Quilliam roundtable: Former EDL Members Speak Out

This is a press release from Quilliam

Wednesday, 20 July 2011, 10.30am

Central London location

Summary: During the last two years, the English Defence League (EDL) has swiftly established itself as one of the leading far-right organisations in the UK. Despite seeking to present itself as a ‘non-racist’ organisation that is only concerned with fighting ‘Islamic extremism’, the group has repeatedly been exposed for its far-right links, criminal connections and use of overtly racist language at their official events. EDL events often end in violence, making it a major challenge for UK police forces nationwide.

Despite the EDL’s prominence, however, relatively little is known about the group’s internal workings, its methods of recruitment, its overall strategy and its future plans. For the first time ever, Quilliam is able to bring together former senior members of the EDL who have renounced the group and are willing to speak out against it publicly and to answer questions about the organisation and their time inside it.

Speaker bios:

Harry Burns was formerly a senior member of EDL’s London division. Within London he helped to mobilise members and organise transport for demonstrations outside of London. He was also involved in the group’s logistics and its online activism, helping to run their youth website. He was present at many of their early London meetings.

Leighton Evans was a well-known foot soldier for EDL’s London division. In addition, he was an online activist for the group and helped to organise demonstrations and produce leaflets.

Both will be going public for the first time about their experiences within the EDL.

To RSVP: Please email events@quilliamfoundation.org. Please aim to arrive at around 10.15am so that the event can start promptly at 10:30. It will draw to a close soon after 11:30. The details of the location will be provided to those who RSVP.