EDL’s Dutch Courage Runs Out!

Well, what a wash out. After months of trumpeting and blether the English Defence League’s band of hooligans and ‘chav scrotes’ were humiliated in Amsterdam yesterday,  attacked by antifascists and Ajax fans and harried by the cops. At least they didn’t have time to fight amongst themselves as they usually do. There is some interesting YouTube footage, involving some shaky camera work, of them running around cluelessly, pursued by Dutch Antifa and plod. At one point there seemed to be more photographers than EDL all believing the hype that this was going to be another Bradford ‘little big one.’ In the end it was ‘the little little one.’ The images show a faintly confused bunch of fat blokes in hoodies wandering about. One of the EDL vans was trashed and there were 34 arrests. They had a little stage and Tommy Robinson AKA Steven Yaxley-Lennon, ex-BNP and jailed for assaulting a copper, gave a ‘rousing speech’ to his mates and then they went home. No surrender? They did. Completely.

According to Hope Not Hate about 60 turned up to ‘support’ Geert Wilders, the anti-Islamic Dutch MP who has publicly distanced himself from the lager swilling, loud mouthed hooligans for obvious reasons. So if that is the case, why did the EDL bother? So they can get their necessary media injection and show their mates in the pub how famous they are. This kind of behaviour shows the EDL as a vanity operation, boosting the egos a of a few nobodies with criminal records.

Battered

A poster on the EDL website said a group of EDL turned up on Friday night and the following day were attacked by Ajax fans who told them to go away in no uncertain terms. The EDL are now making threatening noises about revenge should Ajax come to the UK. We shall see … One hapless EDL got battered and ended up with a shattered leg. He had the misfortune to have no travel insurance either and had to travel back to the UK in considerable discomfort. The ‘Malatestas’ have had a whip round and will be sending 50p to the EDL as fast as possible. The poster admits that the public were also opposed to the EDL presence – which comes as no surprise. The EDL seriously think that ALL the ‘public’ and ALL football fans have the duty to support them. Well, they don’t: lots of people despise them or are merely bored by their posturing. The Dutch authorities didn’t want them there either and throughout the week the demo was moved about and they ended up with an out of town spot at the Western docks. In his ‘rousing speech’ Yaxley-Lennon criticised the mayor for moving the demo – as if a gang of drunk hooligans with a violent reputation should be welcomed with open arms wherever they go. The Dutch will have seen what the EDL have done in place like Stoke, Bradford and Leicester and have the absolute right to move them wherever they want. Would the EDL like the Ajax fans to demonstrate in the middle of Luton?

A Successful Failure

The Gates of Vienna website has declared the event a success but this is difficult to reconcile with the facts. The EDL had a poor turn out. The local football supporters attacked them. The person who they were ‘supporting’ publicly rejected them. The general public were hostile. The media coverage was negative. And the hope of uniting with other anti-Islamic factions and footie fans did not materialise. Well done. They had difficulties in getting the numbers for various reasons, mainly that the DSS won’t pay for ‘chav scrotes’ to go abroad on a jolly. One poster wrote: ‘I’m going, most people will be meeting round the red light district where the bars are next to the canals. I’m going on my own my mates cant afford it or aren’t allowed by there Mrs.’ Which just about sums them up.

What Price Fame?

What is more alarming than the EDL’s ‘international mobilisation’ is the relationship between Tommy Robinson and Katie Price. There was a picture of them schmoozing widely circulated on the net but now Katie is doing a desperate PR job distancing herself from the EDL. Meanwhile on the EDL web forum there is anti-Katie consternation and it is difficult to tell who is disowning whom. Both seem embarrassed by the turn of events. As they should be.

Anyway …

Despite all the photos of the EDL seig-heiling, and the dual membership of fascist groups by key members – Jeff Marsh, Steven White, Luke Pippin (Combat 18) etc. – they are still going on about being non-racist and this process of denial is sounding politically weak. The next ‘big one’ scheduled is in Preston on 27th November but there could be a few flash’ demos on the way.

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About malatesta32

Malatesta, undercover anti-fascist blogger, has analyzed the changing fortunes of the British far right since 2009. He has written for the anarchist magazine Freedom and the book, Militant Anti-Fascism: 100 Years Of Resistance (AK Press 2015). http://www.akuk.com/index.php?_a=product&product_id=7285
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