Wednesday, 28 November 2012

EDL leader charged

EDL Leader charged with mortgage fraud

From EDL News:

As far as 30th birthdays go, being sat in prison and finding out you are charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud, is not one of the best of them and could ensure he spends his 31st, if not, his next few birthdays in prison if convicted.

Bedfordshire police released a statement this morning listing charges of those thought to have been involved.

Bedfordshire Police, on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, have charged the following people in connection with a fraud investigation.

Stephen VOWLES, age 24, of Heron Drive, Luton has been charged with:

2 x Conspiracy to commit Fraud by False Representation in relation to a Mortgage Application – Contrary to S1 Fraud Act 2006

2 x False accounting – Contrary to S17 Theft Act 1968

Possession with intent to supply class A Drug, Cocaine - Contrary to S4 Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Concerned in the supply of class A drugs to another – Contrary to S4 Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Money Laundering – Transfer of criminal property – Contrary to S327 POCA 2002
- Neil GOODWIN, age 28, of Chalkdown, Luton was charged with:

Possession of criminal property – Contrary to S329 POCA 2002

- Lisa MOORE, age 26 – of Newbury Close, Silsoe was charged with:

Conspiracy to commit Fraud by False Representation in relation to a Mortgage Application – Contrary to S1 Fraud Act 2006

False Accounting – Contrary to Section 17 Theft Act 1968

- Anjee DARCY, age 30 – of Hardwick Green, Luton was charged with:

2 x Conspiracy to commit Fraud by False Representation in relation to a Mortgage Application – Contrary to S1 Fraud Act 2006

False accounting – Contrary to S17 Theft Act 1968

- Elliott GALE, age 28 – Anglian Close, Watford

Money Laundering – Transfer of criminal property – Contrary to S327 POCA 2002

- Stephen LENNON, age 30 - HMP Wandsworth, was charged with:

3 x Conspiracy to commit Fraud by False Representation in relation to a Mortgage Application – Contrary to S1 Fraud Act 2006

Sunday, 25 November 2012

More fallout from EDL failure in Norwich

Essex EDL Fractures

From Hope not Hate by Simon Cressy:

Paul Pitt with Mark Dunbar

Is this the beginning of the end for the Essex EDL division ?
All is not well in what was one of the EDL’s most active areas with the division appearing to fracture in a three way split along political lines.

On one side of the barricades is the Essex regional organiser, Paul Pitt aka Paul Prodromou. Pitt has recently linked up with the controversial former BNP fundraiser Jim Dowson and his political party “Britain First”. Dowson hopes to launch his own street movement called the “St George’s Brigade” with Pitt possibly playing a leading role.

On the other side of the fence is Mark Dunbar, Witham organiser for British Freedom and longstanding EDL activist.

There has been a long running feud between Dunbar and Pitt following the promotion of Pitt to the position of Eastern regional organiser.Dunbar has accused Pitt of having a massive ego (Probably a fair comment) following the creation of an EDL banner with Paul Pitts face and name emblazoned on it.

The conflict intensified following the recent EDL demo in Norwich. Dunbar criticized Pitt after large numbers of Essex and Kent EDL failed to attend the demo despite Pitt being the regional organiser for the area. Threats were exchanged between the two with Pitt telling Dunbar “I know where you live”.

Dunbar, who is close to the highly influential East Anglian Division led by Anthony Bamford is now promising to walk away from the EDL following the incident, which will see a number of EDL activists possibly follow him after constant reports of Pitts bullying manner and narcissism.

With the feud getting out of hand, a number of Essex EDL activists have recently aligned themselves to the National Front, despite the EDL leadership’s contempt for the veteran fascist party.

EDL stalwarts Diane and Eddie Scrimshaw took part in the NF’s march to the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. Joining them was EDL activist Al Francis and the Essex based EDL tattooist Andy InkTattoo along with several other EDL members.

With some Essex EDL members also flirting with the BNP in the area it appears the division could potentially tear itself apart in the near future.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Another EDL humiliation

Kevin Carroll suffers massive defeat at PCC polls

From EDLNews:

Kevin Carroll suffered a massive defeat at the polls last night as Bedfordshire took to the booths to vote for a new Police and Crime Commissioner.

