An online movement recently catching the imagination of the forces community struggles to stave off public support from the racially motivated British National Party. With press releases going out on a national scale last Thursday, it must have been disappointing to organiser Dee Edwards that the only group to recognise her efforts and promote it was the BNP. Their article on the official web sites highlights both her cause and provides links to the facebook group. The group was set up to coordinate a national presence at war memorials across the country next Saturday to protest against defence cuts recently announced.
Expose is heartened to see both Dee and her supporters unequivocal rejection of the BNP’s commitment to get involved, choosing to preserve the moment as ‘non- political’, it’s a tricky stance to take when protesting against government policy but I think they could pull it off? I suspect they mean they are single issue rather than non-political. We hope they attract cross party support for their aims because having the BNP back you exclusively is cause suicide as forces campaigners have learnt the hard way.
The group, only just taking off, has already began to tackle challenges from supporters who fear their participation in political protests at war memorials is deeply inappropriate. Ms Edwards has been swift and frank to accept that when they launched their campaign they hadn’t fully considered the locations or the title of their movement. By starting to recognise staging protests at war memorials is frankly abhorrent, no one can accuse the group organisers of not being responsive to their supporters needs. Now being framed as a peacefully vigil near memorials the changes seem to cautiously welcomed if not causing an understandable small degree of confusion. We however, have confidence Dee Edwards will continue to communicate any further changes coherently. Particularly once her team start appreciating war memorials are never, ever used for political aims. By any one. They are certainly experienced in negotiating online conflict which holds them in good stead in this instance.
We believe the bold stance against the BNP’s aggressive efforts to hijack the reputation of our armed forces in this way is especially appropriate given the comments left by BNP supporters to their coverage of the protest:
BNP supporters are frankly fucking stooopid.
We salute Ms Edwards integrity in standing against the BNP in light of the fact that she is the patron of a charity initially run from BNP headquarters, by a BNP activist and has been promoted widely by the British National Party and the criminal lead English Defence League. Both organaisations documented as fundraising heavily for Ms Edward’s primary charity in the past. SOTS has received an enormous amount of negative press over the years in regard to its racist foundations and continues to do so in light of its founders controversial online conduct. A recent article in the observer challenged the integrity of the charity and reported a somewhat veiled threat made by the founder Bill Murray: ““I will just say ‘fuck it’ and close it down. And then all the lads on the street can suffer and I’ll name everybody that made us close it down. Anybody that stops it will be attacked for it and it won’t be nothing to do with us.” Dee Edwards charity has also recently been told to stay away from Edinburgh by local councilors in the Scottish press:
“Soldiers off the Street Scotland (SoS) is staging a two-day event in August, spending the night on the streets to “raise awareness of homeless ex-service personnel” and holding a collection the following day.
The group – which has previously been banned from holding fundraising events in the Capital – will begin their tour by first attending the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
But Craigentinny/ Duddingston councillor Alex Lunn has vowed to spread the message that the charity should be avoided.
He told the Evening News: “I would urge all people, whether Edinburgh residents or tourists, to avoid this group and avoid giving them money.”
It shows an enormous strength of character to stand up to friends and fellow forces campaigners with a stake in nationalist politics and shows a true dedication to her new project.
We wish all those involved success in peacefully campaigning against the travesty of forces cuts. To succeed in making an impact nationally with just over a week to coordinate and mobilise will be a great feat but we know you can pull it off. Don’t forget to buy your t shirt and continue to tell the racist BNP ‘hands off our forces’. there is nothing British about racial hatred.
Further reading: https://www.facebook.com/groups/373251092729534/