The English Defence League (EDL) returned to Colchester last Friday and once again they were heavily outnumbered by anti-fascists with their route blocked for a number of hours. Anti-fascists had an early start at 10am and successfully blocked the EDL’s route till gone 1pm, until the maxim that there is no such thing as a fascist march only a police march rang true with the police protecting the fascists, threatening arrests, kettling and striking anti-fascists, and even going as far as sickingly assaulting a disabled women in order to clear a way for EDL’s disgusting attempt of turning Lee Rigby into a far-right martyr against his family’s wishes.
Only around 20 EDL members were in Colchester on the day and even that was with the busing in of far-right activists from as far as Dover and Kent for this ‘regional’ march. Around 60 anti-fascists assembled early in the morning and successfully obstructed their rally. One anti-fascist was arrested during the standoff but was released without charge later that night, greeted by anti-fascists who had been waiting outside the police station.
This is now the third time EDL have tried to march in Colchester using Lee Rigby’s tragic death to further their racist campaign, despite his family specifically asking for his death not to be exploited by such groups. This was not about “respect”, this was about racists exploiting any opportunity to further their sickening cause. Far-right groups should not be tolerated demonstrating in any place, no matter what their excuse.
The EDL were supposedly commemorating the anniversary of the death of Lee Rigby by laying a wreath at the war memorial and yet again still couldn’t stop themselves pulling Nazi seig-heils, and this is not the first time in Colchester this has been witnessed. Click here to see the video.
Every-time the EDL have attempted to march in Colchester they have been heavily outnumbered. It is clear that EDL are incapable of getting a foothold in Colchester and their numbers have ebbed each year – let’s hope they don’t come back next time. Colchester has strongly rejected their racist politics, even the local pubs will no longer accept them after antifascist pressure. Clearly they cannot go where they want in Colchester.
In 2013 EDL spent a number of hours chanting and doing Nazi salutes at Colchester’s war memorial leading to one EDL member, Kevin Reed, getting locked up for making Nazi salutes and using racist language.
In 2014 EDL were again outnumbered around 3-1 and quickly scuttled off. After this humiliation they threatened to come back to ‘teach the left a lesson’, However, they didn’t find the courage to turn up and quickly cancelled their demo, postponing their ‘mighty return’ until last Friday. Although the racists had promised to ‘let the dogs loose’, they once again found themselves outnumbered, forced to spend 3 hours huddled on a street corner while the police did their dirty work.
Overall we believe it was a positive day minus the police violence and arrest. A large militant group was mobilised that successfully obstructed and disrupted the EDL’s rally for a number of hours.
Smash fascism. No pasaran.
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