English Defence League
|Motto||In hoc signo vinces (in this sign you will conquer)|
|Formation||27 June 2009|
|Purpose||Anti-Muslim, anti-Islamism, anti-sharia law|
|Tim Ablitt, Chairman (since October 2013), Alan Lake|
|Part of a series on|
The English Defence League (EDL) is a far-right street protest movement which focuses on opposition to what it considers to be a spread of Islamism and Sharia in the United Kingdom. The EDL has been described as Islamophobic, and was until 2013 "the most significant counter-jihad movement in Europe" and considered by some academics to be "one of the more intriguing developments on the far right". The group has faced confrontations with various groups, including Unite Against Fascism (UAF). In October 2013 the group's co-founders, Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll, left the group, with Robinson citing concerns over the "dangers of far-right extremism". He was replaced as leader by Tim Ablitt.
- 1 Formation and aims
- 2 Membership and support
- 3 Activities
- 4 Association with violence
- 5 Views and reactions
- 6 Offshoots and divisions
- 7 International activities and support
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
Formation and aims
The EDL originated from a group known as the "United Peoples of Luton" (UPL). The UPL had been formed in response to a demonstration organised by the extremist Islamist organisation, Al-Muhajiroun, against the war in Afghanistan, held in March 2009 as the Royal Anglian Regiment marched through Luton after a tour of duty in the Helmand province campaign. When the Luton counter-demonstration led to arrests, local football supporters, according to a BBC News report, "decided something should be done" and "found common cause with other 'soccer casuals' and 'firms' associated with major clubs. The chatter concluded that [Islamic extremism] was a national problem and they had to put aside club rivalries." EDL's original leader, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, known as 'Tommy Robinson' (taking his assumed name from the author of two books about the Luton Town MIGs football hooligan firm), recalled that he had been prompted to found the organisation after he had read in a newspaper about a group of local Islamists attempting to recruit men outside a local bakery in Luton to fight for the Taliban in Afghanistan: "I was like, they can't do that! In working class communities, we all know somebody in the armed forces. I've got a mate who lost his legs. And these lot were sending people to kill our boys."
Although Robinson repeatedly insisted from the early days of the organisation that the EDL was "against the rise of radical Islam" and that its members "aren't against Islam", its rank-and-file were noted for including football hooligans and members who described themselves as anti-Muslim. Robinson reportedly considered forming the EDL into a political party. In November 2011, the EDL formed an alliance with an offshoot of the British National Party (BNP), known as the British Freedom Party (BFP), under which EDL members would be invited to join and stand as candidates in elections. Another senior member is Alan Lake, who has been described as the EDL's chief financier, which Lake denies. In January 2012, Tommy Robinson expressed a wish to expand the definition of the EDL to a wider European Defence League.
Membership and support
The EDL evolved from the football casual subculture and is loosely organised around figures in hooligan firms. There is no formal membership, and EDL membership figures are not clear. The think tank Demos estimated that there were between 25,000 and 35,000 active members in 2011.
The internet hacktivist group Anonymous has published personal details of EDL members as part of a campaign against the group. History professor Nigel Copsey notes that "There is no official membership card, or fees/subs as such". This, he suggests, allows the advantage of not having a membership list to leak. In October 2009, the EDL claimed to have thousands of members in scores of branches, and the organisation's spokesman Trevor Kelway explained that about 300 active supporters attended demonstrations with support from Cardiff, Swansea, Luton and Portsmouth. At the time "an analyst" claimed the group had between 300 and 500 active supporters that it could mobilise at any given time. Researchers have suggested that the EDL is unusual among far-right groups, because it seeks to attract non-white support, but its discourse is seen as "one that reflects that of the BNP and others albeit tailored to be more inclusive and by consequence, more relevant to contemporary Britain's inherent diversity". Some scholarly fieldwork into the group noted the anti-racist statements and efforts of EDL organisers but suggested that racism and Islamophobia "may well be more commonplace among the EDL's 'rank and file' than the group's leaders would publicly admit," and one of their marches was heavily promoted on the fascist and white supremacist website "Stormfront."
Tommy Robinson has previously issued an anti-Nazi statement and taken part in the burning of a Nazi flag in a warehouse in Luton, at a 2009 press conference. The EDL expressed support for the monarchy by vowing to rally in support of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, but later cancelled the event.
The Guardian has reported conflict in the EDL between a primarily northern-based group called The Infidels, who hold more traditional far-right views, and members in the Midlands and South. The article suggested that the EDL and the British National Party cannot simultaneously survive for long but that right-wing populism will continue.
Since its foundation the principal activity of the EDL has been street demonstrations. In the main these have involved counter demonstrations, violence and frequent arrests. The group makes vigorous attempts to influence public debate and opinion, but Tommy Robinson, who was also deputy leader of the British Freedom Party, asserts that the EDL does not aspire to be a political party: "We know who our masters are. We just want them to do their job."
The deputy leader of the EDL, Kevin Carroll, stood for the BFP in the 2012 Police and Crime Commissioner elections for Bedfordshire Police and polled 8,675 first round votes (10.6%) coming in fourth place with a saved deposit. In January 2013, Carroll replaced Paul Weston as chairman of the BFP.
