Paul Sillet, UAF national campaigner
When the EDL first emerged in 2009 we thought, "What is this new beast?" We noticed that there were former BNP, Combat 18 and National Front types around the demos, if not necessarily on them. Those on the demos were mainly from the "firms" - football supporters involved in inter-club violence - and others.
The EDL were attracting supporters to the prospect of launching mini pogroms in places like Luton and Dudley. At the time we were facing a possible BNP electoral breakthrough alongside a growing fascist street movement.