Saturday, 14 January 2012

EDL Barking demo

We could say many things about the EDL demonstration on 14 January 2012. For me, those things both start and finish with the Witherspoons pub Hamilton Hall at Liverpool Street Station. I arrived there around 11am and had a couple of pints, as did many others. But first, the demo:

As often happens, the EDL had many stewards but the so-called Unite Against Fascism had none. We congregated in the square in front of Barking Town Hall; a diverse organisation, we were facing so-called anti-fascists who believed they had the right to determine who should be able to protest.

Kevin Carroll started off by thanking God that the racists who murdered Stephen Lawrence had been imprisoned. To resounding applause, he added the hope that all who killed Stephen will rot in jail.

Then Kev said what was on many minds: the Leicester girls who attacked a British couple on a racist basis should be treated just the same as if they’d been British girls attacking Muslims. He merely said what many of us were thinking: if you commit a crime, your ethnicity should be the least consideration.

Anyway, when the police guided us back to Barking station, some of us returned to Liverpool Street Station. When we went back to Hamilton Hall, we were refused service on the grounds that "you frighten the regulars".

Hold on – how come we didn’t frighten the regulars at 11am but we did in the afternoon? To have been welcomed by Hamilton Hall morning and afternoon would have been great, but to have been excluded both times would have at least been consistent. For Witherspoons to take the patriot pound in the morning then ditch it for the afternoon’s prejudiced pound is symptomatic of the jaundiced pursuit of profit at the cost of one's country.

No surrender, ever.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

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