Carroll, also de facto leader of the English Defence League was the only far right candidate standing in Bedfordshire.

Carroll in happier days
Carroll has already claimed that his election campaign would have been fairer had it taken place in 'Zimbabwe or China.' according to an interview.

Carroll's election campaign had been a disaster from the start after he was arrested and bailed for 'conspiracy to commit a public nuisance' the day after he put his £5,000 deposit done. His arrest was in connection with an alleged plot to transport 53 balaclava clad English Defence League thugs to a mosque in the back of a furniture removal van which saw former leader of the EDL, Tommy Robinson remanded in prison on various charges, one of which was illegal entry to the United States with Carroll.

If this was not a wake up call that suggested his election campaign was not quite on the right tracks, he took to his Facebook page to label a large number of his potential electorate 'backward savages'. This would, of course, refer to the Muslim community after he took umbrage at their Eid celebrations.

A few days later he was surprised and outraged that someone had taken it on themselves to paint a Hitler moustache on him on his billboard poster accompanied by a swastika. Carroll took to the streets in the early morning to paint over them which made him look like he had a bad lop sided 'porn star' moustache and a dirty shirt.

The British Freedom Party were then outraged after the billboards were taken down.

His last faux pas was turning up at a remembrance service in Luton uninvited. Due to lack of awareness in his actual importance he decided to stand amongst some serving troops and cadets and fell into line with them when they were called to attention.

He then found himself in the middle of a march and he shuffled awkwardly along with them with no exit strategy.

If that was not bad enough, he allegedly told a green party activist and disabled man that he would jail him if he won the PCC, due to his political views.

Fears that a low turnout would let him in through the backdoor were unfounded after Bedfordshire overwhelmingly told Carroll that his far right politics were not welcome in the country. Carroll's claims that he speaks for the 'silent majority' no longer hold water and the British Freedom Party have learnt an expensive lesson.

This endorsement from the incarcerated EDL leader probably did not help Carroll, as HOPE not hate reports:

Criminal thug backs PCC candidate

posted by: Matthew Collins | on: Thursday, 15 November 2012, 10:30
Lennon: Thug backs thug 
Lennon: Thug backs thug

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A salute from Sir Garnet

We Are Norwich

From Sir Garnet:

A strange day on Saturday for those of us in the city centre. We had been warned all week by the police and authorities that the EDL march had been planned, and that we should get prepared.

Between us and the other pubs in the city centre it was all becoming a nuisance. The busiest day of the week and suddenly we were having to contemplate closing so that a bunch of hysterical hooligans could march through the city daubed in the St George’s flag like some scene from ‘Football Factory’.

The English Defence League were to walk from Castle Mall gardens to City Hall where they would face (through barriers) the opposition group “We are Norwich”. The more you started to read about the affect that the EDL have had in disrupting other cities, the more you started to feel concern.
A dark cloud had suddenly formed and the social networking sites had suddenly opened floodgates for the eyes of the EDL to suss out how much affect they were having in stirring things here. Suddenly tweets were flying around from followers you didn’t want….

So the plan was to just stay put, keep quiet, and try not to stir anything up until they had left and we felt it safe to open the doors and carry on as normal.

As I arrived in the morning the “We are Norwich” crowds had begun to accumulate in Chapelfield and were moving towards City Hall. Despite the foul weather, there was an incredible family feel. Children getting stuck in, everyone from the Pride organisation to various religious groups. Everyone chatting with one another. I was amazed by how many had turned out.
The police presence was extraordinary. I’ve never known anything like it. We got in to the pub and went to the balcony to look at what was going on. Later than planned, a gigantic roar emerged and a lot of police flashing lights became visible from Guildhall Hill. Kettled by a sea of luminous yellow, the EDL came to their meeting point and began their speeches.
There was something eerie about watching it unfold. Particularly in front of the building which Hitler had designated to be his Eastern headquarters should he have succeeded in the war!

But to watch them face the crowd on the other side, a crowd stronger not only in size but clearly in intellect and love made you feel utterly defiant. I suddenly realised I should have had a great big “We are Norwich” flag draped from the windows or something…

Despite the loss of trade there was something necessary about Saturday to remind us how lucky we are to live here. A city thriving with all walks of life.

