As I arrived on Saturday morning, Bradford was holding its breath in anticipation of the invasion of thousands of proud defenders of the nation, for ‘The Big One’. Despite claims on the day that they are now over 27, 000 strong, they hardly managed to muster 1000 supporters to ‘take back’ Bradford. Perhaps many of the local supporters that they expected were sulking after Bradford’s home defeat to Southend on Friday night. Or maybe there just weren’t very many of them.
While speaking to some of the EDL as the coaches arrived, it became evident that despite their chants of ‘Who the fuck is Allah?/Allah is a paedo’ they want you all to know that they’re not racist, how can they be? They have a Sikh leader and a Muslim follower called Abdul, who is definitely sure that he’s never seen any racism on demo’s and can’t call anyone who shakes his hand racist.
As you would imagine for ‘The Big One’ however, the EDL upgraded their equipment, substituting their coins and bottles of bodily fluid for real stones and a smoke grenade which they used to absolutely pummel the road in between them and those who turned up to oppose them.
After successfully managing to drunkenly sing songs and hear some inspirational talks from their leaders over the course of the afternoon some of these guys decided that ‘The Big One’ just wasn’t big enough and climbed over the wall to have a wander around. This prompted a spectacular spontaneous reaction as hundreds of people who were there to oppose them set off to catch up with the toe-rags and see them off. Which they did.
There’s no doubt that the EDL must be very disappointed with their day, their Big One didn’t get anywhere near as big as they wanted and they were very limited in the bigness of the trouble they could cause. Despite the official UAF and Hope Not Hate events being far away and out of sight, hundreds of local people and anti-fascists did make it to the streets to oppose the EDL and stopped them from doing any damage when some of them did manage to break out.
It remains to be seen where the EDL will go from here.