Oct 29 2012

More lies from Leicester Casuals

Leicester Casuals love defending England from mythical horrors. So much so that they have to invent enemies to give their handful of followers something to do.

Yesterday they started the frothfest with rumours that Muslims were attacking an 88 year old war veteran who was selling poppies in Leicester town centre. It didn’t take long for far right followers to start champing at the bit, saying the “scummy bastards… want shooting end of!” Leicester Casuals added a melodramatic dimension to this (non-existent) monster: “They hate us, our history and our future”. Other followers compared the made-up gang of Muslims to a “Pack of wild dogs” and suggested that they should be “PUT DOWN”. “They don’t deserve to breath the same air as our veterans” added another.

The problem is that it was all in their minds. There was no smoking muslamic raygun. Leicester Casuals later admitted that veteran, Eric, “has had NO problems from anyone this year whatsoever” and that the only previous problems he’d had were with shopping centre staff. Did they apologise for spreading such inflammatory and divisive rumours and take down their original post? Of course not. And out of interest, the comments about dogs and not breathing the same air as veterans were added after the truth had been established.

Leicester Casuals are paranoid, untrustworthy and are stoking community tensions out of ignorance.

Sep 30 2012

Anti-fascist action against EDL coach company

While the EDL were getting their pre-demo beauty sleep on Friday night, anti-fascists from Leicester were busy locking up the gates of GH Watts coach company, the company that has been ferrying East Midlands divisions around the country on their pointless excursions for a few years. While the EDL aren’t admitting whether it had any effect on their travel plans, the action will certainly have sent a message to the fascist-enablers who run the company and might make coach hire a wee bit more difficult for the EDL in future. Well done Leicester Antifascists!

Last night we took action against G H Watts coach company at their depot on Foxholes Road, Braunstone, Leicester. Their gates were D locked shut in a number of places and their locks were glued. We did this because G H Watts have consistently supported the EDL over the past few years.

The EDL are nothing more than class traitors. Their leadership have formed an alliance with investment bankers and property speculators who send their army of useful idiots to do their bidding. They try to blame all of society’s ills on their favourite scapegoats, the Muslims, in the same way that the Nazis blamed Germany’s problems on the Jews. These attempts to divide the working class along lines of race and religion divert anger away from our real class enemies: capitalists, politicians and bosses.

As antifascists we see it as our duty to combat the reactionaries of the EDL and all the tiny groups riding along on their coat tails. This includes taking action against companies that profit from their politics of hatred.

For working class action against fascism! No pasaran! – they shall not pass.

We have been exposing GH Watts’ role in servicing the EDL over the past year and have spotted their coaches at Walthamstow (Sep ’12) and Luton (May ’12) as well as Bristol (Jul ’12), Rochdale (Jun ’12), Hyde (Feb ’12), Cambridge (Jul ’11) and Blackburn (Apr ’11). Leicester and Nottingham divisions regularly travel in GH Watts coaches and sometimes they pick up Derbyshire members as well.

Sometimes they’ve opted for other companies, such as Nottingham’s Silverdale coaches for their infamous trip to Tower Hamlets where the coach was attacked by anti-fascist locals and trashed. The hapless EDL were escorted off their bus by police who then arrested them all, leading Nottingham organiser Richard Carroll to release a hilarious ‘STATMENT’ on the Nottingham EDL site.

Aug 20 2012

Thurnby Lodge protests rumble on

Evidently sensing a major embarrassment, Leicester City Council is backpedalling furiously on its decision to lease an abandoned building to a Muslim charity. The latest news is that mayor Peter Soulsby has said that the council is looking for an alternative site for the As-Salaam Trust’s proposed community centre.

Mohammed Lockhat of the Muslim group said that some worshippers had stopped attending prayers at the existing community centre due to a level of “intimidation” from protests, which have featured members of the BNP, including leader Nick Griffin, the EDL and Casuals United. However, it would be wrong to write off the protests as entirely islamophobic in nature as locals have clearly criticised the involvement of “outside groups” like the BNP and EDL in the press saying that their protests are about a lack of transparency in the council’s allocation of the building.

