'March for England' in Brighton 25/04/10

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Rum Lad
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Apr 19 2010 11:34
'March for England' in Brighton 25/04/10

Admin: I'm not sure if this is the right forum or not, so if it isn't feel free to move it.

I have been invited to an event on Facebook called "STOP THE RACIST EDL IN BRIGHTON"

My first thoughts were, "The EDL are marching in Brighton, oh, strange, isn't that absolutely mental of them?"

On the Facebook event there is a comment on the wall that says "It's not an official EDL march, it's a MfE march, with EDL attending. You're right, I don't think EDL as an organisation would bother down here.".

So now I'm kind of concerned as to whether this whole thing is just UAF produced hysteria and what actual contingent of EDL are planning on marching in Brighton. Does anyone here have any more information.

Also, how are Brighton people planning on responding to this? I'm very cautious about standing underneath a UAF banner, I don't know if I can do it and not hate myself.

FB event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=120521291291657

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 19 2010 12:05

as far as i can tell, a couple of people mentioned going to the 'March for England' on the EDL forum, which the UAF have transformed into 'the EDL are marching in Brighton.' this is completely fucking mental and counter-productive for so many reasons (of which i'm sure posters here are well-aware, but just for the record...)

firstly, the rationale for opposing the EDL is that they march against mosques, stirring up racial tensions regardless of their stated intentions, and that some fascists join their marches. Since this march is neither targetting a mosque (nor in fact does Brighton have a particularly large/visible muslim population), and since only a minority of EDL marchers are actual fascists, it's taken to the farcical level of mobilising against a march which may have some members of a group that holds marches which some fascists attend...

secondly, a month or two before the World Cup this is about the most counter-productive thing anyone could do. the 'March for England' is a patriotic St. George's day march that celebrates the 'English' identity within a multicultural society ("Regardless of Colour, Culture or Religion or Non Religion ... Free from Hardline Extremists of all Religions or facist groups"). they've previously had Gurkhas lead the march. Now it's nationalist, and nationalism is reactionary, but it's essentially a fairly harmless patriotic family stroll. a UAF counter-mobilisation is all-but guaranteed to bring out EDL/fash who will paint it as 'Reds' trying to shut down a St. George's day celebration (which isn't all that innacurate).

given the soft flag-waving nationalism that become particularly prominent around the time of the World Cup, this seems like a sure-fire way to drive flag-waving patriots towards the confrontational street-based nationalism of the EDL, and make the UAF scare-stories about meetings being broken up, ethnic minorities getting beat up/stabbed etc far more likely.

of course this kind of popular frontist bollocks is less about practical opposition to nationalism (which after all requires long-term, class-based organising) and more about radical posturing, student trots trying to re-enact cable st, selling papers and building the party. the SWP has previously taken the line that supporting England in the football is "racist", so this is par for the course and as much driven by barely sublimated contempt for the culture of 'the masses' as much anything else.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 19 2010 12:14

that took some edits to remove all the cursing wink

in terms of how we respond, SolFed are meeting Weds and will discuss it. My gut reaction is have nothing to do with it as an at best pointless and at worst counter-productive leftist spectacle conjuring opponents into being by self-fulfilling prophecy.

Yorkie Bar
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Apr 19 2010 12:14
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JK just summed up my thoughts, when i try and vocalise them myself it just comes out as a stream of obscenities.

This really applies to a lot of what he says.

si
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Apr 19 2010 12:20

Might be worth writing something that isn't totally nuts to distribute to all parties? I'll come on wednesday if that's alright.

Rum Lad
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Apr 19 2010 12:36

Seeing as this Event seemed to be made on Facebook seemingly out of nowhere, and is from the University of Sussex - Unite Against Fascism group, I think this event may have been born from a badly thought out and instantaneous reaction made by at least one and no more than a few individuals within UoS-UAF. If this is the case it might be quite easy to combat it, some of us know who these individuals are right?

si
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Apr 19 2010 13:28

everyone knows who those individuals are.

