The leader of the far-right English Defence League has vowed to stage a large national protest in Dewsbury after complaining that supporters were treated like “caged animals” at a demonstration in the town on Saturday.
A protest by 400 EDL supporters passed off without serious incident but leader Tommy Robinson was angered that the protesters were contained within high steel barriers. He said the EDL should have been allowed to protest at Dewsbury Town Hall, rather than a tightly cordoned area of the railway station car park.
Mr Robinson said Saturday’s protest was a regional demonstration but the next one in would be national and “the EDL bandwagon will be coming back to Dewsbury in our thousands”.
Many of the EDL protesters were from outside West Yorkshire, including members from Merseyside, Teeside, Burnley, Bolton, Leicester and Mansfield. A large police operation ensured that the day passed off relatively peacefully, although traders in the town said they were thousands of pounds out of pocket because many shoppers stayed away.
Six men were arrested by West Yorkshire Police and British Transport Police. They were: A 31-year-old from Batley, for possessing an offensive weapon; a 44-year-old from Barnsley, a 39-year-old from Merseyside and a 41-year-old from Cleckheaton, all for public order offences; a 16-year-old from Bradford for criminal damage; and an 18-year-old from Preston for trespass on railway property.
See also Dewsbury Reporter, 13 June 2011
You can watch the speech by “Tommy Robinson” here. Maybe it’s because he’s angry at travelling all the way to Yorkshire and then suffering the humiliation of being penned in a station car park by the police, rather than marching on Dewsbury Town Hall as he intended, but his speech does seem even more extreme than usual:
“Do the streets of Dewsbury belong to heroin-peddling Muslim gangs? No they don’t. Do the streets of Dewsbury belong to paedophiliac Muslim gangs? No they don’t. Do the streets of Dewsbury belong to imams? No they don’t. The streets of Dewsbury belong to us. They are British streets, in England, and we are taking our streets back, city by city, street by street. And there ain’t no-one is going to stop it.”
He goes on to call for a big national demonstration in Dewsbury following the planned EDL protest in Tower Hamlets at the end of August. The intention is evidently to mobilise sufficient numbers of demonstrators that the police will be unable to prevent the EDL from marching anywhere they want.
The only light relief comes when “Tommy” denounces the former Labour MP for Dewsbury, Shahid Malik, for the speech he made at the Global Peace and Unity event in 2008, in which he referred to the number of Muslim MPs increasing from one to two to four and then possibly eight, before adding “at this rate the whole parliament will be Muslim”. For the leader of the EDL, however, Malik wasn’t making a joke but outlining an Islamic plot to conquer Britain.
The English Defence League – not just thugs but thick with it.