Print Story Still in one piece
By TheophileEscargot (Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 02:25:29 PM EST) (all tags)
Though that was pretty scary.

So today I went to the UAF counterdemonstration to the far-right racist EDL demonstration in Tower Hamlets. That was good, went off smoothly, it started at 11AM long before the EDL demo at 3PM.

After the counter-demonstration speeches stopped, met up with some other people and we wandered up towards Liverpool Street station to see what was going on, and hopefully find an open pub. After wandering around we found ourself at the tail end of the EDL non-March, following them up to the place where they were holding their demo, being harangued by loudspeaker about the evils of Islam.

Seemed too good an opportunity to waste. One of the guys, an elegantly dressed black guy in a sports jacket looking just about the exact opposite of an EDL member, came up with a plan: walk into the demo and chant the generic antifascist slogan "Shame On You!" to show what we felt. Three of us were up for it, but one guy was reluctantly made the cameraman.

So, we two conspicuously non-white guys walked up to the crowd of 200 racists and started chanting.

They were not happy about it.

We were quickly surrounded by yelling, screaming EDL guys. Got separated from the other guy, tried to walk away but was surrounded. I thought "This is it, I'm get clobbered", but held my hands down in front of me to make it clear I hadn't thrown the first punch.

I didn't hear it, but apparently the EDL stewards were desperately yelling "Don't hit them! Don't hit them!"

Eventually a black-clad arm grabbed my shoulder and I thought, "Now this is it", but it was a cop. All credit to the police, a couple of them escorted me back behind the lines and I got out there in one piece.

Also in fairness to the EDL stewards, they didn't actually lay a finger on me for those thirty seconds or so, though I think I would have been toast if the cops hadn't stepped in. Which would have exposed the EDL as violent pretty well, but put a real crimp in my day.

So, thanks to the police, sorry to make your life more complicated, but you have to stand up for what you believe in.

Hopefully the video will follow at some point.

(Not mentioning the names here in case the guys want to keep it private in case of reprisals).

< What's A Little Baby Doing... | SCO/Lunix-heads only >
Still in one piece | 31 comments (31 topical, 0 hidden)
That's what I always say about you by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 9) #2 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 02:41:20 PM EST
"Dmg, that guy sure doesn't like to stir the pot. If there's anyone in the world who doesn't like pot-stirring, it's dmg."
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
One white supremicist rally... by ana (4.00 / 1) #4 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 03:07:11 PM EST
"featured" a counter rally, in which the demonstrators would do a call-and-response thing, thus: 


Which they proceeded to deliver, in abundance (the flowers).

I now know what the noise that is usually spelled "lolwhut" sounds like. --Kellnerin

How does that indicate you didn't hit first? by ammoniacal (4.00 / 0) #5 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 03:12:19 PM EST
Furthermore, that statement implies that someone punched first and you skipped straight over that bit. I'll chalk it up to the residual adrenaline.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

No by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 3) #7 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 03:21:12 PM EST
I thought there was going to be a fight and if I was on camera I wanted it to be clear that I hadn't thrown the first punch, and that if someone hit me they couldn't claim self-defence.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Good idea by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #8 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 03:29:49 PM EST
Do you mean good idea for you personally, or good idea for society as a whole?
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
If you're standing up for what you believe in, by ambrosen (4.00 / 4) #9 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 03:57:01 PM EST
you probably don't need someone to tell you not to hit people.

Also, I know there's something I really need to say to you, but I keep forgetting what. Oh wait, here it comes now: fuck off.

I'm not sure you know what genuine means. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #14 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 07:23:53 PM EST

[ Parent ]
They can't have it by lm (4.00 / 1) #21 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:25:54 PM EST
Only in a very simpified version of democracy is the idea of voting away democratic principles not self-contradictory.

Not many regimes in history have had that sort of democracy. Most nation-states that are democratic have recognized that there should be inherent limits on democracy.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
So, it's binary like that? by lm (4.00 / 1) #20 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 10:23:17 PM EST
Seems to me that it's quite possible for beliefs to come in degrees of acceptability. Some (perhaps most) might be somewhat indeterminate with regards to their acceptability and, consequently, mostly on an even playing field. But that doesn't mean that others can't be entirely unacceptable and still others might not be entirely accepted.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Kind of echoing UCB... by Metatone (4.00 / 3) #10 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 06:24:44 PM EST
I admire your moral courage... but it feels risky to me.

