If the EDL were footed a bill for the cost of the policing, special transport arrangements, and public liability insurance, and any loss of trading for local business, this would put the EDL out of action, as I said before. It would be like tax bills were for Al Capone!
Comment 2 From: Siobhan Date: 10 October 2009, 19:57
Our side needs to get a clearer message out and be more organized. Today, some of the folks at the counter demo were chanting things like, 'If it weren't for the coppers you'd be dead.' And some really tried to push past police to get into a physical confrontation with the EDL.
Comment 3 From: juohn tamburri Date: 10 October 2009, 20:06
just sad that this good country people are joining the BNP, and the edl because there seems to be no hope with our mps to do something about immigration. This country has given refuge to millions but it cannot go on at the rate it is as it’s a breading ground for hatred on all sides. Let’s all work together for a better future for all people of every race and be proud to call ourselves British as if we don’t i fear the worse
Comment 6 From: harry Date: 10 October 2009, 20:51
A worrying number of locals who came out in support of the e.d.l. and why sound surprised. Wake up.
Comment 7 From: Mr Smith Date: 10 October 2009, 21:41
I'm confused, you lay the blame for any violence squarely at the door of the EDL. You suppose that they were "looking for trouble". You claim that some were known Nazis. Can you name some of them then? Can you explain how you came to your conclusions? Perhaps you can explain them in the light of this quote : "UAF spokesman Mike Gilligan said: "It was a tremendously successful day for the anti-racist movement. They (EDL) were only able to protest because of the police that stood between them and 2,000 anti-racists. They were run out of town". They were run out of town and only able to protest because the police were protecting them from the UAF? So who was looking for violence? It seems that the UAF were very clearly after violence. And so on ot the costs issue. How much would it have cost if the UAF had decided to hold their demo on a different day, how much cheaper had they decided to allow the EDL the basic right of freedom of speech. Why confront the EDL? Why not allow them to demonstrate quietly and peacefully and then hold an anti demo the following week? Or is it the aim of an "anti fascist" to act like a true fascist and block free speech when it does not fit in with their world view? What have the UAF achieved other than to try to be threatening, cause the police a hard time and look for trouble? Incidentally why were some of the UAF wearing T Shirts that celebrated the tragedy of 9/11? What sort of message is that to give?
Comment 9 From: me Date: 10 October 2009, 22:26
The EDL wouldn’t need police if the so called anti fascists didn’t show up and tried to stop them from saying their very simple message! do these people actually support people who will openly wage hate campaigns against Britain? at the moment that seems to be the case!
Comment 11 From: Steve Date: 10 October 2009, 23:36
UAF have to accept responsibility for a great deal of the cost of policing to days protest. It would be far more sensible to allow the police to do their job without having to worry about counter demos and associated hot heads that get involved. I also think these counter demos play into the EDL's hands. They would get very bored of meeting up , standing around for 3 hours and then going home if you lot were not there for them to chant at or chase around! let the police do their job, and stop providing the entertainment for the EDL!
Comment 13 From: Moondog Date: 11 October 2009, 00:37
I really think anti-fascists are playing a dangerous game by this constant insistence that the EDL are right-wing extremists. It reminds me of America's implacable dismissals of Castro's early protestations that he wasn't a communist - we risk creating a similarly self-fulfilling prophecy. I make no distinction between fascists and Islamists - both groups seek to deprive us of our freedom as we define it. I have been out leafleting for HNH in the past and will do so again. However, the prevailing mood among anti-fascists smacks of the current fashion for scapegoating the white working class for all of society's ills and I will have no part of it.
Nick replies: Hi John. We have been careful to try and explain the nature of the EDL. We have never called the organisation fascist or Nazi because it clearly isn't. However, at its core, the EDL is driven by racism and a dislike of Muslim. In the next issue of Searchlight we shall be revealing the politics of those driving the EDL forward.
However, I do agree that we have to be careful not to demonise white working class people as a whole.
Comment 14 From: dave roberts Date: 11 October 2009, 02:20
All the UAF need to do is stand up to aggressive supremacist Islamic organisations and the need for losers like the EDF will disappear....don't complain about the EDL - steal their thunder and challenge Islamic organisations that use confrontation language towards non-Muslims and minorities like homosexuals.....
