A statement from the English Defence League is doing the rounds:
On Saturday 20th February 2010 Members of the leadership team of the English Defence League were arrested as they traveled to Scotland to support the Scottish Defence League demonstration.
While in custody the team members homes and families homes were raided by police armed with automatic machine guns which terrified the leaderships family which included small children and other older family members. Computer equipment was seized during the 3 hour raid.
Leadership team members were banned from attending any meeting with more than 3 edl members then bailed to return to a police station in Sheffield in the near future…
A video statement has also been released, explaining that “Tommy Robinson”, the EDL’s pseudonymous leader, has been arrested on “racial” charges, and that armed police allegedly raided both his home and that of his parents (the speaker then goes off-topic with an attack on the neo-Nazi Blood & Honour, who are the subject of a new report from the Centre for Social Cohesion and Nothing British). The speaker is standing in front of an upside-down Union Flag, which perhaps is a deliberate sign of distress; why the Indian flag to his left is also upside down is less apparent (thanks to a reader for spotting that).
A further statement adds:
On Saturday 20th February 2010, members of the English Defence League were denied their civil liberties when attempting to join the Scottish Defence League for a peaceful protest in Edinburgh… In the City itself, the Police threatened anyone who attempted to protest with immediate arrest. Meanwhile, far-left so-called ‘anti-fascism’ protesters were allowed to wander the streets without any Police opposition. These same protesters made numerous attempts to attack EDL and SDL supporters, while nearby Police officers turned a blind eye. It is clear that today’s Police actions were politically motivated and that the Police Force as a whole can no longer be considered to be politically neutral. They have chosen their side.
The last EDL rally, at Stoke, a police officer who tripped over was attacked by some EDL members, although others came to his rescue.
Across the Atlantic, Pamela Geller has been inspired to imagine the police coming after her:
Criminalizing anyone who stands up to the brutal and relentless islamisation of Western countries is the next phase in the implementation of sharia law (Islamic law) in the West. The EDL is painted as racist, as the tea partiers are painted as racists. I have seen their efforts. They counter the Islamic supremacism of Europe. The Muslim hordes here and here are protected speech. This is madness.
Who is next? Stephen Gash of SIOE, Anders Gravers (who spoke at my FDI event at CPAC), Spencer, myself? That’s what’s coming. What a blow to the Europe/UK counter jihad effort.
It looks like Spencer, Gash, Gravers and Geller will have to step up our efforts.
Geller has always supported the EDL - Robert Spencer, however, made angry noises last year when it was suggested that he had been at a dinner in a London restaurant when EDL leaders had shown up (he made it clear that he had left before they appeared).
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