Monday, 23 April 2012
We are Brighton....fascists humiliated on the streets of the city
The so-called "March for England", in reality a cover for the EDL was totally humiliated today by a protest by hundreds of local people. The pathetic contingent of no more than 70 was blocked and harried for the whole of its short route, only to be effectively kettled by the anti-fascists at the end of their march in Victoria Gardens.
Anti-fascists adopted the strategy of lining the route of the march and keeping ahead of any police attempt at kettling. Although the EDL had started assembling at 11.00, it was gone 12.30 before they finally moved off.
They were confronted with a wall of noise and abuse and several people blocked their way in Queens Road. The police responded with horse and baton charges - they were clearly quite committed to using whatever degree of violence it needed to force the march through.
Nonetheless they were forced to give up taking the EDL down Queens Road and detoured into Church Street. Hundreds of anti-fascists swiftly regrouped and physically blocked Church Street with some handy plastic crash barriers and wheelie bins. This was met with more police thuggery and gradually the march did get to Victoria Gardens, having been drastically curtailed. The small, increasingly shellshocked bunch of fascists were then effectively kettled by anti-fascists for the best part of two hours before the police finally let them get back to the station.
This was a major setback and embarrassment for the far-right and it was really positive that such a large and broad contingent of local people was prepared to turn out and oppose them.
As for Sussex Police, it was hard to determine whether their tactics were just very inept, or part of a grand plan to put the MfE off ever coming back! They claim that "extreme violence" was used by the anti-fascists.
From where I was standing, all the violence came from them. They are going to be consulting their video footage - so will we!