Woolwich Strong and the EDL

22 06 2013

Since the murder of Lee Rigby, various chancers have attempted to use the tragedy as a bandwagon for their own financial and political gain. The EDL leaped at the chance to exploit the murder, setting up Facebook fronts and organised memorial marches in order to expose more people to their anti-Muslim propaganda. Now they’re saying they will march from Westminster to Woolwich in order to get on TV again. Help For Heroes have rejected their sponsorship money so Tommy & Kev will be pocketing it instead.

The far right aren’t the only ones cashing in. Joshua Bonehill, a UKIP supporter and former Tory hopeful has stolen an idea from the US and has appointed himself the Chairman of Woolwich Strong. The Strong movement is set up to appeal to ordinary people who want to pay their respects to Lee Rigby but has, unsurprisingly, attracted the vultures of the far right as well. Nottingham Strong was shut down after it was revealed to have been run by the EDL and Strong events in Doncaster, Manchester, Exeter, Brighton and Mansfield have all been shown to have involvement with known fascist activists.

One of the main aims of Bonehill’s Strong movement is selling branded T-shirts. Lee Rigby’s family, who have spoken out against attempts to capitalise on his death, have not been contacted about where the proceeds are going.

This Sunday, the Strong groups are organising local marches up and down the country. The fascist activists involved will be trying to infiltrate these events to spread their poisonous propaganda and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. Anti-fascists will be monitoring these events and exposing fascist involvement in them. There is no place for fascism in our local communities.

Brighton Anti-fascists, who exposed the fact that the Brighton & Hove Strong group was set up by the local EDL division, have these questions for the Strong movement:

‘What really is extremism?’ And: ‘Why isn’t “Strong” concerned about the rise of the right wing extremism of EDL?’

East Midlands Anti-fascists exposed the fact that Mansfield’s EDL organiser was involved in organising Mansfield Strong and that a number of local far right activists were planning to travel to the event on Sunday:

We ask the other organisers of Mansfield Strong to resist attempts by the EDL to infiltrate their event. We hope that they make it clear that the EDL and other far right groups are not welcome.

The Antifascist Network will be mobilising to oppose the EDL’s further cynical attempts to cash in on this tragedy. Keep an eye on this blog and join your local anti-fascist group to keep up to date.


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