Upsurge in far right activity follows Rigby murder

Author: Nottingham Indymedia
Pic: ?
Tags: anti-racism EDL EAP leerigby

Since the brutal murder of solider Lee Rigby in Woolwich on 22 May, fascist and far right groups have carried organised a large number of events aimed at boosting support for their anti-Muslim politics. Anti-fascist monitors, East Midlands Anti-fascists have claimed that the far right has been aiming “to capitalise on a personal tragedy and surf the wave of outrage for their own ends”. A number of far right events have occurred in the East Midlands, including EDL “memorials” in Leicester and Nottingham and a larger than expected anti-mosque demo in Lincoln.

Newswire: “Burn the mosque” chant East Anglian fascists | EDL ’commemorative march’ to the War Memorial | EDL in Nottingham on Saturday | Fascists in Nottingham this Saturday | The racists behind Lincoln demo | EDL splinter group to demonstrate in Lincoln

The EDL mobilised quickly following the murder in order to profit from extensive media coverage of the issue. Members in EDL branded balaclavas gathered in Woolwich on the day of the killing and threw bottles at police. The organisation also held a demonstration attended by an estimated 1000 members outside Downing Street on the following Monday.

In the East Midlands, on the Saturday following Rigby’s murder, an individual associated with the English Defence League promoted a demonstration in Nottingham’s Market Square on Facebook but no one turned up. The far right group was more successful the following weekend, on Saturday 01 June, when 80 EDL supporters in Leicester and 70 in Nottingham marched to the cities’ war memorials. The organisers of the Nottingham event have claimed they have no links to the EDL but EMAF claim otherwise. On Saturday 08 June a planned demonstration against the building of a mosque by EDL splinter group, the East Anglian Patriots, had a larger turnout than expected, after they linked the issue with the Rigby murder. Attendees chanted “Burn the mosque” and the event featured speakers who had threatened to kill all Muslims.

The family of Lee Rigby have distanced themselves from the EDL and other far right groups saying “We would like to emphasise that Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others.” Armed forces charity Help for Heroes has also banned donations from the EDL after leader Steven Yaxley-Lennon said he would do a sponsored walk to the scene of the killing to raise money for the charity.

Attacks against Muslims have increased 10-fold since the Woolwich murder.