Socialist Worker

Where next for the campaign to stop the EDL?

Issue No. 2217

EDL supporters in Bradford last weekend (Pic: Duncan Brown)

EDL supporters in Bradford last weekend (Pic: Duncan Brown)

The EDL suffered a setback in Bradford. Its plans for a “summer of tension” have been frustrated.

In June it called off its protest in east London’s Tower Hamlets in the face of a massive counter-mobilisation.

Its return to Dudley in July, scene of their biggest mobilisation to date earlier in the year, saw their numbers decline significantly.

The EDL believed that it could restore momentum to its racist campaign with Bradford. But its gamble failed.

Despite this it has not been dealt a knock-out blow and will continue to attempt to menace Asian communities across Britain.

Anti-fascist mobilisations led by UAF have helped stop the EDL from rampaging in a number of towns and cities.

This is a vital lesson. But we need much bigger numbers to drive them off the streets for good. Bradford is a stepping stone towards creating the mass movement we need.

Martin Smith, a UAF national officer, told the We Are Bradford event, “It’s right that everyone stands united against racism.

“Wherever the EDL go, we are not going to stay in our homes and rely on others to stop them. But we have a problem. We’ve had 29 demonstrations against the EDL but we haven’t had big enough ones to stop them.”

Martin pointed to the importance of the national march and carnival in early November against racism, Islamophobia and fascism for creating a mass movement.

It’s been called by UAF, the Muslim Council of Britain and Love Music Hate Racism and has the backing of the TUC.

Martin said, “I want to invite all of you to the London demonstration on 6 November. This will help build our forces up.”

Martin Smith faces charges

Martin Smith faces a serious charge following the protest against British National Party leader Nick Griffin’s appearance on the BBC’s Question Time programme last year.

He has been charged with assaulting a police officer—a charge he strenuously denies.

Show your support for Martin at South Western Magistrates Court, 176a Lavender Hill, London SW11 1JU at 9am on Tuesday 7 September.

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