Friday, 29 July 2011

Why i feel banning the far right EDL would be a dangerous precedence to set

As i'm sure you are all well aware over the last week or so the far right and their activists have been thrown into the spotlight following the horrific murderings in Norway of young innocent teenagers and the bomb attack in Osl city centre.

There has been increased calls from the EDL to mount demonstrations and march's to stand with the person who performed these horrific actions.

Likewise many are also calling for groups like the EDL who are anti muslim and oppose islam and would be considered far right to be banned from marching and protesting.

Who are the EDL ?

The EDL has now organised around 15 principal figures loosely based around the football firms providing the most support. Not all of those involved are from a football background, and many of the men have yet to meet each other face-to-face. But they are mobilising for each other on trust, using websites including Facebook and YouTube.

The British National Party has distanced itself from the EDL, but anti-racism campaigners have named party activists they have photographed at demonstrations. They add that some demos have included people with a record of football violence.

Each demonstration has led to confrontations. But leaders like Tommy are appealing for demonstrators to avoid drink because they don't want to be written off as racist thugs.

In Birmingham last week, the BBC filmed black and white men alongside each other on EDL's lines.

So if it's not exclusively white, is it just a cover for a wider Islamophobia?

"People aren't against Islam, they aren't against anything else other than the funders of terrorism, the sworn enemies of Britain," says Tommy.

"For 10-15 years these groups have gone unchallenged in our towns and cities. Those days have gone now. We will challenge them. Wherever there are terrorists, we will be there."

Street army

Nick Lowles is the editor of Searchlight, which campaigns against far-right extremists.

Whilst i do not agree with a thing the EDL stand for or their actions at all i do feel that stifling their right to protest as much as we disagree with them and what they stand for would be undemocratic and set a dangerous level of precedence for other protests.

I could see a situation if a call to ban protests by the EDL was stretched to cover all politically motivated or any supposed politicaly motivated protests. Any that are deemed provocative in any such way would be banned.

This is not the country i'd like to live in. Whilst i do feel we should all have the right to protest which is still a very hot potato at the moment especially on the left right now with police brutality called into question on several ocasions i would not like to see riots either. A peaceful protest with banners loud noise and well mannered protest is fine i'd say but trying to stir up racial hatrid or inciting violence is something the labour movement cannot support or condone .

So i do feel going forward that peoples right to protest should be upheld and respected while respecting peoples rightto disagree and form a counter demonstration which we are happy to do on the left to offer people a alternative a working class alternative to unite us all whichever race, creed, religion or nationality you happen to be.

At the end of the day we are all workers and facing the same challenges for jobs, food, housing and living conditions so i feel we would be better placed uniting as the working class than as a nationality or a race or anything i feel it is counter productive and only turns us further against eachother, playing right into the ruling class's hands.

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