Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Woolwich attack: Anti-fascist groups plan counter-demos as English Defence League plans marches in 30 locations across UK

Hackers target far-right group in retaliation for ‘capitalising’ on Drummer Lee Rigby’s death

English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, left, went to Woolwich following the death of a serving soldier
English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, left, went to Woolwich following the death of a serving soldier
A list of what were said to be mobile phone numbers for senior named EDL figures were published onlin
Kevin Carroll (second right), co-founder and co leader of the EDL is confronted by Unite Against Fascism demonstrators outside Downing Street, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2013. Supporters of the English Defence League marched through central London today. The EDL demonstrators pushed their way through a police cordon as they made their way to Trafalgar Square. They chanted "Muslim killers off our streets" and "There's only one Lee Rigby" in tribute to the soldier killed in Woolwich, south-east London last Wednesday. See PA story POLICE Woolwich EDL. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: English Defence League (EDL) supporters try to reach anti fascist protestors during a rally outside Downing Street on May 27, 2013 in London, England. The EDL are protesting what the group sees as a lack of support and protection given to British troops following the terror attack last week, in which soldier Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered in a knife and machete attack by two Muslim men outside Woolwich Barracks. A counter demonstration is planned by the group Unite Against Facism as tensions run high across certain communities. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Police officers on Whitehall near to outside Downing Street, London, as EDL demonstrators gathered to protest. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2013. Supporters of the English Defence League marched through central London today. The EDL demonstrators pushed their way through a police cordon as they made their way to Trafalgar Square. They chanted "Muslim killers off our streets" and "There's only one Lee Rigby" in tribute to the soldier killed in Woolwich, south-east London last Wednesday. See PA story POLICE Woolwich EDL. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Kevin Carroll (left), the co-founder of the EDL, has an argument with an unidentified man who said he was a Muslim, outside Downing Street during a confrontation with the Anti-Fascists. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2013. Supporters of the English Defence League marched through central London today. The EDL demonstrators pushed their way through a police cordon as they made their way to Trafalgar Square. They chanted "Muslim killers off our streets" and "There's only one Lee Rigby" in tribute to the soldier killed in Woolwich, south-east London last Wednesday. See PA story POLICE Woolwich EDL. Photo credit should read: Max Nash/PA Wire
Police officers stand in front of EDL demonstrators on Whitehall near to outside Downing Street, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2013. Supporters of the English Defence League marched through central London today. The EDL demonstrators pushed their way through a police cordon as they made their way to Trafalgar Square. They chanted "Muslim killers off our streets" and "There's only one Lee Rigby" in tribute to the soldier killed in Woolwich, south-east London last Wednesday. See PA story POLICE Woolwich EDL. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
A UAF demonstrator tussle with police officers outside Downing Street, during a face off with the EDL. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2013. Supporters of the English Defence League marched through central London today. The EDL demonstrators pushed their way through a police cordon as they made their way to Trafalgar Square. They chanted "Muslim killers off our streets" and "There's only one Lee Rigby" in tribute to the soldier killed in Woolwich, south-east London last Wednesday. See PA story POLICE Woolwich EDL. Photo credit should read: Max Nash/PA Wire
A UAF demonstrator tussle with police officers outside Downing Street, during a face off with the EDL. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2013. Supporters of the English Defence League marched through central London today. The EDL demonstrators pushed their way through a police cordon as they made their way to Trafalgar Square. They chanted "Muslim killers off our streets" and "There's only one Lee Rigby" in tribute to the soldier killed in Woolwich, south-east London last Wednesday. See PA story POLICE Woolwich EDL. Photo credit should read: Max Nash/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: English Defence League (EDL) leader Tommy Robinson speaks to supporters during a rally outside Downing Street on May 27, 2013 in London, England. The EDL are protesting what the group sees as a lack of support and protection given to British troops following the terror attack last week, in which soldier Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered in a knife and machete attack by two Muslim men outside Woolwich Barracks. A counter demonstration is planned by the group Unite Against Facism as tensions run high across certain communities. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The English Defence League (EDL) is planning protests in at least 30 locations on Saturday afternoon, after the group’s leadership called for localised events rather than a national demonstration.

Meanwhile Anti-EDL campaigners have said that they had identified “10 or 12” of these locations for counter-demos, with Leeds their priority.

The EDL’s plans emerged after members of the “hacktivist” group Anonymous launched a campaign against the anti-Islamic group. Anonymous members leaked personal information it said belonged to EDL donors and members on Tuesday and promised a further leak, with more to follow in the near future.

The far-right group’s co-founder Stephen Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, has asked EDL members to march in silence this weekend. He has called on them to lay wreaths at memorials and instructed them not to carry banners or drink alcohol while marching, following violent scenes in London on Monday.

Plans for many events were published online yesterday. Most of England’s major cities are represented but, in many towns, only a handful of people have currently stated their intention to attend.

Matthew Collins of anti-fascist group Hope not Hate said he believed that the decision to localise the demonstration was part of a plan to draw attention away from a simultaneous march planned in London by the British National Party, with whom the EDL leadership has clashed with in the past.

He added: “Tommy Robinson has  got off his political deathbed. The EDL was as good as dead last week. Lennon had lost all respect from what was left of his gang.”

An Acpo spokesman said: “Police are aware of a number of demonstrations planned for this weekend. Forces across the country will be working closely  with local communities as always to ensure these pass off with minimum disruption. While we will do all we can to facilitate peaceful protest, those taking part should be clear that the police will uphold the law.”

West Yorkshire Police said it was not aware of a large-scale planned action by either the EDL or its opponents but would be looking at putting plans in place between now and Saturday.

Members of the Anonymous team leading the attack on the EDL said they decided to act because the anti-Islamic group was “ capitalising” on the death of Drummer Rigby.

The group also said it was also in retaliation for the EDL’s treatment of Muslims.

“I’ve seen their treatment to Muslims in my own town and I want to do something about it, and raise awareness of it,” said one member.

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