Who We Are

Our intention is to inform people of racist, homophobic, religious extreme hate speech perpetrators across social networking internet sites. And we also aim to be a focal point for people to access information and resources to report such perpetrators to appropriate web sites, governmental departments and law enforcement agencies around the world.

We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

The EDL Racists Came to Wales and the people stood their ground by B.Taylor

Yesterday saw the EDL come to Wales’ capital city in the guise of the WDL – Welsh Defence League. Although a few carried Welsh flags most were clearly over from England for another day of racism in the sunshine, chanting ‘EDL’ and carrying the St George cross.

As always, the UAF and other anti-racist, anti-fascist organisations arranged a counter-demonstration to show the people of Cardiff that this blatant racism and hate-mongering would not be tolerated, and will never be allowed to go unchallenged.
The anti-racist protestors gathered outside the Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, with placards and flags being thrust into eager anti-racist hands. And although the far right idiots will then claim everyone was a UAF unwashed lefty, it was obvious to anyone involved that this was not the case.
As around 300-400 people started on the march, and the atmosphere was friendly and happy with people of all ages, abilities, disabilities and races taking part. The UAF were the most organised with the banners and placards distribution of all the groups that participated but this was a march of people against racism, and all the organisations involved came second to that overwhelming feeling.

Racist were promoting hate in Cardiff and we were not going to let it go unchallenged!

We marched through the Grangetown area of Cardiff and had a lot of support from local people along the route, families waved as we passed, shoppers chatted to the stewards about why we were marching – and plenty of taxi drivers honked their horns in support. A lot of people came out and joined the march as we passed through their communities.

The march also went past Cardiff Castle, and we got a lot of bemused looks from people who were in the city for the rugby game, the Stereophonics concert, the cricket match or just tourists out enjoying the sunshine. We will also all be featuring on a lot of home videos, as dozens of people filmed the march as it went past – so the message to the world will be clear: the people of Cardiff do not tolerate racism in any form!
The march finished next to the City Hall, and there was a very strong police presence waiting for us there. As the speeches and music got under way, the police handed out water to the marchers and the atmosphere remained good-natured and relaxed.

We were hemmed in between two civic buildings, with the speeches talking place towards the back of the courtyard area. Many of us drifted towards the open front, where the police had about a dozen vans, a few horses and a couple of hundred officers, to watch for the EDL/WDL arriving. More people drifted towards the protest over the next hour or so, and we ended up with about 550-650 people in total.

There were a few hard-core protestors mixed in with the crowd, self-styled anarchists who tried to keep their faces covered so the police, who were filming the protest, couldn’t identify them if they caused trouble. As it was a hot day, none of them managed to keep their faces hidden the entire time so it appeared to be for effect and bravado more than practicality. Especially as they didn’t bother to hide some very distinctive tattoos, piercing’s and hairstyles. Fortunately these were in the minority, and most of us didn’t mind being filmed as there was no intention to break any law.

After a long wait we had a little excitement when four men started walking towards the anti-racist protest line. They had shaven heads and looked like your typical stereotype EDL racist supporters – some of our protestors started to boo them and shout ‘shame on you’ as they walked closer to our enclosed area. It wasn’t until they were up to the barrier that one of their number opened his jacket and showed a SHARP (Skin Heads Against Racial Prejudice) t-shirt. Just goes to show everyone can all be guilty of judging a book by the cover!

The EDL - and I call them EDL deliberately, not WDL. This was not a separate group trying to defend Wales from some imaginary influx of scary Muslims, many of them wore English flags and they all chanted ‘E, E, EDL’. Not WDL. These were the same football hooligans we have seen up and down Britain, rioting and trying to stir up racial hatred. So – the EDL started to turn up in small numbers about an hour after our march had finished. When the first lot arrived – maybe 20 of them – they were greeted with chants from the anti-racist protestors and lots of placards were waved. We later found out that they were brought into the city by bus; there was no EDL march.

