EDL front “Strong” to march in Brighton 1pm Sunday 23 June

At 1pm on Sunday 23rd June, an organisation calling themselves “Brighton and Hove Strong” will be making their way from the Peace Statue on the Hove border to the Old Steine War Memorial in Brighton.  EDL News has revealed that the “Strong” movement, stealing the name of an American response to the Boston bombings,  is ‘riddled with far right members of the Infidels, the English Defence League, the British National Party and other far right splinter groups.’

The “Strong” movement is another attempt exploit the death of soldier Lee Rigby by right wing racists and fascists, who do so against the expressed wishes of his family and regiment. The use of facebook cover names for EDL causes has even been noted by  The Telegraph.

“Brighton and Hove Strong” are administered by EDL supporters. This new front group, like the EDL itself declares it is against ‘extremists’, which has so often been the code word for religious and racist prejudice about any Muslim no matter what that person believes.

If we are out walking on Brighton seafront on Sunday 23 June around 1pm in the afternoon maybe we should ask the “Strong” marchers: ‘What really is extremism?’ And: ‘Why isn’t “Strong” concerned about the rise of the right wing extremism of EDL?’ In the immediate aftermath of the death of Lee Rigby, interfaith group, Faith Matters, documented the desecration of mosques and attacks of Muslim people:  ten mosques were vandalised in just two days and almost 200 personal attacks reported over less than a two week.

Don’t let the politics of hate takeover.

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White Roses V EDL

IMG_9490IMG_9493A hundred anti-fascists gathered at the Brighton’s War Memorial today and left white roses, a symbol of opposition to fascism and war. The White Rose Movement was the name of a group Munich students who opposed the Nazis and were executed.  People gathered between 12 noon and 1.30 pm, they held up posters saying “Against Hate, War and Fascism”, “Don’t Hijack Death” and “Don’t let hate divide us”. They laid white roses on the memorial itself.

The gathering was in response to a report in yesterday’s local newspaper The Argus that the EDL would be marching in Brighton and laying a wreath at the war memorial at 1pm. The far right group has been busy exploiting the killing of  Fusiler Lee Rigby despite his family and regiment’s request not to use his death to fuel revenge. Knowing that Brighton will never welcome racists and fascists, the “official EDL” altered the advertised time of their wreath laying to 10.30 am, secretly sneaking in to lay flowers.  Unaligned and new EDL sympathisers were left to walk into a large anti-fascist presence at 13.00.  Passers by accepted anti-fascist leaflets and as Brighton people faced off  EDL supporters outside the war memorial.

The space was peacefully occupied by the anti-fascist people of Brighton who, like the Munich students, refused to be silent and allow the EDL to claim the public space and capitalise on the murder of a solider.