Protests Lead to Unrest in Birmingham

Various reports and bits of YouTube footage are now available showing yesterday’s protests in Birmingham, which pitted the English Defence League against Unite Against Fascism. The English Defence League had branded banners declaring their opposition to racism and rejection of the BNP (the name “Casuals United” was nowhere to be seen, and I see its website has now been renamed the “British Defence Leagues”); a BBC report shows the crowd singing the national anthem (as ever, first verse only), and chanting “Muslim bombers off our street”. Other footage shows some more aggressive behaviour, in particular the “who are you?” football chant; however, there is nothing (so far at least) apparently comparable to the May protest in Luton, where Asian-owned shops were attacked and some protestors wore balaclavas, or the 4 July protest in Birmingham, which included the chant “Muslims out”. Photos from the protest (the Daily Mail has some from Reuters) show some apparent EDL protestors being attacked by what appear to be local Asians.

A commentator at Harry’s Place complains:

The majority of the people who were attacked were random passers by. The [EDL] had long gone by then. If you were a White male passing by the crowd you were going to get a kicking. There was even a foreign White guy who made the mistake of taking pictures of what was going on and he was attacked in front of his young baby who was left unprotected in its pram. Granted the majority of the attacks were not as brutal as the pictures on the Daily Mail Website but i still don’t think it should have happened. Ironically the UAF scarpered when they saw what was beginning to happen with the ethnic minority youths attacking innocent White passers by (not saying that a few of the people who were set upon weren’t inciting the minorities because they were, but the vast majority just made the mistake of being in the wrong place at the wrong time) so it seems that the UAF only protest against racism when it is White racism directed towards ethnic minorities, not when it is the other way around.

There is some interesting amateur footage on this YouTube channel. The poster has some background to the man in green who is shown being attacked in the Reuters pictures:

as far as i’m aware the story behind this guy is that two people said to each other “lets rob him” and because they started hitting him the rest of the crowd, already wound up from the drunk guy gobbing off from earlier all pounced on him with at least 10 or 15 people kicking this guy on the ground. don’t think he was EDL but can’t confirm. However 20 yards behind this incident was a line of riot police guarding one street who not only failed to react to the violence but who stood idle and bloody useless as people were shouting for their help.

Another post on this channel has the commentary:

Protesting crowd [i.e. UAF counter-protestors] is incited by one skin head egging them on and rush police line, missiles start being thrown and people in the street have to scarper into shops and allyways.

The poster also alleges some police mishandling of the situation.

Sunday Mercury and BBC footage show the EDL banners. The red cross on a white shield logo has been taken from Paul Ray, who likes to use this symbol at the end of his anti-Muslim YouTube videos. However, Ray has fallen out with his comrades and he complains that the EDL name has been “hijacked” by a certain Chris Renton. Ray has posted a short video entitled “Pirate”, showing a man whom he strongly implies is Renton (it was embedded on his blog here, then removed; see also here); this same man appears in the screenshot below from yesterday. Renton is, or was, a BNP member.

EDL 8 Aug 2009 1

EDL 8 Aug 2009 2

EDL 8 Aug 2009 3

This a story I have been following for a while; background can be found here and here.

UPDATE: A student publication from the University of Birmingham entitled The Radish has an account of the UAF counter-protest:

By half-past, the crowd was angry and ready for confrontation. People from the TUC moving to join the protests were mistaken for the EDL and pelted with sticks…Rather than the well-directed rage of Cable Street, confused anger seemed to be the order of the day. The UAF had no idea what to do with all the people they’d assembled, the crowd seemed to know little about how or where to confront the EDL, the EDL members who managed to reach the bullring must have been feeling almost suicidal, and even the police only seemed to have a vague idea of what to do. Whether you consider this a peaceful protest that got out of hand, or militant anti-fascism that was disorganised and misdirected, it appears that the only beneficiaries were the EDL themselves scoring a potential propaganda victory.

UPDATE 2: There is a rumour of a YouTube video showing EDL protestors chanting “We Want Muslims Dead”; I haven’t been able to find this, and the only person who says they that saw it links to some footage of the earlier 4 July protest (and the chant is not there either – instead it’s “We Want Muslims Out”, at 6.50). So far as I can see, the claim does not appear in any media or eyewitness report.

UPDATE 3: Paul Ray claims a strong Luton presence, in a message to Muslims:

The EDL Luton division was the only division out of all of the divisions that was allowed into Birmingham on the day, thats why you outnumbered those present and started attacking old men, beating them, stealing their Union Jack flag and then burning it.

Look at the Templar blood red, Cross of Christ that the Luton division carried fearlessly, into your domain.

The police even brought in army barriers to protect you from them, and that is only one EDL division.

Ray revels in this kind of religio-military language, and tends to fetishize medieval suits of armour and such. He also has a habit of calling critics “traitors” and recalling how in wartime traitors would be shot. Speaking on “Talksport” a few weeks ago, he claimed that he was against all “devout” Muslims, and that even peaceful attempts to gain converts should not be allowed as they go against the British “way of life”. He also complains that his local council has been “taken over” by Muslims. The psychology, and the political traditions it has engendered in the past, are of course familar.

11 Responses

  1. These are good comprehensive posts. Well done.

    ..maybe some direct statements from people involved, who you could approach.

  2. Great piece Richard.

  3. […] Bartholomew has written extensively on the subject and the characters involved. He has a keen mind and the posts are most […]

  4. Good on you for picking up on this story ahead of time.

  5. where are the muslim bombers on the uk’s streets?

  6. We have been sold out to Islam

  7. […] Posts Hooligan Memoir of "Casuals United" OrganiserBNP Link to English Defence League WebsiteProtests Lead to Unrest in Birmingham"Anti-Extremist" Protest in BirminghamMore on "Anti-Islamic Extremist" Protestors in […]

  8. It was horribly predictable that daft racists would comment in this thread, with their wrong-headed nonsense.

  9. […] Top Posts Meet the English Defence League LeadershipBNP Link to English Defence League WebsiteEnglish Defence League Interviewed by Veteran US Anti-Gay Bigot"Anti-Extremist" Protest in BirminghamProtests Lead to Unrest in Birmingham […]

  10. We have a problem….. Too many unvetted people been allowed to enter the country, too many who hate us, hate our flag and want to kill us and take our country and change us back into ways which we have moved on from. I will not change my flag, people died for that flag. I welcome people into my country who love it, who like our ways and want to learn our language. This is something that will not go away and if it comes down to it, I will be out there fighting with the rest… called womens lib that to anyone not understanding a woman warrior.

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