London Indymedia

Tower Hamlets - Round Two

Jo Makepeace | 24.08.2013 09:10 | Anti-racism | London

Anti-fascists are gearing up for the return of the English Defence League to Tower Hamlets in East London on September 7th.

The EDL don't have any right to "march on" areas. This is not about expressing freedom of speech, it's about causing fear and division. That's why they must be opposed - Anti Fascist Network

The EDL's leadership have a peculiar obsession with this borough of London - this'll be the third time they've tried (and failed) to demonstrate en masse in the area. That's without counting leadership Tommy and Kev's ill-fated effort at a charity walk through the area back in June.

The last time the league put in an appearance in the borough, in September 2011, a thirty day ban on all parades in the area was enforced by the Home Secretary. On the day, an army of cops enforced separation between them and the thousands of locals and anti-fascists waiting for them just up the road.

So why Tower Hamlets? According to the EDL it's because the area is already under Sharia law. In fact they go so far as to claim that there is "No beer allowed, this is a Muslim area", which will come as news to regulars of the White Hart and Blind Beggar.

In reality there probably are a handful of nutters who want to establish a global caliphate and Taliban-style social mores in the East End but they're a tiny, tiny minority. Despite EDL assertions, local government is probably no more corrupt there than in any major city. Scare stories about 'ghettoes' and 'no-go zones' are just there to whip up hate and get boots on the street.

Last time, the EDL mobilised around 800 of their footsoldiers for their venture into darkest Muslamic country. When they announced Tower Hamlets 2013 they were at the height of their post-Lee Rigby bounce. Recent outings in Hull and Portsmouth have not seen anything like the numbers turning out in the immediate aftermath of the soldier's death but the threat to the area is still substantial.

There's every likelihood that there will be a state ban on demos and parades again but anti-fascist opposition on the streets is what counts. The Anti-Fascist Network is calling for autonomous anti-fascists to meet in Altab Ali park at 11 a.m on September 7th saying, "We are calling a mass opposition, the more people, the safer and more empowering it will be for all of us. On the day we aim to be mobile and fluid in order to disrupt the EDLs plans".

Look out for the Anti Fascist Network (AFN) banners and flags and join them on the streets.

Follow @THStopEDL for updates now and on the day

From the newswire:
North East BNP members exposed | Local residents oppose EDL march in South Shields | Anti-fascists report from Liverpool James Larkin march | EDL in Brum update

Jo Makepeace


Hide the following 24 comments

bring soundsystems

24.08.2013 17:34

not weapons!

all the boroghs are invited, north south east and west

share this news with your mates, we're bring our own 12 volt bike trailer monster up from Croydon...

jo blogs

but the EDL may already be in Tower Hamlets

24.08.2013 19:00

if the EDL are a bunch of thugs, what are the thugs that sit in the public gallery in tower Hamlets council shouting absue at any white councillor who dares to question lutfur rahman?


Lutfur is a wanker...

25.08.2013 18:06

he has some real dodgy followers and we nickname Tower Hamlets the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets, but I dont give a shit about that, I aint every gonna go UKIP or EDL and increase the tension, i'm goning to work against it and I be out in the streets with the local kids, lads I used to go raves with, lads i brought/sold a bit of weed off, lads I did social work with, or went boxing with

yeh they might be a different color skin or got a funny accent, but I got more in common with them living in the area and spending 15 years of my life in Tower Hamlets growing up, than listening to that EDL Tommy prick from Luton...

right wing fuck heads are everywhere looking for walls to build.

I know a good day of clusterfuck rowdyness in the streets is what builds better community relations.

ex tower hamlets resident

Division mythology

25.08.2013 22:57

The EDL are not 'sowing division' between races or cultures. Those divisions already exist very prominently. The left believes it is acting appropriately by defending Islamists while in truth they are digging their own premature burial. Look at the examples of Indonesia and Iran - where is the left today - six feet under.

mail e-mail:

Tower Hamlets

29.08.2013 01:28

The trouble is nowdays there are large parts of Tower Hamlets and Newham that are no-go areas for Whites because of the gang culture so groups like the EDL have a case when they want to protest,I dont support the EDL at all but I can see why White British youths are believing the only way to have a voice is by standing up.A lot of these people had family that fought in world wars surely they are entitled to protest the same as greenpeace anti fracking or anti motor way protesters?