The police maintained a strong line in front of us, and when a large group of EDL supporters were expected, they moved the horses and vans in a line between us. The EDL were still met with roars of protest from our side, which they answered with chants and shouts of their own, but we were a few hundred yards apart so I doubt they could understand us any more then we understood them. Although the meanings from both sides were crystal clear.

In a very surreal twist, both groups were given areas on either side of the civic building for their protests, and inside the civic building weddings continued to be held. There will be a lot of wedding photos from yesterday with lines of police vans and protestors in the background, and 5 or 6 brides with an interesting wedding day story to tell their grandchildren.

The police, trying to avoid potential flare-ups of trouble, separated the anti-fascist protestors into areas; those of us outside the courtyard area were cut off from the ones inside the courtyard. We could go back in, but no one was allowed out. They did try to get us back inside the courtyard where we could not see the EDL and therefore have no confrontation, but they were met with a lot of resistance and initially let us stay where we were.

As more EDL members arrived the police line in front of us gradually started to move forward, so push us backwards, but another line of police had blocked the entrance to the courtyard so we could not re-join the main protest. This resulted in a stream of anti-racists protestors breaking away and entering the grassy park area which allowed us to see directly into the courtyard where the EDL were housed - about 70-100 of us all moved into the park.

The police maintained a strong line in front of us in case of trouble, and their line was not challenged. We kept a respectful distance from the police while letting the EDL know what we thought of the hatred and lies they try to spread. I only saw one arrest, although I understand there were 3 or 4. The woman who was arrested had been directly challenging the police offices requests throughout the march and had arrived with a group who chose to keep their faces covered; I didn’t see what prompted the arrest, but I wasn’t surprised to see it was one of their numbers.

Some of the protestors noticed a bus of EDL supporters arriving and broke to one side of the park to confront them. I was later told they tried to attack the bus with sticks, but this was uncorroborated and later
police reports don’t mention it. We were quickly surrounded by officers and herded away from the road, so we returned to the area facing the EDL-filled courtyard.

The protest continued in this way for some time, with the 130-150 EDL protestors standing behind barriers shouting unintelligibly, and the anti-racist protestors facing them chanting the usual ‘Nazi scum off our streets’ among many other slogans, led by various people taking turns on a megaphone.

When the time came for the EDL to move on, about an hour after they arrived, the police decided to clear the park directly in front of the EDL occupied courtyard of our group of protestors. The line they surrounded us with started to move forward, and our group moved backwards to accommodate their request. However it soon became clear that the intention was to clear the park entirely and let the EDL go home with no goodbyes from us. The protestors stopped complying with the requests of the police and stood their ground, arguing that we would leave until the EDL left and we would not allow the EDL to move anywhere in the city without being challenged.

The police tried to push us out of the park, but we would not be moved. As still we were only given the option to leave and not to re-join the main anti-EDL demo.

The chanting at the EDL carried on, and although there was a little pushing and shoving the protest continued to be non-violent. After a few fruitless minutes of trying to move us on, the police decided to escort the EDL out of the area with us still in place. We were able to once again vocally express our disgust at the EDL and their disgraceful attitude toward members of our communities – no unchallenged racism in Wales’ capital city!

The EDL were escorted away from the area, but initially stayed in a group thereby forcing the police to escort them until the group had broken up and dispersed into the city centre. Some anti-fascist protestors continued to follow them and express their views, but there were no direct clashes.

Despite a difference of opinion with the police at the end, the day stayed peaceful and showed everyone that Cardiff will not tolerate racist behaviour. The EDL ‘protest’ consisted of 150 thugs standing in an enclosed area of Cardiff for an hour, with no march and very little support. The Anti-EDL march consisted of 550-650 people, support from the local communities on a 90-minute march which took in one of the main roads in the centre of Cardiff, music, speeches and a clear demonstration of out commitment to keep Cardiff and the rest of Wales as multi-cultural as possible.

In the words of one of the songs sung on the march:

We are black, white, Asian and we’re Jew
And there are many, many more of us than you!

Stand up to the EDL, BNP and any other far right racist groups.