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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 May 2010

EDL racists challenged in Aylesbury

ON 1 May the racist and hooligan English Defence League (EDL) organised a national demonstration in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Local trade unionists, anti-racists, youth groups and community activists felt it was important to challenge the EDL's ideas and organise a May Day event - a day for international solidarity and of bringing working people of different cultures together.

Over the past month the campaign organisers endeavoured to organise a carnival, only to be obstructed by the council and the self same political parties (Tories, Liberals and some Labour members) who stated we should 'ignore the EDL and they would go away'.

The press and council tried to frighten people into not attending, saying it was going to be violent, based on previous EDL marches elsewhere in the UK. This was despite all the organisations involved in the anti-EDL protest stating that they were building for a peaceful event.

Over 200 local people attended the event and 70 attended a public meeting and it was peaceful. There were three Socialist Party speakers and we are now building an ongoing campaign across Buckinghamshire. We have also developed links with a number of trade unions and community campaigns.

Only the Socialist Party speakers explained why the EDL was able to grow, largely because of the main political parties' failure to tackle the pressing social problems of unemployment, lack of social housing, inadequate public services, etc. And that alongside protesting against the EDL we need to organise to stop the savage cuts in services, whoever forms the next government; otherwise far-right organisations like the EDL would continue to grow by feeding off social discontent.

Socialist Party reporters

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