Angry thugs of the, BNP allingned, EDL
On the day it is estimated that around 250 people were involved in violence around Birmingham city centre which included bottle and brick throwing and racist chants of “No more Muslims.” Members of the rally have been filmed giving Nazi salutes, aping the salutes given by BNP members at the recent Red White and Blue festival. They also chanted the BNP slogan "We want our Country Back." Police herded groups of the EDL onto busses, where a number were arrested for throwing seats out of the Window and trying to set fire to one of the vehicles. Most the 90 arrests occurred on these buses.
EDL hooligan shows true colours
A number of groups including Hope not Hate had lobbied police and the council in order to get the event banned. Over 2,500 letters were sent to Birmingham constabulary and the home secretary in order to have the fascist rally banned. Strangely DCI Sue Southern of West Midlands Police is claiming today that the violence took them by surprise. The authorities knew in advance that this group was intent on stirring up tensions in the city and did not act to stop it.
Over the coming days fascists and anti-fascists will no doubt throw allegations of blame at each other for causing the violence. There are, however, two points which cannot be disputed. Firstly wherever the EDL parades violent activity inevitably follows. Secondly the group has close ties to the BNP and seeks to whip up racial tensions in Britain. There have been recent demos in Luton and Birmingham in which the group has caused violence. At these events, wherever arrests are made, the EDL/Casuals arrested always vastly outnumber the anti-fascists. In the case of Luton, groups of their masked thugs headed into predominantly Asian neighbourhood attacking people and properties. Hope not Hate recently organised a campaign to prevent the organisation from marching in the town for three months. A searchlight investigation recently revealed that the EDL’s leadership contained prominent BNP members who had been extremely active in a number of local branches. The website of the associated group, Casuals United, was started by Chris Renton, a BNP member. The number of people on the EDL marches who choose to wear masks and balaclavas no doubt hides the identity of a number of members and supporters of the BNP. With further extremist right-wing protests planned in London on Friday we must all be on guard.
It is clear that the EDL and Casuals United are little more than a bunch of racists thugs who are intent on bringing violence to the streets of Britain, which the BNP in turn hope to capitalise on. The success of similar groups of BNP associated thugs in bringing violence to the streets of Oldham in 2001 should be a warning to communities that it is only by standing together and not allowing their divisive tactics to cause tensions that these yobs can be stopped.
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