I was horrified to discover Saturday morning that the conservative pundit Wild Bill for America has posted a video comparing the English Defence League favorably to the Tea Party movement. His praise for the EDL is misplaced and unwise.
This is a sad and predictable development from Brian Kilmeade’s uninformed endorsement of the EDL on his radio show last week, of which I have already written: “Well Tommy, we got your back, and we’ll definitely look to keep in touch and I really think it’s a very – it’s great what you’re doing.
The EDL and the Tea Party have nothing in common. The English Defence League is made up of street thugs who are frequently arrested for clashes with police and anti-fascist activists. EDL rally attendees have been known to give Nazi salutes and events.
The Tea Party on the other hand has never rioted, nor have there been arrests at any Tea Party event across the country. In fact rather than causing property damage, Tea Party events have been known to leave the area in which they occurred neater than when they arrived.
Here is Dave Surchuck in Forbes on the lack of arrests in the Tea Party movement: “Well that happened to me. As I looked at news story after news story of people getting arrested at Occupy Wall Street (OWS), um, occupations, I started to wonder, hey, did these sorts of mass arrests ever happen to the Tea Party? (Answer: no.) And then I learned that someone else, in this case the Daily Kos, basically made this point already.”
There are many Britons, both Muslim and non-Muslim, working tirelessly against the scourge of Islamism. They are not helped by riotous rallies in town centers that cause chaos and mayhem. While it is not useful to coddle Islamists, backing the EDL is just as self-defeating.
Here are a few highlights of EDL’s history of arrests.
In Hull, Yorkshire, trouble flared a few days ago according to the This is Hull: “During the march some of the EDL members were heard shouting vile abuse at shopkeepers. The trouble flared just after 1.15pm, resulting in the arrests. It is thought police took action after warnings to a small group of people not directly involved in the march. Chief Inspector Paul Cunningham said: 'Sadly, a number of arrests were made due to the actions of a small number of people during the day.'"
Some more of their “antics” from 2012 were detailed in this piece posted on Free Republic: “Sixteen people were arrested after far-right demonstrators clashed with police as they protested in east London. Scuffles broke out and bottles and firecrackers were thrown by members of the English Defence League (EDL) as riot police, mounted police and dogs turned out on the streets in large numbers to maintain control.”
A bunch more were arrested in Rochdale near Manchester, England, according to the Manchester Evening News: “Greater Manchester Police said eleven men were arrested on suspicion of various offences. Ten of those arrested were attending the EDL rally. An eleventh arrest was made at nearby Broadfield Park, where a counter-demonstration and unity rally was held.”
And worse yet, EDL march attendees gave the fascist salute when laying a wreath at a war memorial in the wake of British soldier Lee Rigby's killing a few weeks ago. The Star has video of the event so you can make up your own mind.
Anyone who cares about the Tea Party movement in the U.S. should not be praising the EDL and its riotous hooligans. They have nothing in common with the Tea Party movement and that is a good thing.