Socialist Worker

Activists determined to block East London EDL march

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2366

Some 100 anti-fascists came to a joint Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and United East End planning meeting on Monday of this week. 

The meeting organised opposition to the racist English Defence League’s (EDL) plans to march in Tower Hamlets on 7 September.

UAF and United East End have called a counter protest to stop the EDL.

Representatives from the executives of the civil servants’ PCS and NUT teachers’ unions attended the meeting. 

Aeileon, a striking RMT union member, came straight from a picket line where workers were striking at the Boris bike company.

He told Socialist Worker, “I live with my family in Brick Lane and we are not going to stand by and let EDL thugs come into our neighbourhood.

“If a lot of anti-racists are out on the streets that day, it will give other people the courage to come out too.”

The meeting discussed the possibility of banning the EDL. 

Most people stressed the need to avoid a blanket ban on all demonstrations that day.

In September 2011 people argued to ban an attempted EDL march in Tower Hamlets. This helped the state get away with officially banning all marches that day, but the EDL was allowed a static protest in the borough. 

A unified mobilisation of local people, trade unions and anti-fascists defied the ban and marched and stopped the EDL.

Steve Hart, chair of UAF, revealed that police suggested residents let the EDL into the borough for a “one-off” protest. 

Police want to let the EDL start its march at Mansell Street, the same place Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists began their failed march on Cable Street in 1936.

Anowar, an activist in Tower Hamlets, is determined to take to the streets to oppose the EDL. 

He told Socialist Worker, “The message I’ve been putting around is that we have to come out. We should show our pride in the diversity of the borough.

“We will not be afraid and we will not stay at home while fascists rampage shouting down our streets. We will shout louder. We will be out in a greater number against them.”

EDL not welcome in Tower Hamlets, Saturday 7 September, Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel High St, London E1

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Article information

Tue 13 Aug 2013, 16:11 BST
Issue No. 2366
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