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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 July 2012

Racist and hooligan EDL invades Dewsbury

The racist and hooligan EDL marched in the former mill town of Dewsbury on 30 June. Dewsbury has many different cultures within its borders.

The Labour leader of Kirklees council short-sightedly commented: "If we let the EDL march they will not come back again to the town." He has given the EDL confidence to return to our town, whenever they wish.

Dewsbury is starting to feel the pain of Con-Dem austerity measures. It is losing libraries, Surestart centres, with the local hospital A&E department under threat of closure and shops closing down every month.

In this fragile period, letting the EDL march turned the busy market town of Dewsbury into a virtual ghost town. Shops either did not open for the day or closed early, hitting shop workers' pay, and shop owners' trade.

I've never seen as many police as I saw in Dewsbury to police around 450 EDL members. How many libraries, or Surestart centres could be kept open if they had that amount of money at their disposal?

The police made the small counter-demonstration (organised by the UAF) congregate far out of town, not letting them march into the town centre until after the EDL had encamped there. People on the counter demonstration were so far away they could not show their opposition to the EDL taking over the town for the day.

Socialist Party members refused to be kettled by the police. We took up positions nearer the EDL to challenge their pernicious ideas and counter their arguments with leaflets and in discussions with the passing public.

The local trade union movement must ensure that this racist hooligan group's arguments no longer go unchallenged.

Huddersfield Socialist Party

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