Association with violence
||This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: repetition of information, and trivia (May 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
The group says that its aim is to demonstrate peacefully in English, as well as Welsh, towns and cities, but conflicts with Unite Against Fascism (UAF), local opposition and other opponents have led to street violence, anti-social behaviour and arrests. A proposed march in Luton in September 2009 was banned by the police, citing a threat to public safety. There is normally heavy policing of these demonstrations, due to the likelihood of violence. The cost of policing these demonstrations has ranged from £300,000 to £1 million. Journalists that have covered EDL marches have received death threats, for instance journalist Jason N. Parkinson from The Guardian wrote about receiving a death threat by email from someone he described as an EDL organiser, as well as death threats sent to Marc Vallée, a fellow journalist.
Four specialist national police units involved in policing hooliganism, extreme violence, and terrorism are investigating the EDL. After their second demonstration in Birmingham Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe of West Midlands Police: "Really, there was no intent to protest. I think they knew that the community was very much against them coming to the city, which... potentially would generate violence". Before their Manchester demonstration of October 2009, the EDL held a press conference, during which they burned a Nazi flag and asserted that "There is no militant undertone. We will peacefully protest but we will not be scared into silence". During the Manchester city centre demonstration Mat Trewern, from BBC Radio Manchester reported that "At one point, earlier on, when it became extremely tense, members of the UAF tried to break the police line between the two groups". Greater Manchester Police confirmed a man, believed to be heading to the protest, had earlier been arrested in Birmingham on suspicion of distributing racially aggravated material. One week later, at a Welsh Defence League demonstration, supporters burnt an anti-Nazi flag and made Nazi salutes.
In January 2010 in Stoke-on-Trent, EDL members broke through police lines; four police officers were injured and police vehicles were damaged. In March 2010 in Bolton, 74 people were arrested in the demonstrations; at least 55 of the arrested were from the UAF and nine from the EDL. Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to organise violent disorder, Martin Smith, of Love Music Hate Racism, and Dr Moran, joint secretary of Greater Manchester UAF, were among those arrested on conspiracy charges. Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said that UAF protesters were responsible for most of the trouble and that they had turned up intending to cause trouble: "It is clear to me that a large number have attended with the sole intention of committing disorder and their actions have been wholly unacceptable."
At the EDL's second Dudley protest, on 17 July 2010, there was widespread damage to local property. The local council estimated the bill to be over £500,000. On 11 September 2010, police in Oldham received an advance call from the EDL. Around mid-day approximately 120 supporters had arrived in the town. A separate group of around 50 members attacked a police car with bottles. There were 8 arrests for public order offences.
On 9 October 2010, a police officer and several civilians were injured during protests by the English Defence League and Unite Against Fascism in Leicester. A Sky News van was attacked by members of the English Defence League who had earlier thrown fireworks, smokebombs and bricks at police and smashed windows of the city's International Arts Centre. There were also clashes between EDL supporters and local black and Asian youths as a group broke out of the EDL protest site at Humberstone Gate East and engaged with the locals. One man from Tyne and Wear was later convicted of causing criminal damage to the value of £1500 to a restaurant in this area of the city. Riot police fought to maintain control over the sporadic fighting that ensued. Thirteen people were arrested, one on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, only one was from the city of Leicester and the cost of policing the demonstration was put at £850,000.
In February 2011, prior to an EDL march in Luton, national British newspapers ran headlines with expectations of violence. The march, which was held on 5 February 2011, was concluded without major incident.
On 10 August, during the 2011 England riots Acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner Tim Godwin expressed concern that the EDL and the BNP were seeking to exploit the situation after ninety EDL members joined vigilantes in Enfield claiming that their physical presence would discourage troublemakers. The EDL also gathered in Eltham for the same purpose. EDL officials claimed they were safeguarding local businesses, but it was reported that the EDL attacked a bus carrying black youths.
On July 2011, the EDL "visited" Muslim MEP Sajjad Karim at his home with a gang of EDL members, which Karim said was an attempt at intimidation and threatening behaviour. The EDL has been accused of spray-painting and attacking mosques. Extremist members of the EDL have been involved in physical assaults against Muslims.
EDL members have been reported attacking an anti-fascist concert in Yorkshire. EDL members have been jailed for attacking staff at office buildings which had hosted anti-EDL meetings. EDL members have also attacked a bookstall in Sandwell.
On 7 December 2011, EDL activist Simon Beech was one of two men jailed for ten years for an arson attack on a mosque. Sentencing the men, Judge Mark Eades stated: "It seems to me your purpose was not to get at extremists, but to get at Muslims in general and your purpose can only have been to destabilise community relationships." Chief Superintendent Bernie O'Reilly, who heads Stoke-on-Trent policing division, said, "This was a planned attack to try to blow a mosque up in a residential area."
In 2013, six Islamists pleaded guilty to plotting a bomb and gun attack on an EDL march in Dewsbury. The EDL march and UAF/TUC counter demonstration had passed "peacefully, safely and without serious incident."
Views and reactions
Nick Lowles, a former editor of the anti-fascist Searchlight magazine and now director of the civil rights organisation HOPE not hate, has stated that the EDL poses two risks. One is the formation of a street army prepared to travel around the country to fight and provide organisational support. The other is the group's tactics of carrying placards and chanting in places that are potential flashpoints. Searchlight has said that not every leader of the EDL is a fascist or hardcore racist. Meanwhile, on the BBC's Sunday morning Andrew Marr show on 13 December 2010, Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti described the EDL as "modern day blackshirts". Other analysts have described the EDL as an anti-immigration group.
