UAF has not seen the Channel 4 documentary Proud and Prejudiced, which is due to be aired tonight. We cannot yet comment on the content of the programme.
But we are very concerned that the English Defence League is seeking to recruit and raise funds for its organisation of racist and fascist street thugs on the back of this high-profile TV coverage.
In a post on its website last month, appealing for funds ahead of the programme’s screening, the EDL said:
As a result we anticipate a huge wave of interest in the English defence League and also an enormous surge in Internet traffic and activity…
This programme has been over a year in the making and it is absolutely vital that we benefit from the massive boost in interest in our cause and everything we stand for.
It is clear that the EDL sees the programme as a recruitment and fundraising opportunity.
The EDL is an organisation of racists and fascists, whose thugs have clocked up a series of convictions for racism and violence.
Members have been jailed for an ever-increasing catalogue of offences, including an arson attack on a mosque in Stoke-on-Trent and an attempt by EDL thugs to storm a socialist meeting due to be held at an Irish centre in Newcastle.
The racist and fascist thugs began by targeting Muslims, but have widened their targets include to include attacks on trade union offices, socialist and antiracist meetings, a community bookshop in Liverpool, anti-cuts protestors and the Occupy movement.
EDL supporters are frequently seen giving Hitler’s ‘seig heil’ salute on demonstrations. They have many former members of the British National Party and other fascist groups in their midst, including EDL leader and former BNP member Stephen Yaxley Lennon, AKA ‘Tommy Robinson’.
We will have a full statement on the Channel 4 programme tomorrow (Tuesday 28 February).
Journalists can contact UAF by email for comment.