Tower Hamlets Watch

Cllr Helal Abbas Booed Off Stage at UAF Rally | June 20, 2010


Got to the rally today in Stepney Green Park about 30 minutes late, and wandered around talking to people I met, some I already knew others through friends.

I was complaining that I thought the sound system was a bit crappy, and then asked someone if Council Leader Helal Abbas has spoken yet?
Two ladies holding collection buckets for ‘Unite Against Fascism’ told me that he’d already been on and had apparently been booed off stage.

I asked why, and they told me that this was because of him banning the conference at the Troxy. I told them that I didnt think he’d banned it, and that it was because of people pressure. Playing dumb I told them that I’d heard there had been some sort of conference or something that had been going on that had caused some controversy.

One replied no, going on to say that;

“The EDL were going to attack the Troxy, just because there was a muslim conference there”

I then told them I thought it was going to be a protest not an attack. Telling them also that I done some minor research, and found some quite disturbing statements about some of the speakers, none of which i knew the truth of. The first I reiterated that I’d read that one of the speakers, seemed to condone violence towards women, and another called for the death of homosexuals.

Then one of these women just looked at me and walked away, the other then started to argue her position that we;

“live in a country of free speech,”

and kept parroting on about the evils of the EDL. I could see all of her points about the EDL, but to be honest it felt like some party political broadcast.

For an hour or so I watched speakers get up and make some excellent speeches regarding unity, rascism, jobs, and some other great debatable topics. Sorry if this was rather short, I was more engrossed in the people in the crowd, talking to them and getting their views, and sampling the gorgeous bombay mix that people were selling with salad and lemon juice i think. One thing I would say is that I thought the sound system for the rally in stepney park was poor, and I had trouble hearing most things said.

Later on, I watched George Galloway walk off stage, where he was called over by a young asian guy. I overheard this young guy, state;

“George, why dont you tell them what happened this morning?”

George replied “what?”
and the young guy went on;

“Two white men, raped a muslim woman in Roman Road this morning”

George just walked away, and one of the stewards in the yellow jackets, told the young guy;

“Dont say shit like that!”

I was at a loss, realising that the bullshit hailer was in full swing today.

I then followed the march out of the Park, up the road, left down Jubilee Street, right onto Commercial Road, right onto New Road, then left down Whitechapel Road past the mosque, and finally into Altab Ali Park.

At the park I watched everyone gather into a peaceful group , packing the park, and all united against the EDL. Then I heard ‘Lutfur Rahman’ speak, he went into a long diatribe about the Troxy, and what was going to be a peaceful islamic conference, informing us that this was cancelled by our Council. That the council had no right to do this, and we must boot out these people and vote for strong leadership for our borough. Thats when it finally hit me, thats when I finally realised two things.

One that ‘Lutfur Rahman’ supported the Islamic Conference and apparently by castagating the council in this way, that this was an admission that he could see no harm in allowing this type of ‘hate speech’ (if the allegations are true) into the borough, and Two, that what I was witnessing was not solely about the EDL, it was about voting for our new soon to be elected Mayor. I also understood that most others there in the park today, could not see what I could, maybe I’m alone in this, maybe my suspiciouns are wrong. Maybe there all paranoid delusions, maybe I’m sullied by my own twisted mind, but I felt dirty then, like I’d been used.

Galloway who came on next talked, and although I’ve admired the guy in the past, I could not hear him because I was lost in my own thoughts (luckily i recorded the whole speech), and I think Abjol Miah came on next. Then we were all told to go home. What a waste, a few thousand people, that went nowhere, what did we achieve but a short walk through East London, shouting out our unity against percieved rascists attacking the borough.

After taking in the excellent Brick Lane, and gorging myself on an even better Indian meal, I made my way home. I’m now sitting here typing this and flicking through the news channels. I’ve not watched every channel, but havent noticed any reports on this apart from Press TV, an Iranian news channel that managed to attend, but apparently the BBC couldn’t be bothered. At the moment I’ve not seen any reports either online regarding the rally or its substance. So really what was the point? Did we achieve anything but have a peaceful wander through East London all under the banner of anti-rascism, all standing together. Or did something more sinister occur, was this in fact a political rally, organised by members who’s sole concern, could in fact be the upcoming Mayoral elections?, and dressed up in such away, that some speakers present came across as the saviours of Tower Hamlets?


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6 Comments »

  1. First, congrats on your write up. This is the first independent account I’ve seen of the day. It’s shocking to think that the media are just having a blackout on these events. Most local people in Tower Hamlets have no idea who was going to be at that conference.

    I don’t know what you know about the EDL, but the fundamental principle is that the demonstrations are to be peaceful. And since the Stoke demo in January the demos are peaceful 99% of the time (despite serious provocation from UAF and muslims). At the Bolton demo it was the UAF (including their leader) who made up the vast proportion of the arrests. The media have been trying to stitch up the EDL as nazis, racist and homophobic. Considering there are non-white men in the leadership team, and there is a Jewish Division and a Gay Division, it’s clear that the establishment do not want the public to see anything but violence and racism as being the mainstays of an EDL demo. This is done in order to frighten people away from going to a meeting or a demo and seeing for themselves the kind of people in EDL.

