'ACAB? The police and the criminal justice system through the eyes of English Defence League activists'
|Starts:||16:00 7 Nov 2017|
|Ends:||17:30 7 Nov 2017|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Law|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public|
CCCJ Seminar Programme 2017/18
(in collaboration with Methods@Manchester)
The English Defence League, a ‘feet on the street’ anti-Islamist movement active in the UK
since 2009, is widely considered to be a violent Islamophobic and racist organisation whose
street demonstrations often lead to drink-fuelled violent interactions with police and counter-demonstrators.
Drawing on a three-year ethnographic study of English Defence League activism (2012-15),
including interviews, informal conversations and extended observation at EDL events,
this presentation will critically reflect on the gap between the movement’s public image and
activists’ own understandings of it. It considers the attitudes to, and interactions with, the police
at EDL demonstrations as well as activists’ personal experience of the criminal justice system.
Notwithstanding high rates of arrest and conviction, the study revealed widespread cooperation with,
and support for, the police. This, however, is accompanied by profound criticism of the criminal justice
system as a whole, expressed in the notion of a ‘two-tier’ justice system, which, activists claim, allows ‘them’
to get away with things and fails to protect or recognise injustices towards ‘us’.
Role: Professor of Sociology
Organisation: University of Manchester
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