Newcastle - Facing up to the EDL

In Newcastle, anti-cuts activists have to face both political policing and threats from the fascist English Defence League (EDL). The HSBC3 are three activists arrested and subsequently charged with peacefully protesting outside a Newcastle branch of HSBC last December. Charges of police assault against one defendant were dropped before the trial at the end of March, but the two others, Mark Pearson and Patrick Reay, were found guilty of breach of the peace and police obstruction and fined £760 in total. The two have appealed, and a Crown Court hearing has been set for 27-28 September. A financial appeal has also been launched to cover the fines and legal costs. Send pledges to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For news visit the campaign blog at: www.defencecampaign.wordpress. com

Following EDL attempts to attack our anti-cuts stalls in March, Newcastle FRFI has been holding joint street events with other left-wing groups in the city centre. On 23 April, St George’s Day, 20 National Front and 30 EDL supporters assembled to spread their racist propaganda. Our response was to expose the EDL’s support for Britain’s wars abroad and its tacit support for government cuts through their attacks on anti-cuts protesters (see http://tinyurl.com/3zyxuu4). The EDL has publicly announced that it will be continue to target leftists in Newcastle. The need for unity in the face of its intimidation is vital.

Sam McGill

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 221 June/July 2011

 

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