Thursday, June 30 2016

EDL supporters attacked pub, chanted “We are not racist, we just hate Muslims”

The Yorkshire Evening Post reports on the sentencing of nine EDL supporters, aged between fifteen and thirty-one, for attacking a pub in Leeds which was hosting an anti-racism rock concert.

From the YEP:

“A gang of English Defence League supporters caused terror when they attacked a pub as an anti-racism rock concert was being staged.

“Nine members of the gang were handed community sentences yesterday (Sept 3) after a court heard how windows and doors were smashed as bricks and bottles were hurled at Joseph’s Well in Leeds city centre.

“Leeds Crown Court heard the gang members turned up at the venue and tried to get into to the Rock Against Racism event.

“Violence erupted when one member of the gang, Mark Johnson, 31, tried to push past door staff but was resisted and suffered an injury.

“A man who was at the event with his son was hit in the mouth with a missile thrown by a gang member and had a tooth knocked out.

“Andrew Stranex, prosecuting, said members of the group were chanting ‘EDL’ in reference to the far right group. Others were heard to say: “We are not racist, we just hate Muslims.”

“Mr Stranex said the concert was supposed to be a peaceful event but when it was advertised on Facebook organisers had received warnings from EDL members that there may be trouble. One message read: “We will smash the place up.”

This is just the most recent case in a spate of arrests and convictions of EDL supporters for racial or religiously aggravated violence. Only recently an EDL supporter was arrested for expressing support for the terrorist Anders Breivik. Several men with links to the EDL were convicted last week with religiously aggravated disorder for shouting inflammatory religious abuse at a train station last December. The Institute of Race Relations has documented the increasing use of violence by far right organisations against trade unionists, anti-capitalists and anti-fascists.

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