THE GREEN WOMEN AND THE DEFENDERS OF ENGLAND
This video is the artist’s impression of the events of 2010 when the English Defence League (EDL) held a protest in Bradford. Bradford is a northern British town with a significant Muslim population. In 2001 a riot consumed the city as a result of The National Front (another far right group) attempting to march through the city. Known by the protesters as ‘The Big One’, the EDL had bussed members in from all over the country to reproduce the 2001 march and protest.
However, on the day before the EDL’s arrival, a coalition of the city’s women’s groups organised a Festival of Peace. Decking the city centre with green ribbon and flags, the women attempted to calm the city down in preparation for the EDL’s protest the next day, persuading the community not to turn up and not to react. Consequently, few turned up and no riot broke out.
A concurrent event to the EDL’s protest, organised by the City Council and the group Unite Against Fascism, occurred across town. There, they had erected a stage where the city officials gave speeches, and where a programme of performances and music ran.
News coverage of ‘The Big One’ can be found on The Guardian website: http://gu.com/p/2tq4k/em
18 Oct 2012 – Modern Art Oxford as part of the launch of Workers publication, by 2012 Curating Graduates from the Royal College of Art.
Still images from video: