The following post is the opinion of the individual author and does not necessarily represent the views of The UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Like many of you, I viewed the onset of the Olympic Games in London with anticipation but a hint of trepidation, especially in view of the G4S security blunders and the government’s ability to pluck disaster from the jaws of victory.(The Olympics – Testament to Cameron’s Folly, posted July 15th)
Thankfully, we need not have been worried – The opening ceremony was visually stunning (Although I have to ask what possessed the organisers to involve Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty and Doreen Lawrence in it?) , our forces personnel filled the G4S void and were a credit to their regiments, whilst our athletes out-performed even the British Olympic committee’s lofty targets for them in the medals table. The country was awash with patriotic fervour and the flags came out to support Team GB all across the capital (As seen at Victoria Station, top)
For two glorious weeks, everybody came together across the country irrespective of background and willed Team GB on to even greater heights – It didn’t matter about your skin colour, religion or ‘class’, we were all supporters and all proud of the competitors from OUR island.
Those competitors mirrored their supporters,too – We had medal winners from all sections of the English, Scottish,Northern Irish and Welsh communities, from Royalty in Zara Phillips through to Super-Heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua from London, from distance runner Mo Farah to the long jump champion from Yorkshire, Greg Rutherford (below) and the Chambers brothers in the rowing from Coleraine. Everywhere you looked, we had new heroes for our children to emulate.
It really brought home to me how sport was uniting our community whilst out in Hayes on the final weekend of the Olympics. I spotted a house with a large St George’s flag hanging from the top window, with smaller Union flags and bunting draped across the downstairs windows and porch – In amongst the flags in that porch were pictures of the Hindu God, Ganesh. For those two weeks, as during the Golden Jubilee celebrations earlier in the year, I felt a great sense of patriotism that was enveloping our area and pulling us all closer together irrespective of our different origins.
Shattering my illusions
I received a phone call from my friends at March for England to inform me that the annual Al Quds parade would be winding it’s way through London preaching it’s messages of hate and sectarianism on our streets, although this year it was being carried out on a Friday in line with the rest of the Middle East rather than the Sunday that we were used to.
On the face of it, the parade seems to be a standard demonstration of an opinion which under normal circumstances I would have no issue with. I am a strong believer in the right to free speech which our ancestors have in many cases laid down their lives for, but I do not believe that the right to free speech should be abused as a basis for bigotry and anti-semitism.
The picture on the left was taken at the start of the Al Quds parade, and the battle flags of Hezbollah can clearly be seen – Hezbollah are a proscribed organisation in the UK under anti-terrorism laws, but those waving them were given a Police escort to spread their message through London on 17th August. The link below, a letter from the US Senate to the EU Commission, should give you an idea of what they are about
Cat and mouse through London
With the parade being on a Friday this year, it was more difficult for the counter demonstrators to get to the event. We met in London and were soon spotted and followed around by various officers of the Metropolitan Police, who approached us to verify why we were in London and what our intentions were. Isn’t it marvellous to know that when a march is organised in London to call for a holy war and the extermination of an entire race of people that our boys in blue(Or, more accurately, their politically correct masters at New Scotland Yard) are more worried about a few Englishmen who would like to express their democratic right to reply?
Our friends from the Iranian Greens were already on the streets, as seen by one of their members confronting the march on the left. The Al Quds parade is sponsored by the Iranian Government (pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini were prominent as seen by the pictures), yet nobody on the march was protesting against the human rights abuses perpetrated on their own people by Ahmadinejad and the ruling party of Iran which has no democratic mandate – Am I the only one to find this somewhat strange?
We moved on through Audley Street and arrived at Grosvenor Square, the destination for the parade, a few hours before the scheduled arrival of the marchers. Myself and a few members of March for England engaged in conversation with some demonstrators outside the Indonesian embassy,including a very vocal young lady in a wheelchair. They were part of the Free West Papua campaign, trying to highlight the plight of the native people who have been occupied by the Indonesians since the break up of the Dutch empire after world war 2. Their literature claims that 400,000 people have died as a direct result of this occupation, yet the West have said nothing and the press cannot report as all foreign journalists are banned from an island that is home to the worlds second largest rainforest. The contrast with the ‘Al Quds’ demonstrators, who have the right to free speech,could not be more stark if their claims are genuine.
After our chat and a quick pint in the Audley Arms, we moved on to the green outside the American Embassy to soak up the glorious weather. The Police presence was already quite obvious, with an officer coming over to talk with a few of us and advising us that the protestors had ‘spotters’ out to identify anyone who was likely to counter-demonstrate.
We quickly identified one who was sat next to one of the fountains – Why do these Islamist youths always dress in top grade Nike trainers and baseball caps? For people who claim to loathe western ways and traditions, I find it ironic that they latch on to the latest fashions amongst our youngsters and adopt them as their own! One of the officers advised us to move to a sectioned off area at the top of South Audley Street – When we asked why, we were advised that it was ‘for your own good as we can’t guarantee your safety if you stay here’. So there you have it – If you are an Englishman with your own opinions, the Metropolitan Police cannot guarantee your safety on the streets of your own country in the face of a march by two proscribed terrorist organisations sponsored by a rogue state. That sound you hear is Churchill spinning in his grave.
With the screen for events being set up, one of my MFE friends gave a quick gesture for effect (Mobot,anyone?) and then we retired to the position set aside for us. It was way too far back from the main event, and we struggled to hear some of the rhetoric. However, we did see not only Hezbollah flags but also those of Hamas, another proscribed group,plus we heard chanting regarding the elimination of the Jews.
