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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 April 2011

Police assist racist EDL marchers

Brighton Socialist Party

A combination of Hampshire, Surrey, Metropolitan and Sussex Police - over 350 officers in total - ensured that the far-right and racist English Defence League (EDL) marched through Brighton on 24 April.

The mobilisation of police was far larger than the numbers of protesters on both sides, and included at least a dozen police horses! Anti-EDL protesters blocked the street outside Brighton station for over an hour, but the sheer bulk of police ensured the 150 mainly EDL marchers passed.

However, as they marched through Brighton, people came out of shops and restaurants to shout at them in opposition.

The event was called by March for England, under the cover of a 'celebration' of St George's Day. They claimed the EDL would not be tolerated on the march. But the main presence was the EDL, who had mobilised from as far afield as Cornwall, and who made Nazi salutes while repeating typical EDL chants.

As they marched they targeted their sexist chants, including "she's got chlamydia" or "go home and cook my dinner", at any women opposing the march.

It is clear the police cannot be relied on to prevent racist marches from occurring, as the double standards on the policing of this demo showed. At the end of last year, school students were hauled off demonstrations by the police in Brighton for the slightest transgression.

We spoke to the highest ranking officer at the 24 April demonstration, complaining about the lack of action against EDL members abusing the public. The police refused to acknowledge it was happening while EDL members leaned over their shoulders to interrupt our conversation with abuse!

A mass mobilisation is needed, drawing in the organised working class from trade unions and workplaces, to prevent divisive movements such as the EDL from marching in the future. Racist sentiment is being whipped up by Cameron and Co as a distraction from the austerity agenda of the Con-Dem government.

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In The Socialist 27 April 2011:


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Fight the cuts: Vote for a socialist alternative

Why I'm standing on 5 May

Fight the cuts - strike, demonstrate, stand against cuts

TUSC election challenge: vote socialist to stop the cuts


May Day Greetings

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Socialist Party news and analysis

No Health Cuts, No Privatisation

NHS cuts Leeds: Save Yorkshire's children's heart surgery unit

Stop the Connaught closure

Teachers' conference calls for strike ballot to defend pensions

Bristol 'Tesco riot' reveals anger

Royal wedding: Not much bread but there's plenty of circuses

News in brief


Socialist Party workplace news

Striking for jobs

Management failures force school strike

National Shop Stewards Network 2011 Conference

Saltend lockout: Struggle continues

Support the Leeds Fed strikers

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Syria: Assad's regime uses brutal terror to suppress opposition


Socialist history

Manningham Mills 1890-1891: A strike that changed Britain's unions


Socialist Party campaigns

Police assist racist EDL marchers

Opposing the BNP

Swansea says: make the fat cats pay!


 

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Related links:

EDL:

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triangleRacist EDL humiliated for third time

triangleFar right humiliated in London - but trade unions must organise against racism and austerity

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