The ENA’s pathetic showing in Brighton

Today’s appearance in Brighton by the racist English Nationalist Alliance only managed to muster what looked like about 30-odd people. It was hard to tell, concealed as they were behind huge lines of fluorescent jackets. I’d say that Sussex Police easily had three times as many officers as the ENA had attendees and that was just escorting their march, not even counting those watching over the rest of us.

The number of various anti-racist, anti-fascist and queer activists, Brighton folk, socialists and trade unionists was a bit more impressive with something like 2-300 people joining the main march, plenty of other people showing support as we passed, and I think a few dozen anarchists running about and trying to block / tussle with the ENA.

The police forced us to move on from the station (I think, I joined the march just as it got going) and we headed along Queen’s Road, then down North Road to Victoria Gardens where we found ourselves penned in. Great. This was pretty shit but spirits were pretty high and most folks were having a laugh, enjoying the sun, listening to a few short speeches and generally not being reprehensibly awful human beings. The reprehensibly awful human beings took about an hour to show up, possibly due to interference from the anarchist bloc, police management or just through being too stupid to walk about 15 minutes to their destination.

When they eventually arrived they spent about 20 minutes listening to some speeches – thanks to getting ourselves penned we had no idea what was going on so consoled ourselves with chanting at them. Hmm. After that was up they were escorted back to the station, surrounded by a cloud of onlookers, hopefully a few of whom were sharing their opinions of the ENA and the EDL. Eventually we were let out of our pen but not before a few spirited attempts to break through the fence were made. A few people were arrested, mostly for being mouthy as far as I could see, and hopefully have been / will be released without charge (I didn’t know any of them).

After that I headed homewards and found the remnants of the ENA arrayed outside the station with a bunch of the remaining counter-protesters chanting at them. I left at this point but apparently the fun continued for a while longer when the ENA got themselves an escort to a nearby pub (would that the police offered this service to regular folk) which was again surrounded. Well, I imagine they got the idea that they’re not welcome here and easily outnumbered, even with an almost total lack of promotion for the counter-demo.

A bunch of photos and a very short video follow. I am not a good photographer I’m afraid, so suck it up.

The front of the column

The front of the column

Setting off from the station

Setting off from the station

Behold my ability to frame a shot free of extraneous clutter

Behold my ability to frame a shot free of extraneous clutter

The view from the front of the column (horsies!)

The view from the front of the column (horsies!)

I'm not convinced the cost of putting a chopper in the air was really justified

I’m not convinced the cost of putting a chopper in the air was really justified

Somewhere behind all the cops and gawkers there are about 30 racists, fascists, idiots and (one hopes) deeply misguided people

Somewhere behind all the cops and gawkers there are about 30 racists, fascists, idiots and (one hopes) deeply misguided people

After we'd been stuck in a pen for a few hours and were done shouting and chanting, people began to get a bit bored 'n rowdy...

After we’d been stuck in a pen for a few hours and were done shouting and chanting, people began to get a bit bored ‘n rowdy…

...so long, security fence, we barely knew ya.

…so long, security fence, we barely knew ya.

Not that what's already in that fountain is much worse.

Not that what’s already in that fountain is much worse.

After a few fences got tugged out we got a solid wall of vans across the park and three mounted officers came into the pen. Briefly toyed with fishing the fences out of the fountain and setting up a rodeo; felt it wouldn't go down so well.

After a few fences were tugged out we got a solid wall of vans across the park and three mounted officers came into the pen. Briefly toyed with fishing the fences out of the fountain and setting up a rodeo; felt it wouldn’t go down so well.

Afterwards the ENA were escorted back to the station which was quickly surrounded by more people shouting and chanting. Look at that Israel flag there. What a bunch of idiots.

Afterwards the ENA were escorted back to the station which was quickly surrounded by more people shouting and chanting. Look at that Israel flag there. What a bunch of idiots.

My camera isn’t very good at doing videos.

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