Despite not being much of a celebrity watcher or even a particular fan of Paul McCartney, I’ve always liked the local rumour explaining the reason he originally moved ‘here’. The story goes that he was walking along in the North Laine and someone bumped into him. As the men bounced off each other, the fellow replied, “Why don’t you fucking look where you are going, you cunt?” Paul McCartney was so taken by this refreshing blast of early morning street talk that he decided to move here. Apocrophal or not, it definitely isn’t the reason most outsiders move here. Quite the contrary. We are the most loved up people on the planet. We’re so generous to other people that we have even given the rest of the country its first Green MP and its first Green council.
Yesterday, yet again, we answered the old question, ‘how does a soldier of peace fight a fascist?’ The English Defence League had clothed its shabby ideology in the thinnest of veils for the day, by purely campaigning for a bank holiday to mark St George’s Day and rebranding itself as the “March for England”. We, the hundreds of the people turning out to answer the fascist question, represented the people of Brighton & Hove far more closely than the hamfisted March for England. Not only did we allow the fascists to march, we paid for them to have police protection and we gave them the right to close down our City centre for several hours (Ever noticed that the anti-fascists never turn up on their own to close a town down?). After that they were allowed to complete their march, again heavily protected by police. Their safe passage was paid for by the very people turning out to oppose them.
Everyone has a right to protest and free speech. That is as true for the woman standing on a street corner as it is for the man marching down the middle of waving a flag. Numbers fluctuated during the day but, broadly speaking there were approximately 80 fascists, 350 police from three forces with horses and dogs and 1,200 people drowning out the fascist message with their own voices. They definitely got their day out in the sun. We shone a light on them so hard that they broke discipline. One of them attacked your humble blogger – the police were on him faster than I had time to see his face. No matter, I definitely saw his legs from under the three police officers pinning him to the pavement. Definitely counts as an arrest. Others were arrested too but more importantly, Brighton’s inhabitants drew themselves together and ruined the EDL’s day trip to the seaside. Clearly, locally, we are good at free speech. Not just good, excellent. We had it in abundance yesterday. It was an enormous shouting match. I could Not mustering enough people to be heard on Brighton’s streets was a FAIL! for the English Defence League.
Annoyingly I can’t find my usb jump leads, else by now you’d have one of my own videos. Probably just send them direct to United Against Fascism. Mainly ugly mug shots anyway. The next clip is long and its easy to jump to conclusions about the anarchist youth wing of Brighton causing problems. They sure did but they don’t behave like this the fascists aren’t in town and you wouldn’t expect them to be standing at the back of the pavement offering only moral indignation. They’re anarchists. They have to take responsibility for everything. Here’s one of their videos.
Here’s one of the fascist videos. They’ve muted the recorded sound and substituted for some soothing Pink Floyd instead. Since the very few mask wearing anarchists feature heavily in this clip too (and no doubt the local news bulletins), they seem to have cornered the market for getting filmed. Don’t really understand this film makers reason for filming police officers’ faces so close up though.
Here’s some more.