Protest in Luton over St. George’s Day Event Decision

The lastest from Luton, where a protest by self-described English “patriots” took place on Bank Holiday Monday:

Police in Luton were out in the town on Easter Monday to ensure an illegal protest organised via the Internet passed peacefully.

The protest involved approximately 150 members of the public who wished to march in Luton.

None of the protesters were arrested but six people are being held in custody for causing disturbances elsewhere in the town centre.

The report – from the Luton and Dunstable Express – quotes the police as complaining that the protestors had not contacted them or the council before the event.

The only other reports on the incident appear in the Daily Star, a sensationalist tabloid which likes to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment with dubious reporting (I blogged on one story here). Alas, it’s the only source available on this particular subject. One piece  – inevitably headlined “It’s OK for Muslims to Abuse Our Troops” –  tells us that:

…While fanatical Muslims were given the green light to gather and scream insults when the Royal Anglian Regiment returned from Iraq last month, an application for a St George’s Day celebration this month was turned down.

I blogged on this decision here. The Star continues:

Approval has also been granted for events to mark the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed and the death of his grandson.

Many Luton residents complaining of “double standards” were further angered when a rally to protest at the council’s decisions two days ago was stopped and then broken up by police.

Craig McKoy, 22, claims he had two teeth smashed in by a policeman’s truncheon during the event.

He said: “I don’t have any problem at all with large-scale Muslim celebrations on the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.

“But why can’t other people be given the same rights, especially as I don’t think Muslims would have a problem with a St George’s Day celebration either?”

Another report in the same paper adds:

POLICE broke up a march yesterday by British people wanting to “reclaim” their streets from Muslim fanatics.

Riot police with horses and dogs sealed off the town centre before scuffles broke out and several of the 200 demonstrators were arrested.

…Sean Smith, 32, said: “I saw one guy who shouted ‘let us march’ and a policeman whacked him with his truncheon and knocked two of his teeth out.”

No Youtube footage has yet appeared, but the subject of police violence is rather topical just now [UPDATE: Some footage has now been posted, although there is no evidence there of police violence; UPDATE 2: Paul Ray has now posted a photograph showing an injured mouth with missing teeth].

Plans for the St. George’s Day event developed after a proposed counter-protest to the Islamist provocation was abandoned when its organiser came to fear that the far-right and football hooligans would hijack the event. However, McKoy is black, and he says that protestors carried banners attacking the far-right National Front.

So who organised the Easter Monday protest? A report at Hope Not Hate written a few days before has some background to one of those involved:

…In wades Peter Fehr to announce another march on Bank Holiday Monday, 13 April. In an email to supporters he does a reasonable job of organising the event, saying:

“This Demo is being well publicised all over Great Britain and over 20,000 people are expected to descend to Luton on the 13th April to show their disgust towards Muslim extremists. So please attend and bring friends, relatives and work colleges, and show your support by bringing along a Union Jack flag. The 13th is on Easter Monday, so this is a bank holiday, so no excuses, turn-up and show your support.”

On the other hand, later in the email he goes to some lengths to distance the BNP from the event, saying:

“I MUST STRESS THAT THIS DEMO IS NOT BEING ORGANIZED BY THE BNP. Please do not wear any BNP badges if you plan on going to this event.”

…A flyer for the march on the 13th was sent to the Searchlight offices on Blood and Honour notepaper. On it was a phone number, which turned out to be that of NF activist Stuart Hollingdale, the person who was jailed for three months in 1999 for daubing the Stephen Lawrence memorial with white paint. Hollingdale said that his erstwhile NF chum, none other than BNP parish councillor Simon Deacon, was briefing him on events in Luton.

Fehr’s involvement is not mentioned in either of the Star‘s reports. Fehr is a former BNP activist who has supposedly “retired” from campaigning.

As for the St. George’s Day event, I’ve explained some of the causes for concern about that (which is not the same as saying it should not be allowed) in previous blog entries: in particular, the main organiser is Paul Ray (“Lionheart”), an inflammatory pro-BNP blogger (“you should not judge these people who God is doing a work with and through”) who makes no distinction between moderate and extremist Muslims. Ray (who has featured on this blog a number of times, and whom even Little Green Footballs considers excessive) also expresses solidarity with a local group of football supporters called the “Luton Town MIGs“, which has a reputation for violence; Hope Not Hate describes him as ” a lynchpin for the various strands of nationalism in the area – from the football-orientated Luton MIGs…to those drawn into BNP membership”. While I’m sure that McKoy is law-abiding, his Facebook profile is an English flag with the word “MIG Crew” written on it (Apparently “MIG” refers to the Russian fighter plane; the claim that it stands for “Men in Gear” comes from rival groups, presumably as a taunt of some kind).