Comment 15 From: Fos Date: 11 October 2009, 03:04
You UAF people seem to be openly calling for violence against the EDL on a blog called Hope Not Hate. The very name of your blog is the most laughable hypocrisy. I read that the UAF mob are actually endorsed by both Labour and Conservative members. Do you know now why more and more of us refuse to vote? Mainstream politics is no longer interested in anything even resembling truth. The government and the political mainstream have failed to provide stability. The police actually seem to be the only ones who are maintaining a sense of fairness at the moment. As a minarchist I support the police in this. Free speech needs to be protected from the fanaticism of both right and left. I have no hope whatsoever that my message will be absorbed by anti-fascists. But maybe others who come across this blog will agree with me that freedom and tolerance for the opinions of others are the only civilising factor.
Comment 16 From: Danny Date: 11 October 2009, 04:02
How can you call us Nazi's? Did you not see the Black & White unite signs? Also their was quite a few black lads with us. Oh yeah and what kind of Nazi's brandish a flag of David? Sort your heads out.
Comment 18 From: Daryl... Date: 11 October 2009, 05:04
The real tragedy of the UK is that extremist parties like the BNP have ruined any chance for normal people to voice their just and warranted concerns over extremist Muslim activists in the UK. I still remember people dressed as suicide bombers in the middle of London threatening murder to anyone who insulted their prophet character. I also still remember that scores of people died after publications of a cartoon. (A CARTOON!!) And that the western media was absolutely spineless in following suit and not reproducing it anywhere. We have to reach back about ten years to where extremists and their mindless actions would not threaten our freedom of expression, and our ability to freely speak about what is on our minds. Daryl...
Comment 19 From: Joo Joo Date: 11 October 2009, 07:59
There is a big difference between patriotism and racism, It seems that in this day it is seen as racist to be a patriot. To "love" England as the US loves the USA is seen as racist. I believe that immigration is too high in this country, I also believe this, Islamic people tend not integrate with our culture, as they have their own laws in place, and generally disregard ours. Sharia Law in place in the UK? In time maybe. I’m not racist, I have Asian and black friends, but what the EDL are saying is control immigration, just like France, Spain, Germany, Italy and all over Europe. It will always take something like the EDL to get control of this situation as the three main parties will not tackle it through scared of being racists.
Comment 22 From: Lee Date: 11 October 2009, 11:33
There would not have been any need for a lot of policing if the UAF did not show up, why not have UAF pay the bill... They are government funded...
Comment 25 From: Adder Date: 11 October 2009, 19:33
Question to Nick. How do you feel about the UAF openly and loudly disrupting the 2 minutes silence that the EDL had for the troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some I admit acknowledged it and remained silent but some, including the woman with the loudspeaker continued to yell abuse at the EDL throughout a minutes silence. As a good friend to some soldiers I find this extremely disrespectful, regardless of your thoughts on the EDL the fact is they were holding a minutes silence for soldiers fighting for this country and that 2 minutes silence should have being respected.
[Nick replies: Well, I wasn't there so I don't feel I can comment on this precise case. I don't know what the woman was saying, whether she was speaking into the megaphone before the two minutes had begun and so was simply continuing her protest whilst not accepting the EDL protest, or indeed, she was deliberately shouting down the two minute silence.
However, let's get real here. The EDL was using the two-minute silence as a political gimmick to further their anti-Muslim agenda. That opponents of the EDL ignored an EDL decided silence is hardly a surprise and or a big political issue.
Comment 26 From: Michael Brooke Date: 11 October 2009, 22:21
Why does anyone like the UAF have to brand people who want to be British as Nazis?
Comment 27 From: chris b Date: 11 October 2009, 23:07
I think that the UAF are playing a very dangerous game in outsourcing their anti-EDL response to Young male Muslims. In Birmingham a number of white anti-EDl protestors were attacked mistakenly by Muslim males who clearly were unsure of who or what the enemy is. But they had been made to believe that it was a race issue therefore white UAF supporters ended up getting attacked. Also I deplore all forms of racism and violence so I would implore the editors of this site to monitor the language used by some of the well meaning contributors on this comments section. Some of it sounds like the language of hate which this website surely wishes to eradicate?
