Wednesday, June 29 2016

English Defence League descend on Luton, again

The English Defence League returned to Luton for a protest on Saturday. The BBC reported that almost 2,000 demonstrators from the EDL and counter-protest group, We Are Luton, turned out with 1,500 officers drafted in from 22 police forces to oversee the march.

From the BBC:

“Bedfordshire Police said the day of action had concluded peacefully, despite "isolated incidents" of disorder including smoke flares being set off and bottles being thrown towards police officers.

“Two people were arrested on suspicion of public order offences. Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Richer said: "Overall the policing of these protests has been a resounding success and is testament to everyone involved including the community themselves and our partners.

“"It is disappointing that we saw disorder from some members of Unite Against Fascism, who were part of the 'We Are Luton' march, who attempted to break out of the agreed protest route.

“"This shows policing of these events is justified as there is such a large area to protect."

“The two people arrested remained in custody, police said.

“A spokeswoman said one was an EDL supporter and the other was from the WAL group.

“EDL said its march was in protest at a Muslim group being allowed to march around the town hall.

“Group leader Tommy Robinson earlier announced he was joining the British Freedom Party "to bring campaigns into the political sphere".

“He said that the EDL was discriminated against because it was not allowed to march to the town hall to demonstrate its disappointment with the borough council.

“The leader of Luton Borough Council, Councillor Hazel Simmons, said: "I was very disappointed that the EDL chose to come to Luton again today so soon after their previous protest in February last year which caused large-scale disruption to the people of the town and loss of trade for its businesses.

“"I would like to stress that what happened in town today does not represent the real Luton.

“"The Luton I know is a town where people get along well together, celebrate our diversity and work together to overcome challenges."”

Luton has been something of a flashpoint for the EDL since its formation in August 2009 and its seminal protest in the town. Two documentaries produced earlier this year on the EDL and Al Muhajiroun illustrated the symbiotic relationship between the two protest groups each feeding and living off the hysteria generated by their re-enactment of the ‘Clash of Civilizations’.

As Paul Woolwich, producer of the C4 documentary Proud and Prejudiced put it, both Stephen Lennon (Leader of the EDL) and Sayful Islam (the man behind the Luton poppy protest in 2009) “inhabit the same fantasy world, where a medieval clash of civilizations is being played out day-to-day on the streets of modern-day Luton.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 19:58

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