Socialist Worker

Make a stand against the EDL racists

Thugs will rally in London's East End this Saturday–despite the home secretary's ban on marches—but they will face mass opposition

Issue No. 2267

The racist English Defence League (EDL) plans to parade in the streets of Tower Hamlets, east London, on Saturday. This is despite a ban on all marches by home secretary Theresa May.

We need the largest possible turnout against them.

The ban will prevent all marches in Tower Hamlets and four other neighbouring London boroughs for 30 days, starting on Friday.

But the EDL are clear about their intentions. Their Facebook page tells supporters, “Tower Hamlets demo is NOT banned... we will still be marching.”

East London has a proud tradition of defending multiculturalism—which is why the EDL are so desperate to come to spread their hate there.

But we can stop them.

That is why the protest against the EDL is still on. Its ­co‑organisers, Unite Against Fascism, will put the final assembly details on their ­website (

The EDL are racist street thugs funded by businessmen. They are a coalition of football hooligans and racists, with ardent Nazis at their core—all united by a hatred of Muslims and the promise of violence. They are linked to Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, the terrorist who slaughtered 77 people in a bomb attack and shooting frenzy in July. Breivik wrote extensively about his friendship with the group.

Ban or no ban, EDL protests have already led to racist attacks on Asians, their homes and shops.

The EDL has grown over the past two years, organising rampages through towns and cities across the country.

Members of the Nazi British National Party (BNP) are at the heart of the group.


Some BNP activists did not like the party’s attempt to look respectable. They refused to hide the violence they need to bring about their aims. These people found a home in the EDL.

It increasingly behaves like a classic fascist organisation. Not content with beating up Muslims and attacking mosques, they have also tried to whip up hatred against trade unionists and student protesters.

They attempted to set up vigilante groups after last month’s riots, targeting young black people in particular. The EDL even has a uniform.

We can’t simply wish these thugs away. We need to confront the EDL wherever they try to march or rally. We have to take the fight against fascism into our communities, workplaces, schools and places of worship.

State bans won’t stop fascism. Only a mass movement can do that.

The new assembly point for the joint Unite Against Fascism/United East End demonstration against the English Defence League has been announced.

It will assemble at the corner of Whitechapel Road and Vallance Road near the East London Mosque at 11am (Nearest tube Whitechapel).

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