Tag Archives: state

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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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


EDL – Attack Dogs of the State and Enemies of the Working Class

Origins of the EDL

1011994_293190610826058_1211824587_nThe English defence league was formed in 2009 to counter a tiny ultra-islamist group ‘Al-Muhajiroun’ who protested the return of British soldiers from Afghanistan.

The flashpoint came when Al-Muhajiroun burnt a poppy at a demonstration which fed the flames of hatred and caused the far right to react. It was also the perfect excuse for the far right to point the finger at all muslims from that moment on although concealed for a time under the guise of only being against ‘muslim extremism’.

Research suggests that many involved in the EDL originate from the criminal fraternity and the criminal fraternity is in turn attracted to the EDL. The so-called Luton based ‘leader’ of the EDL ‘Stephen Yaxley-Lennon’, an individual who uses multiple aliases, has convictions for drug dealing, fraud, breaching bail conditions and violence.

176587_1Amongst supporters it is common to find rather a lot of paedophiles, rapists, hardcore racists, nazis, violent thugs, petty criminals and even the odd murderer, most having their convictions documented in local newspapers and by anti-fascist organisations, others still at large hiding en masse within the ranks of the EDL. Since this article was written the number of EDL related convictions continues to rise.

In the first years from 2009 the EDL concentrated mainly on demonstrating against muslim extremist groups, then slowly moved their sights towards immigrants before finally focusing on left wing groups and basically anyone else that opposes them, because of these revalations, the EDL has been termed a fascist organisation.

On the racism front alone the EDL have built up the confidence to shout “send the black cunts home” over megaphones in city centres.

EDL and Austerity

The English Defence League are playing a significant part in diverting attention away from the banking collapse caused by bankers greed .. the failing capitalist system .. and of course the much despised and hated right wing Conservative party who elected themselves into office back in 2010. The Tories being the party that have implemented brutal austerity measures against the working class and under privileged as way of making us pay for the greed of the rich who caused the banking collapse in the first place.

master's biddingThe EDL’s main objective has been to demonise immigrants/ muslims and lay the financial blame solely at their door thus diverting attention away from the crimes of the bankers, the rich and the stranglehold austerity measures that they have imposed as a consequence.

Back in Thatcher’s day it was the National Front who thrived on the right wing rhetoric of the Tory party, now in Cameron’s day it is the EDL thriving on the same rhetoric.

Cameron stating that ‘there is none sicker than the EDL’ was a two-bit sound byte that meant nothing. Cameron hates the left and the working class making the EDL very useful because the EDL rail against working class people who fight for their rights and try to intimidate workers into silence on street level.

same_shitIt’s business as usual on the streets for the EDL and business as usual for the Tory party as the left and anyone else who opposes fascism is submerged into constant battle with the EDL. It seems that more effort and energy is put into fighting off the EDL than people can muster to fight austerity.

Already the EDL have cost the taxpayer over £10,000,000 towards policing a mob of drunken, coked up criminals on the streets of England every month or so since 2009. So much for the EDL stating that they are a ‘working class organisation’. They are literally pissing public money down the drain whilst intimidating entire communities whenever it suits them.

The English Defence League and its many offshoots who intimidate the working class on the streets would rather us wave little union jacks whenever a tory mp is in town, a royal gets pregnant or a soldier gets a badge rather than criticize their masters,  the ruling class.

Basically the far right EDL want the working class to ‘shut their mouths’ whilst the Conservative party would rather kill the working class off slowly and “legally” through stranglehold austerity measures that leave little option to some of our class.

A cunning plan indeed, a plan that is working out pretty nicely for the ruling class except for those ‘lefties’ and other critics that constantly attack and confront the ruling class and the subservient nationalist groups that serve them.

EDL achievements

Alan Lodge, Photographer tash@indymedia.orgThe major achievement of the EDL has been to draw every decent person opposed to racism, fascism and hatred into the lenses and notebooks of the police evidence gatherers to be rubber stamped and documented, at the request of the ruling class, no doubt.

Whether these opponents were politically active beforehand or not is irrelevant, they are now on file in their thousands. In this respect there is no question that the the EDL work hand-in-hand with the police and the state.

Violent nationalist EDL thugs ‘casuals united‘ supplied us with what was required in or hour of need, aiding us in finishing this article…

10.09.13 #EDL Hashtag

10.09.13 #EDL Hashtag

The EDL’s Prison wing/ lynchmob mentality

The EDL being structured like a gang, employ bullying tactics that can be found on any prison wing in any prison. Any person that happens to disagree with the EDL is commonly labelled a ‘paedophile’ in public and online and as soon as the finger is pointed at certain individuals, or groups, the rest of the gang go in for the kill, trying to garner public support whilst they are at it.

imagesThis behaviour happens on a daily basis with the EDL, and of course this behaviour is rife in prisons. If this doesn’t work they will say that those that oppose them are ‘anti-British’ or ‘supporters of militant Islam’ as a final last gasp or continue to circulate unfounded rumours plucked out of thin air to keep the pressure on their opponents.

The EDL as ‘scabs’

On a number of occasions the EDL have tried to publicly disrupt anti-cuts events, usually unsuccessfully but still with determination. Members of the public attending these events have  been accused of being ‘paedophiles’ for no other reason than fighting the measures imposed on the working classes by the government and the rich.

1818_816As in prison, labeling an innocent person a ‘paedophile’ would put them in fear for their life, the EDL are using this same tactic out on the street.

We can now see where the EDL are coming from.

As well as attempting to disrupt anti-cuts protests they have also been active in trying to disrupt anti-racist concerts and all kinds of meetings held by the left, on quite a few occasions resorting to violence when the insults and false accusations fail to have the desired effect.

The EDL and custody

wakefield_prison_croppedEDL members are not phased in the slightest by custody or prison. We’ll call prison their ‘home’ as we believe this is where they started and this is actually where they are most at home.

The policeman on the street to them is ‘guv’ or ‘boss’, as the screws in prison are ‘guv’ or ‘boss’ to them.

Over the four years since the EDL came to light there has been a steady and consistent trickle of scores of offenders belonging to their movement coming in and out of prison, the revolving door.

The EDL and ‘Britishness’

As a hate group that points the finger to divert attention from the crimes of the rich it is of no surprise that the EDL do not want to save the British badger or the NHS or any other public services that serve the British people, that would put their masters in the firing line. That is why we do not see any effort to help British people out in any way, shape or form mentioned in their hate filled agenda.

 The EDL are class traitors and used as attack dogs by the state.

More info on what the EDL wouldn’t want you to see at edlnews and exposingon


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