Thursday, 12 July 2012

Anti-EDL Demonstration in Bristol - Information

This Saturday (14th July), the English Defence League will be marching in Bristol, and with it there will be counter-demonstrations by anti-fascists. "We Are Bristol" is a coalition of anti-fascist and activist groups, trade unions and other groups and individuals opposed to the EDL. See my previous blog post Anti-EDL Demo in Bristol this July for the statement from We Are Bristol.  The following is the most up-to-date information that I have on the counter-demonstrations, and I will update this post regularly up until Friday night/Saturday morning as and when I get any further information.

Last updated: 14/7/12 at 08:47 All info on this post was correct to my knowledge at 8.47am. I will not be updating this post anymore as i am off to the march. For latest updates, I recommend following the live updates at Bristol Indymedia. Please note that this post is not an "official" source and the information contained within has been collated from my contacts and information posted elsewhere on the web.

My detailed eyewitness account of the counter-demonstrations can be found here:

  • The EDL have agreed a route with the police and full details can be found on the Avon and Somerset Constabulary website here.
  • There will be three separate counter-demonstrations. Currently two of these are planned to start at 11am, at Bristol Temple Meads and at the fountains opposite the Hippodrome. The third will involve a group of LGBTQI people marching as an Anti-Racist and Proud Block on We are: Proud Pride Parade. For this march, meet at Berkeley Square, just off Triangle at 10.30am (the march leaves at 11am)
  • Several media sources have today printed a story saying that the demonstration has been moved from the fountains to Castle Park. My sources from the Socialist Party and Bristol AFed (part of We Are Bristol), along with this Indymedia article claim that this is not currently the case - Castle Park was not agreed upon in any meeting and the DEMO IS STILL STARTING AT THE FOUNTAINS. At 6.16am on Friday, Bristol AFed tweeted "the official position is still meet 11am at the fountains, we'll update if this changes. " I was informed at 14:50 today (Friday) by a member of Bristol AFed that this is still the case and that the Temple Meads demo is still happening. Bristol Anti-fascists tweeted the following around 16:00 today (Friday) "we've heard the police are having their own march against the EDL at castlepark. Try not to get mixed up in it yourselves though!" - follow them at @stopedl. BADACA have also stated today that the demos at the fountains and Temple Meads will still be going ahead. The Bristol Indymedia front page was updated at 19:48 clarifying that the fountains is still the meeting point. An article was posted on Bristol Indymedia at 22:38 on Friday,  apparently by We Are Bristol, advising people to stay clear of Castle Park. Despite all of this, Unite Against Fascism seem adamant that the demo has been moved to Castle Park, and that there will be trade union appointed stewards re-directing people from the fountains. In which case, the fountains still seem a sensible place to head for, at least initially. 
  • A PDF of the We Are Bristol leaflet is here.
  • We have no idea how many people will be attending the EDL march or the counter-demonstration. A Facebook event "UNITY Against the EDL + Racist Hatred in Bristol" has 1719 people confirmed as attending with 419 as maybe attending. Many more have not, and will not, advertise that they are attending on Facebook (including myself), and also it is likely that some will not show up. This article from the Bristol Evening Post gives a figure of approximately 500 EDL members and 1000 police (700 according to the BBC). From past experience with the BEP (owned by the Daily Mail), I wouldn't trust any figure that they publish. Whatever the figures are, this is going to be a big one.
  • Police will be out in force. Street clothing (as opposed to obvious activist clothing) is advised, i.e. no T-shirts with Anarchy or other protest symbols, V for Vendetta masks, scarfs over face etc. Also, I would stongly advise not carrying anything that could be classed as a weapon, or any illegal drugs - you may be stopped and searched. The last thing we want is unnecessary arrests on our side. The more you look like an ordinary member of the public, the less likely you are to be stopped by the police.
  • There will be legal observers on the day, according to Searchlight Magazine, however they can't be everywhere at once. If you see anyone being arrested, make notes of the incident, including the badge number and name of the officer, and a name and/or detailed description of the person being arrested, and notes of the incident itself. Use mobile phone/video cameras if you have one. It may just help to let an innocent person off (or convict someone who has committed a serious offence).
  • A "Bust Card" has been produced with advice on what to do if approached or arrested by the police
  • A list of significant people who have signed the We Are Bristol statement can be found here. Two local MPs have also publicy opposed the EDL march and the Bristol NUT and South West Trade Union Congress (TUC) have also thrown their weights behind the We Are Bristol campaign.
  • Bristol Indymedia will be covering events on their website during the day, and also on their Twitter feed. Please inform them if you have any new information, prior to or during the demo.
  • A camera has been installed in Queen Square and the police rapid response HQ is nearby
  • Bristol Anarchist Federation have kindly created an anti-racist mix-tape for you to download to get you into the mood for Saturday Also, a few of us have been raving about about this classic EDL spoof anthem (free to download here).
  • Trains are likely to be heavily disrupted on the day, as the RMT railworkers’ union are to be on strike on ‘health and safety’ grounds, and taxidrivers will be refusing any EDL passengers  
If there is anything that I have left out or if you have any further information, please contact me either by leaving a comment below or e-mailing

Standing Stone's Blog will report back following the demo with an eyewitness account from the ground.

1 comment:

  1. Don't worry folks EDL Leader Tommy Robinson tonight has from his prison cell apologized to all Muslims and decent folk in the UK for his EDL rubbish organization and all that it stands for. Do you think he is sincere well watch da video and decide for yourselves Pls pass the link on. EDL are very upset by this video