Stand up to Racism – or stand up for Communism?

Saturday 17th November saw a mass march in London organised by ‘Stand up to Racism’ , allegedly against racism, ‘Islamophobia’, fascism and anti Semitism – having come across the organisation before, I was intrigued to see if this was really what they were concerned about or if there were other factors at play and to this end put my freelance journalist’s hat on to record the day and talk with people about what they were looking to achieve.

I arrived just before 12pm at the meeting point outside the BBC Centre in Portland Place to find the streets already awash with posters, various stands and placards piled up for people to help themselves to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of these posters and papers, as you can see, had mixed messages – for a march that was supposedly against anti-Semitism there were a lot of banners, flags and papers denouncing ‘Zionism’ as ‘Racism’. When I pointed out to a few of the protesters that Zionism is actually the belief that Jews have the right to self determination and their own homeland, many walked away from me. Those that did engage either advised that they were happy to support Israel’s right to exist but not on ‘Palestinian’ land or disagreed with the dictionary definition – but more of that later.

The trade unions were out in full force and large balloons were up alongside a makeshift stage outside the TV centre as more filed in to the meeting point. Socialist Party and Socialist Workers Party stands were dotted around at various points, with sellers out pushing the Socialist Worker magazine and The Morning Star. Buckets were passed around asking for ‘donations’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started to mingle with the crowd and introduced myself to a few people as a freelance reporter for UKFM News to get their take on events.

Whilst nobody wanted to be filmed, a number were happy to give quotes. Lisa from Chester said that she was attending as racism is a tool to divide us and that Theresa May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ policy was an example of extremism. She advised me that we are all one race but that racism now is worse than it has ever been. In her opinion, only a change of government and Jeremy Corbyn in No 10 would change that (She was wearing a Momentum badge). I was going to question her further but had to beat a hasty retreat as I saw some faces in the crowd who may have recognised me and I was not taking that risk at this stage.

Mary from Sheffield advised me that she was there to show unity against the ‘far right’ and that she was representing the majority against a hostile press and a ‘racist’ President Trump.

I walked further up to try and get some other views, walking past the following stand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attempts to engage in conversation about what they thought Zionism actually is proved fruitless, hostile body language and refusal to answer a straight question was all I got.

I then engaged with a young lady called Dani who advised me that her parents were from Chile – she was holding two posters and spread in between was a banner saying ‘Immigrants get the job done’ which she advised me was a quote from the popular musical, Hamilton.  She was happy to talk and told me she was there to oppose all forms of racism and push a positive image of migrants such as her family. I asked if she was aware of an MP in London who had opposed migrant workers coming to act as nurses in a hospital in her constituency, stating that they had no connection with the culture and community there to which she was rightly indignant – her view was that those of the medical profession help to save lives irrespective of where they come from. When I advised her that the MP in question was Diane Abbott, patron of SUTR, speaking about Swedish nurses in the 90’s she was quite shocked.

I also asked if she was aware of a Labour meeting last week in London, promoted by SUTR, that featured a known anti Semite and Islamist extremist, Shakeel Begg, talking about antisemitism (Poster below)

Again, she was genuinely stunned and told me that their ‘movement’ needed to have a better and more uniform stance on opposing all forms of racism.

This was a vast improvement on others who I had spoken with who either refused to believe it, stated it was a ‘one off mistake’ or simply walked away with a disgusted look on their faces.

I was impressed with Dani’s commitment and her openness on these issues and reflected to myself that if more on the march were like her then perhaps the day would not be a complete waste after all.

Unfortunately, as the march started to form up and move towards Westminster, my hopes in that regard were dashed.

Flags were in evidence with images of Che Guevara, a man whose stance on black people being ‘indolent’ and lesser beings than white Europeans is well documented,whilst the hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union was also flown – a real bastion of tolerance and diversity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then bumped in to Will, a Labour Party member who had been with us during the protests against anti Semitism on Parliament Square earlier this year. Whilst I disagree with many of his political opinions, he is a decent fellow and a man who has spent thirty years opposing racism from all sides, even being assaulted in his home borough of Harrow for sticking up for Jewish friends.

He advised me that he was happy to be filmed for his opinions and you can see that video here

 

I believe that Will truly is against all forms of racism but I felt so deflated by his answers to the questions about Shakeel Begg and the Labour candidacy of Ali Milani in Uxbridge & South Ruislip. Milani is a proven anti Semite and to switch the conversation to criticism of Israel being legitimate and having to have proper scrutiny is the cop out that Labour have been using to try and avoid confronting the rampant antisemitism in their party. To also mention JVL (Jewish Voice for Labour)  when they actually OPPOSED us on Parliament Square when we called out Labour anti Semitism can, in my opinion, only be for appearances sake whilst he tries to reform from within – good luck with that.

