The EDL – violent racists and fascists

>> For more about the EDL, see our ‘EDL unmasked’ section

>> Download, print and distribute our EDL factsheet

We campaign against the EDL because…

THE EDL IS RACIST, particularly targeting Muslims. The EDL has staged provocative demonstrations in towns and cities around the country, attempting to stir up anti-Muslim racism and hatred. They want to divide our communities.

They claim to oppose ‘extremism’ but EDL supporters have been filmed chanting ‘Burn a mosque down’.

A series of arson and other physical attacks on mosques, community centres an the sites of proposed new mosques have taken place in areas where the EDL is active.

THE EDL IS RIDDLED WITH FASCISTS. EDL leader ‘Tommy Robinson’ – real name Stephen Yaxley Lennon – is a former member of the fascist British National Party. Founder EDL member Chris Renton was also in the BNP, as were other leading figures including North East organiser Alan Spence.

Many more former members of the BNP, the Nazi National Front and other fascist organisations are also active in the EDL and its splinter groups.

EDL supporters have frequently been photographed giving Hitler’s ‘sieg heil’ salute.

THE EDL IS VIOLENT. Its core supporters are members of football hooligan firms who have joined forces to form a racist street army.

EDL demonstrations have regularly descended into violence.

EDL supporters have rampaged through town centres – such as Stoke-on-Trent and Dudley – attacking Asian and black people, smashing windows of homes, shops and cars and attacking mosques and, in one case, a Hindu temple.

Two Asian men were beaten up during a recent EDL demo in Dagenham, with one suffering four fractures to his face. In Luton, Asian residents had their windows smashed and EDL graffiti daubed on their homes hours after an EDL demo.

THE EDL IS A DANGER TO US ALL. It started by targeting the Muslim community. Now it is increasingly aiming its violence at other traditional targets of fascism, physically attacking trade union demos, antiracist and socialist meetings and anti-cuts protestors as well as black and Asian people.

EDL leader ‘Tommy Robinson’ has issued threats to school and college students protesting over tuition fees.

EDL thugs have even invaded a trade union and community bookshop, News from Nowhere, in Liverpool.

THE EDL LIES when it claims it has the support of minority groups such as Hindus, Sikhs, Jewish and LGBT people. Its attempts to recruit from these groups have failed miserably.

Jewish, Sikh and Hindu organisations have all spoken out publicly to condemn the EDL and have refused to be used by the racists and fascists.

When EDL supporters tried to whip up Islamophobia under cover of a supposed LGBT ‘pride’ event in east London, local LGBT organisations refused to let the racists hijack the traditions of pride. The local LGBT groups made clear their opposition to both homophobia and Islamophobia and forced the cancellation of the EDL-linked event.

THE EDL IS TRYING TO CREATE A STREET MOVEMENT to terrorise ethnic minority communities and attack socialist and trade union organisations.

They want to create hatred and division – LET’S UNITE TO STOP THEM.

>> For more about the EDL, see our “EDL unmasked” section

Pic by Kelvin Williams

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