Depending on exact circumstances it can be fairly trivial to survive a group beating.
Trouble is... it only takes one guy with a knife...

And you're far too valuable a member of the HuSi community for that to be a good thing...

I don't know by Herring (4.00 / 1) #11 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 06:37:51 PM EST
Maybe what HuSi needs at this point is for one person to lay down their life. And Perkins, we want you to be that man.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
I guess.... by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #19 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 09:26:04 PM EST
I didn't necessarily mean he shouldn't have done it, or I don't hope to have the guts to do that sort of thing in the same position. 
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
One of us thought he might have been stabbed by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #24 Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 06:59:53 AM EST
Cos he felt something in his back. We looked at the footage later and it was a guy with a pot on his leg poking him with his crutch lol.

I didn't at any point think the violence would rise to that level. They might be scum but they're not Combat 18.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
if you feel good about having done it, then by tierrasimbolica (2.00 / 0) #12 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 07:04:58 PM EST
 cheers.  and hugs.

I'll throw a fiver in the pot for your lifetime su by brokkr (4.00 / 3) #17 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 08:32:48 PM EST
pply of Brasso. Well done.
Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: dómr um dau∂an hvern.

Seconded <n/t> by jimgon (2.00 / 0) #18 Sat Sep 03, 2011 at 08:58:36 PM EST

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
I was with him by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #22 Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 06:55:59 AM EST
I was the one with the camera. I was a willing participant. It seemed like since we'd managed to get all that way and basically infiltrate their demo it'd be stupid not do something.

I got caught behind the police line with the EDL for a short while (seconds) after it all happened,  which was by far the scariest part. The police mistook me for an EDL member. One of the policemen realised this wasn't the case and ushered me out.

It was scary, but I didn't at any point think it'd come to anything worse than being pushed around a bit or maybe getting punched. Not even that happened in the end. It was a case of them running at us angrily, then stopping short when they got to us not really knowing what to do. There were policemen there and I don't think any of them wanted to get arrested.

I feel a bit differently about the EDL today. Maybe a bit sad. They seemed very poor. White underclass basically. A disproportionate number of them were disabled. A lot of them were falling over drunk. They're people with no hope railing against their own condition. The other thing was there were very few of them, I'd say about 200.

I'll get the film up online later.

It's political correctness gone mad!

Cheers! Be good to see the video by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #25 Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:34:30 AM EST
I dunno, I only saw one "disabled" guy and he had his leg in plaster so I suspect he's not permanently disabled.

I'm not sure if we were at the main demo site or if we were only at a subgroup. I think they had their main one at Kings Cross, and a smaller one at Aldgate where we were.

Sky reckons the demo sizes were 1,000 EDL and 1,500 UAF. Don't think there were a thousand of them where we were, but we couldn't see the whole thing.

The Mail has some pictures of the EDL demo too, but there doesn't seem to have been any press or media around where we were.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
I saw quite a few by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #28 Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:39:47 AM EST
Two in wheelchairs, and someone on crutches with what looked like MS (I thought Polio at first, but that's very unlikely). This was in quite a small sample, but then we were at the back of the demo with the stragglers.

I know anecdotal evidence isn't much use but they all looked a lot poorer, scruffier and more badly nourished than I thought they'd be. I expected your typical working class, smart-casual wearing tradesman, but they looked poorer and more underclass than that.

I'm left feeling more sad than angry after confronting them anyway.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
[citation needed] by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #27 Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 03:08:23 PM EST
The BNP aren't particularly deprived, and there's a considerable overlap between them and the EDL.
Recently, there was a very useful analysis of the BNP and the 'white working class' by James Rhodes in the Sociology journal. It took issue with the idea, circulated by politicians and journalists alike, that the BNP's support comes from the most deprived among whites. In this respect, he points out that while the BNP have made real inroads into working class areas, there is no natural affinity between the BNP and white workers, and nor is it the poorest they appeal to. The two class fractions most likely to be represented among BNP supporters are 'skilled workers', and the lower middle class. The journalistic accounts are led astray by the 'ecological fallacy' - that is, if BNP voters can be found in a known industrial heartland, then they must be the traditional supporters of Labourism. In fact, Rhodes points out, the BNP support is typically found in the poshest areas of these towns and cities, a fact that has a huge impact on far right politics.