As someone who has never succumbed to bullies, I am furious that in many ways I did to some extent on Saturday by closing to begin with. How dare they command that? I won’t even be shutting on my wedding day!

We opened again at 4pm to a charming crowd, buzzing with tales of the day.

To all those who were part of, and organised the anti-protest under the banner “We are Norwich” you have my utter respect and thorough gratefulness that you exist in this city. Thank you.

photos by Sir Garnet
thought on “We Are Norwich……”

Jenny Hartt said:

I agree! The banner carried by a small child in the We Are Norwich anti-protest said it all for me – ‘Be Kind’.  I was humbled to see how many people were willing to oppose the fascists.
Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.
John Stuart Mill, from the Inaugural Address delivered to the University of St. Andrews, Feb. 1st 1867
Photo by "HelenofNorwich" Simpson

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Adieu EDL

This is what passes as a national EDL demo

From Malatesta:

The EDL in Norwich
Not many could be bothered
Drunk, dazed and confused
EDL 150 - Anti-fascists 1500


Praise for Norwich

Praise for Norwich following marches: ‘It was great that so many people turned out to show the EDL that it is not welcome in our city’

From Norwich Evening news24 by David Freezer and Mark Shields  November 12, 2012:

People in Norwich have been praised for the way they responded and reacted to the controversial English Defence League march.

The centre of Norwich came to a standstill on Saturday as nearly 2,000 people gathered at the front of City Hall to protest.

A crowd of 1,500 people from community, faith and political groups took to the streets under the collective banner of We Are Norwich in protest at the EDL’s decision to march through the city, setting off from Chapelfield Gardens.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, around 250 EDL supporters arrived in buses and trains at Norwich railway station before gathering in Castle Gardens to make their way to City Hall, where they were met with loud boos and whistles by We Are Norwich supporters.

Norwich City Council leader Brenda Arthur praised the reaction from the people of the city, and the police for ensuring a peaceful day.

She said:

It was great that so many people turned out to show the EDL that it is not welcome in our city.

We are delighted Norwich remained open for business and that the demonstrations passed off peacefully. The police did an excellent job.
Norwich’s policing commander, Superintendent Paul Sanford, said he was pleased overall with the major police operation which kept the peace on Saturday, which featured around 400 officers from 11 constabularies.

Police yesterday charged three men following disturbances sparked by the marches.

Supt Sanford said:

I’m really pleased with the outcome and I’m really proud of my officers for dealing so well with a situation that was really challenging at times.

We had two groups who vociferously wanted to make their point and we allowed them to do so with only a few outbreaks of disturbance.

I would like to thank the public for being so patient, as were businesses, and I’m sorry for any disruption they had to cope with.

There were big crowds that formed outside of the two protest groups who were just interested to see what was happening, larger than we expected there to be, but I’m pleased that remained peaceful as well.

Every last officer played an important part in the operation and the mounted section on Gaol Hill in particular were fantastic in controlling the crowds.
The day was punctuated occasionally by minor scuffles, with police delaying the arrival of the EDL march group by nearly an hour following a disturbance on Castle Meadow.

They finally set off on a slow march at 1.30pm and got to City Hall just before 2pm, where speaker Glen Saffer urged the crowd to remain calm and ensure a peaceful protest.

The spectacle was watched by hundreds of onlookers going about their normal Saturday-afternoon shopping.

Chants of “EDL go home” and “Whose streets? Our streets!” could be heard across the heavily-policed neutral zone in front of City Hall, to which Mr Saffer replied: “We will never surrender”.

The EDL took the decision to march in Norwich in protest at Norwich City Council’s decision to ban Rev Alan Clifford, from the Norwich Reformed Church from his stall in Hayhill, for allegedly publishing anti-Islamic leaflets.

Julia Angelcynn, from a charity called The Steadfast Trust, which states on its website it works “specifically for the ethnic English community”, referred to City Hall as “the Kremlin” in her address to the crowd.  
She added: 
The people in this building behind me seem very anti-freedom of speech.
At 2.30pm, and to a chorus of boos, whistles and waves, the EDL marchers were escorted by police back to waiting buses and trains at Norwich station.

