I have covered the English Defence League in a number of places before, but I understand that some of my overseas readers would like more information and background to them, so I’ve correlated various links that should prove helpful.
I appreciate that the role that the EDL plays within British society might be hard to understand, and how what the EDL say about themselves relates to reality, so I will endeavour to help.
It seems to me that the EDL fulfil the role of part recruiter, part enforcer and Far Right street army. There is a long history of such groupings from Mussolini’s Fascio di Combattimento to the modern day groupings in Hungary which wish to emulate the Iron Guard of old.
Far right groupings need a presence on the streets, to intimidate their political opponents, attack immigrants and ethnic minorities, and to establish a breathing space to allow the growth of neofascism.
In Britain, the EDL is a proto-group aim to fulfil that role.
Hope, not Hatred provide many excellent summaries on the EDL, and even if some readers are in denial about British neofascism, than they can hardly deny the photographic evidence of EDL supporter giving Nazi salutes, etc and the EDL joining up with hard neo-Nazis.
English Defence League cracks begin to show. See the Nazi salute from a EDL/BNP supporters
Businessman bankrolls ‘street army’ Yet another young neo-Nazi salutes.
EDL / SDL Nazi Salutes in Glasgow.
This final video should convince the people on the true nature of the EDL,
Nazi Protestors are definitely EDL.
Update 1: A great video where the EDL founder admits BNPers and Neo-Nazis involvement in the EDL.
Update 2: The UAF has more:
“In fact the EDL’s organisers include Chris Renton, a BNP activist from Weston-super-Mare whose name appears on the list of BNP members leaked on the internet last year. BNP and Nazi grafitti appeared in Birmingham in July after the EDL’s previous action. The EDL demonstration was promoted on the openly neo-Nazi Stormfront website. A glance at the Facebook pages devoted to organising the EDL action shows the comments from EDL supporters to be littered with vile racist abuse.”
Update 3: Every time I post on the EDL my moderation queue gets full of BNPers and Neo-Nazis arguing that the EDL isn’t so bad, but sadly they don’t have an answer to the point made by Paul Ray, where he acknowledges the involvement of the BNP had the highest levels of the EDL.
Please can I remind any would-be members of the master race of my comments policy.
Update 4: This one from October, 2009: Paul Ray Identifies with Northern Ireland Loyalist Groups.
Update 5: June 2010, The BNP past of the EDL leader.
Update 6: June 2010, Searchlight Names EDL Leader “Tommy Robinson” as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.
“The two convicted today actually turned up at several of the EDL rallies and used their website to praise the EDL’s actions. Yet the EDL denies any links to these extremists organisation.”