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).
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