There have been a number of EDL protests around thecountry,most of which the HOPE not hate campaign hasignored,preferring instead to concentrate on the BNPelectoral threat.We have not supported counter-protestsbut we have not opposed them either.While we found itslightly surprising that activists in key BNP threat areas would travel to oppose the EDL in other parts of thecountry only weeks before the elections,we kept ourthoughts to ourselves.Now,in Bradford,we are speaking out against a counter-protest on the same day.For this we have attracted criticism.It has been argued by some that we are allowing the EDL a free passage in thecity,that we are somehow breaking the anti-fascisttradition of No Platform.We refute both these allegations.
Searchlight Bulletin30 July 2010
CONFIDENTIAL, NOT FOR GENERAL DISTRIBUTIONISSUE60
The case against a counter-demo
The English Defence League is calling its protest inBradford “The Big One”and with good reason.There arefew other places in the country where an EDL protest willbe seen as more provocative.Despite pretending to beopposed only to Islamic extremism,the EDL is going toBradford to provoke the city’s large Muslim population.Almost a third of the people of Bradford are Muslim,thesecond highest proportion anywhere in England outsideLondon.More signifi-cantly,the city experienced raceriots in 2001 for which 200 people went to prison.Thecity’s reputation was destroyed,divisions betweencommunities widened and deepened and the only beneficiary was the BNP,which began to make significantbreakthroughs in council elections. The scars of the 2001 riot run deep and the city cannotafford another.That is why we are doing everything now to prevent the EDL protest from taking place.
At the end of August the English Defence League supportershope to parade their hatred through the streets of Bradfordand the HOPE not hate campaign is pulling out all the stops toprevent them. One thing we will not be doing however is tosupport a counter-demonstration. Nick Lowles explains why.
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