Will was shortly afterwards accosted by a woman who took him to task over Labour’s stance on Brexit, saying they were no longer socialists and that they have towed the UKIP line on the issue (I wish). She was harassing Labour members at the march demanding a ‘People’s Vote’, although she also revealed that she is not eligible to vote in this country. The march seemed to have a lot of angry remainers on it who blame our government for the ‘rise in racism’ and think that the EU will solve all those problems – hardly likely when their mass migration policies are fuelling tensions in the first place!

The March moved off but it was difficult to gauge numbers as the Police stewarded it in to one side of the road and they could not have been more than 6-8 abreast at any one time – the speakers later claimed there were 30k but looking at the form up at Portland Place I would reckon around 6-7k, although more did join as the march progressed.

It was a mix of students, posh people from South London, trade unionists, left and far left supporters and what Paul Joseph Watson refers to as ‘swamp donkeys’ – I will leave that final description to your own imagination!

The megaphones were in full force and amongst the chants were references to Tommy Robinson – “Tommy Robinson go to hell, take your nazi friends as well”

I found this quite ironic when you see the hostility towards the Jewish right to self determination I had come across earlier, many of the responses in breach of the IHRA definition of anti Semitism. Indeed, there were leaflets and banners out opposing the right of Jews to decide what is hostility towards themselves under that definition but those same people were fully behind the right of certain sections of the Muslim community to define ‘Islamophobia’ – maybe the extremists such as Begg and Azad Ali of the UAF whose organisation was listed as funding the march? I pointed out Ali’s history to some of the attendees – saying that British soldiers are ‘legitimate targets’, praising Al Qaeda cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki and stating that nobody would accept democracy at the expense of implementing sharia law. When challenged, I pointed out that journalist Andrew Gilligan had been taken to court over exposing this and Ali had lost – the response in the main was that they didn’t trust the judge and that Gilligan is not a reliable source. The exposure of Begg as an extremist in a Judge’s opinion was also similarly dismissed.

The purpose of the march was also I feel compromised by banners such as the one below

 

Prevent is the government’s anti-extremism strategy. Whilst it is flawed, it is a starting point from which engagement can be made and a modified strategy is essential to stop extremism at the root. Those I engaged with on the march about this were convinced that Prevent is ‘racist’ and the real problem is the ‘far right’. At the end of the march I discussed with two gentleman that the real problem is three fold – the real far right, Islamists and the regressive left. When I stated that Maajid Nawaz of the anti Extremist Quilliam Foundation has mentioned the triple threat on his LBC radio show, he was denounced as uninformed, a Zionist shill and his organisation was denigrated as a hotbed of extremism propped up by ‘Zionist’ funding.

In the pen

When the march ended at the meeting point on Whitehall, a screen and stage were in evidence.

Opposite 10 Downing Street is a pen that demonstrators are allowed to book and I soon saw some colleagues I had demonstrated alongside before in evidence – they are pro-Israel campaigners and had their flags with them

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were confronted by people from the march carrying Palestinian flags and being pretty intimidating – indeed, Harry who is in the picture on the left was assaulted from outside the pen with pro Palestinian campaigners trying to slap him around the face – I recognised one of them, a short man of Arab appearance, as being one of the people who was at the PSC event in London in October where a 70 year old Jewish woman was hospitalised.

They were trying to engage with the marchers to put across their point regarding the Gaza situation but, having joined them in the ‘pen’, I could see it was virtually impossible. Very few would debate with most just screaming insults and waving flags – I got a dose of this when I picked up an Israeli flag.

Those who did engage had little real knowledge of the situation – one even told me that Balfour was an ‘anti-Semite’ as he only drafted the declaration to get the Jews out of England. When I asked him why they are still here, although in reduced numbers, he didn’t have an answer.

Again, when I stated that there is a triple threat to Jews, I was told that there is no problem with the regressive left and the Islamists and it is all to do with the ‘far right’. When I questioned why Israeli flags are flown at the demonstrations they refer to as ‘far right’ I was told it was because they want the Jewish state so that they can send them somewhere else. When I put forward the opinion that maybe it was because they supported Israel against Islamist extremism from Hamas and Hezbollah then this was taken as an example of ‘far right Islamophobia’. I then gave examples of regressive left anti Semitism (Events where Jews are denied entry, the aforementioned assault on a 70 year old woman and Corbyn speaking alongside Islamists at Al Quds in 2012) which were all summarily dismissed as ‘smears’.

