EDL flash demo fails to ignite Liverpool
Word reaches Liverpool Antifascists that the English Defence League made an appearance in Liverpool today.
Witnesses on the ground described the event as not up to much. Nonetheless, it presents a worrying precedent and a reminder to antifascists to remain vigilant.
In the early afternoon, thousands of trade unionists, socialists, and working class activists marched from the Anglican Cathedral to protest at the Liberal Democrat conference, against that party’s support for attacks on the working class. Liverpool Antifascists – as an autonomous group set up and run by ordinary people rather than politicians or bureaucrats – wholeheartedly supports this. Indeed, many of our members were present at the event under different banners.
What we do not support is the message the EDL offered in the same area, just hours later.
We are told that 20-30 EDL activists, including many from the EDL Merseyside Division, unfurled banners for what amounted to a photo op before retreating to the Baltic Fleet for a meeting. According to some who were present, one of the topics for discussion was the formation of a political party to contest elections. Though they didn’t seem optimistic about the political calibre of those present.
Soon enough, antifascists got wind of what was going on, and a few scouted the area to see that the police had them contained and under control. With that in mind, and better things to do, they left them to it.
It is clear that the EDL were just testing the waters today. They want to see if they can “conquer” Liverpool, but we’d advise against it. When they do it for real, so will we.
Whether that’s from the state, from Islamic extremism, or from fascists looking for a fight, Liverpool is a city that can defend itself.