Two Hospitalised After EDL Attack On SWP Stall

Posted: May 3, 2012 in Anti-Fascism, EDL, UK

This is the face of Andrew Smith, aged 69, who was attacked by EDL thugs on Saturday 28 April.

On Saturday April 28th, socialists and antiracist campaigners in Lewisham, south east London were attacked by members of the English Defence League. Two pensioners were in need of hospital treatment as a result of the attack by the 15 thugs including Andrew Smith, aged 69, the EDL thugs began with shouts and racist heckling before laying in more violently. Andrew told the Socialist Worker newspaper:

They smashed up our Socialist Worker stall and one of them headbutted me. I’ve got a possible fractured sinus and a tear to my retina. But I’ll be in Luton on Saturday — and everyone who opposes the fascists should be there too.

The Lewisham Anti Racist Action Group (Larag) reports that another pensioner intervened and was quickly surrounded and flung to the floor, receiving a knock to the head. Both had to receive medical treatment for their injuries.

While the EDL usually like to attempt to distance themselves from violence by their supporters, the official EDL twitter account gloated about the attacks shortly after.

The attack follows events in Brighton last week, when around 110 marchers from ‘March for England’ – a group closely linked to and sharing members with the EDL – were humiliated and outnumbered by 1,000 antifascists who filled the streets and prevented the EDL’s attempts to reach the seafront.

The thugs were shouting about Brighton before they attacked Andrew. UAF joint secretary Weyman Bennett said:

Groups of Nazis tried to disrupt UAF members from leafleting on Saturday. We will not be intimidated. The BNP and EDL are desperate because they are not getting any real support so resorted to terror attacks.

Sabby Dhalu, joint secretary of UAF, added:

This vicious, cowardly attack by fascists on anti-racist pensioners, illustrates why we must all campaign against fascism. The police must take action and immediately arrest and charge the perpetrators of this vile attack.

The EDL tries to stir up racism against Muslims wherever it goes – but Saturday’s attack is one of many directed by EDL thugs at other traditional targets of fascism. They have attacked socialist meetings, trade union buildings, anti-cuts campaigners, the Occupy camps and even a radical bookshop in Liverpool.

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