And then in Part Two, we find her analysis of the EDL:
when 3 young kids (late teens) began taunting them from right beside where I was standing (why are these people always drawn to me???) the rear of the crowd went wild, yelling and screaming and clearly trying to push through the police line and engage with the youngsters. In the end, nobody broke through the police line and the march continued. (Sidenote: These three 'youths' were black and Arab - and had been in the anti-EDL crowds, I had seen them before and they were clearly looking for a fight. Of course the fact that some of the EDL crowd lashed out seemed to be undeniable proof to bystanders that they were racist thugs.) Which brings me to the trouble with the EDL. SMW read their website with regards to this protest, and read the instructions given to member that their signs would be screened and that chanting things like "who the f*ck is allah" were not appropriate, however after watching the EDL for several hours today I am still convinced that it is part of hooligan culture. I do believe that there are a number of people in the EDL who love England, love English culture (real English culture) and who want to preserve it, and who want to ensure that the increasing influence of Islamists in the UK is stopped. But after that they lose me. Many of these men (and there were some women there too) appear to be working class folk who are extremely frustrated with the current situation. who are turning to the EDL as their voice. [Sidenote: Unlike in the past where EDL protestors have worn balaclavas, I did not see a single one today, nor did I see more than a couple of people on either side of the protest who had their face covered with a scarf.]
The EDL's apparel is pretty familiar to some of the stuff you can for football clubs, they sing variations of football chants (as they did today), and they were also using various gestures today that are commonly used at football matches. What is the problem with this? Well, a little cheer is not a problem but when you are tapping into a culture that is based on street fighting and violence you are likely going to attract hooligans and people who are looking for a good fight. It really takes away from any legitmacy some of your arguments might have.
Once the EDL was stopped at their designated location in front of parliament they did their speeches and then there was basically a back and forth shouting match between a group of EDL and the anti-EDL protestors who remained on the other side of the street. It seemed that alot of people with the EDL were just standing around, while several dozen more louder protestors stood at the front engaging with the other side. They were giving the UK 2 finger salute (which means 'go f*ck yourself') with vigour, and chanting various football chants with modified wording.
Lately it appears the EDL has been trying to clean up its public image and gain more control of what is going on at EDL events - however until they completely back away from hooligan culture they are going to have a hard time finding anyone to take them seriously. Do I think the EDL gets a fair shake from the media? Absolutely not, but they are not a group I would feel comfortable associating with. Unfortunately as growing numbers of people become frustrated with the situation in the UK, and with no "serious" political party willing to tackle serious issues for fears of being labeled a racist, more people are likely to be picking up EDL signs reading: 'England needs a Geert Wilders.'