I meant to write about this before. You probably heard that a collection of Nazis and football hooligans attempted to colonise a spot in Birmingham to hold a rally against Islam on Saturday. Feeling a bit flush after the BNP's electoral success, the far right are attempting to sieze the initiative on the streets. Some of them are engaging directly in violent attacks, but these guys are pretending to be Ordinary Decent Hardworking People. They are organised under entities known as "Casuals United" and the "English Defence League". The EDL is a BNP-linked organisation that professes to oppose 'Islamification' (finally a word that rhymes with 'ramification'). The last time "Casuals United" were seen, they were involved in rioting in Luton in England shirts and balaclavas. But they're awfully coy about any association with far right politics, their placards insisting that 'we are not BNP and we are not racists'. It's not clear who this is supposed to convince. The weird thing is, it is the BNP who are now trying to disassociate themselves from the EDL, even pretending to be rather distressed by how dangerous the group is.
Anyway, these idiots tried to stage their protest in front of the Bull Ring shopping centre, but had to give up that idea when about 300 anti-fascist activists turned up in response to a UAF alert. They were driven off elsewhere and staged their protest under police protection until a few hundred local youths turned up and confronted them. And that's when it all went downhill for the fash. They were outnumbered, pincered by the kids, and some of them - it pains me to say this - appear to have got their heads kicked in. (I seem to recall there used to be a terrace song about getting your fucking head kicked in?) The Times reports today that the English Defence League is in serious disarray after being so comprehensively outmanned and outmanoeuvred:
Given that these people have an alarming propensity for attacking Asian residences and shops, their humiliating defeat can only be welcomed. But they are going ahead with other plans:
Despite efforts to promote the event, fewer than 100 were thought to have gathered. Left-wing groups including Unite Against Fascism were alerted to the march and were able to organise a counter demonstration.
One member of the League’s online forum, registered as Adder, wrote: “I support you guys but yesterday was a shambles and you made us English look like an embarrassment. What exactly happened to supposed 'In the high hundreds' who were supposed to turn up? I saw the video and it seemed like there was barely 70 of you.
“Holding it such a high profile public place, ridiculous idea [sic]. That's just asking for normal civilians minding their own business to get attacked.”
Neil Edy, another member of the website, said: “I went to the march ... the turn out to the event wasnt good enuf only a few of us were there supporting the cause.”
Another sympathiser, calling himself Bill, said that he had not been able to find the others: “We were in the City most the afternoon, but then left as we had no one to contact and meet with, and we werent the only ones.”
Despite the failure of the first large event, the League insists it will continue to hold demonstrations. Comments on the group’s website, and the affiliated football hooliganism site Casuals United said that the next one would be bigger.
One message on the Casuals United site read: “We will arrange it via the Inner Circles secret forums, so we will arrive unnanounced and neither the police or the scum will know any details.”
Such bravado. Some luck. If these people aren't already thoroughly penetrated by the security services, they probably will be by this evening. A much larger gathering of the far right to contend with is the BNP's "red, white and blue" showcase event in Codnor this Saturday. In attendance will be an array of criminals and crackpots from across Europe, as well as the BNP's cadre whom the party leadership hope will one day be the nucleus of a well-oiled fascist machine. You are cordially invited by Unite Against Fascism to pop along and help 'kettle' the BNP.