Red n Black TV: EDL attempt Tower Hamlets again TOMORROW!

ASSEMBLE 11am Sat 7 September by the AFN (Anti-fascist Network) banner at Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel Road, to oppose the EDL’s attempt to divide our community. More info available from

In the meantime, some lively thoughts on the matter:

Red and Black TV: Undercover police

UNDERCOVERS: Recent confessions by an ex-cop have revealed mass, ruthless police spying on political activists and the family of Stephen Lawrence, a young black man murdered by a racist gang in London.

Not content with sitting in on a few meetings, these cops slept with and had children by unsuspecting women in radical movements. They trawled the history and watched the houses of the Lawrence family, making secret recordings and a spurious arrest, in order to break their campaign for justice.

Martin relates some personal experience of finding out people you’re close to are secretly cops.

Netpol statement on police spying

“Netpol calls on the Metropolitan Police to make information immediately available on the extent and scope of its surveillance of political activity in the UK.

The NDEU and its predecessors have been able to operate behind a wall of secrecy for many years. They appear to target an extraordinarily wide range of political activity, with access to massive resources, and few restraints on how they behave. We consider that it is firmly in the public interest for information relating to the functioning of this unit to be made accessible without further delay.

Initially, and as a minimum, this should include:

  • The operational remit, scope and structure of the National Domestic Extremism Unit, and that of its predecessors; The senior officers responsible for the operation of these units
  • The number and type of political organisations / individuals that have been targeted for covert surveillance, and the criteria used to select them;
  • The ways in which information obtained was used, processed, and the bodies with which this information was shared;
  • The total annual cost of maintaining these units and supporting their activities, and the number of undercover officers deployed to infiltrate political groups.

Netpol calls for the immediate disbandment of the NDEU.

While we believe that the public has a right to know more about the workings of NDEU, this is not in itself a sufficient response. Protest groups and political campaigns should not be forced to operate in a climate of fear and suspicion, not knowing when or how they may be subjected to covert surveillance.

We do not believe that the level of criminality arising from protest in any way justifies a dedicated (and potentially expensive) policing unit, especially in current times of financial hardship. We do not accept that the case has been made for the necessity of continuing the activity of a unit that has been associated with unethical and possibly unlawful behaviour, nor any other that specialises in the surveillance of dissent.

For this reason the NDEU should be wound up with immediate effect and all functions associated with the covert surveillance of political protest should cease.”

Read full statement

Via Thurrock Heckler – “July 22nd”

June 22nd – the date of the ‘People’s Assembly Against Austerity’ which will take place at Central Hall, Westminster. The wonderful day when we can sit there and be lectured by the great and good of the British left as to how bad things are and most likely, how we can all fight back by mobilising for yet another mass trudge around London in October. Who couldn’t fail to be inspired to action by sitting in Central Hall and listening to the likes of Tony Benn, Owen Jones and numerous other luminaries of the wonderful political tradition that is the British left? Following on from that, there’s the irresistible prospect of yet another mass demonstration in central London come October where we can be shepherded by the TUC stewards as we shuffle into Hyde Park to listen in rapt awe to speeches telling us exactly what we were told at Central Hall on June 22nd.

Sod that for a lark! Seriously, if this is the best the left can come up with as the economy stagnates, austerity wrecks the lives of not thousands but millions of people and global economic and geo-political events threaten to usher in an era of conflict and chaos, they might as well give up because the powers that be simply will not pay attention. Did a million people on the streets of London stop the war on Iraq back in 2003? Did it heck – the government ignored it and carried on rushing us into war. Did the previous two mass demonstrations against austerity in March 2011 and October 2012 make the ConDem government stop their vicious assault on the working class? The harsh truth is it didn’t make a blind bit of difference – the government carried on as if nothing had happened.

Let’s look at the message that the ‘People’s Assembly Against Austerity’ and any subsequent action such as an October demonstration will be conveying – it will simply be a call from the great and good of the British left to vote Labour. Labour – a mainstream party that’s committed to making welfare cuts, just differently and possibly at a slower pace. All this mobilisation will achieve will be the election of a party that will still attack the concessions that the working class were given post World War Two in the form of the welfare state. Let’s remember, that’s what it was, a concession to take the sting out of any militant workers movements that were emerging as demobilised troops came home wanting the better world they thought they were fighting for.

