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Anti-fascist protest leader arrested ahead of protest

nazikicker | 20.03.2010 15:14 | Anti-racism | Repression | Sheffield

The media is reporting an arrest for 'conspiracy to commit violent disorder' - BEFORE the EDL protest and counter-protest in Bolton.

This report claims that the leader of UAF has been arrested for 'conspiracy to cause violent disorder'.

The source is not very reliable, but it's hard to see why they'd fib in this case.

If true, this is a frightening signal - people viewed as organisers of protests are at risk of this kind of conspiracy charge.

To date, police have not tried to bring this particular charge in court. There are some questions over whether it is even possible to add conspiracy onto what is already a collective offence.


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Weyman Benett and Martin Smith arrested

20.03.2010 15:28

Weyman Benett was arrested after the protest started. According to the local rag:

"Among those arrested were a UAF organiser, Weyman Benett, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit violent disorder, police said.

Anindya Bhattacharyya, UAF press officer, said: "A large group of riot police charged in, there were at least a dozen of them.

"They grabbed him and physically dragged him away even though he was protesting peacefully."

She said that Martin Smith, who runs the Love Music Hate Racism campaign, was also arrested.

Police said there are 2,000 EDL protesters in the square, and around 1,500 from UAF."


first they came for the animal liberation people..

20.03.2010 15:48

warned of this ages ago


Oh dear...

20.03.2010 16:02

Clear propaganda win for the EDL then.

Lots of shots of violent UAF 'fascista' being menacing and grimacing and violent and one shot of an EDL carrying a banner with 'keep calm and carry on' written on it with union jacks fluttering behind her.

Very obvious what the reader is meant to make of it all.

Is the UAF there to fight the EDL or is it there to legitimise it?

Mr lancelot Pernicious

Police Impartiality

20.03.2010 17:07

The Laughing Policeman
The Laughing Policeman

The Greater Manchester police have been filmed laughing and joking with the EDL thugs during their rally.

Whatever happened to police inpartiality?

The EDL are state-approved to shore up the War On Terror.

Police Watcher

if you didn't have leaders....

20.03.2010 17:17

... they couldn't be picked off...


The reality is ...

20.03.2010 17:42

When ever the EDL march, and where there is no large anti-fascist counter-protest, we see a pattern. EDL supporters are left free go on to smash up Asian shops and business and assault and insult Asian passers by. To be a victim, you don't have to be Muslim, lets alone an Islamist extremist, just an ordinary, random Asian Briton.

This happened in Luton, where the EDL faced no anti-fascist counter-protest - and in Stoke, where the EDL massively outnumbered the anti-fascists.

The EDL rioted in Stoke - smashing up police vans. Yet this received no front page news. Contrast this with the media and police massive over-reaction to the G20 protests or the Climate Camps.

Official assessments of the police have found them to be an institutionally racist organisation. Furthermore, they have always been deployed, throughout British history, against working class communities, trades unionists and the left. And throughout history they have sided with the fascist right against the anti-racist left. This long and ignoble history stretches from Cable Street in 1936 to Lewisham in 1977 to Welling in 1992. Yet the organised working class movement had always beaten back British fascist upsurges - despite the actions of the police and the state.

Weyman Bennett and the UAF are in no way violent agitators. In fact they always receive criticism from some independent anti-fascists for cooperating with the police and marching their supporters away from confrontation. Yet today, the anti-fascists and thousands of UAF supporters attempted to peacefully occupy the centre of Bolton. They were attacked by the police. Now Weyman Bennet has been snatched by the police and framed on trumped up charges. We should Defend Wayman Bennet in this situation, and stand in solidarity with all the brave anti-fascist protesters on the streets of Bolton.