With crowds having formed along Gaol Hill, the horses of the mounted division from Essex Constabulary were used to ensure no further trouble could break out.

The EDL supporters were allowed to disperse down Prince of Wales Road, but a continued police presence separated the EDL and We Are Norwich groups.

A final altercation outside the Natwest Bank in Prince of Wales Road brought 20 officers sprinting to intervene.

Nick O’Brien, secretary of We Are Norwich, said he was delighted with the group’s response to the EDL.

We are Norwich said that we would prevent the EDL getting to the steps of City Hall and the war memorial – we did.

We said that we would build a massive and broad coalition to oppose them – we did.

We said that we would be peaceful, family-friendly but loud and determined – we were.
He said the formation of We Are Norwich was a “beacon of light and hope” for positive action, and pledged the group would continue to oppose the EDL.
We Are Norwich will stay together for as long as we are needed. The EDL will never be welcome here.

Photos by Barbara

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Three men charged after marches in Norwich

From the Norwich Evening News by Mark Shields:

Three men arrested during yesterday’s marches in Norwich have been charged, and another man cautioned.

Four arrests were made during yesterday’s march to City Hall by the English Defence League and counter-march by the We Are Norwich group.

Around 400 officers from 11 police forces were drafted in as part of a large-scale operation to ensure the protests passed off peacefully.

Scott Maddox, 22, of *****, Norwich, was charged with possession of an offensive weapon, namely a form of baton. He has been bailed to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on November 30.

Darrell Copeland, 45, of *****, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, was charged with using threatening words or behaviour, and has been bailed to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on November 26.

Matthew Berryman, 28, of ******, Norwich, was also charged with using threatening words or behaviour, and has been bailed to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on November 27.

A 44-year-old man from Telford, Shropshire, who was arrested on suspicion of assault was later cautioned for a public order offence.

Historic Day

From We Are Norwich:

Saturday 10th November was an historic day as over 1500 anti-racists came out to tell members of the English Defence League (EDL) that they are not welcome in Norwich.  We are Norwich – a group formed in response to the EDL’s planned visit to the city began with small, simple campaign stalls, manned by a couple of activists at Norwich Pride and at the Kick Racism out of Football event at Morrisons towards the start of summer and has grown steadily into a rainbow coalition of over 25 affiliated groups.

Our day began at Chapelfield Gardens where over 20 different people, representing a range of political parties, faith groups and community groups spoke from the bandstand – sending clear messages as to why, in the eyes of their supporters and members, the EDL is not welcome.  Speakers included Clive Lewis from Norwich Labour Party, Samir Jeraj from the Green Party, Jack Brinded and Josh Bowker from UEA Union of Students, a large group from the Norwich Progressive Jewish Community and Michelle Savage and Mike Stonard from the Norwich Pride Collective. We were also joined on the day by Chloe Smith MP for Norwich North and a large group from the Norwich Quakers.

This was clearly a very broad coalition opposed to the EDL and their message of hate, despite claims from the EDL that we are only “lefty freaks and Muslims”.  Jo Rust from Kings Lynn Trades Council said:
We sent a clear message that their hateful and divisive politics are not tolerated in Norfolk.
Helen McGuinness from the National Union of Teachers said:
If we allow this language of hatred to seep into one classroom, that is one too many.
There was a large number of families making the most of the free facepainting.  As a very large crowd began to gather we were entertained by live music from Jonathan Williams, Acivilian and the Red Flags.

At around 12.30 we began our march to city hall where we waited for some time for the EDL to arrive.  The calm, peaceful but determined crowd kept themselves amused and energised with a range of chants.  The most popular included “Black and White, Unite and Fight: Smash the EDL”, “We are black, white asian and we’re Jew…and we’re gay”, “You could have come in a taxi”, “This is just embarassing” and “We are Norwich, Tommy’s eating porridge” alluding to the imprisonment of their leader Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Lennon, currently in jail for using a fake passport to travel to America (following previous convictions for violent offences).  