Jon Cruddas MP, writing in The Guardian, described the EDL as "a dangerous cocktail of football hooligans, far-right activists and pub racists... a bigger threat than the BNP... providing a new white nationalist identity through which they can understand an increasingly complex and alienating world. In a similar way to how football hooligans once coalesced around support for Ulster loyalism and hatred of the IRA, the followers of the EDL genuinely believe they are "defending" their Britain against the threat of Islam. What makes the EDL much more dangerous is how it reflects a wider political and cultural war."
The EDL's leaders say they are opposed to racism and that the EDL is a "multi-ethnic, multi-religious movement and we are proud of that". Trevor Kelway, a spokesman for the EDL, has denied that the group is racist. He said he had taken over as spokesman because the previous spokesman was Islamophobic. "We would march alongside Muslims and Jews who are against militant Islam," he said. "There were none on Saturday and an all-white group doesn't look good. But they can join the EDL as long as they accept an English way of life. It is the people who threaten with bombs and violence and threaten and bomb our troops – they don't belong here."
Government, local government and police
British Prime Minister David Cameron stated in the 2010 election campaign, "The EDL are terrible people, we would always keep these groups under review and if we needed to ban them, we would ban them or any groups which incite hatred." Former Home Office minister Phil Woolas stated of the organisation's tactics, "This is a deliberate attempt by the EDL at division and provocation, to try and push young Muslims into the hands of extremists, in order to perpetuate the divide. It is dangerous." John Denham, the then UK Communities Secretary, has condemned the EDL, saying its tactics are similar to those of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s, although he stressed that they did not present anything like the same "potency, organisation or threat". He was commenting after clashes between different groups at a new London mosque, during a demo by the group Stop Islamisation of Europe. He singled out the EDL in particular: "If you look at the types of demonstrations they have organised, the language used and the targets chosen, it looks pretty clear that it's a tactic designed to provoke, to get a response and create violence".
The leader of Dudley Council, Anne Milward, stated after the second EDL demonstration in her town, "We are extremely saddened that Dudley has again been targeted by the English Defence League. Yet again this group of outside extremists have shown they are incapable of demonstrating peacefully and have brought public disorder and violence to our town."
The response from British police has been negative. Det Supt John Larkin of West Midland's Counter Terrorism Unit has previously expressed concerns that the EDL's Islamophobia fuels extremism and undermines counter-radicalisation efforts. Dr. Robert Lambert, co-director of the European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC) at the University of Exeter and previously head of the Muslim Contact Unit (MCU) in the Metropolitan Police, has written that the EDL has undermined efforts by British Muslims to tackle terrorism and extremism. Adrian Tudway, National Co-ordinator for Domestic Extremism, has written that "In terms of the position with EDL, the original stance stands, they are not extreme right wing as a group, indeed if you look at their published material on their web-site, they are actively moving away from the right and violence with their mission statement etc", also writing they were a threat to community cohesion.
A Tory party councillor was suspended after attending an EDL rally in Southend. During the Southend gathering, Tommy Robinson expressed links with the local Tory councillor, Blaine Robin, stating, "I am proud that the first politician I have ever met who actually represents his constituents is a man outside, a black man, who is a local politician in Southend".
In 2013, some members of Parliament wrote to the London police calling for the EDL's march to Tower Hamlets, which has a large Muslim population, to be banned, fearing that violence could break out.
Matthew Goodwin, an academic who specialises in the study of far-right extremism, has argued that the press are more sympathetic to the Islamophobia of the EDL than they were to the anti-Semitism of the National Front in the 1970s:
The reason why the EDL's adoption of Islamophobia is particularly significant is that unlike the 1970s, when the National Front was embracing antisemitism, there are now sections of the media and the British establishment that are relatively sympathetic towards Islamophobia. It is not difficult to look through the media and find quite hostile views towards Islam and Muslims. That is fundamentally different to the 1970s, when very few newspapers or politicians were endorsing the NF's antisemitic message.— 
Garland & Treadwell (2010) argue that while the group differs from other British far-right groups such as the British National Party or the National Front by publicly promoting an image of multi-ethnicity, inclusion, and liberal values of tolerance, its affinities with other right-wing groups, its Islamophobia, and the outspoken racism of its membership tend to belie this image.
Paul Jackson in his study describes the EDL as part of the ‘new far right’ of European politics. While "genuinely" anti-Nazi it nevertheless “remains in conflict with liberal democratic principles.” He argues that the EDL uses the essential English principles of tolerance, liberalism, democracy, and enlightenment as ‘cultural markers of identity’ to brand as alien opposing principles of Islam. The latter is described as a backward 7th century intolerant totalitarian creed. Rather than expulsion, favoured by the ‘old far right,’ the ‘new far right’ seeks assimilation to liberal English culture. But by considering the culture of Britain’s Muslims as monolithic, the EDL exploits the “language of liberalism for inherently anti‐liberal agendas.”
Public opinion of the EDL is generally negative. In a 2012 study, 74% of those polled stated they believed the EDL was racist. 85% also stated they would never join the group. 69% of people also stated they do not agree with the EDL's values or methods. A 2013 poll in the aftermath of the murder of Lee Rigby found 61% believed the EDL makes terrorist attacks more likely; just 14% disagreed.
Offshoots and divisions
In 2010, the EDL's LGBT division had 115 members. On 23 July 2011, the division planned to pass leaflets on Canal Street, in the gay village of Manchester, in support of the Norwegian Defence League, but the event was called off when the division realised opposition to its presence would be too great. On 5 June 2012, it issued a statement saying "Gay people in Britain have far more to fear from Islam than they do from the EDL," and citing opinion polls "that reported that British Muslims have zero tolerance for homosexuality."