Stand up for Communism

When leaving the event, I walked past yet another stall with the below banner up

The Scottish gentleman manning the stand had been suspended by his trade union for constantly pushing this rhetoric but had seen nothing wrong in it – he said that ‘some of his best friends are Jews’.

It was a familiar theme throughout the day – despite allegedly being against anti Semitism, a large proportion of the march refused to accept that Jews can decide what they see as discrimination but you cannot question what everybody else sees as discrimination against them.

What I did see was a huge presence from the regressive left with an agenda against Capitalism, the current Government, Brexit and Trump.

Speakers included Weyman Bennett of the UAF, who ranted about the ‘thugs’ of the ‘far right’ – neglecting to mention that he has criminal convictions for assaulting Police officers and was part of the Committee of the Socialist Workers Party who covered up a rape allegation against senior member, ‘Comrade Delta’.

That they can masquerade under the banner of being anti racist and pull in decent people like Will and Dani under a false pretence should be a worry for us all – their real agenda needs to be exposed so that the integration rather than balkanisation of our country can be achieved.

Their divisive rhetoric for leftist political aims must not stand

 

 

 

 

 

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Orwell’s Ministry of Truth in 21st Century England

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)

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Extremism – An open letter to David Cameron

Dear Prime Minister

 Cameron outside parliament

In the aftermath of the tragic death of Fusilier Lee Rigby, I watched your speech on national TV where you outlined how the government will attempt to deal with the threat of Islamist terrorism.

I was hoping that the atrocity committed would concentrate the minds of those in power on what is a growing menace on our streets, but instead was greeted with a host of soundbytes and platitudes that prove that you do not know what you are dealing with in England today, let alone how to reverse the cycle of violence.

Let me take in order the courses of action you have laid out –

1-      TERFOR – The Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Task Force

 

On the face of it, a new task force to counter the threat seems like a good idea.

Then stand back and look at the reality – We have the assets in terms of security services and Police specialist divisions to do the job, they are just not allowed to get on and do it. Would TERFOR have the teeth to deport radical extremist preachers like Abu Qatada, or would they (Like our current Home Secretary, Theresa May) be thwarted by the Human Rights lobby and the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights)?

 David Cameron & Theresa May

Your idea of a task force includes senior ministers, MI5, police and moderate religious leaders – If you were really serious about this, how about inviting along organisations such as Quilliam who have ex-extremists amongst their number who can advise you how they were radicalised and how they emerged from that mindset? Rather than sitting in an office with Nick Clegg and Bernard Hogan-Howe , how about talking with real experts such as Ed Husain and Maajid Nawaz?

Reports since the atrocity have revealed that MI5 knew who the killers of Drummer Rigby were and had done so for years – What difference would a ‘taskforce’ have made if the security services were not able to close in and pick these people up?

2 – Urging Muslim ‘whistleblowers’ to report extremist clerics

 

The day after the atrocity in Woolwich, I had a long conversation with a Muslim friend who had phoned me to express his disgust with what had happened.

Not for the first time, he relayed to me how his father in the nineties had reported the extremist preachers at FinsburyPark mosque to the Police and they had done nothing about it.

His was not an isolated case.

My experience of the Metropolitan Police over the last fifteen years is that they are stifled in their duty by the fear of yet another report branding them ‘institutionally racist’, and will not go near anything contentious for fear of bringing down the wrath of the ‘Human Rights’ brigade.

3 – Stamping out extremism on university campus’

 

You were quite clear about trying to stop preachers of hate on campus at universities, a subject on which Home Secretary Theresa May has also been quite vocal.

Yet FOSIS (Federation of Islamic Student Societies) have invited a number of extremists to speak at universities around the country, including some who have propagated the leaflets of Dr Zakir Naik with the message ‘everyone should be a terrorist’.

Recently, your Faith and Communities Minister Baroness Warsi attended an event in the House of Lords organised by FOSIS as reported in the link below

http://www.studentrights.org.uk/article/2065/fosis_conference_at_the_house_of_lords_hides_its_promotion_of_extremists

Previously, Andrew Gilligan also filed this report for The Telegraph about OFSTED inspections

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8114452/Ofsted-praises-Islamic-schools-which-oppose-Western-lifestyle.html

Universities have successfully banned the BNP and National Front from recruiting on campus, surely it should not be difficult to do so with the preachers of hate?

