Yesterday the English Defence League demonstration in Wellington (near Telford) was disrupted by the opponents of free speech who were given free rein by the police to overturn the demonstration arrangements previously agreed with them.
Our plans for the demonstration -The police had agreed to our plans for a mustering, march, and demonstration with speeches in Wellington Market Square. Our speeches are not just integral to our demonstrations, they are the centre of them: we use our speeches to get our message across.
We must be free to give our speeches – We stand for free speech – the freedom of ordinary people, including working class English men and women – to speak out about issues that concern them and why we want to convey our concern to others.
Speeches in public are part of the English tradition.
Free speech for the elites – The elites exercise their free speech by giving themselves access to expensive media infrastructure – particularly television (with its equipment and skilled technicians and production facilities), national newspapers and books. Most of these are paid for by us through TV licences and the loading on goods we buy that pays for advertising. The elites dominate the media landscape.
But restricted speech for the EDL – We don’t complain about the elites having their own processes. But we do complain when our alternative outlets – speeches in public, placards, vocal street marches and statements on social media – are censored and restricted.
What happened in Wellington yesterday – In the days before the demo we worked with the police – as we always do – to agree to a program that would enable us to demonstrate and the police to do their job. Part of that agreed program was that we would give speeches to the citizens of Wellington at a specific location in Wellington’s Market Square.
We set up our speaking platform but the police went back on their agreement to let us speak and be heard by permitting people who were intent on preventing us from speaking to stand within 20 feet of our speaking platform. The disruptors blew whistles and used other noise creating devices to drown out our speakers. The disruptors were not in the Market Square to debate, ridicule or heckle. They were there to shut us down.
Although there were technical issues with our amplification equipment, that is a side issue. Many of our demonstrations have been held without amplification equipment. We don’t need technology, but we do need the freedom to speak out and be heard.
Stalemate – The disruptors were not going to let us speak. The police were not going to let us speak without disruption. We remain determined to speak in public about the sexual abuse scandal in Telford.
To break the stalemate, we declared yesterday’s demonstration closed. We also declared that the demonstration has been deferred to a date to be fixed and will be our next national demonstration.
The resumed Telford demonstration – We will again liaise with police. We will give them the opportunity to facilitate our peaceful, legal protest. We expect the police to keep to the agreed arrangements using common sense. We do not want to spell out every detail so that loopholes that take advantage of our good will are not deliberately buried into the agreement that prevent the demonstration taking place on the agreed understanding.
Framing our demonstration – The English Defence League will continue demonstrating about the sexual grooming, rape, abuse and murder of English girls in the Telford area by Muslim men. That is our issue. If what we say and write about these terrible crimes upsets someone, we urge them to get a sense of proportion. Anyone who finds our speeches, placards and Facebook posts offensive (mere words) should consider just how offensive the crimes (real actions) are. Furthermore, these crimes have lasting effects, ruining the lives of victims and their families. They are attacks on the next generation of English mothers. That is what we and millions of others find horrifically offensive.
Who won and who lost at Saturday’s EDL demo – The English tradition of free speech lost on Saturday. The police lost our respect (but they can regain it). The disruptors who prevented us from speaking out about Muslim sexual violence against English girls had a victory of sorts. But they should remember the day they suppressed opposition to sexual abuse, the day they played the role of useful idiots in appeasing the advance of sharia in the UK. It was a hollow victory. The girls whose future abuse might have been prevented by our speeches will also be losers. It is for them and other girls across England that we will speak for when we return.