Tonight (Wednesday), around 20 members of the Portsmouth English Defence League (EDL) held a flashmob across the road from the Jami Mosque in Southsea.

Portsmouth Antifascists were alerted to their presence at around 7.40pm.  Word was spread and Antifascists quickly assembled outside the mosque, peaking at 22.

The racists held a number of St. George EDL flags and a home-made banner which read, “Terrorists are being radicalised here”

This refers to a recent story of a Southsea man who travelled to Syria to fight, joining groups linked to Al-Qaeda.

EDL members tried to cross the road and confront those defending the mosque but were talked back by police.

By 9pm, The EDL numbers had dwindled to 12 while the antifascists stayed roughly consistent.  They left chanting towards a local pub.

After the relative implosion of the EDL, it is interesting to note that the Portsmouth group are still using the EDL tag, even though they were kicked out under Tommy Robinson’s reign. It shows that under the new leadership, outright fascists are more than welcome within the EDL.

This flashmob went completely under the radar of antifascists both in this group and UAF, however it is clear it was pre-arranged. It demonstrates out strength that we could equal their numbers with 30 minutes warning, but the flash mob shows the need for local antifascists to remain consistent.

Antfascism needs to be a part of everything we all do, whether that is in the local anti-cuts group, housing campaign, Univeristy society or pub darts team. While the EDL have never gained much traction in Pompey, they are always plugging away, looking for a breakthrough. We have to be organised to make sure we are there to put them back in their box.

Tonight was neither a victory nor a defeat, but be prepared for the next call out.

Pompey-Always antifascist!

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