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Scuffles break out at EDL rally in Birmingham

Scuffles break out at EDL rally in Birmingham

Categories: Latest News

Tuesday October 14 2014

The Daily Mirror, The Independent, and local papers, Express and Star and Birmingham Mail, all report on the English Defence League rally in Birmingham’s city centre at the weekend.

While approximately 500 EDL members gathered in Centenary Square, between 250 and 300 Unite Against Fascism supporters held a counter demonstration in nearby Chamberlain Square.

The Daily Mirror observes that scuffles broke out at the demonstration. An EDL flag urging ‘no more mosques’ was unfurled and far right supporters further chanted “You can shove your f****** Islam up your a***.”

In another incident, at the UAF demonstration, the Daily Mirror reports that an EDL supporter ran onto the stage, grabbed the microphone and started shouting about Asian paedophiles.

Although the paper notes that the demonstrations passed off with very little incident or violence, ten people were arrested for causing disorder and held under public order offences. Arrests at EDL demonstrations have become pretty routine. Arrests made at an EDL protest in Birmingham in 2013 included a woman who was subsequently fined for a racial outburst after she told the police she was going “Paki bashing with the EDL”.

West Midlands Police, in a statement released ahead of the protests, stated: “The force has no power to ban protest groups from exercising their democratic right to express their opinions but has been planning for weeks to minimise disruption to those who live, work or plan to visit the city on the day.”

In a press release ahead of the demonstration, the EDL’s chairman, Steve Eddowes, highlighted that the weekend protest was the seventh held in the area by the far right group since 2009. Eddowes went on to explain the ‘core purpose’ of the EDL and the alliances it has created to this end.

The alliances alluded to display the extent to which the EDL is trying to create an anti-Muslim coalition and involving LGBT, Jewish, Christian and humanist groups in doing so.

Eddowes explained that the “core purpose [of the EDL] is to slow the tide of Islamisation, stem that tide and turn that tide. Consistent with that purpose we have, therefore, natural alliances with Jews (as victims of Muslim anti-Semitism) and with Christians who, with Jews, are upholders and exemplars of the values of Western civilisation. We also align with the Jews and the Christians because they are singled out by Mohammed for treatment as a despised underclass. We align with the gay and lesbian community because homosexual activity should not be punishable by death, which the Sharia requires. We align with the Sikh and Hindu communities who have suffered mightily for centuries under Islam. We align with atheists who, even in 2014, are beheaded in Muslim countries for their rejection of any religious faith. We align with scientists because their reason, pursuit of truth and trust in evidence are despised by Islam – because for them Allah has infinite freedom to act in ways that are contrary to reason and natural law.”

The far right group is expected to hold another demonstration next month in Luton.


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