English Defence League (EDL) Not Welcome In Kingston
The Voice Of Anti-capitalism in Guildford (The VOAG), joined around 30 people for a counter demonstration and leafleting session against the English Defence League (EDL) in Kingston Town Centre on Saturday 20th August.
The fascist and racist EDL were due to hold a “meet and greet” in Kingston, South London, for 1.30 in the afternoon, their first formal event in the borough.
The VOAG, together with activists from local unions, Kingston Green Party, Kingston Anti-Cuts Group, Workers Power and anti fascist groups decided to “meet and greet” the EDL and make it clear: The EDL are not welcome in Kingston.
We set up an anti-racist stool on the main shopping street, spoke to shoppers and distributed leaflets making the case against the EDL and promoting the Anti EDL National Demonstration, due to be held in Tower Hamlets on September 3rd.
The Tower Hamlets demonstration coincides with a planned march by the EDL in Tower Hamlets, and our message to Kingston was “We will not accept attempts to create fear and instability in our communities; not in Kingston, and not in Tower Hamlets.
Whilst we made our presence felt on the street, with the support from the local community, the rain poured down. Mathew of Kingston GMB told reporters: “We made the effort to make sure that those who could be susceptible to the EDL’s propaganda knows why the EDL are wrong.”
At around 1.30pm, News reached us that the EDL were starting to gather in a near-by pub. The EDL boasted 35 attendees on their Facebook page. Several “known faces” were seen carrying boxes of flyers into the pub. As the afternoon progressed and the rain continued, reports indicated that they had only attracted eight – not quite the promised mass demonstration.
Perhaps they got stuck to the pub table, perhaps their customary fifteen pints weighed them down, or may-be it was the rain. Whatever the reason, the EDL (all eight of them) didn’t attempt to pedal their rubbish on the high street, and skulked off after a few hours. They were well aware of our presence on the high street and that our numbers far exceeded their own.
Martin George from the Surrey Comet reported that there was a “heavy police presence in the town centre and outside Kingston Mosque, in response to last November, when a small group of EDL members marched from Hampton Wick to Kingston and went on to attack Kingston mosque”.
The EDL failed in their crass attempt to capitalise on the public unease following the riots that took place throughout England recently. The miss-information circulated in the media regarding the riots and the fear it has engendered plays into the right wing fascist agenda of the EDL, however the people of Kingston were not fooled.
National Demo: Racist EDL not welcome in East London. 3rd September. Assemble 11am Weavers Fields, London. E2 6HW
Time for an Anti-Fascist Defence League!