|The BBC, Daily Mail, the Guardian and Daily Telegraph have all reported on the far-right extremists’ rally which took place in Aarhus, Denmark on Saturday.|
The far-right rally was organised by the English Defence League to protest against the ‘Islamification of Europe’ and to create a wider pan-European coalition, or ‘European Defence League,’ to rally on the issue. There are estimates that between 160-300 people turned out to support the far-right rally, and that between 2000-4000 people joined the anti-fascist counter demonstration, which was supported by the mayor of Aarhus.
From the Guardian:
“Anti-fascist demonstrators outnumbered far-right supporters more than 20 to one in Denmark as an English Defence League-led attempt to form a pan-European movement was humiliated.
“Estimates suggested as few as 160 defence league members from several countries gathered at the inaugural far-right summit in Aarhus for the European counter-jihad meeting, devised to "send a clear message to the leaders of Europe" that Islamism would not be tolerated.
“EDL leader Tommy Robinson admitted only 15 supporters from England made the trip, despite earlier speculation that hundreds might attend. By comparison, an anti-fascist demonstration in the same city, to protest against the arrival of the EDL, attracted up to 4,000 people.
“Fears of violence had seen local police mount their biggest operation on the Jutland peninsula with the tense atmosphere amplified by the start of the trial this month of Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right extremist and anti-Islamist who confessed to the murder of 77 people in Norway last July.
“The low turnout in Aarhus is in fact the second time the EDL has travelled abroad to try to forge alliances. Its first attempt, in Amsterdam in 2010, was widely dismissed as a "damp squib", attracting about 60 supporters who were met with fierce opposition from Ajax football fans and anti-racist supporters. Robinson, the main attraction at the Aarhus summit, was unrepentant despite even fewer of his followers appearing, saying: "Just wait until there are hundreds of us coming in."
“Numerous brief scuffles throughout the day between the two groups led to more than 80 arrests as protesters hurled rocks and bottles at each other.”
The Daily Telegraph report cites Stephen Lennon, the leader of the EDL as accusing Muslim men in the Swedish city of Malmo of turning the city into the “rape capital of Europe”,
“It’s like a foreign ideology has come into Sweden and started raping the women,” he said. “Malmo’s now the rape capital of Europe. It’s Swedish women being raped by Muslim men.”
Commenting on the turnout of the rally, Lennon stated that “We don’t need that many people…When we first started out in England we were outnumbered by the anti-fascists.”
“We have come to plant a seed. That seed will go back to every European country and it will develop across Europe."
He also stated plans to hold future rallies in Paris and Brussels.
The Daily Telegraph also confirms that Stephen Lennon’s ticket to travel back to the UK was paid for by the BBC in order for him to appear on The Big Questions, the BBC 1 Sunday morning talk show.
A BBC spokesman said that “On the weekend that the EDL and far-right groups are holding a rally in Denmark, the moral and ethical debate programme, The Big Questions, will be asking if Britain is too complacent about the Far Right. Contributors travel costs are covered as standard by Mentorn Media who produce The Big Questions. As a key contributor to this particular discussion, Stephen Lennon's travel from Denmark is entirely necessary and reasonable. We are not paying him a fee for his appearance”.
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