It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Yes they'e doing that by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #23 Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 06:57:29 AM EST
And we were doing the same. I wouldn't agree with a ban on the EDL or their demonstrations, but that doesn't mean I agree with them.

It's political correctness gone mad!

Very brave by TPD (2.00 / 0) #29 Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:56:34 AM EST
 whether a good or bad idea, you have my UTMOST respect sir.

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM
clearly you've optimised for INT and not WIS by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #30 Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 01:25:00 PM EST
Still, that took balls and congrats on a successful bluff check.

Well done not getting panned by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #31 Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 06:49:42 PM EST
And making your point in a non violent way.

Is this for real- allegedly UAF supporters brag about duffing up a lone woman EDL supporter, kicking her when she was knocked to the ground.]

Was it true that UAF supporters attacked the coach as the EDL were leaving?

Don't get me wrong here, I hold no time for racist thugs (not too sure about your far right tag there but we'll ignore that for now), but if these videos are bona fide, the UAF have lost their way.

Go easy out there, TE.  And you, nebbish.

The coach attack by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 02:11:56 AM EST
I was nowhere near so I'm just going by the news, e.g. BBC:
A coach full of English Defence League supporters was pelted with missiles after it broke down in east London. The coach was carrying 44 EDL members when it stopped in Mile End Road, Tower Hamlets.

About 100 Asian teenagers then pelted it with bricks and stones, according to a BBC reporter at the scene.

Police arrested all 44 EDL supporters, who were travelling from a protest in Aldgate earlier on Saturday. A double decker bus was used to evacuate them.

Police said there had already been one altercation with local youths after the vehicle stopped in Whitechapel Road and some passengers got off the coach.

They got back on board and the coach pulled away - but it later suffered a failure and ground to a halt.

BBC reporter Paraic O' Brien, who was on the scene, said nearly 100 local teenagers then attacked it with missiles.
At this point a large number of Asian men began arriving from a nearby estate.

So a few points:
  • No mention of a woman being hospitalized or attacked
  • It was nothing to do with the UAF, it was guys from a local estate
  • Note that there had already been an "altercation" before the breakdown. My guess is they got off the coach and started winding up the locals, then when they tried to get away, the coach broke down
The story in your links seems a bit unlikely. Supposedly the woman was in the toilets on the coach, and somehow the locals got on board the coach, dragged her out of the coach toilet, without the EDL guys on the coach noticing?

From the videos, I can't really see what's happening to that woman, I certainly hope she wasn't attacked, I don't condone any violence.

But I'm not convinced she was, I would have thought a fractured cheekbone would have made it into the press.

She's on the ground in the video, but I can't really see much. Not sure if she was being kicked, or by whom. A man in a blue shirt and khaki trousers goes up to her, but not sure if was kicking her or just next to her; or if he was a local or one of the abandoned EDL guys. He seems to have shaved/cropped hair and a football shirt, but can't say for sure.

If she was attacked, hopefully the police will investigate and charge whoever did it.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
What Asian Teenagers might look like: by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #33 Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 09:50:00 AM EST

They don't look very angry to me.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
I can't say either by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #34 Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 10:44:10 AM EST
But the first link "Ben and Anthony", were they are indeed UAF?

Just be careful who you mix with, if they were, is all I'm saying. 

[ Parent ]
I don't know who those guys were by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #35 Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 02:19:53 PM EST
But basically all they seem to be doing is laughing at a rumour.

Remember that the ladies of the EDL are not necessarily that ladylike. Just because one of them is playing the victim doesn't mean she was necessarily a helpless victim of someone else's violence.

Saw this RMT account today:

This incident was caused when the Police allowed an EDL coach along Whitechapel Road. EDL members stopped outside the mosque and hurled abuse. Rightly, they were met with local resistance and they quickly boarded and moved on. Unfortunately for them, their coach broke down just before Mile End and the inevitable reaction ensued.

It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Not arguing by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #36 Mon Sep 12, 2011 at 06:34:48 PM EST
Just saying be careful.

[ Parent ]
Update by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #37 Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 11:32:31 AM EST
Saw this apology via Lenin's Tomb, saying the guys talking in that video were not members of UAF.
We were bystanders and had not been actively involved in either side of the protest. I can categorically state that I am not part of any political party or particular leaning, nor do I condone violence against anyone, particularly women.

It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Thanks by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #38 Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 05:42:58 PM EST
For following that one.

[ Parent ]
Still in one piece | 31 comments (31 topical, 0 hidden)