The creation of the EDL's tiny "Jewish division" in June 2010 was condemned by all the main organisations of the UK Jewish community. Roberta Moore, leader of the Jewish division of the EDL, resigned over the presence of alleged "Nazi elements" within the EDL although she said the EDL was "doing a fantastic job" and she hoped its leaders would have the "strength to squash the Nazis within". In September 2011, a new leadership of the division was selected and the EDL reiterated its support for Israel "in the larger struggle against radical Islam."
A sub-group of the European Defence League, the Scottish Defence League (SDL) is an offshoot division of the English Defence League. In 2009, the Sunday Herald revealed links between the SDL and the BNP though both groups have publicly tried to distance themselves from each other, with the BNP claiming it would expel members found to be active in the SDL and its English counterpart, the EDL. The Welsh offshoot of the EDL, the Welsh Defence League, is reportedly defunct.
The English Volunteer Force is a small right-wing street protest movement based in the United Kingdom, which Joe Mulhall considers to be an English Defence League splinter group. Created by John Sheridan and Jason Lock in July 2012, the group calls for the halting of all Muslim immigration, prohibitions on the building of mosques and the sale of halal meat, the rejection of multiculturalism, and a rejection of what they term the 'Islamification' of Great Britain. The group plans to "Unite the Right". The group held its first demonstration in Birmingham in January 2013 which passed peacefully. On 9 March 2013 the EVF held a demonstration in Stanmore, London, against the radical preacher Abu Qatada's continued presence in Great Britain. The group also conducted an online interview with a blog called "Terrorscope".
Co-founders Robinson and Carroll leave EDL
On 8 October 2013 it was announced that Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll, who had had meetings with the think tank Quilliam, were to leave the EDL. Robinson said that street protests were “no longer effective” and “acknowledged the dangers of far-right extremism”. He stated his intention to continue to combat extremism by forming a new party. Both Robinson and Carroll had been taking lessons in Islam from a Quilliam member, Usama Hasan, and intend to train in lobbying institutions.
International activities and support
American talk radio host Michael Savage became the first popular media figure to publicly announce support for the EDL, stating, "How does England take the Islamofascists spitting on their war dead, without letting the English Defence League wade into them with pipes and beer bottles, I'll never understand". Erick Stakelbeck, a commentator for Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, also expressed support for the EDL and compared its members to the members of the American Tea Party movement.
In 2010 the EDL was reported to be developing links with right-wing elements within America.
Gainesville, Florida pastor Terry Jones, whose calls to burn the Qur'an provoked violence that resulted in numerous deaths, was invited to a rally in Luton in February 2011 "to share his views on Islamic extremism." The Home Secretary had Jones banned from entering the UK.
In October 2010, American Tea Party activist Rabbi Nachum Shifren, travelled to England to speak at a rally. In his speech, he called Muslims "dogs" and told the EDL that "history will be recorded that on this day, read by our children for eternity, one group lit the spark to liberate us from the oppressors of our two governments and the leftist, fifth column, quisling press, and that it was the EDL which started the liberation of England from evil."
The Canadian Jewish Defense League has held a demonstration in support of the EDL, saying that the two groups will "take a stand against the forces of political Islam". The Canadian Jewish Congress has opposed the alliance.
The EDL has established links to the Danish Defence League. The latter has established 10 chapters within its first year of operation. However recent attempts to establish a presence in Denmark and the Netherlands have failed to attract support and were respectively described as "a humiliation" and as "a damp squib".
The Norwegian Defence League (NDL) is a sister organisation of the EDL. There are strong connections between the two organisations, and the leadership of the EDL is also actively involved in the leadership of NDL. Members of the NDL have on several occasions travelled to England to participate in EDL protests.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks has claimed to have hundreds of EDL members as Facebook friends. The newspaper also quoted an anonymous senior EDL member that Breivik had extensive links with senior members of the EDL. Also according to The Telegraph, Breivik wrote online about how he attended an EDL Bradford demonstration. In his April 2012 trial testimony, however, Breivik denied having had any contact with the EDL, although he admitted having used EDL-linked forums and having messaged an EDL member in one of them. He also contrasted the EDL with the Knights Templar organisation which he claimed he was part of, saying "The EDL is an anti-violent organisation supporting democracy and [opposing] Sharia and Islamisation and they have nothing to do with KT at all. You cannot even compare them." Some EDL members have subsequently been associated with praise for Breivik following his conviction in the Norwegian courts.
On 31 July 2011, Interpol requested Maltese police to investigate Paul Ray, former member and co-founder of the English Defence League, who blogs under the name "Lionheart". Ray conceded that he may have been the inspiration for the Norwegian mass murderer, but deplored his actions. On 26 July 2011, the EDL leader Tommy Robinson denied any official links with Breivik and said that acts of terrorism are unacceptable. Lauren Collins quotes Breivik: “The EDL, although having noble intentions are in fact dangerously naïve. ... we are miles apart ideologically AND organisationally ...” She nevertheless maintains that the EDL created an inflammatory environment in which people like Breivik can find "reinforcement".
The former EDL leader, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (a.k.a. Tommy Robinson) is banned from entering the US, due to his criminal record for assault, drugs and public order offences. In September 2011, travelling to meet American EDL supporters in New York, he was stopped at John F. Kennedy International Airport when officials noticed he was attempting to use someone else's passport. Asked to attend a second interview, he left the airport, entering the US illegally, and flew back to Britain the next day. In January 2013, he pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to possession of a false identity document with improper intention, contrary to the Identity Documents Act 2010, and was jailed for 10 months.
