Yesterday (Saturday 13th October) saw the latest march of the DFLA (Democratic Football Lads Alliance) in London.
A year after the largest demo ever assembled by their predecessor group, the FLA (Where 70,000 marched on Westminster), the message was being brought back to the capital that ordinary working folk will not tolerate Extremism, grooming gangs, disrespectful treatment of our Armed Forces and threats to our freedom of speech and way of life.
The DFLA liaised with the Metropolitan Police to set up the route, a very similar one to last year’s march, starting at Park Lane and ending by the War memorials in The Mall, a distance of around two miles. Unlike last year, the likes of SUTR (Stand up to Racism), AntiFA and elements of the trade Union Movement decided to mobilise in force this time around to counter demonstrate against what they saw as a ‘racist’ demonstration – one has to ask, what is ‘racist’ about demanding action against extremist terror, rape of young girls and the shocking treatment of veterans by this government? (But more of that later)
Meeting up with the March
I had agreed to meet up with my friends from March for England at Waterloo around 11am who were out to show support for the aims of the event. Stepping in to the main station from the Underground, there was a highly visible Police presence. Intelligence coming back had stated that this was the norm around all the stations and that a number of lads who had travelled in groups to attend the march had been issued dispersal notices by the Met and told to get back on trains to where they had come from or face arrest for obstruction – an ominous sign.
I soon saw the familiar face of ‘Spanners’, one of the MFE team, who advised me that the Police had attempted to question him and he had answered a couple of quick enquiries before walking away. A few more of the guys soon filed in and met at the designated point and we then made back to the Underground to head off to London Bridge where a number of football fan groups were meeting at a traditional pub.
The mood at this point was excellent as we mingled with assorted football fans and veterans at the pub, with one vet striking up a tune on his bugle to entertain everybody and getting a good reception.
A discussion between our group on what we were going to do next came to the conclusion that it was best for us not to do the full march as a couple of our number had recently had operations that would make a long walk difficult, so we resolved to make our way to Westminster and meet up with the demonstrators on The Mall. A quick trip down the Jubilee Line later and we found that one of our regular haunts was closed, so we made our way to Whitehall where the Police advised us we couldn’t come through and would have to go round via the Embankment to come in to the Mall from the Trafalgar Square end. They had cleared two ‘Sterile’ areas at either end of the road and closed it off, ostensibly to enable easy access for the marchers although that was not what happened as events unfolded.
We took the long way round and entered The Clarence pub opposite Horse Guards, settling in to await the arrival of the DFLA.
Word soon filtered back that that the March had been stalled along the arranged route – the counter demonstrators had not stuck to the agreed areas (In their case, opposite the Red Lion pub in Whitehall) and had broken up in to a couple of large groups to harrass the DFLA and stop the parade, despite Police instruction that any deviation from plan would result in arrest, arrests that they then proceeded not to carry out. Last year’s event saw around 100 on the counter demo from SUTR and there were no arrests on the patriot march despite one particularly vile individual surging forward on the Mall and spitting on a veteran in dress uniform whilst shouting ‘babykiller’ – this was done in front of a full bank of press photographers and was obviously done to provoke a violent response that was not forthcoming. This year, Police estimates were of around 2000 ‘anti-fascist’ demonstrators, many who had been bussed in free of charge courtesy of trade union funding and a large number had clothing and facial coverings to disguise their identities.
We ventured outside the pub to view the march but found that those coming down first were not DFLA but in fact around 80 AntiFA activists, breaching the ‘sterile zone’ and some of them fighting with the Police. (Below)
Some of their group made a run for the War memorials where a stage had been set up for the end of event speeches, but a line of Police moved up to stop them from doing so, trapping myself and my friends from MFE in the middle as they moved back up towards Trafalgar Square. As some of their number ran in to me, a Doorman at The Clarence grabbed me from behind and pulled me back in to the safety of the pub just before a number of officers piled through with truncheons drawn and swinging – it always pays to be nice to the bouncers when out having a cigarette and between him pulling me in and one of my MFE friends pushing away an onrushing thug to my left hand side I emerged relatively unscathed.
