This is from fashwatch.org The EDL are right wing football hooligans and why durruti02 refuses to see this point we can only fucking ponder?
The English Defence League are a motley bunch of right wing football hooligans, BNP supporters and disillusioned youth looking or a good day out. Their presence on the streets is the first serious attempt by the far-right to control the streets since the BNP left that ground with their tail between their legs in the early to mid 1990’s. The group first appeared in Luton on 24th May in response to the actions of supporters of the Islamic fundamentalist Anjem Choudary who had jeered British troops returning from Iraq. On that occasion the EDL, some clad in balaclavas and Union Jack flags smashed shop fronts of Asian owned businesses and attacked people of Asian origin at random.
Since their debut in Luton the group have gone on to stage demonstrations in Birmingham, Leeds, Swansea, Wrexham, Manchester, Glasgow and Nottingham. When the group have managed to leave the comfort of the local Weatherspoons violence has invariably flared. During their demonstrations in Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham scuffles broke out between local youth, anti-fascists and EDL supporters.
While the claims of some anti-fascists that the outstretched arms of EDL members in song are Hitler salutes are often far-fetched and tedious, there is little doubt as to the the groups links with the far-right. The group was co-founded by BNP member David Cooling, BNP activist Chris Renton and Paul Ray who has recently developed a friendship with German former neo-nazi Nick Greger himself a close friend of the UVF’s Johnny “Mad Dog” Adair.
While the EDL have done their utmost to veil their links and similarities with the established far-right they have been unable to silence the more overtly racist elements at their demonstrations. In Birmingham members sang “dirty Muslim bastards” at a group of Asian lads while in Swansea supporters sang “we hate Paki’s more than you” and burned an anti-fascist flag. More recently the EDL have turned their attention towards anti-fascists as well as local Muslims with EDL supporters and anti-fascists clashing in the streets of Nottingham.
The EDL have made various token gestures aimed at convincing the general public that they aren’t a racist or fascist organisation, in a well choreographed publicity stunt members of the EDL appeared on Newsnight burning a flag emblazoned with a swastika. They have also strenuously denied any links to the BNP while the BNP have also done their best to distance themselves from the group realising that any connection could spoil all their hard PR work in presenting themselves as an “acceptable political party”. While the two groups seek to distance themselves from one another it is hard not to see the similarities in the language of the two. Like the BNP the EDL know the importance of avoiding the accusation of racism. The EDL say they are not against ordinary Muslims but rather Islamic fundamentalism, however quite how going on the piss and chanting “dirty Muslim bastards” and “we want our country back” combats Islamic Fundamentalism is anyone’s guess. This strategy of scapegoating Muslims is one that has worked wonders for the BNP over the last 10 years and one that the EDL know will attract people to their cause. The group attracts some people who are genuinely concerned by the spread of political Islam, a threat which does exist but that is over hyped by the mainstream media and made more noticeable by the current war in Afghanistan. That said the role of the group in reality can be little more than to stoke up racial and religious tensions in the country.
Quite what the long term strategy of the EDL is apart from stirring up trouble between Asians and whites in local communities is unclear at the moment. What is clear is that they taken nationalist politics back to the streets and that the involvement of some British football firms in their actions shouldn’t be ignored. Around the same time that the EDL emerged BNP activist Lee Barnes wrote an article on his blog entitled “The Transition Point for Nationalism” in which he called on the National Front (NF) to abandon electoral politics and concentrate on street activism. On his wish for the NF to turn to street politics Barnes wrote;
It could take all those Nationalists that have rejected the demands required for electoral politics, for whatever reason, and train them up and deploy them as street activists to counter the reds on the streets.
Now while the NF have not disbanded as a political party nor play a leading role in the EDL, though their members have appeared on EDL demos, it isn’t hard to see that the EDL are filling this role as a nationalist street mob who’ve increasingly taken to looking for fights with members of the anaemic UAF and other anti-fascists. The BNP could never mobilise in this way since it goes against their new image of family friendly, suited euro-nationalists, however another group of nationalists not attached to the BNP fulfilling this role not only takes the pressure off the BNP from more militant anti-fascists who may be drawn into confrontation with EDL but it also opens up the possibility of a second front for nationalism in the UK