Socialist Party
| Print

10 March 2010

Police clear path for racist EDL thugs

AROUND 400 protesters gathered for a counter-demonstration to the far-right English Defence League's (EDL) march from the Tate Britain to Parliament Square, London, on 5 March. The EDL had organised the march to celebrate the visit of the Dutch racist, far-right politician, Geert Wilders.

Paul Callanan

Wilders had been invited to screen his new anti-Islam film in the House of Lords by UKIP's leader, Lord Pearson. Alarmingly, Wilders' mis-named 'Freedom Party' recently made major electoral gains in the two cities where it stood in the Netherlands, gathering about 25% of the vote (see

As the protesters blocked the road to Parliament to stop the far-right thugs, the police clearly showed in whose interests they were acting.

The anti-EDL protest was forcibly removed from the road by hundreds of riot police, backed up with dogs and horses. When the EDL march eventually came through it was protected by a huge police presence.

The police physically removed protesters and held them in the Victoria Tower Gardens while the far-right thugs were given free rein to stir up hatred and division.

Socialist Party members along with other demonstrators were told by police officers that we were under arrest for a "potential breach of the peace". We were not eventually charged with any offence but were told we would not be allowed to leave until the demo was over and deemed to no longer be potential law breakers.

To be arrested for a crime you could "potentially" commit, is an indication of how far the right to demonstrate has been undermined by this government.

As the employers and government makes huge attacks on the pay and conditions of working-class people, undoubtedly these draconian laws will be used against workers who fight back.

The counter-demo, called by the UAF, was not stewarded, which unfortunately made it possible for some EDL members to worm their way into the crowd.

Nonetheless, the determination of the demonstrators succeeded in delaying the EDL march for several hours.

In the coming months we need to step up the protests against the EDL and the far-right BNP. At the same time we need to offer a political alternative to their racist poison.

We need a mass workers' party which would fight for decent jobs, homes and services to cut across a minority of working class people being drawn to the far right.

A new workers' party would cut across the appeal of far-right groups by uniting working class people of all backgrounds in common struggle against the bosses. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which will be standing in the general election, is potentially an important step towards such a party.

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube


triangle13 Jun No to Trump and Tory racism

triangle13 Jun Civil service pay strike ballot: vote yes!

triangle13 Jun How can we fight for trade unions that fight for women?

triangle13 Jun Health unions accept divisive NHS pay deal - but fightback could have...

triangle13 Jun Build an anti-racist workers' movement

triangle13 Jun Grenfell: still waiting for justice

triangle9 Jun PCS members in DWP say: Pay up now!

More ...


triangle19 Jun Manchester Socialist Party: Trotskyism & the Transitional Programme

triangle20 Jun Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: After the Italian elections - Which way for Italy?

triangle20 Jun Cardiff Central Socialist Party: What is fascism and is it a threat today?

triangle20 Jun Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: The 1000th issue of the Socialist


Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551


What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Our 2015 election manifesto

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you


Alphabetical listing

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018