It will undoubtedly have come as a relief to many Tower Hamlets residents that their neighbourhood isn’t going to have the English Defence League [EDL] attempting to walk through it on September 3rd.
Yet it’s a hollow victory when it takes a ban from the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to do the damage and restrict the EDL - an organisation whose followers increasingly appear to be lads who can no longer afford to go the football - to a static demonstration. In October this year it will be the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, when police attempts to batter demonstrators out of the way in order for the fascist Blackshirts of Oswald Moseley to march through an area with a significant Jewish, and communist and socialist presence, were rebuffed.
Building a similar response is what was needed now. That’s because it’s clear that the EDL’s manicured profile of opposition to ‘radical Muslims’ - in itself no bad thing and sadly it’s a fact that many on the ‘left’ have shied away from opposing one or two who’d happily have them slaughtered if they ever had any power - is a front for an attack on the rights of all people of colour to live in this country. And if you don’t believe me take a look at the current ramblings on their site, where there’s a clear attempt to link criminal activities with being a Muslim as if the two are somehow genetically linked and therefore alien to the British way of life.
Relying on state bans will inevitably lead to bans being imposed on progressive organisations. And after all there was trouble associated with the massive TUC demonstration in London in March and so what’s now to stop the government imposing a ban on any future event?