Saturday 10 October: say NO to the racist EDL in Manchester!

Sat October 10th, 12 noon, Piccadilly Gardens

The racist hooligans of the English Defence League are planning a series of anti-Muslim demonstrations at towns and cities across the country in coming weeks. Previous EDL demonstrations have seen their thugs attack Asian people, chant “Muslims out” and worse at passers-by and make “seig heil” Nazi salutes.

It is vital that we do not sit back and allow a small minority of racist thugs with links to the fascist BNP to terrorise and intimidate Muslims in Britain. All communities need to stand up and link arms with Muslims against the EDL. That’s why there was a counter demonstration against the EDL in Birmingham in August. That’s why thousands of people were mobilised in Harrow last month to defend the local mosque against the EDL and its affiliates. We need to turn out and tell the EDL that they are not wanted in Manchester or anywhere else. We must not let these thugs turn the clock back to the 1970s when they ran round the streets terrorising black and Asian people — or back to the 1930s when Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts targeted Jews in the East End of London.

Key Figures

Tommy Robinson: Robinson – the name is a pseudonym – is from Luton and has emerged as the leader of the EDL in recent weeks. Close to Alan Lake, Robinson, 28, claims to be a carpenter and father of two. He established the United People of Luton to counter the protest of a group of Muslim anti-war protesters at the home of soldiers from the Anglian Regiment.

Jeff Marsh: A 44-year-old convicted football hooligan from Barry, South Wales, Marsh is a Cardiff supporter and has been jailed three times for violence, including a two-year sentence for stabbing two Manchester United fans. He claims to have a degree in criminal justice and has written a book on Welsh hooliganism. He set up the English and Welsh Defence League but appears to be less influential in the current EDL. He attended the protest in Birmingham.

Chris Renton: A BNP activist from Weston-super-Mare, Renton helped set up the EDL website. When his political links to the BNP emerged the EDL publicly distanced itself from him but he remains an important player behind the scenes. He attended the recent Birmingham protest. His brother is also involved.

Leisha Brooks: From Southend, Brooks appeared to play an organising role in the Birmingham demonstration, though she did have a pair of knuckledusters confiscated by police on the day. She is friendly with underworld figures such as Dave Courtney, Carlton Leech and Mitch Pyle, son of the gangster Joey Pyle, and also knows Jason Marriner, a Chelsea Headhunter hooligan made famous by the television documentary series, MacIntyre Undercover.

Trevor Kelway: A Portsmouth-based EDL supporter, Kelway has become a spokesperson for the EDL. In interviews to the press he has pursued the line that the EDL was a peaceful, non-racist organisation. The address he uses for the media traces back to an Afro-Caribbean hairdressers’ in Birmingham.

Davy Cooling: A 26-year-old known Luton football hooligan who now lives in Daventry, Cooling originates from Northern Ireland. He is a BNP member and registered his interest in attending the BNP’s Red, White and Blue festival in August. Cooling administers the Luton EDL Facebook page.

Joel Titus: Aged 18, Titus is of mixed race and comes from Harrow, North London. He is an Arsenal supporter though attends Brentford home games. However, he boasted on his Facebook page that he took part in the recent West Ham and Millwall clashes. He has been able to draw in Arsenal and QPR hooligans to EDL activities. He runs the English Defence Youth and is paraded to the media as proof of their non-racist agenda.

Richard Price: An Aston Villa fan, Price was a leading figure in the most recent EDL protest in Birmingham. Aged 39, he claims to be subject to a football banning order and has served time in HMP Ranby. He has attended EDL protests in Birmingham and London.

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