EDL outnumbered in Newcastle

Submitted by martin on 30 May, 2010 - 10:15 Author: A Newcastle anti-fascist

On 29 May "North East Against Racism" (NEAR) organised a protest of 150 activists at 10am on the Saturday morning against the English Defence League rally taking place in Newcastle the same day.

NEAR was joined by the TUC music event at 11am at the same meeting point, the Monument in Newcastle City Centre. At the high point we had maybe 600 at the Monument.

We then took about 100 people on an impromptu march to three different pubs where the EDL were drinking. This was good, but not everyone was up for it or clear about it, and we had to keep running to avoid being "kettled" by the police. Maybe we should have allowed ourselves to be "kettled" at the EDL's planned meeting point.

UAF organised a march of about 350 to oppose EDL which managed to get to the street opposite the square EDL were in.

EDL managed perhaps 700 or 800. The anti-fascists did have slightly greater numbers on the day. The EDL were confined to the Bigg Market, and did not have a free run through town. Lots of passers-by were asking what was going on and were informed by leaflet. We had lots of people signing petitions against racism.

Police were everywhere, but they did light policing as promised. They let UAF march as agreed and didn't kettle them. They let NEAR march even though that was unplanned, and arrested no one.

Comments

Submitted by Newcastle on Tue, 01/06/2010 - 19:48

Caz

Not sure whether you were on any of the marches / protests or just observing(??) But you infer that the EDL being given freedom to steward themselves meant there were no problems? Do you think they have not been responsible for some of the violence or agression on previous marches, or some of the very rabid abuse they displayed towards some newcastle residents on saturday, were these just the exception?? I do not want to presume you are sympathetic to EDL, perhaps you are just critical of UAF, but you havent explained this.

We got our figures from people who followed the tailend of the EDL march, rather than those on it who often do not get perspective of a march, feeling it is bigger than it actually is.

Though it is possible there were more EDL who stayed in pubs and didnt march. We can only base figures clearly on those who marched on the day.

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