There's already critical discussion going on on that FB page.

si
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Apr 19 2010 18:03

yes

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 20 2010 00:10

the more i think about this, the more it looks like a lose-lose.

if no visible EDL turn up, you've got UAF trying to shut down a peaceful St Georges Day march, reaffirming the whole 'you can't even be proud of your own country any more' victim complex and guaranteeing Monday stories in the Mail, Express, Sun etc (probably written by weeler as soon as he sees this).

if the EDL do turn up, there's a good chance the only reason they did was to square up to the UAF, since a bunch of casuals would have little interest in the normal family-friendly 'March for England', so they'd have conjured a Brighton EDL presence out of nothing.

fucking UAF hysteria roll eyes angry cry

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 20 2010 00:55

to be honest i think the UAF thing is now looking more reactionary than the 'march for england'. while the MfE is reactionary patriotic crap, it's typically a harmless family stroll ending in a pub lunch. the UAF are urging unity with such luminaries as the following, all actively promising to impose the harshest cuts in decades on the working class: Nancy Platts (Labour parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion), Berni Millam (Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion), Simon Burgess (Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown)...

(i think i've actually stopped caring and i'm just posting this so '' has a hernia when he sees it)

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cantdocartwheels
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Apr 20 2010 08:22

just a heads up guys, this thread is second if you search for edl brighton

It is pretty depressing though, debate seems rather circular. As yet no-ones said how this will actually help isolate the EDL from other softer nationalists who turn up on te day, the hysteria about edl bootboys trashing brighton and moral indignation seem to take centre stage.

Anyways I'm sure some of you guys down there could leaflet around the demo.
Something similar to what you wrote a while back. http://www.brightonactivist.net/node/1447
That said doing it on the demo itself, against a backdrop of the UAF screeching nazi at everyone would be unlikely to be very productive, so you'd have to think of a way of doing it around that, probly not something you should discuss on here tho.

It is hard not to be cyncal though, especially when you see all the liberal left politicians jumping on the bandwagon to try and get us to vote for their stale ideas.

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Steven.
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Apr 20 2010 09:27

another example of SWP tactics backfiring. Embarrassing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2mSV5BR3TY&feature=related

si
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Apr 20 2010 09:38

Shall we consider calling a mass meeting on saturday to talk about the event and what a sensible response might be? I don't think that facebook page is going to be able to have a substantial impact.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 20 2010 10:03
cantdocartwheels wrote:
all the liberal left politicians jumping on the bandwagon to try and get us to vote for their stale ideas.

they're not jumping on the bandwagon, the SWP is actively soliciting their support (i assume the absence of Tories is because they weren't asked, or maybe they'd rather appeal to the MfE demographic). this is of course unsurprising, as the SWP are calling for a Labour vote where no socialists are standing.

of course for all the utterly transparent passive-aggressive manipulations ("I'm a Muslim how can you disagree with me?") and hysteria about gays and asians getting beaten and stabbed (it's not clear how a UAF rally would stop this anyway if it wasn't a made up bogeyman), it's pretty obvious the Labour Party has done far more violence against Muslims (and others) than the EDL could ever dream of. It's not the EDL dragging kids from their beds and chucking them in detention centres, it's the UKBA backed by Labour...

gypsy
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Apr 20 2010 10:09
Joseph Kay wrote:
cantdocartwheels wrote:
all the liberal left politicians jumping on the bandwagon to try and get us to vote for their stale ideas.

it's pretty obvious the Labour Party has done far more violence against Muslims (and others) than the EDL could ever dream of. It's not the EDL dragging kids from their beds and chucking them in detention centres, it's the UKBA backed by Labour...

