Both the EDL, and anti-semites, are a disgrace to Britain
On Monday a week ago today I republished on this blog a statement released by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan on behalf of the Metropolitan Police asking the organisers of the March on Saturday 11th November to reconsider and not to hold any protests on Armistice Day.
Here is that statement again.
Let nobody pretend that it was not predictable and predicted that there was a serious risk of violence and disorder if that march took place. The Metropolitan police themselves warned of the possibility five days before the event, and asked the organisers not to go ahead.
The police expressed that concern two days before the Home Secretary's article in The Times, and warned the organisers, quote, that
"It is not appropriate to hold any protests this weekend."
Most unfortunately the organisers chose to ignore that advice. And the consequences were that we did see violence and disorder, 145 arrests and nine police officers injured in the line of duty by far-right thugs.
I praise the police for acting with professionalism and courage in dealing with a very difficult situation. We should all thank them for their service.
I condemn absolutely and unreservedly the behavior of the far-right EDL thugs who committed violent disorder on Saturday. They are a disgrace to their country.
The primary responsibility for the violence rests with the EDL thugs who perpetrated it. But the organisers of the pro-palestine march were foolish and irresponsible to disregard the police advice.
Also to be condemned absolutely and unreservedly were the anti-semitic banners and glorification of Hamas, which we saw from some protesters. They were a minority. But they brought the whole demonstration into disrepute.
Those who displayed anti-semitic banners or chanted anti-semitic phrases such as the infamous words which Hamas uses to call for the abolition of the state of Israel were also a disgrace to Britain. Yet again, the march gave our Jewish citizens good reason to feel frightened.
All Saturday's march achieved was to make those who took part feel virtuous while further exacerbating division and tensions between communities in Britain.
If anyone imagines that the demonstration on Saturday helped the Palestinian cause, or the cause of peace, or improved the chances of a ceasefire, they are delusional.