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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Keighley EDL Demo: Background and Coverage

Following the recent arrest of ten men (eight of whom were from Keighley) for a grooming case involving a 14-year-old Keighley girl, the EDL took the decision to hold a demonstration in the West Yorkshire town. The men are believed to be from a Muslim background owing to the language employed in connection with the case, with "community leaders" (which in the Keighley context is code for Muslim) having been "briefed" by the police in connection with the operation.

As detailed previously, Keighley has had a significant problem with paedophile grooming for a number of years, with Muslim men targeting and abusing English girls. To the credit of former MP Anne Cryer, she has done much to address this problem and other negative issues associated with certain "cultural practices" emanating from the "Muslim community", but evidently this has not been as effective as it should have been, for it has been reported that police and social services have continued to be reluctant to tackle allegations of grooming involving "Asian males". That Cryer managed to change the law to make grooming for sex a criminal offence was a considerable achievement, but the existence of a reluctance, at least until recently, to tackle such crimes, indicates that more needs to be done to apply the law and to take allegations of grooming seriously; they need to be acted upon without fear of "offending community sensibilities" and irrespective of any thought that these could lead to either the police or social services being perceived as "racist". Indeed, the worst obstacle to effectively tackling such crimes seems to originate with other legislation calling for "respect" for "cultural diversity" and the implicit and misguided assumptions about "institutional racism" that this contains. Ultimately, if the problem of grooming perpetrated by gangs of Muslim males is to be tackled as it should be, the legislation flowing from the Macpherson Report needs to be ditched, along with its central spurious concept of "institutional racism".

The recent rise of the EDL may it seems, have contributed towards prompting the police to act against Muslim paedophile gangs, with recent prominent cases involving groomers resident in Rochdale and Oxford. In the notorious Rochdale case, police and social services were once again said to have been aware of the crimes that were taking place, but had failed to tackle them for years because of fears of being accused of "racism". Taking these facts into consideration, a campaigning organisation such as the EDL clearly needed to come into existence to compel the authorities to take the reality of this phenomenon seriously and, most importantly, to act to tackle it. Thus, although Anne Cryer and other local political figures such as Keighley Central Councillor Khadim Hussain have called upon the EDL to cancel their demo, it seems that such protests could continue to be necessary to keep this issue in the public eye and ensure that it is tackled and not swept under the target. It therefore appears disingenuous for Councillor Hussain to state in an interview with the Telegraph and Argus:
These people are outsiders who have no interest in Keighley at all. They are only coming into Keighley to fuel unrest and animosity among the communities who are living peacefully together.
Such words appear to be aimed squarely at his core Muslim constituents who comprise the bulk of the voting bloc within Keighley Central, rather than genuinely representing the intention of the demonstrators. It is precisely the stance of individuals such as Hussain that creates resentment owing to its dismissive attitude towards the stated concerns of the EDL.

It is not expected that today's demo will be a large one, but protesters will be heading to the Keighley pub - The Commercial - from 12pm as their assembly point, with the demo itself taking place at nearby Church Green at 2pm. Other pubs in the town centre are reported to be shutting down for the afternoon, which given the current tough economic climate will be an unwelcome additional burden upon publicans, although it could well be a sensible precautionary measure.

The Keighley EDL Division Facebook page states that the demo will also feature speeches. Those who have followed reporting such demos previously, will be aware that they are generally accompanied by counter-demonstrations that necessitate an expensive policing operation, yet on this occasion at least the Bradford spokesman for one anti-EDL campaign group - Hope not Hate - has called for people not to demonstrate against the EDL. Moreover, another local councillor named Abid Hussain has sensibly appealed to Muslims in Keighley to ensure that there is "no confrontation" with the demonstrators. On the other hand, local Conservative MP Kris Hopkins has shamefully stated that "regrettably, current legislation does not provide for such a gathering to be banned". Clearly, Mr Hopkins's support for freedom of speech and assembly is somewhat deficient. If MPs such as Hopkins did their jobs properly, there would be no need for the EDL to exist. Sadly, this is evidently not the case.

Live Coverage and Updates
Twitter is currently full of tweets about the upcoming demo, but the most reliable information is likely to be accessible via the West Yorkshire Police hashtag #KeighleyDemo  

Thus far, it seems that the anti-EDL tweeters are in the majority. Someone named Mohammed Shafiq has stated that he will be in Keighley today filming for a BBC documentary. It seems that an SWP-inspired group named "We are Keighley" (WAK) has sprung into existence rather like the "We are Bristol" SWP front group created to counter the EDL's recent Bristol demo. Has it just latched onto the "We are" verbal formula, or is it genuinely SWP controlled? One of WAK's tweeters named Sana Majeed seemed to imply something threatening by tweeting: "Can't believe they're protesting in Keighley. Asian populated area. They won't survive." This sort of inflammatory language, from whichever side it originates, is grossly irresponsible.

