On banning the EDL in Tower Hamlets…..

As things stand, it looks very likely that the upcoming English Defence League March in Tower Hamlet’s will be banned. The Met have applied for the march to be banned and Theresa May looks to be sympathetically inclined to grant them that request.  It seems, however, to have slipped under the radar that the Met Police has in fact applied to not just ban the EDL march but ALL protests in some East London boroughs. This perfectly illustrates the problem with asking the state or the police to do these things, rather than simply applying to people the left happen not to like politically it ends up applying to everybody.

As regular readers will know, I am nonetheless sympathetic to the mayhem the EDL (and indeed the travelling circus of counter-demonstrations) cause and understand why that might want local communities would want to stop them marching. I have previously cited my support for the Northern Irish Catholic community in denying the Orange Order the right to march through their areas as an example of how the democratic right to protest does not equate to the automatic right to go wherever you want. I continue to think this is a germane example but this puts me in something of a quandary to which I think the only solution is to support the community self-organising to deny the EDL access (if it so desires).

Rather than rely on the state and the police to restrict the EDL we should rely on empowering local communities and the anti-fascist majority in those communities to deny the EDL. Not only does calling on the state to do things cross the line into authoritarianism (and stupid, self-defeating authoritarianism at that) but it atomises people in those communities and rather than empowering anti-fascism makes it a lifeless tool of the dead hand of the state. I have no problem with restricting the EDL, with curtailing their rights in this instance (because their rights directly impinge on the freedom of others), but the manner in which it is done matters. In that light, I cannot, and feel the left should not either, support the Met Police and Theresa May in banning the EDL march in Tower Hamlets.


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11 responses to “On banning the EDL in Tower Hamlets…..”

  1. John Reid says :

    Darrell, although it’s to late in this instance now I feel we should tell Hope not hate and co, that banning the EDl from walking ,rather than static protests. would lead to all “marches” reather than static portests being stopped,

    AS for Notrhern Ireland, what ever the political views of How teh Empire treated teh Catholic people of Ireland 200 years ago, I don’t think the Orange man walk is a “March” as such but A parade ,as Amrch brings up the idea of a miltary thing, where whatever yuo think of the Ornage maen tehy are religous not miltary,
    Also there’s no such thing as a Catholic community, their are communites that have catholic people in them ,after all there are CAtholics who vote for the UUP and I’ve seen UUP poeple walk along side the Orange memn on their march.

    Why would wanting local communities to try to stop people ahving the right to protest work,even if we ant them to use lawful practicies, Remember the Army was sent into Northern Ireland in 69 to protect Catholics, and let the catholics have civil rights marches,so If people tried to stop the EDL marching then it would only eman that more heavy handed policing would be used to allow their right to protest.


  2. Graham Gillis says :

    If Muslims hold a march and get attacked by the EDF, I would expect our police to defend the rights of Muslims.
    If the EDL were allowed to march peacefully, they would, but the Muslims want to attack them.
    I expect and pay for the rights of all people who march peacefully, to be defended by the police.
    Whoever starts the fighting, I give the police my money to finish it with appropriate indiscriminate force.
    Our police obey and uphold Englands laws. Not Theresa Mays whims.
    This needs to be demonstrated to our self important puppet politicians.


  3. darrellgoodliffe says :


    March, Parade, whatever, its still a festival of rub-your-nose-in-it bigotry and therefore the Catholic communities have a right to tell them in the least politest manner possible to ‘do one’.

    It’s unlikely the police would take that route since they are currently the ones applying to have them banned, given that, I really cant see them going in ‘baton-first’ if the local community organised to keep the EDL out of their area, if they did it would only totally discredit them in that community, and rightly so.


    There is no evidence Muslims want to attack the EDL, that’s absurd. Errr you are aware its the Met that have applied to May to have the march banned, aren’t you?


  4. Graham Gillis says :

    Met have applied to May to have the march banned.
    There is no evidence Muslims want to attack the EDL?
    That’s absurd!


  5. darrellgoodliffe says :

    Well it is absurd to suggest the police are theybusy protecting peoples rights when they are the ones applying for the bans…


  6. John Reid says :

    maybe the ban is more crowd control as they haven’t the resouces to police such a large area, remember the police can arrest someone for their own protection.maybe the police would curtail the edl for their own protection from people who want to attack hem


  7. Graham Gillis says :

    So the police shouldn’t try and prevent a fight before it happens?
    Or we should pretend it’s not a religious/race group that threatening to cause it?
    Banning groups from marching is not the answer.
    Banning marches keeps a lid on things.
    If a ban is within the law and the police consider it necessary to prevent a fight, they should not have to ask an EU puppet for permission.

    YOU say;
    “This perfectly illustrates the problem with asking the state or the police to do these things, rather than simply applying to people the left happen not to like politically it ends up applying to everybody.”

    This country is not yet the EUSSR. We retain the pretence of democratically electing our leaders to make our laws, allowing our police to work within clear guide lines.
    Politicians are not elected to enforce their philosophy on people. Your party achieve this through these politically correct deceptions.
    Politics like yours, forcing the police to pretend that the threat of violence has not come from Muslims, are what is wrong.
    I nearly said “the threat from any specific group,” but let’s keep this specific.


  8. darrellgoodliffe says :


    They have not just curtailed the EDL but every protest in East London as I understand it.


    This is completely contradictory:

    “Banning groups from marching is not the answer.
    Banning marches keeps a lid on things.”

    How can you stop marches from happening without banning groups marching? You cant really have your cake and eat it here! They didn’t ask an ‘EU puppet’; they asked the British Home Secretary :S

    This is has nothing to do with the EU.


  9. Graham Gillis says :

    “Banning individual groups from marching is not the answer”.

    If my government collect taxes from me an gives it to the EU, and allows the EU to tax me directly. The EU makes most of the laws, I could go on…!


  10. darrellgoodliffe says :

    The EU does not make every law, that’s to completely misrepresent reality…


  11. Graham Gillis says :

    The problem is that the EU want to make every law and we arecurrently unable to elect people capable of stopping them.


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