- Patalong, Frank (25 July 2011). "Anders Breivik's Roots in Right-Wing Populism". Der Spiegel.
Bevanger, Lars (24 October 2010). "Anti-Muslim groups gain ground in Britain and across Europe". DE: Deutsche Welle.
- "EDL Appoints Tim Ablitt As New Chairman After Departure Of Tommy Robinson And Kevin Carroll". Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- "Football hooligans to launch 'European Defence League' in Amsterdam". EUobserver. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- "EDL steps up prison protest". Bedfordshire Local News. 11 September 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
- "So, who are the English Defence League exactly?". UK. 7 October 2010.
- Preventing violent extremism: sixth report of session 2009–10. Stationery Office. 2010-03-30. ISBN 9780215545466.
- Allen, Chris (2010). "Fear and Loathing: the Political Discourse in Relation to Muslims and Islam in the British Contemporary Setting" (PDF). Politics and Religion. 4: 221–36. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
- Garland, Jon; Treadwell, James (2010). "'No Surrender to the Taliban': Football Hooliganism, Islamophobia and the Rise of the English Defence League" (PDF). Papers from the British Criminology Conference. 10: 19–35. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
- "English Defence League says Pastor Terry Jones will not speak at rally". The Daily Telegraph. London. 14 December 2010.
- Helen Carter (21 October 2010). "Inquiry: Police, anti-fascist protester". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "EDL Goons on Newsnight, part2". Newsnight. London. 12 October 2009. 1:26 minutes in. BBC. BBC2.
- O'Brien, Paraic (12 October 2009). "Under the skin of English Defence League". BBC Newsnight. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
- Maryam Namazie (5 July 2010). "Sharia, Law, religious courts". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Bracchi, Paul; Stewart, Tim (13 December 2010). "Special Investigation: English Defence League and the hooligans spreading hate on the High Street". Daily Mail. UK. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
The aim of the EDL – to counter what it perceives as the Islamification of Britain – is just a cover
- "English Defence League's Bradford march banned by Theresa May". Metro. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
The right-wing campaign group, which claims to be taking a stand against what it sees as the rise of radical Islam in England, had planned to march through the streets of Bradford on 28 August.
- "Violence erupts at far-right march in Birmingham". Reuters. 5 September 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
A little-known nationalist group calling itself the English Defence League met in the town centre to protest against what they see as Islamic militancy in Britain
- Britain's fascists in a right state. Retrieved 15 June 2012
- Goodwin, Matthew J.; Cutts, David; Janta-Lipinski, Laurence (September 2014). "Economic Losers, Protestors, Islamophobes or Xenophobes? Predicting Public Support for a Counter-Jihad Movement". Political Studies: n/a–n/a. doi:10.1111/1467-9248.12159.
- Gunning (2010): pp 151–152
Morey, Peter; Yaqin, Amina. (2011). Framing Muslims: Stereotyping and Representation After 9/11. Harvard University Press. p. 215.
- EDL leader Tommy Robinson quits group retrieved 22 October 2013
- "EDL Select Dorset's Tim Ablitt as New Leader After Tommy Robinson Quits". International Business Times UK. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
- Urry, Allan (22 September 2009). "Is far-right extremism a threat?". BBC News. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- Casciani, Dominic (11 September 2009). "Who are the English Defence League?". London: BBC News. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- O'Brien, Paraic (12 October 2009). "Under the skin of English Defence League". BBC News.
- Rowland Hill, Matt (18 October 2013). "Who is the real Tommy Robinson?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- Bignell, Paul; Atkins, Chris (6 March 2011). "Far-right group to become political party". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
- Rawlinson, Kevin (25 November 2011). "English Defence League prepares to storm local elections". The Independent. London. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- Townsend, Mark; Traynor, Ian (30 July 2011). "Norway attacks: How far right views created Anders Behring Breivik". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 14 August 2011
- "The anti-Islam English Defense League plans a massive European rally". Globalpost. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- Jamie Bartlett, Mark Littler, Inside the EDL- Populist politics in a digital age, Demos, 2011, ISBN 978-1-906693-85-5
- Matthew Taylor; Peter Walker (30 October 2011). "EDL supporters are young, male and anti-immigration, says survey | UK news". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- Anonymous-linked groups publish EDL supporters' personal information, The Guardian
- Copsey, Nigel. "The English Defence League: challenging our country and our values of social inclusion, fairness and equality" (PDF). Faith Matters. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- Tweedie, Neil (10 October 2009). "The English Defence League: will the flames of hatred spread?". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
- Booth, Robert; Jones, Sam (11 August 2009). "'Defence league' recruiting football fans to march against Islamic extremism". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- Walker, Jonathan (26 August 2009). "MP opposes rally ban despite violence fears". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- "Jewish? Gay? Join us, white extremists say" The Independent 27 November 2010
- Tweedie, Neil (10 October 2009). "The English Defence League: will the flames of hatred spread?". The Daily Telegraph. London.
Garland, Jon; Treadwell, James (2010). "No Surrender to the Taliban': Football Hooliganism, Islamophobia and the Rise of the English Defence League" (PDF). Papers from the British Criminology Conference. 10. Retrieved 23 January 2012."The rather theatrical burning of a swastika flag at an EDL press conference in October 2009 was, in the eyes of sympathisers, proof of their anti-Nazi credentials" (27–8).