[Nick replies: I have actually tried to allow people of slightly different opinions to raise issues on the topic of the EDL. However, I will not accept racist, fascist, homophobic, sexist and anti-Semitic language - and let me tell you there have been several hundred comments which I have had to reject. If the odd one has slipped through then I apologise and I will take more care in the future]
Comment 28 From: bethechange Date: 11 October 2009, 23:47
We need to change the debate. we're losing hearts and minds when we stoop the EDL level - "they shout, we shout louder". if we're serious about 'hope, not hate' we need to really look at who we're trying to convince and get out and talk to them. surely we do that by ignoring the EDL, and talking to real people about their fears and aspirations. we need to minimise the EDL impact by talking rationally, and ridiculing their hysterical notions and premises. not, by over-reacting, shouting and screaming, so no one can distinguish us from them.
Comment 29 From: Jim Carroll Date: 13 October 2009, 13:54
Agree largely with comment 28. UAF need to get to grips with the fact that the EDL and its offshoots are not the same as the NF of the 1970's or the BNP in its street activist days. Although they certainly have a core of racists and some fascist input they do not seem to have much ideological coherence beyond being against Islam to a greater or lesser degree. Going through the members of the Scottish Defence League Facebook group this morning I could find very few identifiable members of far right groups and a surprisingly large number of women. Whilst I wouldn’t oppose UAF counter demonstrations I think that we have to be more focussed in how we oppose the EDL and to get beyond just seeming to automatically identify people as Nazis when clearly there are broader issue involved.
Comment 32 From: JJ Date: 13 October 2009, 16:29
Nick, Why doesn't the home office find away to look into why the protests are occurring and why right wing movements are growing?. This is not just a problem in the UK - it is happening all over Europe. A good example would be Mr Geert Wilders and his anti-Islamic party (PVV) in the Netherlands. A lot of genuine people are concerned by the growth of Islam and extremism within this country and Europe as a whole. Extreme Muslims are not helping. Simply brandishing people as racist (Islam is a religion NOT a race, therefore giving no basis to the accusations of racism) is the only thing the liberal governments are doing to oppose this. The problem will only go away when solutions are sort on both sides. I am not in support of the EDL or the UAF - they both appear to be as violent as each other (it also makes me laugh when UAF members appear to be shouting 'Nazi scum!' - they clearly have no idea about Nazi ideology and Nazism - it is well known that Hitler was an admirer of Islam and sharia law he makes reference in Mein Kampf). If what you claim happens and the home office stops EDL protests, then by law it would also be obliged to stop the protests of UAF and any other potentially violent protests (including Muslims protests in favour of sharia law). This is a democratic society, theoretically everybody is allowed to voice their opinions. The EDL are condoning violence, UAF and extremist Muslims (which do exist; look at recent acts of terrorism and murders within both Europe and the wider world committed in the name of Islam) are also condoning violence. This site clearly had a problem with the BNP, EDL and other right wing movements - I share this sentiment. However, I don't think that throwing eggs at BNP members and inciting violence whenever there is a EDL protest is going to stop them. I know a member of UAF and I know how much he condones violence as method of getting his point across. The BNP has broken into mainstream politics legally and therefore have as much right as labour etc. to speak their policies and opinions. Encouraging violence and making accusations is only going to make things worse. Going back Geert Wilders for example, it is well known that his popularity increased due to death threats made against him - it is simply proving his point. Muslims in large numbers need to start showing that they are outraged by terrorist atrocities, instead of keeping silent as this is not helping their religion of peace claims. Only then will the right wing stop growing. Sadly, I don't believe that Islam is a peaceful religion (so far there is much more evidence to support this statement than the contrary), and therefore feel that the short period of European tolerance is very quickly coming to an end. Look all around Europe at the sad growth of the right and down right extreme right parties. The current governments need to start asking why is this not going away, and coming up with real policies not just saying the word racist and intolerant which due to political correctness gone mad are starting to look like jokes and lose all meaning due to over use, thus overshadowing real racism.