Report on the EDL’s visit to Colchester yesterday.
After months of planning, the EDL’s “mighty return” to Colchester only managed to attract 80-90 racists, most of whom were bused in from all parts of the country. Groups travelled from Grimsby, Midlands, Yorkshire, London, Kent, Hereford and even Holland but they still could barely match our numbers. This in itself was a great victory, the racists had to be brought in from all parts of the country to bulk up their numbers but once again, locals were out in force, showing that racism and fascism won’t be tolerated here or anywhere.
The day started with anti-fascists gathering outside the town hall at 11:30am. Prior to the demo, EDL members had promised “pay back” and “revenge”, suggesting they would “smash” anyone who got in the way. This didn’t really manifest – a few racists decided to walk up to our meet-point but hurriedly rushed to the nearest police officer when anti-fascists followed them down the street.
At midday, while chants of “migrants in, racists out” echoed around the high street, the EDL began to march from their muster point and the public were loving it..
After being laughed and jeered at for a majority of their route, the racists finally made it to the high street where they were greeted strongly by anti-fascists who were pushed back and contained by police. After a few minutes of chaos, the racists decided it would be best to move on to Castle Park. Anti-fascists followed in an impromptu march which was greeted by cheers from the public, seemingly glad to see opposition to the monstrosity that had passed a few minutes before. As we got closer to the park, the gates were quickly locked by police meaning the English Defence League’s “mighty” demo finished with 80 bemused racists locked in a park, trying to get each other nicked.
We would like to thank everyone who attended our demo yesterday, as a supporter said to us on the day, “it is because of people like you that this evil is not flourishing here.” The EDL have been targeting Colchester for over 4 years and we’ve successfully told them where the go every single time – we refuse to let their hate divide our community.
Now is a great time to get involved with Essex Anti-fascists, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to do so. If you’re not based in Essex, get in touch with your nearest AFN group.