4 – We will look at ways of disrupting people who may be influential in fostering extremism

 

Azad AliThis is Azad Ali, The Chairman and Treasurer of the Muslim Safety forum.

He is also the community affairs co-ordinator of the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) which in its own mission statement says it is dedicated to changing the ‘very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed….from ignorance to Islam’

Azad has written on his blog of his love for Al Qaeda cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, advocated the killing of British troops in Iraq (He sued the newspaper who reported that and lost) and was filmed by undercover reporters for the Channel 4 programme Despatches stating, “Democracy, if it means at the expense of not implementing the Sharia, of course no-one agrees with that”

In 2009, The Standard reported that The Muslim Safety Forum received a £30,000 grant from City Hall under the supervision of your colleague, London Mayor Boris Johnson.

This was an interesting development, as Ali had previously donated generously to former Mayor Ken Livingstone’s campaign. Indeed, Mayor ‘Red Ken’ reportedly authorised payment via the London Development Agency of £500,000 to build a new headquarters for the IFE through a donation to the East London Mosque. How much this was influenced by the IFE running a campaign during the 2008 London Mayoral elections called ‘Muslims for Ken’ is not clear.

Mr Ali has also now received a position with the ‘Unite Against Fascism’ (UAF) organisation as Vice-Chairman – UAF is an organisation that supposedly protests against fascists and racists in our society. Their Chairman is a certain Mr Ken Livingstone, and below is a picture of some of their supporters confronting the Police during a St George’s Day parade in Brighton last year.

 Brighton St G 2012 UAF

Brighton St G 2012 barricades

During the parade, two Police officers were taken to hospital and Police horses were injured, whilst a young girl received head injuries from missiles thrown at the parade by members of the UAF. (Below)

 Brighton St George's 2012 - Girl hit by missile

In view of your speech on stamping out extremism, it is difficult to see how the presence of Mr Ali as one of the leaders of an anti-racist organisation can be conducive to good community relations. It is also interesting to see the names on the founding signatory list on the link below to the UAF website, some of which I am sure you recognise

http://uaf.org.uk/about/founding-signatories/

I was also taken aback by Mr Livingstone’s post on the UAF website stating that terrorists would never win and that London would stand up to them – Is this the same Mr Livingstone who whilst leader of the GLC during the 80’s at the height of the IRA  mainland bombing campaign invited Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness to County Hall? A somewhat Damascene conversion, especially considering his recent history with the IFE.

5 – There is no question of restricting freedom of speech

 

From my own experiences in London, I would say that freedom of speech has been restricted for years – Only not for the Islamists who propagate hatred.

In 2011, I attended the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at a ceremony outside of the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square – You were there.

September 2011 uploads 014

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get near enough to hear your speech and the flowers I brought to lay at the memorial to the victims could not be laid until late afternoon.

The reason behind this was that the Islamic extremist group, Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) were having a demonstration and the Police would not let any of us through to pay our respects ‘in case we were going to cause trouble’. The extremists chanted through the 2 minute silence and burned flags – Subsequently, their organisation was banned but has re-surfaced again under yet another name. Indeed, their leader Anjem Choudhary was on both Channel 4 news and the BBC on the night of the murder of Drummer Rigby spouting his hatred on national TV.

One of their previous incarnations, Al-Muhajiroon, recruited the extremist who killed Lee Rigby and the pictures have been in the national press of him at a rally with the aforementioned Choudhary.

Yet Choudhary not only remains free to spout his hatred, he claims more in benefits than a British Army squaddie on the front line gets paid in Afghanistan – He seems able bodied (Certainly enough to get around the country preaching intolerance) so why has Iain Duncan-Smith and his team of benefit fraud busters not been after Mr Choudhary when they are so keen to go after the genuinely disabled and injured ex-servicemen?

In terms of freedom of speech – I have been ordered off of Trafalgar Square by the Met Police on Al Quds Day (An annual parade in London sponsored by the Iranian Government) that preaches anti-semitism  in case I ‘might cause offence’ by having an England rugby shirt on.

I have also been arrested after a flower laying ceremony for the victims of 7/7 with friends of mine because we were deemed to be ‘too close’ to a segregated conference in Stepney Green held by the Islamist organisation Hizb-ut-Tahrir (Who are banned across Europe but not in the UK) I was subsequently transported to Kent and released without charge so as not to inconvenience those who would promote discord amongst our community.

