Protestors use Stormzy’s music to drown out fascist chants

A demonstration by fewer than 30 supporters of a far-right group saw the police turn out in large numbers on Saturday

There have been calls for far-right groups who try to hold rallies around Lunar House, the Home Office’s passport and visa office in central Croydon, to be forced to pay for the policing of their events and other related costs.

“Let Tommy Robinson and his mates pay for it out of his media appearance fees,” said one rail passenger who had their journey disrupted on Saturday, referring to the leader of the English Defence League. Fewer than 30 people turned up on Saturday for a protest organised by a group calling itself the South East Alliance.

 

But in what the police described as a “pre-planned operation” (has anyone ever organised a post-planned operation?), this required at least 10 vans of police, with officers drawn from the Met, British Transport Police and Territorial Support Group, plus the use of overhead helicopter surveillance.

Anti-fascist protestors are confronted by one of the Alliance group

For a period in the early afternoon, the far-right’s protests saw East Croydon Station shut down, the tram network stopped and even Boxpark shut up.

Five people were arrested, according to the police.

When called upon to police even League 1 football matches, the Met charges the home club for the costs of staffing the event, which typically can run up to £8,000 per game. The number of police used on Saturday was much in excess of the usual presence at a football match.

Saturday’s policing costs will have to be met from the increasingly stretched local policing budget.

Roads were closed and rail and tram services were disrupted so that a handful of far-right demonstrators could try to intimidate people in Croydon on Saturday

The far right group’s gathering on Wellesley Road drew a counter demonstration made up of an estimated 300 people, formed of anti-fascist protestors from trades unions and other local community groups.

Using a mobile amplifier, the anti-fascist protestors used the music of Stormzy and other artists to drown out the chants of the South East Alliance.

Union members, anarchists and local residents turned out to stage the counter-demonstration on Saturday, where they chanted “Refugees welcome here”

The demonstration was regarded by many as an act of deliberate provocation. It came just one month after the violent attack on 17-year old Kurdish asylum seeker Reker Ahmed, who suffered a fractured skull and a blood clot on the brain after being repeatedly kicked and punched to the ground while waiting for a bus, in what police have treated as a hate crime.

On Saturday, the police sought to separate the groups of protestors, “kettling” the groups as they escorted the Alliance’s handful of supporters as they escorted to the railway station.

The police operation kept the protest groups apart. There were five arrests, and no burgers were harmed during the course of the afternoon

As one of the counter protesters told Inside Croydon, “It was encouraging to see so many turn out to demonstrate, once again, that the people of Croydon reject the divisive bile of these fascist groups.

“The counter-demonstration was a large and disparate group made up of all ages, races and anarchists, whose loud chanting completely obliterated any message the South East Alliance attempted to convey.

“On Saturday, the community made it very clear – there is no appetite for right-wing racist bigotry in Croydon.”


  • Inside Croydon is Croydon’s only independent news source, still based in the heart of the borough. In 2016, we averaged 17,000 page views every week
  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or a local event to publicise, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in East Croydon, Policing, Tramlink and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Protestors use Stormzy’s music to drown out fascist chants

  1. Be careful what you wish for… If ‘Far-right’ groups should pay for the policing and other “Costs”, why not other political groups? Mrs May is likely to form the next government and we know what she is like…
    I can’t see many London commuters rushing to the aid of trade unionists if they have to start paying for their policing costs.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s