Also involved with the plans for the St. George’s Day event were elements from the “March for England” (MFE) organisation, which I blogged on here. MFE is run by Dave Smeeton, who has a similar Facebook profile picture that advertises the “6.57 Crew”. This is a Portsmouth group of the same kind as the MIGs, although in the comments to my blog entry here he expresses irritation that I might think this choice of profile picture might mean he is a member or supporter:

A picture of a me and a flag does not mean i was 6,57…Does me being in the Cubs or Boys Brigade long ago i know. Have any relevence to your spin? NO. I am in my 50s with 5 grown up children and 8 granchildren. If i had any connections to the 6,57 that would have been 30 years ago.So if i had what relevence is 30 years ago?

Smeeton adds:

You are still under the delusion we are anti muslim. We have only ever turned up to protest at one event which has attracted Radical Islam. The Al Quds event had and was part organised by an extremist group both Blair and Brown said they would ban. But no suprise they never did.

99% of March for Englands events have nothing to do with Islam but are directed at the Goverment or are in support of our troops. Our Rememberance at the Cenetaph in London every Nov.Our St Georges Parades is used to raise money for forces charities.

…I can safely say we have controled all our marches and protests. There has never been an arrest on one of our events. Myself and our Stewards monitor our events carefully. We also work closely with the Police to ensure we steward our events as they ask. This is the reason why we to date have had no problem putting on our events.

To make it crystal clear we do everything within the law informing the Police and gaining all relevent permission. If we where a violent group the Police would not allow our events due to public order concerns.

Smeeton believes that I wish deliberately to misrepresent MFE; I have responded to his complaint here.

25 Responses

  1. The problem here is double standards from the council,and goverment what is good for the goose is good for the gander, we all have a right of free speach and to be fair when is the minority ( white british) allowed to have theres, we are not being racist we are now fighting for OUR rights which are being taken away from us, its is all this which is causing the problems and to be fair it has been along time coming,
    ST GEORGES DAY is our day and we should be entitled to march and show we are proud to be ENGLISH, The Irish celebrate ST Patricks Day, The Scottish celebrate St Andrews, The Welsh ST Davids. So why cant we celebrate ST Georges without the muslim extremist causing trouble with the protests of enticement which they should be charged for as if we did it ,we would , SEE DOUBLE STANDARDS!!!! So ST Georges Day is our Day and we should celebrate it loud and clear This is our country and my country and should be respected by ALL
    HERE IS TO ST GEORGE

  2. The point is that Luton already has St Georges Day celebrations http://www.luton.gov.uk/internet/references/news/news%20archive/2005%20news%20releases/april%202005/St%20George's%20Day . Paul Ray has no interest in these kind of cultural displays however (which are very enjoyable for the family.) He is after a political dimension to the day alongside his agenda of terrorism and immigration.
    St Patricks Day works in Luton because we have Molly Malone, shamrocks, great music and food. We don’t have republican marching bands. Similarly, we don’t want out-of-town people inflicting the 6:57 crew and their crude version of nationalism and then go away again leaving us to pick up the pieces.

  3. @ tom .. what do you find crude about march for england ???

    have you read …

    http://barthsnotes.com/2009/04/12/more-on-marches-in-luton/#comment-7844

    ????

  4. […] Protest in Luton over St. George’s Day Event Decision […]

  5. Just to make it clear once and for all. March for England has members from all over the country. It has no links now or ever with the 6.57 crew. It fact March for England was started by a couple of Spurs supporters over 2 years ago. We are run by a commitee of 12 people who live in various parts of the country ranging from Blackpool in the North to the West Country London and Brighton etc.
    we have have a broad cross section of members including ex srvicemen housewifes buisness men and yes god forbid football fans.
    I hope this clears up the fact once and for all

  6. Yes Dave, I do understand the debate you have been having over 6:57 with this website. The fact remains though, that community relations in Luton are pretty good – apart from incidents like that with the hotheads who disgraced us all on March 10th. The only time when things have been stirred up is when outsiders have come into the town, created a disturbance and then left again, leaving us to clear up the mess. The BNP campaign in the May 2007 council elections is a good example. We have an excellent St George’s Day programme of celebrations and anything else, particularly with the political slant that Lionheart wishes to apply, is conterproductive.

