EuropeNews 5 May 2012
The English Defence League, whose mission is to keep England English, is holding a demonstration in Luton today. Counterdemonstrations are organized by British politicians, labour unions and the so-called anti-fascists of Unite Against Fascism, Antifa and more. British police is out in force to keep order.
EDL and British Freedom Luton holds a special significance for the English Defence League. A parade in Luton celebrating homecoming British soldiers was scorned by local Islamists with impunity, which triggered the formation of the EDL. Since then, marches large and small have been held in various places in Britain, and at times abroad, but Luton still holds special symbolic value for the EDL.
Stephen Lennon, AKA Tommy Robinson, speaking in Luton
The march today is held to mark the formal entry of the English Defence League into politics. EDL leaders Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) and Kevin Caroll will assume vice chairmanship in the British Freedom party. With its critical views on immigration, Islam and the European Union has the potential to gather wide public support, in particular among the quite large segment of British who do not vote for any of the established parties. This has the potential to become a game-changer in British politics.
EDL supporter voicing his concern about the city council
Tommy Robinson speaking to the press
EDL supporter dressed up to offend Islamists
Who is UAF?
The British organisation UAF (Unite Against Fascism) is a leftist organisation with the purpose of crushing any opponent they deem to be 'fascists'. Today, their main purpose is to prevent the English Defence League from holding a successful demonstration in Luton.
A key objective of the UAF: Silencing those they disagree with.
Previously they have campaigned hard against the British National Party, and their next target appears to be the newly formed British Freedom party. While it remains unclear what exactly is 'fascist' about the groups that the UAF opposes, it remains systematic that they are against any form of nationalism.
Antifa presence is a clear and present risk of violence.
Radical elements lining up with UAF even accuse their opponents of being 'National socialists', and thus legitimate targets for violence. Apparently (though not explicitly) the UAF is also trying to prevent criticism of Islam, Islamic practices and Sharia, deeming such criticism 'racist' and thus morally unacceptable.
Radical socialist urging the destruction of their enemies.
In practice, the UAF participation has routinely been a source of violence, but the police has learned how to deal with the counterdemonstrations, and in particular with splinter groups aiming to beat up the supposed 'fascists' they are marching against. Here is one example of the police cordoning off an UAF group aiming to, according to their banners, Smash the EDL & BNP.
British police had the upper hand against the extremists.
Unite Against Fascist make no secret of their violent intentions. According to Twitter:
we are Luton march making way back to Wardown Park along Old Bedford Road now still chanting 'Smash the EDL racist scum off our streets'