- "Extreme Muslim group calls for 'forceful' anti-Royal protest". News. Channel 4. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
"Royal Wedding: Police Say Muslim Extremists And English Defence League Protests Will Be Stopped | Royal Wedding". Sky. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Collins, Matthew; Katwala, Sunder (16 November 2011). "Response: Far from growing, rightwing extremism in the UK may be on the wane". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- Nigel Morris (5 April 2013). "English Defence League backs Ukip in local elections". The Independent. London. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
- Collins, Lauren (4 July 2011). "England, Their England". The New Yorker: 28–34. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- Townsend, Mark (28 April 2012). "Britain's far right to focus on anti-Islamic policy". The Guardian. London. ISSN 0261-3077. OCLC 60623878. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- "Bedfordshire Tories criticise Nadine Dorries MP as Labour wins", BBC NEWS Beds, Herts & Bucks, 16 November 2012
- "Kev Carroll Becomes British Freedom Chairman". Archived from the original on 6 January 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- Helen Pidd, "EDL election candidate faces burglary charges", The Guardian, 3 January 2013, p 10
- "Man broke window in EDL demo". Leicester Mercury. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
- "Fears of further violence prompt march ban". Luton Today. Johnston Press Digital Publishing. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- "The '£300,000 price' of policing protesters rallies". The Bolton News. UK. 23 March 2010. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- Townsend, Mark (5 December 2009). "English Defence League marchers clash with police in Nottingham". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- "Death threats for journalists covering far right demos" (Press release). National Union of Journalists. 2 November 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
- Parkinson, Jason N. (4 November 2009). "Far right embraces fatwas". The Guardian. London.
- File on Four, BBC Radio 4, 22 September 2009
- O'Brien, Padraic (12 October 2009). "Programmes | Under the skin of English Defence League". News. UK: BBC. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- "Manchester | Dozens arrested during protests". News. UK: BBC. 10 October 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- Helen Pidd (18 October 2009). "Far-right protesters in Swansea burn anti-Nazi flag | UK news". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- "Trouble at Stoke-on-Trent English Defence League rally". BBC. 24 January 2010.
- "74 arrests in demo clash". The Belfast Telegraph. UK. 21 March 2010.
"Police battle to control EDL and UAF protest in Bolton". UK: BBC. 20 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
"55 arrests at protests". The Bolton News. UK. 20 March 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
Smith, Lewis (22 March 2010). "Police blame anti-fascists for violence". The Independent. London. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
- Smith, Lewis (22 March 2010). "Police blame anti-fascists for violence". The Independent. London. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "Meeting over rally arrests". The Bolton News. UK. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- "EDL protest bill tops half-a-million pounds". Stourbridge News. UK. 21 July 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- "Eight arrests at English Defence League event in Oldham". News. UK: BBC. 12 September 2010.
"Hate mobs terror reign". Oldham Chronicle. UK. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "Ten Charged After Violent EDL Demonstration". Sky News. 10 October 2010.
- "Fireworks and bricks thrown at police by protesters in Leicester". Leicester Mercury. 9 October 2010.
- "Protesters smash windows of International Arts Centre". Leicester Mercury. 9 October 2010.
- "Violent clashes break EDL". Leicester Mercury. UK. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "Updates in relation to the City". Leicestershire, UK: Police.[dead link]
- "Police thanks public following protests". Leicester, UK: Police. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010.
- "English Defence League protest in Leicester cost police and council £850,000". Leicester Mercury. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- Burrell, Ian (4 February 2011). "Luton braced for violence in far-right's 'homecoming' march". The Independent. London.
- "EDL and UAF stage rival protests in Luton". News. UK: The BBC. 5 February 2011.
- Williams, David; Kisiel, Ryan; Camber, Rebecca (11 August 2011). "UK riots 2011: Met Police's Tim Godwin warns EDL could hijack vigilante patrols". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "Police clash with vigilantes in Eltham – Channel 4 News". Channel 4. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "London riots: far-right political party 'protect' Eltham residents" (Video). The Daily Telegraph. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Ferran, Lee (10 August 2011). "London Riots: Police Warn Against Vigilante Groups – ABC News". US: ABC. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "MEP Sajjad Karim 'threatened' over EDL protest by home". News. UK: BBC. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Wilkinson, Tom (19 August 2011). "EDL member admits mosque attack". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "Norway massacre: We need to remain vigilant about the far-right in the UK". Daily Mirror. UK. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Akhtar, Anwar (29 July 2011). "Norway is a wakeup call for the UK". Dawn. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Fentiman, Paula (19 November 2010). "EDL fuel Islamic extremism, claim police". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "Arrests after Yorkshire anti-racism gig stormed". Yorkshire Evening Post. UK
- Kennedy, Rob (3 December 2011). "EDL gang jailed for attack at Newcastle Irish Centre – Chronicle News – News". ChronicleLive. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Mindless EDL thugs storm Muslim exhibition in Cradley Heath market (From Halesowen News)". Halesowennews.co.uk. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "The chilling pictures: English Defence League members posing with arsenal of deadly weapons". Daily Mail. London. 9 September 2011.