Barry Kade


20.03.2010 18:04

The numbers quoted by the police are bullshit.. I'd say 2000 anti fascists, and under 1000 EDL. The anti fascist crowd was a diverse, solid, and determided mix. Not at all dominated by SWPers but a real strong community who stood firm. Victoria Square was also defended on Oxford Street by a seperate crowd, who stood strong in the face of a few attempts by small groups of EDL to break through that side of the square, This group including a large section of locals Asians and anti nazis who later pushed through police lines to applause and made there way back into the square to wave goodbye to the EDL.

Lancashire Antifa

fash trolls are lol

20.03.2010 18:12

lol im feeding the fash trolls!
dont you trolls have some over compenstating to do for your tiny chodes and lack of working class unity


Legal mumbo-jumbo

20.03.2010 18:15

At least anti-fascists can spell, ol' chum.

The terrifying thing is the supposed crime of Weyman Bennet; 'conspiracy to commit violent disorder'. This would, of course, mean that the state decides ahead of time - based entirely on its own subjective paradigm - that you are a violent threat. You are then arrested and denounced in the Press.

Whilst I have no love for Bennet or his lack of militancy; the facts of this are obvious. Anti-fascists, whether violent of peaceful, will be arrested. Fascist have the state's support in dominating the strees; same old, same old. This means we need mass turnout to hold back both Fascist and State agents, and protect the militants that do attend. There can be no excuses.

If we look for historical reference, the 'Enabling Law' passed by the Reichstag in '33, allowed Nazi agents to arrest, attack or muder those who 'threatened the German nation and people'; an utterly vague statement which allowed Nazis to 'legally' move against anyone they pleased.

Such nonsense as 'conspiracy to commit violent disorder' is a law that works on similar lines.

I'm disappointed I missed this demo but it really stresses the need for working-class people to wake the fuck up and smash Fascism now. Apathy is death.

Mr Consideration
mail e-mail:

mass mobilisation

20.03.2010 18:30

I'm, with mr consideration. We need to ensure that numbers are out in force against the EDL fascist street army. We need strength in numbers from across the community. Bolton today, showed that we are strong when we aren't outnumbered.

lancs antifa

check sw reports

20.03.2010 18:58


cops praise EDL leadership

20.03.2010 20:08
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said "I would also like to praise the efforts of the EDL stewards who worked with us in the face of some very ugly confrontations."I would also like to praise the efforts of the EDL stewards who worked with us in the face of some very ugly confrontations."

Not surprised one bit. Maybe Bennet will realise the plod are NOT friends.


UAF don't understand what fascism is.

20.03.2010 20:13

Well, some of you are as dim as the UAF. You need to look up the word fascist /fascism in the dictionary. Here I've done it for you. "a political system based on a very powerful leader, state control and being extremely proud of country and race, and in which political opposition is not allowed"


The English flag

20.03.2010 20:13

The English flag is now apparently the same as the Israels, or perhaps there was another reason why the EDL were flying it? I did inquire without a tangible explanation being offered, any of you trolls know?

If anyone is counting then the opposition certainly won the numbers game by about 3-1 this was before the arrival of the march which probably raked it up to 4-1. What was much more telling was the way the Master Race left the area, very quickly. Of course tonight they have already been showing their racial superiority in a few of the surrounding towns.

The police as usual acted violently and disproportionately, at one time threatening a group of hymn singers with dogs!!!

All in all the EDL did not get the numbers, those that did attend did not get to run through the street threatening people which must be a welcome result for the people of Bolton who turned out in numbers to resist them.

Combat Combat 18

The Class War

20.03.2010 20:26

Of course no charges will come it was done to intimidate those with good reason to object to racist fascist scum that is The EDL and I know can not be proven but also a propaganda victory for the far right have a look at there forums (just been there) while I dislike The UAF along with leaders we do for one moment celebrate this fact, we need to ask what was the motives for such actions of the state and the serious repercussions for future actions it is on the street we are going to have to confront the rise of the far right and more so coming the election, the defeat of the far right has been clear from the election of D Beckon to the present it is an organised militant anti fascist force one that we need be kick the likes of The EDL racist fascist scum back to the sewers they come from.