The Leicestershire BNP’s report on the protests of course talks up the involvement of the party and introduces the Islamic bogeyman wherever possible, decrying the appearance of a group of Muslim youths after one of the protests. “[W]hy were random muslim youths from outside the area getting involved with an issue which is none of their business?” they ask with massive hypocrisy. Muslims from the other side of town had far more business to be there, when their co-religionists were facing intimidation from the far right, than did Nick Griffin, who drove over from Wales in an attempt to stir up trouble. Far right dregs from across the area descended like a pack of wolves at the rumour of a clash between whites and Muslims, so it was only natural that there would be some kind of defensive response.

The BNP repeated the long scotched fake rumour about a Christian cross being covered to avoid offending Muslims, although they picked a different area to the EDL. They also insinuated that once As-Salaam had the scout hut soon the pub would be shut, invoking the magical “thin end of the wedge” argument with apparently no evidence whatsoever.

The BNP are not very good at using the internet. “What is this As Salaam sect?” they ask. “Nobody knows, nobody has heard of them, and nothing comes up on Google.” They clearly aren’t very good at searching because within a few seconds I’d found the group’s Facebook page which is linked to from a number of other sites. Mystery solved. “Where is a small, completely unknown sect getting so much money from?” I would imagine that, like most religious organisations, As-Salaam gets its money comes from donations from local worshippers. Why there should be any dark secret about this is never explained.

Finally the BNP have their obligatory moan about the unfairness of the mainstream media, in this case the Leicester Mercury which they say has not “report[ed] what the people of Thurnby Lodge are protesting about. They’ve been awfully quiet on the subject so far!” What they mean, of course, is that the Mercury’s reporters aren’t giving coverage of the BNP’s own reasons for protesting. The Mercury has given extensive coverage to the protests and has quoted protesters at length but because it doesn’t match with the BNP’s analysis it doesn’t count.

On the positive side, the Cautiously Pessimistic blog has picked up on our posts on the matter and has some interesting ideas about how anti-authoritarians in Leicester could organise on this issue:

[I]f we’re going to decisively win people away from the far-right, we need to demonstrate that, while our enemies on the right are ultimately just another set of politicians-in-waiting, we’re actually willing and able to do practical things to improve our lives and the lives of those around us.

Cautiously Pessimistic suggests that helping to set up a community run social centre in the area might be a good way to do this:

It’ll take a lot of work, and at the end of the day you might not have anything much more interesting or radical than a boxing club to show for it. But it’s better than lining up on one side or another of a racial divide, or just chasing round after big one-day strikes, protests in London and international summits while the far-right recruits on our doorsteps.

Aug 19 2012

EDL still pissing in the paddling pool

Leicester EDL are helping to whip up a frenzy of ill-informed prejudiced hysteria in the run up to their next piss up in Walthamstow. They’ve reposted a poster for a Muslim swimming session as proof that there is a two-tier creeping-sharia reverse-racist politically-correct system oppressing them and their beloved England because, *ghasp* it is “FOR MUSLIMS” and that there are “separate sessions for brothers and sisters”.

Their objection seems to be to the fact that “women must be dressed modestly” which is, apparently, “another way of saying F@@K YOU!!! to other religions and a show of how they can play the system and win”. Right…

The response of their fans has been the usual display of infantile pratfalls. Michael Baverstock starts us off with “the only time id piss in the pool and not feel guilty” before mumbling some barmy conspiracy theory about a cull of 2.5bn people. Keith Finch reckons he would “leave bacon and pork sausage in the changing rooms the night before”. What a naughty little boy! But Ed Coates wants to go further saying he would “put a dead pig on a lilo and float it in the middle of the pool”. Dean Smith recommended “fill[ing] the pools with acid” and Adrian Read hoped that this would be “Joined by pirahna s”. Their mums have all been informed and they’re not allowed to play out for the next week.

Slightly less immature, but considerably more loony, are the comparisons of the move with apartheid. For those in the EDL who seem a bit hazy about South African history, apartheid was enforced by the white colonists who had military and political control of the country and used a theory of white racial superiority to segregate society. Holding a weekly swimming session to accommodate the desires of a religious minority doesn’t quite compare. The EDL are paddling in the shallow end as ever.

