Following the English Defence League

I’ve been covering the rise of the far-right, anti-Islamic English Defence League for the last year or so now. Their protests across the county have grown considerably from the few hundred that I first photographed in Birmingham, to the thousands in Dudley this past weekend.

Hallmarks of the EDL are insobriety, violence and racism. Their violence is often unprovoked and directed indiscriminately at whoever is nearest; be they police, press or anti-fascist protesters. Journalists who have exposed the EDL’s true nature have received death threats and photographers often come under a hail of glass bottles and coins when covering their protests.

Today I’ve written a report of what happened in Dudley this weekend, which I believe has been their largest protest yet, for the Expose the BNP campaign website.

The EDL are the only political group in the UK holding regular protests every month attracting thousands of supporters from around the country. Unite Against Fascism, which usually call counter-protests to the EDL, originally outnumbered them 2:1 now the opposite is true.

The threat from the EDL is real and growing. As journalists we must ensure their violent, racist core is exposed. The EDL are not simply “Peacefully protesting against militant Islam” as their publicity rather quaintly says and we must show that.

Expose the BNP are holding a pre-election Media Briefing on Wednesday 7th April on the BNP and far-right.

Stop trying to kid yourselves; you’re not anti-fascist crusaders; you’re well off middle-class liberals whose progressive instincts emerge from guilt at the fact that you’re doing very nicely thank you and you’re promoting and overblowing a tiny and perpetual fascist rump into a bete noir to satisfy a yearning that isn’t based in reality…so much as your own projections inspired by your decadence and culpability.

If you really want to play at being lefties..start recognising the fact that you have a route to social mobility, economic equality and employment opportunities which are now denied to many in your own society…and stop thinking you’re some fuckin glorious latterday incarnation of Pastor Niemoller.

spod, I don’t know whether you and Jonathan know each other, but I find your comment not only patronising but disingenuous and unfairly judgmental! What is wrong about a liberal middle class journalist exposing the EDL and Nazi for who they really are?

Florence,
The rant was aimed at NUJ/UAF in general, just happened on Jonathans blog thats all, lets call it collateral damage. I should give the guy credit for allowing “vile Nazi scum” retorts without the standard NUJ spin, contortion and anal flapping.
“What is wrong about a liberal middle class journalist”
The thing is, the liberal middle class hack can always f*ck off home to his cosy liberal middle class existance when hes finished trashing the uneducated working class plebs.

spod, you have lost me there. Jonathan is a member of the NUJ not the Royal College of Nursing (upper stiff lip – see no wrong hear no wrong kind of union)! I left the RCN for that reason and joined UNISON, but you know what, I would rather be a member of the NUJ anytime, at least they do spin about injustices when they see them rather than cozy up with politicians who are sucking up to big business at the expense of their members.

I don’t know about Jonathan, but at the end of my working day I f*ck off to my cozy home that I spent half my life working 24/7 to buy. I am not a liberal middle class of any sorts but I am a kind of rag to riches kind of woman. The only way I did it was bash the steriotypes that judgemental people are experts at and am forever moving away from any comfort zone whether in career move or in social circles. As a poor black the steriotypes associate me with crime. As a hard working person with no class I remain in an island of your own – damned for having worked hard and moved myself away from poverty and accepted in the ‘middle class’ circle as ‘one of us because you don’t behave like other black people.’
Hence I fail to understand your argument against Jonathan – damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Florence,
Dont you see the irony in your hints at judgmental stereotyping, isnt that what Jonathon and the NUJ are doing with the likes of these pressure groups.
Jonathan writes
“Hallmarks of the EDL are insobriety, violence and racism”, and by writing spin like this tars all the 2000 plus crowd with the same brush, this sort of journalism is more interested in political gain than truthful reporting.
Im sure if the majority of the edl were racist then the four or five black members in the crowd would have been in trouble….not the case fortunately.
My “argument” with Jonathon is simple, he and his Union are claiming the moral highground whilst trampling over honesty and integrity.
Cheap tabloid journalism.

Do you know what journalists are paid? Some might be highly paid, most work for local newspapers and I think it’s a stretch to describe them as middle class. Being white collar does not make you middle class (and what’s wrong with middle class people being against facism anyway?).

Whats wrong with working class patriotism?
Whats wrong with working class people being against a facist ideology/religion?
Whats f*cking facist about that?
One mans facist…etc etc.

spod, I do come across black and asian people, either born in the UK or with British citizenship who argue in favour of the british jobs for british people. It is only when I point out to them that according to the BNP and their supporters, they are not worth of Britishness and that just like the Nazis in Germany, the BNP and their supporters in the EDL don’t care a dime about anyone who is not a white (lobster) colour and racist. Some people just love to be brainwashed what ever colour they are. Jonathan is 100% right to say that the ‘Hallmarks of the EDL are insobriety, violence and racism”. That is how the British empire was founded – on insobriety, violence and racism. If you cannot see that then that means you are also a racist.

On the contrary, I believe in humanity and humane values given the fact that this whole havoc of immigration that gives birth to racism is caused by these war mongers whose headquarters are at No 10 Downing Street, here in England. I am a product of apartheid, a black woman who was segregated in her own country and classified as second class. No one is going to make me a second class citizen again what ever country I choose to live in, hence people like Jonathan are heaven sent!

Keep following the flock Florence, you sound like a product of new labour..same old accusations, rhetoric and martyrdom.You do know the nationalists wouldnt have gone into this dumb war!
Do you expect the “lobsters” to sit around and wait for “second class citizenship” to take hold..its not going to happen.
The UAF and NUJ are the governments useful idiots, go look at the signatories on their sites.
Apartheid exists in many towns across this country, the road I was born on is a no go area for me now, simply because I am a lobster tinted atheist.
Humanity isnt owned by the left leaners.

We seem to have strayed quite far from the original issue and into the personal.

I’m closing the comments on this article temporarily so everyone can cool off and we can get back to some reasoned debate.

“Degree in Documentary Photography”

The most ridiculous thing is that this individual’s course is subsidised to the exact same monetary amount by the UK Government that my Oxford Engineering degree is.

And the individual in question probably sees this as a perfectly normal state of affairs! Yes – more photo journalism – it’s just as important as scientific research and the engineering which makes such research a reality! that’ll really help us grow our way out of the hole we’re in! More lefty unwashed unproductives!

Incredible.

Don’t worry socialists – as you will find in the bond markets after May 6th if Lib-Lab gets in – there’s one problem with socialism:

Eventually you run out of other people’s money.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/7621289/Escalating-Greek-default-fears-rock-Europes-debt-markets.html

Tata.