Darren Noble
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

A word for anti-EDL protestors

29.08.2013 11:59

I'm not suggesting for a minute you shouldn't defend yourself if you're attacked, attacked by the police, by the EDL, or by any other Fascists, but at the last Brighton demo one dickhead threw a bottle that hospitalised a local nurse, causing serious injury to an innocent person and a PR disaster for radical politics in the local press, at the anti-BNP blockade in Westminster some genius chucked thankfully just a (full) plastic water bottle but it did hit one of our own side (lucky it wasn't glass), and at the 1st Walthamstow demo another fuckwit threw a plank with a nail sticking out of it, which the EDL could have picked-up and thrown against our side, but which instead they paraded in front of the media as evidence of antifascist thuggery. I'm not a pacifist, but THINK before you chuck, and if you see other people behaving like pillocks - stop them, they're probably cops

If you want to learn about undercover cops infiltrating antifascist mobilisations and throwing random shit to smear anti-racist campaigns, read "Beating the Fascists", page 327, 1st paragraph (and preceding pages for the political context and background)

Oi Oi

The EDL do have a right to march on our areas

29.08.2013 12:00

Just as we have an equal right to march against them ;)


Us EDL are not racists or Nazis (photo)

30.08.2013 15:15



EDL leader photographed with BNP thugs

30.08.2013 15:54

EDL leader Stephen Lennon with BNP thug Richard Edmonds
EDL leader Stephen Lennon with BNP thug Richard Edmonds

EDL leader Stephen Lennon with BNP thug Alan Spence
EDL leader Stephen Lennon with BNP thug Alan Spence

Photo 1 - EDL leader Stephen Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson - far left) at BNP meeting, listening to BNP & NF activist, convicted race-hate criminal and holocaust-denier Richard Edmonds

Photo 2 - EDL leader Stephen Lennon with BNP activist Alan Spence, plus (inset) Alan Spence with BNP chairman and holocaust-denier Nick Griffin


EDL Tower Hamlets - replies to Behindthecurtains & MunsterH

30.08.2013 15:56

Q: "if the EDL are a bunch of thugs, what are the thugs that sit in the public gallery in tower Hamlets council shouting absue at any white councillor who dares to question lutfur rahman?"

A: They're ANOTHER BUNCH OF THUGS - and that doesn't justify EDL thuggery does it, Sherlock

Q: "The EDL are not 'sowing division' between races or cultures. Those divisions already exist very prominently. The left believes it is acting appropriately by defending Islamists while in truth they are digging their own premature burial. Look at the examples of Indonesia and Iran - where is the left today - six feet under."

A: Just because divisions exist in society and because Islamists are, like white Fascists, also Fascist scum, does not mean the EDL aren't trying to create further division. One of many facts that blew the EDL's cover and helped expose their secret Fascism, was when original EDL founder Paul Ray admitted their website had been set-up by BNP "gold" activist Chris Renton (who's also well-known for using the pseudonym John Sheridan). Hear it Paul Ray's own words -

Since then Paul Ray was (by his own admission) kicked-out of the EDL because he opposed Chris Renton inviting Nazis to attend EDL demos, so, in order to protect Chris Renton, Paul Ray was thrown-out and succeeded by Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who's an ex-BNP member (also well-known for using the pseudonym Tommy Robinson). Since then it's been shown that BNP activist & Nazi-lover Chris "John Sheridan" Renton is STILL running the EDL's main Facebook...


EDL to muster in Tooley Street, then march to Altab Ali Park

01.09.2013 20:28

Verbatim from the EDL's main Facebook (their words not mine) -

"Details for Tower Hamlets demonstration on Saturday 7th September 2013. All vehicles will be allowed to park in Tooley Street, London, SE1 2AT (A200) and the Police will direct all coaches/mini-buses and cars as to where to park. The muster point will be Queen Elizabeth Street which merges of Tooley Street. We will muster at approximately 1pm-2pm (exact time tbc) and march over Tower Bridge into Tower Hamlets, the march will end near Altab Ali Park where speeches will be held and we will then return the same route to make our way out of London. The nearest main line station is London Bridge and the underground is Northern Line. Please ensure you have water etc. as the forecast is for a hot day. See you all there – No Surrender"

Altab Ali Park is EXACTLY the same spot where UAF and the Anti-Fascist Network are meeting. My view is it's probably better to have a rock-solid block in Whitechapel to deprive the EDL of their "prize" of entering Tower Hamlets, than it would be to divide Anti-Fascist numbers by trying to intercept them around Tooley Street etc



02.09.2013 09:32

Can people not discuss any tactics, strategy, suggestions for the day - if you are making such statements on Indymedia you are obviously NOT involved in any networks or groups otherwise you would have made them there.




02.09.2013 13:51

If the PR put out by anti-fascists is successful then by definition LOTS (possibly thousands) of the people who'll attend this counter-protest will be from among the (tens of thousands of) people who've seen the leaflets etc, but who aren't among the eg - 250-ish people who went to last weekend's meeting (let alone joined any networks). Making sensible suggestions for their / our benefit is absolutely fine

And, just in case, no group should flatter themselves their network is somehow the be-all and end-all of anti-Fascism ;)



02.09.2013 15:20

that is not what I was saying. The cops and fascists are looking at this site! You said "Making sensible suggestions for their / our benefit is absolutely fine" - yes it is fine, do it with your affinity group, close comrades - why post it on Indymedia???

And I didn't say UAF or AFN is the be-all and end-all, just be responsible init :-)

original auto

Ableist language

02.09.2013 16:32

People should be able to oppose fascists without using ableist words like "nutters" which stigmitise people with mental illness.


SchNEWS Update 02/09/13

02.09.2013 18:35

Update 02/11/13

Are the Met really going to march the EDL into the heart of Tower Hamlets? That's what the English Defence League's leader Tommy Robinson is proclaiming on Facebook and Twitter right now.

“EDL have today announced plans to march to Altab Ali Park for a rally on 7th September! This is a clearly an arrogant and incendiary declaration even on their own (sub) standards. We call on every militant anti-fascist to join us on the streets on Saturday with the good people of Tower Hamlets in ensuring that the EDL DO NOT SET FOOT in the area and are effectively opposed!” - London Anti-Fascists

Significantly for anti-fascists (militant or otherwise) it looks as if there will be no state ban on demonstrations in the borough as there was during the EDLs last outing there in 2011. Tommy was bailed out of Tower Hamlets after his ill-fated charity walk but a judge reviewed the conditions and made an exception for the 7th (SchNEWS is betting he wouldn't want to be there on say the 6th or the 8th in any case).

At first the EDL were bragging that their rally was to be held in Altab Ali Park. Quite apart from the sickening thought of the league celebrating behind police lines on a piece of ground dedicated to a victim of racist violence, there was the small matter of the fact that both the Anti-Fascist Network and Unite against Fascism will be meeting there two hours before the league even muster.

However according to the Met police press office the local authority have vetoed the use of the park by the EDL. This still means that a march into the area is very likely (One possible route might even be along Cable St!).

See you on Saturday

Jo Makepeace
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

No to Islamic extremism as well!

03.09.2013 09:32

How about making banners which say "No to the EDL and no to Islamic extremism"? We cannot ignore the harm that Islamic extremism does just because we don't like the EDL.

Peter Tachel


05.09.2013 08:43

it would help if you spelt your name right you stupid twat.
must try harded.

- Homepage:

Who cares about those in need in Tower Hamlets? Does the EDL? Do its targets

05.09.2013 18:23

Who cares about those in need in Tower Hamlets?
Does the EDL?
Do its targets


police are fascists too!

08.09.2013 06:10

So the police have mass arrested 150 people for being on the counter-demo. Big attack on free speech - sounds like a re-run of the Olympics Critical Mass. Most of those arrested are just accused of exercising their right to protest, and defying the fascist state ban on where they can do so.

EDL were stopped from marching all the way into Tower Hamlets but only 10 arrests on their side (one for thought crimes).

It's looking like we cannot stop the EDL fascists without first smashing the police fascists who have destroyed the right to protest.


Great report from yesterday!

08.09.2013 14:01

But the treated of legal observers is a new and worrying development.

Anti fascist

Tower Hamlets Council Mayor's Cabinet bid to tag the IFE "progressive"

19.09.2013 04:23

"Accept the Islamic Forum of Europe as a progressive organisation", so said an amendment put forward by Tower Hamlets Council mayor Lutfur Rahman's Cabinet member Alibor Choudhury a few hours ago.

That bid was only just defeated by the Labour Party and the Conservative Party councillors voting against it. But it may not be the end of the matter and the Islamic Forum of Europe, also called the IFE in more widely known dispatches, may yet become recognised as a part of Tower Hamlets Council's officially listed providers of services.

The move apparently read out to the Council's Meeting held last night (Wednesday 18 september 2013) was made during an often ill-tempered part of a motion relating to the English Defence League (EDL) semi-march of 7 September 2013.

The three members from Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman's so-called Independent group of councillors who spoke in praise of the Islamic Forum Europe were all formerly Labour Party councillors. They were Abdul Asad (Whitechapel), Alibor Choudhury (Shadwell) and Deputy Mayor Ohid Ahmed.


if its legal, then they are allowed to do it.

24.09.2013 20:02

The first few paragraphs suggest that the EDL have 'no right'' to march

Thats untrue. Unless they are breaking the law, they have every right

The focus should be on adjusting the law if you feel it is wrong

glazed look

Has the report on Rotherham changed attitudes to the EDL?

01.09.2014 01:40

Unite Against Fascism persuaded Channel 4 to suppress a documentary about child exploitation by Muslim men in the North in 2004. It turns out that the documentary was the truth, and misguided anti-racism inspired the suppression of the truth. The English Defence League may be obnoxious in some ways, but they were among the first people to point out the massive problem of these child-exploitation gangs. The author of the new report on child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and beyond is Alexis Jay, a professor of social work - not an EDL supporter. It's worth reading the report, which partly blames fear of being called 'racist' - - No doubt the EDL will be saying "told you so". Well, er, they kind of did...

Raul Reeve
mail e-mail:


South Coast

Other UK IMCs
Bristol/South West
Northern Indymedia

London Topics

Animal Liberation
Climate Chaos
Energy Crisis
Free Spaces
Ocean Defence
Other Press
Public sector cuts
Social Struggles
Terror War
Workers' Movements

London IMC


About | Contact
Mission Statement
Editorial Guidelines
Publish | Help

Search :