Thanks to GoV: Â The Beeb Does it Again
The BBC has put out yet another hit piece on the English Defence League, doing everything in its power to paint the peaceful demonstrators at EDL events as violent. It ignores the fact that the vast majority of violent attacks at the demos are initiated by the “anti-fascists” who oppose the EDL.
Even worse, there is the not-so-subtle hint that EDL demonstrators are the equivalent of the rioters, arsonists, and looters that ravaged London earlier this month.
Vlad TepesÂ has supplemented the BBC’s hatchet job with some additional footage and commentary:
The Tower Hamlets Demonstration â€“ 3rd September 2011 is going ahead
Tommy Robinson, leader of the EDL, shows Â remarkable strength and leadership qualities in this hostile ‘interview’ with the journallie.
Update (thanks to Mullah)
In finding itself banned, Unite Against Fascism has fallen victim to its own brand of boneheaded illiberalism Â (Telegraph)
Just how dumb is Unite Against Fascism? Having lobbied the government many times in recent months to ban marches by the English Defence League, it is nowÂ outraged that the Government has not only taken up this offer to squish the EDL but has pushed it further, by banning all public protests in five London boroughs for the next 30 days. That means both the Right-wing EDL and the lefties at UAF â€“ and anyone else with a political gripe â€“ are forbidden from marching in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest any time in September. “This is a huge attack on everyone’s civil liberties”, bleats UAF, which is weird, considering that they’re the ones who invited the Government to undermine people’s civil liberties in the first place.
Theresa May’sÂ blanket ban on all protests, following a request from the Metropolitan Police, is certainly outrageous, not to mention ironic, coming as it does just days after her boss David Cameron talked about his role in introducing political freedom to Libya. But UAF has no one but itself to blame for this extraordinary clampdown on the right to protest. For an apparently radical leftist campaign group, UAF is awfully fond of asking the Tory government to ban things â€“ it has frequently demanded the outlawing of EDL marches, on the basis that they “spread fear” and might brainwash stupid working-class white people into turning racist. And when you cravenly invite the Government to play the role ofÂ in loco parentisÂ in community life, to squish heated marches or protests on the basis that they might warp people’s minds and hearts, you really shouldn’t be surprised when it jumps at the opportunity. If you spend your every waking hour going cap-in-hand to the powers-that-be,Â demanding “No Platform!” for people you don’t like, you’re not in a very good position to complain when the authorities decide to deny you a platform too.
Now, UAF hasÂ issued what must rank as one of the silliest political statements of the year so far. “We the undersigned welcome the banning of the racist English Defence League’s march through Tower Hamlets,” it says. “But we are appalled to discover that the Metropolitan Police are applying for a blanket ban on ALL marches across five London boroughs… It is our human right to peacefully march in Tower Hamlets.” Wait â€“ how come UAF has a “human right” to march, but the EDL does not? Are EDL members not human? Moreover, it really is spectacularly daft to talk about the importance of the right to march in the same breath as you welcome a government decision to ban a march. What UAF is effectively saying is: “We should have the freedom to march, but they shouldn’t.”
Which rather confirms that the anti-fascist Left doesn’t know the meaning of the word freedom. Freedom of speech only exists if everyone has it. The freedom to protest must mean that everyone, from worthy Left-wingers to cranky EDL types, should be at liberty to gather where and when they please and to demand whatever they want. What UAF is fighting for is not freedom but privilege. If a thing is denied to some people but granted to others, then it’s a privilege rather than a right â€“ and UAF wants the “privilege to protest” in certain London boroughs where it expects other, less privileged, possibly non-human political activists to be silenced and curfewed on its behalf by the government. That is, UAF onlyÂ really believes in Government-approved, Tory-approved, forms of public agitation.Â Maybe now, having fallen victim to its own boneheaded illiberalism andÂ censorious stupidity, UAF will recognise that privileges can quite easily be taken away.