Monday, 12 October 2009
EDL VERSUS MANCHESTER
This is just a brief report, largely cribbed from the Morning Star so I would be grateful for people to add comments below so everyone gets a more accurate view of the days proceedings.
Nazis planning an anti-Islamic demonstration in Manchester were forced back on Saturday following a mass counter-protest by anti-fascists. The English Defence League (EDL) was outnumbered by more than three to one by people of all races determined to defend Britain's diverse cultural mix.
Unite Against Fascism (UAF) said that the 4-500 EDL activists had been "run out of town" by 2,500 counter-protesters who occupied most of Piccadilly Gardens, destroying the organisers' plan to hold a rally and sing the national anthem on the spot.
Greater Manchester UAF spokesman Mike Gilligan hailed it as a "very successful day for the anti-racist movement" against a far-right march on a scale unseen in the city for decades.
"The number of counter-protesters was inspiring, representing a multicultural Manchester," said Mr Gilligan. "Our protesters reflected the energy, particularly of young people, who showed their disgust at the racists trying to group together in Manchester city centre," he added.
Members of EDL made nazi salutes and traded insults over a line of riot police which separated the two groups of protesters.Five hundred police officers attended the scene and police made 48 arrests, around 32 from the EDL ranks. Grounds for arrest included suspicion of public order offences, affray, possession of an offensive weapon and racially aggravated public order offences.
UAF described the police as "heavy-handed," with at least three anti-fascists bitten by police dogs. Fellow activists charged the police with "protecting fascists."
Links between the EDL and groups such as Casuals United and militant white supremacists Racial Force have sparked calls from some anti-fascist activists for increased activity in the struggle to suppress these groups. Thousands of anti-fascists are currently organising to neutralise planned far-right rallies in coming weeks by the English, Welsh and Scottish Defence leagues in Swansea, Newport, Leeds and Glasgow. Anti-fascists are also planning to hold a national demonstration to allow the British public to express its opposition to the far right.
The EDL had intended to march through Manchester.
The EDL intended to demonstrate outside a mosque and to insult worshippers of Islam.
The EDL had intended to control the main square and make it an Anti Islam and white power focus.
They were not permitted to do so by the mobilisation of large forces by UAF.
However,there were still far too many.
There seems to be some question whether it was 200 or 500.
Whatever the accurate figure it was clearly too many.
They are planning another demo on October 31st.In Leeds.
This must be rigorously opposed.