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Anti-fascists turn out in force against three racist marches

Hundreds of people blocked marches by the racist EDL and SDL—and are now building for a major protest in east London, writes Annette Mackin

Issue No. 2367

Hundreds of marchers made Edinburgh an anti-fascist city last Saturday

Hundreds of marchers made Edinburgh an anti-fascist city last Saturday (Pic: Edinburgh UAF)

Anti-fascists turned out in force last Saturday to oppose racist marches through Edinburgh, Portsmouth and Hull.

Over 800 marched in Edinburgh,  outnumbering the racist Scottish Defence League (SDL) which could only muster 80. The SDL planned to disrupt a large multicultural festival taking place. Unite Against Fascism (UAF) called a counter protest .

The day was a washout for the SDL. Their support was so low they had to bus in racists and fascists from the Sunderland Division of the English Defence League (EDL) and the North West Infidels.

Councillor Maggie Chapman said, “Edinburgh is a wonderful, welcoming and diverse city. I’m glad we were there to stand up against the hatred and bigotry of those claiming to speak for Scotland.”

SDL supporters openly gave fascist salutes as they trailed past Edinburgh City Council offices. Banners from the EIS, UCU, PCS, Unison, RMT and Unite trade unions joined the UAF march.

In Portsmouth around 180 anti-fascists mobilised outside a Muslim school against 100 racists and fascists from the EDL, South West Alliance and March for England.

The EDL and others attempted to whip up racism protesting outside a Muslim academy which is due to open in the city.

Despite intimidation in the lead up, people turned out on UAF’s counter demonstration. The racists skulked off after throwing fireworks at neighbouring houses and police broke up their rally.

Around 250 EDL thugs marched through the centre of Hull, shouting abuse at Muslim passersby. 

But their plan to march to Pearson Park mosque was blocked by 100 anti-fascists on the UAF counter demo.

One EDL member was arrested after attacking a man who unfurled a multicultural banner, leaving him needing ten stitches to his head.

A local UAF activist said, “anti-racists remain determined to oppose the EDL and we are pleased we have stopped them reaching the mosque. 

“However this violent attack reminds us why people need to be out in force to stop the EDL marching in Tower Hamlets on 7 September.”

Thanks to Stephen McBroom, Simon Magorian and Phil Sanderson

Stop the EDL in Tower Hamlets

Should we call for a ban on the EDL?

Should we call for a ban on the EDL?

Support is growing for Unite Against Fascism’s (UAF) demo in Tower Hamlets on Saturday 7 September to oppose the English Defence League (EDL).

The latest groups to add their support are the Jewish Socialist Group and Sikhs Against the EDL. 

Balwinder Singh Rana of Sikhs Against the EDL spoke to Socialist Worker.

 “Recently three young Sikh men were on the EDL demonstration in Birmingham. They fell for the divide and rule tactics of the racists,” he said.

 “The EDL are an enemy of us all, whether we are Muslim, Sikh or Christian. Sikhs should join us in Tower Hamlets to oppose EDL attempts to stir up race hatred.”

The demonstration is also backed by the TUC, the NUT, PCS, Unite, CWU and RMT unions, Tower Hamlets Unison, the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre.

More details of march at


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Tue 20 Aug 2013, 17:49 BST
Issue No. 2367
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