Hartlepool ‘Ban the Burks’ anti-EDL demo report

2 12 2013

Demo report from North East Anti-Fascists

Anti Fascists 1 -0 North East Infidels

A shouty far-right group, North East Infidels (NEI), aka Warren Faulkner, wanted to “ban the burkha” claiming their demo would be spectacular “Tomorrow sees the start of a new era …the NEI will lead the way ..we’ve just upped the game ….” – but it was a spectacular FAIL.

Around 130 SDL, EVF oddballs, fascists and Nazis (there were several Nazi salutes) met at The Clarendon pub in Tower Street, on Saturday for a protest march through the town centre against the use of the Muslim burkha in Britain.

The drunk procession left Tower Street by the Hartlepool against racism pitch around 12.30pm and marched up Park Road, into York Road, and then Victoria Road, where they had planned to stagger to the front of the war memorial in Victory Square.

But, the North East Anti Fascists managed to get onto the high ground of the steps of the war memorial in time for the arrival of the fascists. We waved the BAN THE BURKS banner and the North East Anti Fascists (NEAF) ‘No racists no fascists’ banner.


NEAF had ran a campaign mobilising against the fascists, with the slogan “Ban the Burks” in reply to the ban the Burkha theme. The fascist march was halted, but the police moved the anti-fascists on reluctantly after several minutes. The fascists and Nazis DID NOTHING at this time, they made no attempt to get towards the anti-fascists even though some could have – ‘master race you’re having a laugh’ and other things were shouted at them.

Once the EDL group got onto Victory Square, speeches were made by their leaders, before they were escorted back to Tower Street by police. In transit by the crossing in Stockton Street, near to an optician – conflict between the opposing groups rose once again and they began shouting at each other with the police holding the groups back once again.

By 2pm the crowds had dispersed but a police presence remained in the town centre as officers waited for the arrival and movement of Portsmouth and Hartlepool Football Club fans for the game at Victoria Park.

Other political points are that there were no participants from the Hartlepool Labour Party, no MP, no Mayor, no leader of the Council, no ordinary members other than 1, who was really there representing Unison anyway, & a Unite rep. All were informed about this event six weeks ago. They took what they saw as appropriate action, they stayed away. Unite Against Fascism always ignore things in the North East or try to pretend they are organising a protest and continued this pattern with no effort beyond a few locally. Shame on them all. Fascism cannot be defeated by ignoring them, by doing nothing; it is at best foolish & at worst politically complicit to pretend otherwise.

NEI are the North East Paper Tigers

Paper tiger is a literal English translation of a Chinese phrase – meaning something that seems as threatening as a tiger, but does not withstand challenge. Such were the North East Infidels ‘crowd’ Warren mobilised today on a national demo – he was pleading for support from all over – paper tigers blown away by anti-fascists taking the war memorial. The North East Anti Fascists scored a goal today – the fascists didn’t. We’ll drink to that.

There were no arrests.



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