With the continuous assaults that have been made on the working class and any notion of collectivity since the mid 1970s, the powers that be feel that we’ve been battered, divided and weakened enough to give them the confidence to tear up any concessions we were given. They ain’t going to listen to an assembly or take any notice of a peaceful mass trudge round central London as they turn back the clock to impoverish us in a desperate bid to save their rotten, parasitic, corporatised economy.

The message from us has to be loud and clear…time’s up! The economic system we had that could only keep staggering on through debt fuelled consumption and ruthless exploitation of people and planet is screwed beyond belief. A system that can only promise austerity, exploitation and the ever growing possibility of major war is one that is waiting to be swept aside. We don’t want some grudging concessions from a future Labour government in the form of a truncated welfare state that keeps us just about pacified as the economy limps on from one crisis to the next – we want something a heck of a lot better where mutual aid and solidarity will create a just, sustainable and free society that we all have a stake in.

There’s plenty of work that needs to be done in articulating that vision and quickly as the crisis of the current system worsens each day. For sure the fightback is already underway as we indicated in our piece – Where’s the sodding urgency?! – that we published on 10th February. While this is good, it’s not enough, more is needed… More people getting stuck into action, more experimenting and risk taking to see what does and doesn’t work, more willingness for groups and individuals to be flexible to join together for actions as and when the need arises and above all more militancy and certainly more momentum. A continuous stream of a diverse range of people and groups building, mobilising and taking action in a myriad of ways that will leave the authorities in a state of bewilderment is the key to building that momentum. From the ongoing student occupations at Sussex University ( through the coming spring offensive against workfare to construction workers blockading Oxford Street in protest at blacklisting and the proposed autonomous action ( on June 22nd outside of Central Hall just to mention a few, the building blocks of something new and interesting are starting to emerge. 2013 is crunch year…let’s make sure we’re the ones doing the crunching!

The Thurrock Heckler is an experiment in bringing alternative, radical media to the people of Thurrock.

Get EDL Out of London: THIS SATURDAY 24 Nov

The English Defence League is a group of pathetic racist, fascist mugs who blame everything on Muslims.

The regional EDL groups are gearing up to do a static protest outside Wandsworth Prison this Saturday 24 November at 1pm to support their dear leader, who they claim is a political prisoner. Mr Yaxley-Lennon is not a political prisoner (political prisoner someone imprisoned for holding, expressing, or acting in accord with particular political beliefs), he’s inside because he broke the law by using someone else’s passport to enter the USA illegally as well as a load of other shit like the Vangate scandal.

Get to Wandsworth Prison by 12.45pm on Saturday 24 November and give them a proper london welcome.

On the debacle formerly known as the EDL…

So the EDL demo due to take place this Saturday in Walthamstow is officially cancelled. A demo banning order has been slapped on them by the state, after 53 of them were arrested last Saturday, including their Police And Crime Commissioner candidate Kevin Carroll, during their hilariously hairbrained scheme to pile down to Whitechapel in the back of a removal van and occupy the East London mosque. And their leader Tommy Robinson now on remand for entering the USA on a false passport (an illegal immigrant! – but the irony is lost on that lot). The EDL are banned from any sort of protest throughout Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, and Newham for the next 30 days and the EDL themselves are telling each other not to turn up.

As some sort of compensation the Met Police have given them permission to hold a static demo in Westminster from 1-2pm tomorrow. This coincides with the Deaths in Custody protest march, however it’s almost certain that the EDL will be kept well away from everyone else and put in their very own little pen as usual, heavily monitored and escorted to and from by the police.

However there’s no reason to be complacent – having the EDL in town is a blight no matter where they turn up. It’s important to be aware that they could still turn up in Walthamstow, plus, judging by their previous form (and which we think is more likely), they may spend the afternoon getting out their heads in central London and then drag their pissed up selves to Whitechapel to prove how clever they are by trying to attack the mosque. A death wish it may be, and a police escort out the area they may need, but nonetheless it’s something to be aware of. We recommend checking out twitter and facebook throughout the day for any signs of the idiots, as there are usually plenty of nice, normal people who will put out the info if they happen to be unlucky enough to spot them.