It will never come from the likes of The UAF and there fucking pandering to the state, it is as we know the state that is the problem and I can but hope those involved with The UAF now understand the nature of The Class War and what will be needed to smash the rise of fascism and racism..

EDL neo-Nazis Demand Politically Correct Reporting

20.03.2010 20:48

Fans of Political Correctness
Fans of Political Correctness

Since the bad publicity gained by the EDL in Stoke, when most press reports called them "far right", Alan Lake and Goebels Trevor Kelway contacted the Press Association to complain that the tag was "prejudicing the EDL.

So much for the claims that the EDL believe in the "freedom of the press".

Google "Bolton" "EDL" and "right" into Google News and you will see that most if not all reports now describe the EDL as being merely "rightwing".

Maybe convicted child abusers will follow suit and threaten legal action against red top tabloids calling them "nonces" and "paedos".

Peter Sutcliffe could demand to the press that he is no-longer referred to as the "Yorkshire Ripper" but the "Yorkshire Neck Manipulator......."

Never again can the British Far Right have a whinge about political correctness.

There's some big players sponsoring and funding the EDL for its pro-military Islamophobic agenda.

Mister Mussel (smelling fishy goings on)

More news

20.03.2010 22:24

Other media reports are suggesting over 70 arrests, mostly anti-fascists. This includes three UAF leaders grabbed out of crowds by snatch-squads.

Police dogs have bitten demonstrators, and police also appear to have seized any flags they could reach.

The police are actually saying that the number of arrests proves that the protesters intended violence - repression taken as proof of its own legitimacy!


Agreed Mr Consideration

20.03.2010 23:27

'I'm disappointed I missed this demo but it really stresses the need for working-class people to wake the fuck up and smash Fascism now. Apathy is death.'

Total agreement...seems lots of people on this site have great ideas for defeating the struggles we face, but lack the motivation to get up off their arses and do something..

Heres a date for your diaries....Sunday 11 April rally against the bnp in Barking...should be interesting to meet the scum on their own turf..

Spotty Dog

bad day

21.03.2010 01:29

after making the effort and actally getting to bolton i cant believe what im reading we were out numbered and all we did was kick off against the police we lost on all fronts today they come out looking like the good guys and we look like mindless thugs a big step towards losing the support of the general public

i was in bolton were you ??

lets get the facts straight.

21.03.2010 10:37

Yes - I was there. And no way did we "lose" on all counts. We outnumbered the EDL. We saw them off, and we protected Bolton from some serious racist / fascist vandalism (as seen in Stoke, where the EDL were not outnumbered).. Anti fascists will never get a fair hearing from the cops (who are generally there to protect the far right), and will never get a good press. The forces of the state can not be relied upon to fight fascism. We need mass community mobilisation. We need to ensure that each time the EDL tour the country with their sorry band of blokes, that the local community get out in numbers to tell them that they are not wanted. And that is what happened in Bolton - so don't portray it as some kind of defeat for the left because the cops attacked the demo for hours, and the BBC reporting is bullshit.

bolton wanderer

bad day

21.03.2010 11:04

if we keep telling ourselves what a great day it was we will never improve this was supposed to be a national mobilisation and at the very very best we had about 2000 and so did the fash every report from tv and radio makes it clear we were the instigators of the trouble even the police praised the actions of the fash stewards this is a huge step backwards get youre rose tinted glasses off and face the truth so we can move forward

i was in bolton

Immoral Non-Equivalence

21.03.2010 12:02

I was arrested and charged with section 4. The police have seazed my mobile. Bailed home safe now. There will need to be lagal support and an appeal for witnesses. Are UAF coordinating this? Who do I contact?

This report from the Shop Stewards List:

"Immoral non-equivalence

"Bolton Labour Party, which has more councillors than any other party, and the Greater Manchester Police, who were ranked bottom of all forces in the country recently, did their level best to present the anti-fascists as the moral equivalent of the thugs of the English Defence League, who have key BNP activists organising them.