Extremist organisations in London

You talk of countering extremism, but I have witnessed Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, Lauren Booth,  in the shadow of Nelson’s Column stating that ‘Israeli’s will never have a moments good sleep in their beds’ and praising Hamas on that very same day that the Police ordered me from Trafalgar Square.

During the same event, a speech was given by Abdul Wahid, .the chairman of  Hizb-ut-Tahrir saying that he has respect for fighters ‘making jihad’, whilst John Rees of the stop the war coalition praised acts of violence against the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

Al Quds 2012 marchers with Hiz flags

However, probably the worst speech I heard on that day was from Shabbir Rizvi, using terms regarding President Obama that would have had any Englishman serving a prison sentence under the race relations act.

The link below will give you some idea of the atmosphere, including videos of the speeches

http://www.israellycool.com/2011/08/24/scenes-from-londons-al-quds-day-august-21-2011/

The following year, the same parade was attended by sitting MP Jeremy Corbyn (Who made a speech) and ended up at Grosvenor Square, with the battle flags of proscribed organisations such as Hezbollah being in full view. I wrote letters of complaint to Theresa May (Who you have indicated will be on your anti-terrorist taskforce), Ed Miliband as his party leader and my local MP, John Randall.

I have yet to receive a reply.

I requested that the Police present acted under Section 5 of the public order act when calls for violence against Jews and Homosexuals were invoked, yet was ignored and threatened with arrest myself unless I quietened down (After being served a Section 15 dispersal notice to vacate the area so the Islamists could set up their demo)

I wrote about the day on my blog site as can be seen below

https://englishpatriot.co.uk/2012/08/19/london-a-city-united/

What can be done?

 

You already have the laws in place to deal with extremism – You just need to enforce them correctly. Over the last few days, the police have used these laws to arrest an 85 year old lady from Gillingham for shouting ‘go home’ at a mosque and various people on line for ‘racially aggravated tweets’.

I deplore the way that this government and the previous one have eroded our civil liberties and curtailed free speech, but if you can arrest people such as the misguided old lady and prosecute people like Emma West for rants on a tube train then surely you can do a far better job with the likes of the Hizb conference speakers and the killers of Drummer Rigby who pose a far greater threat to our society?

You have the tools already in place to combat the preachers of hate if you have the backbone to use them – But will you have the nerve to take on the European courts and restore order to England?

Will you have the resolve to either stop the hate preachers getting in to our education system or, as would be more fitting in a genuine democracy, allow people to speak against them without fear of being branded a ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobe’.?

Your past history suggests not, but I hope this time that the revulsion felt for events will reach you in the Westminster Bubble and you can now prove me wrong – For the sake of all the citizens of England of all faiths and colours.

Yours Faithfully

CLIFF DIXON

ENGLISH PATRIOT

St George and the Dragons of Ignorance

The following post is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the views and policy of the UK Independence Party (UKIP)

During all the doom and gloom of the last couple of years, it has been good to see the upsurge in pride in our country that has been fostered by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and will hopefully continue via this summer’s sporting events.

Labour leader Ed Milliband has been quick to jump on the bandwagon and proclaim his ‘Englishness’ earlier this week on the back of this renewed sense of national pride, although having gone through the speech it is more a collection of soundbytes than a coherent strategy to restore our national identity – But more about that later.

This year is exceptional in the number of events so close together and the Jubilee was a huge and welcome one off event, but it has been noticeable over the last few years of the resurgence in celebrations of England’s national day on 23rd April – St George’s Day.

St Patrick’s Day in March has been a loud party for the Irish community for as long as I can remember, with everybody getting in on the festival atmosphere and having a good time enjoying ‘the craic’ and the Guinness, whilst the Welsh and Scots also celebrate St David and St Andrew in fine style.

Many towns and cities in England put on a St Patrick’s Day parade,including in London where successive Mayors have supported and sponsored what have been a great series of events over the last ten years. With the increased popularity of St George’s Day, I would hope that Boris Johnson may consider doing something similar to celebrate our patron saint in the near future – After all, the GLA has also sponsored events for Vaisakhi, Eid and Diwali in the capital and it would be good to have a day when English culture could be celebrated in the same way.

Unfortunately, and despite Mr Milliband’s cry to arms, there does seem to be an agenda in some quarters to either suppress this national pride or to smear it as something entirely different as I witnessed during a St George’s day event earlier this year.

