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Far-right march in Brighton to be met with counter-protest

Oh Christ ..not again. About as welcome as the arrival of Jimmy Saville at an orphanage, it's time for the outbreak of political venereal disease that is the March for England – set to tarnish the streets of Brighton again on April 21st. Following last year's diverse, determined and ultimately effective opposition to the march, Brighton has become an emblematic issue on the far-right. They received a shock when a town they considered to be populated by communist homosexual freaks wasn't the walkover they expected. The usual blood-curdling threats have been issued but nothing can conceal the panic on the far-right that Brighton will once again mount a succesful defence against racism and homophobia.

The March for England (MfE), confusingly the name of their organisation as well as their main event of the year, is a predecessor of the English Defence League and very much part of the counter-jihadist extreme right. Their focus is on a sense of English rather than British identity and opposition to Islam. In public they claim not to be racist but a trawl through the Facebook and Twitter feeds of their followers soon turns up terms of racist abuse and digging a little deeper uncovers the wonderful world of outright white supremacism (check out EDL News for a quick dip in the sewer if you must.). Their trade-marked chant of "You're not English any more" is directed at anyone who disagrees with the narrow definition of what it means to be 'English'.

Although the annual march in Brighton is the main public event organised by the group, their banners can be found at many other far-right protests across the country. Following the slow-motion collapse of the EDL over the last year MfE's organisers have tried to distance themselves from the League, but their membership overlaps significantly with all the little splinter groups that have sprung up after the demise of Tommy's little troopers. Dave Smeeton, the Portsmouth based organiser of the march, has been doing the rounds of any far-right group that will have him and appealing for unity on the right. For a full rundown anti-fascist coalition Stop the March for England have provided a fact-file. Organisations claiming that they'll be making the trip to Brighton include an alphabetti spaghetti of the far-right SEA, NWFF, SIOE, NWI etc etc. How many of these groups are the same ten men under a variety of pseudonyms remains to be seen.

Certainly MfE view a successful march in Brighton as an essential first step in rebuilding the far-right - making effective opposition all the more important.


MfE have been coming to Brighton on the St George's Day weekend for the last six years. At first they were given (in true Brighton style) the benefit of the doubt – a flag draped parade to celebrate the death of a dragon might not be everyone's thing but whatever floats your boat, right? However MFE took the lack of opposition as a victory and showed their true colours by chanting racist and homophobic abuse. Since then the opposition has grown year on year.

Last year saw over a thousand counter-demonstrators out on the streets, and despite a massive operation by Sussex Police the march route was cut short as the road was blocked and barricaded. The fash were surrounded in their own pen and jeered out of town. For a full write-up FASH, BANG, WALLOP and for an excellent film of the day see This is not England this is Brighton.

Taking note, Sussex police have made the decision to move the march to the more easily policed sea front road. This alone is a victory for anti-fascists. The plan is to bring them in on buses from an as yet undisclosed train station to the march start point at Palace Pier, march them from there to Middle Street and back, and allow them to have a rally before putting them on buses for the return journey. The march is scheduled to begin at 12 noon but anti-fascist coalition Stop the March for England are urging supporters to gather in the vicinity of Palace Pier from 11 a.m to the line the route and “drown out the message of hate”. (See map below for route)

A word from our sponsors: “The real victory of the last year was a whole town saying 'NO'. This had a knock on effect across the country and put Brighton on the anti-fascist map. The racists are desperate to make up ground so we urge everyone to stand together and give them a real Brighton welcome. Stay alert and be ready to move - see you on the streets.”

To get updates in the run-up and on the day @stopmfe on Twitter #stopmfe and StopMfe website

Fact-File on the March for England.



As a minor footnote nine or so MfE types turned up to counter-protest the Unite Against Fascism meeting on Thursday night. Autonomous anti-fascists gathered to greet them. In the event thanks to the cops having everyone under heavy manners it amounted to what one anti-fascist told SchNEWS was “a supervised conversation with the fash”. Anti-fascists stood in the MfE demo, which had a celebrity guest appearance from Jeff “Casuals United” Marsh who is apparently down in Brighton to clear out Wetherspoons larder. In the event the MfE couldn't deviate from the script and were still bellowing at the assembled UAF (who had a rooftop vantage point thanks to their meeting being on the fifth floor) to “come down here if you're so hard” despite the fact that anti-fascists were mingling with them. After forty minutes and two half hearted choruses of “St George in my heart, keep me English” they retreated to Yates where a a proudly scruffy rentamob shouted at them through the windows in a fine example of a counter-counter demo. A brief bit of argy-bargy later and the assembled boneheads were loaded into a cop van to be driven to Brighton station and dispersed for their own safety.

Proposed route of the march.
Typical facebook bollocks from the EDL
There are 4 comments on this story...
Added By: Peter Quistgard - 16th April 2013 @ 8:23 PM
March for England like to advertise this as a 'Family Day Out.'

That last picture just screams 'Family Day Out,' doesn't it?
Added By: fight the national front - 21st April 2013 @ 11:39 AM
arrival of Jimmy Saville at an orphanage?

How fucking insensitive, the author of this article needs to understand that discriminating by using casual throw away puns against minorities such as kids who are placed in care is not acceptable.

I will take the author to meet kids and adults who have grown up in care and lets see how they feel about this joke?

Please apologise now and i will move on.
Added By: fight the national front - 23rd April 2013 @ 11:18 PM
and there's nothing funny about venereal disiease either
Added By: Tony - 17th May 2013 @ 9:26 PM
I must agree with the comment re: Jimmy Saville, it is very disrespectful to make a joke about children in such a manner.
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