On the 20th of February, EDL leader, Tommy Robinson and a cabal of his closest confidantes were arrested on the way to an SDL protest in Edinburgh and their houses were searched by armed police who confiscated their computer equipment. Robinson was bailed to return to a Sheffield police station on May the 22nd and as terms of their bail, he and his co-accused were forbidden from gathering with more than three EDL members at any one time.
It seems that the cause of the arrest was the proposed Bradford protest as the EDL cancelled that protest as what they called “a small concession” ( http://www.edlmedia.com/1_1.html). They announced a new protest for May the 22nd on the same day as cancelled Bradford protest, but outside the Sheffield police station where Tommy Robinson would be being bailed on that day. This move alienated some EDL members, as they thought that abandoning the Bradford protest was an act of cowardice and that they joined the organization in order to “protest Muslim extremism” not protest the actions of the police however much they disagreed with them.
With members in the Yorkshire area threatening to quit, the EDL needed to take action.
They put their thinking caps on and came up with a solution; what EDL members turned up in Bradford as members of supposedly new and independent group and what if they claimed to be gathering in the city not to protest Islamic extremism but for a social event to celebrate a patriotic holiday such as St Georges Day?
As the picture included in this report ascertains, you can see that the event itself has been promoted at least at first on facebook in the same way as your typical EDL protest.
The Facebook event by “Firms Unite” can be found here http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=358747498168&ref=mf. Some of the comments seem to jar with the way the event is portrayed in the description. For example “Ethan Lloyd Edl” writes “we wont be there as the EDL tho we will be there as a substitute to show that it aint just members of the EDL who have this veiw but its everyday english people who share the veiw aswell”. “Karl Mufc-Edl Steinegger” writes “HAHA BIGGGGGG ENGLISH THUGZ ALLDAY LONG” and “Phil Richardson” writes “lets do it for the fallen...who fouhgt and died for this country”. Strange things to write about a purely social occasion I’m sure you’ll agree!
In my opinion the EDL or at least some of its members are attempting to cause a racial disturbance in Bradford on St Georges day in order to create racial tension throughout the UK by inciting Muslim youths to go on the counter-attack. Already facebook groups set up by Muslim youths promising to fight the EDL in a physical confrontation have sprang up. One can only hope that the Police stop any law-breaking on Bradford by both sides on that day.