It takes a nation to protect the nation
Prior to the EDL demonstration in Preston on 20 February 2016, The Lancashire Evening Post made an apparent effort to clarify a few things with the EDL. The EDL were ignored. For this article the EDL reproduced screen shots from the LEP’s own publication
But apparently the LEP is still not convinced. What does it take? One wonders. You can lead a horse to water…
Earlier this week this week the Lancashire Evening Post (LEP) asked us to reply to a few questions before they were to published a story in the lead up to our demonstration in Preston on Saturday (20 February 2016).
“Market traders are very unhappy and believe that it will badly affect trade because people will stay away.
“Would the EDL want any response on this?
“Can you understand their worries and do you consider the impact on local traders when you announce rallies in town/city centres?
“We’re running the story in tomorrow’s paper, so if you would like to respond, please could this be before 4pm this evening?”
They later extended their deadline to 8pm. We sent our response at 5:15. It was completely ignored. Surprise surprise.
Follow this link to see what LEP wrote:
For the benefit of our supporters and those who want to read both sides to this story, this is what we sent to them.
15 February 2016
Yes the EDL understands the concern of traders and other businesses when there is a demonstration in the town.
But the traders need to assess the situation in line with the source of the problem (we are sure some of them already do, but are reluctant to say so in public). And you in the local newspaper should help them do this.
It is not our demonstration which will cause any significant disruption to trade but the demonstrations of those who are planning to confront us.
We have a good record with local law enforcement throughout the country. They consistently confirm that we are non-violent and if any trouble starts, it starts from those who would deny our freedoms of speech and assembly. These are British rights and freedoms.
One tactic of those who oppose us is to scare the public by telling lies about our demonstrations. If traders also believe these lies they will be playing into the hands of non-democratic and even, in many cases, fascist forces.
This tactic is a red herring devised to distract attention from the purpose of our demonstration - broad opposition to the Islamisation of Britain in its many forms - onto our tactics: a gathering, a “procession” and speeches.
We cannot believe, and your paper does not say, that every single trader is opposed to our demonstration or supports Islamisation. In a democratic society like ours political expression is a precious right which most people recognise and support. This expression sometimes may cause some disruption in normal everyday life but it is not outside the norms of a mature democratic society, which England is. Indeed, the occurrence of peaceful demonstrations should be celebrated.
Also we believe that people, including traders of course, are not solely economic units who are concerned only with pounds and pence. It is insulting to them to think that they are merely financial slaves to a balance sheet. They have families and will be concerned about their children’s futures. On Saturday, we will be demonstrating for those futures by highlighting the threat of Islamisation.
Finally, we are demonstrating to preserve all our society’s democratic rights, not only the right to free speech. These are the same precious rights that are part of the reason why migrants and refugees aim for our country above most others. If what we fear about Islam comes to pass in the future, these traders and everyone else will be living in a vastly different society, such that they will long for the day to see a demonstration by the English Defence League!
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
See you on Saturday.
The English Defence League
English Defence League