St George’s Day with March for England

March for England started a St George’s Day parade in Brighton in 2008 (Above), where it was led out by The Gurkhas. Conceived as a family day out to celebrate our patron saint similar to some of the St Patrick’s marches that the Irish organise, the initial two years saw kiddies face painting and a party atmosphere at the pubs that the marchers visited on the day. The events were lightly policed and went off in good order with no problems at all, as can be seen in the picture below from the 2010 march

Unfortunately, there are some in our society who can’t tell the difference between being proud of your country and culture and being a ‘racist’, and started to oppose the march in 2010. Shortly after the picture above was taken,members of an organisation called ‘AntiFA’ assaulted a Police officer and attempted to get to women and children drinking in a pub.  This then led to a bigger Police operation in 2011, when members of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and The Socialist Workers Party decided to oppose the March – The difference in Police presence and equipment  can be seen below

I wrote about the atmosphere and the event where I was a guest of March for England on 14th May last year under the title ‘Patriotism – Is it a crime now?’ on this blog.

Despite the Organisers offering to meet with the ‘Anti-Fascist’ protesters (above) to explain what the march was about, they refused to discuss it and also ignored Police requests for talks. In the minds of these people, having a St George flag means that you must be either a member or associated with the BNP or The English Defence League (EDL),or hold racist, homophobic or anti-Islamic attitudes.It begs the question – What is the difference between having a St George flag on our patron saints day or a tricolour on St Pat’s? Both are a celebration of a Patron Saint and a culture, so why must one be demonstrated against whilst the other is to be celebrated?

St George’s Day in Brighton 2012 – The Dragons of Ignorance

This year’s St George’s Day parade was attended by fewer than the previous year – Many felt that they did not want to put their children in to an environment that was hostile as was seen in 2011, which with hindsight was probably not a bad idea.

The UAF, SWP and their cohorts had also been putting posters up around the town claiming that this was an EDL event to drum up support amongst the local community for their counter-protest. Again, March organiser ‘Pompey’ Dave offered to meet with them and address their concerns – His reward was to be branded a ‘Leading Portsmouth football hooligan’ based on an incorrect newspaper story from a few years back (Dave is not even a Portsmouth fan!). You also have to ask yourself if Sussex Police would be liasing with a known football hooligan year after year on not just this event, but others including a recent charity fundraising walk?

I took the photograph above at Brighton train station before the March got going, and as you can see there is a broad cross-section of people attending. It was also noticable that the only flags present apart from one ‘Help for Heroes’ banner were either the Cross of St George or the old English white dragon – This was a request from the organisers to reflect that this was a day for celebration of our country and culture by all and not a demonstration. The UAF were having none of it and posted on the net that March for England were inviting football hooligans and thugs to attend incognito, despite the request being quite clear.

We got a taste of what was to come at the station as some characters approached us whilst we were waiting to move off with a sheet on which was painted ‘We are all imigrants’ (Not a spelling mistake, this was how they had painted it on to the banner as can be seen above,pictured later on in the day). This was accompanied with chants of ‘we don’t want you fascists in our town’. Charming!

When the March did start, we didn’t get too far before being brought to a halt in a street where the pavements were raised above the level of the road that we were proceeding down. The counter protesters had blocked the road off ahead, and we got our first taste of the abusive language and missile throwing that was to follow us to the assembly point at Victoria Gardens and back to the station afterwards.Police officers clambered up on to the railings to try and stop this happening.

 

We found out afterwards that recycling bins had been emptied and that the protesters had been hurling bottles and other assorted missiles at the Police and their horses at the front of the parade, as can be seen in some of the images.Two Police officers were taken to hospital, and a number of Police horses were injured as was reported later by The Brighton Argus.

With the march unable to proceed past a makeshift road block, the Police took us down a side road where we found more abuse waiting for us. Bottles of urine were launched from the buildings above, and a wall of missiles could be seen flying in to the middle of the march from a side street. I was at the back of the march at this point, and as we were bunched up by the Officers at the back I could see that we were being herded in to the firing line from the side street that the Police on the left were unsuccessfully trying to stop.

A young girl in front of me was hit in the back of the head by a flying bottle and needed treatment by paramedics whilst a couple of officers tried to shield her from more harm. The gentleman escorting her, who I believe was her father, was given the opportunity to take her out of the march at this point but declined as there was no way of guaranteeing that he would be able to get past the ranks of counter demonstrators without further assaults being made.

Many of the protesters were taking pictures of those on the march, which I know from previous events are passed around and used to ‘identify’ targets for later on if you are still in the local area.

