EDL Splinter Group No-Show At Memorial EventTagged as: culture edl islamophobia manchester mpacuk nwi racism section27 social_struggles srebrenica
A memorial event organised by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK passed off without incident after the plans of an EDL splinter-group to disrupt the event were posted on Facebook.
Saturday 16th of July was supposed to be a big day for the newly-minted North West Infidels. A splinter-group from the increasingly shambolic English Defence League, the NWI chose this day to make their debut appearance in Manchester in response to a planned demonstration by the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, marking the anniversary of the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre in which over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed. Posts on the Facebook profiles of the various regional divisions of the NWI were jubilant, and explicitly violent, but in the event the group scarcely managed half an hour in the city centre before being contained and dispersed by police.
Despite tensions between the NWI and EDL, the NWI chose to assemble at the EDL's pub chain of choice, Yate's. By 12.30pm, the franchise's outlet on Portland Street had been surrounded by police riot vans with staff ordered to stop serving alcohol. NWI members' were searched and ordered to leave the city centre by police using powers under Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act. A police source estimated the number of NWI supporters to be around 20.
Greater Manchester Police maintained a high level of visibility throughout the city centre until 3.00pm, when deployments around Piccadilly Gardens were noticeably increased ahead of the start of the MPACUK demonstration. With a large public presence and many people sheltering from the weather away from the main demonstration an accurate estimation of the number of MPACUK supporters is hard to make, but throughout the two-hour demonstration numbers seemed to stay between 50 to 100 people. Confined to one of the Garden's raised grassy areas, MPACUK's supporters were ringed by two lines of police, flanked by half a dozen police horses and a number of riot vans. Tactical Aid Officers were also deployed and the force's helicopter put in an appearance as well.
Given this massive disparity in force between the police deployment and the MPACUK demonstration, it seems clear that the police presence was intended to deter any attempts to incite violence by the NWI. Several NWI supporters were moved on from the Gardens prior to the beginning of the demonstration and throughout the demonstration Tactical Aid Officers could be seen taking the details of suspect individuals entering the police cordon. One arrest was made and in a separate incident a man was removed from the midst of the MPACUK crowd after attempting to provoke an argument with the public speakers there.
Communications between NWI members on Facebook indicate that a lack of communication led to some members being unsure of where to meet. The choice of a pub already associated with right-wing street fighters was made worse by the groups' plans being posted a public event on Facebook, notifying the police in advance of their intentions. NWI leader Remmie Costin has been removed from his positions as a result.
Despite NWI claims to the contrary there was no violence and no "Irish Republican" presence at the MPACUK demonstration.
Homepage of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK
Primary Facebook Group for North West Infidels - Be aware that this page contains violent hate speech.
Facebook Group for Manchester division of the NWI - Be aware that this page contains violent hate speech.