Sixty arrests as EDL members clash with police including 44 pulled off a coach that had stopped outside a mosque
- "Activists: EDL is gateway to terrorism". Press TV. 27 August 2011
- "Ex-soldier sent to jail for blast plot at mosque – Local". lep.co.uk. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
"Simon Beech and Garreth Foster jailed for Regent Road mosque attack | Hanley". This is Staffordshire. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
"Stoke-on-Trent mosque arsonists jailed". BBC News. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
"Hanley Mosque arson accused Simon Beech was member of the BNP". This is Staffordshire. 30 November 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
Richard Hartley-Parkinson (8 December 2011). "Serving soldier 'ran gas pipe into mosque to "burn them out" in race-hate attack'". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "EDL Terror Attack Plot: Six Men Plead Guilty". Sky News.
- Tim Cook, "Peaceful demonstration in Dewsbury", Harrogate News, 30 June 2012
- Hines, Nico; Pitas, Costas (10 August 2009). "Far-right group, the English Defence League, in disarray after Birmingham fracas". The Times. London. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- Royston, Jack (19 August 2009). "Harrow mosque protest cancelled after Sharia court denial". Harrow Times. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- Tyler, Jane (24 August 2009). "Police urged to ban far right rally in Birmingham". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- di Paolo, Jon (11 September 2009). "Election Campaign May Trigger Race Riots". Sky News. London. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- Grey, Sadie (13 September 2009). "Anti-Islamists target Palestinian rally in central London". The Independent. London. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- Sadie Gray and John Simpson, "Scuffles at EDL ‘static’ protest in London", The Times, 3 September 2011
- See, for example: "The BBC". BBC News. UK. 12 September 2009
- Hamilton, Fiona (8 September 2009). "Fears of violence as right-wing groups plan September 11 mosque protest". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011(registration required)
- "Anti-fascists clash with right-wing protesters in Birminghan". Birmingham Post. 5 September 2009
- Andrew Marr Show, BBC1, 9am, 13 December 2010.
- Cruddas, Jon (10 October 2010). "English Defence League is a bigger threat than the BNP". The Guardian. UK.
- Gunning (2010): p 151
- Wilson, Peter (17 September 2009). "Policing the English Defence League". London: BBC.
- "EDL leader Tommy Robinson quits group". BBC News. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Siddique, Haroon (8 October 2013). "Tommy Robinson quits EDL saying it has become 'too extreme'". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Jasbir Authi. "David Cameron makes dash to West Midlands". Birmingham Mail. UK. Retrieved 28 August 2010.
- Taylor, Matthew (28 May 2010). "English Defence League: Inside the violent world of Britain's new far right". The Guardian. London.
- "Denham condemns right-wing groups". BBC News. 11 September 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- Cole, Paul (13 September 2009). "Minister likens Birmingham riot thugs to Oswald Mosley Blackshirt fascists". Sunday Mercury. Birmingham. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
- "EDL Update – Council leader condemns "pointless" protests". Dudley News. UK. 17 July 2010.
- "English Defence League demos 'feed Islamic extremism'". News. The BBC. 19 November 2010.
- Fentiman, Paula (19 November 2010). "EDL fuel Islamic extremism claim police". The Independent. London.
- Zak, Andrew (5 February 2011). "Educating the English Defence League". New Statesman. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Dodd, Vikram; Taylor, Matthew (2 September 2011). "English Defence League, Metropolitan police, Far right, Anders Behring Breivik, UK news, Police and policing, World news, London (News)". The Guardian. London, UK.
"The chilling pictures English Defence League". Daily Mail. London, UK. 9 September 2011.
Sixty arrests as EDL members clash with police including 44 pulled off a coach that had stopped outside a mosque
- "Policing the English Defence League". UK: Hope not hate.
- Harrison, Phil (6 October 2011). "Southend councillor suspended for EDL links". The Enquirer. UK
Darrall, Stephanie (7 October 2011). "Black Conservative councillor suspended from party for attending English Defence League rally". Daily Mail. London
- "Rival Protests in London Over Islamists". Reuters. 7 September 2013.
- Taylor, Matthew (28 May 2010). "English Defence League: new wave of extremists plotting summer of unrest". The Guardian. London.
- Paul Jackson, Chapter 1 of The EDL: Britain's 'New Far Right' Social Movement, RNM Publications, University of Northampton, Northampton, 3 September 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2012
- "What do the British people think of the English Defence League?". openDemocracy.
- "A survey of public attitudes towards the English Defence League (EDL) reveals that there is some sympathy for the movement's values, although these supporters are very much in a minority". London School of Economics. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- Simon Walters, "Cameron to launch new terror task force to bring an end to religious extremism", MailOnline, 25 May 2013
- Dysch, Marcus (8 September 2011). "EDL picks new Jewish Division leader". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- O'Brien, Paraic (12 October 2009). "Under the skin of English Defence League". Newsnight. UK: The BBC.
- "EDL Women tell Cameron we're not sick". Demotix.
- Nye, Catrin (6 December 2010). "English Defence League searches for foreign allies". BBC News. UK: BBC. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Matthew Taylor (28 May 2010). "English Defence League: new wave of extremists plotting summer of unrest". The Guardian.
- "» EDL 'LGBT' division cancels Canal Street leafleting, encourages support of 'Norwegian Defence League' - MULE". manchestermule.com.
- "EDL LGBT Division Comment On The Bristol Demonstration". 5 June 2012. Archived from the original on 13 June 2012.