Meanwhile the EDL were causing ugly scenes in the city centre, such as this one in Castle Meadow, and over the day four members of the group were arrested.

The EDL did exactly what we said they would do on the day, we hope that We are Norwich can now help to get out the positive message that such a diverse group of people, young and old, black and white, gay or straight came together to oppose them.

Before We are Norwich left City Hall we turned our backs on the the fascists and held a minute’s silence in respect of those that fought in the war fighting fascism. As one person on the demonstration said to me:
Today we oppose them, tomorrow we remember why.
It was especially poignant that one poppy seller left his position on the market and joined us on the counter-demonstration.

The EDL does not in any way represent those that gave their lives fighting against the evil that the EDL promotes.  Emma Corlett, a nurse said:
I found it very distressing that one of the EDL members had a red poppy in one hand whilst doing a Nazi salute with his other hand.
Whilst we held a victory march back to Chapelfield Gardens, the EDL was being chased out of the city by locals and an angry group of 150 young people chased the fascists down Prince of Wales Road and onto their trains.  As Lesley Grahame, Green Party Cllr said:
We showed that we are everywhere, as overheard from one EDL member.
We are Norwich said that we would prevent the EDL getting to the steps of City Hall and the War Memorial – we did.  We said that we would build a massive and broad Coalition to oppose them – we did.  We said that we would be peaceful, family friendly but loud and determined – we were.  At a time when we often bemoan the fact that people don’t care about others any more and won’t get up and do something positive, our counter mobilisation has been a beacon of light and hope.  We are Norwich will stay together for as long as we are needed. The EDL will never be welcome here.

Nick O’Brien (Secretary)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

EDL humiliated

About 200 of them, according to one policeman, and about seven hundred of us, according to my conservative estimate, but I am quite short and did not see all of our procession, so don't take my word for it.  

There is no doubt We Are Norwich easily outnumbered the EDL today, and we had a good time doing it.

The crowd gathered in Chapelfield Gardens as Clive Lewis was speaking.  It was a fantastic turnout despite Saturday lie-in and the rain, and we soon began to gather for the march to City Hall.

Here are some of the banners to give an idea of the range of support for We Are Norwich -
The flag of Norfolk, these ladies told me

There was a large presence of genial police and our own stewards, but the policing was light and the atmosphere was so amiable that many children were in our group.  

You can see for yourselves how friendly and relaxed almost everyone was.  
I overheard one young woman giving a radio interview.  The interviewer asked why she was here, and she answered 
"Because it is the right thing to do"

We chanted "Whose streets? OUR streets, whose city? OUR city" as we marched  down Theatre Street and along Gentleman's Walk, and invited on lookers to join in.  The police horses were magnificent -

And this was the view at City Hall

We are Norwich
And Tommy's doing porridge!

I didn't see much of the EDL, but apparently there have been a few scuffles immediately dealt with by the police, and one arrest.

Today was a great day for Norwich.

Demonstrators rally their respective groups for Norwich

As written from Edl East Anglian Division Page:

well for 3 years you asked and moaned why cant we have a demo in norwich well we pulled out all the stops and got one so are you turning up and putting your feet on the street

From Nick O'Brien of We Are Norwich:

Good morning; it's here - demo day. The day on which we tell the EDL in numbers, peacefully but with determination that they are not welcome in Norwich. 

This is a list of all our supporters. Each one of these groups is bringing a group of people. We will be many, they will be few. UNITY

Norwich Labour Party
Norwich Green Party City Council Group
Chapelfield Mosque
Norwich Progressive Jewish Community
The Norwich Pride CollectiveIan Gibson
Richard Murphy
Union of UEA Students
Kings Lynn Trades Council
Great Yarmouth Trades Council
Norwich Trades Council
Norfolk Coalition against the cuts
Norwich Stop the War Coalition
Unison Norfolk County Branch
USDAW (various branches)
David Peel (NUJ)
Unite Eastern Region
Unite Aviva Norwich Branch
Norwich Unite Central LE/1880
Unite Great Yarmouth & District LE/142
Andrew Osborne Unite Norfolk & Suffolk Area Activists Committee
Unison branch (Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust)
Norfolk Division NUT
PCS Eastern Region
Julie Bremner (Unite against Fascism)
Trade Union Friends of Searchlight
Matthew Fulton (Compass Youth)
Tim Knight Hughes (Norwich SWP)

Hear Nick explain the reasoning behind the We Are Norwich celebration of our diversity at this link:

Friday, 9 November 2012

Coalition of the willing

I spent almost a decade in the Middle East, most of it working for an Arab airline based in a Gulf country.  I lived and worked and travelled with Muslims, visiting almost all of the countries of the region and beyond.  It was a time full of adventure and challenge that I will never forget, with a political education thrown in for free.

