Leicester United Will Never Be Defeated

Leicester United Will Never Be Defeated

Pillowcases are not just for resting your head on.
Take a cheap pillowcase
Slit open the seams,
Improvise a banner.

Pregnant with anticipation, I joined the protest.
I unfurled the banner stuffed up my jumper.
“Jobs and homes not racism” flew aloft.
I was told to put it away by the boys in blue,
Because I was not in a “designated protest zone”.
I thought this was supposed to be a free country.

There wasn’t much point in staying, getting kettled
So I walked through the eerily, deserted market,
Past ghosts of absent fruit sellers,
The tranquility of New Walk, the hubbub of the train station.
I waited, with the whole community.
Everyone was there. A thousand strong.
We would show them.

They came spinning out of their coaches.
A rampage round the ring road later,
Smashing up kebab shops, frightening customers.
Shouts rang out behind vans, dogs, blue suits and riot shields,
But Highfields stood firm. They did not pass.

I didn’t get to speak to them. But this is what I would have said:
Why put your problems on people with a different face?
People of another race, who come from a different place?
Is it that we speak another language, not fighting or racism,
But community, friendship and standing together?
You should try it some time.

You call yourself the EDL, the E – E – E D L
Standing there, swaggering like a school bully,
Full of beered-up bravado. A red and white cross
Smeared across your drunken fizzog.
Defending England? Against who – the English?
We are all in this together. Not the toffs, the rest of us.
We’ve got more in common than you might think.

But you don’t think, you just read the Sun.
Scapegoating asylum seekers, gypsies, Poles and Muslims.
Don’t believe Murdoch’s red-top lies.
Let’s fight the real enemy – the sharp-suited, slimy sort of scum
You can find them with their blue, yellow or red rosettes,
Smarming and charming their way through interviews,
Faking expenses and taking backhanders.
They are the true thieves.

We can show you how it should be done.
We stand together in unity. Unafraid.
Neighbours – old, young, black and white
In this comforting patchwork quilt that is Leicester.

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