Good point.

baboon
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Apr 20 2010 10:36

On the last point, good report in The Guardian yesterday from the Institute of Public Policy Research, showing that immigration as a whole does not fuel the BNP vote - Barking and Dagenham seem to be the exeption. In the latter the whole "anti-fascist" charade is demonstrated by Labour MP Meg Hiller (I'm not sure the spelling's right) and minister in the immigration office who, walking around Dagenham with Margeret Hodge, said: "We deport someone every 8 minutes, we fingerprint everyone who comes in for over six months. Foreigners must now carry a special identity card". She added: "People are entitled to have fears about immigration".
She could have also added that the paramilitary BA units set up by Labour in 2008, with wide-ranging powers of entry, search and detention, has an overtly racist element, beats up women, isolates children from their parents and traumatises them, humiliates and manhandles men and generally act in a way that the BNP could only think about in their wildest dreams.
The great "anti-fascists" of the SWP are, as said above, calling for workers to vote for the Labour Party.
Once again, the argument for the "lesser evil" is exposed for the defence of capitalist democracy and nationalism that it is.

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jef costello
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Apr 20 2010 11:09
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However, what is obviously worrying is that now the 'reds' have effectively thrown down the gauntlet, this may well be seen as a challenge by EDL types - the internet chatter of a few oddballs suddenly escalates in to a real EDL mobilisation. Which the brave anti-fascist warriors will then claim as their justification in the first place. The UAF get to live their Cable Street fantasies, the SWP gets to pose as hardcore anti-Nazi heroes leading the struggle against racists on the street, while EDL get to draw in other patriotic types off the March for England, and Brighton EDL becomes a reality rather than a handful of oddballs on a facebook group.

Giving the EDL a chance to 'defend' the march for England is a stroke of genius. It's hard to believe this isn't a deliberate tactic by the UAF. It's sometimes hard to see the line between idiocy and dangerous opportunism.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 20 2010 11:15
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However, what is obviously worrying is that now the 'reds' have effectively thrown down the gauntlet, this may well be seen as a challenge by EDL types - the internet chatter of a few oddballs suddenly escalates in to a real EDL mobilisation. Which the brave anti-fascist warriors will then claim as their justification in the first place. The UAF get to live their Cable Street fantasies, the SWP gets to pose as hardcore anti-Nazi heroes leading the struggle against racists on the street, while EDL get to draw in other patriotic types off the March for England, and Brighton EDL becomes a reality rather than a handful of oddballs on a facebook group.

exactly. whatever happens the UAF will claim victory and the SWP will position themselves as radical leaders of resistance while marshalling support for the fucking government. if the EDL never materialise, they'll claim they no platformed the imaginary mobilisation. if, as i suspect may happen the EDL are attracted by the prospect of confronting the UAF then they'll claim vindication for all the hysterics about gays and asians getting stabbed unless we unite with Nancy Platts.

baboon wrote:
She could have also added that the paramilitary BA units set up by Labour in 2008, with wide-ranging powers of entry, search and detention

as an aside, a couple of comrades here have first hand experience of these cunts. several orders of magnitude more dangerous than a few pissed-up casuals.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 20 2010 11:18
jef costello wrote:
Giving the EDL a chance to 'defend' the march for England is a stroke of genius. It's hard to believe this isn't a deliberate tactic by the UAF. It's sometimes hard to see the line between idiocy and dangerous opportunism.

like if i was a fascist i couldn't come up with a better strategy for attracting those with vague national sentiments into the orbit of violent street nationalism. just before the world cup too, when the visible St George cross quotient is going through the roof.

si
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Apr 20 2010 14:06

can anyone clarify what evidence there actually is atm?

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 20 2010 14:31
Facebook event wrote:
Just weeks ago Sussex UAF members were sent racist private messages by local EDL supporters and the Sussex UAF page was vandalised with posts from several regional EDL divisions.

which sounds a hell of a lot like some unrelated internet hardman fantasists ("racist private messages") and some trolling ("vandalised with posts"). both utterly unremarkable and par for the course. i mean i know this is organised by student UAF, but are they actually kids? i mean if you do any kind of anti-fascist work and have a public forum/email then you're going to get trolled and emailed. that's usually all the far right are capable. organising a demo against a different group because some wingnut sent you a racist PM is fucking retarded.

