The stewards are the EDL’s front line. They take shit from all sides. Leon McCreery, the chief steward, has even been stabbed in the neck with a broken bottle while protecting another steward, head butted, kicked, punched and, of course, insulted. But Leon has said that he will do the same job again tomorrow if there’s another demo. Most EDL stewards think the same. As Leon puts it: ‘We don’t want the EDL going tits up.’
EDL stewards have it coming at them from three directions: from the police, from UAF/MDL scum and even from our ‘own side’. I would say though that any violence from the EDL side is the result of infiltrators or people who join the demos just for a simple scrap. As soon as anyone, EDL or not, touches a steward, he should be kicked out of the EDL. Simple as.
At the demos with a good EDL-steward presence, there have been few or zero arrests. For example, the two demos in London – zero arrests. The Newcastle demo – zero arrests. Even at Bolton there were only a few arrests. (The vast majority of people arrested on that day were UAF/SWP/MDL/OAP.)
EDL stewards are members from all EDL divisions around the country, from Birmingham to Barnsley. Technically they operate in teams of five or six. The team leader always wears an orange high vis and the rest will wear yellow ones. In addition, medics wear green and charity workers wear blue. Everyone so far mentioned must report to the two chief stewards: Leon McCreery and Andy Wirral. So it is pretty well-organised… on a good day.
You could have seen how bad things can get without EDL stewards at the last Dudley demo. We (many EDL) were in Dudley car park. And, yes, there was trouble. Mainly because of reports of Muslims running riot in Dudley and attacking any infidel they could find. The problem was, though, that all the stewards – plus about a thousand EDL - had been kept, by West Mids Police, in Tipton – at the Harriers Pub. Because of this, there were no EDL stewards to come between us and the police. You can guess that there were a few injuries because of this. Many more than there would have been had we had EDL stewards taking charge of things.
Having said all that about EDL stewards, the average EDL member at a demo should control himself regardless of the stewards. It is up to all of us to keep the EDL house in order. If there are no visible stewards, that should not be an excuse to riot. If we believe in the EDL cause, all EDL-ers should be their own stewards – in an ideal situation, that is. Until then, EDL stewards will do their bit to further the cause of the EDL and its fight against radical Islam and Islamification.