"There can't have been fewer than 500 uniformed police on duty across the town centre, and those in the square included some on horses, others with vicious-looking, barking dogs and dozens of members of Tactical Aid Units geared up like Robocops. Brand new police steel barriers, eight feet high, cordoned off streets, and lines of police, up to three deep, blocked off others. It reminded me and other comrades of the police tactics in the miners' strike of 1984-1985, and those of the Italian police at Genoa a few years ago.

"The police allowed the EDL to drink in the few pubs that weren't shuttered up – especially Durty Gurty's and the Barracuda, where the red-jacketed EDL organisers chatted amicably with senior police – and let them roam around at will and walk into the square. Others roamed the streets. I saw one group of thugs intimidate an Asian taxi-driver who evidently hadn't joined his colleagues on strike, and get away with it.

"I saw no violence of any kind from the anti-fascists, but the police blocked late-comers joining them for hours, pushed them back, 'kettled' them in too small a space, intimidated them, sought to provoke them and finally assaulted demonstrators of all ages. It was clear that the police were absolutely determined to find excuses, however feeble, for 60 or more arrests, mainly of anti-fascist demonstrators. I saw the son of a friend of mine handcuffed and bundled into a van, and when I asked woman police officer 12387 why, she wasn't sure what he would be charged with. I also saw snatch squads wade in to the anti-fascists and drag or throw out several people who had been committing no offence whatever. One man older than me was dragged out, thrown down and lay there hurt, until demonstrators came to his aid. Later, I saw laughing police standing next to an ambulance, where paramedics were hard at work, no doubt with another casualty of police violence. The arrogance and pro-EDL bias of the police I spoke to was incredible. They trashed anti-fascist and trade union banners, and the President of Manchester Trades Council told me that our banner had been damaged.

"If the media coverage I have seen so far is typical, it is not to be relied on.

"To try to justify the massive expense of the police turn-out, they have exaggerated the numbers present on both sides at around 2,500. For several hours there were about 500 anti-fascists and no more than 200 EDL in the square, but I walked around the police-made perimeter and I doubt whether there were more than 1,000 of both contingents across Bolton altogether, until the arrival of a sizeable number of Asians youths persuaded the police to escort the EDL away.

"I saw three comrades there who had come from the NE, but no doubt more were in the group hemmed-in by police. However, greater numbers of anti-fascist demonstrators will be required to occupy large public spaces against the EDL in future."

Legal Support?

Role of Police and Labour Party

21.03.2010 14:52

The comments by Legal Support? are about right. The police had saturated Bolton and clearly during the day they were in part attempting to justify the massive expenditure. There was a pre-planned strategy to arrest UAF leaders such as Weyman Bennet and Rhetta Moran and their tactics during the day were meant to intimidate and criminalise the UAF demo. Most of the arrests probably took place before the EDL even entered in any numbers into the square.
As to when the police eventually allowed the large group of Asian youth to enter the square followed not long after by the group of UAF supporters who they had kept out of the square all afternoon it was clearly to get them inside the square while they escorted the EDL lot out.
The political lessons of the day have to be made and that is the calls by the UAF (SWP) for the state to ban and or control the EDL is counter productive, the state, ie its present government run by the Labour Party and the police, is intent on criminalising those who will come out onto the streets to oppose its agenda. The EDL in pushing its line of opposition to Islamic fundamentalism is supporting the position of the Labour government and supporting the wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The events of Saturday in Bolton can not in any seriousness be called a 'victory' for the UAF it was a political defeat but the fact that 1,000 or so people came out to oppose the EDL is the basis for going forward. But that basis has to be one of pointing out that to confront the EDL we also have to confront the real enemies of the working class that is the representatives of British imperialism the current Labour government and their racist police.

