English Defence League
|“||In hoc signo vinces (translated: in this sign you will conquer)||„|
|~ The EDL's Latin motto|
The English Defence League (EDL) is an Alt-Right Islamophobic British hate group founded by former BNP member Tommy Robinson for the purpose of "defending" the British public against Islam. Soon after it's first demonstration in response to the presence of Anjem Choudary in Luton, one of the most prominent members, Ray Yeoman, left soon after it's formation due to believing that that the EDL's purpose was to target Muslims, not to protest extreme Muslims as Yeoman intended. It was lead by Robinson and his cousin Kevin Carroll, and financed by Alan Lake. Although Robinson himself espouses non-violent ideals, the EDL have been involved in violence many times, and are often involved in violent street clashes with Muslims and rival groups.
Despite being the main force of islamophobia in the UK following the decline of the BNP, the EDL was mainly concerned with minor issues such as the presence of halal meat in British schools and the decline of the use of the English flag, which they claim is proof of an Islamic takeover. The EDL are guilty of harassing left-wing and Islamic groups such as anti-capitalist protestors and threatening action against students who Robinson disagrees with politically. During the 2011 London riots, EDL members were mobilised and clashed with police several times, including on an occasion where several members attacked a bus carrying Islamic students.
Soon after the riots, the EDL began to lose followers after former member John Shaw started his own, more radical movement known as "The Infidels", which clashed with the EDL on multiple occasions, including one where Robinson was arrested at the scene of the clash and charged with assault. Other factors contributing to the downfall of the EDL included a later incident where Robinson was convicted of attempting to enter the USA with a false passport, a criminal conviction for Carroll which resulted in bail terms barring him from contacting EDL members and a significant controversy after it was revealed that Anders Behring Breivik and Thomas Mair had links to the EDL. The EDL's PayPal account was also recently suspended, Robinson and Carroll left the group in 2016 and supporters of Robinson possibly belonging to the EDL or Robinson's group Pegida UK assaulted a journalist in 2019.