Time has passed, and sixteen days ago I saw the representatives of two Jewish groups in Norwich sitting together in the same hall as the representative of a Norwich mosque and a representative of the Norwich Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

It was extraordinarily moving for me to hear a Jewish speaker alternate with a Muslim speaker at the We Are Norwich public meeting.  It would be almost unthinkable in much of the Middle East to have such speakers together in the same room.  How wonderful then that something has brought together this astonishing event in our small city of Norwich. 

The messages from each speaker were similar - beware of those who scapegoat and blame a segment of society for all the ills of that society.  Beware the bullyboys who speak and act in violent ways towards others.  Remember history, and how small acts of cruelty and hatred and division can become a vicious evil.  Beware the fascists.   

The Jewish and the Muslim representatives were brought together by a common cause, that is, in a resolute opposition to the policies of hatred of the far right, and in response to the threats of the English Defence League (EDL) to march on Norwich 10 November - tomorrow.

Representatives of all the main Christian churches of Norwich have already registered their objections to the EDL.  

Representatives from the Norfolk Humanist Group have also expressed support for We Are Norwich.

Opposition to the far right bigotry of the EDL has brought together the citizens of Norwich in all our glorious diversity.  Not only the religious, but the political, with messages of support from all the major political parties.  Representatives of huge political parties, and representatives from small local community groups.  

We are young and not so young; gay, straight, bi, and passed bothering; athletes and disabled; religious and irreligious;  political and apolitical;  students, trade unionists, housewives, professionals, priests, soldiers, artists, pensioners and labourers; people of every hue united in this rainbow coalition.

Our main leaders teethed their organisational skills on the annual Norwich Pride events, and we are united in admiration for what Nick O'Brien, Julie Bremner and the Norwich LGBT group have achieved.

Speaking on behalf of We Are Norwich, secretary Nick O’Brien said:
The EDL has held countless demonstrations across the country where they have rampaged through towns – attacking mosques, businesses and individuals. More recently it has begun to attack peaceful demonstrations, multicultural events and trade union demonstrations. Its leader Tommy Robinson, who has a string of convictions and was formerly a member of the British National Party appeared of a Channel 4 programme praising Anders Breivik, the fascist terrorist, responsible for killing 76 people in Norway. 
(Tommy Robinson is now in prison awaiting trial for allegedly travelling on a false passport).

No rampaging for the EDL in Norwich tomorrow.  I trust the Police, their superb planning and fencing, and I trust We Are Norwich to keep the peace.

I am proud to be a part of this coalition and look forward to the celebrations tomorrow.  

We Are Norwich updates

From We Are Norwich website:

All running smoothly

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Chapelfield Gardens at 11am on Saturday morning. New groups pledging to support us every day. Disabled People against the Cuts have contacted us today and stewards will invite disabled supporters to move to the front of the march should they wish.
Weather forecast looking good – we will have some brilliant acoustic music – Red Flags, ACivilianInvention, Jonathan Williams, Dandelion and the Rockets and loads of speakers – keeping very tightly to 3 mins each to warm everyone up.
Then we will march peacefully to City Hall and drown out and demoralise the EDL with our chants, our diversity, our positivity, our unity.
When we know that they have gone we will march joyously back to Chapelfield Gardens. See you all there.
Desperate measures
Just to head this one off at the pass: The EDL have put out a blog and a facebook post this evening saying that a group of four people giving out WAN leaflets threatened a war veteran in the city today.

