al-Quds Day Protesters March in London

Around 1000 protesters joined the Quds day march through London
Around 1000 protesters took part in the annual al-Quds march in London. The day was created in 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a day of protest against Zionism and in solidarity with Muslims across the world.

English Defence League members held a small counter-demonstration alongside the ‘March for England’ group. Counter-protesters shouted “Scum”, “You’re not English anymore” and “Who the f*ck is Allah?” as the Quds day march passed them.

Photos: al-Quds Day March & Rally

Police clash with anti-fascists in Brighton

English Defence League protesters are escorted through Brighton with heavy police protection
Around 30 protesters, mainly English Defence League supporters, joined a march organised by the English Nationalist Alliance through Brighton. They were given a heavy police escort as they marched through the town and were heckled by locals and anti-fascist counter-protesters. Police arrested several anti-fascist protesters as they attempted to stop the march through Brighton.

Photos: English Nationalists Alliance March in Brighton

EDL clash with police in Bradford

An English Defence League protester waves at anti-fascist protesters opposite
An English Defence League protester waves at anti-fascist protesters opposite

Several hundred English Defence League protesters held a static protest in Bradford, after the Home Secretary banned any marches from taking place. Police made over a dozen arrests after the EDL clashed with police as they tried to break out of the protest area.

Rocks, bottles and smoke grenades were thrown at police by protesters, one of which hit an EDL protester, who received treatment from police medics.

Photos: EDL clash with police in Bradford

EDL Return to Dudley

Around 300 English Defence League protesters returned to protest in Dudley. There was violence throughout the day as the EDL attacked police, pulled down metal fencing and rampaged through Dudley. The EDL had previously protested in Dudley against the proposed building of a Mosque, however, the plans were subsequently shelved. There are now plans to extend the existing Mosque instead.

Photos: EDL Return to Dudley

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.