Brighton Anti-Fascist Actions Prove A Valuable Lesson
This afternoon’s actions by Brightoners against the English Defence League proved a valuable lesson in the value of protest.
Caught sunning themselves on St James’ Street and the Palace Pier, the EDL were swiftly surrounded by hundreds of irate Brightoners.
Police were forced to intervene but despite overwhelming numbers and reinforcements from Hampshire, were unable to prevent repeated skirmishes.
Ultimately commanders took the sensible decision to kettle the right-wing hooligans, before escorting them to Brighton Station, accompanied by a rapidly-growing crowd, eager to see intolerance thrown out of the city.
Here’s how how the action panned out:
1.00 UKUncut, Smash EDO an Brighton anti fascists are having tea and cakes at Churchill Square. Some fine cardoman tea is served, alongside Jam Cakes. Highlights include a puppet show, a a casio organ player, and some rousing oratory.
1500 EDL have been sighted in Kemptown. Brighton anti fascists begin to move, heading down North Street. The cops panic; blocking the whole road, and sending the horses in for good measure. Protesters escape down vaious side streets. The afternoon’s consumers look a little uneasy; have Sussex’s finest just kettled a bunch shoppers?
1527 Protesters gather again on the Steine. From Kensington Gardens five overweight, bald men cross the road and head up St James’ Street. Cries of ‘Fascists go home,’ erupt; one woman begins to prod the men with the tip of her black flag.
1534 Police arrive in force at the junction of the Steine and St James’. This doesn’t prevent two men in England t-shirts enter the crowd, throw a few punches and then run off. It’s a hit and run tactic that will be seen all afternoon.
1556 Police horses dominate the road. At the pier, a group of twenty men, some wearing EDL shirts, start to chant.
1559 Police lines form and are broken. The protesters hang back at the bottom of St James’ Street. Large, burly men approach at a distance, and begin chanting: ‘EDL, EDL.’ A woman screams. The crowd surges towards them.
1602 EDL race to the bus station. They have made Belushi’s Bar their base. Some are shoved and thrown bodily out of protesters’ lines. Police horses charge between the two sides; soon all northern entrances to the bus station are blocked, the EDL pinned inside.
1615 Or maybe not. Two escape the kettle; one is grabbed by Gold Command, no less, who makes the arrest. The arrestee is drunk, sweating with some dodgy toothwork – this doesn’t prevent him giving protesters the finger as he’s led away in handcuffs.
1620 An EDL member is in the crowd with protesters. “Yeah, come on, I’m standing here in the middle of them.” Again, he’s thrown bodily into the arms of the cops.
1630 Yet another EDL is in protesters’ lines, this one with a Thai-looking woman at his side. ‘Get a job,’ she yells, ‘I’ve got one, thanks,’ says a chap dressed in black, ‘you get a job.’ ‘I’ve got a job,’ she replies. A pause. ‘What do you do?’ the black clad chap asks. ‘I’m a cleaner,’ she says. It’s the nearest the two sides will have to a discussion all afternoon, and is cut short by fellow anarchists ejecting the couple from the crowd.
1650 A protester is arrested for assaulting a police officer. Her crime, it appears, is to have clutched the arm of an officer as he threw her to the ground. Her family rally round as she is taken away, and head off to Hollingbury Police HQ.
1706 Police now have three lines across North Street; up ahead they have kettled around 30 EDL and are heading up the hill.
1720 The right-wingers are manhandled past the clocktower, and onto Queen’s Road. The noise is massive: prostesters line the pavements, pouring scorn onto the bare heads of the out-of-towners. Shoppers, informed of what’s going on, join the melee.
1740 Taken around the back of the station, the kettle moves through the rear carpark. Yet more Brightoners have gathered here, and taunt them. The police seal the station, and take the EDL inside.
The afternoon’s valiant efforts by local people have prove an important point. Without the concerted efforts of the hundreds who turned out, the members of EDL would tonight be downing pints of cheap lager in the city’s bars. Instead they have been thrown out of town – hopefully for good.
Reproduced via – http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2012/06/496672.html