The anti-EDL Hope not Hate blog believes that turnout at today's demo will be low (which could well be the case), claiming that whereas the EDL's North East Division has previously chartered coaches to attend protests, today it is rumoured that its contingent has managed to fit "into one car". As can be seen from the picture at this link, it seems that members of a breakaway group from the EDL - the North East Infidels - are also present at today's protest. A number of people have tweeted that the police presence in Keighley is significant, but unlike at a number of other EDL demos, no fencing has been set up to contain the EDL protest.

A little before midday, Hope not Hate reported that the police had taken one EDL supporter in for questioning in central Bradford, where circa 50 had gathered prior to heading to Keighley. Shortly afterwards, a post on the Casuals United blog claimed that there were 120 EDL protesters "marching through Bradford" to Keighley (via Bradford Forster Square Station presumably). As of 1.30pm, BBC reporter Len Tingle tweeted that there were circa 150 EDL demonstrators in Keighley, and just before 2pm revealed that a "thunderflash firework" had gone off on the edge of the demo, without specifying who had thrown it. At 2.35pm Tingle stated that the police had brought buses in "to ferry" the EDL back to the railway station as they do not wish to risk them walking through town. Looking at the relatively small numbers in the pictures below, this does not suggest that they are concerned about potential violence on the part of the demonstrators, but from elsewhere. Presumably they cannot be about to board them at this point, as the demo has only been in progress for 35 minutes.

According to BBC Look North, two EDL demonstrators were arrested this afternoon. Keighley News noted that the demonstration passed largely without incident, with the 160 demonstrators being taken away from the scene of the demo aboard double-decker buses. However, it did note that at least two fireworks were let off and that police and demonstrators had "clashed" this afternoon. As in the Len Tingle tweet, no reference was to made as to the origins of the fireworks. The next EDL demonstration is scheduled for 1st September in Walthamstow, having been put back from its original date this month.

EDL Keighley Demo: Protestors with Banner

EDL Demonstrators on Church Green, Keighley


  1. Although many do not agree with the method the EDL use to protest it is time someone said what the majority of people in the Region think but are too frightened to say out loud in fear of retribution. If the law will not protect innocent young girls then who will? It is irrelevant whether these instigators of violence against young girls are black or white - time the government did something about it instead of just talk about it.....


    2. It does seem that this issue is now being taken rather more seriously by the authorities, with the EDL having contributed to the raised profile of this type of crime. The expense engendered by policing these demonstrations may also be assisting in focusing attention on addressing this problem.

  2. They are too frightened to address these issues and because the perpetrators know this are able to carry out these activities with perceived impunity. It is just another form of appeasement and as we all know appeasement NEVER works.

    I fully support the EDL in highlighting these activities and long may they continue. They are bringing issues to the fore that this and the previous excuse for a government steadfastdly refuse to deal with.

    Fuck Tony Bliar and Fuck David Cameroon vote BNP and EDL, only pay cash in hand.

    Laurie -

    1. Well, I can understand why people might feel desperate enough to vote BNP, but it really is not a positive choice. As for paying cash in hand, we all need to pay taxes, painful as they are, otherwise we would end up with social services and infrastructure resembling those of Nigeria or Congo. Personally, I would not be happy with such a situation.

  3. I think what SRB means, is by paying cash in hand, you can't be monitored or tracked. Which is why they're trying to get rid of cash. I pay by cash (apart from large pruchases where cash isn't suitable) whenever I can, I don't want the State spying on me.

    I was warned of this by someone back in the mid '80s, a newspaper reporter. We were in a local wine bar and we were both regulars and I asked why he didn't just have a tab and pay by card like all the regulars. And he commented that he didn't want his spending monitored, the fact that he drank regularly, smoked or what he purchased, because it might be used against him at a later date.

    1. Good point RH. I've probably misinterpreted SRB's comment. Like you, I'm very keen on using cash and seldom use my card. The recent problems with certain electronic banking systems highlight why it is so important to retain hard cash, and always to have a certain amount of this at hand.

  4. I was at keighley edl demo.....the yorkshire police are petrified of political correctness....I held a banner "DIRTY PAEDOS WOULD LOVE SHARIA LAWS" and the police tried to stop me using it as i was offending a paedo calling him or her DIRTY"........maybe next time I should hold a banner up staing police support paedos and dont care less about the VICTIMS.......west yorkshire police have lost the plot


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