Who's the real enemy?

solicitor for those arrested

21.03.2010 15:41

The above two comments have a lot of truth, but don't tell the whole story. I was with the largely Asian group that went round from the end of Oxford Street and back into the square. We were not "allowed in" by the cops but had to force our way passed their line and back in to the Square. This did seem like a turning point with the cops pushing the EDL back out of the square shortly afterwards, but maybe this would have happened at a planned time anyway. The only sense that this was a defeat is that up to 1000 (probably less) EDL turned out and made it half way into Victoria Square. There were more anti fascists and we did prevent the the EDL going on the rampage like they did in Stoke. It was also worthwhile defending Victoria Street as a couple of time small groups of EDL tried to attack the anti fascists at this side of the square. There were also a number of experienced anti fascists who picked out and ejected fash spotters from around the square. The lesson we need to learn, is forget sectarianism, forget looking to the cops, councils, and state to opposse the EDL. We need to do it ourselves by mobilising in our own communities and resisting them with the largest possible numbers.

bolton wanderer

ooops forgot... solicitor....

21.03.2010 15:42

for those arrested

Robert Lizar Solicitors

Tel: 07900 998 999

bolton wanderer


21.03.2010 16:35

Comments about having to rethink things are about right.

Having such a big counter demo and chanting 'Nazi scum' at people who clearly aren't Nazi's, don't display any Nazi paraphernalia and don't shout any Nazi slogans was always going to end up looking like a massive over-reaction at best, and at worst, come across as mass hysteria. You devalue the past victims of fascism, and water down future public support (when it might actually be really needed) by crying wolf at the wrong time.

It seems to me, the EDL are in the main comprised of soldiers, ex soldiers, their family, mates and fellow travellers.

Misled into serving in wars of actual and moral illegality, for obvious legal, contractual and economic reasons they had few options other than to serve.

Riled up by a small group of Muslim anti-war protestors, who protested when coffins of fallen soldiers were being brought home or something along those lines, they also have succombed to a bit of hysteria, and have started holding marches, not necessarily in support of war, but vaguely protesting that they want to defend English values, with some opposition to rising support amongst a small section of the more devout members of the Muslim community for sharia law thrown in too.

I suppose their biggest fears seem to centre around a clutch of things - a lot of them unspoken. Concerns over multiculturalism, fears about watering down of English identity,
probably lack of support for demobbed veterans (incl the disabled) against a back drop of serious economic malaise and declining job opportunities.

The way ahead would be for anti-fascists and the EDL to enter into dialogue with one another, in order to find common ground, educate and understand one another. Maybe the UAF could develop some sort of 'Guardian Angel's' initiative, like New Yorkers did to prevent mugging, for future marches, to deal with allegations of racist attacks on Muslims at past EDL marches. And of course make sure these are reported to the police.

The left, the UAF and other anti-fascists are wise to be on the alert for growing signs of fascism. The EDL, could indeed potentially become fascist. However, the UAF hiearchy, with their un-intelligent, outdated, mob rule approach at suppressing free-speech, largely peaceful protest and now resorting to alleged violence and disorder through these counter protests, also leave themselves wide open to accusations of fascist behaviour, as well as losing public credibility and sympathy. The importance of public credibility and sympathy, can not be overstated.

Remember, these marches are comprised of low-ranking, low-paid soldiers and military families and friends. Sad to say and like it or not, sympathy and tolerance for the outsider is seen as a luxury amongst the poorest sections of the working classes, and particularly the underclasses. They do not have cushy, union protected jobs in the public sector, or come from academia, the liberal intelligentsia or the middle classes, as large proportions of the counter marchers do. Nor have the luxury of such bourgeois sensibilities and sensitivities - products of globalisation and laissez-faire free-market capitalism. That's why education, challenging misconceptions and promoting understanding is essential. In essence, the focus of the EDL are engaged is in economic and cultural protectionism, under a highly nationalist cloak. However, it is from such roots that racism, racial intolerance and fascism can grow, so it is indeed wise to be on the alert for it.