A particularly vile woman in a red jacket was shouting out that “It’s your fault, you shouldn’t bring your kids here you scum” as a justification for the assault. I later found out that she was the one identified by some of the marchers as having thrown the bottle! Fortunately, the young lady was OK and is pictured with a cool pack that the paramedics left for her to take the swelling down.

A number of megaphones were calling out and organising these attacks – Indeed, one behind the march was encouraging people to ‘get more missiles, they are putting the kids in the middle’. When I pointed out to one of the officers that this is an offence under the public order act and he should be arrested, I was advised that they were taking photos and would be making arrests after the event as any show of force at this point could lead to additional violence.Bearing in mind that many of the protesters had their faces covered and could not be identified, I couldn’t help but think that the main perpetrators would get away scot free. 

On Victoria Gardens

The March finally made it to Victoria Gardens, where speeches were to be made as had been done in previous years. The UAF were out in force as can be seen in the photo on the left.

In 2011, a lady whose son lost his life in Afghanistan had made a particularly moving address but this was not to be in 2012. She was in attendance this time and I spoke with her at the start of the March where she advised me that those protesting had made her life ‘hell’ . It begs the question as to what sort of sick moron torments a mother who has lost her son in the service of our country? 

 

You also have to ask what kind of  ‘anti-fascist’protester would turn out with their face covered and parading a banner like the one in the picture below as seen on the walk down to the green? What has this to do with opposing racism and discrimination in your community?

Worse was to follow as we stood surrounded by our Police escorts. The black clad ‘AntiFA’ activists turned up and started patrolling the Police lines, looking to pick off anybody who was not behind the wall of officers.

The by now familiar taunts of ‘St George wasn’t English’  raining in from the other side of the line were greeted with a spirited chant from those assembled of ‘St George was a foreigner’ followed by a wag down the front starting up a chorus of ‘We’re not racists anymore!’ which was greeted by bemused looks from the assembled UAF before they reverted to a monotone ‘racists off our streets’.

We were then advised that the speeches were cancelled due to security considerations, and that we would be escorted back to the National Rail station where we should leave Brighton. In previous years, arrangements have been made with local pubs to carry on the day but with around 400-500 protesters intent on getting at the 120 or so on the march this time around that would not have been practical.It would also have been difficult to slip away for a quiet pint along the front with the amount of protesters on the look out for stragglers who they could pick off from the mass of photo’s they were taking, although I understand some did manage to carry on afterwards.

 

The Police brought vans across, and we were escorted out of the park behind the line of vehicles to stop the demonstrators getting to us once again. (Above) Unfortunately, the respite didn’t last for long and we were harried all the way back to the station by the motley collection of ‘anti-fascists’ with more missiles thrown.

Just before we went under the railway bridge, one particularly loathsome individual surged towards us with an Irish tricolour and started chanting, “IRA, IRA ” – I hope his ‘enlightened’ friends are happy with him for praising paramilitaries and for using the flag of the Republic in an inappropriate way at a celebration of England’s patron saint.

Unfortunately, it was typical of the bigotry and intolerance we had seen on the day from people who claim to oppose such things!

The patriots of March for England had once again shown restraint in the face of serious provocation from this motley assortment, and I am happy to say that there was none of the racist chanting that the UAF claimed that there would be at the event  – Indeed, I have witnessed MFE working alongside people of many different races, religions and colours when covering their organisation for the blog so would have been far more surprised if there had been any! One idiot who nobody seemed to know threw a Nazi salute at the protesters and was swiftly and robustly dealt with by stewards and ejected from the march – It may have been a sarcastic reply to the taunting, but this kind of thing gets shown zero tolerance at events I have attended as a guest. A pity that AntiFA don’t show the same attitude as can be seen from the photo above.

A further viewpoint on the day was written by my friend ‘Esmerelda Weatherwax’ and can be viewed via the following link

MFE Brighton 2012 – Esmerelda Weatherwax

St George – A figure to unite and celebrate

It never ceases to amaze me that these so-called ‘anti-fascist’ protesters chant that ‘St George wasn’t even English’ at the marchers every year.

We are all aware of the Legend, and that our patron saint hails from overseas. Indeed, St George is the patron saint of many countries and regions around the world and as such could be held up as an example of how one man is a unifying figure to rally round and celebrate irrespective of your background.

Many countries have a patron saint who is not from their homeland, but still celebrate their life and have them as a focal point for national celebrations. St Patrick is a case in point – Whisper it low in Dublin, but he was actually an Englishman!

