Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Metropolitan Police and the EDL

If you want to understand why the police are not to be relied upon when dealing with the far right, this story offers part of the answer:

Scotland Yard has been accused of underestimating the threat from the English Defence League (EDL) after the head of the unit monitoring hate groups declared it was not an extremist organisation.
In an email obtained by the Guardian, Adrian Tudway, National Co-ordinator for Domestic Extremism, said he formed the view the EDL were not extreme after reading their website.
Today the EDL, accused by Muslims of fostering hate against them, will stage a "static" demonstration in Tower Hamlets, east London, in one of their most potentially provocative displays so far.
The Metropolitan police obtained a ban against a planned march through east London by the EDL, fearing clashes with anti-fascist groups and also the prospect of British Muslim youths taking to the streets to defend their communities against feared racist attacks.
British Muslims have claimed police have not done enough to protect them against the EDL.
In an email sent on 27 April 2011, Tudway told a Muslim group they should try opening up a "line of dialogue" with the EDL, who have been accused of staging attacks and directing hostility at British Muslims.
Tudway wrote: "In terms of the position with EDL, the original stance stands, they are not extreme right wing as a group, indeed if you look at their published material on their web-site, they are actively moving away from the right and violence with their mission statement etc.
"As we discussed last time we met, I really think you need to open a direct line of dialogue with them, that might be the best way to engage them and re-direct their activity?"