Unusually, the world is not envious of Norway right now. Their very public trial of a mass murderer is a testament to the strength of their society. It is dangerously easy to imagine that the perverted fundamentalism that drove Brievik to mass murder could never happen here. Unfortunately, it was inspired by an organisation born in the UK. It is an uncomfortable thought. It is natural to avoid thinking about our collective responsibility in this matter. We’d all much prefer to think about something else instead, especially in our economic crisis. We want entertainment, not hard politics. We want something to laugh about and then forget, like a stupid satirical video. Like this one:
or this one:
Unfortunately, we know what happens when people ignore fascists like the English Defence League (EDL). They grow bolder. They recruit more idiots like the fellow above. People with nothing going for them are attracted to simplistic causes, people who have been easily divided from society at large, people looking for someone else to blame. The EDL is an old style fascist street army. Wherever they go, there is violence. They create it deliberately and overtly, knowing that their arrogance will inspire others to act covertly. Their mission is to create the conditions of a crisis.
The Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik has praised the EDL. Their creed is indistinguishable from the twisted ideology which drove him to kill so many people in cold blood and injure hundreds more.
Today the fascists attack muslims, just as last century they attacked jews. They try to focus their message to one target at a time. Look closer and you’ll see that they attack everyone who doesn’t agree with their particularly violent culture. Having made no serious headway in Britain ever since Mosley’s heyday in the 1930s, they have recently adopted new tactics. One of these is to deny, publicly atleast, most of their own belief system. Consequently, they have generated some front organisations. One of these is called the “March for England”. Analysis of the people behind this comparatively new group reveals them to be prominent supporters of the EDL.
The “March for England” is coming to Brighton on Sunday 22nd April. Although they are a dangerous and frightening group of fascist thugs, they are basically cowards and will back off if Brighton is inhospitable towards them. United Against Fascism (UAF) has already persuaded their usual watering hole to turn them away (the Brighton Belle, by the station). Yesterday evening UAF held a public meeting, which this blogger attended. The meeting attracted activists from various political parties, trades unionists and some other socially active people. Notably absences were the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party.
The consensus of the meeting was that there must be two strategies to combat the EDL’s arrival in Brighton, under the guise of “March for England”. Firstly, we need to oppose them in person on the very streets they intend to march along. Secondly, we must make it clear to any pubs, shops, hotels and other businesses serving them they will lose substantial amounts of business due to them being associated with the EDL. That second strategy will be adopted immediately after Sunday’s march, so as to prevent another next year. This year is the fifth occasion the “March for England” has turned up in Brighton.
This is serious. If you take politics seriously, this is the time to act. If you don’t, this is the time that you do. Please, everyone, turn up and meet on Queens Road, at the top of Gloucester Road at 11.30am on Sunday 22 April.
Last year, the police shamelessly kettled the anti-fascists and allowed the “March for England” to drink the afternoon away in a pub. This year the police have apparently complained to the local media that they have not had any contact from the anti-fascists. There are two reasons for that lack of contact. Firstly, police permission is not required for a static demonstration. We will be lining the route of the “March for England”, to mock them, to drown them out with noise and to ensure that their visit to Brighton is an unpleasant experience for them. Secondly, the police would have a much easier job to do if the two groups are kept apart. However, demonstrating against fascism in a different location from the fascists would be a pointless and futile gesture.
It is a question of numbers. We need to have more people than the fascists. If we do, the media will report the fact that the EDL’s “March for England” was tiny in comparison to the community of people who turned out to oppose them. That will weaken their morale. It will also make it harder for the police to prevent us from spoiling the fascists’ trip to the seaside. You can’t have a serious debate about political ideas with these people. They’re not interested in intellectual discourse.
Please come and join us opposing these vile people. All political differences can be laid aside, to prevent these people from encouraging violence in our community. Please bring your video cameras and film them. Please bring your friends. Please bring home to the EDL the idea that they are not welcome in Brighton.