Aug 13 2012

Far right not welcome in Thurnby Lodge

The BNP have been roundly criticised by locals involved in protests in Thurnby Lodge. Maxine Williams, manager of the Stirrup Cup pub, said outside groups such as the BNP and Nick Griffin were not welcome. In an extensive comment on the ThisIsLeiecstershire site, FORGOTTENEST said “It has absolutely nothing to do with Muslims!” and that

Neither EDL or BNP were invited to attend any of the peaceful protests staged by the local residents. They turned up of their own accord with their own agenda. This is not the agenda of the local community.

Another poster commented that “I would be the last person to vote the bnp in to power, our country is in enough trouble as it is thank you.”

Meanwhile, in a crass attempt to get more political mileage out of the situation, the EDL have been spreading a very obviously false story about a church cross in the area having to be covered up so that Muslims were not offended. Although they claimed to have “solid eye witness reports” they called out for anyone with “real legitimate news” to let them know. Well here goes: Canon David Monteith, Acting Archdeacon of Leicester, said: “There is no truth at all in the malicious rumour that the church was asked to cover the cross. The information is totally unfounded.”

Looks like another fascist fail.

Aug 11 2012

Griffin parachutes into Thurnby Lodge

The protests against a Muslim community centre on the Thurnby Lodge estate in Leicester have now attracted the attentions of the leader of the BNP. Nick Griffin parachuted in last night to quickly give a speech which he reckoned was “very well received”. He also claimed that 250 people had turned out to the most recently nightly protest against the As Salaam charity, which wants to convert a disused Scout hut into a community centre.

Porcine blockhead Nick Griffin swans in to hijack the protest

As we described yesterday, the protests are becoming a magnet for far right parasites, desperate to be involved in a popular campaign for a change. Also in attendance were members of Leicester EDL, Casuals United, and islamophobic group 212 Poison. Dave Hightower of the 212 has threatened to get rid of the hut on Facebook, posting “Would they use it if it wasnt there anymore?”.

The casuals report is well worth a read:

You have got to ask yourselfes here why the Leicester EDL have gone down to 12 people. Well chanting “f*cking scum” in the middle of women and kids trying to save their estate aint helping no one. Your a f*cking disgrace and thats why the EDL on the whole have diminished in numbers. You lot might turn up for a piss-up but if it kicked off you would get f*cking slaughtered. FACT !

Although the infighting within the local fascist groups is heartening to see, anti-fascists need to make sure that far right groups do not get a boost as a result of these protests. Residents of Thurnby Lodge have a right to shared community resources and a say in how their community is run rather than being dictated to by Leicester City Council. Any attempts by the far right to turn this into a racial or religious matter need to be firmly resisted. We need to get an anti-fascist presence in the estate, to talk to people about what the fascists are up to and show that we genuinely support the right to community self-organisation but not the division of communities along cultural and religious lines.

Aug 10 2012

BNP stirs up resentment over Leicester Muslim centre

When community tensions are high, the far right are never far away, rushing in to try and exploit them for their own political purposes. Hence when an Islamic group recently tried to set up a community centre in the Thurnby Lodge area of Leicester and some residents from the local estate objected, the BNP and other far right groups rushed to get involved in stirring up the resentment.

The Leicester Mercury reports that police have been stationed in the area over the past week after demonstrations of as many as 150 people against the As-Salaam Trust’s plans to convert a disused Scout hut into a community centre for local Muslims.

Some demonstrators say they want the Scout hut turned into a resource for the whole community and others have voiced support for a local boxing club to take on the lease instead. However, Leicester City Council has said that when the Scouts gave up their lease of the hut last year, 100 community groups looking for premises were contacted of which As-Salaam was the only one that could meet the criteria agreed with the Scout Association.

The demonstrations, which Leicestershire BNP involved themselves in, have focused on the Muslim group’s meetings at the existing community centre. The BNP said that “When the Muslims finally left the Centre they were met with jeers and told that they were not welcome.” Of course, the BNP have written this up in a way that supports their own agenda of promoting a clash between white and other communities. However, it would be very worrying if the protests are taking on a communal and islamophobic nature.

