Home > EDL > The EDL to Return?

The EDL to Return?

Last year a far right wing religious group was to hold a conference at the Troxy in Tower Hamlets, the English Defence League (EDL) declared their intent to oppose this conference with a collective punishment on the people of Tower Hamlets for allowing these fringe groups to exist in the same area.

Many of the Alarm contacts in this borough were involved in organising against both these groups from entering our area, but saw the EDL as the greater threat to the people of Tower Hamlets and were ready to oppose them on the day.

“Our political response was principled opposition to both events – ‘a plague on both your houses’. The views espoused by the proposed conference speakers were repellent, racist, sexist and homophobic. And the views of the EDL are no better. They affect to simply oppose Islamist extremism: its anti-Semitism, its attacks on women’s rights, its homophobia – and, of course, its terrorism. Yet a glance at the EDL message boards reveals homophobia, sexism and racism. Even if the EDL stood for what they claim to, it would still be a vile organization, given the involvement of people associated with the BNP, NF and Blood and Honour among other groups.”

The full details of our experiences can be found here. http://whitechapelanarchistgroup.wordpress.com/whitechapel-united-against-division/

A year later and the EDL attempt to again enter the streets of Tower Hamlets under the guise of a mock gay pride march. This was organised after the area had been blanketed in homophobic stickers but was called off after more and more of the organiser’s far right tendencies were revealed.

The full details can be found here.http://whitechapelanarchistgroup.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/east-end-gay-pride-a-comradely-criticism/   and here http://whitechapelanarchistgroup.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/the-plot-thickens-east-end-gay-pride-edl-links-confirmed/

Rumour has it that the EDL are planning to try and come to Tower Hamlets yet again. Details are shaky; no solid plans have been announced yet. They have already tried twice to get big crews into the area, with a few smaller cameos by the EDL seen then chased off by the local youth. They keep wanting to come here, Tower Hamlets… it’s their holy grail. Maybe they think a show of strength here will bring the numbers on their march’s back up, maybe their just out of ideas to keep their people interested.

The EDL plan to thrash racial tensions into our community, they want attacks on the Asian population, homophobia, anti Sharia law, they don’t care what reason is used as an excuse.

The other side of the coin is no better. The opposition to the EDL is swamped by outsiders from the borough coming in as the UAF. Last year the UAF refused to admit the EDL had cancelled their march, they whipped up tension in the area to breaking point, mobs of young men roamed the streets to find EDL “rapists” to vent their anger on. Of course they never found the EDL, but they did find a few innocent bystanders.

The cocktail of lies the UAF push on to a community will normally have only one goal, instead of confronting the EDL or even acknowledging the negative aspects of political Islam they want one thing. Your membership to the SWP.

The UAF’s plans are often shifting, one year will see it push for a Labour party candidate to be elected, the next a RESPECT candidate will be supported. Any form of what they call antifascism will be family friendly and walk away from the EDL under police protection. This is not Antifascism, this is liberal reformism, and we do not want it back on our streets.

We won’t stand with the Mayor Lutfur, or with the dead-end Labour men of yesterday like “red“ ken, trying to secure a few votes for their next election and we won’t stand with the Islamic Forum of Europe, and their ideological links with Jaamat i Islami.

We won’t be asking the EDL entry on to our streets to be banned by the state either; we only lose when we ask for greater powers for the police. The same laws used against an EDL march will be used to attack the young here with more powerful dispersal
zone, leading to a further eroding of our right to assembly and later will used to keep any radical defiance to the Tory’s off the streets.

We will stand with the people of Tower Hamlets to oppose the far right on the streets, as Tower Hamlets did when the Blackshirts were stopped in 1936. As Tower Hamlets did when the 43 Group fought them after the Second World War and when the fash
were finally cleared off Brick Lane and out of Bethnal Green in the 70’s.

There are rumors of the EDL entering the area, instead of getting lured in to the loud empty rhetoric of faith men and Leninists we should wait. Continue building cross community links and be prepared for the EDL if they do decide to come.

Categories: EDL
  1. 161 Unity
    June 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    A great first post from ALARM. A good reminder that we can never relax our guard!
    Once again the bogeymen of the EDL have threatened to march on Whitechaple and save us all from Islamic extremism. This despite the fact that they are largely outsiders themselves with n business in OUR community. This has been on the back of recent high profile stories relating to the placing of homophobic stickers in the area and the beating of an Re teacher for teaching Muslim girls about religion without being Muslim himself. Whilst we are not complacent about the realities of life for our gay, bisexual and transgengered comrades (of varying ethnicities) in Tower hamlets, we cannot allow the EDL to disingenuously appropriate a defence of radical sexuality as an excuse to stir up racial tensions, especially as both inside and outside of London little shrift would be given to non-heteronormative sexualities by the majority of their membership. What is for certain is that it is dangerous to allow the actions of a minority to come to represent the large and heterogeneous Muslim community of Tower Hamlets. Nor should we allow a narrative to take hold that equates Bangladeshi ethnicity exclusively with religion. This sidelines the large and well established secular part of the Bangladeshi population and serves only the interests of the EDL and groups like Islam for Europe.

    We should not allow threats from a tiny group of outsiders like the EDL to polarize OUR community and set us at each others throats. As W.A.G showed last year with it’s principled action against the supposed June 20th march of the EDL on the Whitechapel mosque, which had been called in response to a proposed UK Islamic Conference; the way to combat suspicion and division is face-to-face on the streets of the community that we all share. Details of the this can be found here. http://whitechapelanarchistgroup.wordpress.com/whitechapel-united-against-division/

    If the current threat turns out to be more than the insubstantial spectre it seem to be at present then similar tactic of community defence will be necessary to ensure that the loyalist mob of the EDL does not march and that the artificial barriers of ideology that intersect our lives are smashed down and replaced with a common identity based on class. There are harsh times ahead. Austerity will cut deep and people leading already precarious lives will look around for easy sources of blame for their troubles. We must work hard to show that the blame lies with capitalism and the international ruling class and not our neighbours who share the same predicament as we do. We said it last year and it seems appropriate to repeat it this year:
    ‘The wellspring of unity lies in the common ground that we share and the action we are prepared to take in the fight for a better future for all; regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality or religion. Solidarity is our weapon and our message is clear: CLASS WAR NOT RACE WAR! ‘

  2. karl dejoinville
    June 2, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    This time its for real you mugs.

  3. thuraltmedia
    June 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    karl dejoinville – We were wondering how long it would be before EDL sympathisers would start dropping comments on the Tower Hamlets ALARM! blog…should have had a bet on it! Just out of interest, as presumably you are an EDL sympathiser, have you any thoughts on working class unity in the face of drastic austerity measures and the worst economic crisis in living memory? Have you ever wondered that in the face of what the economic crisis means for working class people like myself, that the EDL are an unwanted distraction? Just a thought…

    • 161 Unity
      June 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      Spot on comment. The EDL will become increasingly irrelevant as the cuts start to bite and social movements begin to sweep across Europe. Cross class unity is what we need, not petty nationalism and loyalsim to a ruling class that would see us eat dirt if it helped maintain their privilege.

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