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Saturday, 3 September 2011

EDL Tower Hamlets Demo Live Coverage

Updates about the above will be posted here today as information becomes available.

A little after midday, the Casuals United blog reported that 1,000 EDL had arrived at King’s Cross and a further 300 at Liverpool Street Station.  An earlier report stated that there were also 500 EDL supporters at pubs in Covent Garden. At this stage, it is unclear how many supporters UAF have managed to muster for their counter-demonstration, but last year’s UAF anti-EDL gathering in the borough managed to attract circa 5,000 local residents, the vast majority of them being Muslims. For some background on recent police perceptions of the EDL, including the views of the ‘National Association of Muslim Police’, see the article Celebrities note the Death of London and the EDL prepares for Tower Hamlets.

Unsurprisingly, the SWP reports that ‘Anti-racists are travelling from across Britain to join the protest today’, illustrating the mentally challenged universe inhabited by its supporters who purport to be unable to distinguish an ideology – Islam – from a race. Moreover, a speaker from the Islamic Forum of Europe addressed the assembled 'anti-fascists' with much approbation being expressed by the latter.Trade unionists should be aware that their subs have supported the attendance of delegations from Unison, the RMT, NASUWT, the UCU, the PCS, the GMB and Unite at the UAF counter-demonstration. One rabid SWP supporting student from Edinburgh University – Georgious Theodoridis – demonstrated the intolerance of so-called anti-fascism and its demand for complete ideological conformity to its dogma in the following words:
If you get the state to ban one demo they can ban them all. To beat fascists you need to take on the real problems in our society—they are not caused by immigration.
Thus speaks an indoctrinated leftist droid. I don't know about you, but I've never seen one of these phantom fascists which he refers to. When he talks of banning demos, you know of course that he is aggrieved only with the fact that the SWP/UAF march was banned, for he does not think that the EDL has the right to demonstrate.

There have been some reports that the Communist-led RMT union - General Secretary Bob Crow - has closed King's Cross Station on spurious 'health and safety' grounds in an attempt to stop EDL supporters from reaching Tower Hamlets (video footage here). Later reports posted on the Vlad Tepes blog state that King's Cross Station reopened at around 2.20pm, after the EDL's static demonstration had begun. According to the Gates of Vienna blog, the EDL demo began at 2pm as planned, but it has had to take place just outside of Tower Hamlets because access to the borough had effectively been denied. However, this contradicts a later report from the Casuals United blog that '1200 marched to Tower Hamlets. No sign of any Muslims.' Both elements of the statement strike me as odd, given that marches have been banned and that no Muslims were in evidence given the demographic characteristics of the area. From the brief, and frankly bizarre video clip at the following link (Stephen Lennon aka Tommy Robinson turned up dressed as a rabbi in a false beard), it seems that the main EDL static demonstration took place outside of Aldgate Station. He was arrested a little after 3.20pm for breaking his bail conditions.

The SWP report that the UAF counter-demonstrators have ignored Home Secretary Teresa May's banning order: 'Several hundred anti-racist protesters have marchedfrom their rally to Osborn St, at the bottom of Brick Lane.'  If this proves to be the case, why didn't the police prevent it, being aware of the violence perpetrated by UAF demonstrators at previous gatherings? 

The police blogger Inspector Gadget provides some interesting observations on events this afternoon:
There has also been some trouble in Commercial Street between local Bengali youths and the police. Things seemed to have quietened down now but there are groups of EDL and Bengali youth wandering around the area. Bottles are being hurled at police and press from EDL supporters. The kit is now going on.
But no doubt you will be told it all went off quietly.
However, since the above quote was posted from the Inspector Gadget blog, it and all attached comments appear to have been removed.

BBC coverage of the demonstrations has been poor, with the corporation once again describing the EDL as 'far right'. Video footage of the SWP-led UAF counterdemonstration can be viewed here. As for overall turnout today, the Casuals United blog makes a claim of 2,000 EDL supporters, who at 4.45pm were reported to be marching across Tower Bridge away from Tower Hamlets (video of EDL marching past the Tower of London here). The demonstration appears to have passed off relatively peacefully, with one report suggesting that as of 6.30pm there had been four arrests. As is customary in press releases relating to EDL demonstrations, the report omitted to mention whether these arrests were of EDL supporters or of counter-demonstrators.

EDL at King's Cross Station

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