It’s not really in the EDL Extra remit to comment on issues which aren’t directly related to militant Islam, sharia law, etc. and the EDL itself.
I don’t think there is a political interpretation, strictly speaking, on recent events. Let’s just face facts. One fact is that many young men simply enjoy rioting and violence. Full stop. It’s exciting and gives them an ‘ultimate buzz’.
Here again there isn’t really a political slant to all this. Poverty or ‘social deprivation’ don’t force youths to steal plasma surround-sound TVs. Greed and weak consciences do. This wasn’t the ‘cry of the oppressed’ or a gut reaction to poverty and ‘inner-city deprivation’. It may well have been more about boredom and dull lives than poverty and frustration.
It can be freely admitted that there hasn’t been a single cause of the riots. In fact, there ain’t really ever a single cause of anything (from a wood fire to a revolution). So, yes, some of the rioters may have been poor or unemployed. But that alone doesn’t explain - let alone justify - the riots. After all, for every unemployed rioter there are dozens of unemployed people who haven’t rioted and looted over the last few days. Indeed many people have suffered levels of poverty that are far worse than anything experienced in the UK today and yet they have still not stolen things, let alone rioted.
But poverty and unemployment may still have something to do with what’s gone on. It’s just that poverty, etc. are not the only reasons we can cite. So it’s best beware of outrightly political takes, whether left or right, on what’s gone on. And, no, it’s certainly not a ‘civil war’ or even anything to do with race; certainly not in the case of the ‘copycat riots’ outside of London’s Tottenham (from Leeds to Bristol).
So it is completely acceptable to punish all the rioters who are caught as well as to morally condemn them. They are culpable. And they are still culpable even if they unemployed or ‘easily led’. Others factors can be accounted for without reneging on strong punishments/imprisonments for these rioters and looters. These people have ruined many people’s lives by ruining many people’s businesses - sometimes by burning shops, furniture stores, etc. to the ground. Indeed many lives could have been lost. Nothing can justify that sort of behaviour even if sociological factors may explain - not justify - (some of) it.
What should the EDL do? Well, it’s not for me to say. However, any help, especially collective EDL help, will come in handy for tidying up the streets, checking on the elderly and even making sure young ones are kept out of trouble when there’s so much temptation (to riot and loot) around.
As for the handful of mentions of ‘EDL vigilantism’ I’ve heard suggested on various FaceBook forums. I wouldn’t rush into that because it’s the police’s job to keep control of things even when they don’t - or can’t - keep control of things. However, the idea of responsible local policing by the people has a lot going for it. But it would still be up to the EDL leadership to make a statement about something as important as this. See how things go. In any case, not everything needs to be done via or in the name of the EDL.