England till I die

In 2009, Stephen Lennon a.k.a Tommy Robinson founded the English Defence League (E.D.L). Its aim is to stop “radical Islam's” influence in the U.K. Their methods alienated and angered the wider Islamic community.

Fascinated by the groups adoption of the vernacular of football firm hooliganism, photographer Ed Thompson followed the E.D.Land photographed them on eight occasions as part of a Fotodok (Holland) commissioned Europe wide project focused on the ‘rise of populism in Europe’. 
During one of their largest protests in Luton in 2011 around 3.000 supporters participated. The day before the E.D.L's protest in Luton on February 5th 2011, then U.K Prime Minister David Cameron spoke in Munich and declared that “multiculturalism had failed in the U.K”.

In 2013 Tommy Robinson announced his departure from the E.D.L to join Quilliam. Robinson cited the E.D.L's co-opting by an more right wing element and an E.D.L members tattoo of an exploding Mosque as some of his reasons for leaving.

This work was commissioned by the Dutch arts organisation Fotodok in 2010 as part of The Rise of Populism in Europe project.

the more you see, the more you know

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All works and texts copyright © Edward Thompson 2024