  7. Tom— Speaking for March for England we have had no problems in London or Brighton in putting on our marches. It has at times been made very difficult by the authorities. I repeat that there has never been one arrest on our marches.
    What we all need to know is why when you go through proper channels why are you refused or why are hurdles put in our way? Also why are proscribed organisations allowed to march without permission and alowed to wear clothing promoting a proscribed organisation and flying the flags of this proscribed group. No arrests made? All we ask for is a level playing field. One law for all.
    Untill these questions are answered by the authorities it looks like this will rumble on and on. There is a principle at stake that needs to be resolved one way or another.
    We have sat back so far over the issue in Luton despite the cock and bull stories on here. I have even phoned Bedfordshire Police and refuted that we where going into Luton.
    We need answers as to why Radical Islam can stage a protest that to any ones eyes is a threat to public
    order. To many times the law is being waved in favour of extremist groups as in Luton,London ( Tamil Tigers} and the parade in Ulster by the C I.R.A The last two being banned groups. Is this a level playing field?

  8. Dave
    If you march in Luton will we get Nick Griffin turning up to steal all the headlines like he did at Stonecross? No black / Asian people on the march from the Stonecross photos on the BNP website.

    Have you seen the footage of the last Luton demo on http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=75681732617&h=K9G5G&u=uaJrc

    Heaven help us if we get a repeat of that rabble with more numbers.

    Why does a majority community feel the need to assert itself ?

  9. Dave

    On your Facebook site, why have you got a photo of a mock Dr Martens advert with skinheads kicking a man on the floor in the head ? The top of the photo says “Kicking the fuck out of you since 1960”. Underneath that you have written “those were the days.” Why have you written that if you, as you say you have, left violence behind you

    Why have you got a poster also on Facebook with the words “Its the evil of our time – ISLAM – lets not leave it for our children.” Why do you display a poster that attacks all Islam and not Islamic extremists – the same line that Paul Ray folows ? How are you going to ensure Islam is not “left for your children?”

    Luton has a significant muslim community. Now can you understand the reason why some people oppose March for England in this town ?

  10. Tom where you at Stone Cross? I dought it and yet you report it Nick Griffen steals the headlines.
    Have you spoke to rob lloyd or any of the other organisers of Stone Cross? Ref your comments any one that was there will tell you your comments are a lie!!!!!
    I was at Stone Cross along with 20,000 others (numbers from the Sun) Sorry to tell you that there where Coloured lads and Asians on the Stone Cross march(fact) They all seemed to enjoy the day.
    As for Nick griffen hijacking the day where did you get that from? I know for a fact it wasnt from the Police or the Organisers of the march. It did not happen.
    he was there i only saw him at the end of the march in the park. He was flanked by 8 minders and if he drew a crowd of 50 around him i would be suprised .I saw no more than that when i passed!!!!
    Why do people like yourself give reports on something that are blatent untruths???
    Before you say anymore there where no arrests on the day.20,000 out and not ONE arrest. Plase feel free to phone the local police to check.
    You say some oppose MfE in luton. Fair play to them every one is entitled to an opinion.
    You tell me why proscribed organisations can march, Extremist can rant hatred in front of OUR troops. Terror groups can march on our streets, our flag can be burnt by extremist. Behead those that dont follow Islam and other offensive placards seen on our streets week on week. You answer those questions. The feeling is untill these questions are answered the Luton problem i fear will rumble on>

    As for my facebook you realy dont have a clue do you. I was a Skin head in the 70s. The caption says those WHERE the days. Got it yet? The 70s where the days. This is 2009 and i am an old man.
    As for the picture of Islam. I will do i can within in the law to make sure Sharia law does not creep any further into our system. It is after all one law for one .one law for all. Am i not entitled to an opinion on religion? I thought we had freedom of thought and speach?

  11. Tom you been on the BNP web site tut tut.
    Are you a closet BNP supporter?
    I wouldnt go on there if you paid me!!!!