To my mind, this makes St George an ideal figure to represent a national day in England where we can all get together and celebrate the things that make our culture and country unique, a day where the kind of pride we have in who we are can be expressed in the same way as we saw last week during the Jubilee celebrations. The flag of St George is an inclusive flag as seen by his popularity around the world, not the badge of extremists as the likes of the UAF would have you believe .

Slaying the Dragons of ignorance

It appears that there are some who view being proud of your country as being some kind of affliction, that having such pride is tantamount to being some sort of swivel eyed fascist lunatic. The picture above from the 2012 St George event in Brighton makes it quite clear that in the eyes of the likes of the UAF and the SWP, ‘patriotism breeds racism’.

Unfortunately, this kind of ridiculous rhetoric seems to have many sympathisers in the corridors of power in this country. Green party leader Caroline Lucas MP was out with the UAF during the Brighton event, and has even had the brass neck to complain about the Police handling of the demonstrators, despite their violent acts towards both the women and children on the march and the Police themselves.

Her Green party colleague and Brighton councillor, Ben Duncan(left), has been vocal in his support for an anarchist group called ‘Smash EDO’ whose numbers include UAF members and who have staged violent protests against a military contractor in the town. Cllr Duncan is the cabinet member for community safety, and was reported by the BBC on 1st May as having tweeted that he ‘only smoked cannabis whilst murdering,raping and looting’, for which he has since apologised.

Whilst the rest of the country was celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee last week, Smash EDO were staging a demonstration against a war with Iran and the EDO factory, whilst other ‘left wing’ groups also staged a UK Uncut march through Brighton on the Saturday (2nd June).

The UAF staged a ‘stuff the jubilee’ party in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne on 4th June as reported on Sky News, yet they claim that this is their ‘democratic right to free speech’ that they would deny to others.

Which brings me back to why I feel that Labour leader Ed Milliband is purely paying lip service to the idea of Englishness and patriotism.  Below is a link to the list of signatories to the UAF founding statement on their website

 UAF Founding statement signatories

Look at how many MP’s are on this list from his party – Indeed, look at how many there are from all the parliamentary parties, including Prime Minister David Cameron!

How can any of them honestly hold their head up and make a speech such as Mr Milliband did earlier this week when this organisation claims that patriotism is racism? How does Mr Cameron have the nerve to go on national TV praising our Queen when members of this organisation that he is a signatory to are having a ‘stuff the jubilee’ party on the streets of England?

Indeed, new UAF Vice-Chairman Azad Ali (above) is the community affairs co-ordinator of the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) , a group dedicated to enforcing it’s own interpretation of Islamic law on to the democracies of Europe.He was quoted as justifying the killing of British troops and then unsuccessfully sued the newspaper who printed the story, has praised Al-Qaeda cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki and was filmed by undercover reporters from the Channel 4 Despatches programme saying, “Democracy, if it means at the expense of not implementing the sharia then of course no-one agrees with that” .

How does this square with the patriotism that Mr Milliband speaks of, when a senior member of an organisation that such Labour party luminaries as Ken Livingstone, Tony Benn and Diane Abbott are happy to have their name linked to would like to impose an alternative legal system above our own laws and democratic rights?

The way ahead

My idea of patriotism revolves around culture, country and community. We have seen recently how not just the English but all of our commonwealth cousins have come together to celebrate a joyous occasion in our country’s history. We are all part of the tapestry that is 21st century England irrespective of our backgrounds, and such events help to bind us together as a truly united nation.

I was fortunate enough to mingle with the crowds in London during the Flotilla on 3rd June and it brought home to me just how much we have to be proud of in England, a fact not lost on the multitudes who turned out from all corners of the world.In the face of onslaughts on our way of life from the twin evils of the EU and extremist terrorism, it is good to celebrate who we are and to be reminded of what we have achieved as a nation.

 To continue to achieve as a country, we need to work together and have a feeling of belonging. A national day to celebrate this without the divisiveness of the likes of the UAF and their ilk would be a start, where the English people of all colours and faiths can gather under our flag and proudly say ‘We are a part of this community and we stand together, more alike and united than we are different’.

It has been brilliant to stand together under our flag for the last fortnight without any of the negative connotations put about by those who would destroy such feelings of belonging – Let us hope that this is a turning point where all the people of England, be they black or white and of whatever religion, can stand together and say, “This is our country, this is our community, and we want to take it back from the extremists and those who disrespect it”

A big thank you to Mickey English and Esmerelda for additional photgraphs used in this piece, and to Lawson Narse for the St George artwork.