With the AntiFA presence dispersing, a pair of Police Officers came in to the pub looking for stragglers – the veteran from earlier with the bugle had also found his way to The Clarence and struck up the theme tune of ‘The Sweeney’ which those of us inside joined in with (‘Da-da-dah, da-dah,dah, dat dah da da da da da da da’), cue two slightly embarrassed officers withdrawing although I did detect a hint of a smile from one of them. (Left)
Also inside the pub were some bemused American tourists who had been ushered in by the police for their own safety who happily chatted with one of my friends – they couldn’t believe what they had seen from the the AntiFA thugs and will no doubt go back to their own country slightly shocked at what they saw. The Guardian has reported the following message from Labour about the actions –
In a message read out to counter-protesters at their own rally, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, who helped to organise the event, said: “Congratulations on today’s demonstration standing up against racism and far-right extremism.
What kind of message does this send to our American cousins? I also find it quite hilarious that they refer to racism and far right extremism when Labour threw out Jews from an event in North West London on Thursday night where Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was speaking whilst the cases of Labour anti-Semitism over the last couple of years are well documented. That they also support events where masked thugs can go around attacking women and calling it a ‘success’ shows the real nasty heart of the regressive left.
Finally, the march came in to sight but the numbers appeared to be quite small. I approached one of the stewards, Kaz, who I have worked alongside at other free speech events. She was almost in tears and visibly shaking as she recounted how they had been led by the Police straight in to the antiFA counter demo and how many were now stuck the other side of Trafalgar Square as the Officers attempted to keep the two factions apart. She had seen the women at the front of the march who were carrying a banner to support victims of grooming attacked and the DFLA lads had tried to protect them with it all getting out of hand and the police resorting to baton charges to try and regain control. Subsequent viewing of live stream You Tube videos has shown many who were trying to calm things down struck by the police as they lost control of the situation.
The previous year’s massively successful demonstration had been unable to be replicated as only a small number of those who set out for the day made it to the final end point, either by Police dispersal or not being to be able to get through the Union funded thugs who attacked the event, set off flares and were generally aggressive but well done to those who did make it through and heard the speeches that condemned hatred, child abuse and the rise of extremism in our country.
The Ministry of Truth Spins in to Action
Below is a video of the start of the march where you can see for yourself what this was all about including the ladies from the ‘Justice for Women and Children’ campaign
So, what did we see reported by the mainstream media?
George Osborne’s Evening Standard led with the headline, ” Far right protest spills in to violence as police officers attacked”.
Firstly, as I said at the top of the piece, what is far right about standing up to terrorism, grooming gangs and mistreatment of veterans?
The dozens they reported as fighting with the police can be seen from my commentary above to be far left protesters whilst DFLA marchers were diverted from the planned route to accommodate the violence that was unfolding before them. They reported that masked men shouted ‘nazi scum off our streets’, without mentioning that these masked and violent individuals were from the counter protest. They also say that some tried to ‘push through police escorts’ but do not adequately identify from which side.
The Guardian also refers to the march as ‘far right’ They referred to ‘The DFLA, a group formed of mainly middle-aged, white male football fans’ – you can see from the video above that this was not actually the case. They quote Weyman Bennett from the UAF (Unite against Fascism) as stating that the counter protest outnumbered the DFLA by 2000 to 1500 – but they don’t mention that the ‘anti fascists’ had been ferried down on free coaches paid for by the likes of UNITE, the RMT and Momentum, whilst all DFLA members pay their own travel costs and indeed that many had been turned away from the march by Police dispersal orders. Bennett himself is an interesting character, with a criminal record for violence and who is a leading member of the SWP (Socialist Workers Party) who closed ranks when one of their senior members, ‘Comrade Delta’, was accused of rape of a young girl.
The Mail Online went even further, accusing the march of being by ‘far right, anti Muslim football supporters’. So you missed out the women and also the large contingent of veterans there? Because of course, that doesn’t fit the narrative. They also called it ‘one of their largest demonstrations by far’. Actually Mail Online, you didn’t report at all last year when over 70k turned out as opposed to the couple of thousand you say turned up this time – did you give last year’s event no coverage as there were no arrests or violence? How is a couple of thousand one of the ‘biggest’ events when there were 70k last year?
They also stated ‘Vans and riot officers had to separate a rival crowd of counter-demonstrators, many of them masked, who shouted: ‘Nazi scum off our streets’ ‘ – so who was masked and shouting? Nobody on the DFLA march was masked as they were all obeying Section 60 of the Public Order Act, unlike the counter demo which can be seen below
The piece goes on to state that the likes of Tommy Robinson attended the last event and are trying to push the movement in a more ‘extreme direction’ – he was actually there in a journalistic role reporting for Rebel Media and was not a part of the event. Indeed, he has not spoken at a DFLA demonstration at any time.