It seems that the tragedy here is that, thanks to the capitalist system of landlordism and rent extraction combined with the patronage politics of local authorities, suitable venues for community activities are unavailable to the working class people in the area. Only groups with the funds and organisation to jump through the council’s hoops end up getting a look in. We need communities where everyone can share resources and find a place, not ones where the poor are locked out and some ethnic and religious minorities are blamed for the scarcity that is an inevitable result of capitalist economics.

“Local BNP members offered their support and advice to the organisers,” according to the BNP’s blog, “but agreed to keep the group non-political.” It sounds like their red, white and blue rosettes aren’t as popular as they’d like them to be.

Jul 28 2012

Racist attacks in 2012

The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) has released its report on racist attacks in the first 6 months of 2012. They point out that “Given that these incidents were recorded in the local or (much less frequently) national press, they show only a tiny fraction of the true scale of violence.” However, three incidents from the East Midlands get a mention.

Under the heading of “Attacks, graffiti and threats by supporters of far right groups” the racist attack by Daventry EDL member, Charles Dickie, is noted.

2 March 2012: An EDL supporter told an Asian taxi-driver that he was ‘not welcome here’, pointing to EDL slogans on his T-shirt and launching a tirade of abuse. When he was arrested he sang EDL songs and police later found anti-Muslim posts on his Facebook page.

Dickie, who later denied he was racist, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and to smashing a police phone while in custody. He told police he “would be at the top one day” and warned “there better be lots of them as there will be 5,000 of me”. Police made a formal objection to a bail application after Dickie continued to make veiled threats during his time in custody over the weekend.

Dickie was found guilty of threatening the driver because of his religion in absentia after he refused to get into a prison van taking him to the trial. The magistrate heard he had made threats towards a planned mosque in Daventry to police. He was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison plus four weeks for failure to surrender to bail after an assault in Blackpool the previous year.

Also mentioned in the IRR report are an attack on Muslim taxi driver, Harun Shah Zaman, in Leicester and a racist attack on a Pakistani man in Northampton.

19 May 2012: Harun Shah Zaman, a taxi driver in Leicester, was brutally beaten and robbed by four passengers. One of the passengers headbutted him and another punched him in the face before the other two (female) passengers joined in the assault. The group then stole his wallet, his cash bag, his keys and his sat nav (which they smashed on the floor) and ran off. Despite there being several witnesses to the attack, nobody intervened.

2 April 2012: An Asian man was savagely beaten in an unprovoked racist attack in Northampton by a white male who was walking a pitbull–type dog. The victim, with his wife at the time of the incident, crossed the road away from the attacker when he racially abused them; but the white male then followed the couple and headbutted and punched him to the floor.

There is a high prevalence of anti-Muslim threats and violence in the region, as well as in the country at large, something that is stoked by the far right’s rhetoric and demonisation of the Muslim community. The IRR mention 9 far right racist incidents, of which 4 involved the EDL and one involved the North West Infidels EDL splinter.

We need to tackle these fascists and make sure the attacks stop.

Jul 21 2012

I think I see a pattern here!

From top left, clockwise: Blackburn (Apr ’11), Bristol (Jul ’12), Cambridge (Jul ’11), Rochdale (Jun ’12), Luton (May ’12), Hyde (Feb ’12)

GH Watts:

For all enquiries and booking you can contact us via email, phone or fax. Our friendly staff will be pleased to help you!
Tel: 0116 287 4037
Fax: 0116 287 6142
Email: contact@ghwatts.co.uk

Head Office:
The Coach Station Foxholes Road, Leicester, LE3 1TH

Jul 16 2012

Another pissed EDL member ends up in court….

Leicester EDL’s James Lee Elliott has been convicted after drunkenly hassling a UAF stall in the city last October.  Good to see the local divisions maintaining their hard-earned reputation of pissed-up idiocy!

James ‘glassy eyed’ Elliott after a heavy drinking session