The EDL march in Leicester unsurprisingly descended into violence. En route to the rally a large group of them stopped off at Market Harborough, a place I spend a fair bit of time.
The people I know in the town are generally younger and less middle class than my wider circle of acquaintances and are all white, in other words tending towards the EDL's target demographic, yet they largely came to the conclusion that the EDL were a rebranded National Front and were intent on causing trouble*.The homoerotic overtones were also mentioned.
As this was not the EDL's main event there was no mob from the SWP front group- Unite Against Fascism- to oppose the EDL. Yet just seeing the group in action was enough to put people off them and their message. In fact the only thing which can win wide scale sympathy for them is allowing the impression to develop that they are only thuggish because they are being confronted by more thuggish groups who are intent on restricting their freedom of speech.
So can people please stop pretending that the UAF are anti-fascists when they are the prime recruitment tool for groups like that.
* They didn't actually kick off, but they were drinking in the street, chanting aggressively and generally being a nuisance.
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