I had expected the usual pictures of English Defence League "violence" on the UAF website, on the basis that a picture paints a thousand words. The thing is, the UAF wants also to dictate the words that the picture speaks: this to me is fascism.
Sometimes, however, words are worth a thousand pictures – for example, Martin Luther King’s (right) "I have a dream" speech; and it is much harder to dictate the pictures that these words form in each individual’s mind.
So I’d like to pick out three themes from the speeches at the EDL’s third birthday march at Luton on Saturday 5 May. Picture as you will.
- EDL founder Tommy Robinson, his latest beating by thugs visible on his face as the price of our fragile freedom, spoke of the "outstanding" Muslim individuals and businesses that he encountered and frequented daily.
- He added that the many brown and black faces visible in the crowd were better signs of barriers being broken down than any number of resolutions.
- He told of how he had helped organise people of all ethnicities on the main housing estate into a committee to sit down and thrash out their problems around a table in reply to exhortations to do this instead of demonstrating by Hazel Simmons, leader of Luton Borough Council; and of how a team of policemen had been ordered to go from door to door to cancel the meeting once councillors realised how big this was going to be.
It was interesting to see that, on the Luton Borough Council’s webpage, Hazel Simmons criticised the EDL for marching in Luton "so soon after their previous protest" 15 months ago. On the other hand, Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Richer chose to criticise the UAF for trying to break out of its allotted marching area. Picture as you will.