Anti-fascists will mobilise in Luton on Saturday 5 May, as the English Defence League prepare to demonstrate in what many EDL supporters see as their organisation’s spiritual home.
Although the far-right “March for England” was routed by anti-fascists in Brighton on Sunday 22 April, the EDL remains sufficiently confident to physically attack left-wing activists, including recently hospitalising two people after attacking an SWP-run stall in Lewisham, south east London.
The new alliance between the EDL and the British Freedom Party, a 2010 split from the BNP, will increase the EDL’s activity in the formal “political” sphere. EDL chief Stephen Yaxley Lennon (“Tommy Robinson”) is set to become the BFP’s deputy leader, creating the potential for a new far-right political force.
The 6.5 million votes garnered by French fascist Marine Le Pen in the first round of France’s recent presidential elections, and the ongoing centrality of Geert Wilder’s “Party for Freedom” to the governmental shake-up in the Netherlands, could further bolster fascist confidence in Britain.
The Luton anti-fascist mobilisation will take place in parallel to the EDL’s demonstration on Saturday 5 May — it may well be kettled by police . That is not be good enough. Anti-fascists need to organise to stop the EDL from marching or at least disrupt their plans, as anti-fascists did in Brighton.
Physically confronting the EDL doesn’t necessarily mean pitched street fights, but it does mean using creative tactics — including blockading roads — to prevent fascist mobilisation.
• For details of the UAF mobilisation, see here