But the movement needs to re-think it's game. Shouting names at each other from across barricades seldom achieves much.


Political defeat?

21.03.2010 16:49

I agree with the above comment that there's no room for sectarianism at the present time but that doesn't mean we can't thrash out political differences. As to what happened outside the square during the day I can't comment properly as I was inside but the police clearly 'allowed' the large group of Asian youth to enter the square as I saw them do it. They then followed this by letting the large UAF group in so it seemed to be a planned strategy.
As to political defeat or not, yes there was a large demo to confront and oppose the edl, yes it probably did constrain what the edl and their periphery were able to get up to, but in the end the edl had there event it was a success from their point of view. The strategy of the UAF failed, thy didn't mobilise enough people to overrun the square, their leaders were snatched and face serious charges, and they still peddle the line about state bans on the edl.
We need to learn the lessons of what has been going on and those are I would argue the need for independence from the Labour Party and associated bodies who are tied to British imperialism one way or another.

who's the real enemy

entering the square

21.03.2010 17:06

Well I was with that group, and we broke out of a cordon outside McDonalds at the end of Victoria Street, with the cops in pursuit. Then turned left and left again down side streets before pushing through another line of cops at the Square. They tried to stop us, and attempted at least one arrest but they weren't able to cope with the sudden influx. Maybe, then, they gave up and allowed those behind me to enter. And yes, they allowed the other "march" in later (this was the group that had been defending Victoria Street). This actually allowed me to get back out of the square as I walked against the crowd (by this time the EDL had their demo cut short and were pushed back).

I agree the need to discuss differences. But not just to slag off UAF and then do nothing, which is a tendency. We need to get out in numbers, and we need to stand together on the streets to prevent the EDL from rampaging through certain areas. And (to other post above) it's no good asking the police to intervene on our behalf. Just look what happened in Stoke when we were outnumbered. Did the police act? Did the police stop the EDL throwing bottles, a few coins, and lighters yesterday? Of course not. Also I'm not sure if the EDL are mainly squaddies. I gues that is not of central importance. They represent a very dangerous threat, one that can not be ignored. It's not a question of "jumping the gun" by labelling them as fascist, but of realising what they are all about. It's your classic far right street army. They must not be tolerated and allowed to rampage through our communities.

bolton wanderer


21.03.2010 19:06

fair comment, but if people are being racially abused or attacked when EDL marches take place, then the uaf, antifa, anti-racist groups etc need to develop a sensible and pro-active media strategy to deal with it and get that story out there.

if it's not photographed, videoed, and victim interviews aren't blasted out to every supportive journalist and media outlet you can - and all social media like twitter, facebook etc everyone else out there wont necessarily know it has happened.

a few stories on here, a few lines and a headline in the socialist workers (that the mass population don't use) ain't gonna swing it.

the battle for hearts and minds is everything.


The BFF Are Nazis

22.03.2010 00:15

There were BFF neo-Nazis there as part of the EDL movement. I saw and recognised some of them as I was being penned into the kettle, from across the pavement. If you look on Facebook, you get comments including the words n*gger, P*ki and immigrants together so frequently which means plenty of them don't just hate one particular racial or religious group.

Wigan Mike and Liam Pinkham said they were going, and recently admitted they were phoned up to attend.

The entire Lincolnshire hooligan gang the LTE who send two dozen members to EDL rallies attend support the NF, the BNP and Combat18, yes, Combat 18 = 1 (Adolf) 8 = (Hitler).

The LTE are both football hooligans and hardcore neo-Nazis at the same time.

We call Nazi scum Nazi scum.

End of!!!!!!!!

nazi hater

Life On Mars

22.03.2010 00:30

Manchester's Reactionary Police Chief
Manchester's Reactionary Police Chief

The neanderthal policing was like a scene from Life On Mars, which was based on the racist, sexist homophobic caveman coppers of the Greater Manchester force from the Dark Ages which have now returned.

Sadly McPherson never reached as far as Manchester or Bolton.