  12. […] Posts Protest in Luton over St. George’s Day Event DecisionObama’s Grandmother Cancels Seventh-Day Adventist BaptismChristian Zionist Attack on Bishop Tom […]

  13. […] profile shows an English flag advertising a football hooligan group (the “6.57 Crew”), he complained that it was of no significance: March for England has members from all over the country. It has no […]

  14. Dave
    In common parlance, when you say “those were the days,” as you say on your Facebook page under the picture of the skinhead kicking another person in the head, it is to recall fondly an occasion or an activity.
    Obviously you dont say “those were the days” to say it was in the past – everyone knows it is history. The truth is, you have an affinity with violence as depicted in the picture and the use of the word F***. The poster does not mention you getting rid of Sharia Law – it mentions getting rid of Islam. That means converting all Muslims to Christians or getting rid of the adherents to Islam itself ie the muslims. How do you intend to get rid of the muslims, Dave ? The trouble is, and the thing I would say to the occasional black or Indian person on your marches is – once you have got rid of Islam, which racial group will you next campaign against ?
    We particularly fear people with the following characteristics :

    1) People living outside of Luton – who do not have to live with the consequences of any intimidatory actions
    2) People with an affinity to violence
    3) Those aligned with football hooliganism
    4) Those with racist views
    5) People aligned with loyalist groups.

    1) You live in Portsmouth
    2) Through your language you use and the images you admire, you display violent tendencies
    3) Your continued use of the 6:57 link once again celebrates a violent lifestyle
    4) Your indiscriminate racist comments against muslims
    5) The pictures you display and the Facebook groups you lead aligns you with right-wing Northern Irish politics.

    Dave – we have successfully campaigned in our town against the likes of you before and will do so again. If you must organise marches, please do so in your home town – not in ours.

  15. firstly where does it say dave made that image about islam…. maybe you should have a look at the footage from you tube i posted on the luton post here… and see that it is islam that the minority follow that needs addressing… March For England is a group.. many will join, they may individually have their own views and opinions.. or be un-educated.. do you be-little them because they cannot learn like you do here… do you get your tarnish (boring right wing) brush out and label them and the whole group… it seems yes you do… which in my eyes makes you very near to the border of slander… facts cut up to paint a picture with nothing really concrete…. but you say you will counter a group like ours for fear of the left over after math if any ??

    well what aftermath would be left… i see you have this issue with the word hooligan… brainwashed from the 80’s i see…. still thinking we are in the 80’s….

    A st Georges Flag will always have that elemant of racism tagged to it… a person whom is thinning on top and has a skin head will be deemed a thug, hooligan, right wing blah blah,… e.t.c… and this will always happen because of un-educated brainwashed folk like you,.. that only can throw the far right, white and racist card around… and to be honest.. you are more of a laugh in your one sided view… and i pity you …. but we all cannot be the same… but seeing as you deem to attack someone whom is innocent… we shall all play your childish game… or shall we be better than you and leave intelligent posts….

    hmmmmm ???

  16. We know Dave made that image about Islam because it has the word “ISLAM” in the middle of it.

    As has been said on this blog here before, it appears MfE has an image problem. Personally, if I were trying to get away from the right wing hooligan stereotype, I would :
    1) stay away from showing a liking for skinhead violence
    2) keep away from the 6:57 brand which was only recently featured in “Britains Most Violent Towns”
    3) avoid posters that mention getting rid of Islam
    4) stay away from sectarian Irish politics
    5) keep on the south coast, without feeling you have to travel hundreds of miles to solve problems in towns thta don’t want your solution.

    There – that should do it ….

  17. the points you add are of good opinion and agree-able… thanks for the outside view.. this is more helpful. And is taken on board… this is the good criticism that helps.. but picking on on person of their past, or alleged past is not constructive.

