Road, Bedminster, and Church Road, Redfield, between September 21 and September 25.

It is believed that the word “EDL” was dubbed in red graffiti on the properties on Church Road and grey graffiti on Valley Road. Police spokeswoman Catherine Foster said: “A 47-year-old man has been arrested under suspicion of criminal damage. “He has been bailed until January 22.

“There were three incidents of criminal damage, two on Valley Road and one on Church Road.” She added: “A 36-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the same investigation.”

Ms Foster said that the homes of the two arrested men were searched.

Around 300 EDL supporters attended a rally in Bristol in July.

Ten people were arrested during the protest, which drew around 500 counter-protesters.”

Original article

 


Protest against the EDL – Bristol (14 July 2012)

Decent report from Standing Stone’s blog on yesterday’s events in Bristol and an updated report from EDLNews “EDL Bristol demo decends into gay bashing and racism“. Post demo reports continue at Bristol indymedia.



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