The Birmingham PEGIDA march – A personal view

A very small section of the PEGIDA march in Birmingham

Knowing that Birmingham is a hot bed of Islamism, and is troubled by rampant police Islamopandering made me, it must be said, a little nervous about what to expect. Even though I am a seasoned veteran of many marches and demonstrations when I was a man of the Left, I still felt a little trepidation about attending. I expected the sort of heavy and aggressive police presence that you’d find at a 1980’s West Ham vs Millwall football match along with elements of the violent, thuggish Left.

What I found ran very much counter to any of my negative expectations. Firstly the ‘opposition’ such as it was, consisted of dozen or so hard-left activists who looked like they had some connection with the Socialist Workers Party. They were waving posters saying ‘never again’, which bearing in mind the far-lefts close association with Jew-hating Islamists, is a monstrous and insulting misappropriation of the promise made by many after the Holocaust. Yes there was a heavy police presence with the usual helicopters, riot suited back up and forward intelligence teams that you expect on a contentious demo, but on this occasion the police seemed to behave themselves.

As to the march itself, well I must say that it was an impressive turnout for a first demo on a very wet February morning. From my position about 1/3rd of the way down the march, I looked around and it seemed to me that there was at least 500/600 people there, maybe more but certainly not as low as some of the ‘enemy media’ may put it. Having put on demonstrations myself I know how difficult is to get people to turn out for a launch demo, and this number is a good achievement.

As to the crowd well it was the same cross section of people who are worried about Islam that you may expect to find. There was black and white, men and women, a couple of people with Israeli flags and rainbow flags. It certainly was not an all white affair nor was it an all male one.

Bearing in mind the rain I was thankful that we were marshalling up underneath the airport light rail bridge, it provided some degree of shelter whilst we were all hanging about. I did wonder whether or not Mr Tommy Robinson’s plea for people to respect the concept of march by the silently angry would be respected, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was.

There was something deeply moving about seeing such a large number of people, united in their fear of and disgust for an ideology that gives us all lot to fear about, marching silently, in a determined manner to the rally point. Without the shadow of doubt the silent marching idea worked and may well attract those people who are worried about what is going on, but who don’t want to stand with people shouting slogans that they might or might not agree with.

Some may have questioned the idea of not rallying in the city centre and meeting in what is the middle of an industrial estate but it has turned out to be an inspired one. Meeting in this venue meant that the march could to a certain extent be shielded from the violent far left and even more violent extreme Muslims, violence that would inevitably be blamed by a left-leaning press on PEGIDA.

The speeches by Paul Weston, Tommy Robinson and Anne-Marie Waters were eloquent and well informed, but what moved me was the ex Muslim speaker. Some may indeed have questioned the presence of a Pakistani flag on the podium, but this speaker explained all. There may have been people in the audience who may have been unaware of the problems that face Britain’s ex Muslims, who have just as much right to leave Islam as everyone else has the right to choose or reject any religion they wish. He spoke for the ex-Muslim Christians who have endured much violence from the Islamic community and emphasised that Muslims need to be British first and Muslim second.

This was a peaceful, dignified rally and march that attracted more attendees than I expected from a first in a series of marches. Everyone behaved themselves and that is what is needed if PEGIDA is to grow beyond the political and theological anoraks such as myself and attract many more normal people. In fact I’d go as far to say that PEGIDA is already attracting ordinary people, the sort who don’t normally ‘do’ demos, if my own observations are correct.

I believe that as more British individuals learn for themselves what Islam is all about and as they come up against the more negative aspects of Islam, so will attendance and support grow.

I’m very glad I marched with PEGIDA, I’m proud to have been at the first demo and I’m going to be there, same place same time I believe, at the next demonstration in April, and to the subsequent ones after that.

Well done to all those who organised, stewarded and marched at the weekend. Let’s make this movement grow and let’s stand up for our nation, our cultures and our children.

5 Comments on "The Birmingham PEGIDA march – A personal view"

  1. A great write-up which reflects my experience too.

    This was the first time I’d attended anything like this, and my feelings were exactly the same as yours. My wife was petrified about me going for my physical safety, and I was somewhat scared in case my ‘respectable’ friends & work colleagues saw me and I jeopardised friendships or jobs. I feel so strongly about this issue I thought it was worth overcoming my trepidation to turn out and show my solidarity

    I had some really good conversations with people in the same position. I wondered if it was the police who had made us take a tour of Birmingham’s desolate industrial estates, but listening to Tommy’s explanation of the rationale behind it made sense.

    I intend to go again. And I hope to encourage others to as well.

  2. Just like in communism – people fear for their jobs if seen by colleagues. Back to square one… It feels like being a ‘dissident’ expressing an ‘incorrect’ view. And this is Britain, the country I used to look up to. I don’t care any longer, I go on marches and if I lose my job so be it – it would be such great irony because I lost mine in the ex communist country I come from, for meeting a foreigner from the West. But I suppose I can ‘sort of’ afford it but so many people can’t. They can’t be seen on such marches, they can’t afford of being labeled far-right because they have families to support. I feel much more free in the country I come from now than in Britain. How very, very sad. Tommy & co are very brave people, just like the dissidents in so many ex-communist countries were…

  3. Nothing to disagree with there. I was there too, and thought exactly the same on all points.

    • Fahrenheit211 | March 13, 2016 at 9:12 pm |

      HI Fenbeagle, welcome to Fahrenheit211. I’ve seen and enjoyed some of your comments elsewhere. I’ll be there in Brum for the next Pegida demo. HOpe to see you there.

  4. hi Fahrenheit211. Yes you will.

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