More than 1,500 anti racists and anti fascists united in Edinburgh today, Saturday 20 February, to stop the Scottish Defence League (SDL) from marching.
“They did not pass”, Luke Henderson proudly told Socialist Worker, as the last SDL member was forced onto a bus to chants and shouts from protesters.
Police had to escort SDL onto buses to be driven out of the city.
Protesters had gathered from early in the morning, determined to stop the SDL from marching. Students at Edinburgh University assembled with home made banners and placards and marched down to join the main demonstration.
The SDL could not gather more than 100 thugs. They arrived on trains and gathered in pubs. Wherever they tried to assemble together to march, they were confronted by protesters.“We stopped them assembling in one place”, said Luke, “they were unable to march–it was a real humiliation for them.”
The EDL message board is filled with angry little psychos thundering about their civil liberties and rights under the UNDHR being violated. The complaint has to do with a number of their supporters being arrested for incitement to breach of peace and detained at the police station, which they maintain, in a hilariously melodramatic diatribe, breaches several articles of the UNDHR. One only has to look at their leading personnel (Nazis and thugs), the content of their online communications (boggle-eyed bewilderment that we haven't deported all the Muslims from Europe as yet), and the statements of founders like Paul Ray (who looks forward to "acts of war" against the Muslim community), to see what contempt these morons have for human rights. The UK is not alone in producing dangerously stupid white men who imagine that any inconvenience to them, even an abridgement on their capacity to beat or intimidate others, actually amounts to a violation of their rights. But I remind you that this is the land of the 'metric martyr'. Think on it. Incidentally, perhaps the EDL would have had an easier time of things if they hadn't advertised that their protest was likely to result in a bit of GBH. And quite possibly their record of engaging in violent mayhem, such as their rampage in Stoke, counted against them. And it may count against them in Bolton, whose council has written to the Home Secretary to request that the EDL's scheduled protest should be banned. Now, I'm all for free speech and that (oh, who heckled just then?), but street gangs beating up passing Asians on the off-chance that they might be of the Muslim faith isn't actually included in the category of 'free speech'. So, I won't lose any sleep if they're banned. And if they're not, I will be glad to see UAF members outnumber them, block their march, repel every attempt they make to assemble, and prevent them from doing what they've done everywhere else they've had the chance.