Around 2,000 protestors marched in Norwich against the fascist English Defence League (EDL) last Saturday in a fantastic display of multiculturalism and working class unity.
In a carnival atmosphere the 200 EDL were surrounded and drowned out by chants of “Nazi scum, off our streets”.
The fascists claimed they were defending a church stall banned by the city council for handing out Islamophobic leaflets. Their real intention was to stir up division and race hate.
The anti-EDL rally, called by Unite Against Fascism and We Are Norwich, reflected the breadth of the opposition to the fascists. It had speakers from trade unions, faith groups, Norwich SWP, Pride Collective, the Labour Party, the Green Party, Stop the War and Norfolk Against The Cuts.
Helen McGuinness, secretary of Norwich and District NUT, said, “Schools do not operate in a vacuum—and this is why we’re determined to drown out the words of hatred that came from the mouths of the EDL today. If we allow this language of hatred in one school or classroom, that is one too many.”
Emma Corlett, a nurse, Unison and Labour Party activist, said, “It’s fantastic to walk shoulder to shoulder with such a diverse group of people saying that the hatred the EDL peddles is not welcome in our city.”
Lilly Denvyer, an anti-workfare activist added, “We outnumbered the EDL and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every moment in this campaign—we should keep it going.”
By 3.15pm the EDL thugs were humiliated and demoralised. They ended their march early amid jeers of “We Are Norwich, Tommy’s eating porridge!” from anti-fascists.