Socialist Worker

Desperate EDL leaders gamble all on a return to Waltham Forest

by Martin Smith
Issue No. 2320

Tommy Robinson (centre) wondering where his stormtroopers have got to in Walthamstow on 1 September (Pic: Kelvin Williams)

Tommy Robinson (centre) wondering where his stormtroopers have got to in Walthamstow on 1 September (Pic: Kelvin Williams)

The fascist English Defence League (EDL) has announced that it intends to return to Walthamstow in east London on Saturday 27 October.

This comes despite the EDL being humiliated in Walthamstow on 1 September when some 4,000 mainly local people stopped them from marching and ran them out of town.

In a video posted on Saturday, EDL führer Tommy Robinson announced that a planned demo in Norwich on 27 October would be replaced by a return to Walthamstow.

This is a desperate response by a desperate leadership in deep crisis since its rout in east London. There is open talk of a challenge to Robinson’s leadership. There have been a number of high profile resignations.

The British National Party is attempting to recruit disaffected EDL members, while other EDL members are peeling off to join tiny fascist groups on the fringes of the EDL.

The EDL leadership hopes a second protest in Walthamstow will reverse their political fortunes. They are hoping for one of two things to happen.

They hope to force the state and police into putting in huge resources to protect their march. Alternatively they hope their march will be banned, so that they can play the “victim” card.

There is another reason the EDL wants to return to Walthamstow. This was spelled out by Robinson he said, “We have to let bygones be bygones with many people across the EDL. Everyone’s welcome back. We need every man that’s game going into East London on 27 October.”

The EDL are gambling everything on a second demo in Walthamstow. They hope they will rejuvenate their organisation and show their supporters that they can control the streets.

The task of anti-racists and activists is simple. We have to take to the streets on 27 October. We need to mobilise even greater numbers of anti-fascists. We need to make sure that Walthamstow remains the graveyard of the EDL.

» This is how to smash the EDL

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Mon 10 Sep 2012, 14:06 BST
Issue No. 2320
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