- "EDL step up their Jewish recruitment". The Jewish Chronicle. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- "Surfing Rabbi rallies with British anti-Islam group outside Israel embassy". Haaretz. 24 October 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Shaviv, Miriam (1 June 2010). "Diaspora Jews beware: Stay away from bigots, no matter how friendly they seem". Haaretz. Israel. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Lipman, Jennifer (29 June 2011). "EDL Jewish division leader Roberta Moore quits". The Jewish Chronicle. UK.
- Alison Campsie (13 December 2009). "Revealed: the secret links between the Scottish Defence League and the BNP". Sunday Herald. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
- Leask, David (18 September 2009). "Anti-Muslim extremists plan Scots protest". The Scotsman. Edinburgh.
- "Welsh Defence League links with neo-Nazis are unmasked". News. UK: The BBC. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- "Call for anti-Islamic marches ban". London: BBC. 8 October 2009.
- Mary Evans, Catherine (18 October 2009). "Welsh Defence League show true colours". Wales Online. Retrieved 21 October 2009.
- Jonny Greatrex (27 January 2013). "English Volunteer League protest in Birmingham's Centenary Square finishes trouble-free". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- Mulhall, Joe (12 October 2012). "Beginner's guide to new groups on Britain's far right". Extremis Project. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- Levene, Sarah (29 November 2012). "TERRORSCOPE: New Kids on the Block - Meeting the English Volunteer Force (EVF)". Sarah-levene.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- Milmo, Cahal (8 October 2013). "EDL leader Tommy Robinson turns his back on his own party over 'dangers of far-right extremism'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- "Michael Savage voices support for the English Defence League". Liberties Alliance. 17 November 2010. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Stakelbeck (6 May 2010). "A Cry For Help From Great Britain". On Terror. CBN
- Townsend, Mark (10 October 2010). "English Defence League forges links with America's Tea Party". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- "Koran-protest pastor Terry Jones invited to UK rally". News. The BBC. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
- "Koran-protest US pastor Terry Jones excluded from UK". News. The BBC. 19 December 2011.
- "'Surfer rabbi' joins EDL march against UK 'Islamification'". The Jerusalem Post. IL. 25 October 2010
- "UK far-right group boasts Tea Party links". CNN. 2 November 2010
- Verkaik, Robert (27 November 2010). "Jewish? Gay? Join us, white extremists say". The Independent. London
- "Rabbi Shifre's speech at EDL demonstration". The Jewish Chronicle. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "JDL rally for anti-Islamist group draws protesters". Cjnews.com. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "Violent demonstration opposes Jewish defense alliance". JTA. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Orange, Richard (18 January 2012). "Anti-Islamic groups across Europe to attend far-Right rally". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- Townsend, Mark (31 March 2012). "EDL summit in Denmark humiliated by low attendance". The Guardian. London.
- Beyer-Olsen, Audun (6 August 2011). "Leder den islamfiendlige organisasjonen NDL" [Leads the Islam-hostile organisation NDL]. Tønsbergs Blad (in Norwegian). Tønsberg, Norway. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- Sønsteby, Christian (5 February 2011). "Norske Remi i England på anti-muslimsk markering" [Norwegian Remi in England at anti-muslim event] (in Norwegian). Bergen, Norway: TV 2. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- Brustad, Line; Røst, Espen (4 September 2011). "Jeg ble stoppet fordi jeg hadde et norsk flagg på genseren min, og jeg ble kalt terrorist" [I was stopped because I had a Norwegian flag on my sweater, and I says he was called a terrorist]. Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Oslo, Norway. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- Hughes, Mark (25 July 2011). "Norway killer Anders Behring Breivik had extensive links to English Defence League". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- Rayner, Gordon (26 July 2011). "Norway killer Anders Behring Breivik emailed 'manifesto' to 250 British contacts". The Daily Telegraph. London
- Pidd, Helen (20 April 2012). "Anders Behring Breivik denies contact with EDL". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- Townsend, Mark (1 September 2012). "British far-right extremists voice support for Anders Breivik". The Guardian. London.
- "The EDL: Britain’s Far Right Social Movement, The University of Northampton's Radicalism and New Media Research Group. (22 September 2011) Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- "Interpol requests Maltese police to investigate Norway mass-murderer's Malta-based "mentor"". The Independent. Malta. 31 July 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- "The extremists in our midst". The Times of Malta. 31 July 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Márquez, Miguel; Ferrán, Lee (26 July 2011). "Norway Terror Suspect Claims Templar Knight 'Cells', Police Doubtful". Go. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- "Anders Breivik and the English Defence League". The New Yorker. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2012
- Williams, Rob (7 January 2013). "Leader of the English Defence League, Stephen Lennon, is jailed for using false passport". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Millar, A (22 September 2010). "The English Defense League: The New Face of Europe?". Hudson Institute. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
- Copsey, Nigel (2010). "The English Defence League: Challenging Our Country and Our Values of Social Inclusion Fairness and Equality" (PDF). Faith Matters. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
- Gunning, Dave (2010). Race and Antiracism in Black British and British Asian Literature. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 1-84631-482-8.
- Blake, Billy (19 September 2011). "EDL: Coming Down The Road". VHC Publishing.
- Trilling, Daniel (2012). Bloody Nasty People: the rise of Britain's far right. London: Verso Books. ISBN 9781781680803.
- Jackson, Paul (2011). "The EDL: Britain's 'New Far Right' Social Movement" (PDF). RMN Publications, University of Northampton. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Busher, Joel (2015). The Making of Anti-Muslim Protest: Grassroots Activism in the English Defence League. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415502672.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to English Defence League.|