Public Meeting Oppose the EDL in Bristol

Map to find your way

First off, this is no front group. It’s a genuine attempt to get the radical communities in Bristol and the many other people who oppose racism/fascism in our city working together to confront the EDL.   We are cautiously optimistic about how it’s been going so far, all the meetings are open, and everyone is prioritising actively confronting the EDL over any thing else.  The group will in no way will work to prevent others acting autonomously.

If you consider yourself an antifascist or someone who wants to confront nationalist racist groups from marching through the streets of Bristol then come to the meeting. If you can’t make it tell like-minded friends, send a delegate from any groups your involved in, or try and make it to future meetings.

(The above picture was created by we are Bristol after the first meeting when UAF was the only group to have officially supported the initative, due to others having to report back to other meetings. It is now not the only group so we updated the picture, if anyone knows which other groups now officially support we are Bristol let us know).

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10 comments

  1. Observer

    As far as I understand, it wasn’t just that UAF were the first group to support this, but they came up with the initiative so it was pre-agreed. Hence why there the contact email for WAB was/is south west uaf group.

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    • Bristol Anarchist Federation

      The UAF called an open meeting that was attended by a wide variety of people. The result of this meeting was the creation of a coaltion under the name ‘we are bristol’ in which all groups would be held with equal regard with in it and all decisions would be made at future open meetings in which all people opposed to the EDL march could take part. It was agreed that this stance would be reflected in all litriture and in changing the official email etc to be non UAF. They no more came up with the initiative than anyone else present.

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  2. thelastwar

    I’m afraid WAG and other local people had a bad experience with this ‘we are..’ group in tower hamlets…the UAF (central committee I suspect) organise them wherever the EDL are going, and it is always the same speakers and the same rigid structure…the first ‘organising meeting’ they turned up with posters and flyers already printed with a date, time and place to meet on it…obviously miles away from where the EDL were actually going to be, as always! please don’t be surprised when they do this again. they spent the whole meeting yammering on about their UAF stuff, and called the anarchists who attended racists for not supporting sexist, homophobic islamic preachers who the EDL were using to stir up support for their racism (fine example of how the opportunistic left drop women’s and gay rights when it suits them) and on the day they were far away from the EDL with their sound system and far away from the community they proclaim they were protecting………..damn just realised this meeting happened tonight, am leaving this account up here anyway so you can compare notes! hope you had a more productive time than we did.

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    • Bristol Anarchist Federation

      Cheers for the heads up, we are aware things like this have happened with the UAF leadership before. So we are cautious about it.
      We are optomistic however for a few reasons;

      There are quire a lot of vocal nonUAF at the meetings. The first semi-open (as in not really advertised beyond activists) planning meeting in Bristol rejected the proposed idea of a comittee to organise the demo (which some UAF supported).

      A group within Bristol SWP do really hate these kinds of tactics even when used by their own party, and have been known to actively oppose them.

      Other than that, UAF have been ‘talking the talk’ this time, but we’ll have to see what that ends up resulting in following this meeting and the next open planning meeting. I’m sure tonights meeting will have its fair share of annoyingly long speaches.

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  3. Bristol Anarchist Federation

    As an update other groups seem to be sussesfully keeping the UAF at bay (for now). UAF are the minority at organising meetings. Alterations were made to the statement to make it less socialist centred and the word socialist has been removed altogether. A proposal was made to make UAF less prominent on flyers and the statement and the first set of flyers produced does not have UAF any more prominent that other groups mantioned, including AFed. WAB has rejected any call to liaze with the police or organise a static demo (or even an official march for that matter). The website will be administered by non UAF people and their request to use the UAF e-mail as the contact point for WAB was also rejected. So far so good.

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  4. Aging_Antifa

    Work with them (UAF etc.) by all means but don’t trust them. From long experience going back to the 70’s and the days of the Anti-Nazi League, I can say with some confidence that organizations like these are often a front for the likes of the Socialist Workers Party and their ilk. I remember taking on the British Movement in the late 70’s in places like Brick Lane and there were occasions when they diverted large numbers of people away from where the Nazis were. Some of us got so pissed off with these tactics that we eventually ended up forming Red Action and took the battle to the Fascist and may I proudly say gave them a real hammering on many occasions. So much so that they learned to fear us.
    Hence the lesson is simple – UAF and their like are fine for many people who don’t want to or can’t physically confront the Fascists for one reason or another. For those of us who can and are prepared to meet the Fascists “boot to boot” as it were – following UAF is not the solution.

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  5. bob

    WE Are Bristol ?? who are you ? and who do you speak for?never heared of you .I have lived in Bristol over 40 years and i can say i have never heared of your organization or what it means

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    • Bristol Anarchist Federation

      The We Are Bristol group only came into existance in April, despite 20,000 leaflets, newspaper articles, radio interviews, TV appearances, several huge open meetings, 1000s of posters up in shops etc we couldn’t get the name out to everyone. We are Bristol is a coaltion consisting of; Bristol NUT (teachers), FBU (firefighters), Unite (health workers), Tribe of Doris (who led the bristol pride parade), Bristol & District Anti Cuts Alliance, Unison (public sector workers), South West Trades Union congress (representing 500000 workers), Bristol Queer Cafe, Bristol Animal Rights Collective, Bristol ABC, Bristol Anarchist Federation, Bristol Antifascists, Bristol Unite Against Fascism, Bristol IWW, Kebele Cooperative, Bristol Defendant Solidarity, Alex Gordon (president RMT), Tim Lezard & Owen Jones (journalists) and many more individuals, unions, community groups and political organisations.

      We think it would be extremely unlikely that anyone isn’t familiar with atleast one of those groups!

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  6. Pete Harris

    Be VERY wary of the UAF. Their main funder – the Islamic Forum of Europe – is as homophobic and fascist as they come. I was part of a ‘We Are Bradford’ group when the EDL came here, and was horrified at their behaviour and some of the insults thrown at me and fellow anarchists by the UAF, similar to what’s described above. Do not trust these people, their sole core agenda is promoting militant islam. Include them at your peril.

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  7. jemma downfiled

    your a joke i am Bristol born & bread & this town it being over told by the foraner my parent was rob by a muslim man & the police did not arest him because there scare or the repocusion & it was the same with the st paul riots over the black & white cafe

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