There ought be many cases taken to the Police Complaints Authority as soon as possible to counter the establishment bullshit lies and propaganda.

The EDL are fulfilling an Islaophobic and uber-patriotic role to shore up the unpopular war in Afganistan, as British soldiers continue to die in a needless war.

Gene Hunt's Ghost

yep battle for hearts&minds is important,millions heard bbc etc police songshite

22.03.2010 04:15

we need to get our news out & sing it loud, in chorus, without vague "nazischum of ""our??""streets" chanting, that bewilders & isolates us from alot of people.
We need lots of our own media acting fast& loud to make reactionary police& corporate bosses know they cant get awy with lies. We shouldnt attack the edl or bnp 1st, as its what they oten want& it will especially benefit the BNP in its electoral game,DEFEND!!


our message needs to get out fast & effectively in the media to millions

22.03.2010 05:11

indymedia,twitter etc is part of that campaign to counter police & edl spin. Vague chants "who streets""our?"" streets"that bewilder &alienate many from us are not the way forward.Discipline & defending ourselves on demos not attacking 1st as edl & BNP despite their electoral game want.


nazi hunter is right...

22.03.2010 08:25

Nazi hunter above hits the nail on the head. Looking at the videos posted on You Tube you can clearly see the links between BNP / EDL. BNP sympathisers / activists (such as SaxonLadyUK) posting pro EDL videos and encouraging loads of disgusting, racist abuse.

northern anarchist

Aims and objectives

22.03.2010 15:13

While interesting, in terms of effective campaigning against EDL ideology, sifting through the net for pics to prove that there are some extreme right wing racists and fascist sympathisers in the EDL (and doubtless there are a lot) doesn't make a blind bit of difference on the day of march, in terms of winning public sympathy.

You just end up simply selling an idea to the converted, preaching to the existing believers.

Let me play devil's advocate here for a moment.

Leaving aside the question of whether having a mass counter demo/march at the same time as the EDL is an effective strategy at all (and personally I don't think it is), one major thing that needs to be considered is this: the incongruity, visual spectacle and public relations own goal of a large crowd shouting "Nazi scum" etc at a group of largely ex squaddies (popularly viewed as 'heroes' in the national psyche and by the local shoppers and grannies nearby), waving large numbers of two of the countrys national flags in a patriotic manner.

Passers by - at that precise moment in time - don't necessarily know that a large number of them (but necessarily all) are extreme right wing, with racist and Islamophobic views. The EDL seem to have polished up their public image and conduct of their marches a bit compared to their first marches, and behaved a bit better than in the past.

You then end up with a scenario, where rather than the EDL looking like the 'troublemakers', the roles are reversed. It then looks as if the left are harassing and abusing people (remember a lot of them are viewed as "heroes"), for waving the countrys flag. In terms of diluting and antagonising left wing support amongst the non-aligned general public, that is an image that needs to be avoided at all costs, if a counter march is ever held again.

Personally, my suggestion would be that if there is a known EDL march, the movement should be holding a public meeting/rally in a building - not in the street - on anti-racism, the economic crisis, war, soldiers rights and justice for military families etc, and mobilising in the run up to get people to go to it. Leafleting, street stalls etc. There should also be some effort to try and encourage the moderate, non-racist members of the EDL to attend, as well as trying to educate somehow the far right ones within the EDL away from racist populism.


Solidarity in Action Needed

22.03.2010 18:42

If you have any footage or can provide a witness statement about any of the arrests or assaults by the police, or if you were assaulted by the police and would like to make a complaint, please contact
UAF. Their website is:

Legal Support

to the uaf

22.03.2010 21:26

Sure we need "solidarity in action". But do we need the UAF agreeing to concede half the square before the day? Do you support "No Platform" being enforced through community action, or do you call on the state to ban EDL rallies? You called for more state powers to control political marches.... look where that got you on saturday!! Isn't it time to wise up?

lancs calling.


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