    It was the EDL Jewish Division who got on to the event at The Troxy. And after The Troxy signed up to Tower Hamlets anti-hate speech programme, the venue could not hold the event. But of course, the vast majority of muslims don’t see all that supremacist crap as hate speech – they’ve been brought up to despise the jews and the kufr.

    Hizb ut Tahrir held their 2009 conference at The Troxy. Despite HuT wanting to abolish voting rights for non-muslims, and to keep women out of positions of power, and to make non-muslims pay “protection money” disguised as a tax, neither the anarchists, the feminists, the “moderate” muslims, nor the UAF bothered to protest against HuT being at The Troxy. And significantly, The Troxy did not sign up to the anti-hate speech programme until they had to.

    The IFE just moved the conference from The Troxy to Edgware Road, where the EDL went and held a protest and informed the hotel management precisely what kind of hate speech they were giving a platform.

    Meanwhile the UAF is in Tower Hamlets whipping up fears of “racist” attacks by white people on muslims. As I look more like a hippy than a skinhead, I’ve stood with UAF before at demos where there were lots of muslims and heard them say “we’re hoping there’s a riot”. That tells us what they are about.

    You might have thought the day was a waste of time. I’m just glad to know that no-one was hurt in Tower Hamlets, and I’m glad to know the EDL again protested about these preachers of hate, and that The Troxy will no longer be able to hold such conferences or the HuT conference.

    In case you don’t know, the EDL had also advertised they were going to be protesting against Zakir Naik and his talks at Wembley on 26th June. Within days of our Wembly protest being announced, Naik was banned from entering the UK. I can’t wait for his appeal to see if a court agrees that he enjoined muslims to take part in terrorism.

    If British muslims and the UAF were truly against hate speech, anti-semitism and incitement to violence, and they were in favour of women’s rights and gay rights, the EDL would be unnecessary.

    There is a very simple way for the UAF to get rid of EDL. Start opposing islamo-fascism. Peter Tatchell has been the lone voice doing this for the past decade. EDL is now a mass movement that is following in the path laid by Tatchell.

    Comment by Sam — June 21, 2010 @ 3:22 am

    • Extremely sorry for delaying in allowing this comment, it was for some reason in my SPAM queue, which I hardly check.

      I now will endeavour to check this at least daily. Sorry once again

      Comment by fatoompsh — July 15, 2010 @ 9:19 am

  2. Nobody does mass hysteria like the UAF and Galloway.

    Comment by tool — June 21, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  3. [...] mayoral system. In June, at the end of a march against the English Defence League, Rahman was publicly praised by George Galloway as the right sort of candidate to become [...]

    Pingback by Tower Hamlets: politics, poverty and faith — September 19, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

  4. [...] suppressing freedom of speech. In fact, according to the blogger TowerHamletsWatch, he was even booed off stage at a subsequent rally against fascism in Altab Ali Park. TowerHamlets Watch also reported at the [...]

    Pingback by Extremists in Tower Hamlets « Trial By Jeory — November 15, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

  5. I’d like to thank the author. This is the only info on this rally I can find, apart from some possibly misleading videos on YouTube. But it’s important as it reflects on the characters and associates of two elected politicians. I live&worked in this very area, and had seen the UAF leaflets urging us to oppose the EDL. The young Bangladeshi girls at work had mentioned it in the context that, if the EDL arrived, they wouldn’t be going to work, but hiding at home. I’d not really been conscious of the existence of the EDL until that point. Youtube and Wikipedia pretty much confirms that they’re a group of cranks and skinheads, often drunk, often abusive, often violent, and intellectually and morally incoherant. Nevertheless, the consensus within the press seemed to be that Hizb-Al Tahir were pretty unpleasant, too. So I’d followed the story in the papers, and it’s apparent resolution when the Troxy cancelled the conference. I’d had no idea the UAF rally then went ahead anyway. What led me to google this event was a Youtube video of Rahman saying that the police had no right to say when or where they could march, and Galloway declaring, to an almighty cheer, that if the EDL touched a hair on a Muslim’s chin or a woman’s hejab, then they would have to climb over 10,000 dead bodies… I found this a bit scary and a bit repulsive, myself. Anyway, I wanted to find what my mayor, Luftur Rahman, had really said, and instead I find here him saying something else which SHOULD have been controversial in the mayoral election, but wasn’t. Either Rahman or Andrew Gilligan must be a fraud.
    Anyway, this first hand reporting is invaluable stuff. Perhaps it will be useful to some historian someday. Thanks very much.

    Comment by Perspective — April 8, 2011 @ 12:46 am


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