I know, as secretary who has been leafleting, have spoken to them since and have EVERY confidence that this did not happen at all. Desperate last measures.
Had this happened – we can be sure there would be photos and video footage everywhere. We are not the kind of organisation that needs to tell people not to chant racist slogans or bring weapons to demos. What a desperate attempt to smear our reputation.
If the EDL can prove this happened, they need to go to the police and deal with it officially.
Stay strong, stay calm. There are many, many more of us than them.
Nick (Secretary WAN)
Personal Note from Barbara:  

A young artist called Lily and I have been leafleting together, and we have had absolutely no trouble at all from anyone. 

I would say 99% of those we spoke to were positive and supportive, and the ones who weren't were simply busy or preoccupied. 
And by the way, EDL, both of my parents and all of my uncles are/were WWII war veterans and my two grandfathers were WWI veterans.  The same is true for many of the We Are Norwich group.

It is highly insulting of the EDL to assume we who oppose the EDL are not respectful of veterans.  We remember those who served this country and fought against the forces of fascism in the past very well, probably much better than you do. 

I loathe the way you of the far right try to exploit sentiment towards the Armed Forces and seek to give love of our country a bad name.

You started by attempting to bully three women in a fast food shop on Prince of Wales Road.  You threaten and lie in the social media.  You scapegoat fellow citizens and blame them for everything wrong. 

How dare you pretend it is freedom of speech that brings you to Norwich to cause such trouble, nuisance, expense, and loss of business?  On the day before Remembrance Sunday too. 

Well, enough is enough. 

Tomorrow we see you off.  Peacefully, of course.  We outnumber you, we outsing you, we outpeace you and we see you off, you miserable bunch of bullying EDL bigots.   

They are starting to roll out the fencing for tomorrow!
Fencing being prepared for tomorrow

EDL to demo in Norwich to support a homophobic reverend

From EDL News:

Earlier this year the English Defence League's East Anglia division decided they wanted a demo in Norwich to protest against the City's several hundred Muslims.

After pressuring the leadership, they finally relented and an excuse to have a demo was sought. The best they could come up with was to support a reverend of a fringe church who had been banned from distributing anti Muslim hate literature in the market place.

Such was the interest by leadership, their original date was scuppered to make way for the return to Walthamstow which never happened in the end.

The reverend has been ostracised by all the other clergy in the city for his extremists views which closely reflect those of the Westboro Baptist Church in the United States, which in turn closely reflect those of Muslim extremists who they are supposed to be against. To put simply, he is a tea party type loon.

However not many EDLers know why they are going and what the demo is all about. We spoke to several and they think that are going to shout abuse at Muslims, which considering few live in the city, they are going to be sorely disappointed.

The Reverend Alan Clifford, leader of the The Norwich Reformed Church, is not just against Muslims, he also has it in for gay people as well which makes us wonder what the EDL's LGBT Division think about all of this and how many are attending. We also wonder how many of the LGBT Division who are attending, know they are going to support someone who thinks they are an abomination.

Here are the Reverend Clifford's views on gays:
Loving sexual relationships are to be confined to heterosexual marriage. Fidelity within marriage is the ultimate antidote to AIDS and other STDs."

Like adulterers and murderers, homosexuals must repent of their particular sin if they wish to be part of Christ's Church and be saved. As there is no limit to the transforming power of God's grace and Holy Spirit, so those with homosexual tendencies may be delivered from them.
Leaders of all the main Christian denominations in Norwich have spoken out against a march by the English Defence League in Norwich.  Church leaders from the Church of England, Roman Catholic, Methodist and Baptist churches, Salvation Army, United Reformed Church and the Quakers have united to issue a joint statement against the march.

We have asked demo organiser, Anthony Bamford why they are supporting a homophobic reverend but each time he has dodged our questions. Bamford has previously been outed on YouTube when him and a gang of thugs videoed themselves intimidating two young female takeaway workers because the establishment that they worked at sold halal food.

The details of the demo have just been released and yet again the organisers have had to tell their members not to get drunk or sing racist songs.  The English Defence League remain the only organisation we have encountered where their members have to be told not to be drunk and racist before each demo, even though the instructions are widely ignored by the average member.  Advice to EDL members includes:
Please ignore any provocation and let’s get our message across peacefully. We need to show the city that we are not ‘racist thugs’ (or whatever else). We can go to ANY city to get our message across and leave with as little disruption as possible.

