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Home | Friday 23rd October 2009 | Issue 696

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A counter demo of around 600 anti-racists ensured the English Defence League’s attempts to spread their Islamaphobic message to Wales came a cropper in Swansea on Saturday (17th).

The newly formed Welsh Defence League could only muster around 50 racists to take the streets and they were out-numbered, out-manoeuvred and out-shouted by the coalition of anti-fascist and locals.

By early afternoon, the anti-racist protesters had occupied Swansea’s main square, with the WDL confined to a corner and police lines separating the groups. When the WDL attempted to march, they were kettled in by police.

Chants of “Nazi Scum off our Streets”, and, “Whose Streets? Our Streets!” made sure the WDL’s racist message barely made it past police lines. A spokesperson for the Newport anti-racist coalition who was at the demo told SchNEWS, “We kept the noise levels up to drown them out but sometimes you could hear them growling a few songs.”

The EDL have attempted to avoid the traditional far-right image image of sieg heiling skinheads. The WDL however, were somewhat off-message: Our eyewitness said, “if you want to draw a picture of a racist, they looked like that.” She added, “There was a lot of sieg heiling”.

Since the demo, the EDL have been attempting to distance themselves from the fiasco. One poster on the EDL forum said it “Was a joke. Descended into nothing more than a NF rally...There was more white power there along with idiots who just thought we were bnp/nf than there were E/WDL. Racist comments sieg heil salutes and the burning of an anti swastika flag ensued.”

The defence leaguers now seem leery of the planned protest in Newport on Saturday (24th), with concerns about the reaction of the sizeable local black community. Local anti-racists are still planning to turn out in force, determined to show the racists where the people of Newport stand. They are calling out for people to assemble in Frost Square from 11am.

* See SchNEWS 693. For info and links to Welsh anti-fa groups, (give thanks to South Wales premier anarchist newsletter ‘Gagged’ and) see


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