Just found a cyber cafe where I’m waiting for a train.
The rabbi gave a rousing speech just round the corner from the Israeli embassy. However, before he spoke a left-wing activist threw some water on the sound equipment, which stopped it working for a while. When he spoke there was a crackle from the speakers due to the damage done to the equipment.
The EDL people then dispersed, and around fifty accompanied the group across the London parks to Speakers’ Corner where Muslims seem to always have a predominant presence. When we arrived near the corner the police stopped the rabbi and the EDL from entering Speakers’ Corner, thereby preventing him from speaking there. It seems that Speakers’ Corner now belongs to the Ummah.
In the event, the police were in a difficult position, but the instinct to side with the Muslims, due to years of politically correct indoctrination, seems clear. In the end they let him speak across from Speakers’ Corner and there was a massive crowd of spectators.
There was a police cordon between the EDL and the Muslim denizens of Speakers’ Corner who came over to watch. Some of the EDL did engage some of the Muslims in debate in small groups, so it showed that the EDL are willing to enter into dialogue with individual Muslims. That was productive.
But the principle of Speakers’ Corner is that people are allowed to speak. That is a cornerstone of English culture, and a rabbi was prevented from doing so, presumably because the authorities could not guarantee his safety in an area that is increasingly used by Muslims. Things were peaceful, which of course is a good thing, but it seems that another pillar of freedom of speech in England has now fallen, thanks to the role of Multiculturalism.