Another Victory for anti-fascism and a diverse tolerant Brighton
After the debacle of the so-called March for England, whose march was shortened by 2/3, the EDL and Casuals threatened to come back to Brighton on June 2nd for a ‘rematch’. They were even told not to take their colours!
They fed us a list of false leads on the net, such as meeting up at Yates Bar in Brighton but in fact they were staying in nearby Worthing, since these proud Brits couldn’t afford the price that their fellow Brits were charging to stay in Brighton! Such is the nature of capitalism.
The day started badly for the fash when 3 of them were arrested in Hove for possession of drugs. Clearly the law’n’order party isn’t that much of a believer in law’n’order.
Churchill Square and Palestine Solidarity Campaign and various Left stalls were heavily defended by hundreds of anti-fascists so all the EDL could do was try and send a few spotters, who we spotted quite easily and sent packing. Things kicked off after 3 p.m. at the Old Steine when the EDL are reputed to have attacked a couple of gay people (so much for the opposition to Muslim anti-gay prejudices!). The fash based themselves in the St. James Tavern in the heart of the gay community of Kemptown, before being cleared out even quicker and having to retreat to a pub on the seafront which we’d already sussed.
From there they made a few forays before coming off worst and hiding behind police lines. Finally at around 5.00 after a number of arrests, including anti-fascists to whom the police were steadily more hostile, the police rounded up about 30 of the fash and took them in a mobile kettle to the railway station where another 3 were arrested. All in all we reckon that 13 fascists and 5 anti-fascists were arrested, though at least one of ours was released without charge, despite having initially been detailed for assaulting the police, an arrest without any possible justification.
The fascists were allowed to spout out their slogans of racial hatred without being arrested though a number of anti-fascists were arrested under s.5 of the POA for shouting back. But the EDL lay claim to being British. Indeed it’s their only claim to fame. By the same logic the rats in the sewers are also British, although they are said to possess more intelligence.
The Chinese woman captured on film had wandered with her partner into the midst of us and had protested they had nothing to do with the EDL so she and her partner were given the best of a dubious doubt, however they were clearly lying. Others who made the same foray, including one particularly fat and ugly specimen, weren’t so luck.
The one common attribute of the EDL was being overweight & ugly! Clearly not representative of Britain.
On their forced journey to the railway station they felt the full force of peoples’ detestation as ordinary shoppers and people out and about stopped to shout what they thought of them. And that is the key to our success. Successfully leafletting, postering and mobilising ordinary decent people. Their claim to represent this mythical 'Britishness' was made to sound hollow. Whatever one thinks of patriotism, being British is not akin to being a fascist and their attempts to suggest otherwise were ludicrous. What they don't seem to be able to accept is that British, like all other people, are divided into classes and you can't eat a flag. Cuts to the NHS, jobs, benefits are what concern people - not the targetting of some particular minority. Although the EDL and Casuals are particularly thick, perhaps they’ve gotten the message that they aren’t wanted in Brighton, they have no support and everytime they show their faces they just show themselves for the bigots and hate merchants that they are.
Once again Brighton Anti-Fascist Network organised everything well with a Brighton Uncut Party taking place at the same time in Churchill Square as we enjoyed ourselves on the weekend whilst the fash stewed in their ratholes.
And despite boasting that they had 30 people up at the Hollingbury Police holding station they actually had no one except ourselves to greet those of their members who were released after having been arrested! Naturally we did our best to make them feel not at home!
They boasted they'd brought 80 people down to Brighton to 'hunt down' the Left. In the end the hunters became the hunted and at most 40 fascists made the journey as hardly any were from Brighton itself. Most of those arrested being from places like Hull and Milton Keynes.
All in all a good day.