Report from the anti-SDL protest a couple of weeks back
September 10th saw another attempt by the Scottish Defence League to march in Edinburgh. Once again it was rebuffed by anti-fascists and civil society groups.
The last time they came to the city, in February 2010, they were turned back at train stations and penned into a pub. This time the SDL were joined by their splinter group North East Infidels, who favour a more equal-opportunities approach to racial hatred and are said to include National Front activists. Numbers were lower because of the previous year’s farce, but the threat of violence was higher.
SDL were prevented from marching but permitted to hold a static demonstration by a council concerned to maintain a superficial “peace”, despite threats of violence from SDL supporters. Around 400 attended an Unite Against Fascism rally and march into a protest pen. A breakaway group from Edinburgh Antifascist Alliance travelled to the other side of the SDL’s target site of Regent Road, aiming to block the busloads of boozed-up baby Breíviks from getting in.
However the police, drafted in from across Scotland, heavily outnumbered both sides and they didn’t come within spitting distance of each other. The day leaves open questions of how best to fight fascism. All agree that it can best be defeated politically, but UAF’s approach of aligning with political parties and the police does nothing to answer concerns of those alienated from politics, while EAFA have limited resources. The SDL remain much weaker than their English counterpart and with no clear prospect of growth.