Around 40 members of the English Nationalist Alliance marched in Brighton on 29 August. More than 200 anti-fascists held a counter demonstration.
The counter demo was in some respects positive, but mainly ineffective. The ENA, displaying mostly EDL flags, wandered between Brighton station and the nearest pub. Anti-fascists stood chanting inside a soft police kettle, without really troubling the ENA.
Once the counter demo had gathered around 250 people, the police marched us away from the ENA. The majority of anti-fascists wanted to stay put and shout at the ENA. Some, SWP included, seemed happy to lead the march down into Brighton town centre and allow a group of racist, drunk and violent thugs do pretty much as they please.
The police began threatening arrest and the march shuffled away from the ENA. Once the counter-demonstration had reached its designated protest point we chanted to absolutely no effect, and waited for the ENA to reach their protest point, 300 metres away.
Then those willing to edge closer to the ENA moved out of the kettle around the counter-demo. The police began a full riot-gear and mounted operation. As activists began attempting to remove the barriers and dodge police lines, those who had made their way out of the area began running back to see what was happening to the dwindling counter-demo. This split up the already chaotic and largely ineffective protest.
Once the ENA left their rally a handful of activists made their way around the city centre hoping to block them. The ENA made it into a small pub before attempts at blocking their route came to fruition. Activists blocked the pub, keeping some ENAers from marching back through Brighton unchallenged. The police escorted them outside the back of the pub and away from the town centre.
The day involved far too much pointless chanting and cooperation with the police. Tactics were, as usual, divided. The nationalists were allowed too much room to mobilise and intimidate people in Brighton.
But at least a good proportion of demonstrators had showed a willingness to drive the ENA away.