They also write that Anne-Marie Waters, the head of For Britain, has spoken at events before and that the party is ‘anti-immigrant’. Whilst I am not a member or supporter of For Britain, they are anti Islamist extremism and pro controlled migration, not anti immigrant – the quote is from the inappropriately named ‘Hope Not Hate’ group, a ‘charity’ who receive large amounts of funding from trade unions and the Labour party and have campaigned in marginal areas during elections for Labour, with allegations of intimidation and violence hanging over their activists. Indeed, Matthew Collins who is their chief ‘intelligence’ officer is a former BNP and NF member who admitted in his own autobiography that he used to go out looking for BME Britons to indulge in a spot of ‘P**i bashing’ (His words).
The large number of photos in that piece contain many of the regressive left counter campaigners but the narrative is ambiguous – I would advise you to use your own discretion when viewing and feel sure that you will see through the opinion piece
The Sun , surprise surprise, also uses the term ‘far right supporters clash with cops’ in the headline without saying that the vast majority of the violence was from the counter demo.
In line with other reports it states that one supporter shouted “I’ll kill you” at Police officers which seems to be based on a Press Association quote – but which side did it come from?
They quote a source from the ‘anti fascists’ saying that the DFLA had been sandwiched between their supporters – Met Police take note, they have just admitted to a national newspaper that they ignored the instructions beforehand to keep order at the event.
The picture at the top of the piece also shows a punch being thrown – note the clothing, these are actually the ‘anti fascists’ as you can see from the dress code on what was a particularly hot day with temperatures in the region of 25c, but again this is not explained so feeds in to the feel of the piece about the problem being the actual protesters.
Without any background to the commentator, the piece states, ‘One person watching the clashes described it on Twitter as an “absolute scruffy shambles. Their [DFLA] pathetic march blocked by a much larger anti-fascist turnout” Unsourced comment? Well, I can do that as well and quote a friend of mine who was suited and booted going to a business meeting, He said he ran in to a number of Millwall fans outside pubs in Piccadilly and they were good natured and apologised to him for getting in the way as they stepped aside outside the pubs they were frequenting, the difference is he had no axe to grind in this and was unaware of the march that was going on yet the ‘unnamed source’ knows that is was DFLA and ‘anti fascists’. Unbiased reporting?
They also comment on a tweet from somebody who said he had been ‘verbally abused by a man with a shaved head carrying a St George’s cross flag and dragging a small child round’ They don’t put a copy of the tweet up, don’t reference where it came from or the context that led to it. Again, he has a small child with him – with violent ‘Antifascists’ trying to get at people and if it was your child, wouldn’t you be on edge to trying to protect him? Perhaps he was as bewildered as the tourists being funnelled in to pubs and fast food restaurants to get away from the violence?
They also printed the following from the Met Police –
Prior to the event, the Metropolitan police said it had imposed conditions upon marches and rallies being planned by the DFLA, and also upon the anti-fascist counter demonstration.
This stipulated that protesters must start their march at Park Lane, and continue along Piccadilly, St James’s Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and ending at Whitehall.
They fail to mention that the counter demonstration breached those conditions that led to the violence. Again. putting statements up and leading readers to a conclusion of their own making.
After yesterday’s shambles, I will be writing to the Metropolitan Police asking for answers as to why this demonstration was so badly policed and why those on the ground were so hostile to the DFLA demonstration whilst allowing the ‘anti fascists’ to breach the conditions imposed and run riot.
The press reporting of the event has been biased and leading, painting all those protesting as being ‘far right’ when this is not the reality of the situation. But why do they report in this way, even so called ‘right wing’ newspapers such as The Mail?
In my opinion, the depth of public feeling about grooming gangs, free speech and political correctness is now a genie that is out of the bottle. Working class people with genuine concerns about their community are dismissed as stupid, ill informed, far right or racist by our political classes and their friends in the mainstream media so any large display of dissatisfaction must be condemned and those people bracketed as beyond the pale.
The people are starting to see through this kind of propaganda across the Western world and it has been manifested by votes against the establishment over BREXIT and in national elections in the USA, Italy and Hungary. The establishment are rattled so are closing ranks and engaging their media friends to act like Orwell’s ‘Ministry of Truth’ from his famous novel, 1984.
This will not stand – we need to stand up, speak out and defend our values and our culture despite the brickbats thrown our way. Our children’s futures depend on it.
My thanks to Darren and MFE for additional photos used in this piece