On Thursday morning local antifascists discovered plans by local EDL members to hold a march in our city that Saturday against a proposed Muslim Faith School.
Feeling confident we were unprepared, the racists excitedly told the local press that “Hundreds would come” and they would be backed up by EDL and Britain First. They weren’t racist however, because this was organised by “ordinary, local people”. (Strangely, the only flags and placards on the demo were EDL, hmmmmm?).
Being the brave foot soldiers they are, they planned a route that would be better classed a hike, covering most of the south of the Island. This route included marching down Elm Grove and Albert Road, Portsmouth’s cultural hub and home to many Asian businesses. Foreseeing the potential clash between the EDL and the mass of Southsea hipsters, artisans and locals, Police wisely told the EDL, they wouldn’t be going near there.
On Saturday morning while fascists were busy pissing it up in The John Jacques (One of the regular haunts) and other local pubs, antifascists congregated on Lake Road waiting for their protest to arrive. Locals, Trade Unionists, Lefties and Students came out to join the demonstration.
Expecting “hundreds” to come, we were left a little confused when their march left with only 50-odd barely filling their pen. While they added traffic to Fratton Road, antifascists left for their police designated rally point in Guildhall, while others got to the local mosques to keep an eye over things. Despite attempts to break away towards the mosque, they were mostly told to jog on by police. Those that did get through gave us the weird sight of grown men squaring up to the Mosque’s wall.
Meanwhile around 10 EDL who left their march attempted to have a go at antifascists outside the Royal Mail sorting offices by Guildhall. Well, we say have a go, we mean they did their best “come on then!” after a riot van had got between us.
In Guildhall, when antifascists arrived, the 10 who got all excited by the Sorting Office again gave their best “E E EDL” while walking towards Bobbies standing near by. For the next 5 minutes, they stood around the steps of Guildhall looking a bit confused. They weren’t at the Mosque like they planned. They weren’t outside the proposed school like they planned. And they weren’t at the War Memorial like they planned. Wondering what to do, they decided to do their best hard men poses behind their flags. Despite our best instructions, one racist just couldn’t get their flag the right way round. Five minutes later, after another racist joined to try and help sort the flag out, they finally managed to get it right, but it was a struggle.
Shortly after, the remaining 30 or 40 “patriots” entered Guildhall. Seeing there was no police to stop them, they ran at antifascists who stood their ground. Without any police lines to get behind, they ended up stopping behind the metal banisters on the steps to the Civic Offices and good 6 feet away from counter protesters and again gave their best “Come on then!”.
They were then forced to join the other confused group of racists on Guildhall steps. After another 5 minutes of looking confused together they came back towards the counter demonstration staying safely behind police lines. Feeling a little dejected their plans had not gone the way they wanted, and the fact most onlookers laughed at them, some of the EDL group decided to climb some steps to the viewing platform on the Civic Offices which takes you no where. They go where they want indeed. Realising this, they ended up back down the same steps they came, after chucking some of their beer money at us and were told to jog on again by cops to another shitty boozer.
So that’s the tale of Saturday. With less than 48 hours notice, local antifascists outnumbered and ruined the long held plans of the EDL. It must of been embarrassing as the Pompey Division’s New mates, Pie and Mash Squad (or The Fascists Formally known as Casuals United) had sent down 20 of their best for the occasion. Yet again, Pompey EDL show themselves up to be the clueless fuckwits they are.