Saturday, 20 March 2010

Battling to control... who?

I dare say it's too early to tell much, and I'm too far away to judge in any case, but compare this line from the Independent:

"More than 30 UAF protesters and two from EDL have been arrested, police said."

with the headline:

"Police battle to control right-wing groups", by which it means the EDL.

Everyone has a right to demonstrate peacefully. UAF disagree. They want to drive groups they oppose off the streets, and seem to be the main cause of violence at these events, which, they believe, serves their purpose of preventing people they don't like exercising their right to free speech. They are the ones looking for violent confrontation, as this is the reason for their counter-demonstration.

I'm sure there are people on the other side who are up for a ruck too, but it has become a self-fulfilling prophesy, as the UAF make sure that violence is a distinct possibility if not a racing certainty. I feel sorry for the police who end up caught in the middle, taking it from both sides.

UPDATE: Similar distortion is being practiced over at the BBC, with a video entitled 'EDF protestors clash with police', which shows UAF protestors clashing with police. As I said above, I am not there and don't know the full story, but it's clear that the media is lying.


BTS said...

In theory, I'd have been backing the UAF on principle. Or, to clarify, a few years ago, with only access to the MSM, I'd essentially have sided with anything 'against fascism' because, who wouldn't..?

But with a bit more understanding and knowledge accompanied by greater access to ideas and, most particularly, the ideals that are inherently linked to a free society from which no-one who considers themselves part of a democracy should seek to distance themselves by act or deed, I think the lot of them are acting like idiots.

The UAF are staging protests against legal marches, and by definition against freedom of speech and/or expression, only in an opportunistic attempt to instigate trouble.

The EDL have repeatedly made this point and fair it is. By comparison, the UAF (and various others, but I'll stick to the case in point) have accused the EDL of links with extreme right-wing organisations, football hooliganism and so on. They (EDL) have quite reasonably explained this away as undesirable elements latching onto their banner but at the same time also pointing the finger at UAF infiltrators.

The problem lies in that I'm sure that the many young and idealistic (whether one agrees with their ideals or not) supporters of each are quite confident in their supposed aims, but why on earth would I trust either if I can't trust any other political organisations purported aims?

They both strike me as being run by the few, for the few, and tell anyone what the hell ever to go along.

Sound familiar..?

The one thing that certainly didn't surprise me was this commentfrom the Indy link:

"Still, there is an election soon and Doncaster Mayors excellent show of example could see the EDL given much support, possibly even an MP.
I can't see any fascists from the UAF being elected. Then they know that themselves, which no doubt is why they haven't forwarded one single candidate for approval."

The EDL's own site state states that they are a specifically non-political group (on their 'About Us' page).

No-one, it would appear these days, can abide by the truth.

So fuck the misguided lot of 'em no matter what acronym they choose - none of them seem to get the ideals of freedom.

I only trust that one day we all will begrudge no-one his right to speak his mind. I only hope that we can also stand to have our beliefs and ideals questioned and be willing to listen with an open mind.

That's what science and stuff used to about. That's probably how we came down from the trees.

But what the hell do I know? - I'm still thinking that I'm a bloody ape..

(Fuck me did I ramble there..)

Trooper Thompson said...

Any activist organisation is liable to be infiltrated by violent elements, sometimes by agent provocateurs or people seeking a cover for their own agenda, even if that agenda is merely to fight other groups and/or the police for the hell of it, and there is no doubt something exciting on a primitive level in pitched battling in the streets - it's what our ancestors did all the time, but with better weapons and more blood.

I agree with your point about UAF, that they are purposefully trying to prevent free speech and therefore a priori in the wrong.

I will be watching the media how they play this, because the vast majority of arrests were of UAF protestors, and the police have pointed the finger at them as the instigators of the trouble, but I expect the media will want to lay as much blame on EDL for what happened, and UAF will blame the police for being heavy-handed - what else can they say when their leaders got hauled off?

The problem with demonstrations always ending in violence, whether through thuggish elements in the crowd or the police getting hopped up in their storm trooper outfits, is that it stops more and more ordinary people getting involved in political action, which is damaging to our society.