Free Love in Amsterdam : EDL ~versus~ Geert Wilders

Demotix:

A protest by the English Defence League was held in Amsterdam today in support of Geert Wilders of the PVV (Party of Freedom). Although only around 20 protesters showed up, a large police presence was evident. Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Other sources claim EDL members joined together to form a crowd with as many as 50 or even 60 members, including their Dutch cousins in the imaginatively titled ‘Dutch Defence League’. The small number at the rally may have something to do with the fact that several weeks ago Wilders denounced the assembly.

As is now typical of police management of their rallies, according to Sky News: “The EDL were given permission to hold the action in the isolated area near Sloterdijk rather than Amsterdam’s centre, where it would have been harder to manage”. Otherwise, a few dozen anti-fascists got arrested on their way to a counter-rally, and police also prevented Ajax ultras from greeting the League’s hools in the customary fashion.

The ideological nature of the EDL–or rather, the unofficial ideology of its supporters–is the subject of much ongoing commentary. However there is no doubt that many of its leading figures have histories of involvement in the far right. The League’s leader is former BNP member Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (Yaxley-Lennon uses the pseudonym ‘Tommy Robinson’). He’s one of many whose politics extend to the unapologetically neo-Nazi.

Whatever. The EDL appeared to reach a peak in its popularity some time ago. The more time passes–and the more its supporters are allowed to stew in their juices–the more likely the members of the fractious mob of young-men-what-don’t-like-Muslims will revert to form: battering one another on the basis of their footballing preferences. As for the fate of the hateful tourists in Amsterdam, according to Nick Lowles, Yaxley’s minibus was damaged, he complained about being harassed, and the EDL/DDL were told that for their own safety they had to leave the scrap of ground the police had allocated them on the outskirts of town for their rally not long after it began.

As for the “Australian” Defence League, they reckon they’re gonna be ‘protecting’ Australia again by assembling at Federation Square on Saturday, February 19 next year.

Or not, as the case may be.

See also : “Talking About Surrender”, with your hosts, Geert Wilders & Janet Albrechtsen (January 26, 2009).

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2015 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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11 Responses to Free Love in Amsterdam : EDL ~versus~ Geert Wilders

  1. @ndy says:

    press release antifa!-amsterdam
    antifa – 31.10.2010 10:22

    Press Release: EDL demonstration embarrasment, anti-fascists very satisfied with counter-protests.

    Antifa! Amsterdam is positive about the course of the demonstrations and actions today in Amsterdam.
    In many ways today it became crystal clear that no’one over here wants the kind of fascist street-activism as the right-wing English Defence League hopes to export to mainland Europe.

    The demonstration of the EDL / DDL was an outright failure, not more than 50 protesters eventually took the trouble to show their support for Wilders. This while the organization, even after the forced relocation to a midle of nowhere spot in the western docklands, still said this week to expect up to 1,000 supporters.
    In the end, the meager turnout (in particular on the part of the Dutch Defence League, only a few of the protesters were Dutch) and the fierce resistance that they were confronted with should be an omen about the future prospects of their crossing of the channel.

    This while simultaneously a broad range of hundreds of people and dozens of groups showed throughout the city their disapproval and anger about the coming of the racist scum to the capital.
    Antifa! Amsterdam expresses support and appreciation to each and everyone who has gone out on the streets today against racism and xenophobia.
    From the hundreds of protesters who protested at 1941 general strike monument, the dozens of activists that spread over the city to prevent that the EDL would still showup in the center, to the many people who decided to ignore the emergency orders from the mayor and went in direct action in the docklands.
    The great variety of people who have come today in opposition is a clear signal, from young immigrants to experienced activists, from soccer fans to social organizations.
    In particular, the presence of Jewish individuals and the reform movement in Iran, for whom the EDL pretends to speak, and the high turnout of football fans that the EDL consider as their natural support, show that people are not deceived by the EDL.

    In summary Antifa! Amsterdam considers the day as overwhelmingly successful, and calls on everyone to keep fighting, in resistance against discrimination, hatred, fear and extreme right violence.

  2. Tania Robins says:

    Why would you quote Nick Lowles when you know that Searchlight was denounced by genuine anti fascists as a true State asset?
    So what do you say Searchlight is? That seems part of the problem with some anti-fash in Oz – they deal with the other side so easily. It is one think to fight fascism, it is quite another to jump into bed with anyone who says he is anti-fascist.
    Take another look at EDL. It seems to be causing the mainline fash as much trouble as antifa. It is weird stuff with its love of apertheid Israel.

  3. @ndy says:

    Why do I quote anyone? For many different reasons. In this case, because when I looked online for English-language sources on what happened at the EDL rally, Nick Lowles’ tweets happened to be one of the few (possibly only?) sources available. Obviously, noting that Nick wrote something is not an endorsement of his political views. Thus when I became aware of the Antifa! Amsterdam statement, I published that too, but that doesn’t mean I’m rolling about in bed with a group of Dutch squatters or AJAX fans now does it?

    Or does it?

  4. Jaque says:

    In all of this, is there a reason why the Dutch shouldn’t fear Islam?

  5. @ndy says:

    In some of that, is there a reason why you hate Dutch food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery?

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