Boris Badenov
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Apr 20 2010 14:40

I agree with the criticisms made of the UAF above, but I'm not sure how far you can take the "it's going to harden soft nationalists" line. It's not like "soft nationalists" are politically neutral "men in the street," who are otherwise harmless; most of them are probably Tory voters, and hold deeply-entrenched anti-working class ideas. Obviously this is not the way to challenge them, but I don't think it's only the UAF's fault if some will decide to join the EDL or the BNP as a result of this fiasco.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 20 2010 14:53

well trying to no platform a family-friendly St Georges Day march is quite likely to 'radicalise' people on it in exactly the same way as police violence radicalises lefties (the UAF seem to be backing off from no platform in favour of this 'unity rally' to be fair, but given as leaflets are going out about EDL/BNPmarching in Brighton it may be too late now the hysteria's had it's effect).

for what it's worth, it appears that the 'EDL Brighton division' facebook group wasn't mobilising for this march until after the UAF call-out to 'STOP THE RACIST EDL IN BRIGHTON'.

looks like fulfilling the prophecy of the self-fulfilling prophecy sad

and the standard leftist slander machine is in full flow, "ultra-left", "self-indulgent anarchist fringe", "sectarian" etc etc

Boris Badenov
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Apr 20 2010 15:03
Joseph Kay wrote:
"self-indulgent anarchist fringe"

is that supposed to sound like a bad thing?

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 20 2010 15:13

i think he's confusing me with Steven.'s haircut

Yorkie Bar
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Apr 20 2010 15:43
Joseph Kay wrote:
i think he's confusing me with Steven.'s haircut

LOL

Sean68
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Apr 20 2010 19:52

Don't be under the illusion that MfE are some Tory lite bunch of boozers on an away day beano in Brighton. On an anti Al-Quds demo in central London a couple of years ago their 'cadre' issued forth with racist filth against the marching pro-Iranian regime muppets.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 20 2010 21:20

MfE are an odious bunch of nationalists, the point is previous marches haven't followed the EDL m.o. of anti-islamic rhetoric, marching on mosques etc. If anyone has any information this will be any different to previous years, they should post it up. It all seems based on a hysterical reaction to some minor chatter on EDL boards.

Now 'patriotic' marches are reactionary as fuck. but if we're going to start no pasaraning them, you're extending those tactics beyond a physical opposition to fascism to trying to fight a political/ideological phenomenon with physical means. Nationalism per se is a far broader that requires long term class-based organising and solidarity to counter.

For what it's worth, the UAF have toned down the name of the event and the 'no pasaran' rhetoric, as it isn't clear if any EDL elements are actually coming.

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 21 2010 04:13

Can someone write something on this please? I know some well meaning UAF simpaticos to forward it onto....

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 21 2010 09:29

I think Brighton SolFed are going to write something after we discuss it tonight (at least this has been suggested). Could also do with a longer analysis for DA once the dust has settled.

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JoeMaguire
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Apr 22 2010 00:17

Sometimes I just want to eat my own head...

Quote:
So what your saying is that we should combat EDL with a movement that represent the working class, however your view seems to be that the such a movement is represented by patronising middle class anarchists like your selves who refer to people as lumpen.

The Labour party and including those Labour councillors along with the wider Labour movement and the unions represent the working class in this country as you can see by their mass membership, not you guys, not the BNP and not the EDL, therefore organisations with Labour movement support are amongst the best place to combat fascism that includes UAF.

Quote:
Nope given the choice between a bunch of dickheads who beat people up for being Asian vandelise Asian shops and mosques and a government who brought in the minimum wage and lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty I'm deffinatly on the side of the 'state' but I'm not right wing like you