Well it was said that the Riots left imagery reminiscent of the Blitz so it makes sense that a Fascist force should march in the wake as was the plan in 1940.
Is this a fair assertion? Up until yesterday I had no real idea or interest in who the EDL were or what they stood for as my interest in far right politics died with Goring, Ribbentrop and the others at Nuremberg in 1946. As I'm neither a racist and have an interest in rights and democracy for ALL I've not really noticed the BNP or the EDL as anything more than a foot note or loony fringe representing the stereotypical British xenophobia.
However with the march in London, I thought I ought to have a look at them as an organisation.
The EDL has been described as a Fascist organisation or indeed a neo-Nazi organisation by some people, however it is neither really. Yes it is nationalistic in its stand and is against "Militant Islam" but it is not a Political party or body have any real aspirations to do so. They have no statements on militarism, nor mobilising the citizenry with Physical education or military conquest. Nor are they for the remiliterising of the Rhineland or the return of the German borders of 1914. They don't fit into either category just merely racist.
However is that a fair assertion? Yes - it is, but I will come to that.
English nationalism is not fashionable these days, definitely not compared to Irish, Scottish or Welsh nationalism and identity and it has been argued on many occasions that the English have no longer got an identity, or indeed in Linda Colley's book "Britons" that the British identify themselves by who they aren't ie.
The French have an autocratic King, we have a democratic parliament.
The French are Catholic, we are Protestant.
That sort of thing. There has always been a slight xenophobia in Britain and every now and again, when things are against the country (and we aren't at war) it comes out amongst certain people. The EDL are merely the latest incarnation of this.
However Trevor Kellway, a spokesman of the group that replaced a former spokesman who was an Islamaphobe, stated:
We would march alongside Muslims and Jews who are against Militant Islam. There were none on Saturday and an all white group doesn't look good but they can join the EDL as long as they accept the English way of life. It is the people who threaten with bombs and violence and threaten and bomb our troops- They don't belong here.
Many people could agree with that. There is no room for anyone of any creed or denomination who threaten British society or its peoples with acts of terrorism. One of their number was arrested for confronting a group of Asian youths who were burning poppies last year. I can agree with that as I thought Poppy burning was an awful thing to do.
Then you see the other things they do...
Yesterday's rally was against a Mosque. A religious building in the east end of London, which has had enough problems in the last month and a community that had its Asian community defending their buildings and selves.
They carried banners and placards of their leader and the Norwegian terrorist Breivik, even chanting at foreign tourists;
"You're scum... and you know you are."
Other slogans said; "Different faces same hatred."
I've been reliably informed that their forum on the website has posts calling for a "Muslim Holocaust." and their membership seems to be made up of football hooligans and others who seem to indulge in "Pub racism" and casual violence. Indeed their leader was arrested for his role in a scrap at a Luton town football match - Something I cannot imagine El Deuce or the Fuhrer indulging in!
Such was the revulsion over the EDL's march on the mosque that the local community marched out to meet them and 3000 police moved to stop them from clashing. Images of Cable street were reignited and the cry;
"They shall not pass!"
Went up again, 75 years after the original anti-fascist confrontation.
We should have the right to defend our community against racist thugs and their racist lies about jobs and housing.
Said Campaigner Claire Laker-Mansfield (22)
Cable street showed in times of austerity and poor economic climate, fascism and racism can flourish. We need to beat fascism by turning out in bigger numbers than them. - not resorting in violence but providing a bigger show of strength.
Said Jamie Pitman, a student from Oxford.
The EDL have no place in modern British politics, indeed if they even were a political movement. I understand there is a growing frustration about immigration that is difficult to tackle without sounding prejudice but the EDL are not the answer, they have become or always were a front for racism and street violence, the sort that we in Britain should be well above.