Saturday 30 October 2010

‘European Defence League’ launch flops in Amsterdam

The launch of the European Defence League ended as a farce today.

The English Defence League – an organisation of racist thugs with links to the British National Party and other fascist groups – had planned to launch a Europe-wide group of “defence leagues” under the flag of the “European Freedom Initiative” in Amsterdam today.

War on racists

But the event was a miserable failure. Hundreds of racists from all over Europe were denied entry by the Dutch authorities. Those that slipped the net faced a torrid day.

The minibus carrying EDL leader Tommy Robinson was smashed up. Groups of Ajax football club supporters declared war on the racists and chased groups of them out of town.

An organisation of Ajax fans had declared their opposition to the EDL and its associates because “we do not tolerate violent racism and fascism in our city”. They put a picture on their website (see above left) saying: “Not in our city”.

In Amsterdam today, close to 2,000 Dutch people attended an antiracist protest. They were joined by a delegation of 21 activists from Unite Against Fascism.

UAF’s Martin Smith addressed the crowd and warned of the worrying growth of the far right in Europe. He argued: “We need a European-wide movement to defeat the new racist threat.”

>> Watch a video of Martin’s speech
>> See pictures from the antiracist demo

Fascists and racists have been seeking to re-organise across Europe, and have seen electoral gains in Austria, Sweden and Hungary recently.

But today’s attempt to create a European street army of racist thugs was a total flop, with only a few dozen gathered well outside the centre of the city. A picture of EDL supporters (above) shows them badly outnumbered by photographers – the photographer’s caption reads “Demonstration began, few people”.

Pic below: members of UAF’s delegation in Amsterdam.

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