UP to 1,500 English Defence League racists, plus foreign supporters, marched through Luton on Saturday, escorted by police from 27 forces as well as by mounted police.
A sixth of Luton’s population is Muslim, but in fact it is not the town’s biggest immigrant group. This falls to the section of the population with Irish origins who flocked into Luton in the days when it was a big industrial town, with plenty of factories and jobs.
During the over 20 years of the Provisional IRA bombing campaign in the UK there was never any manifestation of anti-Irish feeling on the scale of the current EDL provocations against Muslims.
What was at work in Luton on Saturday was racism pure and simple, in the style of the Russian ‘Black Hundreds’. These were the mobs that were financed by the state in Tsarist Russia to relieve the pressure on the absolute feudal monarchy by organising pogroms against the Jewish and other national minorities, who were blamed for the nation’s problems and were made the scapegoats.
Such was the crisis of the Tsarist state, that it needed them, and financed them, and sustained them, with police forces escorting them to the scenes of their crimes, for which they were never prosecuted.
The movement was destroyed by the 1917 Russian revolution that smashed the Tsarist autocracy and ushered in Soviet power.
A feature of the EDL Luton foray was the discussion in their ranks, as reported in the bourgeois media, that they believed that they had the encouragement, if not the support, of Tory leader Cameron.
This followed on from Cameron’s speech last Friday in Munich, a city that will always be associated with Chamberlain’s surrender to Hitler.
In Munich Cameron called for a ‘muscular response’ to Muslim extremism, in place of the ‘passive response’ that he claimed was the result of Labour’s ‘multi-cultural’ society vision, which he alleged was little more than an accommodation with Muslim extremism.
In the same way that the Tsar of all of the Russias wanted to ‘Russify’ the Jews and the nationalities, Cameron apparently wants to force the Muslim population to accept that there is only one acceptable culture in the UK and that is the ruling bourgeois culture.
This change will no doubt involve imposing on Muslims recognition that English must be their first language and not their second, and an acknowledgement that their national culture is of an inferior nature and must be discarded in the UK.
The racists of the EDL are licking their lips at the thought of the campaign to come for those who will not bend the knee to Union Jack culture and may face deportation or other penalties.
They are now beginning to believe that they are going to be favoured by the British state, and that they will be allowed to continue their national campaign escorted by large numbers of police and mounted police, regardless of the cost, even in this time of great financial crisis when the state is deeply in debt.
In fact, there is every reason for considering that the state is contemplating – with huge attacks being mounted against the working class and the middle class – playing the racist Muslim card as a useful splitting device for weakening the struggle of the working class.
The EDL will not only be guarded and escorted to engage in provocations but will be encouraged to make Muslims a scapegoat for the shortages, the privations and the savage cuts, and a diversion from the crisis of capitalism, and its bankers and bosses.
The Labour movement must pick up the gauntlet being thrown down by Cameron and the Tory-led coalition and the racists – who now believe that they have his support.
The trade unions must unite all workers wherever they come from and call mass demonstrations to halt the EDL provocations by driving them off the streets.
They must also take action, decisive action, to resolve the crisis of capitalism that is encouraging the racists and fascists to come out of their holes.
The trade unions must call a general strike to bring down the coalition and bring in a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and the bankers and bring in a socialist planned economy for the benefit of all.