The only other rules to remember are:

No ‘racially-motivated’ banners/flags/placards or chants (all banners etc can be inspected by police)

No weapons, smoke canisters, fireworks or marbles! (seriously, who brings marbles?  and who advises against weapons, fireworks and smoke cannisters?)

No alcohol to be carried during the march as the city of Norwich has a drink exclusion zone

No face coverings
Strangely they forgot to advise that if any of their members are LGBT, they should probably not turn up for this one.

There seems to be very little interest in this demo amongst their Facebook pages, much like there was very little interest in the return to Walthamstow which saw around 80 drunks stood outside the Houses of Parliament looking cold and dejected.

With Christmas coming and the fact that the English Defence League have already fleeced all they can out of them this year, Norwich is out of the way for many of them who will simply decide that travelling that distance to support a bigoted revered who many have never heard of, is simply not worth their time.

The other reason few are likely to turn up is the fact that the next day is Remembrance Sunday and many already have plans to attend that event in London. Last year they were mass arrested as they fought each other in a pub near the cenotaph and racially abused the staff.

With demo numbers already looking bleak, things have taken a turn for the worse as it has been discovered one of Walsall Division's members has done a bunk with the £200 deposit for their coach leaving them either stranded or having to fork out £78 for a train.

If the EDL organisers really do not want racists to turn up, they have a job on their hands because neo nazi and white supremacist leader of the Millwall Divisio, Trudie Toker, has vowed to turn up. She is a violent alcoholic who turned up at a school in Croydon and threatened some black children and their teachers.   (Her Facebook racist filth is too vile to be reproduced on this blog).

She also has an intense dislike for Jews and gays so it will be interesting to see how this one pans out

We have a poke around their groups and found this discussion between the organisers where they share their concerns that the EDL will be turning up and singing racist songs.
Further reading

East Anglia Division invite crazed knifeman to meet and greet

EDL East Anglia threaten Ska band

Casuals United/EDL Millwall Division Leader outed as a white supremacist

And here the EDL shamelessly exploit Remembrance sentiment for their own ends.

EDL "hate merchants" not welcome in Norwich

A Norwich MP has attacked the English Defence League as “hate-merchants”, ahead of a march tomorrow which will bring parts of the city to a standstill.

From Norwich Evening News 24 by Tom Bristow:

MP: EDL “hate-merchants”
not welcome in Norwich
The EDL is holding its first protest in the city, while a counter demonstration organised by a group called We are Norwich, is also taking place, sparking a big police operation.

Castle Meadow, Bethel Street, Chantry Road and Theatre Street will all shut at various points in the afternoon.

Bethel Street, by the police station, and St Peters Street, outside City Hall, will close from 6am to 5pm, while Gaol Hill, Exchange Street and Bedford Street will shut from 1pm to 4pm.

The EDL is holding the march to protest at Norwich City Council banning a preacher from a stall at Hay Hill for promoting “hate- motivated” leaflets.

But its arrival has provoked strong opposition from trade unions and politicians.

Yesterday, Chloe Smith, MP for Norwich North, said:
I do not want to see the EDL on parade in our city. I believe the EDL to be disreputable, divisive, harmful, and violent.

Hate-merchants like these have no place in Norwich or anywhere in Britain.

I am proud of this country’s legal freedoms and rights to take part in peaceful protest, but do not want to see them abused, and Norwich dragged down, this weekend.
EDL supporters will gather at Castle Gardens at 12.45pm and start their march at 1pm.

They will head along Castle Meadow, down Opie Street, and Bedford Street, before turning left down Exchange Street to City Hall.

A message from EDL organisers sent to supporters called for no racially-motivated banners, face coverings, or racist chants.

Organisers also told supporters to not bring “weapons, smoke canisters, fireworks or marbles”.

Those in the counter demonstration will meet at 11am in Chapelfield Gardens for music and speeches.

They will head down Theatre Street, turn left at Debenhams and along Haymarket, before turning left at Starbucks towards City Hall.

Memorial Gardens and City Hall will be fenced off.