  18. i am born and bread in luton and the town as we know it if dissapearing. double standards are a fact in luton. if a white lad or a black las was fighting with a muslim in town the police would jump on the white or black lad and not the muslim. anyone on street level knows the facts. no one wants to attend luton sixth form due to the intimidation muslim gangs there. the fact that sayful islam and co are in the college promoting there jihad every tuesday dont help. the daily mail run a article a while ago that there had been 90 attacks on houses of non muslim residents in the bury park area of luton, the muslims didnt want non muslims living in there area. i happen to know the 80 yr old black couples son, that were pictured in the local papers, there house windows were smashed 15 times. only when it made the papers did the police act. one scum bag extremists house is attacked and hes given 24 hour police guard. the officer dealing in this matter is pc hussain. two boys who only drove down the rd where the extremists house was smashed up the day after the incident have been harrassed since by hussain, one house has had 2 visits from the police and 12 phone calls. DOUBLE STANDARDS AGAIN. everyone in luton is fed up and want something done. it isnt racist to want to be treated fairly. when the IRA were bombing england would twenty irish men supporting them of been able to promote there cause every saturday in luton town centre, unchallenged by police or council, and also promote an the towns sixth form college. of course they wouldnt, so why should sayful islam and his men? just because they hide behind there muslim religion. they need banning from our town centre and given a radius ban from the sixth form. we will not stop untill they are. all we are asking is that the police and council do what is right for LUTON, the town we love and are slowly loosing. and all this talk about people from outside of luton coming into town is rubbish, the last demo was residents from luton i am the organiser and i am half cast, i had the leaflets printed and i hate all forms of extreism, the reason for me remaining anomynous is because i will be targted and so will my family by muslim gangs, everyone knows that is a fact, i work 9 till 5 and i cant put my name to this as the group i am opposing are affiliated with mass murder and terrorism, i am no match for them, i shoulnt have to be, the police and council should do there job. There was a demo in Luton last month against the extremist muslims who disrupted the soldiers homecoming parade.

    I thought I would post a link to a video of the last demo.

    The next demo is Bank Holiday Sunday 24th May @ 5pm. Might be worth a visit?

    • The trouble is, lutonprotest, is that extremist groups will always hang onto your actions. I saw the Bedfordshire Young BNP organiser there last time and the bnp were very busy behind the scenes encouraging their supporters to attend. My real problem is this : first of all people target “muslim extremists” but scratch beneath the surface and really they don’t like any muslims at all. Paul Ray is open about this. If they got rid of the muslims, then most of the people in the crowd would turn their attention to other immigrants – Indians, Poles maybe and then they would come for you, my friend.

  19. Tom you might ne right on few un-educated folk that attend, but would it not be good to have muslims there whom are also (espcially 1st generation) muslims joining in saying “not in our name” too…. why is it they are afraid to do so… because i know from east london muslim gangs harass mosques and imans that take a stand against drug dealers… now i say like any religion,.. you cannot sell, take e.t.c.. drugs, alcohol e.t.c.. if you are a christian, muslim, e.t.c.. especially if you follow it properly… so i do not class these dealers as true muslims.. but twisted but unfortunately they do exist and have the fear to stop the muslims whom are as petrified of them as the normal folk of other races are in their own town…. So is this not something that should unite all regardless of colour and religion and try to get the muslims too involved to help them live in a safer country against these minut idiots spoiling it for the rest ???

    and just for the record, islam is the path given to the religion which can be lead in many ways depending who is leading from the holy book, extremists are islamic, just as moderates are islamic.. but it is the way they use the words to walk the path… so islam is not the religion, its a path and faith of the religion.. so that cannot be racist…

    also muslim is the term giving to the person whom follows the ko’ran, and muslims come in all different colours… so that cannot the racist either… as it is not a race…. it is a belief…

    just like christianity e.t.c.. if i study buddism, im a buddist e.t.c.. so only religious hatred can be argued here… but that is something that would stop if we united as one… but to do that is not easy, and may take generations.. or never happen at all… the generation of today are not the same as the generation of old… where after world war 2 all nationalitys aided in fighting for freedom,.. rebuilding our country, schools, hospitals e.t.c.. and all the 1st generations here was proud to have the work, live in peace, and was proud to be here… the youth of today have forgot that.. and need educating… but unfortunatly racists of old spoilt that.. and has tarnished the forwardness ever since.. just like against March For England… which is a shame.

  20. […] regarding possible links to a Portsmouth hooligan group called the 6.57 Crew: If i had any connections to the 6,57 that would have been 30 years ago.So if i had what relevence […]

  21. I just don’t understand why there are protests? Which end in violence and local people can’t leave their homes.

  22. […] 2009, Ray became involved with organising football hooligans for an anti-Islamic protest; this led to the creation of the […]

  23. […] men were associated with the early days of the EDL: Cinato, better known as Paul Ray, was involved with organising football hooligans into anti-Islam protests in Luton back in April 2009, although […]

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