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August 11, 2011 / ultrafox1963

London Ku Klux Klan launch attempt fails

Thankfully it seems like the worst of the disturbances, and the accompanying hysteria, have passed.

Most residents of the afflicted cities (which, sadly, included Leicester) will be duly grateful for this.  But there are small groups in our midst who appear not to share this relief.

On Tuesday evening (9 August), I received a text message informing me of action being taken in an area of South London, allegedly by football supporters to “protect the community from looters” .  With all football matches postponed, and Millwall playing 300 miles away in Plymouth,  the fans had apparently, and spontaneously, agreed to protect their local shops and businesses (which notably included several pubs) in the absence of local police, whom they assumed would be too busy dealing with disorder elsewhere in the capital.

These individuals were immediately acclaimed by many in cyberspace as public-spirited heroes, but some recipients were more sceptical and wondered if a more sinister motive lay afoot.  One clue lay in the venue for these activities: Eltham.

This district, although several miles from the nearest football ground, was the scene of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, an 18-year old black student, in 1993. Due to a combination of Metropolitan Police incompetence, corruption and racism, his killers were able to evade justice, though two suspects are currently awaiting  a retrial, following the discovery of additional evidence.

In addition the area also served during the 1990s as the national headquarters of the British National Party, which still retains elements of community support there.  It was therefore not surprising that both the BNP and English Defence League gave backing to the vigilantes (whom they described as “English patriots”) and sought to claim credit for them.

Although the residents initially denied any political affiliation, their actions bore striking similarities to a long and dishonourable tradition of supremacist activities dating back to the mid-19th century.  While Eltham on this occasion was not treated to the sight of burning crosses and pointed hoods, the sentiments expressed on its streets would have been widely recognised (and applauded) throughout the USA, especially its deep south.  It is difficult to escape the conclusion that this episode was little more than a publicity stunt and an attempt to launch a London equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan.

Indeed, footage from the district during the past two days, freely available on YouTube, portrayed gangs of (exclusively white) thugs, roaming the streets like a 1930s Alabama lynch mob. Thankfully, they were unable to locate a target for their rage, apart from 3 black youths on a bus travelling through the area.  The vehicle promptly attracted a hail of missiles, but the intervention of uniformed officers prevented a more dangerous incident from emerging.

Those officers deserve the strongest praise and recognition for their work.  Had any black person been assaulted in Eltham that night, it is highly likely that London (and probably many other cities too) would still be ablaze now.   Given widespread internet coverage, the Met had to be seen to reclaim Eltham’s streets. We should all be thankful that the following night they were able to do so, in spite of the hostility of their erstwhile “supporters”.

Meanwhile the attempted propaganda coup has failed and the urban disturbances have subsided following a substantially increased police presence in flashpoint areas.  Although the government has authorised the use of water cannon and plastic bullets to deal with further outbreaks of violence, wiser counsels within the police forces themselves have prevailed and these tactics have not been employed.

Let’s hope the slide of both the BNP and their EDL partners in crime, back towards the obscurity and irrelevance they deserve, continues!

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