A highly critical report has been published by the Network for Police Monitoring. It covers the build up to the EDL coming to Leicester on the 9th October 2010 and the demonstration itself.
The report finds that the police had a deliberate strategy of intimidating people from entering the city, putting on distraction events and using the Childrens Act against young people. This is in contravention of the right to peaceful and democratic assembly in the European Convention of Human Rights, and was discriminatory against an ethnic group. But after all, who polices the police?
This is an excellent report and well worth a read. However, there is one slight error. It states that a contingent of the UAF demo arrived in Highfields to support the local, largely Asian, population against the EDL. The contingent was made up of Socialist Party members and non-affiliated anti-fascists, not the UAF, who remained in their protest in the city centre. A more accurate account of the day was published in the Socialist newspaper. It concludes, “Above all, we need to build a political alternative to cut across the dangers of division and racism. A movement that fights for jobs and services, a working class political alternative, is required.” This is one reason why we are standing as trade unionists and socialists against cuts (TUSC) candidates in opposition to the main parties in Leicester’s local elections.
I also wrote a poem to celebrate the defiance of Highfields residents on the day.
Also shameful (mentioned in footnote 14 in the report) was the role of Hope Not Hate (HnH), who actually helped the police and council carry out their dirty work for them, by persuading people to stay away and building instead for a festival of multiculturalism the following day.
Between them, the police, the council and HnH handed a small victory to the EDL thugs who rampaged round Leicester on the 9th October.
The whole of Leicester needs to be waiting for them if they ever come back.