When I confronted Police officers who were next to us and challenged them to make arrests under both the Public order and Race relations acts, they quickly turned their backs on me. I wonder if they would have been so quick to turn away if I had made comments about the marchers of a discriminatory nature and they had made a complaint?
Another account of events from my friend, Esmerelda Weatherwax, can be viewed below
It also became apparent that the Labour MP, Jeremy Corbyn, was making a speech at the event. Bearing in mind the organisers, I sent the following email to his party leader, Ed Miliband, earlier today.
Email to Ed Miliband concerning a Labour MP’s attendance at Al Quds
I am writing to you with regards to one of your MP’s, Mr Jeremy Corbyn.
On Friday, Mr Corbyn made a speech at the annual Al Quds day rally outside the American Embassy. The Al Quds day march is sponsored by the Iranian Government and is supported by two banned terrorist organisations in this country, Hamas and Hizbollah, both of whose flags and imagery were very much in evidence at the event. Whilst the march is supposedly to call for the ‘liberation of the Palestinian people’, it features anti-semitic and anti-western rhetoric at every turn and a number of the speeches praise terrorism and genocide.
I find the presence of an elected representative at such an event repugnant and would ask if Mr Corbyn’s presence was sanctioned by your party and,if not, what he was doing at an event which in previous years has seen calls for jihad, racist comments about the US President and cheers for the persecution of Christians and Jews in the Middle East.
I also emailed Theresa May(Home Secretary), Nick Herbert (Minister for Policing and justice) and Uxbridge MP John Randall today regarding the march. We have just seen two events that have pulled us together as a nation and promoted the community cohesion that the politicians of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties tell us that is one of their priorities. For them to ignore extremism on the streets of London that would call for another 7/7 or 9/11 is a disgrace and a betrayal of our country and it’s citizens of all backgrounds – The same citizens who so embraced the community spirit of the Golden Jubilee and the Olympics and restored my faith in England and the British isles as one people with a common goal.
My email to Theresa May, Nick Herbert and John Randall
I am writing to you in your capacity as my local MP with my concerns about an annual march that takes place in London, the Al Quds parade.
I have witnessed the last two parades personally, and am perturbed that this level of hatred and anti-semitism is not only allowed on the streets of London but has a full Police escort through our capital city.
The march is sponsored by the Iranian Government, and supported by Hamas and Hizbollah – Both of these are on The Home Office list of ‘Proscribed Terrorist Organisations’ and their emblems and flags are always in full view at this event (I have attached a link below to show this year’s scenes) I am led to believe that it is a criminal offence to promote any group on that list.
Whilst I believe in the right to free speech and am opposed to Section 5 of the Public Order Act as a restriction on that right, many of the speakers I have seen over the two years I have attended have breached not only that law but also many under the Race Relations Act, yet the Police stand by and allow this to happen.
I pointed out to officers at this year’s event that there was a clear violation of Section 5 being carried out yet they just shrugged their shoulders and walked away. Previously at the 2011 event I was given a section 15 dispersal notice to vacate Trafalgar Square during the march as my presence may have been offensive to the marchers (I had an England rugby shirt on!) Below are videos of the speakers from 2011 whose topics range from anti-semitism, through praise for Jihad and destruction of religious places of worship, on to just plain racism (Shabbir Rizvi made his comments about President Obama whilst the Met looked on, yet there have been recent prosecutions for the likes of Emma West whose misguided rant was far less hate filled)
Note also at the 2011 event the presence of Abdul Wahid, a senior member of the Islamist organisation Hizb-ut-Tahrir. This organisation is banned across most of Europe, and has clear links to various extremist groupings, yet they are allowed to preach their hatred on the streets of London.
It is interesting to see that he can go about his business as he sees fit, yet myself and fourteen friends were arrested last year whilst having a quiet drink in a pub a few miles away from one of their conferences ‘in case you might have been thinking of disrupting it’ – We had been laying wreaths at Tavistock Square with full knowledge of the Police on an annual event to commemorate 7/7! We were subsequently transported to Kent and then released without charge.
With the ever present threat of Islamist terror organisations, I would like to know how allowing a march which glorifies such people and also blatantly breaks the race relations and terrorism acts can be allowed to continue every year with an escort from The Metropolitan Police and, this year, with a speech from a sitting Member of Parliament in Jeremy Corbyn?
Last year, Home Secretary Theresa May banned a march through Tower Hamlets by The English Defence League which is perceived as the other side to the same coin, so surely a precedent has been set which can allow the banning of this event?
I look forward to hearing your views on this.
Personally, I am not interested in the politics of the Middle East and would rather spend my energies fighting for equality for England. I will, however, campaign against extremism in my own country and fight for the rights of all Englishmen irrespective of colour,creed or religion. I object to Islamists marching through London and praising the likes of the 7/7 bombers who killed my countrymen, and I will not sit idly by and allow our hard won personal freedoms eroded by religious bigots,’politically correct’ lobby groups and compliant politicians. 2012 has shown the best of our community via Royal pomp and competitive sports that have bound us together as a nation – We need to take that forward in a positive way and confront and challenge the negative influences in the lives of our countrymen and our children.
My thanks for additional information and photo’s go to Esmerelda Weatherwax, The Iranian Greens, Ben Weald,Roxy and the Israelly Cool website.